Federal Register Vol. 83, No.22,

Federal Register Volume 83, Issue 22 (February 1, 2018)

Page Range4575-4829
FR Document

83_FR_22
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
83 FR 4657 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
83 FR 4655 - Farm Credit Administration Board; Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
83 FR 4621 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; State of Maryland; Control of Emissions From Existing Commercial and Industrial Solid Waste Incinerator UnitsPDF
83 FR 4654 - Notification of a Public Teleconference of the Science Advisory Board Chemical Assessment Advisory Committee Augmented for the Review of EPA's Draft Ethyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (ETBE) and tert-Butyl Alcohol (tert-butanol; tBA) AssessmentsPDF
83 FR 4598 - Consolidated Rules of Practice Governing the Administrative Assessment of Civil Penalties, Issuance of Compliance or Corrective Action Orders, and the Revocation/Termination or Suspension of Permits; Procedures for Decisionmaking; CorrectionPDF
83 FR 4663 - National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program; List of Petitions ReceivedPDF
83 FR 4655 - Clean Air Act Operating Permit Program; Petition for Objection to Proposed Permit for Alon USA-Bakersfield Refinery, San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control DistrictPDF
83 FR 4651 - Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Advisory Committee (FRRCC); Notice of Charter RenewalPDF
83 FR 4653 - Clean Air Act Operating Permit Program; Petitions for Objection to Proposed Permits for Linn Operating, Inc.-Fairfield Lease and Ethyl D Lease, San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control DistrictPDF
83 FR 4653 - Proposed CERCLA Cost Recovery Settlement for the Facet Enterprises, Inc. Superfund Site, Elmira Heights, Chemung County, New YorkPDF
83 FR 4637 - Certain Cold-Drawn Mechanical Tubing of Carbon and Alloy Steel From the People's Republic of China and India: Countervailing Duty OrdersPDF
83 FR 4665 - National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
83 FR 4665 - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
83 FR 4665 - National Institute on Aging; Amended Notice of MeetingPDF
83 FR 4668 - Center for Scientific Review; Amended Notice of MeetingPDF
83 FR 4667 - Center for Scientific Review; Amended Notice of MeetingPDF
83 FR 4665 - Center for Scientific Review; Amended Notice of MeetingPDF
83 FR 4656 - Open Commission Meeting, Tuesday, January 30, 2018PDF
83 FR 4631 - Withdrawal of the Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) for and the Cancellation of the Farm-to-Fleet Feedstock Program Biofuel Production Incentive (BPI)PDF
83 FR 4651 - Dicloran (DCNA); Amendments To Terminate Uses for Certain Pesticide RegistrationsPDF
83 FR 4643 - Technology Advisory CommitteePDF
83 FR 4601 - Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Black Sea Bass Fishery; 2018 February Recreational Season ModificationPDF
83 FR 4646 - Application for New Awards; Indian Education Formula Grants to Local Educational AgenciesPDF
83 FR 4675 - Notice of Proposed Filing of Plats of Survey: MontanaPDF
83 FR 4632 - First Responder Network Authority; Revised National Environmental Policy Act Procedures and Categorical ExclusionsPDF
83 FR 4644 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Application Package for the Day of Service Project Collection ToolPDF
83 FR 4674 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife; Incidental Take Permit Application, Habitat Conservation Plan for Skink Species, and Environmental Assessment for Roadway Relocation in Polk County, FLPDF
83 FR 4725 - Public Notice for a Change in Use of Aeronautical Property at Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles, CaliforniaPDF
83 FR 4670 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Survivor Sheltering AssessmentPDF
83 FR 4668 - Advisory Committee for Women's Services (ACWS); Notice of MeetingPDF
83 FR 4670 - Private Sector Clearance Program, Cooperative Research and Development Agreement, and Classified Critical Infrastructure Protection Program RequestPDF
83 FR 4580 - Schedules of Controlled Substances: Temporary Placement of Seven Fentanyl-Related Substances in Schedule IPDF
83 FR 4685 - Bulk Manufacturer of Controlled Substances RegistrationPDF
83 FR 4685 - Importer of Controlled Substances RegistrationPDF
83 FR 4641 - Initiation of Five-Year (Sunset) ReviewsPDF
83 FR 4639 - Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity To Request Administrative ReviewPDF
83 FR 4636 - Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Advance Notification of Sunset ReviewsPDF
83 FR 4770 - Notice of OFAC Sanctions ActionsPDF
83 FR 4623 - Migratory Bird Subsistence Harvest in Alaska; Harvest Regulations for Migratory Birds in Alaska During the 2018 SeasonPDF
83 FR 4659 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Public Comment Request; Evidence-Based Falls Prevention Program; OMB Control Number, 0985-0039PDF
83 FR 4729 - Funding Opportunity Title: Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) Inviting Applications for Financial Assistance (FA) Awards or Technical Assistance (TA) Grants Under the Native American CDFI Assistance (NACA Program) Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Funding RoundPDF
83 FR 4750 - Community Development Financial Institutions FundPDF
83 FR 4720 - Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements Under OMB ReviewPDF
83 FR 4720 - Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements under OMB ReviewPDF
83 FR 4631 - Notice of Request for Revision To and Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Trichinae Certification ProgramPDF
83 FR 4660 - Best Practices in Modeling and Simulation for Oncology Products; Public WorkshopPDF
83 FR 4721 - Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements Under OMB ReviewPDF
83 FR 4600 - Annual Adjustment of Civil Monetary Penalties To Reflect InflationPDF
83 FR 4774 - Loan Guaranty: Specially Adapted Housing Assistive Technology Grant ProgramPDF
83 FR 4657 - Proposed Information Collection Activity; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 4686 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 4658 - Proposed Information Collection Activity; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 4645 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 4630 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 4657 - Petition of the Coalition for Fair Port Practices for Rulemaking; Notice of Accessibility and Extension of TimePDF
83 FR 4585 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway, Beach Thorofare, Margate City, NJPDF
83 FR 4772 - Notice of Request for Information on the Department of Veterans Affairs Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC); CorrectionPDF
83 FR 4661 - Determination of Regulatory Review Period for Purposes of Patent Extension; CORLANORPDF
83 FR 4650 - Notice of FilingPDF
83 FR 4651 - CA Flats Solar 150, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
83 FR 4773 - Solicitation of Nominations for Appointment to the Advisory Committee on Cemeteries and Memorials, AmendedPDF
83 FR 4657 - Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP); Notice of Charter Amendment; CorrectionPDF
83 FR 4671 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (Duck Stamp) and Junior Duck Stamp ContestsPDF
83 FR 4721 - Privacy Act of 1974; Matching ProgramPDF
83 FR 4725 - Railroad Cost Recovery Procedures-Productivity AdjustmentPDF
83 FR 4684 - Cast Iron Soil Pipe From China; Institution of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Investigations and Scheduling of Preliminary Phase InvestigationsPDF
83 FR 4575 - Special Conditions: Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation Model GVII-G500 Airplanes; Operation Without Normal Electrical PowerPDF
83 FR 4726 - Petition for Waiver of CompliancePDF
83 FR 4728 - Petition for Waiver of CompliancePDF
83 FR 4727 - Petition for Waiver of CompliancePDF
83 FR 4687 - Senior Executive Service Performance Review Board MembershipPDF
83 FR 4617 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Louisiana; Interstate Transport Requirements for the 2012 PM2.5PDF
83 FR 4666 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
83 FR 4718 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Order Approving a Proposed Rule Change To List and Trade Shares of the Perth Mint Physical Gold ETF Trust Pursuant to NYSE Arca Rule 8.201-EPDF
83 FR 4704 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing of Amendment No. 2 and Order Instituting Proceedings To Determine Whether To Approve or Disapprove a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 2, To List and Trade Shares of the Hartford Schroders Tax-Aware Bond ETF Under NYSE Arca Rule 8.600-EPDF
83 FR 4707 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Bats BZX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing of Amendment No. 4 and Order Approving on an Accelerated Basis a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 4 Thereto, To List and Trade Shares of the iShares Inflation Hedged Corporate Bond ETF Under Rule 14.11(i), Managed Fund SharesPDF
83 FR 4715 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Make a Technical Adjustment to its Rules To Allow Sub-Penny Quoting and Order Entry in Managed Fund Shares Priced Less Than $1.00PDF
83 FR 4687 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Fixed Income Clearing Corporation; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Changes to the Required Fund Deposit Calculation in the Government Securities Division RulebookPDF
83 FR 4716 - Notice of Intention To Cancel Registrations of Certain Investment Advisers Pursuant to Section 203(h) of the Investment Advisors Act of 1940PDF
83 FR 4722 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Request and Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 4774 - Agency Information Collection Activity: Application for Service-Disabled Veterans InsurancePDF
83 FR 4675 - Notice of Proposed Class II Reinstatement of Terminated Oil and Gas Lease UTU77328, UtahPDF
83 FR 4686 - Notice of Lodging of Proposed Consent Decree Under the Clean Air ActPDF
83 FR 4643 - Fisheries of the South Atlantic; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Stock ID Data Scoping Webinar for Atlantic Cobia (Rachycentron canadum)PDF
83 FR 4668 - Current List of HHS-Certified Laboratories and Instrumented Initial Testing Facilities Which Meet Minimum Standards To Engage in Urine Drug Testing for Federal AgenciesPDF
83 FR 4591 - Air Plan Approval; Illinois; Nonattainment Plans for the Lemont and Pekin SO2PDF
83 FR 4595 - Air Plan Approval; Indiana; Infrastructure SIP Requirements for the 2012 PM2.5PDF
83 FR 4605 - Airworthiness Directives; Textron Aviation Inc. AirplanesPDF
83 FR 4609 - Airworthiness Directives; Rolls-Royce Corporation Turboshaft EnginesPDF
83 FR 4597 - Montana Second 10-Year Carbon Monoxide Maintenance Plan for MissoulaPDF
83 FR 4614 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; State of Colorado; Revisions to the Transportation Conformity Consultation ProcessPDF
83 FR 4585 - Mail Preparation ChangesPDF
83 FR 4613 - Proposed Establishment of Class D and E Airspace, and Amendment of Class E Airspace; Austin, TXPDF
83 FR 4611 - Proposed Amendment of Class D and E Airspace; Kansas City, MO; and Revocation of Class E Airspace; Kansas City, MOPDF
83 FR 4826 - State Advisory CouncilsPDF
83 FR 4827 - Requests for Documents and TestimonyPDF
83 FR 4577 - Amendment of Class E Airspace; Carrabassett, MEPDF
83 FR 4578 - CPSC Acceptance of Third Party Laboratories: Revision to the Notice of Requirements for Prohibitions of Children's Toys and Child Care Articles Containing Specified PhthalatesPDF
83 FR 4676 - Fresh Tomatoes From Mexico; Institution of a Five-Year ReviewPDF
83 FR 4679 - Folding Gift Boxes From China; Institution of a Five-Year ReviewPDF
83 FR 4681 - Certain Activated Carbon From China; Institution of a Five-Year ReviewPDF
83 FR 4620 - Repeal of Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating UnitsPDF
83 FR 4780 - Modernization of Swine Slaughter InspectionPDF

Issue

83 22 Thursday, February 1, 2018 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

See

Commodity Credit Corporation

See

Food Safety and Inspection Service

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 4630-4631 2018-01983
Animal Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Trichinae Certification Program, 4631 2018-01993 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Charter Amendments: Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices; Correction, 4657 2018-01969 Children Children and Families Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 4657-4658 2018-01985 2018-01987 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway, Beach Thorofare, Margate City, NJ, 4585 2018-01981 Commerce Commerce Department See

First Responder Network Authority

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Commodity Credit Commodity Credit Corporation NOTICES Funds Availability: Cancellation of the Farm-to-Fleet Feedstock Program Biofuel Production Incentive, 4631-4632 2018-02028 Commodity Futures Commodity Futures Trading Commission NOTICES Meetings: Technology Advisory Committee, 4643-4644 2018-02026 Community Development Community Development Financial Institutions Fund NOTICES Funding Availability: Applications for Financial Assistance Awards or Technical Assistance Grants under the Native American CDFI Assistance Fiscal Year 2018 Funding Round, 4729-4750 2018-01998 Funding Opportunities: Financial Assistance awards or Technical Assistance grants under the Community Development Financial Institutions Program fiscal year 2018 Funding Round, 4750-4770 2018-01997 Community Living Administration Community Living Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Evidence-Based Falls Prevention Program, 4659-4660 2018-02000 Consumer Product Consumer Product Safety Commission RULES Acceptance of Third Party Laboratories: Revision to the Notice of Requirements for Prohibitions of Children's Toys and Child Care Articles Containing Specified Phthalates, 4578-4580 2018-01452 Corporation Corporation for National and Community Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application Package for the Day of Service Project Collection Tool, 4644-4645 2018-02019 Defense Department Defense Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 4645-4646 2018-01970 2018-01984 Drug Drug Enforcement Administration RULES Schedules of Controlled Substances: Temporary Placement of Seven Fentanyl-related Substances in Schedule I, 4580-4585 2018-02008 NOTICES Bulk Manufacturers of Controlled Substances; Registrations: Euticals, Inc, Cerilliant Corp., Cambrex Charles City, 4685 2018-02007 Importers of Controlled Substances; Registrations: ABBVIE, Ltd. and VHG Labs DBA LGC, 4685-4686 2018-02006 Education Department Education Department NOTICES Applications for New Awards: Indian Education Formula Grants to Local Educational Agencies, 4646-4650 2018-02023 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Illinois; Nonattainment Plans for the Lemont and Pekin SO2 Nonattainment Areas, 4591-4595 2018-01925 Indiana; Infrastructure SIP Requirements for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS, 4595-4597 2018-01924 Montana; Second 10-Year Carbon Monoxide Maintenance Plan for Missoula, 4597-4598 2018-01854 Consolidated Rules of Practice Governing the Administrative Assessment of Civil Penalties, Issuance of Compliance or Corrective Action Orders, and the Revocation/Termination or Suspension of Permits; Procedures for Decisionmaking; Correction, 4598-4600 2018-02055 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Colorado; Revisions to the Transportation Conformity Consultation Process, 4614-4617 2018-01853 Louisiana; Interstate Transport Requirements for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS, 4617-4620 2018-01955 Maryland; Control of Emissions from Existing Commercial and Industrial Solid Waste Incinerator Units, 4621-4622 2018-02059 Repeal of Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units; Three Public Listening Sessions, 4620-4621 2018-01321 NOTICES Amendments to Terminate Uses for Certain Pesticide Registrations: Dicloran, 4651-4653 2018-02027 Charter Renewals: Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Advisory Committee, 4651 2018-02050 Clean Air Act Operating Permit Program: Petition for Objection to Proposed Permit for Alon USA—Bakersfield Refinery, San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District, 4655 2018-02051 Petitions for Objection to Proposed Permits for Linn Operating, Inc.—Fairfield Lease and Ethyl D Lease, San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District, 4653 2018-02049 Meetings: Science Advisory Board Chemical Assessment Advisory Committee Augmented for the Review of EPA's draft Ethyl Tertiary Butyl Ether and tert-Butyl Alcohol (tert-butanol; tBA) Assessments; Teleconference, 4654-4655 2018-02058 Proposed CERCLA Cost Recovery Settlement: Facet Enterprises, Inc. Superfund Site, Elmira Heights, Chemung County, NY, 4653-4654 2018-02046 Farm Credit Farm Credit Administration NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 4655-4656 2018-02097 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Class E Airspace; Amendments: Carrabassett, ME, 4577-4578 2018-01679 Special Conditions: Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation Model GVII-G500 Airplanes; Operation without Normal Electrical Power, 4575-4577 2018-01963 PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: Rolls-Royce Corporation Turboshaft Engines, 4609-4610 2018-01900 Textron Aviation Inc. Airplanes, 4605-4609 2018-01923 Class D and E Airspace, and Amendment of Class E Airspace; Establishments: Austin, TX, 4613-4614 2018-01796 Class D and E Airspace; Revocation of Class E Airspace; Amendments: Kansas City, MO, 4611-4612 2018-01795 NOTICES Changes in Use of Aeronautical Properties: Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles, CA, 4725-4726 2018-02014 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission RULES Annual Adjustment of Civil Monetary Penalties to Reflect Inflation, 4600-4601 2018-01990 NOTICES Meetings, 4656-4657 2018-02029 Federal Election Federal Election Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 4657 2018-02120 Federal Emergency Federal Emergency Management Agency NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Survivor Sheltering Assessment, 4670 2018-02011 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Filings, 4650 2018-01977 Initial Market-Based Rate Filings Including Requests for Blanket Section 204 Authorizations: CA Flats Solar 150, LLC, 4651 2018-01975 Federal Maritime Federal Maritime Commission NOTICES Petitions for Rulemaking: Coalition for Fair Port Practices, 4657 2018-01982 Federal Railroad Federal Railroad Administration NOTICES Petitions for Waivers of Compliance, 4726-4729 2018-01958 2018-01959 2018-01960 2018-01961 2018-01962 FIRSTNET First Responder Network Authority NOTICES Revised National Environmental Policy Act Procedures and Categorical Exclusions, 4632-4636 2018-02020 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service PROPOSED RULES Migratory Bird Subsistence Harvest: Alaska; Harvest Regulations for Migratory Birds in Alaska During the 2018 Season, 4623-4629 2018-02001 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp and Junior Duck Stamp Contests, 4671-4674 2018-01968 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife: Incidental Take Permit Application, Habitat Conservation Plan for Skink Species, and Environmental Assessment for Roadway Relocation in Polk County, FL, 4674-4675 2018-02015 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Determinations of Regulatory Review Periods for Purposes of Patent Extensions: CORLANOR, 4661-4663 2018-01979 Meetings: Best Practices in Modeling and Simulation for Oncology Products; Public Workshop, 4660-4661 2018-01992 Food Safety Food Safety and Inspection Service PROPOSED RULES Modernization of Swine Slaughter Inspection, 4780-4823 2018-01256 Foreign Assets Foreign Assets Control Office NOTICES Blocking or Unblocking of Persons and Properties, 4770-4772 2018-02002 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Children and Families Administration

See

Community Living Administration

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

Health Resources and Services Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

See

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Health Resources Health Resources and Services Administration NOTICES National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program Petitions, 4663-4665 2018-02052 Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

Federal Emergency Management Agency

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Private Sector Clearance Program, Cooperative Research and Development Agreement, and Classified Critical Infrastructure Protection Program Request, 4670-4671 2018-02009
Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Land Management Bureau

International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Advance Notification of Sunset Reviews, 4636-4637 2018-02003 Certain Cold-Drawn Mechanical Tubing of Carbon and Alloy Steel from the People's Republic of China and India, 4637-4639 2018-02045 Initiation of Five-Year (Sunset) Reviews, 4641-4642 2018-02005 Opportunity to Request Administrative Review, 4639-4641 2018-02004 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Cast Iron Soil Pipe from China, 4684-4685 2018-01965 Certain Activated Carbon from China, 4681-4684 2018-01342 Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Folding Gift Boxes from China; Institution of a Five-Year Review, 4679-4681 2018-01343 Fresh Tomatoes from Mexico; Institution of a Five-Year Review, 4676-4679 2018-01348 Justice Department Justice Department See

Drug Enforcement Administration

NOTICES Proposed Consent Decrees: Clean Air Act, 4686 2018-01942
Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Plats of Survey: Montana, 4675 2018-02022 Proposed Class II Reinstatements: Terminated Oil and Gas Lease UTU77328, Utah, 4675-4676 2018-01944 Legal Legal Services Corporation PROPOSED RULES Requests for Documents and Testimony, 4827-4829 2018-01731 State Advisory Councils, 4826-4827 2018-01733 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: Center for Scientific Review, 4665-4668 2018-01954 2018-02031 2018-02032 2018-02033 2018-02034 National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 4665 2018-02037 National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, 4665-4666 2018-02038 National Institute on Aging, 4665 2018-02035 2018-02036 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Fisheries of the Northeastern United States: Black Sea Bass Fishery; 2018 February Recreational Season Modification, 4601-4604 2018-02025 NOTICES Fisheries of the South Atlantic: Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review; Stock ID Data Scoping Webinar for Atlantic Cobia (Rachycentron canadum), 4643 2018-01940 National Science National Science Foundation NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 4686-4687 2018-01986 Occupational Safety Health Rev Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission NOTICES Senior Executive Service Performance Review Board Membership, 4687 2018-01957 Postal Regulatory Postal Regulatory Commission RULES Mail Preparation Changes, 4585-4591 2018-01810 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Registration Cancellations: Certain Investment Advisers Pursuant to the Investment Advisors Act, 4716-4718 2018-01948 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Bats BZX Exchange, Inc., 4707-4715 2018-01951 Fixed Income Clearing Corp., 4687-4704 2018-01949 NYSE, Arca, Inc., 4704-4707, 4718-4720 2018-01952 2018-01953 The Nasdaq Stock Market, LLC, 4715-4716 2018-01950 Small Business Small Business Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 4720-4721 2018-01991 2018-01994 2018-01995 Social Social Security Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 4722-4725 2018-01947 Privacy Act; Matching Programs, 4721-4722 2018-01967 Substance Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration NOTICES Certified Laboratories and Instrumented Initial Testing Facilities: List of Facilities that Meet Minimum Standards to Engage in Urine Drug Testing for Federal Agencies, 4668-4669 2018-01931 Meetings: Advisory Committee for Women's Services, 4668 2018-02010 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board NOTICES Productivity Adjustments: Railroad Cost Recovery Procedures, 4725 2018-01966 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Railroad Administration

Treasury Treasury Department See

Community Development Financial Institutions Fund

See

Foreign Assets Control Office

Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application for Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance, 4774 2018-01945 Funding Availability: Loan Guaranty—Specially Adapted Housing Assistive Technology Grant Program, 4774-4778 2018-01988 Requests for Information: Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers: Correction, 4772-4773 2018-01980 Requests for Nominations: Advisory Committee on Cemeteries and Memorials, Amended, 4773-4774 2018-01974 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Agriculture Department, Food Safety and Inspection Service, 4780-4823 2018-01256 Part III Legal Services Corporation, 4826-4829 2018-01731 2018-01733 Reader Aids

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

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

83 22 Thursday, February 1, 2018 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 25 [Docket No. FAA-2015-7290; Special Conditions No. 25-715-SC] Special Conditions: Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation Model GVII-G500 Airplanes; Operation Without Normal Electrical Power AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final special conditions; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

These special conditions are issued for the Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation (Gulfstream) Model GVII-G500 airplane. This airplane will have a novel or unusual design feature when compared to the state of technology envisioned in the airworthiness standards for transport-category airplanes. This design feature is an electronic flight-control system, the functions of which are dependent upon the airplane's electrical power generation and distribution systems. The applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for this design feature. These special conditions contain the additional safety standards that the Administrator considers necessary to establish a level of safety equivalent to that established by the existing airworthiness standards.

DATES:

This action is effective on Gulfstream on February 1, 2018. We must receive your comments by March 19, 2018.

ADDRESSES:

Send comments identified by docket number FAA-2015-7290 using any of the following methods:

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

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

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

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

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

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

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Nazih Khaouly, FAA, Airplane and Flightcrew Interface Branch, ANM-111, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service, 1601 Lind Avenue SW, Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-2432; facsimile 425-227-1320.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The FAA has determined that notice of, and opportunity for prior public comment on, these special conditions is unnecessary because the substance of these special conditions has been subject to the public-comment process in several prior instances with no substantive comments received. The FAA therefore finds that good cause exists for making these special conditions effective upon publication in the Federal Register.

Comments Invited

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

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

Background

On March 29, 2012, Gulfstream applied for a type certificate for their new Model GVII-G500 airplane. This transport-category, twin-engine airplane will be a business jet capable of accommodating up to 19 passengers. The maximum takeoff weight is 91,000 lbs.

Type Certification Basis

Under Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) 21.17, Gulfstream must show that the Model GVII-G500 airplane meets the applicable provisions of 14 CFR part 25, as amended by Amendments 25-1 through 25-129.

If the Administrator finds that the applicable airworthiness regulations (i.e., part 25) do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for the Model GVII-G500 airplane because of a novel or unusual design feature, special conditions are prescribed under the provisions of § 21.16.

Special conditions are initially applicable to the model for which they are issued. Should the type certificate for that model be amended later to include any other model that incorporates the same or similar novel or unusual design feature, the special conditions would also apply to the other model under § 21.101.

In addition to the applicable airworthiness regulations and special conditions, Model GVII-G500 airplanes must comply with the fuel-vent and exhaust-emission requirements of 14 CFR part 34, and the noise-certification requirements of 14 CFR part 36. The FAA must issue a finding of regulatory adequacy under § 611 of Public Law 92-574, the “Noise Control Act of 1972.”

The FAA issues special conditions, as defined in 14 CFR 11.19, in accordance with § 11.38, and they become part of the type certification basis under § 21.17(a)(2).

Novel or Unusual Design Features

The Model GVII-G500 airplane will incorporate the following novel or unusual design feature:

An electronic flight-control system, the functions of which are dependent upon the electrical power-generation and distribution systems, whereby the loss of all electrical power may be catastrophic to the airplane. These special conditions retain the level of safety offered by 14 CFR 25.1351(d).

Discussion

The Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation Model GVII-G500 airplane incorporates a fly-by-wire flight-control system that requires a continuous source of electrical power to keep the flight-control system operable. The current regulation, § 25.1351(d), Amendment 25-72, “Operation without normal electrical power,” states that the airplane must be operated safely in visual-flight-rules conditions for a period of not less than five minutes after loss of all normal electrical power. This rule was structured around a traditional design of mechanical control cables for flight control that allowed time for the crew to remedy an electrical failure, start the engine(s) if necessary, and re-establish some or all of the electrical power-generation capability.

To maintain the same level of safety associated with traditional designs, the Model GVII-G500 airplane design must not be time limited in its operation when the airplane is without its normal source of engine- or auxiliary-power-unit-generated electrical power. Service experience has shown that the loss of all electrical power generated by an airplane's engine generators or auxiliary power unit (APU) is not extremely improbable. Likewise, regulations require the applicant to demonstrate that the airplane has the power required for continued safe flight and landing with the use of its emergency electrical power systems. These emergency electrical power systems must be able to power all loads considered essential for continued safe flight and landing.

These special conditions contain the additional safety standards that the Administrator considers necessary to establish a level of safety equivalent to that established by the existing airworthiness standards.

Applicability

As discussed above, these special conditions are applicable to the Gulfstream Model GVII-G500 airplane. Should Gulfstream apply at a later date for a change to the type certificate to include another model incorporating the same novel or unusual design feature, these special conditions would apply to that model as well.

Conclusion

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

The substance of these special conditions has been subjected to the notice and comment period in several prior instances and has been derived without substantive change from those previously issued. It is unlikely that prior public comment would result in a significant change from the substance contained herein. Therefore, the FAA has determined that prior public notice and comment are unnecessary, and good cause exists for adopting these special conditions upon publication in the Federal Register.

The FAA is requesting comments to allow interested persons to submit views that may not have been submitted in response to the prior opportunities for comment described above.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 25

Aircraft, Aviation safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

The authority citation for these special conditions is as follows:

Authority:

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

The Special Conditions

Because the total loss of normal, generated, electrical power in two-engine airplanes is not extremely improbable, and because the loss of all electrical power may be catastrophic to airplanes equipped with an electronic flight-control system, the following special conditions apply to Gulfstream Model GVII airplanes.

In lieu of § 25.1351(d), the following special conditions apply:

1. Gulfstream must show, by test or a combination of test and analysis, that the airplane is capable of continued safe flight and landing with all normal electrical power sources inoperative, as prescribed by paragraphs 1.a. and 1.b., below. For purposes of these special conditions, normal sources of electrical-power generation do not include alternate power sources such as the battery, ram-air turbine, or independent power systems such as the flight-control permanent-magnet generating system. In showing capability for continued safe flight and landing, Gulfstream must account for systems capability, effects on crew workload and operating conditions, and the physiological needs of the flightcrew and passengers for the longest diversion time for which Gulfstream is seeking approval.

a. In showing compliance with this requirement, Gulfstream must account for common-cause failures, cascading failures, and zonal physical threats.

b. Gulfstream may consider the ability to restore operation of portions of the electrical power generation and distribution system if it can be shown that unrecoverable loss of those portions of the system is extremely improbable. The design must provide an alternative source of electrical power for the time required to restore the minimum electrical-power generation capability required for safe flight and landing. Gulfstream may exclude unrecoverable loss of all engines when showing compliance with this requirement.

2. Regardless of electrical-power generation and distribution-system recovery capability shown under special condition 1, above, sufficient electrical-system capability must be provided to:

a. Allow time to descend, with all engines inoperative, at the speed that provides the best glide distance, from the maximum operating altitude to the top of the engine-restart envelope, and

b. Subsequently allow multiple start attempts of the engines and auxiliary power unit (APU). The design must provide this capability in addition to the electrical capability required by existing part 25 requirements related to operation with all engines inoperative.

3. The airplane emergency electrical-power system must be designed to supply:

a. Electrical power required for immediate safety, which must continue to operate without the need for crew action following the loss of the normal electrical power, for a duration sufficient to allow reconfiguration to provide a non-time-limited source of electrical power.

b. Electrical power required for continued safe flight and landing for the maximum diversion time.

4. If the applicant uses APU-generated electrical power to satisfy the requirements of these special conditions, and if reaching a suitable runway for landing is beyond the capacity of the battery systems, then the APU must be able to be started under any foreseeable flight condition prior to the depletion of the battery, or the restoration of normal electrical power, whichever occurs first. Flight test must demonstrate this capability at the most critical condition.

a. The applicant must show that the APU will provide adequate electrical power for continued safe flight and landing.

b. The airplane flight manual (AFM) must incorporate abnormal procedures that direct the pilot to take appropriate actions to activate the APU after loss of normal engine-driven generated electrical power.

5. As part of showing compliance with these special conditions, the tests to demonstrate loss of all normal electrical power must also take into account the following:

a. The assumption that the failure condition occurs during night instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) at the most critical phase of the flight, relative to the worst possible electrical-power distribution and equipment-loads-demand condition.

b. After an unrestorable loss of normal engine-driven generated electrical power, the airplane engine-restart capability is provided and operations are continued in IMC.

c. The airplane is demonstrated to be capable of continued safe flight and landing. The duration of this capability must be computed based on the maximum diversion-time capability for which the airplane is being certified. The applicant must account for airspeed reductions resulting from the associated failure or failures.

d. The airplane must provide adequate indication of loss of normal electrical power to direct the pilot to the abnormal procedures, and the AFM must incorporate abnormal procedures that will direct the pilot to take appropriate actions.

Issued in Renton, Washington, on January 11, 2018. Victor Wicklund, Manager, Transport Standards Branch, Policy and Innovation Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2018-01963 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0610; Airspace Docket No. 17-ANE-3] Amendment of Class E Airspace; Carrabassett, ME AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This action amends Class E airspace at Carrabassett, ME, due to the new arrival procedure established for Sugarloaf Regional Airport. Controlled airspace is necessary for the safety and management of instrument flight rules (IFR) operations at the airport. This action also updates the geographic coordinates of the airport.

DATES:

Effective 0901 UTC, March 29, 2018. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.11 and publication of conforming amendments.

ADDRESSES:

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

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

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

John Fornito, Operations Support Group, Eastern Service Center, Federal Aviation Administration, P.O. Box 20636, Atlanta, Georgia 30320; telephone (404) 305-6364.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority for This Rulemaking

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

History

The FAA published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register (82 FR 38857, August 16, 2017) Docket No. FAA-2017-0610 to amend Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet or more above the surface at Sugarloaf Regional Airport, Carrabassett, ME.

Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. No comments were received.

Class E airspace designations are published in paragraph 6005, of FAA Order 7400.11B dated August 3, 2017, and effective September 15, 2017, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR part 71.1. The Class E airspace designations listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

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

The Rule

This action amends Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 by amending Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet or more above the surface within the 7-mile radius of Sugarloaf Regional Airport, Carrabassett, ME. A 14.3-mile extension to the north is created, extending from the 7-mile radius of the airport for the new RNAV-(GPS-A) approach for the airport, and for continued safety and management of IFR operations.

The geographic coordinates of the airport are adjusted to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database.

Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

Environmental Review

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

Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 71.1 [Amended]
2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of Federal Aviation Administration Order 7400.11B, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2017, effective September 15, 2017, is amended as follows: ANE ME E5 Carrabassett, ME [Amended] Sugarloaf Regional Airport (Lat. 45°05′08″ N, long. 70°12′59″ W) Point in Space Coordinates (Lat. 45°06′26″ N, long. 70°12′30″ W)

That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface of the earth within a 6-mile radius of the Point in Space Coordinates (lat. 45°06′26″ N, long. 70°12′30″ W) serving the Sugarloaf Regional Airport, and within a 7-mile radius of the airport, and within 1 mile each side of the 346° bearing from the airport, extending from the 7-mile radius to 14.3-miles north of the airport.

Issued in College Park, Georgia, on January 22, 2018. Ryan W. Almasy, Manager, Operations Support Group, Eastern Service Center, Air Traffic Organization.
[FR Doc. 2018-01679 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION [Docket No. CPSC-2017-0043] 16 CFR Part 1112 CPSC Acceptance of Third Party Laboratories: Revision to the Notice of Requirements for Prohibitions of Children's Toys and Child Care Articles Containing Specified Phthalates AGENCY:

Consumer Product Safety Commission.

ACTION:

Final rule; notice of requirements.

SUMMARY:

This final rule updates the notice of requirements (NOR) for the accreditation of third party laboratories to assess conformity with the prohibitions of children's toys and child care articles containing specified phthalates. The NOR provides the criteria and process for Commission acceptance of accreditation under the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA). This rule makes the NOR consistent with the regulated phthalates in children's toys and child care articles in the phthalates final rule published in the Federal Register on October 27, 2017.

DATES:

This rule is effective on April 25, 2018. The incorporation by reference of the publication listed in this rule is approved by the Director of the Federal Register, as of April 25, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Scott R. Heh, Project Manager, Directorate for Laboratory Sciences, Consumer Product Safety Commission, 5 Research Place, Rockville, MD 20850; telephone: 301-504-7646; email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Background

Section 108 of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) established requirements concerning concentration limits for specified phthalates in children's toys and child care articles. In accordance with section 108 of the CPSIA, on October 27, 2017, the Commission published a phthalates final rule (phtahalates rule) in the Federal Register (82 FR 49938). That final rule made permanent the interim prohibition on children's toys that can be placed in a child's mouth and child care articles that contain concentrations of more than 0.1 percent of diisononyl phthalate (DINP). The phthalates rule extended this prohibition to cover all children's toys and child care articles containing concentrations of more than 0.1 percent of DINP. The phthalates rule also lifted the interim prohibitions on children's toys that can be placed in a child's mouth and child care articles that contain concentrations of more than 0.1 percent of di-n-octyl phthalate (DNOP) or diisodecyl phthalate (DIDP). In addition, the phthalates rule prohibited children's toys and child care articles that contain concentrations of more than 0.1 percent of diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP), Di-n-pentyl phthalate (DPENP), di-n-hexyl phthalate (DHEXP), and dicyclohexyl phthalate (DCHP). The permanent prohibitions on children's toys and child care articles that contain concentrations of more than 0.1 percent on the use of di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), dibutyl phthalate (DBP), and benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP) in children's toys and child care articles in section 108 of the CPSIA were unchanged by the phthalates rule.

On October 27, 2017, in the same issue of the Federal Register, the Commission published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR) to update the existing NOR in part 1112 for prohibitions of children's toys and child care articles containing specified phthalates. As explained further below, NORs provide the criteria and process for Commission acceptance of accreditation of third party testing laboratories that test products' conformance to CPSC requirements. The Commission previously issued an NOR for the statutory phthalate provisions, 76 FR 49286 (August 10, 2011). The October 27, 2017 NPR proposed to amend part 1112 to reflect the phthalates prohibited in children's toys and child care articles in the phthalates rule. Because the phthalates rule modified the statutorily prohibited phthalates in children's toys and child care articles listed in section 108 of the CPSIA (as stated in § 1307.3), this final rule amends the existing requirements for the prohibitions of children's toys and child care articles containing specified phthalates so that part 1112 reflects those changes.

B. Notice of Requirements

Section 14(a) of the CPSA requires that products subject to a consumer product safety rule under the CPSA, or to a similar rule, ban, standard, or regulation under any other act enforced by the Commission, be certified as complying with all applicable CPSC requirements. 15 U.S.C. 2063(a). Such certification must be based on a test of each product, or on a reasonable testing program. Products that are subject to a children's product safety rule must be certified based on tests of a sufficient number of samples by a third party conformity assessment body accredited by the Commission to test according to the applicable requirements. The Commission's phthalates rule is considered a “children's product safety rule.” 15 U.S.C. 2063(f). Thus, products subject to the phthalates rule are subject to the testing and certification requirements of section 14 of the CPSA.

Because children's toys and child care articles are children's products, samples of these products must be tested by a third party conformity assessment body whose accreditation has been accepted by the Commission. These products also must comply with all other applicable CPSC requirements, such as the lead content requirements of section 101 of the CPSIA, the requirements of the toy standard, 16 CFR part 1250, and the tracking label requirement in section 14(a)(5) of the CPSA.

In accordance with section 14(a)(3)(B)(vi) of the CPSIA, the Commission has previously published two NORs for accreditation of third party conformity assessment bodies for testing children's toys and child care articles under section 108 of the CPSIA (76 FR 49286 (Aug. 10, 2011), 78 FR 15836 (March 12, 2013)).

As described in the NPR, the Commission will use the following process during the transition period from test method CPSC-CH-C1001-09.3 (2010) to a revised version of the method, test method CPSC-CH-C1001-09.4 (2018). CPSC will accept testing to support children's toys and child care article certifications to the new phthalates prohibitions if the laboratory is already CPSC-accepted to test to CPSC-CH-C1001-09.3 (2010). Laboratories that conduct testing to support product certifications to the new phthalates prohibitions must list in their test reports “16 CFR part 1307” and CPSC-CH-C1001-09.3 until laboratories have transitioned their accreditation scope and CPSC listing to CPSC-CH-C1001-09.4 (2018).

The CPSC will open the laboratory application process for test method CPSC-CH-C1001-09.4 (2018) on the date this final rule is published in the Federal Register. Laboratories that seek CPSC acceptance to the revised prohibitions for children's toys and child care articles in 16 CFR part 1307 will be required to update their accreditation scope. To be CPSC-accepted, a laboratory's scope of accreditation must include the reference to CPSC-CH-C1001-09.4 (2018). Laboratories that are currently CPSC-accepted to CPSC-CH-C1001-09.3 (2010) are instructed to update their accreditation scope to include CPSC-CH-C1001-09.4 (2018) as soon as possible, and submit their application for CPSC acceptance. Laboratories that were not previously CPSC-accepted to CPSC-CH-C1001-09.3 (2010) are instructed to work with their accreditation bodies to include “CPSC-CH-C1001-09.4 (2018)” in their scope documents.

CPSC will accept testing results to the new phthalates prohibitions in 16 CFR part 1307 from laboratories that are CPSC-accepted to CPSC-CH-C1001-09.3 (2010) for two years from the date of publication of this final rule in the Federal Register. This should allow adequate time for laboratories to work with their accreditation bodies to make official updates to their accreditation scope document to include the revised CPSC method “CPSC-CH-C1001-09.4 (2018)” and submit applications to the CPSC. On February 3, 2020, the CPSC will no longer accept laboratory applications that reference CPSC-CH-C1001-09.3 (2010), and any application to CPSC must reference “CPSC-CH-C1001-09.4 (2018).”

C. Comments on the NPR

We received four comments on the NPR. Three comments addressed the DRAFT CPSC procedure CPSC-CH-C1001-09.4 (2017) that was published with the October 2017 NPR briefing package. The first comment requested clarification of the final list of prohibited phthalates. The second comment highlighted “that dissolved PVC-samples can be precipitated by adding hexane. The phthalates remain in solution. The centrifuged solution can then be measured in the GC.” The third comment came from a testing laboratory representative who recommended a few changes to add clarity and more specificity to the CPSC procedure. The fourth comment was outside the scope of the rule.

Staff made editorial clarifications to the DRAFT CPSC procedure based on the comments. Staff revised the test procedure to clarify the final list of eight prohibited phthalates. Also, staff made several additions to the test equipment and supplies section of the test method reflected in test method CPSC-CH-C1001-09.4 (2018) in response to comment.

Staff did not accept some of the commenters' suggested changes to the test method. The revised test method does not add a temperature specification to the sonication reference in the extraction steps because the extraction is not heat dependent. Additionally, the revised test method does not include suggested additional elements to the Table 1 Conditions for Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS). Staff did not make changes to Table 1, as well as other recommended quality assurance changes to the analysis section of the test method, in order to allow accredited laboratories flexibility in setting up their internal standard operating and quality assurance procedures. Adding the suggested requirements to Table 1 might have forced accredited laboratories to alter already suitable quality assurance programs, thus reducing flexibility. The comment relating to use of hexane for PVC samples did not warrant a change to the test method because the test method already permits the use of hexane.

D. Description of the Rule

The final rule amends 16 CFR 1112.15(b)(31) introductory text, (b)(31)(i), and (c)(3)(i) to update the references to reflect the promulgation of 16 CFR part 1307 and revised CPSC test method CPSC-CH-C1001-09.4 (2018). CPSC test method CPSC-CH-C1001-09.4 (2018), has, among other things, been updated to reflect the list of phthalates prohibited in children's toys and child care articles in 16 CFR part 1307 (DEHP, DBP, BBP, DNOP, DIBP, DPENP, DHEXP, or DCHP). CPSC test method CPSC-CH-C1001-09.4 (2018) provides detailed information on the test methods that will be used by the CPSC testing laboratory for the analysis of phthalate content in children's toys and child care articles covered by the standard set forth in section 108 of the CPSIA and 16 CFR part 1307. The test method provides detailed information regarding equipment and supplies, the procedure for the measurement of phthalate concentration, sample preparation, the phthalate extraction method, and instrument parameters. The test method CPSC-CH-C1001-09.4 (2018) is substantially the same as the current testing procedure.

E. Incorporation by Reference

The Office of the Federal Register (OFR) has regulations concerning incorporation by reference. 1 CFR part 51. Under these regulations, agencies must discuss, in the preamble to the final rule, ways that the materials the agency incorporates by reference are reasonably available to interested persons and how interested parties can obtain the materials. In addition, the preamble to the final rule must summarize the material. 1 CFR 51.5(b).

In accordance with the OFR's requirements, section D of this preamble summarizes CPSC test method CPSC-CH-C1001-09.4 (2018) that the Commission incorporates by reference into 16 CFR part 1112. The test method is reasonably available to interested parties, and interested parties may obtain a copy of the test method from CPSC National Product Testing and Evaluation Center, 5 Research Place, Rockville, MD 20850; www.cpsc.gov. The test method is also available on the CPSC website. https://cpsc.gov/Business-Manufacturing/Testing-Certification/Lab-Accreditation/Test-Methods/. A copy of the test method can also be inspected at CPSC's Office of the Secretary, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Room 820, 4330 East-West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814, telephone 301-504-7923.

F. Effective Date

The APA generally requires that a substantive rule must be published not less than 30 days before its effective date. 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(1). The NPR proposed a 30-day effective date because the rule allows testing to continue under the existing testing method by testing laboratories that meet certain criteria for a period of up to two years after the publication of a final rule. However, to avoid possible confusion if the effective date for this rule differed from the effective date for the underlying phthalates rule, we are setting the effective date for the rule on April 25, 2018, the same date the phthalates rule takes effect. This is consistent with past practice setting the effective date for NORs for durable nursery products under section 104 of the CPSIA and updates to the mandatory toy standard ASTM F963 on the same date the underlying rule takes effect.

G. Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) requires an agency to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis for any rule subject to notice and comment rulemaking requirements under the APA, or any other statute, unless the agency certifies that the rulemaking will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 5 U.S.C. 603 and 605. Small entities include small businesses, small organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions.

The Commission certified, in the NPR, that the rule would not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities because the revised testing method is substantially the same as the method that laboratories are already using, qualified testing laboratories should be able to adopt the new method without difficulty, and the 2-year window allowed to amend the accreditation scope documents would allow testing laboratories to time the amendments with their periodic reassessments by their accreditation bodies, which should result in minimal (if any) additional cost. The Commission did not receive any public comments that addressed the potential impact on small entities, nor has the Commission staff become aware of any new information that would change its previous determination regarding the impact on small entities.

H. Environmental Considerations

The Commission's regulations provide a categorical exclusion for the Commission's rules from any requirement to prepare an environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement because they “have little or no potential for affecting the human environment.” 16 CFR 1021.5(c)(2). This rule falls within the categorical exclusion, so no environmental assessment or environmental impact statement is required.

List of Subjects in 16 CFR Part 1112

Administrative practice and procedure, Audit, Consumer protection, Incorporation by reference, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Third party conformity assessment body.

For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Commission amends title 16 CFR chapter II, as follows:

PART 1112—REQUIREMENTS PERTAINING TO THIRD PARTY CONFORMITY ASSESSMENT BODIES 1. The authority citation for part 1112 continues to read as follows: Authority:

15 U.S.C. 2063; Pub. L. 110-314, section 3, 122 Stat. 3016, 3017 (2008).

2. Amend § 1112.15 by: a. Revising the introductory text to paragraph (b)(31); b. Revising paragraph (b)(31)(i); and c. Revising paragraph (c)(3)(i).

The revisions read as follows:

§ 1112.15 When can a third party conformity assessment body apply for CPSC acceptance for a particular CPSC rule or test method?

(b) * * *

(31) 16 CFR part 1307, Prohibition of Children's Toys and Child Care Articles Containing Specified Phthalates. For its accreditation to be accepted by the Commission to test for phthalates in children's toys and child care articles, a third party conformity assessment body must have one or more of the following test methods referenced in its statement of scope:

(i) CPSC Test Method CPSC-CH-C1001-09.4, “Standard Operating Procedure for Determination of Phthalates”;

(c) * * *

(3) * * *

(i) CPSC-CH-C1001-9.4, “Standard Operating Procedure for Determination of Phthalates”, January 17, 2018;

Alberta E. Mills, Acting Secretary, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
[FR Doc. 2018-01452 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6355-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration 21 CFR Part 1308 [Docket No. DEA-475] Schedules of Controlled Substances: Temporary Placement of Seven Fentanyl-Related Substances in Schedule I AGENCY:

Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Justice.

ACTION:

Temporary amendment; temporary scheduling order.

SUMMARY:

The Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration is issuing this temporary scheduling order to schedule seven fentanyl-related substances in schedule I. These seven substances are: N-(1-phenethylpiperidin-4-yl)-N-phenylpentanamide (valeryl fentanyl), N-(4-fluorophenyl)-N-(1-phenethylpiperidin-4-yl)butyramide (para-fluorobutyryl fentanyl), N-(4-methoxyphenyl)-N-(1-phenethylpiperidin-4-yl)butyramide (para-methoxybutyryl fentanyl), N-(4-chlorophenyl)-N-(1-phenethylpiperidin-4-yl)isobutyramide (para-chloroisobutyryl fentanyl), N-(1-phenethylpiperidin-4-yl)-N-phenylisobutyramide (isobutyryl fentanyl), N-(1-phenethylpiperidin-4-yl)-N-phenylcyclopentanecarboxamide (cyclopentyl fentanyl), and N-(2-fluorophenyl)-2-methoxy-N-(1-phenethylpiperidin-4-yl)acetamide (ocfentanil). This action is based on a finding by the Administrator that the placement of these seven synthetic opioids in schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act is necessary to avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety. As a result of this order, the regulatory controls and administrative, civil, and criminal sanctions applicable to schedule I controlled substances will be imposed on persons who handle (manufacture, distribute, reverse distribute, import, export, engage in research, conduct instructional activities or chemical analysis, or possess), or propose to handle, valeryl fentanyl, para-fluorobutyryl fentanyl, para-methoxybutyryl fentanyl, para-chloroisobutyryl fentanyl, isobutyryl fentanyl, cyclopentyl fentanyl, and ocfentanil.

DATES:

This temporary scheduling order is effective February 1, 2018, until February 1, 2020. If this order is extended or made permanent, the DEA will publish a document in the Federal Register.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Michael J. Lewis, Diversion Control Division, Drug Enforcement Administration; Mailing Address: 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152; Telephone: (202) 598-6812.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Legal Authority

Section 201 of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), 21 U.S.C. 811, provides the Attorney General with the authority to temporarily place a substance in schedule I of the CSA for two years without regard to the requirements of 21 U.S.C. 811(b) if he finds that such action is necessary to avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety. 21 U.S.C. 811(h)(1). In addition, if proceedings to control a substance are initiated under 21 U.S.C. 811(a)(1), the Attorney General may extend the temporary scheduling 1 for up to one year. 21 U.S.C. 811(h)(2).

1 Though DEA has used the term “final order” with respect to temporary scheduling orders in the past, this document adheres to the statutory language of 21 U.S.C. 811(h), which refers to a “temporary scheduling order.” No substantive change is intended.

Where the necessary findings are made, a substance may be temporarily scheduled if it is not listed in any other schedule under section 202 of the CSA, 21 U.S.C. 812, or if there is no exemption or approval in effect for the substance under section 505 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA), 21 U.S.C. 355. 21 U.S.C. 811(h)(1). The Attorney General has delegated scheduling authority under 21 U.S.C. 811 to the Administrator of the DEA. 28 CFR 0.100.

Background

Section 201(h)(4) of the CSA, 21 U.S.C. 811(h)(4), requires the Administrator to notify the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) of his intention to temporarily place a substance in schedule I of the CSA.2 The Administrator transmitted notice of his intent to place valeryl fentanyl, para-fluorobutyryl fentanyl, para-methoxybutyryl fentanyl, para-chloroisobutyryl fentanyl, isobutyryl fentanyl, cyclopentyl fentanyl, and ocfentanil in schedule I on a temporary basis to the Assistant Secretary for Health of HHS by letter dated October 20, 2017. The Assistant Secretary responded to this notice of intent by letter dated November 8, 2017, and advised that based on a review by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there are currently no investigational new drug applications or approved new drug applications for valeryl fentanyl, para-fluorobutyryl fentanyl, para-methoxybutyryl fentanyl, para-chloroisobutyryl fentanyl, isobutyryl fentanyl, cyclopentyl fentanyl, and ocfentanil. The Assistant Secretary also stated that the HHS has no objection to the temporary placement of these seven substances in schedule I of the CSA. The DEA has taken into consideration the Assistant Secretary's comments as required by 21 U.S.C. 811(h)(4). Valeryl fentanyl, para-fluorobutyryl fentanyl, para-methoxybutyryl fentanyl, para-chloroisobutyryl fentanyl, isobutyryl fentanyl, cyclopentyl fentanyl, and ocfentanil are not currently listed in any schedule under the CSA, and no exemptions or approvals are in effect for these seven substances under section 505 of the FDCA, 21 U.S.C. 355. The DEA has found that the control of valeryl fentanyl, para-fluorobutyryl fentanyl, para-methoxybutyryl fentanyl, para-chloroisobutyryl fentanyl, isobutyryl fentanyl, cyclopentyl fentanyl, and ocfentanil in schedule I on a temporary basis is necessary to avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety, and as required by 21 U.S.C. 811(h)(1)(A), a notice of intent to temporarily schedule valeryl fentanyl, para-fluorobutyryl fentanyl, para-methoxybutyryl fentanyl, para-chloroisobutyryl fentanyl, isobutyryl fentanyl, cyclopentyl fentanyl, and ocfentanil was published in the Federal Register on December 13, 2017. 82 FR 58575.

2 As discussed in a memorandum of understanding entered into by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the FDA acts as the lead agency within the HHS in carrying out the Secretary's scheduling responsibilities under the CSA, with the concurrence of NIDA. 50 FR 9518, Mar. 8, 1985. The Secretary of the HHS has delegated to the Assistant Secretary for Health of the HHS the authority to make domestic drug scheduling recommendations. 58 FR 35460, July 1, 1993.

To find that placing a substance temporarily in schedule I of the CSA is necessary to avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety, the Administrator is required to consider three of the eight factors set forth in section 201(c) of the CSA, 21 U.S.C. 811(c): The substance's history and current pattern of abuse; the scope, duration and significance of abuse; and what, if any, risk there is to the public health. 21 U.S.C. 811(h)(3). Consideration of these factors includes actual abuse, diversion from legitimate channels, and clandestine importation, manufacture, or distribution. 21 U.S.C. 811(h)(3).

A substance meeting the statutory requirements for temporary scheduling may only be placed in schedule I. 21 U.S.C. 811(h)(1). Substances in schedule I are those that have a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision. 21 U.S.C. 812(b)(1).

Available data and information for valeryl fentanyl, para-fluorobutyryl fentanyl, para-methoxybutyryl fentanyl, para-chloroisobutyryl fentanyl, isobutyryl fentanyl, cyclopentyl fentanyl, and ocfentanil, summarized below, indicate that these synthetic opioids have a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision. The DEA's three-factor analysis and the Assistant Secretary's November 8, 2017 letter are available in their entirety under the tab “Supporting Documents” of the public docket of this action at www.regulations.gov under FDMS Docket ID: DEA-2017-0016-0001 (Docket Number DEA-475).

Factor 4. History and Current Pattern of Abuse

The recreational abuse of fentanyl-related substances continues to be a significant concern. These substances are distributed to users, often with unpredictable outcomes. Evidence suggests that the pattern of abuse of these fentanyl-related substances parallels that of heroin and prescription opioid analgesics. Valeryl fentanyl, para-fluorobutyryl fentanyl, para-methoxybutyryl fentanyl, para-chloroisobutyryl fentanyl, isobutyryl fentanyl, cyclopentyl fentanyl, and ocfentanil are fentanyl-related substances that have been encountered by law enforcement and/or reported in the scientific literature by public health officials. Adverse health effects and outcomes related to the abuse of fentanyl-related substances have been documented in previous temporary scheduling actions (see DEA 3-Factor Analysis).

On October 1, 2014, the DEA implemented STARLiMS (a web-based, commercial laboratory information management system) to replace the System to Retrieve Information from Drug Evidence (STRIDE) as its laboratory drug evidence data system of record. DEA laboratory data submitted after September 30, 2014, are reposited in STARLiMS. Data from STRIDE and STARLiMS were queried on November 2, 2017. STARLiMS registered the following reports: valeryl fentanyl (15), para-fluorobutyryl fentanyl (5), isobutyryl fentanyl (116), and cyclopentyl fentanyl (1). These identifications were made beginning in 2015.

The National Forensic Laboratory Information System (NFLIS) is a national drug forensic laboratory reporting system that systematically collects results from drug chemistry analyses conducted by other federal, state and local forensic laboratories across the country. NFLIS was queried on November 3, 2017 3 and the following substances (number of drug reports) were identified from state and local forensic laboratories since 2015: valeryl fentanyl (69), para-fluorobutyryl fentanyl (220), para-methoxybutyryl fentanyl (1), and isobutyryl fentanyl (4). The identification in other countries of para-fluorobutyryl fentanyl (Poland and Sweden), para-methoxybutyryl fentanyl (Sweden), ocfentanil (Belgium and Switzerland), cylcopentyl fentanyl (Sweden), and para-chloroisobutyryl fentanyl (Sweden) in toxicological samples associated with fatal and non-fatal overdoses was reported in the scientific literature.

3 Data are still being collected for July 2017-October 2017 due to the normal lag period for labs reporting to NFLIS.

Factor 5. Scope, Duration and Significance of Abuse

Fentanyl-related substances have recently re-emerged on the illicit market (see DEA 3-Factor Analysis for full discussion). Valeryl fentanyl, para-fluorobutyryl fentanyl, para-methoxybutyryl fentanyl, para-chloroisobutyryl fentanyl, isobutyryl fentanyl, cyclopentyl fentanyl, and ocfentanil have been identified in evidence submitted to law enforcement and/or reported in the scientific literature by public health forensic laboratories.

The identification of valeryl fentanyl, para-fluorobutyryl fentanyl, para-methoxybutyryl fentanyl, para-chloroisobutyryl fentanyl, isobutyryl fentanyl, cyclopentyl fentanyl, and ocfentanil in forensic evidence indicates that these substances are intended to be replacements for controlled synthetic opioids, heroin, and/or prescription opioids. Because abusers of these fentanyl-related substances obtain these substances through unregulated sources, the identity, purity, and quantity are uncertain and inconsistent, thus posing significant adverse health risks to the end user. Individuals who initiate (i.e., use a drug for the first time) abuse of these substances are likely to be at risk of developing substance use disorder, overdose, and death similar to that of other opioid analgesics (e.g., fentanyl, morphine).

Factor 6. What, if Any, Risk There Is to the Public Health

With no legitimate medical use in the United States, valeryl fentanyl, para-fluorobutyryl fentanyl, para-methoxybutyryl fentanyl, para-chloroisobutyryl fentanyl, isobutyryl fentanyl, cyclopentyl fentanyl, and ocfentanil have emerged on the illicit drug market. Substances within this chemical structural class have demonstrated pharmacological profiles similar to that of fentanyl and other µ-opioid receptor agonists (see DEA 3-Factor Analysis). The abuse of these fentanyl-related substances poses significant adverse health risks when compared to abuse of pharmaceutical preparations of opioid analgesics, such as morphine and oxycodone. The toxic effects of substances within this structural class in humans are demonstrated by overdose fatalities described in previous scheduling actions.

Based on information received by the DEA, the misuse and abuse of valeryl fentanyl, para-fluorobutyryl fentanyl, para-methoxybutyryl fentanyl, para-chloroisobutyryl fentanyl, isobutyryl fentanyl, cyclopentyl fentanyl, and ocfentanil lead to, at least, the same qualitative public health risks as heroin, fentanyl and other opioid analgesic substances. As with any non-medically approved opioid, the health and safety risks for users are high. The public health risks attendant to the abuse of heroin and opioid analgesics are well established and have resulted in large numbers of drug treatment admissions, emergency department visits, and fatal overdoses.

Finding of Necessity of Schedule I Placement To Avoid Imminent Hazard to Public Safety

In accordance with 21 U.S.C. 811(h)(3), based on the available data and information, summarized above, the continued uncontrolled manufacture, distribution, reverse distribution, importation, exportation, conduct of research and chemical analysis, possession, and abuse of valeryl fentanyl, para-fluorobutyryl fentanyl, para-methoxybutyryl fentanyl, para-chloroisobutyryl fentanyl, isobutyryl fentanyl, cyclopentyl fentanyl, and ocfentanil pose an imminent hazard to the public safety. The DEA is not aware of any currently accepted medical uses for these seven substances in the United States. A substance meeting the statutory requirements for temporary scheduling, 21 U.S.C. 811(h)(1), may only be placed in schedule I. Substances in schedule I are those that have a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision. Available data and information for valeryl fentanyl, para-fluorobutyryl fentanyl, para-methoxybutyryl fentanyl, para-chloroisobutyryl fentanyl, isobutyryl fentanyl, cyclopentyl fentanyl, and ocfentanil indicate that these substances have a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision. As required by section 201(h)(4) of the CSA, 21 U.S.C. 811(h)(4), the Administrator, by letter dated October 20, 2017, notified the Assistant Secretary of the DEA's intention to temporarily place these substances in schedule I. A notice of intent was subsequently published in the Federal Register on December 13, 2017. 82 FR 58575.

Conclusion

In accordance with the provisions of section 201(h) of the CSA, 21 U.S.C. 811(h), the Administrator considered available data and information, and herein sets forth the grounds for his determination that it is necessary to temporarily schedule valeryl fentanyl, para-fluorobutyryl fentanyl, para-methoxybutyryl fentanyl, para-chloroisobutyryl fentanyl, isobutyryl fentanyl, cyclopentyl fentanyl, and ocfentanil in schedule I of the CSA to avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety.

Because the Administrator hereby finds it necessary to temporarily place these synthetic opioids in schedule I to avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety, this temporary order scheduling valeryl fentanyl, para-fluorobutyryl fentanyl, para-methoxybutyryl fentanyl, para-chloroisobutyryl fentanyl, isobutyryl fentanyl, cyclopentyl fentanyl, and ocfentanil is effective on the date of publication in the Federal Register, and is in effect for a period of two years, with a possible extension of one additional year, pending completion of the regular (permanent) scheduling process. 21 U.S.C. 811(h)(1) and (2).

The CSA sets forth specific criteria for scheduling a drug or other substance. Permanent scheduling actions in accordance with 21 U.S.C. 811(a) are subject to formal rulemaking procedures done “on the record after opportunity for a hearing” conducted pursuant to the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 556 and 557. 21 U.S.C. 811. The permanent scheduling process of formal rulemaking affords interested parties with appropriate process and the government with any additional relevant information needed to make a determination. Final decisions that conclude the permanent scheduling process of formal rulemaking are subject to judicial review. 21 U.S.C. 877. Temporary scheduling orders are not subject to judicial review. 21 U.S.C. 811(h)(6).

Requirements for Handling

Upon the effective date of this temporary order, valeryl fentanyl, para-fluorobutyryl fentanyl, para-methoxybutyryl fentanyl, para-chloroisobutyryl fentanyl, isobutyryl fentanyl, cyclopentyl fentanyl, and ocfentanil will be subject to the regulatory controls and administrative, civil, and criminal sanctions applicable to the manufacture, distribution, reverse distribution, importation, exportation, engagement in research, and conduct of instructional activities or chemical analysis with, and possession of schedule I controlled substances including the following:

1. Registration. Any person who handles (manufactures, distributes, reverse distributes, imports, exports, engages in research, or conducts instructional activities or chemical analysis with, or possesses), or who desires to handle, valeryl fentanyl, para-fluorobutyryl fentanyl, para-methoxybutyryl fentanyl, para-chloroisobutyryl fentanyl, isobutyryl fentanyl, cyclopentyl fentanyl, or ocfentanil must be registered with the DEA to conduct such activities pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 822, 823, 957, and 958, and in accordance with 21 CFR parts 1301 and 1312, as of February 1, 2018. Any person who currently handles valeryl fentanyl, para-fluorobutyryl fentanyl, para-methoxybutyryl fentanyl, para-chloroisobutyryl fentanyl, isobutyryl fentanyl, cyclopentyl fentanyl, or ocfentanil, and is not registered with the DEA, must submit an application for registration and may not continue to handle valeryl fentanyl, para-fluorobutyryl fentanyl, para-methoxybutyryl fentanyl, para-chloroisobutyryl fentanyl, isobutyryl fentanyl, cyclopentyl fentanyl, or ocfentanil as of February 1, 2018, unless the DEA has approved that application for registration pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 822, 823, 957, 958, and in accordance with 21 CFR parts 1301 and 1312. Retail sales of schedule I controlled substances to the general public are not allowed under the CSA. Possession of any quantity of these substances in a manner not authorized by the CSA on or after February 1, 2018, is unlawful and those in possession of any quantity of these substances may be subject to prosecution pursuant to the CSA.

2. Disposal of stocks. Any person who does not desire or is not able to obtain a schedule I registration to handle valeryl fentanyl, para-fluorobutyryl fentanyl, para-methoxybutyryl fentanyl, para-chloroisobutyryl fentanyl, isobutyryl fentanyl, cyclopentyl fentanyl, or ocfentanil, must surrender all currently held quantities of valeryl fentanyl, para-fluorobutyryl fentanyl, para-methoxybutyryl fentanyl, para-chloroisobutyryl fentanyl, isobutyryl fentanyl, cyclopentyl fentanyl, or ocfentanil.

3. Security. Valeryl fentanyl, para-fluorobutyryl fentanyl, para-methoxybutyryl fentanyl, para-chloroisobutyryl fentanyl, isobutyryl fentanyl, cyclopentyl fentanyl, and ocfentanil are subject to schedule I security requirements and must be handled and stored pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 821, 823, 871(b), and in accordance with 21 CFR 1301.71-1301.93, as of February 1, 2018.

4. Labeling and packaging. All labels, labeling, and packaging for commercial containers of valeryl fentanyl, para-fluorobutyryl fentanyl, para-methoxybutyryl fentanyl, para-chloroisobutyryl fentanyl, isobutyryl fentanyl, cyclopentyl fentanyl, and ocfentanil must be in compliance with 21 U.S.C. 825, 958(e), and be in accordance with 21 CFR part 1302. Current DEA registrants shall have 30 calendar days from February 1, 2018, to comply with all labeling and packaging requirements.

5. Inventory. Every DEA registrant who possesses any quantity of valeryl fentanyl, para-fluorobutyryl fentanyl, para-methoxybutyryl fentanyl, para-chloroisobutyryl fentanyl, isobutyryl fentanyl, cyclopentyl fentanyl, or ocfentanil on the effective date of this order must take an inventory of all stocks of these substances on hand, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 827 and 958, and in accordance with 21 CFR 1304.03, 1304.04, and 1304.11. Current DEA registrants shall have 30 calendar days from the effective date of this order to be in compliance with all inventory requirements. After the initial inventory, every DEA registrant must take an inventory of all controlled substances (including valeryl fentanyl, para-fluorobutyryl fentanyl, para-methoxybutyryl fentanyl, para-chloroisobutyryl fentanyl, isobutyryl fentanyl, cyclopentyl fentanyl, and ocfentanil) on hand on a biennial basis, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 827 and 958, and in accordance with 21 CFR 1304.03, 1304.04, and 1304.11.

6. Records. All DEA registrants must maintain records with respect to valeryl fentanyl, para-fluorobutyryl fentanyl, para-methoxybutyryl fentanyl, para-chloroisobutyryl fentanyl, isobutyryl fentanyl, cyclopentyl fentanyl, and ocfentanil pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 827 and 958, and in accordance with 21 CFR parts 1304, 1312, 1317, and § 1307.11. Current DEA registrants shall have 30 calendar days from the effective date of this order to be in compliance with all recordkeeping requirements.

7. Reports. All DEA registrants who manufacture or distribute valeryl fentanyl, para-fluorobutyryl fentanyl, para-methoxybutyryl fentanyl, para-chloroisobutyryl fentanyl, isobutyryl fentanyl, cyclopentyl fentanyl, or ocfentanil must submit reports pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 827, and in accordance with 21 CFR parts 1304 and 1312, as of February 1, 2018.

8. Order Forms. All DEA registrants who distribute valeryl fentanyl, para-fluorobutyryl fentanyl, para-methoxybutyryl fentanyl, para-chloroisobutyryl fentanyl, isobutyryl fentanyl, cyclopentyl fentanyl, or ocfentanil must comply with order form requirements pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 828, and in accordance with 21 CFR part 1305, as of February 1, 2018.

9. Importation and Exportation. All importation and exportation of valeryl fentanyl, para-fluorobutyryl fentanyl, para-methoxybutyryl fentanyl, para-chloroisobutyryl fentanyl, isobutyryl fentanyl, cyclopentyl fentanyl, and ocfentanil must be in compliance with 21 U.S.C. 952, 953, 957, 958, and in accordance with 21 CFR part 1312, as of February 1, 2018.

10. Quota. Only DEA registered manufacturers may manufacture valeryl fentanyl, para-fluorobutyryl fentanyl, para-methoxybutyryl fentanyl, para-chloroisobutyryl fentanyl, isobutyryl fentanyl, cyclopentyl fentanyl, or ocfentanil in accordance with a quota assigned pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 826, and in accordance with 21 CFR part 1303, as of February 1, 2018.

11. Liability. Any activity involving valeryl fentanyl, para-fluorobutyryl fentanyl, para-methoxybutyryl fentanyl, para-chloroisobutyryl fentanyl, isobutyryl fentanyl, cyclopentyl fentanyl, or ocfentanil not authorized by, or in violation of, the CSA, occurring as of February 1, 2018, is unlawful, and may subject the person to administrative, civil, and/or criminal sanctions.

Regulatory Matters

Section 201(h) of the CSA, 21 U.S.C. 811(h), provides for a temporary scheduling action where such action is necessary to avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety. As provided in this subsection, the Attorney General may, by order, schedule a substance in schedule I on a temporary basis. Such an order may not be issued before the expiration of 30 days from (1) the publication of a notice in the Federal Register of the intention to issue such order and the grounds upon which such order is to be issued, and (2) the date that notice of the proposed temporary scheduling order is transmitted to the Assistant Secretary. 21 U.S.C. 811(h)(1).

Inasmuch as section 201(h) of the CSA directs that temporary scheduling actions be issued by order and sets forth the procedures by which such orders are to be issued, the DEA believes that the notice and comment requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) at 5 U.S.C. 553, do not apply to this temporary scheduling action. In the alternative, even assuming that this action might be subject to 5 U.S.C. 553, the Administrator finds that there is good cause to forgo the notice and comment requirements of 5 U.S.C. 553, as any further delays in the process for issuance of temporary scheduling orders would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest in view of the manifest urgency to avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety.

Further, the DEA believes that this temporary scheduling action is not a “rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 601(2), and, accordingly, is not subject to the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. The requirements for the preparation of an initial regulatory flexibility analysis in 5 U.S.C. 603(a) are not applicable where, as here, the DEA is not required by the APA or any other law to publish a general notice of proposed rulemaking.

Additionally, this action is not a significant regulatory action as defined by Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review), section 3(f), and, accordingly, this action has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

This action will not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Therefore, in accordance with Executive Order 13132 (Federalism), it is determined that this action does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a Federalism Assessment. As noted above, this action is an order, not a rule. Accordingly, the Congressional Review Act (CRA) is inapplicable, as it applies only to rules. However, if this were a rule, pursuant to the CRA, “any rule for which an agency for good cause finds that notice and public procedure thereon are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest, shall take effect at such time as the federal agency promulgating the rule determines.” 5 U.S.C. 808(2). It is in the public interest to schedule these substances immediately to avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety. This temporary scheduling action is taken pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 811(h), which is specifically designed to enable the DEA to act in an expeditious manner to avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety. 21 U.S.C. 811(h) exempts the temporary scheduling order from standard notice and comment rulemaking procedures to ensure that the process moves swiftly. For the same reasons that underlie 21 U.S.C. 811(h), that is, the DEA's need to move quickly to place these substances in schedule I because they pose an imminent hazard to the public safety, it would be contrary to the public interest to delay implementation of the temporary scheduling order. Therefore, this order shall take effect immediately upon its publication. The DEA has submitted a copy of this temporary order to both Houses of Congress and to the Comptroller General, although such filing is not required under the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Congressional Review Act), 5 U.S.C. 801-808 because, as noted above, this action is an order, not a rule.

List of Subjects in 21 CFR Part 1308

Administrative practice and procedure, Drug traffic control, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

For the reasons set out above, the DEA amends 21 CFR part 1308 as follows:

PART 1308—SCHEDULES OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES 1. The authority citation for part 1308 continues to read as follows: Authority:

21 U.S.C. 811, 812, 871(b), 956(b), unless otherwise noted.

2. In § 1308.11, add paragraphs (h)(23) through (29) to read as follows:
§ 1308.11 Schedule I.

(h) * * *

(23) N-(1-phenethylpiperidin-4-yl)-N-phenylpentanamide, its isomers, esters, ethers, salts and salts of isomers, esters and ethers (Other name: valeryl fentanyl) (9804) (24) N-(4-fluorophenyl)-N-(1-phenethylpiperidin-4-yl)butyramide, its isomers, esters, ethers, salts and salts of isomers, esters and ethers (Other name: para-fluorobutyryl fentanyl) (9823) (25) N-(4-methoxyphenyl)-N-(1-phenethylpiperidin-4-yl)butyramide, its isomers, esters, ethers, salts and salts of isomers, esters and ethers (Other name: para-methoxybutyryl fentanyl) (9837) (26) N-(4-chlorophenyl)-N-(1-phenethylpiperidin-4-yl)isobutyramide, its isomers, esters, ethers, salts and salts of isomers, esters and ethers (Other name: para-chloroisobutyryl fentanyl) (9826) (27) N-(1-phenethylpiperidin-4-yl)-N-phenylisobutyramide, its isomers, esters, ethers, salts and salts of isomers, esters and ethers (Other name: isobutyryl fentanyl) (9827) (28) N-(1-phenethylpiperidin-4-yl)-N-phenylcyclopentanecarboxamide, its isomers, esters, ethers, salts and salts of isomers, esters and ethers (Other name: cyclopentyl fentanyl) (9847) (29) N-(2-fluorophenyl)-2-methoxy-N-(1-phenethylpiperidin-4-yl)acetamide, its isomers, esters, ethers, salts and salts of isomers, esters and ethers (Other name: ocfentanil) (9832)
Dated: January 26, 2018. Robert W. Patterson, Acting Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2018-02008 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2018-0033] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway, Beach Thorofare, Margate City, NJ AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulation.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the Margate Boulevard/Margate Bridge which carries Margate Boulevard across the New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway, Beach Thorofare, mile 74.0, at Margate City, NJ. The deviation is necessary to facilitate bridge maintenance. This deviation allows the bridge to remain in the closed-to-navigation position.

DATES:

The deviation is effective from 7 a.m. on Monday, February 26, 2018, through 7 p.m. on Monday, March 12, 2018.

ADDRESSES:

The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2018-0033] is available at http://www.regulations.gov. Type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH”. Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this deviation.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this temporary deviation, call or email Mr. Michael Thorogood, Bridge Administration Branch Fifth District, Coast Guard, telephone 757-398-6557, email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Ole Hansen and Sons, Inc., owner and operator of the Margate Boulevard/Margate Bridge that carries Margate Boulevard across the New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway, Beach Thorofare, mile 74.0, at Margate City, NJ, has requested a temporary deviation from the current operating schedule to facilitate maintenance of the structural steel and replacement of the structural steel support column of the double bascule drawbridge. The bridge has a vertical clearance of 14 feet above mean high water in the closed position and unlimited clearance in the open position. The current operating schedule is set out in 33 CFR 117.5. Under this temporary deviation, the bridge will be in the closed-to-navigation position between 7 a.m. on February 26, 2018, through 7 p.m. on March 12, 2018.

The Beach Thorofare is used by a variety of vessels including recreational vessels. The Coast Guard has carefully coordinated the restrictions with waterway users in publishing this temporary deviation.

Vessels able to pass through the bridge in the closed-to-navigation position may do so at any time. The bridge will not be able to open for emergencies and there is no immediate alternative route for vessels unable to pass through the bridge in the closed position. The Coast Guard will also inform the users of the waterway through our Local and Broadcast Notices to Mariners of the change in operating schedule for the bridge, so that vessel operators can arrange their transits to minimize any impact caused by the temporary deviation.

In accordance with 33 CFR 117.35(e), the drawbridge must return to its regular operating schedule immediately at the end of the effective period of this temporary deviation. This deviation from the operating regulations is authorized under 33 CFR 117.35.

Dated: January 26, 2018. Hal R. Pitts, Bridge Program Manager, Fifth Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. 2018-01981 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
POSTAL REGULATORY COMMISSION 39 CFR Part 3010 [Docket No. RM2016-6; Order No. 4393] Mail Preparation Changes AGENCY:

Postal Regulatory Commission.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Commission adopts a final rule concerning mail preparation changes. This Order amends an existing Commission rule.

DATES:

Effective March 5, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

David A. Trissell, General Counsel, at 202-789-6820.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. Introduction II. Background III. Review of Proposed Rule and Analysis of Comments IV. Ordering Paragraphs I. Introduction

In this Order, the Commission adopts a final rule concerning mail preparation changes. The final rule adopted by this Order amends an existing Commission rule located at 39 CFR part 3010.1 The rule as adopted incorporates suggestions presented by commenters that include slight modifications to the rule as proposed, but do not materially affect its substance.

1 On December 1, 2017, the Commission issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in Docket No. RM2017-3 that proposed replacing provisions of 39 CFR part 3010 with new rules in new subparts. The Commission issues this rule in part 3010 and any changes to the rule's location in the CFR will be made in the Docket No. RM2017-3 rulemaking. See Docket No. RM2017-3, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for the System for Regulating Rates and Classes for Market Dominant Products, December 1, 2017 (Order No. 4258). The notice of proposed rulemaking was published in the Federal Register on December 11, 2017. See 82 FR 58280.

II. Background

The Commission is charged with enforcing its price cap rules, which require that the Postal Service make reasonable adjustments to its billing determinants to account for the effects of classification changes such as the introduction, deletion, or redefinition of rate cells. See 39 CFR 3010.23(d)(2). Under § 3010.23(d)(2), these classification changes can include changes to mail preparation requirements made by the Postal Service. In Docket No. R2013-10R, the Commission articulated a standard governing when mail preparation changes result in the deletion or redefinition of rate cells under § 3010.23(d)(2) of the price cap rules.2

2 Docket No. R2013-10R, Order Resolving Issues on Remand, January 22, 2016 (Order No. 3047). For a complete history of the underlying proceedings and the facts regarding the change to Full Service Intelligent Mail barcoding (IMb) which precipitated the need for a standard, see Docket No. R2013-10, Order on Price Adjustments for Market Dominant Products and Related Mail Classification Changes, November 21, 2013, at 5-35 (Order No. 1890); Order No. 3047; Docket No. R2013-10R, Order Resolving Motion for Reconsideration of Commission Order No. 3047, July 20, 2016 (Order No. 3441).

After setting forth the standard applied to mail preparation requirements, the Commission instituted the present rulemaking “to create rules for the process and timeframes for the regulation of mail preparation requirement changes.” 3 As discussed below, the Commission issued an initial proposed rule that was later withdrawn and replaced with a revised proposed rule.

3 Order No. 3047 at 21. See also id. at 59 (“The Commission intends to also issue a rulemaking to establish procedural rules setting forth the process governing mail preparation changes that require price cap compliance.”).

A. Initial Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

On January 22, 2016, the Commission published a notice of proposed rulemaking (Initial NPR) that proposed a procedural rule for issues concerning compliance with the price cap rules for mail preparation changes.4 The Commission identified a need to amend its rules to “ensure that the Postal Service properly accounts for the rate effects of mail preparation changes” under § 3010.23(d)(2). Order No. 3048 at 1.

4 The Initial NPR was published in the Federal Register on February 1, 2016. See 81 FR 5085. Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Motions Concerning Mail Preparation Changes, January 22, 2016, at 1-2 (Order No. 3048).

The Initial NPR proposed adding a new section under the Commission's existing general motion rule that would create a separate motion procedure dedicated to compliance issues for mail preparation changes. Id. at 3-4. The initial proposed rule defined motions concerning mail preparation changes as “challenges to instances where an announced mail preparation change does not contain a Postal Service indication that the change has a rate effect requiring compliance with § 3010.23(d)(2). . . .” Id. at 7. The Initial NPR proposed parameters for motions specific to mail preparation changes, including a filing deadline and grounds required for the motion. Specifically, the Initial NPR proposed that any motions concerning mail preparation changes were to be filed within 30 days of “actual or constructive notice of the implementation date of the change” and were to contain a description of the change at issue and the “grounds by which the mail preparation change must comply with § 3010.23(d)(2). . . .” Id. The filing deadline would be triggered by written notice of the implementation date of the mail preparation change by the Postal Service. Id. at 3-4. The Postal Service would be required to “affirmatively designate only those changes that require compliance with § 3010.23(d)(2)” when it provided written notice of publication of the mail preparation change. Id. at 4.

Although the Initial NPR reiterated the Commission's previous explanation that the “Postal Service has the affirmative burden to determine whether a mail preparation change requires compliance with § 3010.23(d)(2) under the Commission's standard in Order No. 3047,” the initial rule did not propose including a statement of this affirmative burden in the rule.5

5 The revised notice of proposed rulemaking (Revised NPR) was published in the Federal Register on March 31, 2017. See 82 FR 16015. Revised NPR, March 27, 2017, at 1-2, 7 (Order No. 3827).

In proposing the initial rule, the Commission explained that the “primary purpose of the rulemaking is to ensure that the Postal Service properly accounts for the rate effects of mail preparation changes under § 3010.23(d)(2) of this chapter in accordance with the Commission's standard articulated in Order No. 3047.” Order No. 3048 at 1-2. The Commission stated that it also intended to “standardize the procedure and timeframe by which interested parties must file a motion with the Commission when they contend that a mail preparation change has a rate effect requiring compliance with the price cap rules.” Id. at 2. The Initial NPR was intended to provide “an avenue for interested parties to raise the possibility that the Postal Service may have erred by failing to account for the price cap impact of a mail preparation change.” Id. at 5.

In response to the Initial NPR, the Commission received numerous comments that raised questions about the utility of creating a separate procedural rule for motions concerning mail preparation changes. Commenters submitted concerns over how a separate motion procedure would affect the Commission's authority and responsibility to independently review mail preparations for compliance with the price cap rules.6 Commenters also raised questions concerning the potential redundancy of the proposed rule in light of the right to challenge the Postal Service's compliance with the price cap rules in existing proceedings before the Commission. See id. at 3. Commenters also suggested modifications to the various procedural components set forth in the initial proposed rule, raising concerns with the notice provisions and the filing deadline. See id. at 3-5.

6 Order No. 3827 at 2-3. The Commission refers to its response to the comments in Order No. 3827.

The Postal Service did not share the concerns of the majority of the commenters. Instead, it suggested adding additional sections to the proposed motion procedure, including discovery, meet and confer requirements, and deadlines for resolving motions. Id. at 5-6.

B. Revised Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

On March 27, 2017, the Commission issued a revised notice of proposed rulemaking (Revised NPR) which, in response to comments on the Initial NPR, withdrew the initial proposed rule and proposed a revised rule.

The Revised NPR proposed adding a new section to the price cap rules, § 3010.23(d)(5). The revised proposed rule creates a standardized reporting process for mail preparation changes and memorializes the Postal Service's burden to demonstrate compliance with the price cap. Specifically, the revised proposed rule requires that the Postal Service publish notice of all mail preparation changes in a single, publicly available source. Order No. 3827 at 13-14. Under the revised rule, the Postal Service must file notice with the Commission designating the source it will use to provide public notice. Id. The revised proposed rule also requires the Postal Service to affirmatively state whether or not the mail preparation change requires compliance with § 3010.23(d)(2). Id. If the Postal Service's determination of price cap compliance is raised, the Postal Service is required to demonstrate, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the mail preparation change at issue does not require compliance with § 3010.23(d)(2).

The revisions to the rule were made “to better target the specific goal of ensuring that the Postal Service properly accounts for mail preparation requirement changes under § 3010.23(d)(2).” Id. at 11. The Revised NPR withdrew the initial proposal to create a separate motion procedure for issues concerning mail preparation changes. The Commission explained that it chose not to continue creating a separate motion procedure specific to compliance issues for mail preparation changes based on its review of existing procedures and practices and in response to commenter concerns. See id. at 8-11. The Commission requested comments in response to the Revised NPR.

The Postal Service, the Public Representative, the Association for Postal Commerce (PostCom), and the National Postal Policy Council, the National Association of Presort Mailers, and the Association for Mail Electronic Enhancement (collectively NPPC et al.) submitted comments in response to the Revised NPR.7

7 Comments of the National Postal Policy Council, the National Association of Presort Mailers, and the Association for Mail Electronic Enhancement, May 1, 2017 (NPPC et al. Comments); Public Representative Comments on Revised Notice, May 1, 2017 (PR Comments); United States Postal Service Comments on Proposed Rules for Motions Concerning Mail Preparation Changes, May 1, 2017 (Postal Service Comments); Comments of the Association for Postal Commerce, May 1, 2017 (PostCom Comments).

III. Review of Proposed Rule and Analysis of Comments

In this section, parts of the revised proposed rule that will be finalized are identified, briefly outlined, and comments or issues relating to the rule are discussed and analyzed.

A. Publication Requirement

The rule sets forth a requirement that the Postal Service publish notice of all mail preparation changes in a single, publicly available source. See Order No. 3827 at 13. The Postal Service shall file notice with the Commission of the single source it will use to publish notice of all mail preparation changes. Id. The publication requirement also requires an affirmative designation of whether or not the change will be subject to § 3010.23(d)(2). Id. The Commission analyzes and responds to comments relevant to the publication requirement.

In response to both the Initial and Revised NPR, commenters generally expressed concern that it is difficult to monitor the multiple sources used by the Postal Service to provide notice of mail preparation changes. See id. at 6-7. The multiple sources of publication make it “more difficult to know whether the real effects of mail preparation changes affect the price cap.” 8 Numerous commenters requested that the Commission direct the Postal Service to identify a single publication where all mail preparation changes will be published. Id. Requiring single source publication would allow both mailers and the Commission “to more easily monitor mail preparation changes for price cap compliance” and alleviate the need for a separate motion procedure. Id.

8 Order No. 3827 at 6 (citing Comments of the National Postal Policy Council, the National Association of Presort Mailers, and the Association for Mail Electronic Enhancement, September 2, 2016, at 5 (Initial NPPC et al. Comments)).

In their comments to the Initial NPR, NPPC et al. supported single source publication of all mail preparation changes. Initial NPPC et al. Comments at 5. In their comments on the Revised NPR, NPPC et al. find that the revised proposed rule represents a substantial improvement over the initial proposed motion procedure and is an appropriate response to its concerns. NPPC et al. Comments at 2. NPPC et al. state that the publication requirement “will promote clarity and efficiency by having the Postal Service post all of its mailing regulation changes in one place.” Id. They state that the publication requirement should “greatly help the Commission and mailers keep track of mailing regulation changes between market-dominant pricing adjustments.” Id.

In its comments to the Initial NPR, PostCom proposed directing “the Postal Service to identify a publication in which all mail preparation changes will be published.” 9 In its comments on the Revised NPR, PostCom notes that the proposed rule does not define the term “mail preparation change” and contends that “[w]hile there is nothing inherently problematic with failing to define this term, it does create some uncertainty.” PostCom Comments at 1. PostCom specifically notes its concern that the Postal Service would decline to publish notice of a mail preparation change because it could determine the change does not relate to “mail preparation.” Id. at 1-2. In light of this concern, PostCom suggests that the Commission clarify in the final rule that the Commission “will still hear challenges to changes that were not published in the specified source.” Id. at 2.

9 Comments of the Association for Postal Commerce, September 2, 2016, at 5 (Initial PostCom Comments).

With respect to PostCom's concern that the Postal Service may attempt to avoid price cap compliance by failing to classify a change as a mail preparation change and, as a result, fail to provide the requisite notice, the Commission submits that its existing procedures provide adequate recourse to deal with any issues concerning challenges to changes that are not properly designated or published in the specified source. Therefore, the Commission declines to adopt PostCom's suggested change in the final rule.

In comments to the Initial NPR, the Public Representative supported requiring the Postal Service file notice of mail preparation changes in a single source.10 He submitted that, because the mail preparation changes are not currently published in a single source, “the Commission is not in a position to review the effects of each mail preparation change” and this creates a gap in regulatory coverage. Initial PR Comments at 6-7. In comments to the Revised NPR, he states that the “Commission's order should make clear whether one particular publication (as selected by the Postal Service) must provide notification of all mail preparation changes.” PR Comments at 7. The Public Representative is correct that the Commission's proposed rule requires single source publication of all mail preparation changes, regardless of whether the changes are also noticed in additional sources. Therefore, the Commission modifies the final rule to clarify that the rule requires publication of all mail preparation changes in a single source as follows: “The Postal Service shall file notice with the Commission of the single source it will use to provide published notice of all mail preparation changes.”

10 Public Representatives Comments, September 2, 2016, at 6-7 (Initial PR Comments).

With respect to the publication requirement, the Postal Service contends that the “Commission should decline to adopt the proposed `single source' publication requirement.” Postal Service Comments at 27. It states that it is “unclear what procedural purpose would be served by these new requirements” and that it “already has strong business incentives to provide advance notice of upcoming changes, to help ensure that mailers can and will comply with any new requirements in a timely manner.” Id. at 25, 26. The Postal Service outlines the many ways in which it communicates proposed changes to mail preparation requirements, including at conferences attended by various mailers, and sources such as the Postal Bulletin and the Federal Register. Id. at 26. The Postal Service does not claim that it would be burdensome or difficult to provide notice of all mail preparation changes in one source; rather, it contends, “[n]otice was not the source of the disagreement between the Postal Service, the Commission, and the mailers challenging the IMb requirements.” Id. at 27. Further, it submits that no party has complained “that its ability to dispute the price-cap effects of mail preparation requirement changes has been hampered by where and how the Postal Service gave notice of the relevant changes.” Id. The Postal Service also contends that the rule requiring that the “Postal Service publish all such changes in a `single source' serves no relevant purpose” in the absence of a filing deadline for motions concerning mail preparation changes. Id. at 3.

In response to the Postal Service's question regarding the purpose of the single source publication requirement, the rule will provide standardized, transparent reporting of mail preparation changes to ensure compliance with the price cap rules. This information will enable the Commission and the mailing community to properly monitor the changes to mail preparation requirements for price cap compliance. This rulemaking was initiated to add a procedural component to the existing Commission rules in order to ensure that the Postal Service “properly accounts for the rate effects of mail preparation changes under § 3010.23(d)(2).” Order No. 3048 at 1. Although the Postal Service states that it has a business incentive to provide notice of mail preparation changes, price cap compliance is an obligation that exists independent of any business incentive the Postal Service may have for its actions. Without a standardized process for reporting changes to mail preparation requirements, it is difficult to monitor the multitude of mail preparation changes made by the Postal Service for purposes of ensuring price cap compliance.

As previously stated, the Postal Service provides notice of changes to mail preparation requirements in many different sources including the “Federal Register, Postal Bulletin, and on the RIBBS website.” 11 As the Postal Service admits that it already provides notice of changes to mail preparation requirements in a variety of formats and sources, it should not be burdensome for it to comply with the single source publication requirements. Further, this rule does not interfere with parties' current rights to challenge the Postal Service's compliance with the price cap rules in existing Commission proceedings and does not conflict with the Commission's responsibility to enforce the price cap rules.

11 Order No. 3048 at 3. Since the publication of the Initial NPR, the RIBBS website has transitioned to PostalPro. See https://ribbs.usps.gov; https://postalpro.usps.com.

Accordingly, the Commission finds it appropriate to maintain the publication requirement in the final rule, with the slight modification described above, because it will provide important notice to both the mailers and the Commission of mail preparation changes that could potentially implicate the price cap.

In addition to publication in a single source, the rule requires the Postal Service to affirmatively designate whether or not the individual mail preparation change requires compliance with § 3010.23(d)(2). Although the Commission did not receive comments specific to this revised affirmative designation requirement in response to the Revised NPR, a similar requirement was proposed in the Initial NPR. The initial rule proposed requiring an affirmative designation for only those instances where the mail preparation change required compliance with the price cap rules. Comments received on that provision requested that the Commission modify the requirement to include an affirmative statement of whether or not the change required compliance with the price cap rules. Specifically, PostCom submitted that “the Postal Service should provide an affirmative statement of no price impact, providing clarity for mailers and no additional burden on the Postal Service in light of their affirmative duty to make the initial determination.” 12 The Postal Service did not oppose the affirmative designation requirement in the Initial NPR and does not comment specifically on the modified designation requirement in the Revised NPR, except to state that it opposes all changes in the Revised NPR. Postal Service Comments at 5.

12 Order No. 3827 at 7(citing Initial PostCom Comments at 7); see also e.g., Initial PR Comments at 6-8; Initial NPPC et al. Comments at 8-11.

As it remains the Postal Service's obligation to review all of its mail preparation changes for compliance with § 3010.23(d)(2), the rule maintains the requirement that the Postal Service provide an affirmative statement of its determination for each mail preparation change that it does or does not require compliance with § 3010.23(d)(2).

B. Evidentiary Burden

In addition to the publication requirement, the rule provides that, “[i]f raised by the Commission or challenged by a mailer, the Postal Service must demonstrate, by a preponderance of the evidence, that a mail preparation change does not require compliance with paragraph (d)(2) of this section in any proceeding where compliance is at issue.” Order No. 3827 at 13-14.

In response to the Revised NPR, NPPC et al. submit that “the revised proposal correctly makes clear that, if a question arises (which has seldom occurred over the past decade) the Postal Service bears the burden of proof that a mail preparation requirement change does not require compliance with section 3010.23(d)(2) of the Commission's rules.” NPPC et al. Comments at 2. NPPC et al. contend that the “revised proposal properly emphasizes that the Postal Service bears the obligation to comply with the price cap regulations and the Commission has primary enforcement authority.” Id.

The Postal Service objects to the evidentiary burden provision and submits that the burden of proof should be placed on the “proponent that asserts that a particular mail preparation change constitutes a change in rates because it redefines a price cell.” Postal Service Comments at 2, 15-16. It states that “[i]f the Commission nonetheless decides to place the burden of proof on the Postal Service, the Postal Service will need to develop a process for obtaining cost information from potentially impacted mailers in order to determine the amount of compliance costs that a given change might impose on the mailing community.” Id. at 2-3. The Postal Service further claims that the rule is unfairly “assigning the burden of proof.” Id. at 14.

The Postal Service also claims that the evidentiary burden provision is unfair based on its pending appeal of the underlying substantive standard applying § 3010.23(d)(2) to mail preparation changes. Id. at 19. The Postal Service maintains that the substantive standard set forth in Order No. 3047 and reiterated in Order No. 3441 fails to provide clarity and that the Commission “should suspend further work on the rulemaking until the DC Circuit has completed its review of the substantive standard.” Id.

The Postal Service claims that its complaints regarding confusion over application of the standard are relevant to the evidentiary standard set forth in the current rulemaking because it is confused over “what, exactly, it is asking the Postal Service to prove.” Id. at 22. The Postal Service repeats its substantive argument regarding its objections to the redefinition prong of the Commission's standard and states that it “does not have comprehensive, verifiable information concerning the costs that any given mail preparation change will collectively impose on the impacted mailer.” Id. at 22-23. It contends that as a result, the Commission is “[p]assing the fact-gathering burden onto the Postal Service” and undermining the purpose of the rulemaking which it characterizes as establishing a “ `streamlined' process that would allow the Postal Service to implement mail preparation changes `with minimal disruption,' and that would not stay implementation of a mail preparation change that is the subject of a motion.” Id. at 23.

In response to the Postal Service's concerns over the evidentiary standard, the Commission submits that the evidentiary burden in the final rule is the same burden that has existed throughout the PAEA era. It is the Postal Service's responsibility to “apply a good faith analysis to make the preliminary determination of whether a mail preparation requirement change will result in either the deletion or redefinition of a rate cell.” Order No. 3047 at 20. If it determines that a mail preparation “change has deleted or redefined a rate cell then it must comply with the price cap rule under [§ 3010.23(d)(2)] and account for the rate effects of the change.” Id. Accordingly, as explained in Order No. 3047, the Postal Service has the “affirmative burden to determine whether changes to mail preparation have a rate effect with price cap implications in accordance with the Commission's standard and [§ 3010.23(d)(2)].” Id.

In response to the Postal Service's contention that the Commission's failure to explain its standard and how it is to be applied to future cases should prevent the rulemaking from moving forward, the Commission points to its responses to the Postal Service's arguments concerning the substantive standard in Order Nos. 3047 and 3441. In Order No. 3441, the Commission explained:

Although the Postal Service claims that the Commission “fail[ed] to respond” to the Court's holding that the Commission must explain its standard, the Commission provided a detailed explanation of the standard, parameters of the standard, and application of the standard. Order No. 3047 at 13-31. The Commission cannot provide explanation of abstract hypothetical changes the Postal Service may make in the future, as those issues and facts are not currently before the Commission. However, despite the fact that this standard is to be applied on a case-by-case basis, the Commission provided an explanation of how the standard would be applied, and set forth the parameters of such application so that the Postal Service and interested parties would have sufficient guidance in the future. See id. at 15-31.

Order No. 3441 at 11.

The Commission has previously declined the Postal Service's motion to suspend this rulemaking proceeding pending resolution of the Postal Service's Petition for Review before the DC Circuit Court of Appeals.13 The Commission again declines to suspend this proceeding. As previously stated, the Postal Service's comments simply repeat “the Postal Service's arguments in disagreement with the Commission's substantive standard articulated in Order Nos. 3047 and 3441 and [do] not provide any justification to warrant a stay.” 14 Moreover, the final rule will not be affected should the Court disagree with the Commission's standard articulated in Order No. 3047 because, should the standard be modified, the Court affirmed the Commission's authority to regulate mail preparation changes under the price cap rules and this rule sets a procedure for reporting and monitoring mail preparation changes. Order No. 3047 at 2, 9-10. The final rule sets up a procedure for reporting mail preparation changes, requires a designation of whether or not the change implicates the price cap, and formalizes the Postal Service's burden to comply with the price cap; the rule does not incorporate the substantive standard. In the event the standard is later modified, the rule would remain as a procedural mechanism to identify mail preparation changes that may have rate implications, and provide an avenue for parties to raise the issue of whether a change has such implications, and would apply regardless of the appellate outcome.

13 Order Denying Motion, April 28, 2017 (Order No. 3879).

14 Order No. 3879 at 2; see Postal Service Comments at 19-25.

The Postal Service also points to Order No. 3827, the Revised NPR, and contends that statements made in that order contradict the Commission's standard set forth in Order No. 3047. The Postal Service submits that the Commission, in Order No. 3827, “maintains that a mail preparation change is subject to the price cap when it functionally `eliminates' a rate.” Postal Service Comments at 20. It claims that this statement contradicts the Commission's position on appeal and contends that “the Commission's brief in the DC Circuit acknowledged that the elimination of a rate does not address whether mailers will be forced to pay higher prices.” Id. Although this comment addresses the substance of the standard as opposed to the rule, the Commission responds in order to correct the Postal Service's mischaracterization. The functional elimination of a rate is a deletion under § 3010.23(d)(2) and once it is clear that a rate has been deleted; the effect of that deletion is calculated pursuant to the price cap rules. Section 3010.23(d)(2) represents the first step in a two-part process for price cap compliance; it determines whether the price cap applies. Once that determination has been made under § 3010.23(d)(2), the remaining subparts of § 3010.23(d) are utilized to determine the rate effect of the change. In this second step, depending on the calculation, the rate effect could represent a rate increase, decrease, or have zero effect.15 These facts are acknowledged by both Order No. 3827 and the Commission's brief in the DC Circuit Court of Appeals and do not represent the contradiction claimed by the Postal Service.

15 Order No. 3047 only concerned the first step in this two-part process; whether a mail preparation change was subject to the price cap applying § 3010.23(d)(2).

Moreover, if the Postal Service is unsure how to apply § 3010.23(d)(2) to a mail preparation change in order to determine whether the price cap applies, it may file a motion with the Commission. As discussed in more detail below, see infra section III.C., the Commission's general motion practice rules provide an avenue for the Postal Service to request a determination from the Commission on whether a specific mail preparation change will trigger compliance with the price cap under § 3010.23(d)(2).

With respect to the Postal Service's concern that the lack of discovery will prevent it from satisfying its burden of proof, the Commission responds that discovery is always available in Commission proceedings where it is “reasonably calculated to lead to admissible evidence during a proceeding.” See, e.g., 39 CFR 3001.86. The Commission has traditionally declined to make discovery a right in proceedings, as it “could take away the Commission's ability to adapt review procedures to fit the underlying issues presented.” 16 As the Commission explained in the Revised NPR, in the situation where compliance with the price cap is at issue “the specific evidence presented will be largely fact dependent subject to the individual circumstances of the matter and the Postal Service's showing will be evaluated based on the evidence available at the time.” Order No. 3827 at 9. If issues arise that cannot be resolved within the existing procedures or require discovery, in line with past practice, the Commission retains the flexibility to tailor the proceedings accordingly to fit the issue and any party may file a request for discovery. Therefore, the Commission declines to modify the rule to institute discovery as a matter-of-right.

16 Docket No. RM2008-4, Notice of Final Rule Prescribing Form and Content of Periodic Reports, April 16, 2009, at 12 (Order No. 203).

However, the Commission agrees with the Postal Service's suggestion that the rule also codify the requirement that a “challenging party should provide relevant evidence to rebut the Postal Service's initial determination that the price cap does not apply.” Postal Service Comments at 18. Parties requesting relief before the Commission based on the Postal Service's action or inaction must always provide the requisite support for their position. In addition to the rules prescribed for specific proceedings, § 3001.11 of this chapter provides that the necessary contents of documents that do not pertain to a specific rule, regulation, or Commission Order. See 39 CFR 3001.11(c). Accordingly, the Commission modifies the final rule to include the contents necessary to challenge a Postal Service determination concerning a mail preparation change.

The Public Representative also suggests a slight modification to the last sentence of the proposed rule to clarify that “raised by the Commission” is intended to cover situations where the Commission independently questions the Postal Service's compliance with § 3010.23(d)(2). PR Comments at 7. The Commission avers that the word “raised” appropriately covers all situations where compliance issues for mail preparation changes may be questioned by the Commission. However, the Commission makes a slight modification to apply the term “raised” to challenges by the Commission or any other party in order to simplify the language in the rule. Accordingly, final rule § 3010.23(d)(5) incorporates the slight modifications described.

C. Motion Procedure

As explained above, the final rule creates a process where the Postal Service will be required to provide published notice of all mail preparation changes in a single source with a designation of whether or not each change requires compliance with § 3010.23(d)(2). The rule also memorializes the Postal Service's burden to demonstrate compliance with the price cap rules for any issues arising from its designation of a mail preparation change. The rule does not create a separate motion procedure for issues concerning mail preparation changes as originally contemplated. The Commission analyzes and responds to comments relevant to the withdrawal of the motion procedure.

NPPC et al. agree with the Commission that “existing procedures should be sufficient to allow interested parties to raise issues of price cap compliance for mail preparation changes.” NPPC et al. Comments at 3. However, NPPC et al. contend that the “new procedures in the revised proposal will make recourse to the existing procedures rarely necessary.” Id. PostCom submits that the “revised procedures are superior to those previously proposed” and “commends the Commission for its thoughtful consideration of the comments submitted on its previous proposal.” PostCom Comments at 1.

As noted by the Public Representative, by withdrawing the motion procedure and associated filing deadline, the revised rule “permits interested persons to challenge at any time a Postal Service's decision that a mail preparation change is not a rate change.” PR Comments at 6. He concludes that the rule will “close a potentially significant regulatory gap in the original proposal” by “providing for a method to sufficiently alert the Commission and other interested parties about mail preparation changes.” Id. at 4, 5. He notes that the revised location of the rule in part 3010 “will be more readily appreciated and that interested parties will be more likely to recognize that they may challenge the Postal Service's conclusions regarding compliance with paragraph (d)(2) of that section.” Id. at 6.

The Postal Service seeks to have the Commission reinstate the initial proposed motion rule with modifications. Postal Service Comments at 2. Specifically, the Postal Service requests that the Commission reinstate:

[T]he 30-day filing deadline for motions challenging the Postal Service's initial determination that a mail preparation change does not implicate the price cap, adopt the additional procedural provisions requested by the Postal Service in its initial Comments, and place the burden of proving `significant' mailer costs on the proponent that asserts that a particular mail preparation change constitutes a change in rates because it redefines a price cell.

Id. (internal citations omitted).

The Postal Service contends that, without a separate procedure specific to mail preparation changes, it “must rely on impacted mailers to come forward with evidence concerning the extent of compliance costs that a mail preparation change will impose, and without any defined process to insure that they do so accurately and completely.” Id. at 23. It claims that “[t]he Commission's proposal does not meaningfully address that problem.” Id.

The Postal Service claims that the Commission revised the proposed rule “without meaningful explanation,” yet it also acknowledges that the Commission explained that “its existing procedures `should be sufficient to raise issues of price cap compliance for mail preparation changes,' that creating additional procedures would be `redundant,' and that the revised proposed rule is meant `to better target the specific goal of ensuring that the Postal Service properly accounts for mail preparation requirement changes under § 3010.23(d)(2).' ” 17 The Postal Service's specific complaints with respect to the Commission's explanation of the rule are that it fails to explain how “the revised proposed rule comports with the statutory criteria and addresses the Postal Service's concerns about predictability, or acknowledges the Commission's prior statements explaining that the goal of this proceeding would be to allay those concerns.” Postal Service Comments at 10.

17Id. at 9, 10 (citing Order No. 3827 at 10-11).

The Postal Service also claims that the revised rule “strips the rule of its critical procedural protection: the 30-day filing deadline.” Id. at 9. The Postal Service explains that it is concerned that “[i]f mailers are permitted to raise objections to mail preparation changes under the substantive standard at any time, regardless of how much time has passed since the Postal Service provided notice of the change or the stage of implementation that the change is in, then the present rulemaking completely fails to protect against unpredictable impacts on the Postal Service's pricing authority.” Id. at 9-10.

In response to the Postal Service's comments, the Commission declines to create a separate motion procedure for mail preparation changes because “existing procedures available to interested parties should be sufficient to raise issues of price cap compliance for mail preparation changes.” Order No. 3827 at 10. As the Commission previously explained:

Mailers may notify the Commission using the general motion procedures set forth in § 3001.21 of this chapter if they disagree with the Postal Service's determination of compliance with § 3010.23(d)(2). The rules under § 3001.21 of this chapter require motions to “set forth with particularity the ruling or relief sought, the grounds and basis therefore, and the statutory or other authority relied upon . . .” Accordingly, any motions filed under § 3001.21 of this chapter concerning mail preparation changes shall provide all information the mailers have to rebut the Postal Service's determination, consistent with the Commission's standard set forth in Order No. 3047.

Id. Moreover, as the rule relates to ensuring that the Postal Service is complying with the price cap rules, it is in line with the objectives and factors of the PAEA.

In response to the Postal Service's concern that it would be subject to late objections to its determination that a change does not impact the price cap, the Postal Service may file a motion with the Commission and “seek a determination from the Commission [on the price cap impact of the change] using the procedures set forth under § 3001.21 of this chapter prior to implementation of the change.” Id. at 9. Therefore, both mailers and the Postal Service may use existing procedures to resolve issues concerning the price cap impact of a mail preparation change.

In response to the Postal Service's contention that the revised rule ignores the primary reason for instituting the rulemaking, the main purpose of the rule was to “ensure that the Postal Service properly accounts for the rate effects of mail preparation changes under § 3010.23(d)(2) of this chapter in accordance with the Commission's standard articulated in Order No. 3047.” Order No. 3048 at 1-2. In accomplishing that goal, the Commission initially sought to create a more efficient process that improved upon existing procedures by proposing a new motion procedure specific to compliance issues for mail preparation changes. However, based on its review of comments and further analysis, the Commission determined that any additional motion rule would add potential inefficient redundancies. A separate motion practice would be an unnecessary addition to existing actions that could include a comment filed in a rate adjustment proceeding alerting the Commission to the potential rate impact of a mail preparation change, a Postal Service request for an advance determination on the rate impact of a mail preparation change, an interested party's motion to designate a mail preparation change as having a rate impact, or other relevant motions. In those actions, the Postal Service or any interested party is free to request discovery.18 Therefore, the Commission disagrees with the Postal Service's comments that it needs to create a separate procedure specific to compliance issues for mail preparation changes and submits that the final rule provides a more effective way of ensuring the Postal Service complies with the price cap rules for mail preparation changes.

18 As previously discussed, under the PAEA, the Commission retains discretion to order or permit discovery, in part due to the “extremely compressed time schedules under which compliance review must be conducted.” Order No. 203 at 55. In most cases, the Commission functions as a gatekeeper for limited discovery—where parties request the Commission to propound specific questions or requests on participants. This gatekeeper role filters discovery requests that may be untimely, irrelevant, intended as a leveraging tactic, or simply abusive.

In addition to potential redundancies, the Commission also found that a separate motion rule would conflict with existing procedures. See Order No. 3827 at 10. For example, in a rate adjustment proceeding, the Commission's rules request participants focus their comments on whether the Postal Service's planned rate adjustment complies with the price cap rules. 39 CFR 3010.11(b)(1)-(2). The Commission must then determine whether the planned rate adjustments are consistent with the annual limitation and applicable law. 39 CFR 3010.11(d). This process has accommodated nearly all changes to mail preparation requirements that require compliance with the price cap rules over the past decade without issue.19 The Commission's standard, articulated in Order No. 3047, does not disrupt this process and the Commission finds that a separate motion procedure with deadlines outside of the rate adjustment proceedings would conflict with the existing rules governing compliance with the price cap rules.

19 In Docket No. R2013-10R, although the Postal Service contended that the Full Service IMb requirement was not a rate change, the Postal Service did not argue that it was unaware of the significance of the change compared to its more routine mail preparation changes. See Order No. 3047 at 21, 26-27.

IV. Ordering Paragraphs

It is ordered:

1. Part 3010 of title 39, Code of Federal Regulations, is revised as set forth below the signature of this order, effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

2. The Secretary shall arrange for publication of this order in the Federal Register.

By the Commission.

Ruth Ann Abrams, Acting Secretary.
List of Subjects in 39 CFR Part 3010

Administrative practice and procedure, Postal Service.

For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Commission amends chapter III of title 39 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

PART 3010—REGULATION OF RATES FOR MARKET DOMINANT PRODUCTS 1. The authority citation of part 3010 continues to read as follows: Authority:

39 U.S.C. 503; 3662.

2. Amend § 3010.23 by adding paragraph (d)(5) to read as follows:
§ 3010.23 Calculation of percentage change in rates.

(d) * * *

(5) Procedures for mail preparation changes. The Postal Service shall provide published notice of all mail preparation changes in a single, publicly available source. The Postal Service shall file notice with the Commission of the single source it will use to provide published notice of all mail preparation changes. When providing notice of a mail preparation change, the Postal Service shall affirmatively state whether or not the change requires compliance with paragraph (d)(2) of this section. If the Postal Service's determination regarding compliance with paragraph (d)(2) of this section is raised by the Commission or any other party, the Postal Service must demonstrate, by a preponderance of the evidence, that a mail preparation change does not require compliance with paragraph (d)(2) of this section in any proceeding where compliance is at issue. In any challenge to the Postal Service's determination concerning a mail preparation change, the challenging party shall provide all information to rebut the Postal Service's determination that the change is not subject to the price cap.

[FR Doc. 2018-01810 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7710-FW-P
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R05-OAR-2016-0138; FRL-9973-48-Region 5] Air Plan Approval; Illinois; Nonattainment Plans for the Lemont and Pekin SO2 Nonattainment Areas AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking final action to approve State Implementation Plan (SIP) revisions, which Illinois submitted to EPA on March 2, 2016, and supplemented on August 8, 2016 and May 4, 2017, for attaining the 2010 1-hour sulfur dioxide (SO2) primary national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) for the Lemont and Pekin areas. These revisions (herein called the nonattainment plans or plans) include Illinois' attainment demonstration and other elements required under the Clean Air Act (CAA) for the two areas. In addition to an attainment demonstration, the plans address: The requirement for meeting reasonable further progress (RFP) toward attainment of the NAAQS; reasonably available control measures and reasonably available control technology (RACM/RACT); emission inventories; and contingency measures. EPA further concludes that Illinois has demonstrated that the plans' provisions provide for attainment of the 2010 1-hour primary SO2 NAAQS in the Lemont and Pekin areas by the attainment date of October 4, 2018. EPA proposed this action on October 5, 2017 and received one public comment in response.

DATES:

This final rule is effective on March 5, 2018.

ADDRESSES:

EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-R05-OAR-2016-0138. All documents in the docket are listed on the www.regulations.gov website. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either through www.regulations.gov or at the Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, Air and Radiation Division, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604. This facility is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays. We recommend that you telephone John Summerhays, Environmental Scientist, at (312) 886-6067 before visiting the Region 5 office.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

John Summerhays, Environmental Scientist, Attainment Planning and Maintenance Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (312) 886-6067, [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

This supplementary information section is arranged as follows:

I. What action did EPA propose and why? II. What comments did EPA receive, and what are EPA's responses? III. What action is EPA taking? IV. Incorporation by Reference V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. What action did EPA propose and why?

On October 5, 2017, at 82 FR 46434, EPA proposed to approve Illinois' nonattainment plans for the Lemont and Pekin SO2 nonattainment areas. These areas had been designated nonattainment on August 5, 2013, triggering a requirement for Illinois to submit plans to provide for attainment and to address other requirements under CAA sections 110, 172, and 192. Illinois submitted nonattainment plans for these areas on March 2, 2016, and submitted supplemental information on August 8, 2016 and May 4, 2017.

EPA's proposed rulemaking provides further background on Illinois' submittal. Within the body of this proposed rulemaking, the first section identified EPA's action designating the Lemont and Pekin areas as nonattainment, thereby triggering a requirement for Illinois to develop nonattainment plans for the areas.

The second section of the proposal provided an extensive discussion of EPA's guidance on the requirements that SO2 nonattainment plans must meet in order to obtain approval by EPA, including requirements to: Submit an emission inventory; provide for attainment; provide for reasonable further progress (RFP); implement RACM (including RACT); implement a new source permit program; and provide contingency measures. Of particular note, the proposal discussed the circumstances under which EPA expects to find that a plan that includes emission limits with averaging times of up to 30 days adequately provides for attainment of the 1-hour NAAQS.

The third section of the proposed rulemaking discussed EPA's review of Illinois' demonstration that its plans provide for attainment in the Lemont and Pekin areas. This section discussed the use of the atmospheric dispersion model known as AERMOD, the meteorological and emissions data used in the analysis, the emission limits that Illinois relied on, and the background concentrations that Illinois used. This included a discussion of Illinois' use of a 30-day average emission limit for the Powerton Generating Station (Powerton), operated by Midwest Generation, LLC, which is located in the Pekin area. Illinois set this limit at a level of about 58 percent of the level of the 1-hour limit that Illinois found would have provided for attainment, and which Illinois supplemented with a requirement that Powerton have less than five percent of the hours in any 30-day period exceeding the 1-hour emission limit that Illinois otherwise would have set. EPA also evaluated comments that Sierra Club submitted during the State's rulemaking process, including comments related to the proposed emission limit for Powerton. Finally, this section summarized EPA's review of Illinois' attainment demonstration, concluding that Illinois' proposed limit for Powerton, as supplemented, was comparably stringent to the 1-hour limit that would have been necessary to provide for attainment in accordance with EPA's guidance, and finding more generally that Illinois adequately demonstrated that its plans provided for attainment.

The fourth section of the proposal contained EPA's review of the rules Illinois adopted to limit the sulfur content of residual and distillate fuel oil, and EPA's conclusion that these limits were enforceable and approvable.

The fifth section of the proposal explained how Illinois' plans satisfied other nonattainment planning requirements, including requirements for a comprehensive emission inventory, RACM/RACT, an adequate new source review program, RFP, and contingency measures.

The sixth section of the proposal summarized EPA's proposed action, namely that EPA proposed to approve Illinois' plans and the emission limits in the underlying rules.

The seventh section of the proposal identified the rules that EPA was proposing to approve, and the eighth section contained EPA's review of statutory requirements and executive orders applicable to the proposed rulemaking.

II. What comments did EPA receive, and what are EPA's responses?

In response to the proposed rulemaking, EPA received one comment letter, from Midwest Generation, LLC, dated November 6, 2017. The commenter indicated that it supports EPA's proposed rulemaking, provided SO2 air quality data for the Lemont and Pekin areas from 2013 through August 2017, and commented that “because significant SO2 emission reductions have already occurred in the designated non-attainment areas, the Illinois EPA will soon be authorized to submit a `clean data' petition to U.S. EPA for the ambient air monitoring sites that were the basis for the non-attainment designations.”

These comments, which support EPA's action, do not require any reassessment of the proposed rulemaking. Additionally, the proposed action did not address whether the Lemont and Pekin areas (at the monitoring sites and elsewhere) are currently attaining the SO2 standard; rather, the action evaluated Illinois' nonattainment plans for areas and proposed to find that those plans will provide for attainment. Therefore, the comments related to recent air quality monitoring data for the areas are not relevant to this rulemaking.

III. What action is EPA taking?

EPA is taking final action to approve Illinois' submission as a SIP revision, which the state submitted to EPA on March 2, 2016, and supplemented on August 8, 2016, and May 4, 2017, for attaining the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS for the Lemont and Pekin SO2 nonattainment areas.

These SO2 nonattainment plans include Illinois' attainment demonstrations for the Lemont and Pekin SO2 nonattainment areas. These attainment demonstrations use dispersion modeling to demonstrate that the emission limits that Illinois adopted into Title 35 part 214 of the Illinois Administrative Code and submitted for EPA approval provide for air quality meeting the SO2 NAAQS.

These limits include a 30-day average limit for the Powerton power plant in the Pekin area. Illinois' modeling demonstrated that a 1-hour limit of 6,000 pounds of SO2 per hour for this facility, in conjunction with the other limits that Illinois adopted and submitted or otherwise has in place, provide for attainment in this area. Illinois demonstrated that a 30-day average limit of 3,452 pounds per hour is comparably stringent to a 1-hour limit of 6,000 pounds per hour at this facility. Therefore, and for reasons discussed in the proposed rulemaking, EPA finds that the limits submitted by Illinois, which for Powerton include a 30-day average limit of 3,452 pounds per hour supplemented by a requirement that emissions not exceed 6,000 pounds per hour for more than 5 percent of hours, provide for attainment of the 1-hour SO2 NAAQS.

These nonattainment plans also satisfy requirements for emission inventories, RACT/RACM, RFP, and contingency measures. Additionally, Illinois has previously addressed requirements regarding nonattainment area new source review. Therefore, EPA has determined that Illinois' SO2 nonattainment plans meet the applicable requirements of CAA sections 110, 172, and 192.

IV. Incorporation by Reference

In this rule, EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, EPA is finalizing the incorporation by reference of the Illinois Regulations described in the amendments to 40 CFR part 52 set forth below. EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available through www.regulations.gov, and at the EPA Region 5 Office (please contact the person identified in the For Further Information Contact section of this preamble for more information). Therefore, these materials have been approved by EPA for inclusion in the SIP, have been incorporated by reference by EPA into that plan, are fully federally enforceable under sections 110 and 113 of the CAA as of the effective date of the final rulemaking of EPA's approval, and will be incorporated by reference by the Director of the Federal Register in the next update to the SIP compilation.1

1 62 FR 27968 (May 22, 1997).

V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sulfur oxides.

Dated: January 17, 2018. Cathy Stepp, Regional Administrator, Region 5.

40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

2. In § 52.720: a. In the table in paragraph (c) under “Part 214: Sulfur Limitations”: i. Revise the entries for 214.121 and 214.122 under the subheading entitled “Subpart B: New Fuel Combustion Emission Sources”. ii. Revise the entry for 214.161 under the subheading entitled “Subpart D: Existing Liquid or Mixed Fuel Combustion Emission Sources”. iii. Add new entries before 214.Appendix C for 214.600, 214.601, 214.602, 214.603, 214.604 and 214.605 under a new subheading entitled “Subpart AA: Requirements for Certain SO2 Sources”. b. In the table in paragraph (e) add a new entry in alphabetical order for “Sulfur dioxide (2010) nonattainment plans” under the subheading entitled “Attainment and Maintenance Plans”.

The additions and revisions read as follows:

§ 52.720 Identification of plan.

(c) * * *

EPA-Approved Illinois Regulations and Statutes Illinois citation Title/subject State
  • effective
  • date
  • EPA approval date Comments
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * Subpart B: New Fuel Combustion Emission Sources 214.121 Large Sources 12/7/2015 2/1/2018, [Insert Federal Register citation] 214.122 Small Sources 12/7/2015 2/1/2018, [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         * Subpart D: Existing Liquid or Mixed Fuel Combustion Emission Sources 214.161 Liquid Fuel Burned Exclusively 12/7/2015 2/1/2018, [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         * Subpart AA: Requirements for Certain SO 2 Sources 214.600 Definitions 12/7/2015 2/1/2018, [Insert Federal Register citation] 214.601 Applicability 12/7/2015 2/1/2018, [Insert Federal Register citation] 214.602 Compliance Deadline 12/7/2015 2/1/2018, [Insert Federal Register citation] 214.603 Emission Limitations 12/7/2015 2/1/2018, [Insert Federal Register citation] 214.604 Monitoring and Testing 12/7/2015 2/1/2018, [Insert Federal Register citation] 214.605 Recordkeeping and Reporting 12/7/2015 2/1/2018, [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         *

    (e) * * *

    EPA-Approved Illinois Nonregulatory and Quasi-Regulatory Provisions Name of SIP provision Applicable geographic or nonattainment area State
  • submittal
  • date
  • EPA approval date Comments
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * Attainment and Maintenance Plans *         *         *         *         *         *         * Sulfur dioxide (2010) nonattainment plans Lemont and Pekin 3/2/2016 2/1/2018, [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2018-01925 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R05-OAR-2016-0343; FRL-9973-49-Region 5] Air Plan Approval; Indiana; Infrastructure SIP Requirements for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving elements of a state implementation plan (SIP) submission from Indiana regarding the infrastructure requirements of section 110 of the Clean Air Act (CAA) for the 2012 fine particulate matter (PM2.5) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). The infrastructure requirements are designed to ensure that the structural components of each state's air quality management program are adequate to meet the state's responsibilities under the CAA. EPA proposed this action on August 31, 2017, and received one public comment in response.

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective on March 5, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-R05-OAR-2016-0343. All documents in the docket are listed on the www.regulations.gov website. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either through www.regulations.gov or at the Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, Air and Radiation Division, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604. This facility is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays. We recommend that you telephone Eric Svingen, Environmental Engineer, at (312) 353-4489 before visiting the Region 5 office.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Eric Svingen, Environmental Engineer, Attainment Planning and Maintenance Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (312) 353-4489, [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    I. What is the background of this SIP submission? II. What comments were submitted on the proposed rulemaking? III. What action is EPA taking? IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. What is the background of this SIP submission? A. What state submission does this rulemaking address?

    This rulemaking addresses a June 10, 2016, submission from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) intended to address all applicable infrastructure requirements for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. On December 28, 2016, IDEM supplemented this submittal with additional documentation intended to address the transport requirements of Section 110(a)(2)(D) for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS; EPA will take action on this supplement in a separate rulemaking.

    B. Why did the state make this SIP submission?

    Under section 110(a)(1) and (2) of the CAA, states are required to submit infrastructure SIPs to ensure that their SIPs provide for implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of the NAAQS, including the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. These submissions must contain any revisions needed for meeting the applicable SIP requirements of section 110(a)(2), or certifications that their existing SIPs for the NAAQS already meet those requirements.

    EPA highlighted this statutory requirement in an October 2, 2007, guidance document entitled “Guidance on SIP Elements Required Under Sections 110(a)(1) and (2) for the 1997 8-hour Ozone and PM2.51 National Ambient Air Quality Standards” (2007 Guidance) and has issued additional guidance documents, the most recent on September 13, 2013, entitled “Guidance on Infrastructure State Implementation Plan (SIP) Elements under CAA Sections 110(a)(1) and (2)” (2013 Guidance). The SIP submission referenced in this rulemaking pertains to the applicable requirements of section 110(a)(1) and (2), and addresses the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    1 PM2.5 refers to particles with an aerodynamic diameter of less than or equal to 2.5 micrometers, oftentimes referred to as “fine” particles.

    C. What is the scope of this rulemaking?

    EPA is acting upon the SIP submission from Indiana that addresses the infrastructure requirements of CAA section 110(a)(1) and (2) for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. The requirement for states to make SIP submissions of this type arises out of CAA section 110(a)(1), which states that states must make SIP submissions “within 3 years (or such shorter period as the Administrator may prescribe) after the promulgation of a national primary ambient air quality standard (or any revision thereof),” and these SIP submissions are to provide for the “implementation, maintenance, and enforcement” of such NAAQS. The statute directly imposes on states the duty to make these SIP submissions, and the requirement to make the submissions is not conditioned upon EPA's taking any action other than promulgating a new or revised NAAQS. Section 110(a)(2) includes a list of specific elements that “[e]ach such plan” submission must address.

    EPA has historically referred to these SIP submissions made for the purpose of satisfying the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(1) and (2) as “infrastructure SIP” submissions. Although the term “infrastructure SIP” does not appear in the CAA, EPA uses the term to distinguish this particular type of SIP submission from submissions that are intended to satisfy other SIP requirements under the CAA, such as SIP submissions that address the nonattainment planning requirements of part D and the prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) requirements of part C of title I of the CAA, and “regional haze SIP” submissions required to address the visibility protection requirements of CAA section 169A.

    In this rulemaking, EPA will not take action on three substantive areas of section 110(a)(2): (i) Existing provisions related to excess emissions during periods of start-up, shutdown, or malfunction (“SSM”) at sources, that may be contrary to the CAA and EPA's policies addressing such excess emissions; (ii) existing provisions related to “director's variance” or “director's discretion” that purport to permit revisions to SIP approved emissions limits with limited public notice or without requiring further approval by EPA, that may be contrary to the CAA; and, (iii) existing provisions for PSD programs that may be inconsistent with current requirements of EPA's “Final NSR Improvement Rule,” 67 FR 80186 (December 31, 2002), as amended by 72 FR 32526 (June 13, 2007) (“NSR Reform”). Instead, EPA has the authority to address each one of these substantive areas in separate rulemakings. A detailed history, interpretation, and rationale as they relate to infrastructure SIP requirements can be found in EPA's May 13, 2014, proposed rule entitled, “Infrastructure SIP Requirements for the 2008 Lead NAAQS” in the section, “What is the scope of this rulemaking?” (see 79 FR 27241 at 27242-27245).

    II. What comments were submitted on the proposed rulemaking?

    On August 31, 2017 (82 FR 41379), EPA proposed to approve the above-cited elements of Indiana's infrastructure SIP submission for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. In response to this proposed action, EPA received one comment from a person identifying as a “citizen of Indiana and a law student.” The commenter expressed support for EPA's proposed approval of the Indiana infrastructure SIP for the PM2.5 NAAQS, but “encourage[d] some sort of change that would be stricter on states regarding localities.” EPA thanks the commenter for her/his thoughts and support regarding rulemakings.

    III. What action is EPA taking?

    EPA is taking final action to approve most elements of a submission from Indiana certifying that its current SIP is sufficient to meet the required infrastructure elements under section 110(a)(1) and (2) for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. EPA's actions for the state's satisfaction of infrastructure SIP requirements, by element of section 110(a)(2) and NAAQS, are contained in the table below.

    Element 2012
  • PM2.5
  • (A)—Emission limits and other control measures A (B)—Ambient air quality monitoring/data system A (C)1—Program for enforcement of control measures A (C)2—PSD A (D)1—I Prong 1: Interstate transport—significant contribution NA (D)2—I Prong 2: Interstate transport—interfere with maintenance NA (D)3—II Prong 3: Interstate transport—prevention of significant deterioration A (D)4—II Prong 4: Interstate transport—protect visibility NA (D)5—Interstate and international pollution abatement A (E)1—Adequate resources A (E)2—State board requirements A (F)—Stationary source monitoring system A (G)—Emergency power A (H)—Future SIP revisions A (I)—Nonattainment planning requirements of part D (*) (J)1—Consultation with government officials A (J)2—Public notification A (J)3—PSD A (J)4—Visibility protection (*) (K)—Air quality modeling/data A (L)—Permitting fees A (M)—Consultation and participation by affected local entities A

    In the above table, the key is as follows:

    LTCH QRP Quality Measures Under Consideration for Future Years A Approve. NA No Action/Separate Rulemaking. * Not germane to infrastructure SIPs. IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: January 17, 2018. Cathy Stepp, Regional Administrator, Region 5.

    40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    2. In § 52.770, the table in paragraph (e) is amended by adding an entry in alphabetical order for “Section 110(a)(2) infrastructure requirements for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS” to read as follows:
    § 52.770 Identification of plan.

    (e) * * *

    EPA-Approved Indiana Nonregulatory and Quasi-Regulatory Provisions Title Indiana date EPA approval Explanation *         *         *         *         *         *         * Section 110(a)(2) infrastructure requirements for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS 6/10/2016 2/1/2018, [Insert Federal Register citation] This action addresses the following CAA elements: 110(a)(2)(A), (B), (C), (D)(i)(II) except visibility, (D)(ii), (E), (F), (G), (H), (J) except visibility, (K), (L), and (M). *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2018-01924 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R08-OAR-2017-0339; FRL-9973-17-Region 8] Montana Second 10-Year Carbon Monoxide Maintenance Plan for Missoula AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking final action to re-approve a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of Montana. On September 19, 2016, the Governor of Montana submitted to the EPA a Clean Air Act (CAA) section 175A(b) second 10-year maintenance plan for the Missoula, Montana area for the carbon monoxide (CO) National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). This limited maintenance plan (LMP) addresses maintenance of the CO NAAQS for a second 10-year period beyond the original redesignation. This action is being taken under sections 110 and 175A of the CAA.

    DATES:

    Effective February 1, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    The EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID Number EPA-R08-OAR-2017-0339. All documents in the docket are listed on the http://www.regulations.gov website. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., confidential business information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available through http://www.regulations.gov, or please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section for additional availability information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Adam Clark, (303) 312-7104, [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    The factual background for this action is discussed in detail in our September 14, 2017 direct final rule (DFR) and proposal (82 FR 43180, 82 FR 43208) approving the revised Missoula Maintenance Plan into the Montana SIP. The EPA received one adverse comment on the rulemaking and attempted to withdraw the DFR prior to the effective date of November 13, 2017. However, the EPA inadvertently did not withdraw the DFR prior to that date and the rule became prematurely effective on November 13, 2017, revising the Montana SIP to reflect the approval of the revised Missoula Maintenance Plan. In this final rulemaking, the EPA is responding to the comments submitted on the proposed revision to the Montana SIP, and is re-approving the revised Missoula Maintenance Plan into the Montana SIP. The background information found in the DFR is still relevant and our September 14, 2017 proposal provides the basis for this final action.

    The EPA finds that there is good cause under section 553(d)(3) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) to make this action re-approving the revisions to the Montana SIP effective upon publication in the Federal Register. Section 553(d)(3) of the APA allows an effective date less than 30 days after publication “as otherwise provided by the agency for good cause found and published with the rule.” 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). This rule does not create any new regulatory requirements and does not change any existing regulatory requirements. For these reasons, the EPA finds good cause under APA section 553(d)(3) for the re-approval to become effective on the date of publication of this action.

    II. Response to Comments

    The EPA received two anonymous public comments, one which we considered adverse, on our action to approve Montana's September 19, 2016 SIP submittal. Below is a summary of each comment and the EPA's response.

    Comment: The first commenter asked whether we were “expecting any push-back” from businesses in extending the carbon monoxide plan for another 10 years.

    Response: 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 actions, provided that they meet the criteria of the CAA. With that, the EPA notes that we did not receive any comments from any individual businesses or business groups.

    Comment: The second commenter asserted that the EPA had failed to consider the effects of approving the SIP submission on the economy or energy independence as required by a March 28, 2017 Executive Order entitled “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth.” (E. O. 13783).

    Response: 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 actions, provided that they meet the criteria of the CAA. The EPA cannot consider disapproving a SIP submission or require any changes based on E. O. 13783.

    III. Final Action

    The EPA is re-approving the revised Missoula Maintenance Plan submitted on September 19, 2016. This maintenance plan meets the applicable CAA requirements, and we have determined it is sufficient to provide for maintenance of the 8-hour CO NAAQS over the course of the second 10-year maintenance period out to 2027. This rule, which responds to the adverse comment received, finalizes our proposed approval of the revised section of Montana's SIP.

    IV. 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 actions, provided that they meet the criteria of the CAA. Accordingly, this action merely approves some state law provisions as meeting federal requirements; this action 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);

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Does not provide 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 does not 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 rule does not have tribal implications and will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000).

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

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Carbon monoxide, Incorporation by reference, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: January 24, 2018. Debra H. Thomas, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 8.

    40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart BB—Montana 2. Section 52.1373 is amended by revising paragraph (d) to read as follows:
    § 52.1373 Control strategy: Carbon monoxide.

    (d) Revisions to the Montana State Implementation Plan, revised Carbon Monoxide Maintenance Plan for Missoula, as submitted by the Governor on September 19, 2016 (as approved by the EPA on February 1, 2018).

    [FR Doc. 2018-01854 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 124 [FRL-9971-52-OARM] Consolidated Rules of Practice Governing the Administrative Assessment of Civil Penalties, Issuance of Compliance or Corrective Action Orders, and the Revocation/Termination or Suspension of Permits; Procedures for Decisionmaking; Correction AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Correcting amendments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a document in the Federal Register on January 9, 2017. That document revised filing and service requirements in permit appeal proceedings before the Environmental Appeals Board, but in doing so two subsections of the procedural rule were inadvertently and unintentionally removed. This rule corrects that inadvertent removal as well as two other non-substantive typographical errors in the rule.

    DATES:

    This final rule correction is effective on February 1, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ammie Roseman-Orr, Environmental Appeals Board, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, William Jefferson Clinton Building East, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Mail Code 1103M, Washington DC 20460-0001, phone number (202) 233-0122 or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Why is the EPA issuing this rule in final form without first issuing a proposal?

    Today's final rule is limited to correcting a mistake to procedural requirements for administrative adjudicatory hearings and appeals from such hearings and from permit decisions. As an amendment to a procedural rule, this final rule itself is a procedural rule. Under the Administrative Procedure Act, an agency may issue “rules of agency organization, procedure, or practice” without first proposing such rules for public comment. 5 U.S.C. 553(b). Accordingly, public comment is not required.

    In addition, EPA has determined that this rule is effective immediately upon publication in the Federal Register. In general, Section 5 U.S.C. 553(d) requires that substantive rules not become effective less than 30 days after publication. However, this action involves not a substantive rule but a procedural rule. Moreover, the purpose of the 30-day waiting period prescribed in section 553(d) is to give affected parties a reasonable time to adjust their behavior and prepare before the final rule takes effect. This action does not create any new regulatory requirements such that affected parties would need time to prepare before the actions take effect. To the contrary, this action merely corrects typographical errors and restores regulatory text that was inadvertently deleted thereby restoring the prior status quo. Furthermore, the absence of these provisions may result in confusion to parties as well as inefficiencies in the appeals process and thus it is in the public interest have the restoration of those provisions effective immediately. See 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3).

    II. Does this action apply to me?

    This action affects parties involved in EPA administrative adjudicatory proceedings for the assessment of civil penalties, issuance of various compliance orders, and termination or suspension of certain permits, under part 22 of title 40 of the CFR. See 40 CFR 22.1. This action also affects parties involved in appeal of EPA permits under part 124 of title 40 of the CFR.

    III. Background

    The rule document published on January 9, 2017 (82 FR 2230), revised the filing and service procedures used in permit appeals to the Environmental Appeals Board. The EPA also revised 40 CFR 124.19(b)(1) and (2) so that the deadlines for filing a response to a petition for review are based on the date the petition for review is served, rather than the date it is filed. Subsections (3) and (4) were intended to remain unchanged but were inadvertently removed from the rule.

    Additionally, in § 124.19(i)(2)(iii), the address for delivery by hand or courier to the Environmental Appeals Board incorrectly identifies the room number as 3334 when the actual room number is 3332 and language regarding methods of delivery by hand or courier was inadvertently omitted.

    Finally, the language in § 124.19(i)(3)(ii) revising the service requirements to allow for service by email inadvertently contains an extra “or” that does not belong so that this provision of the rule now reads: “Service must be by first class U.S. mail, by any reliable commercial delivery service, or, if agreed to by the parties, by facsimile or other electronic means, including but not necessarily limited to or email.” Removal of the last “or” will make the sentence clearer.

    IV. Need for Correction

    As published on January 9, 2017 (82 FR 2230), the final regulation contains an error that resulted in the inadvertent removal of two procedural provisions that govern the participation of permit applicants, State, and Tribal Authorities in permit proceedings before the Environmental Appeals Board. The absence of these provisions may result in confusion to parties and inefficiencies in the appeals process and thus these provisions need to be reinstated. Additionally, revising the Environmental Appeals Board's address for delivery by hand or courier in § 124.19(i)(2)(iii) to reflect the correct room number and to include methods of delivery by hand or courier will avoid potential confusion. Finally, the superfluous “or” in the third sentence of § 124.19(i)(3)(ii) is confusing. Removal of that word will not change the meaning of the sentence and will make the provision clearer.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 124

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedures.

    Dated: January 22, 2018. Donna J. Vizian, Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Administration and Resources Management.

    Accordingly, 40 CFR part 124 is corrected as follows:

    PART 124—PROCEDURES FOR DECISIONMAKING 1. The authority citation for part 124 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, 42 U.S.C. 6901 et. seq.; Safe Drinking Water Act, 42 U.S.C. 300f et. seq.; Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. 1251 et. seq.; Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. 7401 et. seq.

    2. In § 124.19: a. Add paragraphs (b)(3) and (4). b. Revise paragraph (i)(2) introductory text and paragraph (i)(2)(iii). c. Revise the third sentence of paragraph (i)(3)(ii).

    The addition and revisions read as follows:

    § 124.19 Appeal of RCRA, UIC, NPDES and PSD Permits.

    (b) * * *

    (3) A permit applicant who did not file a petition but who wishes to participate in the appeal process must file a notice of appearance and a response to the petition. Such documents must be filed by the deadlines provided in paragraph (b)(1) or (2) of this section, as appropriate.

    (4) The State or Tribal authority where the permitted facility or site is or is proposed to be located (if that authority is not the permit issuer) must also file a notice of appearance and a response if it wishes to participate in the appeal. Such response must be filed by the deadlines provided in paragraph (b)(1) or (2) of this section, as appropriate.

    (i) * * *

    (2) Method of filing. Unless otherwise permitted under these rules, documents must be filed either by using the Environmental Appeals Board's electronic filing system, by U.S. mail, or by hand delivery or courier (including delivery by U.S. Express Mail or by a commercial delivery service). In addition, a motion or a response to a motion may be submitted by facsimile if the submission contains no attachments. Upon filing a motion or response to a motion by facsimile, the sender must, within one business day, submit the original copy to the Clerk of the Environmental Appeals Board either electronically, by mail, or by hand delivery or courier. The Environmental Appeals Board may by order require filing by facsimile or the Board's electronic filing system, subject to any appropriate conditions and limitations.

    (iii) Filing by hand delivery or courier. Documents delivered by hand or courier (including deliveries by U.S. Express Mail or by a commercial delivery service) must be delivered to the Clerk of the Environmental Appeals Board at: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Environmental Appeals Board, WJC East Building, 1201 Constitution Avenue NW, Room 3332, Washington, DC 20004.

    (3) * * *

    (ii) Service requirements for parties. * * * Service must be by first class U.S. mail, by any reliable commercial delivery service, or, if agreed to by the parties, by facsimile or other electronic means, including but not necessarily limited to email. * * *

    [FR Doc. 2018-02055 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 1 [DA 18-12] Annual Adjustment of Civil Monetary Penalties To Reflect Inflation AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (the 2015 Inflation Adjustment Act) requires the Federal Communications Commission to amend its forfeiture penalty rules to reflect annual adjustments for inflation in order to improve their effectiveness and maintain their deterrent effect. The 2015 Inflation Adjustment Act provides that the new penalty levels shall apply to penalties assessed after the effective date of the increase, including when the penalties whose associated violation predate the increase.

    DATES:

    Effective February 1, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lisa Gelb, Enforcement Bureau, 202-418-1479.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is a summary of the Commission's Order, DA 18-12, adopted and released on January 5, 2018. The document is available for download at http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2018/db0105/DA-18-12A1.pdf. The complete text of this document is also available for inspection and copying during normal business hours in the FCC Reference Information Center, Portals II, 445 12th Street SW, Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554.

    The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 included, as Section 701 thereto, the 2015 Inflation Adjustment Act, which amended the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 (Pub. L. 101-410), to improve the effectiveness of civil monetary penalties and maintain their deterrent effect. Under the act, agencies are required to make annual inflationary adjustments by January 15 each year. The adjustments are calculated pursuant to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidance. OMB issued guidance on December 15, 2017, and this Order follows that guidance. We therefore update the civil monetary penalties set forth in the Commission's rules, to reflect an annual inflation adjustment that derives from OMB's cost-of-living multiplier of 1.02041.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    This document does not contain new or modified information collection requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Public Law 104-13. In addition, therefore, it does not contain any new or modified information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees, pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4).

    Congressional Review Act

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

    List of Subjects in 47 CFR Part 1

    Administrative practice and procedure, Penalties.

    Federal Communications Commission. Lisa S. Gelb, Deputy Chief, Enforcement Bureau. Final Rules

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal Communications Commission amends 47 CFR part 1 as follows:

    PART 1—PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE 1. The authority citation for part 1 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    47 U.S.C. 34-39, 151, 154(i), 154(j), 155, 157, 160, 201, 225, 227, 303, 309, 310, 332, 1403, 1404, 1451, 1452, 1455; 28 U.S.C. 2461 note.

    Subpart A—General Rules of Practice and Procedure 2. Section 1.80 is amended by revising the table in Section III of the note to paragraph (b)(8) and revising paragraph (b)(9) to read as follows:
    § 1.80 Forfeiture proceedings.

    (b) * * *

    (8) * * *

    Note to paragraph (b)(8) * * *

    Section III. Non-Section 503 Forfeitures That Are Affected by the Downward Adjustment Factors

    Violation Statutory amount
  • ($)
  • Sec. 202(c) Common Carrier Discrimination $11,784, $589/day. Sec. 203(e) Common Carrier Tariffs $11,784, $589/day. Sec. 205(b) Common Carrier Prescriptions $23,566. Sec. 214(d) Common Carrier Line Extensions $2,356/day. Sec. 219(b) Common Carrier Reports $2,356/day. Sec. 220(d) Common Carrier Records & Accounts $11,784/day. Sec. 223(b) Dial-a-Porn $122,110/day. Sec. 227(e) Caller Identification $11,278/violation. $33,833/day for each day of continuing violation, up to $1,127,799 for any single act or failure to act. Sec. 364(a) Forfeitures (Ships) $9,819/day (owner). Sec. 364(b) Forfeitures (Ships) $1,964 (vessel master). Sec. 386(a) Forfeitures (Ships) $9,819/day (owner). Sec. 386(b) Forfeitures (Ships) $1,964 (vessel master). Sec. 634 Cable EEO $870/day.

    (9) Inflation adjustments to the maximum forfeiture amount. (i) Pursuant to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, Public Law 114-74 (129 Stat. 599-600), which amends the Federal Civil Monetary Penalty Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, Public Law 101-410 (104 Stat. 890; 28 U.S.C. 2461 note), the statutory maximum amount of a forfeiture penalty assessed under this section shall be adjusted annually for inflation by order published no later than January 15 each year. Annual inflation adjustments will be based on the percentage (if any) by which the CPI-U for October preceding the date of the adjustment exceeds the prior year's CPI-U for October. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will issue adjustment rate guidance no later than December 15 each year to adjust for inflation in the CPI-U as of the most recent October.

    (ii) The application of the annual inflation adjustment required by the foregoing Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 results in the following adjusted statutory maximum forfeitures authorized by the Communications Act:

    U.S. Code citation Maximum
  • penalty after 2018 inflation
  • adjustment
  • 47 U.S.C. 202(c) $11,784
  • 589
  • 47 U.S.C. 203(e) 11,784
  • 589
  • 47 U.S.C. 205(b) 23,566 47 U.S.C. 214(d) 2,356 47 U.S.C. 219(b) 2,356 47 U.S.C. 220(d) 11,784 47 U.S.C. 223(b) 122,110 47 U.S.C. 227(e) 11,278 33,833
  • 1,127,799
  • 47 U.S.C. 362(a) 9,819 47 U.S.C. 362(b) 1,964 47 U.S.C. 386(a) 9,819 47 U.S.C. 386(b) 1,964 47 U.S.C. 503(b)(2)(A) 49,096
  • 490,967
  • 47 U.S.C. 503(b)(2)(B) 196,387
  • 1,963,870
  • 47 U.S.C. 503(b)(2)(C) 397,251
  • 3,666,930
  • 47 U.S.C. 503(b)(2)(D) 19,639
  • 147,290
  • 47 U.S.C. 503(b)(2)(F) 112,780
  • 1,127,799
  • 47 U.S.C. 507(a) 1,945 47 U.S.C. 507(b) 285 47 U.S.C. 554 870
    [FR Doc. 2018-01990 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 171023999-8070-02] RIN 0648-BH35 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Black Sea Bass Fishery; 2018 February Recreational Season Modification AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS is implementing regulations to open a 2018 February recreational season in the Federal black sea bass fishery. This action provides additional recreational fishing opportunities in winter, while maintaining management measures to prevent overfishing consistent with the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan. This rule is intended to inform the public of this new 2018 recreational season.

    DATES:

    Effective February 1 through February 28, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Copies of the Environmental Assessment (EA), Regulatory Flexibility Act Analyses, and other supporting documents for the action are available upon request from Dr. Christopher M. Moore, Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, Suite 201, 800 N. State Street, Dover, DE 19901.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    General Background

    Black sea bass are jointly managed by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (Commission) as part of the joint Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan (FMP). States manage black sea bass within 3 nautical miles (4.83 km) of their coasts under the Commission's plan. The applicable Federal regulations govern vessels and individual anglers fishing in Federal waters of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ), as well as vessels possessing a Federal black sea bass charter/party vessel permit, regardless of where they fish. This rule applies to black sea bass (Centropristis striata) in U.S. waters of the Atlantic Ocean from 35 E 13.3′ N lat. (the latitude of Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, Buxton, North Carolina) northward to the U.S./Canada border.

    This action implements the addition of a Federal recreational black sea bass fishing season during February of 2018. Additional background information regarding the development of this action was provided in the proposed rule (83 FR 780; January 8, 2018) and is not repeated here. The Federal recreational measures for the remainder of 2018 are still in development and will be implemented through a separate rulemaking later this spring.

    Final Action

    This action implements a 28-day winter season for the 2018 recreational black sea bass fishery during the month of February. The current black sea bass recreational management measures of a 12.5-inch (31.75-cm) minimum size and 15-fish possession limit still apply during this February season. As explained in the proposed rule, this action responds to the favorable 2016 benchmark stock assessment for black sea bass, and is intended to increase recreational fishing access to a stable stock at a time of year when few other recreational species are available.

    Two states, North Carolina and Virginia, have formally declared their intent to participate in the February 2018 recreational season. To confirm their participation, both states submitted a plan to offset their expected harvest during this winter season through their recreational management measures for remainder of the 2018 fishing year.

    Commission-based measures implemented by states may vary by state, and differ from the Federal water measures. Because only Virginia and North Carolina have committed to participate in this winter season, the fishery will only be open for these states. Federal permit holders are required to adhere to the more restrictive set of measures irrespective of whether the vessel is fishing in state or Federal waters. Similarly, private anglers must adhere to the recreational measures implemented by the state in which the fish will be landed as all the state-implemented measures place restrictions on season, minimum fish size, and per-angler possession limit. For additional information on state-implemented management measures, please contact the marine fisheries management agency for the state in question or the Commission (www.asmfc.org; 703-842-0740).

    Comments and Responses

    The public comment period for the proposed rule ended on January 23, 2018. Thirteen comments were received from the public on this rule. Many of the comments expressed similar concerns.

    Comment 1: One commenter was dissatisfied with the regulatory flexibility analysis (RFA) process and believed that more input from small businesses should have been taken into account during the development stage of this rule.

    Response 1: Thorough RFA analyses were prepared for this action consistent with Small Business Administration guidance. The action was also discussed at several public Council and Commission meetings where the concerns of small businesses were considered. This comment did not raise specific issues regarding the proposed rule or the economic impact analyses summarized in the initial RFA for this action. Rather, the commenter stated frustrations with the RFA process in general, stating that RFA regulations need to be updated and the small business community needs to be better included in policy discussions during their development. These are larger changes that are outside the purview of this action.

    Comment 2: One commenter was in favor of this action and is looking forward to increased fishing opportunity.

    Response 2: NMFS agrees and notes that increased opportunity is a key purpose of this action.

    Comment 3: Several commenters opposed implementation of the proposed season, stating concerns over the reduction in the recreational harvest limit for the rest of the 2018 fishing year, the inability of northern states to adequately participate due to weather conditions, the unfavorable coastal distribution of black sea bass in February, and the feasibility of the season overall. Many of these commenters noted that better opportunities would be created by lengthening the existing seasons into April or October or changing the bag limits.

    Response 3: The purpose of this action is to create more recreational fishing access and opportunity at a time when other options are limited or restricted in the winter. There are more varied recreational opportunities in the later months of the year. Only Virginia and North Carolina have committed to participate in this February season, so only those states will need to account for any catch during the rest of the 2018 fishing year. The expected harvest from these two states is expected to be minimal and will not appreciably reduce the quota available for the summer and fall fishery.

    Comment 4: One commenter was upset about Federal agencies' varied interpretations and implementations of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), arguing that state and local governments should play a larger role in cooperative actions to better represent the “human environment.”

    Response 4: A full environmental assessment (EA) was prepared consistent with applicable NEPA guidance and Council for Environmental Quality (CEQ) requirements. This action was also developed with full collaboration from state agencies through the Commission. No comments were received that raised specific concerns or that noted deficiencies with the prepared NEPA analyses in support of this action.

    Comment 5: The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (MA DMF) submitted a comment raising concerns about the lack of data, reporting, and accountability during Wave 1 in the recreational fishery. They also expressed concern about the potential implications of this season on future recreational rulemaking for states at the Commission level, and Council decisions at the Federal level.

    Response 5: The Council and Commission openly acknowledged these concerns during this action's development. Furthermore, NMFS agrees, which is why the 2018 fishing opportunity is restricted to February and is, by design, a small scale endeavor to increase access with minimum risk. The Council is considering options to address the noted reporting and accountability issues in its development of the Wave 1 recreational Letter of Authorization program for 2019 and future years. NMFS encourages MA DMF to continue raising these concerns with the Council and Commission during continued development of a Wave 1 recreational black sea bass fishery.

    Comment 6: One commenter asked that we protect the livelihoods of commercial fishermen.

    Response 6: NMFS agrees and considers this a critical component of its overall mandate. However, this comment does not pertain to the subject action, which involves the recreational fishery.

    Comment 7: One commenter claimed that black sea bass are intelligent and should not be farmed to extinction.

    Response 7: The recent 2016 benchmark stock assessment showed that wild black sea bass populations are thriving at nearly three times the biomass target, and not at risk of extinction. Also, this action pertains to recreational fishing activities, not aquaculture or marine farming practices.

    Changes From the Proposed Rule

    There are no changes from the proposed rule.

    Classification

    Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this final rule is consistent with the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass FMP, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law.

    This final rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866.

    This final rule does not duplicate, conflict, or overlap with any existing Federal rules.

    This action does not contain a collection of information requirement for purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act.

    The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA, finds good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) to waive the 30-day delay of effectiveness period for this rule, to ensure that the action is in place on or about February 1, 2018. This action implements an additional Federal black sea bass recreational season during February 2018. A delay in its effectiveness would reduce the length of the open winter season; unnecessarily disadvantaging recreational anglers that wish to participate, and limiting the fishing opportunity that this action was meant to create.

    Furthermore, regulated parties do not require any additional time to come into compliance with this rule. Unlike actions that require an adjustment period, charter/party operators will not have to purchase new equipment or otherwise expend time or money to comply with these management measures. Rather, complying with this final rule simply means adhering to the existing management measures for black sea bass while the charter/party operators are engaged in fishing activities during the new open season. This action has been discussed at multiple Council and Commission public meetings throughout its development and is expected by the recreational fishing sector.

    This rule is being issued at the earliest possible date. Preparation of the proposed rule was dependent on completion of the EA in support of the recommendations developed by the Council and Commission. Documentation in support of the Council's recommended specifications is required for us to provide the public with information from the environmental and economic analyses, as required in rulemaking, and to evaluate the consistency of the Council's recommendation with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable law. The Council's decision to recommend a February season was not final until December 13, 2017, and a complete document was finalized in late December 2017. Due to this tight timeline, we were unable to prepare this action early enough to allow for both an appropriate public comment period and a 30-day delay in effectiveness. The proposed rule published on January 8, 2018, with a 15-day comment period ending January 23, 2018. This action creates an additional Federal recreational season for black sea bass and increases fishing opportunity and access in the winter that would otherwise be constrained under the current seasons. If this final rule were delayed for 30 days, the proposed 28-day recreational season would be severely shortened or may not become effective at all. This would diminish any opportunity created by opening a winter season, and would be contrary to the purpose of the action. For these reasons, a 30-day delay in effectiveness would be contrary to the public interest and is therefore waived.

    Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    The final regulatory flexibility analysis (FRFA) included in this final rule was prepared pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 604(a), and incorporates the initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IRFA) and a summary of analyses completed to support the action. A public copy of the environmental assessment/IRFA is available from the Council (see ADDRESSES). The preamble to the proposed rule included a detailed summary of the analyses contained in the IRFA, and that discussion is not repeated here.

    A Summary of the Significant Issues Raised by the Public in Response to the IRFA, a Summary of the Agency's Assessment of Such Issues, and a Statement of Any Changes Made in the Final Rule as a Result of Such Comments

    NMFS received one comment on the RFA process in general, stating that RFA regulations need to be updated and the small business community needs to be afforded more inclusion in policy discussions during their development. However, this comment did not raise specific issues regarding the proposed rule or the economic analyses summarized in the IRFA. Refer to the “Comments and Responses” section of this preamble for more detail. No changes to the proposed rule are necessary as a result of the public comments.

    Description and Estimate of Number of Small Entities to Which the Rule Would Apply

    This final rule affects small entities engaged in recreational fish harvesting operations within the black sea bass fishery. For the purposes of the RFA analysis, the ownership entities (or firms), not the individual vessels, are considered to be the regulated entities. Individually permitted vessels may hold permits for several fisheries, harvesting species of fish that are regulated by several different FMPs, even beyond those affected by this action. Furthermore, multiple-permitted vessels and/or permits may be owned by entities affiliated by stock ownership, common management, identity of interest, contractual relationships, or economic dependency. Because of this, some individually permitted vessels may be part of the same firm because they have the same owner for the purpose of this analysis.

    In terms of the RFA, a business primarily engaged in for-hire fishing activity is classified as a small business if it has combined annual receipts not in excess of $7.5 million. The current ownership data set used for this analysis is based on calendar year 2016 (the most recent complete year available) and contains average gross sales associated with those permits for calendar years 2014 through 2016. According to the ownership database, there were 406 for-hire permits that generated revenues from recreational fishing for various species during the 2014-2016 period. Of these permits, there were 328 that were not affiliated with any other ownership group. The remaining 78 for-hire vessels were comprised of affiliated ownership groups with between two and six for-hire vessels for a total of 359 for-hire affiliate firms; all of which are categorized as small businesses. Although it is not possible to derive what proportion of the overall revenues came from specific fishing activities, further analysis conducted by the Council and NMFS during the development of this action identified that in 2016 there were 291 for-hire entities that recreationally caught black sea bass. In 2013, the last year that a recreational black sea bass fishery was open in January and February, 331 for-hire firms caught black sea bass recreationally; however, only 39 of those were active during the Wave 1 (January and February) period. While these are the best available estimates of potential participation in the February season implemented by this action, these numbers are not necessarily indicative of the number of entities that will actually participate. Overall, participation is expected to be low as only Virginia and North Carolina declared into the fishery, and general comments on the proposed rule suggest that businesses are primarily promoting and planning for the busier summer and fall seasons.

    Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance Requirements

    No additional reporting, recordkeeping, or other compliance requirements are included in this final rule.

    Description of the Steps the Agency Has Taken To Minimize the Significant Economic Impact on Small Entities Consistent With the Stated Objectives of Applicable Statutes

    NMFS is implementing the Council-recommended final rule to open a February recreational season in the 2018 black sea bass fishery to satisfy the Magnuson-Stevens Act requirements to ensure that fish stocks are not subject to overfishing, while allowing the greatest access to the fishery, and opportunity to achieve optimum yield. The objective of this action is to increase fishing opportunity while maintaining catch within the recreational harvest limit and annual catch limit.

    As described in the proposed rule for this action, two other alternatives to the approved action were considered. Maintaining the status quo with no winter fishing did not take advantage of the favorable stock status or provide any additional access or opportunity in the recreational black sea bass fishery. Opening the fishery for both January and February could have created more recreational fishing opportunity in 2018; however, given the lack of recreational data available, the time constraints involved, and the potential disproportionate impacts to state recreational fisheries later in the year, this alternative was not selected. The action described in this final rule was chosen as the best feasible way to increase recreational fishing opportunity in the black sea bass fishery in 2018 with the lowest potential negative impact.

    Small Entity Compliance Guide

    Section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 states that, for each rule or group of related rules for which an agency is required to prepare a FRFA, the agency shall publish one or more guides to assist small entities in complying with the rule, and shall designate such publications as “small entity compliance guides.” The agency shall explain the actions a small entity is required to take to comply with a rule or group of rules. As part of this rulemaking process, a letter to permit holders that also serves as small entity compliance guide was prepared and will be sent to all holders of Federal charter/party permits issued for the black sea bass fishery. In addition, copies of this final rule and guide (i.e., permit holder letter) are available from NMFS (see ADDRESSES) and at the following website: www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 648

    Fisheries, Fishing, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: January 29, 2018. Chris Oliver, Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 648 is 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.

    § 648.146 [Suspended]
    2. Section 648.146 is suspended. 3. Section 648.150 is added to subpart I to read as follows:
    § 648.150 Black sea bass recreational fishing season.

    Vessels that are not eligible for a moratorium permit under § 648.4(a)(7), and fishermen subject to the possession limit specified in § 648.145(a), may only possess black sea bass from February 1 through February 28, May 15 through September 21, and October 22 through December 31, unless this time period is adjusted pursuant to the procedures in § 648.142.

    [FR Doc. 2018-02025 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    83 22 Thursday, February 1, 2018 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0049; Product Identifier 2017-CE-031-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Textron Aviation Inc. Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Textron Aviation Inc. Models 172N, 172P, 172Q, 172RG, F172N, F172P, FR172K, R172K, 182E, 182F, 182G, 182H, 182J, 182K, 182L, 182M, 182N, 182P, 182Q, 182R, T182, F182P, F182Q, F182RG, R182, TR182, 206, P206/TP206, U206/TU206, 207/T207, 210-5 (205), 210-5A (205A), 210B, 210C, 210D, 210E, 210F, and T210F airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by a report of cracks found in the lower area of the forward cabin doorpost bulkhead. This proposed AD would require repetitively inspecting the lower forward doorpost at the strut attach fitting for cracks and making all necessary repairs. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by March 19, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    For service information identified in this NPRM, contact Textron Aviation Inc., Textron Aviation Customer Service, One Cessna Blvd., Wichita, Kansas 67215; telephone: (316) 517-5800; email: [email protected]; internet: www.txtav.com. You may review this referenced service information at the FAA, Policy and Innovation Division, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (816) 329-4148.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0049; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this NPRM, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for Docket Operations (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Bobbie Kroetch, Aerospace Engineer, Wichita ACO Branch, 1801 Airport Road, Room 100, Wichita, Kansas 67209; telephone: (316) 946-4155; fax: (316) 946-4107; email: [email protected] or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2017-0049; Product Identifier 2017-CE-031-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this NPRM. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this NPRM because of those comments.

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

    Discussion

    We received a report from an operator of one of the affected Textron Aviation Inc. model airplanes that cracks were found in the lower area of the forward cabin doorpost bulkhead. Further investigation revealed more than four dozen similar cracks on Textron Aviation Inc. 100 and 200 airplanes. It has been determined that the cracks result from metal fatigue.

    This condition, if not detected and addressed, could result in failure of the wing strut attach point during operation, which could result in loss of control.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Cessna Single Engine Accomplishment Instructions SEB95-19, dated December 29, 1995; and Cessna Single-Engine Accomplishment Instructions SEB93-5R1, Revision 1, dated September 8, 1995. As applicable, the service information describes procedures for repetitively inspecting the lower area of the forward cabin doorposts for cracks and repairing any cracks found by modifying the area with the applicable Cessna service kit. 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.

    Other Related Service Information

    We reviewed Cessna Single Engine Service Bulletin SEB93-5, Revision 1, dated September 8, 1995, and Cessna Single Engine Service Bulletin SEB95-19, dated December 29, 1995. As applicable, these service bulletins provide the manufacturer's recommended compliance times for the initial and repetitive inspections.

    These service bulletins also specify a terminating action for the repetitive inspections when the applicable Cessna repair service kit is installed if cracks are found.

    FAA's Determination

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

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require repetitively inspecting the lower area of the forward cabin doorposts for cracks and repairing any cracks found by modifying the area with the applicable Cessna service kit.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 14,653 airplanes of U.S. registry.

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

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S.
  • operators
  • Inspect the lower area of the forward cabin doorposts for cracks 1.5 work-hours × $85 per hour = $127.50 Not applicable $127.50 $1,868,257.50

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

    On-Condition Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Install Cessna Single-Engine Service Kit SK172-147 24 work-hours × $85 per hour = $2,040 $646 $2,686 Install Cessna Single-Engine Service Kit SK182-115 24 work-hours × $85 per hour = $2,040 920 2,960 Install Cessna Single-Engine Service Kit SK206-42C 24 work-hours × $85 per hour = $2,040 500 2,540 Install Cessna Single-Engine Service Kit SK207-19 24 work-hours × $85 per hour = $2,040 587 2,627 Install Cessna Single-Engine Service Kit SK210-156 24 work-hours × $85 per hour = $2,040 952 2,992
    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 small airplanes, gliders, balloons, airships, domestic business jet transport airplanes, and associated appliances to the Director of the Policy and Innovation Division.

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): Textron Aviation Inc.: Docket No. FAA-2017-0049; Product Identifier 2017-CE-031-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by March 19, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to the following Textron Aviation Inc. (type certificate previously held by Cessna Aircraft Company) model airplanes, that are certificated in any category:

    BILLING CODE 4910-13-P EP01FE18.000 EP01FE18.001 BILLING CODE 4910-13-C (d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC)/Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 53, Fuselage.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a report of cracks found in the lower area of the forward cabin doorpost bulkhead. We are issuing this AD to detect and address cracking of the wing strut attach point. The unsafe condition, if not addressed, could result in failure of the wing in operation, which could result in loss of control.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Inspections

    At the following compliance times, visually inspect the lower forward doorpost at the strut attach fitting for cracks. Do the inspection following Cessna Single Engine Accomplishment Instructions SEB95-19, dated December 29, 1995, and Cessna Single-Engine Accomplishment Instructions SEB93-5R1, dated September 8, 1995, as applicable. During the inspection, pay special attention to the contour of the wing strut support fitting. If cracks are present, they should be visible at the intersection of the doorpost and the forward doorpost bulkhead.

    (1) As of the effective date of this AD, airplanes that have accumulated less than 4,000 hours time-in-service (TIS): Initially inspect upon reaching 4,000 hours TIS or within the next 200 hours TIS after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later.

    (2) As of the effective date of this AD, airplanes that have accumulated 4,000 hours TIS or more: Initially inspect within the next 200 hours TIS after the effective date of this AD or within the next 12 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first.

    (h) Repair Cracks

    If cracks are found during any inspection required in paragraph (g) or paragraph (i) of this AD, before further flight, install the applicable service kit as specified in Cessna Single Engine Accomplishment Instructions SEB95-19, dated December 29, 1995, and Cessna Single-Engine Accomplishment Instructions SEB93-5R1, dated September 8, 1995, as applicable.

    (i) Repetitive Inspections

    (1) If no cracks are found during the initial inspection required in paragraph (g) of this AD, repetitively thereafter inspect every 12 months or 1,000 hours TIS, whichever occurs first, as long as no cracks are found. Do the inspections following the applicable service information specified in paragraph (g) of this AD.

    (2) If cracks were found during any inspection required in paragraph (g) or paragraph (i)(1) of this AD, repetitively thereafter inspect at intervals not to exceed 1,000 hours TIS after installing the applicable service kit. These repetitive inspections should be done following the applicable Accomplishment Instructions of the service information specified in paragraph (g) of this AD to the fullest extent while additionally looking for cracks extending beyond the added repair parts.

    (j) Contacting the Manufacturer

    If cracks are found that extend beyond the service kit doublers that were installed as required in paragraph (h) of this AD during any inspection required in paragraph (i)(2) of this AD, before further flight, contact the manufacturer at the address specified in paragraph (m)(2) of this AD for an FAA-approved repair scheme designed specifically for this AD and incorporate that repair.

    (k) Credit for Previous Actions

    (1) For the following Textron Aviation Inc. model airplanes, credit will be given for the initial inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD if done before the effective date of this AD following the Accomplishment Instructions in Cessna Single Engine Service Bulletin SEB93-5, dated March 26, 1993.

    (i) Model 210-5 (205) airplanes, serial numbers (S/N) 205-0551 and 205-0556 through 205-0577.

    (ii) Model 206 airplanes, S/N 206-0094 and 206-0138 through 206-0275.

    (iii) Model P206/TP206 airplanes, S/N P206-0001 through P206-0603 and P20600604 through P20600647.

    (iv) Model U206/TU206 airplanes, S/N 676, U206-0276 through U206-1444, and U20601445 through U20607020.

    (v) Model 207/T207 airplanes, S/N 20700001 through 20700788.

    (2) For Textron Aviation Inc. Model U206/TU206 airplanes, S/N 676, U206-0276 through U206-1444, and U20601445 through U20607020: Credit will be given for the repair required in paragraph (h) of this AD if done before the effective date of this AD following the Accomplishment Instructions in Cessna Single Engine Service Bulletin SEB93-5, dated March 26, 1993.

    (3) For Textron Aviation Inc. Model 207/T207 airplanes, S/N 20700001 through 20700788: No credit will be given for the repair required in paragraph (h) of this AD if done before the effective date of this AD following the Accomplishment Instructions in Cessna Single Engine Service Bulletin SEB93-5, dated March 26, 1993.

    (l) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Wichita 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 (m) of this AD.

    (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.

    (m) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Bobbie Kroetch, Aerospace Engineer, Wichita ACO Branch, 1801 Airport Road, Room 100, Wichita, Kansas 67209; telephone: (316) 946-4155; fax: (316) 946-4107; email: [email protected] or [email protected]

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Textron Aviation Inc., Textron Aviation Customer Service, One Cessna Blvd., Wichita, Kansas 67215; telephone: (316) 517-5800; email: [email protected]; internet: www.txtav.com. You may review this referenced service information at the FAA, Policy and Innovation Division, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (816) 329-4148.

    Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on January 24, 2018. Pat Mullen, Acting Deputy Director, Policy & Innovation Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-01923 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2017-1118; Product Identifier 2017-NE-40-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Rolls-Royce Corporation Turboshaft Engines AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Rolls-Royce Corporation (RRC) model 250-C turboshaft engines. This proposed AD was prompted by several reports of engine power loss, one of which resulted in a fatal helicopter accident. This proposed AD would require removal of the bearing assembly, part number (P/N) 2544198, in the power turbine governor (PTG) and its replacement with a bearing assembly eligible for installation. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by March 19, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    For service information identified in this NPRM, contact Rolls-Royce Corporation, 450 South Meridian Street, Mail Code NB-02-05, Indianapolis, IN 46225; phone: 317-230-3774; email: [email protected]; internet: www.rolls-royce.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7759.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-1118; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this NPRM, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for Docket Operations (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Tallarovic, Aerospace Engineer, Chicago ACO Branch, FAA, 2300 E. Devon Ave., Des Plaines, IL 60018; phone: 847-294-8180; fax: 847-294-7834; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2017-1118; Product Identifier 2017-NE-40-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this NPRM. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this NPRM because of those comments.

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

    Discussion

    We were prompted to issue this NPRM based upon several reports of loss of engine power on certain RRC model 250-C turboshaft engines installed on single-engine helicopters. One of these instances of power loss resulted in a fatal helicopter accident on May 4, 2016.

    During the course of the investigation of the 2016 fatal accident, RRC determined that the root cause of this engine power loss was the failure of the bearing assembly, P/N 2544198, in the PTG, due to lack of lubrication. Although RRC had issued a service bulletin in 2009 to address the failure of this bearing assembly, our risk assessment had not supported issuance of an AD at that time. Based on more recent service experience, and the fatal accident in 2016, we are now proposing an AD to remove the affected bearing assembly in the PTG and replace it with a bearing assembly with a new design. This condition, if not addressed, could result in failure of the PTG, failure of the engine, in-flight shutdown, and forced autorotation landing or accident.

    Related Service Information

    We reviewed Rolls-Royce Corporation Commercial Engine Bulletin (CEB) 1402, Revision 2, dated February 4, 2009. The CEB provides guidance on replacing the P/N 2544198 bearing assembly in the PTG with a bearing assembly eligible for installation.

    FAA's Determination

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

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require removal of the affected bearing assembly in the PTG and its replacement with a bearing assembly eligible for installation.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 2,928 engines installed on airplanes of U.S. registry.

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

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S.
  • operators
  • Remove and replace PTG bearing assembly 8 work-hours × $85 per hour = $680 $1,700 $2,380 $6,968,640
    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): Roll-Royce Corporation (Type Certificate previously held by Allison Engine Company): Docket No. FAA-2017-1118; Product Identifier 2017-NE-40-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by March 19, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Rolls-Royce Corporation (RRC) model 250-C10D, 250-C18, 250-C18A, 250-C18B, 250-C18C, 250-C19, 250-C20, 250-C20B, 250-C20C, 250-C20F, 250-C20J, 250-C20R, 250-C20R/1, 250-C20R/2, 250-C20R/4, 250-C20S, 250-C20W, 250-C28, 250-C28B, 250-C28C, 250-C30, 250-C30G, 250-C30G/2, 250-C30M, 250-C30P, 250-C30S, and 250-C30U turboshaft engines.

    (d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code 7323, Turbine Governor.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by several reports of loss of power, one of which resulted in a fatal helicopter accident. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the bearing assembly in the power turbine governor (PTG). The unsafe condition, if not addressed, could result in failure of the PTG, failure of the engine, in-flight shutdown, and forced autorotation landing or accident.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Required Actions

    (1) Remove the bearing assembly, part number 2544198, from the PTG in accordance with the compliance times in Figure 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD, or within 90 days after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later.

    Figure 1 to Paragraph (g)—Compliance Times PTG operational hours (time since new/time since last overhaul) Compliance time 0 to 750 Not later than 750 hours. 751 to 1000 Not later than 1,000 hours. 1001 to 1250 Not later than 1,250 hours. 1251 to 1500 Not later than 1,500 hours. 1501 or greater At the next removal of the PTG for any reason.

    (2) After such removal, replace the affected bearing assembly in the PTG with a part eligible for installation before further flight.

    (h) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Chicago 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 Chicago ACO Branch, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (i)(1) of this AD.

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

    (i) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact John Tallarovic, Aerospace Engineer, Chicago ACO Branch, FAA, 2300 E Devon Ave., Des Plaines, IL 60018; phone: 847-294-8180; fax: 847-294-7834; email: [email protected]

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Rolls-Royce Corporation, 450 South Meridian Street, Mail Code NB-02-05, Indianapolis, IN 46225; phone: 317-230-3774; email: [email protected]; internet: www.rolls-royce.com. You may view this referenced 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.

    Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on January 25, 2018. Robert J. Ganley, Manager, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-01900 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2017-1083; Airspace Docket No. 17-ACE-13] Proposed Amendment of Class D and E Airspace; Kansas City, MO; and Revocation of Class E Airspace; Kansas City, MO AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes to amend Class D airspace at Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport, Kansas City, MO; remove Class E airspace designated as an extension to Class D airspace at Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport; and amend Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Kansas City International Airport, Kansas City, MO, and Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport. The FAA is proposing this action due to the decommissioning of the Riverside VHF omnidirectional range (VOR) facility, which provided navigation guidance for the instrument procedures to Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport. The VOR has been decommissioned as part of the VOR Minimum Operational Network (MON) Program. This action also would amend the airspace designations of Class D airspace and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface for these airports. Additionally, the geographic coordinates and airport name are being updated to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database. This action is necessary for the safety and management of instrument flight rules (IFR) operations at these airports.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before March 19, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments on this proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590; telephone (202) 366-9826, or (800) 647-5527. You must identify FAA Docket No. FAA-2017-1083; Airspace Docket No. 17-ACE-13 at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit comments through the internet at http://www.regulations.gov. You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays.

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jeffrey Claypool, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Central Service Center, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5711.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority for This Rulemaking

    The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it would support IFR operations at Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport, and Kansas City International Airport, Kansas City, MO.

    Comments Invited

    Interested parties are invited to participate in this proposed rulemaking by submitting such written data, views, or arguments, as they may desire. Comments that provide the factual basis supporting the views and suggestions presented are particularly helpful in developing reasoned regulatory decisions on the proposal. Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, aeronautical, economic, environmental, and energy-related aspects of the proposal. Communications should identify both docket numbers and be submitted in triplicate to the address listed above. Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this notice must submit with those comments a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket No. FAA-2017-1083; Airspace Docket No. 17-ACE-13.” The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter.

    All communications received before the specified closing date for comments will be considered before taking action on the proposed rule. The proposal contained in this notice may be changed in light of the comments received. A report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerned with this rulemaking will be filed in the docket.

    Availability of NPRMs

    An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded through the internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Recently published rulemaking documents can also be accessed through the FAA's web page at http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/airspace_amendments/.

    You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office (see the ADDRESSES section for the address and phone number) between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. An informal docket may also be examined during normal business hours at the Federal Aviation Administration, Air Traffic Organization, Central Service Center, Operations Support Group, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

    Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

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

    The Proposal

    The FAA is proposing an amendment to Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 that would:

    Amend the Class D airspace at Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport by updating the header of the airspace designation to Kansas City, MO, (from Kansas City Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport, MO) to comply with FAA Order 7400.2L, Procedures for Handling Airspace Matters; adding an extension 1 mile each side of the 012° bearing from the Charles B. Wheeler Downtown RWY 19 LOC from the 4.2-mile radius to 4.4 miles from the airport; adding an extension 1 mile each side of the 013° bearing from the airport from the 4.2-mile radius to 4.3 miles north of the airport; adding an extension 1 mile each side of the 215° bearing from the Charles B. Wheeler Downtown RWY 03 LOC from the 4.2-mile radius to 4.5 miles northeast of the airport; adding an extension 1 mile each side of the 218° bearing from the airport from the 4.2-mile radius to 5 miles south of the airport; and updating the geographic coordinates of the airport to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database;

    Remove the Class E airspace designated as an extension to Class D airspace at Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport as the airspace is no longer required; and

    Amend Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Kansas City, MO, by updating the header of the airspace designation to Kansas City, MO, (from Kansas City International Airport, MO) to comply with FAA Order 7400.2L; updating the name and geographic coordinates of Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport (previously Kansas City Downtown Airport) and the geographic coordinates of Sherman Army Airfield (AAF), KS, to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database; removing the Kansas City VORTAC, DOTTE LOM, Riverside VOR/DME, ILS RWY 19R localizer, ILS RWY 19 localizer, ILS RWY 1L localizer, and ILS RWY 1R localizer from the airspace description; removing all current extensions at Kansas City International Airport and Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport; and adding an extension 2 miles each side of the 215° bearing from the Charles B. Wheeler Downtown RWY 03 LOC from the 6.7-mile radius to 8.7 miles south of the Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport.

    Airspace reconfiguration is necessary due to the decommissioning of the Riverside VOR as part of the VOR MON Program and for the safety and management of IFR operations at these airports.

    Class D and E airspace designations are published in paragraphs 5000, 6004, and 6005, respectively, of FAA Order 7400.11B, dated August 3, 2017, and effective September 15, 2017, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The Class D and E airspace designations listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

    Environmental Review

    This proposal will be subject to an environmental analysis in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures” prior to any FAA final regulatory action.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    The Proposed Amendment

    Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend 14 CFR part 71 as follows:

    PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for 14 CFR part 71 continues to read as follows: Authority:

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

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.11B, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2017, and effective September 15, 2017, is amended as follows: Paragraph 5000 Class D Airspace. ACE MO D Kansas City, MO [Amended] Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport, MO (Lat. 39°07′23″ N, long. 94°35′34″ W) Charles B. Wheeler Downtown RWY 19 LOC (Lat. 39°06′50″ N, long. 94°35′44″ W) Charles B. Wheeler Downtown RWY 03 LOC (Lat. 39°07′40″ N, long. 94°35′17″ W)

    That airspace extending upward from the surface to and including 3,300 feet MSL within a 4.2-mile radius of Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport, excluding that airspace within the Kansas City, MO Class B airspace area; and within 1 mile each side of the 012° bearing from the Charles B. Wheeler Downtown RWY 19 LOC, extending from the 4.2-mile radius to 4.4 miles north of the airport; and within 1 mile each side of the 013° bearing from the airport, extending from the 4.2-mile radius to 4.3 miles north of the airport; and within 1 mile each side of the 215° bearing from the Charles B. Wheeler Downtown RWY 03 LOC, extending from the 4.2-mile radius to 4.5 miles south of the airport; and within 1 mile each side of the 218° bearing from the airport, extending from the 4.2-mile radius to 5 miles south of the airport.

    Paragraph 6004 Class E Airspace Areas Designated as an Extension to a Class D or Class E Surface Area. ACE MO E4 Kansas City Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport, MO [Removed] Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. ACE MO E5 Kansas City, MO [Amended] Kansas City International Airport, MO (Lat. 39°17′51″ N, long. 94°42′50″ W) Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport, MO (Lat. 39°07′23″ N, long. 94°35′34″ W) Charles B. Wheeler Downtown RWY 03 LOC (Lat. 39°07′40″ N, long. 94°35′17″ W) Sherman Army Airfield (AAF), KS (Lat. 39°22′03″ N, long. 94°54′52″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 7.6-mile radius of Kansas City International Airport; and within a 6.7-mile radius of Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport; and within 2 miles each side of the 215° bearing from the Charles B. Wheeler Downtown RWY 03 LOC, extending from the 6.7-mile radius to 8.7 miles south of the Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport; and within a 6.5-mile radius of the Sherman AAF.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on January 24, 2018. Christopher L. Southerland, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2018-01795 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2016-9378; Airspace Docket No. 17-ASW-13] Proposed Establishment of Class D and E Airspace, and Amendment of Class E Airspace; Austin, TX AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes to establish Class D airspace, Class E surface airspace, and amend Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Austin Executive Airport, Austin, TX. The FAA conducted an airspace review and determined that airspace redesign is necessary due to the establishment of an air traffic control tower at the airport. This action would enhance the safety and management of instrument flight rules (IFR) operation at the airport. An editorial change also would be made removing the city associated with the airport name in the airspace designation.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before March 19, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments on this proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590; telephone (202) 366-9826, or (800) 647-5527. You must identify FAA Docket No. FAA-2017-9378; Airspace Docket No. 17-ASW-13, at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit comments through the internet at http://www.regulations.gov. You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays.

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rebecca Shelby, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Central Service Center, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5857.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

    Comments Invited

    Interested parties are invited to participate in this proposed rulemaking by submitting such written data, views, or arguments, as they may desire. Comments that provide the factual basis supporting the views and suggestions presented are particularly helpful in developing reasoned regulatory decisions on the proposal. Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, aeronautical, economic, environmental, and energy-related aspects of the proposal. Communications should identify both docket numbers and be submitted in triplicate to the address listed above. Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this notice must submit with those comments a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket No. FAA-2017-9378/Airspace Docket No. 17-ASW-13.” The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter.

    All communications received before the specified closing date for comments will be considered before taking action on the proposed rule. The proposal contained in this notice may be changed in light of the comments received. A report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerned with this rulemaking will be filed in the docket.

    Availability of NPRMs

    An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded through the internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Recently published rulemaking documents can also be accessed through the FAA's web page at http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/airspace_amendments/.

    You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office (see the ADDRESSES section for the address and phone number) between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. An informal docket may also be examined during normal business hours at the Federal Aviation Administration, Air Traffic Organization, Central Service Center, Operations Support Group, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

    Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

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

    The Proposal

    The FAA is proposing an amendment to Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 by:

    Establishing Class D airspace at Austin Executive Airport, Austin, TX, within a 4.1-mile radius of the airport;

    Establishing Class E surface airspace within a 4.1-mile radius of Austin Executive Airport, Austin, TX;

    Amending Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface to within a 6.3-mile radius (decreased from a 6.5-mile radius) of Austin Executive Airport, and within 2 miles each side of the 131° bearing (from the 132° bearing) from the airport extending from the 6.3-mile radius to 11.3 miles (increased from a 10.4-miles) southeast of the airport, and within 2 miles each side of the 311° bearing from the airport extending from 6.3-mile radius to 10.5 miles (decreased from 11.2 miles) northwest of the airport. Also, due to a recent change to FAA Order 7400.2L, Procedures for Handling Airspace Matters, dated October 12, 2017, the name of the city associated with the airport is removed from the airspace designation.

    Controlled airspace is necessary for the safety and management of Standard Instrument Approach Procedures (SIAPs) for IFR operations at this airport.

    Class D and E airspace designations are published in paragraph 5000, 6002, and 6005, respectively, of FAA Order 7400.11B, dated August 3, 2017, and effective September 15, 2017, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The Class D and E airspace designations listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

    Environmental Review

    This proposal will be subject to an environmental analysis in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures” prior to any FAA final regulatory action.

    Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    The Proposed Amendment

    Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend 14 CFR part 71 as follows:

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

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

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.11B, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2017, and effective September 15, 2017, is amended as follows: Paragraph 5000 Class D Airspace. ASW TX D Austin, TX [New] Austin Executive Airport, TX (Lat. 30°23′51″ N, long. 97°33′59″ W)

    That airspace extending upward from the surface to and including 3,000 feet MSL within a 4.1-mile radius of Austin Executive Airport. This Class D airspace area is effective during the specific dates and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in the Chart Supplement.

    Paragraph 6002 Class E Surface Area Airspace. ASW TX E2 Austin, TX [New] Austin Executive Airport, TX (Lat. 30°23′51″ N, long. 97°33′59″ W)

    That airspace within a 4.1-mile radius of Austin Executive Airport. This Class E airspace area is effective during the specific dates and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in the Chart Supplement.

    Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. ASW TX E5 Austin, TX [Amended] Point of Origin (Lat. 30°17′55″ N, long. 97°42′06″ W) Lakeway Airpark, TX (Lat. 30°21′27″ N, long. 97°59′40″ W) Austin Executive Airport, TX (Lat. 30°23′51″ N, long. 97°33′59″ W) Lago Vista-Rusty Allen Airport, TX (30°29′55″ N, long. 97°58′59″ W)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 14-mile radius of the Point of Origin, and within a 6.4-mile radius of Lakeway Airpark, and within a 6.4-mile radius of Lago Vista-Rusty Allen Airport, and within a 6.3-mile radius of Austin Executive Airport, and within 2 miles each side of the 131° bearing from Austin Executive Airport extending from the 6.3-mile radius to 11.3 miles southeast of the airport, and within 2 miles each side of the 311° bearing from Austin Executive Airport extending from the 6.3-mile radius to 10.5 miles northwest of the airport.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on January 23, 2018. Christopher L. Southerland, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2018-01796 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R08-0AR-2017-0753; FRL-9973-45-Region 8] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; State of Colorado; Revisions to the Transportation Conformity Consultation Process AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by Colorado on May 16, 2017. The May 16, 2017 SIP revision addresses minor changes and typographical corrections to the transportation conformity requirements of Colorado's Regulation Number 10 “Criteria for Analysis of Conformity.” These actions are being taken under section 110 of the Clean Air Act.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before March 5, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R08-OAR-2017-0753 at 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 the public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information, the disclosure of which 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 https://www.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tim Russ, Air Program, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 8, Mailcode 8P-AR, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, Colorado 80202-1129, (303) 312-6479, or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. General Information What should I consider as I prepare my comments for the EPA?

    a. Submitting CBI. Do not submit CBI to the EPA through www.regulations.gov or email. Clearly mark the part or all of the information that you claim to be CBI. For CBI information in a disk or CD ROM that you mail to the EPA, mark the outside of the disk or CD ROM as CBI and then identify electronically within the disk or CD ROM the specific information that is claimed as CBI. In addition to one complete version of the comment that includes information claimed as CBI, a copy of the comment that does not contain the information claimed as CBI must be submitted for inclusion in the public docket. Information so marked will not be disclosed except in accordance with procedures set forth in 40 CFR part 2.

    b. Tips for Preparing Your Comments. When submitting comments, remember to:

    1. Identify the rulemaking by docket number and other identifying information (subject heading, Federal Register date and page number).

    2. Follow directions—The agency may ask you to respond to specific questions or organize comments by referencing a Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part or section number.

    3. Explain why you agree or disagree; suggest alternatives and substitute language for your requested changes.

    4. Describe any assumptions and provide any technical information and/or data that you used.

    5. If you estimate potential costs or burdens, explain how you arrived at your estimate in sufficient detail to allow for it to be reproduced.

    6. Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns, and suggest alternatives.

    7. Explain your views as clearly as possible, avoiding the use of profanity or personal threats.

    8. Make sure to submit your comments by the comment period deadline identified.

    II. Background

    The EPA is proposing approval of minor revisions to Colorado's Regulation Number 10 which is entitled “Criteria for Analysis of Conformity” (hereafter, “Regulation No. 10”). We note the most recent prior SIP revisions to Regulation No. 10, that we approved, occurred on March 4, 2014 (79 FR 12079).

    The purpose of Regulation No. 10 is to address the transportation conformity SIP requirements of section 176(c) of the Clean Air Act (CAA) and 40 CFR 51.390(b). In addition, Regulation No. 10 also addresses the following transportation conformity SIP element requirements; 40 CFR 93.105 which formalizes the consultation procedures; 40 CFR 93.122(a)(4)(ii) which addresses written commitments to control measures that are not included in a Metropolitan Planning Organization's (MPOs) transportation plan and transportation improvement program that must be obtained prior to a conformity determination; and 40 CFR 93.125(c) which addresses written commitments to mitigation measures that must be obtained prior to a project-level conformity determination.1

    1 A conformity SIP includes a state's specific criteria and procedures for certain aspects of the transportation conformity process consistent with the federal conformity rule. A conformity SIP does not contain motor vehicle emissions budgets, emissions inventories, air quality demonstrations, or control measures. See EPA's Guidance for Developing Transportation Conformity State Implementation Plans (SIPs) for further background: https://nepis.epa.gov/Exe/ZyPDF.cgi/P1002W5B.PDF?Dockey=P1002W5B.PDF.

    III. What was the State's process to submit a SIP revision to the EPA?

    Section 110(k) of the CAA addresses our actions on submissions of revisions to a SIP. The CAA requires states to observe certain procedural requirements in developing SIP revisions for submittal to the EPA. Section 110(a)(2) of the CAA requires that each SIP revision be adopted after reasonable notice and public hearing. This must occur prior to the revision being submitted by a state.

    For the May 16, 2017 revisions to Regulation No. 10, the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) held a public hearing for those revisions on February 18, 2016. There were no public comments. The AQCC adopted the revisions to Regulation No. 10 directly after the hearing. This SIP revision became state effective on March 30, 2016 and was submitted by Dr. Larry Wolk, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), and on behalf of the Governor, to the EPA on May 16, 2017.

    We have evaluated the State's May 16, 2017 submittal for Regulation No. 10 and have determined that the State met the requirements for reasonable notice and public hearing under section 110(a)(2) of the CAA. By operation of law under section 110(k)(1)(B) of the CAA, the State's May 16, 2017 submittal was deemed complete by the EPA on November 25, 2017.

    IV. EPA's Evaluation of the State's May 16, 2017 Submittal

    The EPA has reviewed the revisions to Regulation No. 10 that were submitted by the State on May 16, 2017 and we are proposing to approve these revisions. We reviewed the State's submittal to assure consistency with the transportation conformity requirements in 40 CFR 51.390(b), that establish the requirements for conformity consultation SIPs and to the transportation conformity requirements in 40 CFR 93.105, 93.122(a)(4)(ii) and 93.125(c).2 3 We also consulted our document “Guidance for Developing Transportation Conformity State Implementation Plans (SIPs),” EPA-420-B-09-001, dated January 2009.4

    2 “40 CFR 93 Transportation Conformity Rule PM2.5 and PM10 Amendments; Final Rule,” March 24, 2010, 75 FR 14260.

    3 “40 CFR 93 Transportation Conformity Rule Restructuring Amendments; Final Rule,” March 14, 2012, 77 FR 14979.

    4 See: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/stateresources/transconf/policy/420b09001.pdf

    Our review regarding the revisions to Regulation No. 10 included the following:

    (a) The Title to Regulation No. 10. The revisions to the title included typographic changes to the title such as capitalization, use of lower case letters to remove capitalization of particular words and inclusion of a sentence regarding the editor's notes at the end of the regulation. Except for the addition of the sentence regarding the editor's notes, we otherwise note that only typographic changes were performed and no words or terms were added or deleted.

    (b) Section II. “Definitions.” The EPA has reviewed and finds acceptable the revisions and clarifications that the state made to the definition of “Routine Conformity Determination.” These revisions to Regulation No. 10 were designed to streamline the transportation conformity process by allowing the CDPHE to provide concurrence for a wider range of routine transportation conformity determinations without the need for a public hearing before the AQCC. This change to the routine conformity determination definition will reduce the burden on the AQCC, the CDPHE and transportation MPOs while continuing to ensure that air quality transportation conformity requirements are met. In addition, we note that the changes also include the provision that notwithstanding this general definition, the CDPHE or the AQCC may, at its discretion, request that any transportation conformity determination be reviewed by the AQCC. The EPA notes that such a review may also include a public hearing before the AQCC.

    (c) Typographical corrections were made to the following sections: Section II, definition of Review Team; Section III, subsections III.A.2, III.A.3, III.B.1.a, III.C.1.b.(2), III.C.1.g and III.F.3.

    (d) Section VI. “Statements of Basis, Specific Statutory Authority, and Purpose.” The EPA notes that the changes to this section VI in the State's regulation merely provide information for the State regarding the SIP revision and are not necessary for an approvable Transportation Conformity Consultation SIP element whose purpose is to meet the requirements of CAA section 176(c)(4)(E) and 40 CFR 51.390. Therefore, the EPA is not taking any action on this section.

    V. Summary of the EPA's Proposed Action

    For the reasons discussed in section IV above, and under CAA section 110(k)(3), the EPA is proposing to approve the Regulation No. 10 revisions to Section II to the definition of “Routine Conformity Determination.” In addition, we are proposing approval of the typographic corrections to the Regulation No. 10 title, to Section II and to the Section III subsections III.A.2, III.A.3, III.B.1.a, III.C.1.b.(2), III.C.1.g and III.F.3.

    The EPA notes that revisions were also made to Colorado's Regulation No. 10, section VI “Statements of Basis, Specific Statutory Authority, and Purpose”; however, the EPA is not taking any action on the revisions to this section. The revisions to section VI are only informational in nature for the State and do not require federal approval into the SIP.

    VI. Consideration of Section 110(1) of the Clean Air Act

    Under section 110(l) of the CAA, the EPA cannot approve a SIP revision if the revision would interfere with any applicable requirements concerning attainment and Reasonable Further Progress toward attainment of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), or any other applicable requirement of the CAA. The EPA proposes to determine that the portions of Regulation No. 10 that we are acting on are consistent with the applicable requirements of the CAA. Furthermore, these portions do not relax any previously approved SIP provision; thus they do not otherwise interfere with attainment and maintenance of the NAAQS. In addition, section 110(l) of the CAA requires that each revision to an implementation plan submitted by a state shall be adopted by the state after reasonable notice and opportunity for public hearing. On February 18, 2016, the AQCC held a public hearing and the AQCC adopted the revisions to Regulation No. 10 directly after the hearing. This SIP revision became state effective on March 30, 2016. Therefore, the CAA section 110(l) requirements are satisfied.

    VII. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, the EPA is proposing to include in a final EPA rule regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, the EPA is proposing to incorporate by reference the approval of portions of Regulation No. 10 as submitted by the State of Colorado and as discussed above in section IV 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 Clean Air Act, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the Act and applicable Federal regulations. 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 52.02(a). Thus, in reviewing SIP submissions, the EPA's role is to approve state choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the Clean Air Act. Accordingly, this action merely approves state law as meeting Federal requirements and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For that reason, this proposed 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 Clean Air Act; and

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

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Carbon monoxide, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, and Volatile Organic Compounds.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: January 24, 2018. Debra H. Thomas, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 8.
    [FR Doc. 2018-01853 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R06-OAR-2015-0851; FRL-9973-16-Region 6] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Louisiana; Interstate Transport Requirements for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to the Federal Clean Air Act (CAA or Act), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve portions of the Louisiana State Implementation Plan (SIP) submittal and a technical supplement addressing the CAA requirement that SIPs address the potential for interstate transport of air pollution to significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2012 fine particulate matter (PM2.5) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) in other states. EPA is proposing to determine that emissions from Louisiana sources do not contribute significantly to nonattainment in, or interfere with maintenance by, any other state with regard to the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before March 5, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket Number EPA-R06-OAR-2015-0851, at http://www.regulations.gov or via email to [email protected]. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from 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, please contact Sherry Fuerst, 214-665-6454, [email protected] For 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.

    Docket: The index to the docket for this action is available electronically at www.regulations.gov and in hard copy at the EPA Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 700, Dallas, Texas. While all documents in the docket are listed in the index, some information may be publicly available only at the hard copy location (e.g., copyrighted material), and some may not be publicly available at either location (e.g., CBI).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sherry Fuerst, 214-665-6454, [email protected] To inspect the hard copy materials, please schedule an appointment with Ms. Fuerst or Mr. Bill Deese at 214-665-7253.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    I. Background A. The PM2.5 NAAQS and Interstate Transport of Air Pollution

    Under section 109 of the CAA, we establish NAAQS to protect human health and public welfare. In 2012, we established a new annual NAAQS for PM2.5 of 12 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3), (78 FR 3085, January 15, 2013). The CAA requires states to submit, within three years after promulgation of a new or revised standard, SIPs meeting the applicable “infrastructure” elements of sections 110(a)(1) and (2). One of these applicable infrastructure elements, CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i), requires SIPs to contain provisions to prohibit certain adverse air quality effects on neighboring states due to interstate transport of pollution. There are four sub-elements within CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i). This action reviews how the first two sub-elements, contained in CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I), were addressed in an infrastructure SIP submission from Louisiana for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. These sub-elements require that each SIP for a new or revised NAAQS contain adequate provisions to prohibit any source or other type of emissions activity in one state that will “contribute significantly to nonattainment” or “interfere with maintenance” of the applicable air quality standard in any other state.

    The EPA has addressed the interstate transport requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) with respect to PM2.5 in several past regulatory actions. In 2011, we promulgated the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR, 76 FR 48208, August 8, 2011) in order to address the obligations of states—and of the EPA when states have not met their obligations—under CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) to prohibit air pollution contributing significantly to nonattainment in, or interfering with maintenance by, any other state with regard to several NAAQS, including the 1997 annual and 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS.1 In that rule, we considered states linked to downwind receptors if they were projected to contribute more than the threshold amount (1% of the standard) of PM2.5 pollution for the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS (76 FR 48208, 48239-43). The EPA has not established a threshold amount for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. In 2016 we provided an informational memorandum (the memo) about the steps states should follow as they develop and review SIPs that address this provision of the CAA for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.2

    1 Federal Implementation Plans; Interstate Transport of Fine Particulate Matter and Ozone and Correction of SIP Approvals, 76 FR 48207 (August 8, 2011) (codified as amended at 40 CFR 52.38 and 52.39 and 40 CFR part 97).

    2 Information on the Interstate Transport “Good Neighbor” Provision for the 2012 Fine Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards under Clean Air Act Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) March 17, 2016 from Stephen D. Page.

    B. Louisiana SIP Submittal Pertaining to the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS and Interstate Transport of Air Pollution

    On December 11, 2015, Louisiana submitted a SIP revision to address the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(1) and (2) including a section to address the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. The submittal stated that the State had adequate provisions to prohibit air pollutant emissions from within the State that significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS stating, “Air quality modeling evaluating interstate transport for the 2006 PM2.5 supported the conclusion that Louisiana did not impact on either downwind nonattainment or maintenance receptors. The air quality modeling performed for the Transport Rule found that the impact was less than the 1 percent threshold (79 FR 4436, January 28, 2014). Currently Louisiana is in compliance with the new standard.” On July 7, 2017, the State submitted a letter to EPA serving as a technical supplement for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. The letter stated that “(b)ecause more recent and improved air quality modeling data evaluated transport for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS conducted by EPA for the Cross State Air Pollution Rule is now available and supports the conclusion that emissions in Louisiana do not significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS in any other state, we submit it as basis for our conclusions in lieu of the previous technical information provided”.

    We propose to approve the December 11, 2015 submittal and the July 7, 2017 technical supplement submittal that intended to demonstrate that the SIP met the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    II. The EPA's Evaluation

    As stated above, Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) requires SIPS to include adequate provisions prohibiting any source or other type of emissions activity in one state that will (I) contribute significantly to nonattainment, or interfere with maintenance of the NAAAQS in another state, and (II) interfering with measures required to prevent significant deterioration of air quality, or to protect visibility in another state. This action addresses only CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I).

    EPA issued an information memo on March 17, 2016, titled, “Information on the Interstate Transport “Good Neighbor” Provision for the 2012 Fine Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards under Clean Air Act Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I)” (the memo). We will be following the framework outlined in the memo.

    The memo outlined the four step framework EPA has historically used to evaluate interstate transport under section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I), including the EPA's CSAPR.

    (1) Identification of potential downwind nonattainment and maintenance receptors;

    (2) Identification of upwind states contributing to downwind nonattainment and maintenance receptors;

    (3) For states identified as contributing to downwind air quality problem, identification of upwind emissions reductions necessary to prevent upwind states from significantly contributing to nonattainment or interfering with maintenance of receptors, and;

    (4) For states that are found to have emissions that significantly contribute to non-attainment or interfere with maintenance downwind, reducing the identified upwind emissions through adoption of permanent and enforceable measures.

    Based on this approach, the potential receptors are outlined in Table 1 in the memo. Most of the potential receptors are in California, located in the San Joaquin Valley or South Coast nonattainment areas. However, there is also one potential receptor in Shoshone County, Idaho, and one potential receptor in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.

    The memo did note that because of data quality problems nonattainment and maintenance projections were not done for all or portions of Florida, Illinois, Idaho, Tennessee and Kentucky. After issuance of the memo, data quality problems were resolved for Idaho, Tennessee, Kentucky and portions of Florida, identifying no additional potential receptors, with those areas having design values (DV) below the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS and expected to maintain the NAAQS due to downward emission trends for NOX and SO2 (www.epa.gov/air-trends/air-quality-design-values and www.epa.gov/air-emissions-inventories/air-pollutant-emissions-trends-data). As of December, 2017, the areas that still have data quality issues preventing projections of nonattainment and maintenance receptors are all of Illinois and four counties in Florida. For this evaluation these areas will be considered potential receptors for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    Therefore, for “Step 1” of this evaluation, the areas identified as “potential downwind nonattainment and maintenance receptors” are:

    • Seventeen potential receptors in California, located in the San Joaquin Valley or South Coast nonattainment areas;

    • Shoshone County, Idaho;

    • Allegheny County, Pennsylvania;

    • Miami-Dade, Gilchrist, Broward, and Alachua Counties in Florida; and,

    • All of Illinois

    As stated above, “Step 2” is the identification of states contributing to downwind nonattainment and maintenance receptors, such that further analysis is required to identify necessary upwind reductions. For this step, we will be specifically determining if Louisiana emissions contribute to downwind nonattainment and maintenance receptors.

    Each of the potential receptors is discussed below, with a more in depth discussion provided in the Technical Support Document (TSD) for this notice. For additional information, links to the documents relied upon for this analysis can be found throughout the document, more information is available in the TSD and the documents can be found in the docket for this action.

    California

    As described in our TSD, our analysis shows that Louisiana's PM2.5 emissions and/or PM2.5 precursors do not significantly impact the California potential receptors identified in the memo. In our analysis we found specifically that the majority of the emissions impacting PM2.5 levels in California are directly emitted PM2.5 and/or PM2.5 precursors from within the state, and that meteorological and topographic conditions serve as barriers to transport from Louisiana. We note that air quality designations are not relevant to our evaluation of interstate transport, however, the analysis developed for the 2012 annual PM2.5 NAAQS designations process provides an in depth evaluation of factors critical in evaluating transport of PM2.5 and PM2.5 precursors, including evaluation of local emissions, wind speed and direction, topographical and meteorological conditions and seasonal variations recorded at the monitors, which all support the conclusion that Louisiana's PM2.5 and PM2.5 precursors do not significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the California potential receptors. Furthermore, Louisiana is more than 1,300 miles to the east and generally downwind of the California receptors.3

    3 California: Imperial County, Los Angeles-South Coast Air Basin, Plumas County, San Joaquin Valley Area Designations for the 2012 Primary Annual PM2.5 National Ambient Air Quality Standard Technical Support Document https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA-HQ-OAR-2012-0918-0330.

    For these reasons, we propose to find that Louisiana does not significantly contribute to nonattainment, nor will it interfere with maintenance of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS for California.

    Shoshone County, Idaho

    As discussed in the TSD, our analysis shows that Louisiana's PM2.5 emissions and/or PM2.5 precursors do not significantly impact the Idaho potential receptor identified in the memo. In our analysis, we found specifically that the majority of the emissions impacting PM2.5 levels, came during the winter time and could be attributed to residential wood combustion. We note that air quality designations are not relevant to our evaluation of interstate transport; however, the analysis developed for the 2012 annual PM2.5 NAAQS designations process provide an in depth evaluation of factors critical in evaluating transport of PM2.5 and PM2.5 precursors, including evaluation of local emissions, wind speed and direction, topographical and meteorological conditions and seasonal variations recorded at the monitor, which all support the conclusion that Louisiana PM2.5 and PM2.5 precursors do not significantly contribute to nonattainment nor interfere with maintenance of the Idaho potential receptor.4 Furthermore, Louisiana is more than 1,100 miles to the southeast and downwind of this receptor.

    4 Idaho: West Silver Valley Nonattainment Area—2012 Primary Annual PM2.5 National Ambient Air Quality Standard Technical Support Document. Prepared by EPA Region 10.

    For these reasons, we propose to find that Louisiana does not significantly contribute to nonattainment, nor will it interfere with maintenance of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS for Shoshone, Idaho.

    Allegheny County, Pennsylvania

    As discussed in the TSD, our analysis shows that Louisiana's PM2.5 emissions and/or PM2.5 precursors do not significantly impact the Allegheny County, Pennsylvania (Liberty monitor) potential receptor identified in the memo. In our analysis we found that there were strong local influences throughout Allegheny County and contributions from nearby states that contributed to its nonattainment for both the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS. Contributors to the Liberty monitor in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania in recent years, have taken steps to improve air quality which will likely bring the monitor into compliance with the 2012 PM2.5 annual NAAQS by the 2021 attainment date.

    Another compelling fact is that in previous modeling, nonattainment in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania was linked to significant contributions from other states.5 Louisiana was analyzed in this modeling, and Louisiana emissions was not linked to Allegheny County.

    5 Air Quality Modeling for 2011 Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) (76 FR 48207, August 8, 2011).

    For these reasons, we propose to find that Louisiana does not significantly contribute to nonattainment, nor will it interfere with maintenance of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS for Allegany County, Pennsylvania.

    Miami/Dade, Gilchrist, Broward, Alachua Counties, Florida

    As discussed in more detail in the TSD, Florida did not have any potential nonattainment or maintenance receptors identified for the 1997 or 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS. At this time, it is anticipated that this trend will continue under the 2012 standard, however, as there are ambient monitoring data gaps in the 2009-2013 data that could have been used to identify potential PM2.5 nonattainment and maintenance receptors for Miami/Dade, Gilchrist, Broward and Alachua counties in Florida, the modeling analysis of potential receptors was not complete for these counties. In addition, the most recent ambient data (2014-2016) is still incomplete and therefore these areas are currently considered unclassifiable, so we are evaluating potential of linkages between Florida and Louisiana.

    Both Louisiana and Florida were analyzed in the CSAPR modeling and there were no linkages shown at any monitor between these two state. Additionally, Louisiana is located 650 miles from Gilchrist County (the most western of the unclassifiable Florida counties) and is unlikely to impact air quality in Florida.

    For these reasons, we propose to find that Louisiana does not significantly contribute to nonattainment, nor will it interfere with maintenance of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS for any of the four Florida counties.

    Illinois

    As with the counties in Florida, due to ambient monitoring data gaps in the 2009-2013 data that should have been used to identify potential PM2.5 nonattainment and maintenance receptors in Illinois and the modeling analysis of potential receptors could not be completed for the state, therefore entire state is considered unclassifiable. Unlike Florida, Illinois did have a nonattainment receptor identified through the CSAPR modeling analysis for the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS. The receptor was in Madison, Illinois, located near St. Louis, Missouri.

    As stated above, Louisiana was included in the CSAPR modeling analysis for the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS. The modeling did not show a linkage for nonattainment or maintenance between Louisiana and Illinois. Recent DV for the monitors in Madison, Illinois have shown downward trends. There are three active monitors in Madison. The DVs for the monitors are shown in Table 1 below.

    Table 1—Annual Standard Design Values (μg/m3) for Madison, Illinois Monitors Monitor No. 2012-2014 2013-2015 2014-2016 171191007 12.9 11.6 10.8 171192009 10.4 9.7 9.4 171193007 12.5 10.8 10.1

    For these reasons, we propose that Louisiana will not significantly contribute to nonattainment, nor will it interfere with maintenance of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS in Illinois.

    Since we determined that Louisiana's SIP includes provisions prohibiting any source or other type of emissions activity from contributing significantly to nonattainment in, or interfering with maintenance of the NAAQS, in another state, steps 3 and 4 of this evaluation are not necessary.

    In conclusion, based on our review of the potential receptors presented in the March 17, 2016 informational memo, an evaluation identifying likely emission sources affecting these potential receptors, and the 2014 base case modeling in CSAPR final rule, we propose to determine that emissions from Louisiana sources will not contribute significantly to nonattainment in, nor interfere with maintenance by, any other state with regard to the 2012 annual PM2.5 NAAQS.

    III. Proposed Action

    EPA is proposing to approve the December 11, 2015 SIP revision as supplemented on July 7, 2015 as part of the SIP for Louisiana pursuant to the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)I as applicable to the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. For the reasons discussed above and in the TSD, we are proposing to approve the portion of the Louisiana SIP submittal as supplemented, pertaining to interstate transport of air pollution demonstrating emissions from Louisiana will not significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS in any other state.

    IV. 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 EPA with the discretionary authority to address, as appropriate, disproportionate human health or environmental effects, using practicable and legally permissible methods, under Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).

    In addition, the SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land or in any other area where EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction. In those areas of Indian country, the 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, Particulate matter.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: January 24, 2018. Anne Idsal, Regional Administrator, Region 6.
    [FR Doc. 2018-01955 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 60 [EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0355; FRL-9973-28-OAR] RIN 2060-AT55 Repeal of Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of three public listening sessions and that the public comment period will be reopened.

    SUMMARY:

    On October 16, 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a proposal to announce its intention to repeal the Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units, commonly referred to as the Clean Power Plan, as promulgated on October 23, 2015. The proposal also requested public comment on the proposed rule. The EPA held public hearings on November 28 and 29, 2017, in Charleston, West Virginia, and extended the public comment period until January 16, 2018. In response to numerous requests for additional opportunities for the public to provide oral testimony on the proposed rule in more than one location, the EPA is announcing that three listening sessions will be held. In addition, the EPA will reopen the public comment period until April 26, 2018.

    DATES:

    The first listening session for the proposed rule published October 16, 2017, at 82 FR 48035, will be held Wednesday, February 21, 2018, in Kansas City, Missouri; the second session will be held Wednesday, February 28, 2018, in San Francisco, California; and the third session will be held Tuesday, March 27, 2018, in Gillette, Wyoming. The EPA is reopening the public comment period until April 26, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    The first listening session will be held Wednesday, February 21, 2018, at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Beacon Complex, 6501 Beacon Drive, Kansas City, Missouri 64133, from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m., Central Standard Time (CST). Because this listening session is being held at a U.S. government facility, individuals planning to attend should be prepared to show a current, valid state- or federal-approved picture identification to the security staff in order to gain access to the meeting room. An expired form of identification will not be permitted. Please note that the Real ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005, established new requirements for entering federal facilities. If your driver's license is issued by a noncompliant state, you must present an additional form of identification to enter the federal building in Kansas City where the listening session will be held. Acceptable alternative forms of identification include: Federal employee badges, passports, enhanced driver's licenses, and military identification cards.

    Additional information on the Real ID Act is available at https://www.dhs.gov/real-id-frequently-asked-questions. In addition, you will need to obtain a visitor pass for any personal belongings you bring with you. No backpacks will be allowed into the building, but purses will be allowed.

    Also, vehicles should only enter the West “C” Gate, identified with orange traffic cones and all vehicles must park in a designated area. Demonstrations will not be allowed on federal property for security reasons. The second listening session will be held Wednesday, February 28, 2018, at the San Francisco Main Library, Koret Auditorium, 30 Grove Street entrance, San Francisco, California 94102, from 8:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m., Pacific Standard Time (PST). And the third listening session will be held Tuesday, March 27, 2018, at the Gillette College Technical Education Center, 3251 South 4-J Road, Gillette, Wyoming 82718, from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m., Mountain Daylight Time (MDT). The EPA will make every effort to accommodate all speakers.

    The EPA's website for the rulemaking, which includes the proposal and information about the listening sessions, can be found at: https://www.epa.gov/stationary-sources-air-pollution/electric-utility-generating-units-repealing-clean-power-plan-0. Written comments on the proposed rule may be submitted to the EPA electronically, by mail, by facsimile, or through hand delivery/courier. Please refer to the proposal (82 FR 48035) for the addresses and detailed instructions.

    How to Register: If you would like to present oral testimony at the listening sessions, registration will begin on February 1, 2018. The last day to register to present oral testimony will be February 14, 2018, for Kansas City; February 21, 2018, for San Francisco; and March 20, 2018, for Gillette. To register to speak, please use the online registration form available at: https://www.epa.gov/stationary-sources-air-pollution/electric-utility-generating-units-repealing-clean-power-plan-0. To register to speak, we request the following information: The time you wish to speak, name, affiliation, email address, and telephone number. If you register to speak online, you do not need to call. If you require reasonable accommodations, such as the service of a translator, please let us know at the time of registration. Please note that updates made to any aspect of the sessions will be posted online at: https://www.epa.gov/stationary-sources-air-pollution/electric-utility-generating-units-repealing-clean-power-plan-0. While the EPA expects the listening sessions to go forward as set forth above, it asks that you monitor its website or contact the appropriate person listed below to determine if there are any updates to the information on the sessions. The EPA does not intend to publish a notice in the Federal Register announcing any such updates.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you are not able to register online or if you have key questions, contact Amy Bhesania at (913) 551-7147 or at [email protected] for the session in Kansas City; Trina Martynowicz at (415) 947-8715 or at [email protected] for the session in San Francisco; or Laura J. Farris at (303) 312-6388 or at [email protected] for the session in Gillette.

    Questions concerning the proposed rule that was published in the Federal Register on October 16, 2017, should be addressed to Mr. Nick Swanson, Natural Resources Group, Sector Policies and Programs Division (E143-03), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711; telephone number: (919) 541-4080; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The proposal for which the EPA is holding the listening sessions was published in the Federal Register on October 16, 2017, and is available at: https://www.epa.gov/stationary-sources-air-pollution/electric-utility-generating-units-repealing-clean-power-plan-0 and also in the docket identified below. The listening sessions will provide interested parties the opportunity to present oral comments regarding the EPA's proposed repeal, including data, views, or arguments concerning the proposal. The EPA may ask clarifying questions during the oral presentations, but will not respond to the presentations at that time. Written statements and supporting information submitted during the public comment period will be considered with the same weight as any oral comments and supporting information presented at the listening sessions. The EPA will keep the public comment period open until April 26, 2018.

    For planning purposes, each speaker should anticipate speaking for no more than 5 minutes, although we might need to shorten that time if there is a large turnout. The EPA encourages commenters to submit to the docket a copy of their testimony electronically (via email or CD) or in hard copy form.

    The listening session schedules, including lists of speakers, will be posted on the EPA's website at: https://www.epa.gov/stationary-sources-air-pollution/electric-utility-generating-units-repealing-clean-power-plan-0. Verbatim transcripts of the sessions and written statements will be included in the docket for the rulemaking. The EPA will make every effort to follow the schedule as closely as possible on the day of the sessions; however, please plan for the sessions to run either ahead of schedule or behind schedule.

    How can I get copies of this document and other related information?

    The EPA has established a docket for the proposed rule, “Repeal of Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units,” under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0355, available at: http://www.regulations.gov.

    Dated: January 17, 2018. E. Scott Pruitt, Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2018-01321 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 62 [EPA-R03-OAR-2017-0570; FRL-9973-29-Region 3] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; State of Maryland; Control of Emissions From Existing Commercial and Industrial Solid Waste Incinerator Units AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to notify the public that it has received a negative declaration for commercial and industrial solid waste incineration (CISWI) units within the State of Maryland. This negative declaration certifies that CISWI units subject to the requirements of sections 111(d) and 129 of the Clean Air Act (CAA) do not exist within the jurisdictional boundaries of the State of Maryland. EPA is accepting the negative declaration in accordance with the requirements of the CAA.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before March 5, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R03-OAR-2017-0570 at http://www.regulations.gov, or via email to [email protected] For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, 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. 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, please contact the person identified in the For Further Information Contact section. For 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:

    Mike Gordon, (215) 814-2039, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    Sections 111(d) and 129 of the CAA require submittal of state plans to control certain pollutants (designated pollutants) at existing solid waste combustor facilities (designated facilities) whenever standards of performance have been established by EPA under section 111(b) for new sources of the same source category and the EPA has established emission guidelines for such existing sources. When designated facilities are located in a state, the state must then develop and submit a plan for the control of the designated pollutant. Subpart B of 40 CFR part 60 establishes procedures to be followed and requirements to be met in the development and submission of state plans for controlling designated pollutants from designated facilities under sections 111(d) and 129 of the CAA. Also, Subpart A of 40 CFR part 62 provides the procedural framework for the submission of these plans.

    If a state fails to submit a satisfactory plan, the CAA provides the EPA the authority to prescribe a plan for regulating the designated pollutants at the designated facilities. The EPA prescribed plan, also known as a federal plan, is often delegated to states with designated facilities but no EPA approved state-specific plan. If no such designated facilities exist within a state's jurisdiction, a state may submit to the EPA a letter of certification to that effect (referred to as a negative declaration) in lieu of a state plan to satisfy the state's obligation. 40 CFR 60.23(b) and 62.06. A negative declaration exempts the state from the requirement to submit a CAA section 111(d)/section 129 plan for that designated pollutant and source category. 40 CFR 60.23(b).

    II. Commercial and Industrial Solid Waste Incinerators

    On December 1, 2000 (60 FR 75338), the EPA promulgated new source performance standards for new CISWI units, 40 CFR part 60, subpart CCCC, and emission guidelines for existing CISWI units, 40 CFR part 60, subpart DDDD. After a series of legal challenges, amendments, and reconsiderations, the EPA promulgated the Reconsideration and Final Amendments for CISWI units on February 7, 2013 (78 FR 9112) (providing final standards for new and existing sources). A CISWI unit is any distinct operating unit of any commercial or industrial facility that combusts, or has combusted in the preceding six months, any solid waste, as that term is defined in 40 CFR part 241, Solid Wastes Used as Fuels or Ingredients in Combustion Units. 40 CFR 60.2875. A state plan must address all existing CISWI units that commenced construction on or before June 4, 2010, or for which modification or reconstruction was commenced on or before August 7, 2013, with limited exceptions as provided in paragraph 40 CFR 60.2555. 40 CFR 60.2550.

    As discussed above, however, if there are no designated facilities in the state, the state may submit a negative declaration in lieu of a state plan. The EPA will provide public notice of receipt of a state's negative declaration with respect to CISWI. 40 CFR 60.2530. If any subsequently identified existing CISWI unit is found in a state that had submitted a negative declaration, the Federal plan implementing the emission guidelines for subpart DDDD would automatically apply to that CISWI unit until a state plan is approved. 40 CFR 60.2530.

    III. State Submittals and EPA Analysis

    The State of Maryland, through the MDE, has determined that there are no CISWI units subject to CAA 111(d)/129 requirements in its respective air pollution control jurisdiction. Accordingly, the MDE submitted a negative declaration letter to EPA certifying this fact on January 20, 2017. The negative declaration letter is available in the docket for this rulemaking and available online at www.regulations.gov.

    IV. Proposed Action

    EPA's review of this material indicates that MDE has fulfilled its obligation under CAA Sections 129 and 111(d) for submittal of a negative declaration. EPA is proposing to approve the Maryland negative declaration for CISWI units, which was submitted on January 20, 2017. EPA is soliciting public comments on the issues discussed in this document. These comments will be considered before taking final action.

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    In reviewing section 111(d)/129 plan submissions, EPA's role is to approve state choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the CAA. Accordingly, this action merely approves state law as meeting Federal requirements and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For that reason, this proposed action:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    In addition, this proposed rule for existing CISWI units within the State of Maryland does not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), because the section 111(d)/129 plan is not approved to apply in Indian country located in the state, and EPA notes that it will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 62

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Air pollution control, Commercial and industrial solid waste incineration units, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: January 11, 2018. Cosmo Servidio, Regional Administrator, Region III.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02059 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 92 [Docket No. FWS-R7-MB-2017-0087; FXMB12610700000-189-FF07M01000] RIN 1018-BC70 Migratory Bird Subsistence Harvest in Alaska; Harvest Regulations for Migratory Birds in Alaska During the 2018 Season AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service or we) is proposing migratory bird subsistence harvest regulations in Alaska for the 2018 season. These regulations allow for the continuation of customary and traditional subsistence uses of migratory birds in Alaska and prescribe regional information on when and where the harvesting of birds may occur. These regulations were developed under a co-management process involving the Service, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and Alaska Native representatives. The rulemaking is necessary because the regulations governing the subsistence harvest of migratory birds in Alaska are subject to annual review. This rulemaking proposes region-specific regulations that would go into effect on April 2, 2018.

    DATES:

    We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before March 5, 2018. We must receive requests for public hearings, in writing, at the address shown in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT by February 16, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by one of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments to Docket No. FWS-R7-MB-2017-0087.

    U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R7-MB-2017-0087; Division of Policy, Performance, and Management Programs; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 5275 Leesburg Place, MS: BPHC; Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.

    We will not accept email or faxes. We will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any personal information you provide us (see the Public Comment Procedures section, below, for more detailed information).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Donna Dewhurst, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1011 E. Tudor Road, Mail Stop 201, Anchorage, AK 99503; (907) 786-3499.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Public Comment Procedures

    To ensure that any action resulting from this proposed rule will be as accurate and as effective as possible, we request that you send relevant information for our consideration. The comments that will be most useful and likely to influence our decisions are those that you support by quantitative information or studies and those that include citations to, and analyses of, the applicable laws and regulations. Please make your comments as specific as possible and explain the basis for them. In addition, please include sufficient information with your comments to allow us to authenticate any scientific or commercial data you include.

    You must submit your comments and materials concerning this proposed rule by one of the methods listed above in ADDRESSES. We will not accept comments sent by email or fax or to an address not listed in ADDRESSES. If you submit a comment via http://www.regulations.gov, your entire comment—including any personal identifying information, such as your address, telephone number, or email address—will be posted on the website. When you submit a comment, the system receives it immediately. However, the comment will not be publicly viewable until we post it, which might not occur until several days after submission.

    If you mail or hand-carry a hardcopy comment directly to us that includes personal information, you may request at the top of your document that we withhold this information from public review. However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. To ensure that the electronic docket for this rulemaking is complete and all comments we receive are publicly available, we will post all hardcopy comments on http://www.regulations.gov.

    In addition, comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting documentation used in preparing this proposed rule, will be available for public inspection in two ways:

    (1) You can view them on http://www.regulations.gov. Search for FWS-R7-MB-2017-0087, which is the docket number for this rulemaking.

    (2) You can make an appointment, during normal business hours, to view the comments and materials in person at the Division of Migratory Bird Management, MS: MB, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803; (703) 358-1714.

    Public Availability of Comments

    As stated above in more detail, before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    Length of Comment Period

    Implementation of the Service's 2013 supplemental environmental impact statement on the hunting of migratory birds has resulted in changes to the overall timing of the annual regulatory schedule for the establishment of migratory bird hunting regulations and the Alaska migratory bird subsistence harvest regulations. That is, moving the annual Service Regulations Committee meeting from July to October has greatly shortened our period to publish the proposed regulations and solicit comments. We are further bounded by a subsistence harvest start date of April 2, 2018, making a 60-day comment period problematic and increasing the risk of not having regulations established before the start of the subsistence season. Thus, we have established a 30-day comment period for this proposed rule (see DATES, above), and we will be conducting tribal consultations within Alaska simultaneously. We believe a 30-day comment period gives the public adequate time to provide meaningful comments. In addition, the proposed regulations in this document for the 2018 season are the same as the final regulations we published on April 4, 2017 (82 FR 16298), for the 2017 season.

    Why is this rulemaking necessary?

    This rulemaking is necessary because, by law, the migratory bird harvest season is closed unless opened by the Secretary of the Interior, and the regulations governing subsistence harvest of migratory birds in Alaska are subject to public review and annual approval. This rule proposes regulations for the taking of migratory birds for subsistence uses in Alaska during the spring and summer of 2018. This proposed rule also sets forth a list of migratory bird season openings and closures in Alaska by region.

    How do I find the history of these regulations?

    Background information, including past events leading to this rulemaking, accomplishments since the Migratory Bird Treaties with Canada and Mexico were amended, and a history, were originally addressed in the Federal Register on August 16, 2002 (67 FR 53511) and most recently on April 4, 2017 (82 FR 16298).

    Recent Federal Register documents and all final rules setting forth the annual harvest regulations are available at http://www.fws.gov/alaska/ambcc/regulations.htm or by contacting the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    What is the process for issuing regulations for the subsistence harvest of migratory birds in Alaska?

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing migratory bird subsistence-harvest regulations in Alaska for the 2018 season. These regulations allow for the continuation of customary and traditional subsistence uses of migratory birds in Alaska and prescribe regional information on when and where the harvesting of birds may occur. These regulations were developed under a co-management process involving the Service, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and Alaska Native representatives.

    The Alaska Migratory Bird Co-management Council (Co-management Council) held meetings on April 5-6, 2017, to develop recommendations for changes that would take effect during the 2018 harvest season. The Co-management Council recommended no changes for the 2018 regulations.

    Who is eligible to hunt under these regulations?

    Eligibility to harvest under the regulations established in 2003 was limited to permanent residents, regardless of race, in villages located within the Alaska Peninsula, Kodiak Archipelago, the Aleutian Islands, and in areas north and west of the Alaska Range (50 CFR 92.5). These geographical restrictions opened the initial migratory bird subsistence harvest to about 13 percent of Alaska residents. High-populated, roaded areas such as Anchorage, the Matanuska-Susitna and Fairbanks North Star boroughs, the Kenai Peninsula roaded area, the Gulf of Alaska roaded area, and Southeast Alaska were excluded from eligible subsistence harvest areas.

    In response to petitions requesting inclusion in the harvest in 2004, we added 13 additional communities consistent with the criteria set forth at 50 CFR 92.5(c). These communities were Gulkana, Gakona, Tazlina, Copper Center, Mentasta Lake, Chitina, Chistochina, Tatitlek, Chenega, Port Graham, Nanwalek, Tyonek, and Hoonah, with a combined population of 2,766. In 2005, we added three additional communities for glaucous-winged gull egg gathering only in response to petitions requesting inclusion. These southeastern communities were Craig, Hydaburg, and Yakutat, with a combined population of 2,459, according to the latest census information at that time.

    In 2007, we enacted the Alaska Department of Fish and Game's request to expand the Fairbanks North Star Borough excluded area to include the Central Interior area. This action excluded the following communities from participation in this harvest: Big Delta/Fort Greely, Healy, McKinley Park/Village, and Ferry, with a combined population of 2,812.

    In 2012, we received a request from the Native Village of Eyak to include Cordova, Alaska, for a limited season that would legalize the traditional gathering of gull eggs and the hunting of waterfowl during spring. This request resulted in a new, limited harvest of spring waterfowl and gull eggs starting in 2014.

    Amendments to Subpart C

    Under subpart C, General Regulations Governing Subsistence Harvest, we are amending § 92.22, the list of birds open to subsistence harvest, by adding emperor goose (Chen canagica) and by amending cackling goose to allow egg gathering. These changes were originally made in the 2017 regulations (82 FR 16298; April 4, 2017), but were mistakenly set to expire August 31, 2017. We intended these changes to subpart C to be permanent; therefore, we are setting them forth again in this proposed rule with the intent to make them permanent when we publish a final rule for this action.

    How would the service ensure that the subsistence migratory bird harvest complies with the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and would not threaten the conservation of endangered and threatened species?

    We have monitored subsistence harvest for the past 25 years through the use of household surveys in the most heavily used subsistence harvest areas, such as the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. In recent years, more intensive surveys combined with outreach efforts focused on species identification have been added to improve the accuracy of information gathered from regions still reporting some subsistence harvest of listed or candidate species.

    Based on our monitoring of the migratory bird species and populations taken for subsistence, we find that this regulation would provide for the preservation and maintenance of migratory bird stocks as required by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (Act; 16 U.S.C. 703 et seq.). The Act's 16 U.S.C. 712(1) provision states that the Service, “is authorized to issue such regulations as may be necessary to assure that the taking of migratory birds and the collection of their eggs, by the indigenous inhabitants of the State of Alaska, shall be permitted for their own nutritional and other essential needs, as determined by the Secretary of the Interior, during seasons established so as to provide for the preservation and maintenance of stocks of migratory birds.” Communication and coordination between the Service, the Co-management Council, and the Pacific Flyway Council have allowed us to set harvest regulations to ensure the long-term viability of the migratory bird stocks. In addition, Alaska migratory bird subsistence harvest rates have continued to decline since the inception of the subsistence-harvest program, reducing concerns about the program's consistency with the preservation and maintenance of stocks of migratory birds.

    As for the ensuring the conservation of Endangered Species Act (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), listed species, spectacled eiders (Somateria fischeri) and the Alaska-breeding population of Steller's eiders (Polysticta stelleri) are listed as threatened species. Their migration and breeding distribution overlap with areas where the spring and summer subsistence migratory bird hunt is open in Alaska. Both species are closed to hunting, although harvest surveys and Service documentation indicate both species are taken in several regions of Alaska. We have determined that this proposed rule would comply with the ESA (see Endangered Species Act Consideration discussion, below).

    The Service has dual objectives and responsibilities for authorizing a subsistence harvest while protecting migratory birds and threatened species. Although these objectives continue to be challenging, they are not irreconcilable, provided that: (1) Regulations continue to protect threatened species, (2) measures to address documented threats are implemented, and (3) the subsistence community and other conservation partners commit to working together. With these dual objectives in mind, the Service, working with North Slope partners, developed measures in 2009 to further reduce the potential for shooting mortality or injury of closed species. These conservation measures included: (1) Increased waterfowl hunter outreach and community awareness through partnering with the North Slope Migratory Bird Task Force; and (2) continued enforcement of the migratory bird regulations that are protective of listed eiders.

    This proposed rule continues to focus on the North Slope from Utqiagvik (formerly known as Barrow) to Point Hope because Steller's eiders from the listed Alaska breeding population are known to breed and migrate there, and harvest survey data and direct observations indicate take during subsistence harvest has occurred there. These regulations are designed to address several ongoing eider-management needs by clarifying for subsistence users that (1) Service law enforcement personnel have authority to verify species of birds possessed by hunters, and (2) it is illegal to possess any species of bird closed to harvest. This proposed rule also describes how the Service's existing authority of emergency closure would be implemented, if necessary, to protect Steller's eiders. We are always willing to discuss regulations with our partners on the North Slope to ensure protection of closed species while providing subsistence hunters an opportunity to maintain the culture and traditional migratory bird harvest of the community. These regulations pertaining to bag checks and possession of illegal birds are deemed necessary to monitor take of closed eider species during the subsistence hunt.

    In collaboration with North Slope partners, a number of conservation efforts have been implemented to raise awareness and educate hunters in and around Utqiagvik on Steller's eider conservation via the local bird outreach festival, meetings, radio shows, signs, school visits, and one-on-one contacts. Limited intermittent monitoring on the North Slope, focused primarily at Utqiagvik, found no evidence that listed eiders were shot in 2009 through 2012; one Steller's eider and one spectacled eider were found shot during the summer of 2013; one Steller's eider was found shot in 2014; and no listed eiders were found shot in 2015 through 2017. Elsewhere in Alaska, one spectacled eider that appeared to have been shot was found dead on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta in 2015. The Service acknowledges progress made with the other eider conservation measures, including partnering with the North Slope Migratory Bird Task Force, for increased waterfowl-hunter awareness, continued enforcement of the regulations, and in-season verification of the harvest. To reduce the threat of shooting mortality of threatened eiders, we continue to work with North Slope partners to conduct education and outreach. In addition, the emergency-closure authority provides another level of assurance if an unexpected number of Steller's eiders are killed by shooting (50 CFR 92.21 and 50 CFR 92.32).

    The longstanding general emergency-closure provision at 50 CFR 92.21 specifies that the harvest may be closed or temporarily suspended upon finding that a continuation of the regulation allowing the harvest would pose an imminent threat to the conservation of any migratory bird population. With regard to Steller's eiders, the regulations at 50 CFR 92.32, carried over from the past 7 years, clarify that we would take action under 50 CFR 92.21 as is necessary to prevent further take of Steller's eiders, and that action could include temporary or long-term closures of the harvest in all or a portion of the geographic area open to harvest. When and if mortality of threatened eiders is documented, we would evaluate each mortality event by criteria such as cause, quantity, sex, age, location, and date. We would consult with the Co-management Council when we are considering an emergency closure. If we determine that an emergency closure is necessary, we would design it to minimize its impact on the subsistence harvest.

    Endangered Species Act Consideration

    Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (16 U.S.C. 1536) requires the Secretary of the Interior to “review other programs administered by him (or her) and utilize such programs in furtherance of the purposes of the Act” and to “insure that any action authorized, funded, or carried out * * * is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered species or threatened species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of [critical] habitat. * * *” Prior to issuance of annual spring and summer subsistence regulations, we would consult under section 7 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), to ensure that the 2018 subsistence harvest is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any species designated as endangered or threatened, or modify or destroy its critical habitats, and that the regulations are consistent with conservation programs for those species.

    Consultation under section 7 of the ESA for the annual subsistence take regulations may cause us to change these regulations. Our biological opinion resulting from the section 7 consultation is a public document available from the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Statutory Authority

    We derive our authority to issue these regulations from the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, at 16 U.S.C. 712(1), which authorizes the Secretary of the Interior, in accordance with the treaties with Canada, Mexico, Japan, and Russia, to “issue such regulations as may be necessary to assure that the taking of migratory birds and the collection of their eggs, by the indigenous inhabitants of the State of Alaska, shall be permitted for their own nutritional and other essential needs, as determined by the Secretary of the Interior, during seasons established so as to provide for the preservation and maintenance of stocks of migratory birds.”

    Required Determinations Executive Order 13771—Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs

    This proposed rule is not subject to the requirements of Executive Order 13771 (82 FR 9339, February 3, 2017) because this proposed rule would establish annual harvest limits related to routine hunting or fishing.

    Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and 13563)

    Executive Order 12866 provides that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) will review all significant rules. OIRA has determined that this proposed rule is not significant.

    Executive Order 13563 reaffirms the principles of E.O. 12866 while calling for improvements in the nation's regulatory system to promote predictability, to reduce uncertainty, and to use the best, most innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. The executive order directs agencies to consider regulatory approaches that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for the public where these approaches are relevant, feasible, and consistent with regulatory objectives. E.O. 13563 emphasizes further that regulations must be based on the best available science and that the rulemaking process must allow for public participation and an open exchange of ideas. We have developed this proposed rule in a manner consistent with these requirements.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Department of the Interior certifies that, if adopted, this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities as defined under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). A regulatory flexibility analysis is not required. Accordingly, a Small Entity Compliance Guide is not required. This proposed rule would legalize a pre-existing subsistence activity, and the resources harvested would be consumed.

    Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    This proposed rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. This proposed rule:

    (a) Would not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more. It legalizes and regulates a traditional subsistence activity. It would not result in a substantial increase in subsistence harvest or a significant change in harvesting patterns. The commodities that would be regulated under this rule are migratory birds. This proposed rule deals with legalizing the subsistence harvest of migratory birds and, as such, does not involve commodities traded in the marketplace. A small economic benefit from this proposed rule derives from the sale of equipment and ammunition to carry out subsistence hunting. Most, if not all, businesses that sell hunting equipment in rural Alaska qualify as small businesses. We have no reason to believe that this proposed rule would lead to a disproportionate distribution of benefits.

    (b) Would not cause a major increase in costs or prices for consumers; individual industries; Federal, State, or local government agencies; or geographic regions. This proposed rule does not deal with traded commodities and, therefore, would not have an impact on prices for consumers.

    (c) Would not have significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises. This proposed rule deals with the harvesting of wildlife for personal consumption. It would not regulate the marketplace in any way to generate substantial effects on the economy or the ability of businesses to compete.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    We have determined and certified under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.) that this proposed rule would not impose a cost of $100 million or more in any given year on local, State, or tribal governments or private entities. The proposed rule would not have a significant or unique effect on State, local, or tribal governments or the private sector. A statement containing the information required by the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act is not required. Participation on regional management bodies and the Co-management Council requires travel expenses for some Alaska Native organizations and local governments. In addition, they assume some expenses related to coordinating involvement of village councils in the regulatory process. Total coordination and travel expenses for all Alaska Native organizations are estimated to be less than $300,000 per year. In a notice of decision (65 FR 16405; March 28, 2000), we identified 7 to 12 partner organizations (Alaska Native nonprofits and local governments) to administer the regional programs. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game also incurs expenses for travel to Co-management Council and regional management body meetings. In addition, the State of Alaska would be required to provide technical staff support to each of the regional management bodies and to the Co-management Council. Expenses for the State's involvement may exceed $100,000 per year, but should not exceed $150,000 per year. When funding permits, we make annual grant agreements available to the partner organizations and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to help offset their expenses.

    Takings (Executive Order 12630)

    Under the criteria in Executive Order 12630, this proposed rule would not have significant takings implications. This proposed rule is not specific to particular land ownership, but applies to the harvesting of migratory bird resources throughout Alaska. A takings implication assessment is not required.

    Federalism (Executive Order 13132)

    Under the criteria in Executive Order 13132, this proposed rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a federalism summary impact statement. We discuss effects of this proposed rule on the State of Alaska in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act section, above. We worked with the State of Alaska to develop these proposed regulations. Therefore, a federalism summary impact statement is not required.

    Civil Justice Reform (Executive Order 12988)

    The Department, in promulgating this proposed rule, has determined that it would not unduly burden the judicial system and that it meets the requirements of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988.

    Government-to-Government Relations With Native American Tribal Governments

    Consistent with Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249; November 6, 2000), “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments,” and Department of Interior policy on Consultation with Indian Tribes (December 1, 2011), we will send letters via electronic mail to all 229 Alaska Federally recognized Indian tribes. Consistent with Congressional direction (Pub. L. 108-199, div. H, Sec. 161, Jan. 23, 2004, 118 Stat. 452, as amended by Pub. L. 108-447, div. H, title V, Sec. 518, Dec. 8, 2004, 118 Stat. 3267), we also send letters to approximately 200 Alaska Native corporations and other tribal entities in Alaska soliciting their input as to whether or not they would like the Service to consult with them on the 2018 migratory bird subsistence harvest regulations.

    We implemented the amended treaty with Canada with a focus on local involvement. The treaty calls for the creation of management bodies to ensure an effective and meaningful role for Alaska's indigenous inhabitants in the conservation of migratory birds. According to the Letter of Submittal, management bodies are to include Alaska Native, Federal, and State of Alaska representatives as equals. They develop recommendations for, among other things: Seasons and bag limits, methods and means of take, law enforcement policies, population and harvest monitoring, education programs, research and use of traditional knowledge, and habitat protection. The management bodies involve village councils to the maximum extent possible in all aspects of management. To ensure maximum input at the village level, we required each of the 11 participating regions to create regional management bodies consisting of at least one representative from the participating villages. The regional management bodies meet twice annually to review and/or submit proposals to the Statewide body.

    Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA)

    This proposed rule does not contain any new collections of information that require Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval under the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). We may not conduct or sponsor and you are not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. OMB has reviewed and approved our collection of information associated with:

    • Voluntary annual household surveys that we use to determine levels of subsistence take (OMB Control Number 1018-0124, expires October 31, 2019).

    • Permits associated with subsistence hunting (OMB Control Number 1018-0075, expires June 30, 2019).

    • Emperor Goose Spring Subsistence Harvest Survey (to include number of geese harvested, age, sex, and mass of birds harvested associated) (OMB Control Number 1090-0011, expires August 31, 2018).

    National Environmental Policy Act Consideration (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.)

    The annual regulations and options are considered in an October 2017 environmental assessment, “Managing Migratory Bird Subsistence Hunting in Alaska: Hunting Regulations for the 2018 Spring/Summer Harvest.” Copies are available from the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT or at http://www.regulations.gov.

    Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use (Executive Order 13211)

    Executive Order 13211 requires agencies to prepare Statements of Energy Effects when undertaking certain actions. This is not a significant regulatory action under this Executive Order; it allows only for traditional subsistence harvest and improves conservation of migratory birds by allowing effective regulation of this harvest. Further, this proposed rule is not expected to significantly affect energy supplies, distribution, or use. Therefore, this action is not a significant energy action under Executive Order 13211, and a Statement of Energy Effects is not required.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 92

    Hunting, Treaties, Wildlife.

    Proposed Regulation Promulgation

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, we propose to amend title 50, chapter I, subchapter G, of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

    PART 92—MIGRATORY BIRD SUBSISTENCE HARVEST IN ALASKA 1. The authority citation for part 92 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 703-712.

    Subpart C—General Regulations Governing Subsistence Harvest 2. Amend § 92.22 by: a. Redesignating paragraph (a)(3) as paragraph (a)(4); b. Adding a new paragraph (a)(3); and c. Revising paragraph (a)(6).

    The addition and revision read as follows:

    § 92.22 Subsistence migratory bird species.

    (a) * * *

    (3) Emperor goose (Chen canagica).

    (6) Canada goose, subspecies cackling goose.

    Subpart D—Annual Regulations Governing Subsistence Harvest 3. Amend subpart D by adding § 92.31 to read as follows:
    § 92.31 Region-specific regulations.

    The 2018 season dates for the eligible subsistence-harvest areas are as follows:

    (a) Aleutian/Pribilof Islands Region. (1) Northern Unit (Pribilof Islands):

    (i) Season: April 2-June 30.

    (ii) Closure: July 1-August 31.

    (2) Central Unit (Aleutian Region's eastern boundary on the Alaska Peninsula westward to and including Unalaska Island):

    (i) Season: April 2-June 15 and July 16-August 31.

    (ii) Closure: June 16-July 15.

    (iii) Special Black Brant Season Closure: August 16-August 31, only in Izembek and Moffet lagoons.

    (iv) Special Tundra Swan Closure: All hunting and egg gathering closed in Game Management Units 9(D) and 10.

    (3) Western Unit (Umnak Island west to and including Attu Island):

    (i) Season: April 2-July 15 and August 16-August 31.

    (ii) Closure: July 16-August 15.

    (b) Yukon/Kuskokwim Delta Region. (1) Season: April 2-August 31.

    (2) Closure: 30-day closure dates to be announced by the Service's Alaska Regional Director or his designee, after consultation with field biologists and the Association of Village Council President's Waterfowl Conservation Committee. This 30-day period will occur between June 1 and August 15 of each year. A press release announcing the actual closure dates will be forwarded to regional newspapers and radio and television stations.

    (3) Special Black Brant and Cackling Canada Goose Season Hunting Closure: From the period when egg laying begins until young birds are fledged. Closure dates to be announced by the Service's Alaska Regional Director or his designee, after consultation with field biologists and the Association of Village Council President's Waterfowl Conservation Committee. A press release announcing the actual closure dates will be forwarded to regional newspapers and radio and television stations.

    (c) Bristol Bay Region. (1) Season: April 2-June 14 and July 16-August 31 (general season); April 2-July 15 for seabird egg gathering only.

    (2) Closure: June 15-July 15 (general season); July 16-August 31 (seabird egg gathering).

    (d) Bering Strait/Norton Sound Region. (1) Stebbins/St. Michael Area (Point Romanof to Canal Point):

    (i) Season: April 15-June 14 and July 16-August 31.

    (ii) Closure: June 15-July 15.

    (2) Remainder of the region:

    (i) Season: April 2-June 14 and July 16-August 31 for waterfowl; April 2-July 19 and August 21-August 31 for all other birds.

    (ii) Closure: June 15-July 15 for waterfowl; July 20-August 20 for all other birds.

    (e) Kodiak Archipelago Region, except for the Kodiak Island roaded area, which is closed to the harvesting of migratory birds and their eggs. The closed area consists of all lands and waters (including exposed tidelands) east of a line extending from Crag Point in the north to the west end of Saltery Cove in the south and all lands and water south of a line extending from Termination Point along the north side of Cascade Lake extending to Anton Larsen Bay. Marine waters adjacent to the closed area are closed to harvest within 500 feet from the water's edge. The offshore islands are open to harvest.

    (1) Season: April 2-June 30 and July 31-August 31 for seabirds; April 2-June 20 and July 22-August 31 for all other birds.

    (2) Closure: July 1-July 30 for seabirds; June 21-July 21 for all other birds.

    (f) Northwest Arctic Region. (1) Season: April 2-June 14 and July 16-August 31 (hunting in general); waterfowl egg gathering April 2-June 14 only; seabird egg gathering May 20-July 12 only; hunting molting/non-nesting waterfowl July 1-July 15 only.

    (2) Closure: June 15-July 15, except for the taking of seabird eggs and molting/non-nesting waterfowl as provided in paragraph (f)(1) of this section.

    (g) North Slope Region. (1) Southern Unit (Southwestern North Slope regional boundary east to Peard Bay, everything west of the longitude line 158°30′ W and south of the latitude line 70°45′ N to the west bank of the Ikpikpuk River, and everything south of the latitude line 69°45′ N between the west bank of the Ikpikpuk River to the east bank of Sagavinirktok River):

    (i) Season: April 2-June 29 and July 30-August 31 for seabirds; April 2-June 19 and July 20-August 31 for all other birds.

    (ii) Closure: June 30-July 29 for seabirds; June 20-July 19 for all other birds.

    (iii) Special Black Brant Hunting Opening: From June 20-July 5. The open area consists of the coastline, from mean high water line outward to include open water, from Nokotlek Point east to longitude line 158°30′ W. This includes Peard Bay, Kugrua Bay, and Wainwright Inlet, but not the Kuk and Kugrua river drainages.

    (2) Northern Unit (At Peard Bay, everything east of the longitude line 158°30′ W and north of the latitude line 70°45′ N to west bank of the Ikpikpuk River, and everything north of the latitude line 69°45′ N between the west bank of the Ikpikpuk River to the east bank of Sagavinirktok River):

    (i) Season: April 2-June 6 and July 7-August 31 for king and common eiders; April 2-June 15 and July 16-August 31 for all other birds.

    (ii) Closure: June 7-July 6 for king and common eiders; June 16-July 15 for all other birds.

    (3) Eastern Unit (East of eastern bank of the Sagavanirktok River):

    (i) Season: April 2-June 19 and July 20-August 31.

    (ii) Closure: June 20-July 19.

    (4) All Units: Yellow-billed loons. Annually, up to 20 yellow-billed loons total for the region inadvertently entangled in subsistence fishing nets in the North Slope Region may be kept for subsistence use.

    (5) North Coastal Zone (Cape Thompson north to Point Hope and east along the Arctic Ocean coastline around Point Barrow to Ross Point, including Iko Bay, and 5 miles inland).

    (i) No person may at any time, by any means, or in any manner, possess or have in custody any migratory bird or part thereof, taken in violation of subparts C and D of this part.

    (ii) Upon request from a Service law enforcement officer, hunters taking, attempting to take, or transporting migratory birds taken during the subsistence harvest season must present them to the officer for species identification.

    (h) Interior Region. (1) Season: April 2-June 14 and July 16-August 31; egg gathering May 1-June 14 only.

    (2) Closure: June 15-July 15.

    (i) Upper Copper River Region (Harvest Area: Game Management Units 11 and 13) (Eligible communities: Gulkana, Chitina, Tazlina, Copper Center, Gakona, Mentasta Lake, Chistochina and Cantwell).

    (1) Season: April 15-May 26 and June 27-August 31.

    (2) Closure: May 27-June 26.

    (3) The Copper River Basin communities listed above also documented traditional use harvesting birds in Game Management Unit 12, making them eligible to hunt in this unit using the seasons specified in paragraph (h) of this section.

    (j) Gulf of Alaska Region. (1) Prince William Sound Area West (Harvest area: Game Management Unit 6[D]), (Eligible Chugach communities: Chenega Bay, Tatitlek):

    (i) Season: April 2-May 31 and July 1-August 31.

    (ii) Closure: June 1-30.

    (2) Prince William Sound Area East (Harvest area: Game Management Units 6[B]and [C]—Barrier Islands between Strawberry Channel and Softtuk Bar), (Eligible Chugach communities: Cordova, Tatitlek, and Chenega Bay):

    (i) Season: April 2-April 30 (hunting); May 1-May 31 (gull egg gathering).

    (ii) Closure: May 1-August 31 (hunting); April 2-30 and June 1-August 31 (gull egg gathering).

    (iii) Species Open for Hunting: Greater white-fronted goose; snow goose; gadwall; Eurasian and American wigeon; blue-winged and green-winged teal; mallard; northern shoveler; northern pintail; canvasback; redhead; ring-necked duck; greater and lesser scaup; king and common eider; harlequin duck; surf, white-winged, and black scoter; long-tailed duck; bufflehead; common and Barrow's goldeneye; hooded, common, and red-breasted merganser; and sandhill crane. Species open for egg gathering: Glaucous-winged, herring, and mew gulls.

    (iv) Use of Boats/All-Terrain Vehicles: No hunting from motorized vehicles or any form of watercraft.

    (v) Special Registration: All hunters or egg gatherers must possess an annual permit, which is available from the Cordova offices of the Native Village of Eyak and the U.S. Forest Service.

    (3) Kachemak Bay Area (Harvest area: Game Management Unit 15[C] South of a line connecting the tip of Homer Spit to the mouth of Fox River) (Eligible Chugach Communities: Port Graham, Nanwalek):

    (i) Season: April 2-May 31 and July 1-August 31.

    (ii) Closure: June 1-30.

    (k) Cook Inlet. (Harvest area: Portions of Game Management Unit 16[B] as specified below) (Eligible communities: Tyonek only):

    (1) Season: April 2-May 31—That portion of Game Management Unit 16(B) south of the Skwentna River and west of the Yentna River, and August 1-31—That portion of Game Management Unit 16(B) south of the Beluga River, Beluga Lake, and the Triumvirate Glacier.

    (2) Closure: June 1-July 31.

    (l) Southeast Alaska. (1) Community of Hoonah (Harvest area: National Forest lands in Icy Strait and Cross Sound, including Middle Pass Rock near the Inian Islands, Table Rock in Cross Sound, and other traditional locations on the coast of Yakobi Island. The land and waters of Glacier Bay National Park remain closed to all subsistence harvesting (50 CFR part 100.3(a)):

    (i) Season: Glaucous-winged gull egg gathering only: May 15-June 30.

    (ii) Closure: July 1-August 31.

    (2) Communities of Craig and Hydaburg (Harvest area: Small islands and adjacent shoreline of western Prince of Wales Island from Point Baker to Cape Chacon, but also including Coronation and Warren islands):

    (i) Season: Glaucous-winged gull egg gathering only: May 15-June 30.

    (ii) Closure: July 1-August 31.

    (3) Community of Yakutat (Harvest area: Icy Bay (Icy Cape to Point Riou), and coastal lands and islands bordering the Gulf of Alaska from Point Manby southeast to and including Dry Bay):

    (i) Season: Glaucous-winged gull egg gathering: May 15-June 30.

    (ii) Closure: July 1-August 31.

    4. Amend subpart D by adding § 92.32 to read as follows:
    § 92.32 Emergency regulations to protect Steller's eiders.

    Upon finding that continuation of these subsistence regulations would pose an imminent threat to the conservation of threatened Steller's eiders (Polysticta stelleri), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Alaska Regional Director, in consultation with the Co-management Council, will immediately under § 92.21 take action as is necessary to prevent further take. Regulation changes implemented could range from a temporary closure of duck hunting in a small geographic area to large-scale regional or Statewide long-term closures of all subsistence migratory bird hunting. These closures or temporary suspensions will remain in effect until the Regional Director, in consultation with the Co-management Council, determines that the potential for additional Steller's eiders to be taken no longer exists.

    Dated: January 16, 2018. Jason Larrabee, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Exercising the Authority of the Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02001 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
    83 22 Thursday, February 1, 2018 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request January 29, 2018.

    The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments are requested regarding (1) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments regarding this information collection received by March 5, 2018 will be considered. Written comments should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), New Executive Office Building, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20502. Commenters are encouraged to submit their comments to OMB via email to: [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8958.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Rural Utilities Service

    Title: Accounting Requirements for RUS Electric and Telecommunications Borrowers.

    OMB Control Number: 0572-0003.

    Summary of Collection: Rural Utilities Service (RUS) is a credit agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture that makes loans (direct and guaranteed) to finance electric and telecommunications facilities in rural areas. This collection is primarily a recordkeeping requirement. 7 CFR parts 1767 and 1770 set forth basic accounting requirements for maintaining financial accounting records on an accrual basis that are unique to RUS borrowers. The agency is requiring borrowers to establish an index of records. RUS does not own or operate rural electric facilities. Its function is to provide, through self-liquidating loans and technical assistance, adequate and dependable electric and telecommunications service to rural people under rates and conditions that permit productive use of these utility services. RUS borrowers, as all businesses, need accounting systems for their own internal use as well as external use. Such records are maintained as part of normal business practices. Without systems, no records would exist, for example, or what they own or what they owe. Such records systems provide borrowers with information that is required by the manager and board of directors to operate on a daily basis, to complete their tax returns, and to support requests to state regulatory commissions for rate approvals.

    Need and Use of the Information: Currently there are approximately 600 active electric borrowers and 350 RUS telecommunications borrowers. Borrowers may utilize any information technology that meets their records management needs. RUS uses the information to evaluate a borrower's financial performance, to determine whether current loans are at risk, and to determine the credit worthiness of future loans. If basic financial records were not maintained, the borrower, its investors, and RUS would be unable to evaluate a borrower's financial performance, to determine whether current loans are at risk, and to determine the credit worthiness of future loans.

    Description of Respondents: Business or other-for-profit; Not-for-profit institutions.

    Number of Respondents: 950.

    Frequency of Responses: Recordkeeping; Reporting: On Occasion.

    Total Burden Hours: 25,650.

    Rural Utilities Service

    Title: 7 CFR part 1724 and Part 1738 Electric Engineering, Architectural Services and Design Policies and Procedures; and Rural Broadband Access Loans and Loan Guarantees.

    OMB Control Number: 0572-0118.

    Summary of Collection: The Rural Electrification Act of 1936, 7 U.S.C. 901 et seq., as amended, authorizes Rural Utilities Service (RUS) to make loans in several States and Territories of the United States for broadband access and rural electrification and the furnishing and improving of electric energy to persons in rural areas. Title 7 CFR 1724 requires each borrower to select a qualified architect to perform certain architectural services and to use the designated form that provides for these services. The agency has developed standardized contractual forms used by borrowers to contract for services.

    Need and Use of the Information: The information collected stipulates the parties to the agreement, contain certain information relating to the approved loan or loan guarantee, and provide detailed contractual obligations and services to be provided and performed relating to construction, project design, construction management, compensation, and related information. The contractual forms provide standardized contract agreements between the electric or broadband borrower and the engineering or architectural firm providing services to the borrower. This has resulted in substantial savings to borrowers by reducing preparation of the documentation and the costly review by the government.

    Description of Respondents: Business or other for-profit.

    Number of Respondents: 59.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion.

    Total Burden Hours: 63.

    Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-01983 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS-2018-0002] Notice of Request for Revision To and Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Trichinae Certification Program AGENCY:

    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Revision to and extension of an approval of an information collection; comment request.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's intention to request a revision to and extension of approval of an information collection associated with the voluntary Trichinae Certification Program.

    DATES:

    We will consider all comments that we receive on or before April 2, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2018-0002.

    Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2018-0002, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.

    Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2018-0002 or in our reading room, which is located in room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call 202-799-7039 before coming.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For information on the Trichinae Certification Program, contact Dr. John Korslund, Staff Epidemiologist, Surveillance, Preparedness and Response Services, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road, Unit 46, Riverdale, MD 20737; (301) 851-3468. For copies of more detailed information on the information collection, contact Ms. Kimberly Hardy, APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 851-2483.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Trichinae Certification Program.

    OMB Control Number: 0579-0323.

    Type of Request: Revision to and extension of approval of an information collection.

    Abstract: Under the Animal Health Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 8301 et seq.), the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture is authorized, among other things, to prohibit or restrict the importation and interstate movement of animals and animal products to prevent the introduction into and dissemination within the United States of livestock diseases and pests and to conduct programs to detect, control, and eradicate pests and diseases of livestock. In addition, under the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (7 U.S.C. 1622), the APHIS Administrator has authority with respect to voluntary inspection and certification of animal products and the inspection, testing, treatment, and certification of animals.

    APHIS regulations in 9 CFR part 149 contain certification requirements for the voluntary Trichinae Certification Program, which is a cooperative effort by APHIS and the U.S. pork industry. The program is intended to enhance the ability of swine producers, as well as slaughter facilities and other persons that handle or process swine from pork production sites that have been certified under the program, to export fresh pork and pork products to foreign markets.

    There are a number of information collection activities associated with the voluntary Trichinae Certification Program, such as requests to temporarily withdraw from the program, notification to APHIS of program withdrawal, requests for review of audit results or other determinations, certification site audit forms and requests for certification site audits, spot audits, animal disposal plans, animal movement records, rodent control logbooks, feed mill quality assurance affidavits, slaughter testing records, and recordkeeping.

    We are asking the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to approve our use of these information collection activities, as described, for an additional 3 years.

    The purpose of this notice is to solicit comments from the public (as well as affected agencies) concerning our information collection. These comments will help us:

    (1) Evaluate whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    (2) Evaluate the accuracy of our estimate of the burden of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, through use, as appropriate, of automated, electronic, mechanical, and other collection technologies; e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    Estimate of burden: The public burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 0.48 hours per response.

    Respondents: Auditors (accredited veterinarians or State animal health officials), pork producers, mill managers, slaughter facility personnel, and personnel from approved laboratories.

    Estimated annual number of respondents: 66.

    Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 16.

    Estimated annual number of responses: 1,085.

    Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 521 hours. (Due to averaging, the total annual burden hours may not equal the product of the annual number of responses multiplied by the reporting burden per response.)

    All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 26th day of January 2018. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-01993 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Commodity Credit Corporation Withdrawal of the Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) for and the Cancellation of the Farm-to-Fleet Feedstock Program Biofuel Production Incentive (BPI) AGENCY:

    Commodity Credit Corporation and Farm Service Agency, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of withdrawal and cancellation.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) has withdrawn support for the Farm-to-Fleet BPI Program, and is cancelling funding for the BPI payments to companies that are refining biofuel in the United States from certain domestically grown feedstocks converted to drop-in biofuel for delivery to supply biofuels to the Navy. USDA has reassessed how to best use limited available funds and has determined that the BPI is no longer a priority for CCC funding. The impact of this withdrawal is that suppliers of fuel containing a biofuel blend to the U.S. Navy are no longer eligible to receive a CCC incentive payment, through the Farm-to-Fleet BPI Program.

    DATES:

    Effective: February 1, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kelly Novak, (202) 720-4053.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    A notice of funds availability for the Farm-to-Fleet Feedstock BPI was published in the Federal Register on December 29, 2016, (81 FR 95956-95958). The BPI payments were intended to support a joint USDA and U.S. Navy Farm-to-Fleet Program that was announced in December 2013, which provided incentive funds to companies that are refining biofuel in the United States from certain domestically grown feedstocks converted to drop-in biofuel for delivery to supply biofuels to the Navy.

    CCC funds, administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA), were used for BPI payments to help increase the domestic consumption of agricultural commodities in the biofuel market. Up to $50 million of CCC funds was announced as being available through FY 2018. This notice withdraws the availability of BPI payments for deliveries not yet solicited or procured by the U.S. Navy and Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Energy office and cancels USDA support for biofuel blends solicited by the DLA Energy office and US Navy. Specifically, FSA will continue to make the BPI payments required under the existing commitments. BPI payments will continue to be made to the eligible claimant awarded a contract under DLA Energy's Rocky Mountain West solicitation (SPE600-17-R-0709) and BPI payments will be made on any awards resulting from the Rocky Mountain West and Inland East Gulf solicitations published prior to the publication of this withdrawal. No BPI payments will be made related to any DLA Energy solicitations that are announced after this withdrawal is published.

    Steven J. Peterson, Executive Vice President, Commodity Credit Corporation.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02028 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-05-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Telecommunications and Information Administration [Docket Number: 131219999-7305-03] RIN 0660-XC009 First Responder Network Authority; Revised National Environmental Policy Act Procedures and Categorical Exclusions AGENCY:

    First Responder Network Authority, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The First Responder Network Authority (“FirstNet”) publishes this notice of its final procedures for implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”). The final procedures include a revised list of, and replace, previously established categorical exclusions (“CEs”) and extraordinary circumstances.

    DATES:

    These procedures take effect as of February 1, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Eli Veenendaal, First Responder Network Authority, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 3122 Sterling Circle, Suite 100, Boulder, CO 80301 or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (47 U.S.C. 1401 et seq.) (the “Act”) established the First Responder Network Authority (“FirstNet”) as an independent authority within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (“NTIA”). FirstNet's statutory mission is to take all actions necessary to ensure the establishment of a nationwide public safety broadband network (“NPSBN”).1 Moreover, the Act meets a long-standing and critical national infrastructure need to create a single, nationwide interoperable network that will, for the first time, allow public safety entities such as police officers, fire fighters, emergency medical service professionals, and other public safety personnel to effectively communicate with each other across agencies and jurisdictions.

    1 47 U.S.C. 1426(b).

    On April 28, 2014, FirstNet, as a newly created federal entity, published a notice in the Federal Register finalizing its NEPA implementing procedures.2 These NEPA implementing procedures provided the framework for FirstNet's establishment of a NEPA compliance program and for applying the appropriate level of NEPA review for major federal actions related to the deployment of the NPSBN. More specifically, FirstNet's NEPA implementing procedures supplemented the Council on Environmental Quality (“CEQ”) regulations and provided guidance to FirstNet employees and potential Applicants regarding the procedural requirements for the application of NEPA.3

    2 FirstNet, National Environmental Policy Act Implementing Procedures and Categorical Exclusions, 79 FR 23,950 (April 29, 2014).

    3 The term “Applicant” means any person, entity, or federal, state, tribal, or territorial government body that seeks to take an action related to the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN) or an action that is otherwise under the direct control and responsibility of FirstNet, including, but not limited to, actions that occur under any type of agreement related to the use of the spectrum licensed to FirstNet under station license call sign WQQE234, or actions requiring the approval of or funding provided by FirstNet.

    As it has continued to mature as an organization, FirstNet has identified the need to modify its NEPA implementing procedures and revise its list of categorical exclusions and extraordinary circumstances (CEs) to ensure that such procedures better align with FirstNet's statutory mission and activities related to the deployment of the NPSBN, as well as better assist FirstNet in complying with NEPA as well as CEQ and Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) regulations. More specifically, FirstNet, as both an independent federal authority and a licensee of the FCC, must satisfy its own NEPA obligations as well as comply with FCC-promulgated NEPA procedures.4

    4See generally 40 CFR 1507.3 (stating federal agencies with overlapping NEPA requirements related to the same project are encouraged to streamline their NEPA implementing procedures to avoid duplicative NEPA review).

    Accordingly, on June 23, 2017, FirstNet published for comment proposed revisions to its NEPA implementing procedures and categorical exclusions.5 Publication of the notice began a 30-day comment period that ended on July 24, 2017. Comments were received from three (3) sources, consisting of the U.S. Department of the Interior (“DOI”) and two private citizens. A complete set of comments filed in response to the Revised First Responder Network Authority: National Environmental Policy Act Implementing Procedures and Categorical Exclusions may be viewed at https://www.regulations.gov/docketBrowser?rpp=25&po=0&dct=PS&D=FIRSTNET-2017-0001&refD=FIRSTNET-2017-0001-0001. The final procedures are available for review at www.firstnet.gov.

    5 FirstNet, Revised National Environmental Policy Act Implementing Procedures and Categorical Exclusions, 82 FR 28,621 (June 23, 2017).

    FirstNet consulted with the CEQ on the proposed and final revisions to its NEPA implementing procedures and CEs. The CEQ issued a letter stating that it has reviewed the revised procedures, including CEs, and found it to be in conformity with NEPA and CEQ regulations.6

    6See CEQ FirstNet Conformity Letter (January 29, 2018) available at www.firstnet.gov.

    II. Comments and Agency Responses

    Comments on the proposed procedures and categorical exclusions included several similar positions, inquiries both within and outside the scope of the procedures, and recommendations stemming from the proposed procedural revisions and categorical exclusions. FirstNet has carefully considered each of the comments submitted, grouped and summarized the comments by issues raised, and responded accordingly.

    A. Use of Existing Infrastructure

    Comment: One commenter recommended deploying network infrastructure on lands that have already been commercially developed to help mitigate the environmental impact of network deployment on public lands.

    Response: FirstNet agrees with the comment, and, consistent with the recommendation and its mandate under the Act, has sought and entered into an agreement to utilize, to the maximum extent economically desirable, existing commercial or other communications infrastructure in the establishment of the NPSBN.7

    7 47 U.S.C. 1426(b).

    B. Use of Plain Language

    Comment: One commenter expressed concern that the references in the proposed procedures to the FCC regulations are unclear, and that the actual proposed changes and process are not written in “plain English” as required by law.

    Response: FirstNet disagrees that its revised NEPA procedures do not conform to the plain language requirements established by the Plain Writing Act of 2010 (5 U.S.C. 301 et seq.) (“PWA”) and reiterates that the references to the FCC regulations are necessary to support its compliance with both NEPA and FCC environmental rules.

    The PWA defines the term “plain writing” to mean writing that is clear, concise, well-organized, and follows best practices appropriate to the subject or field and intended audience.8 In drafting the revised NEPA procedures, FirstNet sought to follow established plain language guidelines, including those promulgated by the Department of Commerce and those developed by the Office of Management and Budget to provide the agency's guidance for complying with the PWA.9 In accordance with the PWA and relevant guidelines, FirstNet's implementing procedures were drafted in a manner that sought to follow best practices appropriate to the subject or field and intended audience.

    8 5 U.S.C. 301.3.

    9See Department of Commerce PLAIN Language, available at https://www.commerce.gov/page/department-commerce-plain-language; See also Federal Plain Language Guidelines, available at http://www.plainlanguage.gov/howto/guidelines/FederalPLGuidelines/FederalPLGuidelines.pdf.

    In particular, FirstNet, as both a Federal entity and an FCC spectrum licensee, drafted the revised procedures to align its responsibility to comply with NEPA with the requirements placed upon it as an FCC licensee.10 Consequently, FirstNet's NEPA implementing procedures, including the references to the FCC regulations, are primarily intended to inform FirstNet's personnel and applicants, as defined in its NEPA implementing procedures, of FirstNet's process for complying with NEPA and CEQ regulations while also complying with FCC regulations. Accordingly, FirstNet's use of, and references to, the FCC regulations in the revised implementing procedures are necessary to ensure that FirstNet's implementing procedures align with the FCC environmental rules that are already applicable to FirstNet.

    10See 47 U.S.C. 1421(a) (consistent with this provision, the FCC granted an exclusive license to FirstNet for the use of the 700 MHz D block spectrum under Call Sign WQQE234 on November 15, 2012).

    C. Protections for Migratory Birds

    Comment: Two commenters, consisting of the DOI and one private citizen, focused their comments on whether the revised procedures include sufficient environmental review requirements to protect migratory birds. In particular, the DOI requested that FirstNet's procedures include a process for ensuring compliance with the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (“BGEPA”), Migratory Bird Treaty Act (“MBTA”), and Executive Order (E.O.) 13186, Responsibilities of Federal Agencies to Protect Migratory Birds.

    Response: FirstNet acknowledges the comments and asserts its revised NEPA implementing procedures sufficiently consider environmental resources, as well as support compliance with environmental statutes and regulations that are applicable to the deployment of the NPSBN, including those related to migratory birds. In particular, FirstNet's revised NEPA implementing procedures include, among other statutory and regulatory references, specific language identifying the BGEPA, and MBTA as well as E.O. 13186, Responsibilities of Federal Agencies to Protect Migratory Birds as areas, that should be considered, as appropriate, as part of a NEPA review. For example, the section entitled “Environmental Review and Consultation Requirements for NEPA Review,” requires FirstNet to prepare NEPA documents concurrently and integrated with environmental analyses and related surveys and studies required by applicable environmental laws and E.O., including the BGEPA and MBTA.11 Similarly, Appendix D specifies that during the development of a NEPA review, FirstNet should consider the applicability of BGEPA, MBTA, and E.O. 13186, Responsibilities of Federal Agencies to Protect Migratory Birds as part of a NEPA review.12

    11 FirstNet, National Environmental Policy Act Implementing Procedures (Revised June 2017) available at https://www.firstnet.gov/sites/default/files/FirstNet%20Revised%20Implementing%20Procedures%20%0;28Updated%20June%202017%29.pdf.

    12See FirstNet, Procedures for Implementing the National Environmental Policy Act, Appendix A—List of Authorities, available at https://www.firstnet.gov/sites/default/files/FirstNet%20Revised%20Implementing%20Procedures%20%28Updated%20June%202017%29.pdf.

    FirstNet originally added and has retained the references to these statutes based on previous comments from the DOI.13 Accordingly, FirstNet's NEPA review process, inclusive of the existing language related to MBTA and BGEPA, adequately accounts for the resources protected by these statutes and regulations when applicable to a FirstNet proposed action subject to NEPA review.

    13 FirstNet, National Environmental Policy Act Implementing Procedures and Categorical Exclusions, 79 FR 23,950, 23,953 (April 29, 2014).

    Comment: The DOI recommended that FirstNet's NEPA implementing procedures should be explicitly more protective of migratory birds than the FCC's procedures. The DOI states that the FCC does not “authorize or approve” the siting of towers, and therefore does not have as great a need for procedures for site-specific environmental review and compliance. DOI argues that in contrast to the FCC, FirstNet has a “greater degree of authority and responsibility for siting of communication towers and is conducting several related Environmental Impact Statements.” Consequently, DOI argues that FirstNet's procedures should “be explicitly more protective” of migratory birds.

    Response: FirstNet disagrees with both the DOI's: (1) Assertion that FirstNet has greater degree of authority for siting of communications towers than the FCC and (2) recommendation that FirstNet's NEPA implementing procedures should be explicitly more protective of migratory birds than those of the FCC.

    First, in regard to the siting of communication towers, the DOI appears to be confused about the statutory roles of both FirstNet and the FCC and the nature of the relationship between the agencies. The FCC, not FirstNet, is the federal agency primarily responsible for implementing and enforcing the nation's communications law and regulations, including the management and licensing of the electromagnetic spectrum for commercial use.14 As part of its responsibilities, the FCC requires its licensees and registrants conducting tower or antenna siting activities (e.g., building a new tower or collocating on an existing structure) to comply with FCC rules for environmental review.15 These rules ensure that licensees and registrants take appropriate measures to protect environmental and historic resources, support FCC compliance with its obligations under NEPA and other applicable environmental laws and regulations, and consider the potential environmental impact of their actions.16

    14See generally Communication Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 151 et. seq.); see generally also FCC website available at https://www.fcc.gov/about-fcc/what-we-do.

    15Id.

    16Id.

    FirstNet, as a point of fact, is a licensee of the FCC and is subject to FCC environmental rules, including those related to tower and antenna siting.17 FirstNet's authority is, therefore, limited to its express statutory mission to ensure the establishment of the NPSBN which is not greater than, but, rather, subject to, applicable FCC rules and regulations, including those environmental rules applicable to tower and antenna siting. Accordingly, the DOI's comments that FirstNet has a greater degree of authority for siting communications towers than the FCC is incorrect.

    17See 47 U.S.C. 1421(a).

    Furthermore, as mentioned above, FirstNet asserts that its revised NEPA implementing procedures sufficiently consider environmental resources under NEPA and support compliance with environmental statutes and regulations applicable to the deployment of the NPSBN. FirstNet disagrees with DOI that it must have environmental review standards explicitly more protective of migratory birds than those of the FCC as such requirements would jeopardize FirstNet's ability to fulfill its statutory mission.

    FirstNet's statutory mission, as previously stated, is to ensure the establishment of the NPSBN, and in doing so, make efforts to speed the deployment of the network in order to make services available for public safety entities.18 In addition, FirstNet is required to be a permanent self-funding entity that supports its operations and network deployment primarily through the assessment of various fees.19 Consequently, to help ensure successful network deployment and ongoing operations, FirstNet, in accordance with its enabling legislation, entered into a public-private arrangement to build, operate, and maintain the NPSBN.20 As a result, the NPSBN will be built, owned, and operated by a private company as a commercial wireless telecommunications network and must compete in the open market for public safety entity customers.

    18See generally 47 U.S.C. 1426(b).

    19See 47 U.S.C. 1428(b).

    20See generally 47 U.S.C. 1426(b), 1428(a)(2).

    To that end, additional environmental requirements above and beyond those legally required of all FCC licensees would likely disadvantage FirstNet in its efforts to provide timely and competitively priced services to public safety entities due to the addition of unnecessary costs and subsequent delays in network deployment stemming from these requirements. As a result, FirstNet's ability to meet it statutory mandate and establish and ensure the on-going viability of an interoperable, nationwide broadband network for public safety would be put at significant risk. Accordingly, because the revisions to FirstNet's NEPA implementing procedures comply with NEPA and CEQ regulations, as well as existing FCC environmental rules applicable to other licensees, the revised NEPA implementing procedures are sufficient to account for environmental resources, such as migratory birds, that may be impacted by network deployment.

    D. Scope of Term “Wildlife Preserve”

    Comment: The DOI stated that “wildlife preserve” is not a term defined or used for lands managed by DOI. The DOI argued that FirstNet's use of this term in its procedures creates ambiguity regarding whether “wildlife preserve” includes National Park Systems units, many of which protect wildlife species. In particular, the DOI recommended FirstNet not remove the original language that identifies the scope of environmentally sensitive areas, and suggested that FirstNet continue to include explicit language accounting for Fish and Wildlife Refuge lands.

    Response: FirstNet acknowledges the comment, but believes the use of the term “wildlife preserve” in concert with the other newly established extraordinary circumstances in its NEPA procedures sufficiently encompasses a proposed action that would fall within the jurisdiction of another federal agency, including National Park Systems units.21

    21 In response to DOI's comment the term “environmental sensitive areas” as used in its implementing procedures was not based on any express statutory definition promulgated by DOI or any other agency.

    More specifically, FirstNet's full list of extraordinary circumstances encompasses resources beyond “wildlife preserves,” and includes both “wilderness areas” and “areas that may affect listed threatened or endangered species or designated critical habitats; or (ii) are likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any proposed endangered or threatened species or likely to result in the destruction or adverse modification of proposed critical habitats, as determined by the Secretary of the Interior pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531) (“ESA”).” 22

    22See FirstNet, Procedures for Implementing the National Environmental Policy Act, Appendix C- List of Extraordinary Circumstances, available at https://www.firstnet.gov/sites/default/files/FirstNet%20Revised%20Implementing%20Procedures%20%28Updated%20June%202017%29.pdf.

    Furthermore, as a general matter, NEPA requires federal agencies to coordinate environmental reviews with agencies with jurisdiction over specific resources.23 Thus, FirstNet, when applicable to a proposed action, would be required to coordinate with DOI in order to comply with NEPA. For instance, FirstNet's obligation to account for threatened or endangered species or designated critical habitats under the ESA, is not absolved under the revised NEPA implementing procedures.24

    23See 40 CFR 1502.25.

    24See e.g., Endangered Species Act, 16 U.S.C. 1531 et. seq.; See also e.g., 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq. (which, similar other statutes and regulations, apply to actions separate and independent from NEPA).

    Moreover, NPSBN deployment on federal lands or impacting resources under another agency's jurisdiction, including the DOI, will be identified and considered by FirstNet under NEPA, at a minimum, if not directly, through other applicable processes (e.g., permits, licenses) necessary to deploy the network. For example, construction of a new or replacement of an old tower on land managed by the National Park Services (NPS) would likely require FirstNet, or its Applicant, to apply for a Right-of-Way permit, which would trigger a NEPA review by both FirstNet and NPS. In such cases, FirstNet, consistent with CEQ regulations, would coordinate with the NPS to provide the environmental analysis necessary to support both its own and the NPS NEPA review and determination, which would presumably cover resources under the jurisdiction of NPS.25 Similarly, where NPSBN deployment occurs on non-federal lands, FirstNet, as mentioned above, must still comply with existing environmental laws (e.g., ESA, MBTA, and BGEPA) that may apply to the proposed action. Thus, to the extent these laws apply and require additional consultation or additional environmental analysis prior to undertaking the proposed action, FirstNet, in addition to complying with the specific laws and consistent with its revised implementing procedures, would consider this information as part of any NEPA review.

    25See generally 40 C.F.R 1502.25.

    Furthermore, FirstNet, in accordance with its implementing procedures, upon reviewing a proposed action that would otherwise be categorically excluded, including those installations described by DOI, could determine that the proposed action may potentially have a significant impact and on its own motion require the development of an environmental assessment.26

    26See FirstNet, Procedures for Implementing the National Environmental Policy Act, Appendix C—List of Extraordinary Circumstances, available at https://www.firstnet.gov/sites/default/files/FirstNet%20Revised%20Implementing%20Procedures%20%28Updated%20June%202017%29.pdf.

    Accordingly, as previously stated, the revised NEPA implementing procedures adequately account for environmental resources, including those under the jurisdiction of DOI, that may be impacted by network deployment and comply with the requirements established by NEPA and CEQ regulations.

    Comment: The DOI requested FirstNet address why it is proposing to modify the extraordinary circumstance in Appendix D related to “environmentally sensitive” resources, especially in light of the previous inclusion of language to this CE that was added in the response to DOI comments on FirstNet's originally proposed FirstNet NEPA procedures.

    Response: FirstNet, as it has continued to mature as an organization, has identified a need to modify its NEPA implementing procedures, CEs, and related extraordinary circumstances to ensure that the standards and process related to NEPA review better aligned with FirstNet's statutory mission and activities related to the deployment of the NPSBN, as well as better assist FirstNet in complying with NEPA as well as CEQ and FCC regulations. Specifically, when FirstNet finalized its original NEPA implementing procedures, the network architecture and operational model for the NSPBN had not yet been finalized. However, since the original NEPA implementing procedures were finalized, FirstNet has identified and approved a network architecture and operation model. Moreover, FirstNet has completed the statutorily mandated request for proposal process, and has entered into a public-private partnership to build, operate, improve, and maintain the NPSBN.27 These changes required FirstNet to review its NEPA implementing procedures and current CEs to ensure they reflected current agency policies, procedures, program, and mission.28

    27 Award Notice, FirstNet Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network available at https://www.fbo.gov/notices/6d45e0f8f3f4911f44f9f5b77d614952.

    28See 40 CFR 1506.3.

    During this review, FirstNet identified that as both an independent federal authority and a licensee of the FCC, it must comply with potentially duplicative regulations, such as those imposed under NEPA, CEQ regulations, and FCC regulations. In particular, FirstNet determined that all NPSBN proposed activities undertaken would be subject to both FirstNet NEPA procedure and FCC rules and regulations. Consequently, FirstNet conducted a review comparing its existing implementing procedures, CEs, and extraordinary circumstances with the FCC environmental rules and determined that aligning the FirstNet and FCC NEPA processes, including CEs and extraordinary circumstances, was necessary in order to avoid duplicating analysis and documentation resulting in additional costs or delays in network deployment. A key part of aligning these processes was ensuring that the FirstNet processes and standard of review, including CEs and extraordinary circumstances, were consistent with the FCC environmental rules, which necessitated removing and replacing previously established extraordinary circumstances. Accordingly, as the FCC has well established and applied environmental rules for complying with NEPA, specifically applicable to tower construction and siting, FirstNet, among other modifications, removed its previously established categorical exclusion referencing “environmentally sensitive” resources and replaced it with multiple other extraordinary circumstances, which, as discussed above, FirstNet considers both sufficient to account for resources previously identified as “environmentally sensitive,” while ensuring a consistent and streamlined NEPA review process as contemplated by CEQ regulations and guidance.

    E. General Requirements for Environmental Assessments

    Comment: The DOI expressed concerns that all towers lower than 450 feet may be pre-determined as CE eligible and recommended FirstNet prepare an environmental assessment for all new installations that are above 199 feet above ground level (AGL), not co-located with existing facilities or are guyed. Moreover, DOI recommended adherence to FWS Recommend Best Practices for Communication Tower Design, Siting, Construction, Operation, Maintenance, and Decommissioning.

    Response: FirstNet disagrees with the recommendation that new installations that are above 199 feet AGL, not co-located with existing facilities, or are guyed require: (1) An environmental assessment and (2) adherence to the FWS Recommended Best Practices for Communications Tower Design, Siting, Construction, Operation and Decommissioning.29

    29 See FWS, Recommended Best Practices for Communication Tower Design, Siting, Construction, Operation, Maintenance, and Decommissioning (August 2016), https://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/pdf/management/usfwscommtowerguidance.pdf.

    First, as a point of clarity and contrary to DOI's concern, FirstNet will not pre-determine any proposed action, including towers lower than 450, are eligible for a CE as such a determination would be inconsistent with NEPA or CEQ regulations. Specifically, NEPA and CEQ regulations require that an agency consider and make a determination related to the environmental impacts of a proposed action.30 FirstNet, consistent with CEQ regulations and its revised implementing procedures, will conduct site-specific reviews for each new tower to determine the appropriate level of NEPA review.

    30See FirstNet, Procedures for Implementing the National Environmental Policy Act—E0. Environmental Review and Consultation Requirements for NEPA Review, available at https://www.firstnet.gov/sites/default/files/FirstNet%20Revised%20Implementing%20Procedures%20%28Updated%20June%202017%29.pdf.

    Second, FirstNet asserts that compliance with its revised NEPA implementing procedures will provide sufficient information for FirstNet to review and make a determination as to the appropriate level of NEPA review for any site-specific action, including new installations that are above 199 feet AGL, not co-located with existing facilities or are guyed. In particular, as discussed above, FirstNet's revised NEPA implementing procedures include, among other statutory and regulatory references, specific language identifying the BGEPA, MBTA, and E.O. 13186, Responsibilities of Federal Agencies to Protect Migratory Birds as areas, that should be considered, as appropriate, as part of a NEPA review.31

    31 FirstNet also notes that, in general, the FCC rules require new tower construction to (1) receive approval from the state or local governing authority for the proposed site; (2) comply with FCC rules implementing NEPA; (3) comply with ESA and NHPA (including Section 106). Moreover, depending on the tower's height and location (generally towers more than 200 feet above ground level or located near an airport), construction may also require Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) notification and clearance and Antenna Structure Registration (ASR) with the FCC. Thus, in addition to FirstNet's implementing procedures, there are other regulatory requirements applicable to FirstNet, as an FCC licensee, which may provide information related to environmental resources and be considered as part of a NEPA and ensure compliance with other applicable laws.

    Furthermore, as previously stated, FirstNet, in accordance with its implementing procedures, upon reviewing a proposed action that would otherwise be categorically excluded, including those installations described by DOI, could, as previously mentioned, determine that the proposed action may potentially have a significant impact and on its own motion require the development of an environmental assessment.32

    32See FirstNet, Procedures for Implementing the National Environmental Policy Act, Appendix C- List of Extraordinary Circumstances, available at https://www.firstnet.gov/sites/default/files/FirstNet%20Revised%20Implementing%20Procedures%20%28Updated%20June%202017%29.pdf.

    Accordingly, FirstNet's NEPA review process, inclusive of the existing language related to MBTA and BGEPA and in addition to its various other extraordinary circumstances, adequately accounts for the resources and potential environmental impacts necessary for FirstNet to make a NEPA determination related to the proposed action, including whether the development of an EA is necessary to determine the environmental impacts.

    Finally, FirstNet recognizes, as noted by the DOI, that the FWS has formulated best practices for tower siting to address the potential effects of tower and antenna structures on migratory birds. FirstNet has taken steps that will align the deployment of the NPSBN with these best practices, particularly by adopting a strategy that will facilitate tower co-locations. Consistent with the DOI's tower siting guidance, FirstNet has sought and entered into an agreement to utilize, to the maximum extent economically desirable, existing commercial or other communications infrastructure in the establishment of the NPSBN.33 As a result, the vast majority of antenna structures currently planned for deployment on the NPSBN will be co-locations on existing communication towers or other structures. Thus, FirstNet, in accordance with the DOI voluntary guidelines, has already undertaken efforts to reduce the potential impacts of NPSBN deployment on migratory birds through the design of its program.

    33See Award Notice, supra note 27.

    Nevertheless, FirstNet, consistent with the FCC's recommendation to its licensees, will consider implementing these voluntary guidelines, as practicable and feasible, in the deployment of the NPSBN, but will not make them a mandatory requirement of NPSBN deployment.

    F. Other Agency Jurisdiction

    Comment: DOI recommended that when FirstNet applies categorical exclusions for the placement of antennas in another agency's jurisdiction, FirstNet should provide that agency with some level of documentation regarding the environmental effects to assist the permitting agency in its review of the proposed action.

    Response: FirstNet agrees, and, consistent with CEQ regulations, intends to coordinate and provide environmental documents, as appropriate, to other federal agencies having jurisdiction over all or part of a FirstNet proposed action, including those that may have permitting authority applicable to NPSBN deployment.34

    34See generally 40 CFR 1502.25.

    Dated: January 29, 2018. Elijah Veenendaal, Attorney-Advisor, First Responder Network Authority.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02020 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-TL-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Advance Notification of Sunset Reviews AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    Background

    Every five years, pursuant to the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), the Department of Commerce (Commerce) and the International Trade Commission automatically initiate and conduct a review to determine whether revocation of a countervailing or antidumping duty order or termination of an investigation suspended under section 704 or 734 of the Act would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping or a countervailable subsidy (as the case may be) and of material injury.

    Upcoming Sunset Reviews for March 2018

    Pursuant to section 751(c) of the Act, the following Sunset Reviews are scheduled for initiation in March 2018 and will appear in that month's Notice of Initiation of Five-Year Sunset Reviews (Sunset Reviews).

    Department contact Antidumping Duty Proceedings Drawn Stainless Steel Sinks from China, (A-570-983) (1st Review) Robert James, (202) 482-0649. Countervailing Duty Proceedings Drawn Stainless Steel Sinks from China, (C-570-984) (1st Review) Robert James, (202) 482-0649. Suspended Investigations No Sunset Review of suspended investigations is scheduled for initiation in March 2018.

    Commerce's procedures for the conduct of Sunset Reviews are set forth in 19 CFR 351.218. The Notice of Initiation of Five-Year (Sunset) Reviews provides further information regarding what is required of all parties to participate in Sunset Reviews.

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.103(c), Commerce will maintain and make available a service list for these proceedings. To facilitate the timely preparation of the service list(s), it is requested that those seeking recognition as interested parties to a proceeding contact Commerce in writing within 10 days of the publication of the Notice of Initiation.

    Please note that if Commerce receives a Notice of Intent to Participate from a member of the domestic industry within 15 days of the date of initiation, the review will continue.

    Thereafter, any interested party wishing to participate in the Sunset Review must provide substantive comments in response to the notice of initiation no later than 30 days after the date of initiation.

    This notice is not required by statute but is published as a service to the international trading community.

    Dated: January 26, 2018. James Maeder, Senior Director performing the duties of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02003 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-570-059, C-533-874] Certain Cold-Drawn Mechanical Tubing of Carbon and Alloy Steel From the People's Republic of China and India: Countervailing Duty Orders AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    Based on affirmative final determinations by the Department of Commerce (Commerce) and the International Trade Commission (ITC), Commerce is issuing countervailing duty orders on certain cold-drawn mechanical tubing of carbon and alloy steel (cold-drawn mechanical tubing) from the People's Republic of China (China) and India.

    DATES:

    February 1, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Shanah Lee at (202) 482-6386, AD/CVD Operations, Office III, and Ryan Mullen at (202) 482-5260, AD/CVD Operations, Office V, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    In accordance with section 705(d) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), and 19 CFR 351.210(c), on December 11, 2017, Commerce published its affirmative final determinations in the countervailing duty investigations of cold-drawn mechanical tubing from China and India.1 On January 24, 2018, the ITC notified Commerce of its final affirmative determination, pursuant to section 705(d) of the Act, that an industry in the United States is materially injured within the meaning of section 705(b)(1)(A)(i) of the Act, by reason of subsidized imports of cold-drawn mechanical tubing from China and India.2 Further, the ITC determined that critical circumstances do not exist with respect to imports of cold-drawn mechanical tubing from China.

    1See Countervailing Duty Investigation of Cold-Drawn Mechanical Tubing of Carbon and Alloy Steel from the People's Republic of China: Final Affirmative Determination, and Final Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances, in Part, 82 FR 58175 (December 11, 2017) (China Final Determination); and Certain Cold-Drawn Mechanical Tubing of Carbon and Alloy Steel from India: Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination, 82 FR 58172 (December 11, 2017).

    2See letter from the ITC concerning imports of cold-drawn mechanical tubing from China and India (Investigation Nos. 701-TA-576-577 (Final)), dated January 24, 2018 (ITC Notification Letter).

    Scope of the Orders

    The product covered by these orders is cold-drawn mechanical tubing from China and India. For a complete description of the scope of these orders, see the Appendix to this notice.

    Countervailing Duty Orders

    As stated above, on January 24, 2018, in accordance with sections 705(d) of the Act, the ITC notified Commerce of its final determination that an industry in the United States is materially injured by reason of subsidized imports of cold-drawn mechanical tubing from China and India.3 Therefore, in accordance with section 705(c)(2) of the Act, Commerce is issuing these countervailing duty orders. Because the ITC determined that imports of cold-drawn mechanical tubing from China and India are materially injuring a U.S. industry, unliquidated entries of such merchandise from China and India, entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, are subject to the assessment of countervailing duties.

    3See ITC Notification Letter.

    As a result of the ITC's final determination, in accordance with section 706(a) of the Act, Commerce will direct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to assess, upon further instruction by Commerce, countervailing duties on unliquidated entries of cold-drawn mechanical tubing from China and India entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after September 25, 2017, the date of publication of the Preliminary Determinations, 4 but will not include entries occurring after the expiration of the provisional measures period and before publication in the Federal Register of the ITC's final injury determination.

    4See Certain Cold-Drawn Mechanical Tubing of Carbon and Alloy Steel from the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination, 82 FR 44562 (September 25, 2017); see also Certain Cold-Drawn Mechanical Tubing of Carbon and Alloy Steel from India: Preliminary Affirmative Countervailing Duty Investigation, 82 FR 44558 (September 25, 2017) (collectively, Preliminary Determinations).

    Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 706 of the Act, Commerce will instruct CBP to reinstitute the suspension of liquidation on all entries of subject merchandise from China and India, applicable the date of publication of the ITC's notice of final affirmative injury determination in the Federal Register, and to assess, upon further instruction by Commerce pursuant to section 706(a)(1) of the Act, countervailing duties for each entry of the subject merchandise in an amount based on the net countervailable subsidy rates for the subject merchandise. We will also instruct CBP to require cash deposits for each entry of subject merchandise as indicated below. These instructions suspending liquidation will remain in effect until further notice. The all-others rate applies to all producers or exporters not specifically listed, as appropriate.

    Exporter/Producer from China Subsidy rate
  • (Percent)
  • Jiangsu Hongyi Steel Pipe Co., Ltd 5 21.41 Zhangjiagang Huacheng Import & Export Co., Ltd 6 18.27 All-Others 19.84 Exporter/Producer from India Subsidy rate
  • (Percent)
  • Goodluck India Limited 8.02 Tube Investments of India Limited 42.60 All-Others 22.40
    Critical Circumstances

    With regard to the ITC's negative critical circumstances determination on imports of cold-drawn mechanical tubing from China, we will instruct CBP to lift suspension and to refund any cash deposits made to secure the payment of estimated countervailing duties with respect to entries of the subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after June 27, 2017 (i.e., 90 days prior to the date of the publication of the Preliminary Determination), but before September 25, 2017 (i.e., the date of publication of the Preliminary Determination).

    5 In China Final Determination, Commerce continued to find the following companies to be cross-owned with Jiangsu Hongyi Steel Pipe Co., Ltd.: Hongren Precision Pipe Manufacturing Co., Ltd and Changzhou Kemeng Mechanical Equipment Co., Ltd.

    6See Cold-Drawn Mechanical Tubing of Carbon and Alloy Steel from the People's Republic of China: Notice of Correction to Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination of Critical Circumstances, In Part, 83 FR 351 (January 3, 2018) (China Correction Notice). In China Correction Notice, Commerce clarified the names of the companies it found to be cross-owned with Zhangjiagang Huacheng Import & Export Co., Ltd.: Jiangsu Huacheng Industry Pipe Making Corporation, Zhangjiagang Salem Fine Tubing Co., Ltd., Zhangjiagang Huacheng Investment Holding Co., Ltd., Zhangjiagang HZB Special Material Technology Co., Ltd. and Zhangjiagang Huacheng Special Materials Corporation.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    This notice constitutes the countervailing duty orders with respect to cold-drawn mechanical tubing from China and India pursuant to section 706(a) of the Act. Interested parties can find a list of countervailing duty orders at http://enforcement.trade.gov/stats/iastats1.html.

    These orders are issued and published in accordance with section 706(a) and 19 CFR 351.211(b).

    Dated: January 26, 2018. P. Lee Smith, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Negotiations. Appendix Scope of the Orders

    The scope of these orders covers cold-drawn mechanical tubing of carbon and alloy steel (cold-drawn mechanical tubing) of circular cross-section, 304.8 mm or more in length, in actual outside diameters less than 331mm, and regardless of wall thickness, surface finish, end finish or industry specification. The subject cold-drawn mechanical tubing is a tubular product with a circular cross-sectional shape that has been cold-drawn or otherwise cold-finished after the initial tube formation in a manner that involves a change in the diameter or wall thickness of the tubing, or both. The subject cold-drawn mechanical tubing may be produced from either welded (e.g., electric resistance welded, continuous welded, etc.) or seamless (e.g., pierced, pilgered or extruded, etc.) carbon or alloy steel tubular products. It may also be heat treated after cold working. Such heat treatments may include, but are not limited to, annealing, normalizing, quenching and tempering, stress relieving or finish annealing. Typical cold-drawing methods for subject merchandise include, but are not limited to, drawing over mandrel, rod drawing, plug drawing, sink drawing and similar processes that involve reducing the outside diameter of the tubing with a die or similar device, whether or not controlling the inside diameter of the tubing with an internal support device such as a mandrel, rod, plug or similar device. Other cold-finishing operations that may be used to produce subject merchandise include cold-rolling and cold-sizing the tubing.

    Subject cold-drawn mechanical tubing is typically certified to meet industry specifications for cold-drawn tubing including but not limited to:

    (1) American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) or American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) specifications ASTM A-512, ASTM A-513 Type 3 (ASME SA513 Type 3), ASTM A-513 Type 4 (ASME SA513 Type 4), ASTM A-513 Type 5 (ASME SA513 Type 5), ASTM A-513 Type 6 (ASME SA513 Type 6), ASTM A-519 (cold-finished);

    (2) SAE International (Society of Automotive Engineers) specifications SAE J524, SAE J525, SAE J2833, SAE J2614, SAE J2467, SAE J2435, SAE J2613;

    (3) Aerospace Material Specification (AMS) AMS T-6736 (AMS 6736), AMS 6371, AMS 5050, AMS 5075, AMS 5062, AMS 6360, AMS 6361, AMS 6362, AMS 6371, AMS 6372, AMS 6374, AMS 6381, AMS 6415;

    (4) United States Military Standards (MIL) MIL-T-5066 and MIL-T-6736;

    (5) foreign standards equivalent to one of the previously listed ASTM, ASME, SAE, AMS or MIL specifications including but not limited to:

    (a) German Institute for Standardization (DIN) specifications DIN 2391-2, DIN 2393-2, DIN 2394-2);

    (b) European Standards (EN) EN 10305-1, EN 10305-2, EN 10305-4, EN 10305-6 and European national variations on those standards (e.g., British Standard (BS EN), Irish Standard (IS EN) and German Standard (DIN EN) variations, etc.);

    (c) Japanese Industrial Standard (JIS) JIS G 3441 and JIS G 3445; and

    (6) proprietary standards that are based on one of the above-listed standards.

    The subject cold-drawn mechanical tubing may also be dual or multiple certified to more than one standard. Pipe that is multiple certified as cold-drawn mechanical tubing and to other specifications not covered by this scope, is also covered by the scope of these orders when it meets the physical description set forth above.

    Steel products included in the scope of these orders are products in which: (1) Iron predominates, by weight, over each of the other contained elements; and (2) the carbon content is 2 percent or less by weight.

    For purposes of this scope, the place of cold-drawing determines the country of origin of the subject merchandise. Subject merchandise that is subject to minor working in a third country that occurs after drawing in one of the subject countries including, but not limited to, heat treatment, cutting to length, straightening, nondestructive testing, deburring or chamfering, remains within the scope of these orders.

    All products that meet the written physical description are within the scope of these orders unless specifically excluded or covered by the scope of an existing order. Merchandise that meets the physical description of cold-drawn mechanical tubing above is within the scope of the orders even if it is also dual or multiple certified to an otherwise excluded specification listed below. The following products are outside of, and/or specifically excluded from, the scope of these orders:

    (1) Cold-drawn stainless steel tubing, containing 10.5 percent or more of chromium by weight and not more than 1.2 percent of carbon by weight;

    (2) products certified to one or more of the ASTM, ASME or American Petroleum Institute (API) specifications listed below:

    • ASTM A-53; • ASTM A-106; • ASTM A-179 (ASME SA 179); • ASTM A-192 (ASME SA 192); • ASTM A-209 (ASME SA 209); • ASTM A-210 (ASME SA 210); • ASTM A-213 (ASME SA 213); • ASTM A-334 (ASME SA 334); • ASTM A-423 (ASME SA 423); • ASTM A-498; • ASTM A-496 (ASME SA 496); • ASTM A-199; • ASTM A-500; • ASTM A-556; • ASTM A-565; • API 5L; and • API 5CT except that any cold-drawn tubing product certified to one of the above excluded specifications will not be excluded from the scope if it is also dual- or multiple-certified to any other specification that otherwise would fall within the scope of these orders.

    The products subject to the orders are currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under item numbers: 7304.31.3000, 7304.31.6050, 7304.51.1000, 7304.51.5005, 7304.51.5060, 7306.30.5015, 7306.30.5020, 7306.50.5030. Subject merchandise may also enter under numbers 7306.30.1000 and 7306.50.1000. The HTSUS subheadings above are provided for convenience and customs purposes only. The written description of the scope of the orders is dispositive.

    [FR Doc. 2018-02045 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity To Request Administrative Review AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brenda E. Brown, Office of AD/CVD Operations, Customs Liaison Unit, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230, telephone: (202) 482-4735.

    Background

    Each year during the anniversary month of the publication of an antidumping or countervailing duty order, finding, or suspended investigation, an interested party, as defined in section 771(9) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), may request, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.213, that the Department of Commerce (Commerce) conduct an administrative review of that antidumping or countervailing duty order, finding, or suspended investigation.

    All deadlines for the submission of comments or actions by Commerce discussed below refer to the number of calendar days from the applicable starting date.

    Respondent Selection

    In the event Commerce limits the number of respondents for individual examination for administrative reviews initiated pursuant to requests made for the orders identified below, Commerce intends to select respondents based on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data for U.S. imports during the period of review. We intend to release the CBP data under Administrative Protective Order (APO) to all parties having an APO within five days of publication of the initiation notice and to make our decision regarding respondent selection within 21 days of publication of the initiation Federal Register notice. Therefore, we encourage all parties interested in commenting on respondent selection to submit their APO applications on the date of publication of the initiation notice, or as soon thereafter as possible. Commerce invites comments regarding the CBP data and respondent selection within five days of placement of the CBP data on the record of the review.

    In the event Commerce decides it is necessary to limit individual examination of respondents and conduct respondent selection under section 777A(c)(2) of the Act:

    In general, Commerce finds that determinations concerning whether particular companies should be “collapsed” (i.e., treated as a single entity for purposes of calculating antidumping duty rates) require a substantial amount of detailed information and analysis, which often require follow-up questions and analysis. Accordingly, Commerce will not conduct collapsing analyses at the respondent selection phase of a review and will not collapse companies at the respondent selection phase unless there has been a determination to collapse certain companies in a previous segment of this antidumping proceeding (i.e., investigation, administrative review, new shipper review or changed circumstances review). For any company subject to a review, if Commerce determined, or continued to treat, that company as collapsed with others, Commerce will assume that such companies continue to operate in the same manner and will collapse them for respondent selection purposes. Otherwise, Commerce will not collapse companies for purposes of respondent selection. Parties are requested to (a) identify which companies subject to review previously were collapsed, and (b) provide a citation to the proceeding in which they were collapsed. Further, if companies are requested to complete a Quantity and Value Questionnaire for purposes of respondent selection, in general each company must report volume and value data separately for itself. Parties should not include data for any other party, even if they believe they should be treated as a single entity with that other party. If a company was collapsed with another company or companies in the most recently completed segment of a proceeding where Commerce considered collapsing that entity, complete quantity and value data for that collapsed entity must be submitted.

    Deadline for Withdrawal of Request for Administrative Review

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1), a party that requests a review may withdraw that request within 90 days of the date of publication of the notice of initiation of the requested review. The regulation provides that Commerce may extend this time if it is reasonable to do so. In order to provide parties additional certainty with respect to when Commerce will exercise its discretion to extend this 90-day deadline, interested parties are advised that, with regard to reviews requested on the basis of anniversary months on or after February 2018, Commerce does not intend to extend the 90-day deadline unless the requestor demonstrates that an extraordinary circumstance prevented it from submitting a timely withdrawal request. Determinations by Commerce to extend the 90-day deadline will be made on a case-by-case basis.

    Commerce is providing this notice on its website, as well as in its “Opportunity to Request Administrative Review” notices, so that interested parties will be aware of the manner in which Commerce intends to exercise its discretion in the future.

    Opportunity to Request a Review: Not later than the last day of February 2018,1 interested parties may request administrative review of the following orders, findings, or suspended investigations, with anniversary dates in February for the following periods:

    1 Or the next business day, if the deadline falls on a weekend, federal holiday or any other day when the Department is closed.

    Period of review Antidumping Duty Proceedings Brazil: Stainless Steel Bar, A-351-835 2/1/17-1/31/18 Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate, A-351-847 2/1/17-1/31/18 France: Uranium, A-427-818 2/1/17-1/31/18 India: Certain Cut-To-Length Carbon-Quality Steel Plate, A-533-817 2/1/17-1/31/18 Certain Preserved Mushrooms, A-533-813 2/1/17-1/31/18 Frozen Warmwater Shrimp, A-533-840 2/1/17-1/31/18 Stainless Steel Bar, A-533-810 2/1/17-1/31/18 Indonesia: Certain Cut-To-Length Carbon-Quality Steel Plate, A-560-805 2/1/17-1/31/18 Certain Preserved Mushrooms, A-560-802 2/1/17-1/31/18 Italy: Stainless Steel Butt-Weld Pipe Fittings, A-475-828 2/1/17-1/31/18 Japan: Carbon Steel Butt-Weld Pipe Fittings, A-588-602 2/1/17-1/31/18 Stainless Steel Bar, A-588-833 2/1/17-1/31/18 Malaysia: Stainless Steel Butt-Weld Pipe Fittings, A-557-809 2/1/17-1/31/18 Mexico: Large Residential Washers, A-201-842 2/1/17-1/31/18 Philippines: Stainless Steel Butt-Weld Pipe Fittings, A-565-801 2/1/17-1/31/18 Republic of Korea: Certain Cut-To-Length Carbon-Quality Steel Plate, A-580-836 2/1/17-1/31/18 Large Residential Washers, A-580-868 2/1/17-1/31/18 Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Frozen Warmwater Shrimp, A-552-802 2/1/17-1/31/18 Steel Wire Garment Hangers, A-552-812 2/1/17-1/31/18 Utility Scale Wind Towers, A-552-814 2/1/17-1/31/18 South Africa: Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-To-Length Plate, A-791-822 2/1/17-1/31/18 Taiwan: Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Products, A-583-853 2/1/17-1/31/18 Thailand: Frozen Warmwater Shrimp, A-549-822 2/1/17-1/31/18 The People's Republic of China: Certain Preserved Mushrooms, A-570-851 2/1/17-1/31/18 Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic, A-570-010 2/1/17-1/31/18 Frozen Warmwater Shrimp, A-570-893 2/1/17-1/31/18 Heavy Forged Hand Tools, With or Without Handles, A-570-803 2/1/17-1/31/18 Large Residential Washers, A-570-033 7/26/16-1/31/18 Small Diameter Graphite Electrodes, A-570-929 2/1/17-1/31/18 Uncovered Innerspring Units, A-570-928 2/1/17-1/31/18 Utility Scale Wind Towers, A-570-981 2/1/17-1/31/18 Turkey: Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-To-Length Plate, A-489-828 9/22/16-1/31/18 Countervailing Duty Proceedings India: Certain Cut-To-Length Carbon-Quality Steel Plate, C-533-818 1/1/17-12/31/17 Prestressed Concrete Steel Wire Strand, C-533-829 1/1/17-12/31/17 Indonesia: Certain Cut-To-Length Carbon-Quality Steel Plate, C-560-806 1/1/17-12/31/17 Republic of Korea: Certain Cut-To-Length Carbon-Quality Steel Plate, C-580-837 1/1/17-12/31/17 Large Residential Washers, C-580-869 1/1/17-12/31/17 Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Steel Wire Garment Hangers, C-552-813 1/1/17-12/31/17 The People's Republic of China: Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Products, C-570-011 1/1/17-12/31/17 Utility Scale Wind Towers, C-570-982 1/1/17-12/31/17 Suspension Agreements None.

    In accordance with 19 CFR 351.213(b), an interested party as defined by section 771(9) of the Act may request in writing that the Secretary conduct an administrative review. For both antidumping and countervailing duty reviews, the interested party must specify the individual producers or exporters covered by an antidumping finding or an antidumping or countervailing duty order or suspension agreement for which it is requesting a review. In addition, a domestic interested party or an interested party described in section 771(9)(B) of the Act must state why it desires the Secretary to review those particular producers or exporters. If the interested party intends for the Secretary to review sales of merchandise by an exporter (or a producer if that producer also exports merchandise from other suppliers) which was produced in more than one country of origin and each country of origin is subject to a separate order, then the interested party must state specifically, on an order-by-order basis, which exporter(s) the request is intended to cover.

    Note that, for any party Commerce was unable to locate in prior segments, Commerce will not accept a request for an administrative review of that party absent new information as to the party's location. Moreover, if the interested party who files a request for review is unable to locate the producer or exporter for which it requested the review, the interested party must provide an explanation of the attempts it made to locate the producer or exporter at the same time it files its request for review, in order for the Secretary to determine if the interested party's attempts were reasonable, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.303(f)(3)(ii).

    As explained in Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 68 FR 23954 (May 6, 2003), and Non-Market Economy Antidumping Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 76 FR 65694 (October 24, 2011), Commerce clarified its practice with respect to the collection of final antidumping duties on imports of merchandise where intermediate firms are involved. The public should be aware of this clarification in determining whether to request an administrative review of merchandise subject to antidumping findings and orders.2

    2See also the Enforcement and Compliance website at http://trade.gov/enforcement/.

    Commerce no longer considers the non-market economy (NME) entity as an exporter conditionally subject to an antidumping duty administrative reviews.3 Accordingly, the NME entity will not be under review unless Commerce specifically receives a request for, or self-initiates, a review of the NME entity.4 In administrative reviews of antidumping duty orders on merchandise from NME countries where a review of the NME entity has not been initiated, but where an individual exporter for which a review was initiated does not qualify for a separate rate, Commerce will issue a final decision indicating that the company in question is part of the NME entity. However, in that situation, because no review of the NME entity was conducted, the NME entity's entries were not subject to the review and the rate for the NME entity is not subject to change as a result of that review (although the rate for the individual exporter may change as a function of the finding that the exporter is part of the NME entity). Following initiation of an antidumping administrative review when there is no review requested of the NME entity, Commerce will instruct CBP to liquidate entries for all exporters not named in the initiation notice, including those that were suspended at the NME entity rate.

    3See Antidumping Proceedings: Announcement of Change in Department Practice for Respondent Selection in Antidumping Duty Proceedings and Conditional Review of the Nonmarket Economy Entity in NME Antidumping Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 65963 (November 4, 2013).

    4 In accordance with 19 CFR 351.213(b)(1), parties should specify that they are requesting a review of entries from exporters comprising the entity, and to the extent possible, include the names of such exporters in their request.

    All requests must be filed electronically in Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS) on Enforcement and Compliance's ACCESS website at http://access.trade.gov. 5 Further, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.303(f)(l)(i), a copy of each request must be served on the petitioner and each exporter or producer specified in the request.

    5See Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011).

    Commerce will publish in the Federal Register a notice of “Initiation of Administrative Review of Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation” for requests received by the last day of February 2018. If Commerce does not receive, by the last day of February 2018, a request for review of entries covered by an order, finding, or suspended investigation listed in this notice and for the period identified above, Commerce will instruct CBP to assess antidumping or countervailing duties on those entries at a rate equal to the cash deposit of estimated antidumping or countervailing duties required on those entries at the time of entry, or withdrawal from warehouse, for consumption and to continue to collect the cash deposit previously ordered.

    For the first administrative review of any order, there will be no assessment of antidumping or countervailing duties on entries of subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption during the relevant provisional-measures “gap” period of the order, if such a gap period is applicable to the period of review.

    This notice is not required by statute but is published as a service to the international trading community.

    Dated: January 26, 2018. James Maeder, Senior Director performing the duties of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02004 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Initiation of Five-Year (Sunset) Reviews AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), the Department of Commerce (Commerce) is automatically initiating the five-year reviews (Sunset Reviews) of the antidumping and countervailing duty (AD/CVD) order(s) listed below. The International Trade Commission (the Commission) is publishing concurrently with this notice its notice of Institution of Five-Year Reviews which covers the same order(s).

    DATES:

    Applicable (February 1, 2018).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Commerce official identified in the Initiation of Review section below at AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230. For information from the Commission contact Mary Messer, Office of Investigations, U.S. International Trade Commission at (202) 205-3193.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    Commerce's procedures for the conduct of Sunset Reviews are set forth in its Procedures for Conducting Five-Year (“Sunset”) Reviews of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders, 63 FR 13516 (March 20, 1998) and 70 FR 62061 (October 28, 2005). Guidance on methodological or analytical issues relevant to Commerce's conduct of Sunset Reviews is set forth in Antidumping Proceedings: Calculation of the Weighted-Average Dumping Margin and Assessment Rate in Certain Antidumping Duty Proceedings; Final Modification, 77 FR 8101 (February 14, 2012).

    Initiation of Review

    In accordance with section 751(c) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.218(c), we are initiating Sunset Reviews of the following antidumping and countervailing duty order(s): 1

    1 In addition, we note that in the sunset initiation notice that published on January 2, 2018 (83 FR 100) the Department inadvertently listed the incorrect case number for Utility Scale Wind Towers from Vietnam. The correct case number is A-552-814.

    DOC Case No. ITC Case No. Country Product Department contact A-570-904 731-TA-1103 China Activated Carbon, (2nd Review) Matthew Renkey, (202) 482-2312. A-570-866 731-TA-921 China Folding Gift Boxes, (3rd Review) Robert James, (202) 482-0649. A-201-820 731-TA-747 Mexico Fresh Tomatoes, (4th Review), (Suspension Agreement) Matthew Renkey, (202) 482-2312. Filing Information

    As a courtesy, we are making information related to sunset proceedings, including copies of the pertinent statute and Commerces's regulations, Commerce's schedule for Sunset Reviews, a listing of past revocations and continuations, and current service lists, available to the public on Commerce's website at the following address: http://enforcement.trade.gov/sunset/. All submissions in these Sunset Reviews must be filed in accordance with Commerce's regulations regarding format, translation, and service of documents. These rules, including electronic filing requirements via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS), can be found at 19 CFR 351.303.2

    2See also Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011).

    Any party submitting factual information in an AD/CVD proceeding must certify to the accuracy and completeness of that information.3 Parties must use the certification formats provided in 19 CFR 351.303(g).4 Commerce intends to reject factual submissions if the submitting party does not comply with applicable revised certification requirements.

    3See section 782(b) of the Act.

    4See also Certification of Factual Information to Import Administration During Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 42678 (July 17, 2013) (Final Rule). Answers to frequently asked questions regarding the Final Rule are available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/tlei/notices/factual_info_final_rule_FAQ_07172013.pdf.

    On April 10, 2013, Commerce modified two regulations related to AD/CVD proceedings: The definition of factual information (19 CFR 351.102(b)(21)), and the time limits for the submission of factual information (19 CFR 351.301).5 Parties are advised to review the final rule, available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/2013/1304frn/2013-08227.txt, prior to submitting factual information in these segments. To the extent that other regulations govern the submission of factual information in a segment (such as 19 CFR 351.218), these time limits will continue to be applied. Parties are also advised to review the final rule concerning the extension of time limits for submissions in AD/CVD proceedings, available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/2013/1309frn/2013-22853.txt, prior to submitting factual information in these segments.6

    5See Definition of Factual Information and Time Limits for Submission of Factual Information: Final Rule, 78 FR 21246 (April 10, 2013).

    6See Extension of Time Limits, 78 FR 57790 (September 20, 2013).

    Letters of Appearance and Administrative Protective Orders

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.103(d), Commerce will maintain and make available a public service list for these proceedings. Parties wishing to participate in any of these five-year reviews must file letters of appearance as discussed at 19 CFR 351.103(d)). To facilitate the timely preparation of the public service list, it is requested that those seeking recognition as interested parties to a proceeding submit an entry of appearance within 10 days of the publication of the Notice of Initiation.

    Because deadlines in Sunset Reviews can be very short, we urge interested parties who want access to proprietary information under administrative protective order (APO) to file an APO application immediately following publication in the Federal Register of this notice of initiation. Commerce's regulations on submission of proprietary information and eligibility to receive access to business proprietary information under APO can be found at 19 CFR 351.304-306.

    Information Required From Interested Parties

    Domestic interested parties, as defined in section 771(9)(C),(D),(E),(F), and (G) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.102(b), wishing to participate in a Sunset Review must respond not later than 15 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register of this notice of initiation by filing a notice of intent to participate. The required contents of the notice of intent to participate are set forth at 19 CFR 351.218(d)(1)(ii). In accordance with Commerce's regulations, if we do not receive a notice of intent to participate from at least one domestic interested party by the 15-day deadline, Commerce will automatically revoke the order without further review.7

    7See 19 CFR 351.218(d)(1)(iii).

    If we receive an order-specific notice of intent to participate from a domestic interested party, Commerce's regulations provide that all parties wishing to participate in a Sunset Review must file complete substantive responses not later than 30 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register of this notice of initiation. The required contents of a substantive response, on an order-specific basis, are set forth at 19 CFR 351.218(d)(3). Note that certain information requirements differ for respondent and domestic parties. Also, note that the Department's information requirements are distinct from the Commission's information requirements. Consult Commerce's regulations for information regarding Commerce's conduct of Sunset Reviews. Consult Commerce's regulations at 19 CFR part 351 for definitions of terms and for other general information concerning antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings at Commerce.

    This notice of initiation is being published in accordance with section 751(c) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.218(c).

    Dated: January 26, 2018. James Maeder, Senior Director performing the duties of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02005 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XF934 Fisheries of the South Atlantic; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Stock ID Data Scoping Webinar for Atlantic Cobia (Rachycentron canadum) AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of rescheduled SEDAR 58 Cobia Stock Identification Data Scoping Webinar.

    SUMMARY:

    The SEDAR 58 Cobia Stock Identification Data Scoping webinar originally scheduled for January 22, 2018 had to be rescheduled due to the Federal government shutdown. The SEDAR 58 assessment(s) of the Atlantic stock(s) of cobia will consist of a series of workshops and webinars: Stock ID Workshop; Stock ID Review Workshop; Stock ID Joint Cooperator Technical Review; Data Workshop; Assessment Workshop and/or Webinars; and a Review Workshop. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    DATES:

    The rescheduled SEDAR 58 Stock ID Data Scoping Webinar will be held on February 5, 2018, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    Meeting address: The meeting will be held via webinar. The webinar is open to members of the public. Those interested in participating should contact Julia Byrd at SEDAR (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT) to request an invitation providing webinar access information. Please request webinar invitations at least 24 hours in advance of each webinar.

    SEDAR address: South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, North Charleston, SC 29405; www.sedarweb.org.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Julia Byrd, SEDAR Coordinator, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, North Charleston, SC 29405; phone: (843) 571-4366; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The original notice published in the Federal Register on January 2, 2018 (83 FR 103).

    The Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, and Caribbean Fishery Management Councils, in conjunction with NOAA Fisheries and the Atlantic and Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commissions, have implemented the Southeast Data, Assessment and Review (SEDAR) process, a multi-step method for determining the status of fish stocks in the Southeast Region. SEDAR is typically a three-step process including: (1) Data Workshop; (2) Assessment Process utilizing workshop and/or webinars; and (3) Review Workshop. The product of the Data Workshop is a data report which compiles and evaluates potential datasets and recommends which datasets are appropriate for assessment analyses. The product of the Assessment Process is a stock assessment report which describes the fisheries, evaluates the status of the stock, estimates biological benchmarks, projects future population conditions, and recommends research and monitoring needs. The assessment is independently peer reviewed at the Review Workshop. The product of the Review Workshop is a Summary documenting panel opinions regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the stock assessment and input data. Participants for SEDAR Workshops are appointed by the Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, and Caribbean Fishery Management Councils and NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office, Highly Migratory Species Management Division, and Southeast Fisheries Science Center. Participants include: Data collectors and database managers; stock assessment scientists, biologists, and researchers; constituency representatives including fishermen, environmentalists, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs); international experts; and staff of Councils, Commissions, and state and federal agencies.

    The items of discussion at the Stock ID Data Scoping Webinar are as follows:

    1. Participants will review the SEDAR 58 Cobia Stock ID process.

    2. Participants will identify potential data sources and discuss data needs and treatments in order to prepare for the Stock ID Workshop.

    Although non-emergency issues not contained in this agenda may come before this group for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Action will be restricted to those issues specifically identified in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, provided the public has been notified of the intent to take final action to address the emergency.

    Special Accommodations

    This meeting is accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for auxiliary aids should be directed to the SAFMC office (see ADDRESSES) at least 5 business days prior to the meeting.

    Note:

    The times and sequence specified in this agenda are subject to change.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: January 26, 2018. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-01940 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION Technology Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC or Commission) announces that on Wednesday, February 14, 2018, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., the CFTC's Technology Advisory Committee (TAC) will hold a rescheduled public meeting at the CFTC's Washington, DC headquarters. The TAC meeting, previously scheduled for January 23, 2018, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., was canceled and is now being rescheduled with less than fifteen days' notice due to the lapse in appropriations that closed the Federal Government. At the rescheduled meeting, the TAC will: (1) Discuss the scope, plan, and approach for the Committee's efforts in 2018; (2) explore timely topics and issues involving financial technology in CFTC regulated markets, potentially including blockchain/DLT, data standardization and analytics, algorithmic trading, virtual currencies, cybersecurity, and RegTech; and (3) identify work streams and/or subcommittee groups that can help generate actionable recommendations to the Commission on select issues.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 14, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Members of the public who wish to submit written statements in connection with the meeting should submit them by Wednesday, February 21, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will take place in the Conference Center at the CFTC's headquarters, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20581. Written statements should be submitted by mail to: Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20581, attention: Office of the Secretary, or by electronic mail to: [email protected] Please use the title “Technology Advisory Committee” in any written statement you submit. Any statements submitted in connection with the committee meeting will be made available to the public, including publication on the CFTC website, www.cftc.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Daniel Gorfine, TAC Designated Federal Officer, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20581, (202) 418-5625.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The meeting will be open to the public with seating on a first-come, first-served basis. Members of the public may also listen to the meeting by telephone by calling a domestic toll-free telephone or international toll or toll-free number to connect to a live, listen-only audio feed. Call-in participants should be prepared to provide their first name, last name, and affiliation.

    Domestic Toll Free: 1-866-844-9416.

    International Toll and Toll Free: Will be posted on the CFTC's website, http://www.cftc.gov, on the page for the meeting, under Related Links.

    Pass Code/Pin Code: 3599656.

    The meeting agenda may change to accommodate other TAC priorities. For agenda updates, please visit the TAC committee site at: http://www.cftc.gov/About/CFTCCommittees/TechnologyAdvisory/tac_meetings.

    After the meeting, a transcript of the meeting will be published through a link on the CFTC's website, http://www.cftc.gov. All written submissions provided to the CFTC in any form will also be published on the CFTC's website. Persons requiring special accommodations to attend the meeting because of a disability should notify the contact person above.

    Authority:

    5 U.S.C. app. 2 § 10(a)(2).

    Dated: January 29, 2018. Christopher J. Kirkpatrick, Secretary of the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02026 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6351-01-P
    CORPORATION FOR NATIONAL AND COMMUNITY SERVICE Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Application Package for the Day of Service Project Collection Tool AGENCY:

    Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).

    ACTION:

    Notice of information collection; request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, CNCS is proposing to renew an information collection for the Day of Service Project Collection Tool.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted to the individual and office listed in the ADDRESSES section by April 2, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by the title of the information collection activity, by any of the following methods:

    (1) By mail sent to: Corporation for National and Community Service, Attention David Sherman, 250 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20525.

    (2) By hand delivery or by courier to the CNCS mailroom at the mail address given in paragraph (1) above, between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, except federal holidays.

    (3) Electronically through www.regulations.gov.

    Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TTY-TDD) may call 1-800-833-3722 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice may be made available to the public through regulations.gov. For this reason, please do not include in your comments information of a confidential nature, such as sensitive personal information or proprietary information. If you send an email comment, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the internet. Please note that responses to this public comment request containing any routine notice about the confidentiality of the communication will be treated as public comment that may be made available to the public notwithstanding the inclusion of the routine notice.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David Sherman, 202-606-6986, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title of Collection: Day of Service Project Collection Tool.

    OMB Control Number: 3045-0122.

    Type of Review: Renewal.

    Respondents/Affected Public: Any person or group organizing a service project in conjunction with a CNCS initiative.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Respondents: 100,000.

    Total Estimated Annual Frequency: Six times annually.

    Total Estimated Average Response Time per Response: Average is 10 minutes.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 100,000 hours

    Total Burden Cost (capital/startup): None.

    Total Burden Cost (operating/maintenance): None.

    Abstract: Currently CNCS is soliciting comments concerning its proposed renewal of Day of Service project promotion tool. Individuals organizing a volunteer event will be able to register their projects. This group includes national service grantees, corporations, volunteer organizations, and individuals. The Corporation wants to help promote activities across the country and also to be able to assess impact of the Corporation's initiatives. Information provided is purely voluntary and will not be used for any grant or funding support.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval. Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and (e) estimates of capital or start-up costs and costs of operation, maintenance, and purchase of services to provide information. Burden means the total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, disclose or provide information to or for a federal agency. This includes the time needed to review instructions; to develop, acquire, install and utilize technology and systems for the purpose of collecting, validating and verifying information, processing and maintaining information, and disclosing and providing information; to train personnel and to be able to respond to a collection of information, to search data sources, to complete and review the collection of information; and to transmit or otherwise disclose the information. All written comments will be available for public inspection on regulations.gov.

    Dated: January 29, 2018. Marc Young, Acting Chief of External Affairs.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02019 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6050-28-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DOD-2013-OS-0128] Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Defense Finance and Accounting Service, DoD.

    ACTION:

    30-Day information collection notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense has submitted to OMB for clearance, the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by March 5, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments and recommendations on the proposed information collection should be emailed to Ms. Jasmeet Seehra, DoD Desk Officer, at [email protected] Please identify the proposed information collection by DoD Desk Officer and the Docket ID number and title of the information collection.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Fred Licari, 571-372-0493, or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title, Associated Form and OMB Number: Request for Information Regarding Deceased Debtor, DD Form 2840; OMB Control Number 0730-0015.

    Type of Request: Reinstatement.

    Number of Respondents: 300.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 300.

    Average Burden per Response: 20 minutes.

    Annual Burden Hours: 100 hours.

    Needs and Uses: The information collection requirement is necessary to obtain information on deceased debtors from probate courts. Probate courts review their records to see if an estate was established. They provide the name and address of the executor or lawyer handling the estate. From the information obtained, DFAS submits a claim against the estate for the amount due to the United States.

    Affected Public: State, local, or tribal government.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

    OMB Desk Officer: Ms. Jasmeet Seehra.

    You may also submit comments and recommendations, identified by Docket ID number and title, by the following method:

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

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

    DOD Clearance Officer: Mr. Frederick Licari.

    Written requests for copies of the information collection proposal should be sent to Mr. Licari at WHS/ESD Directives Division, 4800 Mark Center Drive, East Tower, Suite 03F09, Alexandria, VA 22350-3100.

    Dated: January 29, 2018. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register, Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2018-01970 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DOD-2016-HA-0119] Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, DoD.

    ACTION:

    30-Day information collection notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense has submitted to OMB for clearance, the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by March 5, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments and recommendations on the proposed information collection should be emailed to Ms. Jasmeet Seehra, DoD Desk Officer, at [email protected] Please identify the proposed information collection by DoD Desk Officer and the Docket ID number and title of the information collection.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Fred Licari, 571-372-0493.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title; Associated Form; and OMB Number: TRICARE Plus Enrollment Application and TRICARE Plus Disenrollment Request; DD Form 2853 and DD Form 2854; OMB Control Number 0720-0028.

    Type of Request: Reinstatement.

    Number of Respondents: 3,305.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 3305.

    Average Burden per Response: 7 minutes.

    Annual Burden Hours: 386.

    Needs and Uses: The information collection requirement is necessary for enrollment and disenrollment in the Department of Defense's TRICARE Plus Health Plan established in accordance with Title 10 U.S.C. 1099 (which calls for a healthcare enrollment system) and 1086 (which authorizes TRICARE eligibility of Medicare Eligible Persons and has resulted in the development of a new enrollment option called TRICARE Plus) and the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Policy Memorandum to Establish the TRICARE Plus Program, June 22, 2001. The information collected hereby provides the TRICARE contractors with necessary data to determine beneficiary eligibility and to identify the selection of a health care option.

    Affected Public: Individuals or households.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondent's Obligation: Required to Obtain or Retain Benefits.

    OMB Desk Officer: Ms. Jasmeet Seehra.

    You may also submit comments and recommendations, identified by Docket ID number and title, by the following method:

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

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

    DOD Clearance Officer: Mr. Frederick Licari.

    Written requests for copies of the information collection proposal should be sent to Mr. Licari at WHS/ESD Directives Division, 4800 Mark Center Drive, East Tower, Suite 03F09, Alexandria, VA 22350-3100.

    Dated: January 29, 2018. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register, Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2018-01984 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Application for New Awards; Indian Education Formula Grants to Local Educational Agencies AGENCY:

    Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Education is issuing a notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2018 for Indian Education Formula Grants to Local Educational Agencies, Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number 84.060A.

    DATES:

    Part I of Electronic Application System for Indian Education (EASIE) Applications Available: February 5, 2018.

    Deadline for Transmittal of EASIE Part I: March 8, 2018.

    Part II of EASIE Applications Available: April 9, 2018.

    Deadline for Transmittal of EASIE Part II: May 17, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For questions about the Formula Grants program, contact Paulette Davis, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 3W227, Washington, DC 20202-6335. Telephone: (202) 260-2840 or by email: [email protected] For technical questions about the EASIE application and uploading documentation, contact the EDFacts Partner Support Center (PSC), telephone: 877-457-3336 (877-HLP-EDEN) or by email at: [email protected]

    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), contact the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-0996 or by email at: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Note: Applicants must meet the deadlines for both EASIE Part I and Part II to be eligible to receive a grant. Any application not meeting the EASIE Part I or Part II deadline will not be considered for funding. Failure to submit the required supplemental documentation, described under Content and Form of Application Submission in section IV of this notice, by the EASIE Part I or II deadline will result in an incomplete application that will not be considered for funding. The Office of Indian Education (OIE) recommends uploading the documentation at least two days prior to each deadline date to ensure that any potential submission issues are resolved prior to the deadlines.

    I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The Indian Education Formula Grants to Local Educational Agencies (Formula Grants) program provides grants to support local educational agencies (LEAs), Indian Tribes and organizations, and other eligible entities in developing elementary and secondary school programs that serve Indian students. The U.S. Department of Education (Department) funds comprehensive programs that are designed to meet the unique cultural, language, and educational needs of American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) students and ensure that all students meet challenging State academic standards.

    As authorized under section 6116 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA),1 the Secretary will, upon receipt of an acceptable plan for the integration of education and related services, and in cooperation with other relevant Federal agencies, authorize the entity receiving the funds under this program to consolidate all Federal funds that are to be used exclusively for Indian students. Instructions for submitting an integration of education and related services plan are included in the EASIE, which is described under Application and Submission Information in section IV of this notice.

    1 All references to the ESEA refer to the ESEA, as amended by the ESSA.

    Note: Under the Formula Grants program, all applicants are required to develop proposed projects in open consultation, including through public hearings held to provide a full opportunity to understand the program and to offer recommendations regarding the program (section 6114(c)(3)(C) of the ESEA), with parents of Indian children and teachers of Indian children, representatives of Indian Tribes on Indian lands located within 50 miles of any school that the LEA will serve if such Tribes have any children in such school, Indian organizations (IOs), and, if appropriate, Indian students from secondary schools. LEA applicants are required to develop proposed projects with the participation and written approval of a parent committee whose membership includes parents and family members of Indian children in the LEA's schools; representatives of Indian Tribes on Indian lands located within 50 miles of any school that the LEA will serve if such Tribes have any children in such school; teachers in the schools; and, if appropriate, Indian students attending secondary schools of the LEA (section 6114(c)(4) of the ESEA). The majority of the parent committee members must be parents and family members of Indian children (section 6114(c)(4) of the ESEA).

    Definitions: The following definition is from section 6112(d)(3) of the ESEA:

    Indian community-based organization (ICBO) means any organization that (1) is composed primarily of Indian parents, family members and community members, tribal government educational officials, and tribal members, from a specific community; (2) assists in the social, cultural, and educational development of Indians in such community; (3) meets the unique cultural, language, and academic needs of Indian students; and (4) demonstrates organizational and administrative capacity to manage the grant.

    Statutory Hiring Preference:

    (a) Awards that are primarily for the benefit of Indians are subject to the provisions of section 7(b) of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 5307(b)). That section requires that, to the greatest extent feasible, a grantee—

    (1) Give to Indians preferences and opportunities for training and employment in connection with the administration of the grant; and

    (2) Give to IOs and to Indian-owned economic enterprises, as defined in section 3 of the Indian Financing Act of 1974 (25 U.S.C. 1452(e)), preference in the award of contracts in connection with the administration of the grant.

    (b) For purposes of this section, an Indian is a member of any federally recognized Indian Tribe.

    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 7421 et seq.

    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 81, 82, 84, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The Office of Management and Budget Guidelines to Agencies on Government-wide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) in 2 CFR part 180, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 200, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3474.

    II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Formula grants.

    Estimated Available Funds: The Administration has requested $100,190,000 for Indian Education Formula Grants to LEAs for FY 2018. The actual level of funding, if any, depends on final congressional action. However, we are inviting applications to allow enough time to complete the grant process should Congress appropriate funds for this program.

    Estimated Range of Awards: $4,000 to $3,254,999.

    Estimated Average Size of Awards: $77,069.

    Estimated Number of Awards: 1,300.

    Note: The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice.

    Project Period: 12 months.

    III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: The following entities are eligible under this program: Certain LEAs, including charter schools authorized as LEAs under State law, as prescribed by section 6112(b) of the ESEA; certain schools funded by the Bureau of Indian Education of the U.S. Department of the Interior (BIE), as prescribed by section 6113(d) of the ESEA; Indian Tribes and IOs under certain conditions, as prescribed by section 6112(c) of the ESEA; and ICBOs, as prescribed by section 6112(d) of the ESEA. Consortia of two or more LEAs, Indian Tribes, IOs, and ICBOs are also eligible under certain circumstances, as prescribed by section 6112(a)(4) of the ESEA.

    2. a. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost sharing or matching.

    b. Supplement-Not-Supplant: Section 6114(c)(1) of the ESEA requires an LEA to use these grant funds only to supplement the funds that, in the absence of these Federal funds, such agency would make available for services described in this application, and not to supplant such funds.

    IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. How To Request an Application Package: You can obtain a log-in and password for the electronic application for grants under this program by contacting the EDFacts PSC listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) by contacting the EDFacts PSC listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    2. Content and Form of Application Submission: Requirements concerning the content of an application, together with the forms you must submit, are located in the Getting Started page in the EDFacts System Portal.

    a. Supplementary Documentation: The EASIE application requires submission of the following supplementary documentation in electronic Portable Document Format (PDF):

    (i) In EASIE Part I, applicants that are Tribes, IOs, or ICBOs must submit with their application a document to verify their eligibility. Each applicant that is a Tribe, IO, or ICBO must use the appropriate “Applying in Lieu of the LEA” agreement form no later than March 8, 2018. The details of the verification process, which are necessary to meet the statutory eligibility requirements for Tribes, IOs, and ICBOs, are in the application package. Applicants are required to use the correct applicant type eligibility verification document, all of which are available on the Getting Started page in the EDFacts System Portal as downloadable documents.

    (ii) In EASIE Part I, an applicant that is the lead applicant for a consortium must upload a consortium agreement that meets the requirements of 34 CFR 75.128(b) no later than March 8, 2018. Applicants must use the consortium agreement that is available on the Getting Started page in the EDFacts System Portal as a downloadable document.

    (iii) In EASIE Part II, for an applicant that is an LEA or a consortium of LEAs, the EASIE application requires the electronic PDF submission of the Indian Parent Committee Approval (PCA) form no later than the deadline for transmittal of EASIE Part II, which is May 17, 2018. Applicants are encouraged to begin planning parent committee meetings early to ensure parent committee signatures are obtained before EASIE Part II closes. The required form is available on the Getting Started page in the EDFacts System Portal.

    3. Submission Dates and Times:

    Part I of the Formula Grant EASIE Applications Available: February 5, 2018.

    Deadline for Transmittal of EASIE Part I: March 8, 2018, 8:00:00 p.m., Washington, DC time.

    Part II of the Formula Grant EASIE Applications Available: April 9, 2018.

    Deadline for Transmittal of EASIE Part II: May 17, 2018, 8:00:00 p.m., Washington, DC time.

    Applications for grants under this program must be submitted electronically using EASIE located in the EDFacts System Portal. For information (including dates and times) about how to submit your application electronically, or in paper format by mail or hand delivery if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirements, please refer to Other Submission Requirements in section IV of this notice.

    We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements.

    Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. If the Department provides an accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the application process, the individual's application remains subject to all other requirements and limitations in this notice.

    4. Intergovernmental Review: This program is not subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79.

    5. Funding Restrictions: Not more than 5 percent of the funds provided to a grantee may be used for administrative costs (section 6115(d) of the ESEA). We reference regulations outlining other funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

    6. Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification Number, and System for Award Management: To do business with the Department of Education, you must—

    a. Have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN);

    b. Register both your DUNS number and TIN with the System for Award Management (SAM), the Government's primary registrant database;

    c. Provide your DUNS number and TIN on your application; and

    d. Maintain an active SAM registration with current information while your application is under review by the Department and, if you are awarded a grant, during the project period.

    You can obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet at the following website: http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform. A DUNS number can be created within one to two business days.

    If you are a corporate entity, agency, institution, or organization, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service. If you are an individual, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration. If you need a new TIN, please allow two to five weeks for your TIN to become active.

    The SAM registration process can take approximately seven business days, but may take upwards of several weeks, depending on the completeness and accuracy of the data you enter into the SAM database. Thus, if you think you might want to apply for Federal financial assistance under a program administered by the Department, please allow sufficient time to obtain and register your DUNS number and TIN. We strongly recommend that you register early.

    If you are currently registered with SAM, you may not need to make any changes. However, please make certain that the TIN associated with your DUNS number is correct. Also note that you will need to update your registration annually. This may take three or more business days.

    Information about SAM is available at www.SAM.gov. To further assist you with obtaining and registering your DUNS number and TIN in SAM or updating your existing SAM account, we have prepared a SAM.gov Tip Sheet, which you can find at: http://www2.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/sam-faqs.html.

    7. Other Submission Requirements: Applications for grants under this program must be submitted electronically unless you qualify for an exception to this requirement in accordance with the instructions in this section.

    a. Electronic Submission of Applications.

    Applications for grants under the Formula Grants program, CFDA number 84.060A, must be submitted electronically using the EASIE application located in the EDFacts System Portal at https://eden.ed.gov.

    Applications submitted in paper format will be rejected unless you qualify for one of the exceptions to the electronic submission requirement described later in this section under Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement, and follow the submission rules outlined therein.

    Electronic Application System for Indian Education (EASIE): EASIE is an electronic application found in the EDFacts System Portal at https://eden.ed.gov. It is divided into two parts—EASIE Part I and EASIE Part II.

    EASIE Part I, student count, provides the appropriate data-entry screens to submit your verified Indian student count totals. All applicants must submit a current Indian student count for FY 2018. Applicants must use the Indian Student Eligibility Certification Form (ED 506 Form) to document eligible Indian students; however, BIE schools may use either the Indian School Equalization Program (ISEP) count or the ED 506 Form count to verify their Indian student counts. Applicants must protect the privacy of all individual data collected and only report aggregated data to the Secretary.

    Applicants that verify their Indian student count with the ED 506 Form must document their Indian student counts by completing the following: (1) Each year, the applicant must verify there is a valid ED 506 Form for each Indian child included in the count; (2) all ED 506 Forms included in the count must be completed, signed, and dated by the parent, and be on file; (3) the applicant must maintain a copy of the student enrollment roster(s) covering the same period of time indicated in the application as the “count period”; and (4) each Indian child included in the count must be listed on the LEA's enrollment roster(s) for at least one day during the count period.

    BIE schools that enter an ISEP count to verify their Indian student count must use the most current Indian student count certified by the BIE.

    Once an Indian child is determined to be eligible to be counted for such grant award, the applicant must maintain a record of such determination and must not require a new or duplicate determination or form to be made for such child for a subsequent application for a grant under this subpart.

    Applicants must also indicate the time span for the project objectives and corresponding activities and services for AI/AN students. Applicants can choose to set objectives that remain the same for up to four years in order to facilitate data collection and enhance long-term planning.

    In EASIE Part II, all applicants must—

    (1) Select the type of program being submitted as either regular formula grant program, formula grant project consolidated with a title I schoolwide program, or integration of services under section 6116 of the ESEA;

    (2) Select the grade levels offered by the LEA or BIE school;

    (3) Identify, from a list of possible Department grant programs (e.g., ESEA title I), the programs in the LEA that are currently coordinated with a title VI project, or with which the school district plans to coordinate during the project year, in accordance with section 6114(c)(5) of the ESEA, and describe the coordination of services for AI/AN students with those grant programs;

    (4) Describe the professional development opportunities that will be provided as part of your coordination of services to ensure that teachers and other school professionals who are new to the Indian community are prepared to work with Indian children, and that all teachers who will be involved in programs assisted by this grant have been properly trained to carry out such programs;

    (5) Provide information on how the State assessment data of all Indian students (not just those served) are used. Indicate how you plan to disseminate information to the Indian community, parent committee, and Indian Tribes whose children are served by the LEA and how assessment data from the previous school year (SY) were used, as required by section 6114(6)(C) of the ESEA;

    (6) Indicate when a public hearing was held for SY 2018;

    (7) For an applicant that is an LEA, BIE school, or a consortium of LEAs or BIE schools, describe the process the applicant used to meaningfully collaborate with Indian Tribes located in the community in a timely, active, and ongoing manner in the development of the comprehensive program and the actions taken as a result of such collaboration;

    (8) Identify specific project objectives that will further the goal of providing culturally responsive education for AI/AN students to meet their academic needs and help them meet State achievement standards, and identify the data sources that will be used to measure progress towards meeting project objectives;

    (9) For an LEA that selects a schoolwide application, identify how the use of such funds in a schoolwide program will produce benefits to Indian students that would not be achieved if the funds were not used in a schoolwide program;

    (10) Submit a program budget based on the estimated grant amount that the EASIE system calculates from the Indian student count you submitted in EASIE Part I. After the initial grant amounts are determined, additional funds may become available due to such circumstances as withdrawn applications or reduction in an applicant's student count. An applicant whose award amount increases or decreases more than $5,000 must submit a revised budget prior to receiving its grant award but will not need to re-certify its application. If an applicant's award amount increases or decreases by less than $5,000, a budget update is not required. For an applicant that receives an increased award amount following submission of its original budget, the applicant must allocate the increased amount only to previously approved budget categories;

    (11) As required by section 427 of the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA), describe the steps the applicant proposes to take to ensure equitable access to, and participation in, the project or activity to be conducted with such assistance, by addressing the special needs of students, teachers, and other program beneficiaries in order to overcome barriers to equitable participation, including barriers based on gender, race, color, national origin, disability, and age; and

    (12) If needed, provide additional comments to assist OIE in the review of the application.

    Registration for Formula Grant EASIE: Current, former, and new applicants interested in submitting a Formula Grant EASIE application must register for Formula Grant EASIE. Prior to the opening of EASIE Part I, EDFacts PSC will send a broadcast to prior year grantees and new prospective applicants that have contacted EDFacts PSC and registered for EASIE. All recipients who receive the EDFacts PSC's broadcast will be asked to respond to EDFacts PSC directly to confirm their intent to register and make updates to the registration information. Entities are strongly encouraged to respond to the email to ensure that any potential registration issues are resolved prior to the deadline for the submission of an application. Entities that do not have an active registration or are new applicants should contact the EDFacts PSC listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT to register any time before the EASIE Part I application deadline date. Registration does not serve as the entity's grant application. For assistance registering, contact the EDFacts PSC listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Certification for Formula Grant EASIE: The applicant's authorized representative, who must be legally authorized by the applicant to approve the application, must certify EASIE Part I and Part II. Only users with the role type “managing user” or “certifying official user” in the EASIE system can certify an application. Each applicant should identify at least three system users, one for each of the following: Project director, authorized representative, and another party designated to answer questions in the event the project director is unavailable. The certification process ensures that the information in the application is true, reliable, and valid. An applicant that provides a false statement in the application is subject to penalties under the False Claims Act, 18 U.S.C. 1001.

    Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement: You qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit your application in paper format, if you are unable to submit an application through the EASIE system because—

    • You do not have access to the internet; or

    • You do not have the capacity to upload documents to the EASIE system; and

    • No later than two weeks before the application deadline date for EASIE Part I (14 calendar days or, if the fourteenth calendar day before the application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business day following the Federal holiday), you mail, fax, or email a written statement to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception prevents you from using the internet to submit your application.

    If you mail your written statement to the Department, it must be postmarked no later than two weeks before the application deadline date. If you fax your written statement to the Department, we must receive the faxed statement no later than two weeks before the application deadline date. If you email the written statement, it must be sent no later than two weeks before the application deadline date to the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Address and mail or fax your statement to: Paulette Davis, U.S. Department of Education, Office of Indian Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 3W227, Washington, DC 20202-6335. FAX: (202) 205-0606.

    Your paper application must be submitted in accordance with the mail or hand delivery instructions described in this notice.

    b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail.

    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you may mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier) your application to the Department. You must mail the original and two copies of your application, on or before the application deadline dates for both EASIE Part I and Part II, to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Indian Education, Attention: CFDA Number 84.060A, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 3W227, Washington, DC 20202-6335.

    You must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:

    (1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark.

    (2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the U.S. Postal Service.

    (3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial carrier.

    (4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.

    If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do not accept either of the following as proof of mailing:

    (1) A private metered postmark.

    (2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.

    Note:

    The U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a dated postmark. Before relying on this method, you should check with your local post office.

    We will not consider applications postmarked after the application deadline date for EASIE Part I or Part II.

    c. Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery.

    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you (or a courier service) may deliver your paper application to the Department by hand. You must deliver the original and two copies of your application by hand, on or before the application deadline dates for both EASIE Part I and Part II, to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Indian Education, Attention: CFDA Number 84.060A, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 3W227, Washington, DC 20202-6335.

    The program office accepts hand deliveries daily between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, except Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays.

    Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Paper Applications:

    If you mail or hand deliver your application to the Department—

    (1) You must indicate on the envelope and—if not provided by the Department—in Item 11 of the SF 424 the CFDA number, including suffix letter, if any, of the program under which you are submitting your application; and

    (2) The program office will mail you a notification of receipt of your grant application. If you do not receive this notification within 15 business days from the application deadline date, you should contact the program office at (202) 260-3774.

    V. Grant Administration Information

    1. Risk Assessment and Special Conditions: Consistent with 2 CFR 200.205, before awarding grants under this program the Department conducts a review of the risks posed by applicants. Under 2 CFR 3474.10, the Secretary may impose special conditions and, in appropriate circumstances, high-risk conditions on a grant if the applicant or grantee is not financially stable; has a history of unsatisfactory performance; has a financial or other management system that does not meet the standards in 2 CFR part 200, subpart D; has not fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible.

    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify administrative and national policy requirements in the application package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice. We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of a grant in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

    3. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this program, you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 should you receive funding. This does not apply if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).

    (b) You must submit an annual performance report (APR) using the EDFacts System Portal at https://eden.ed.gov, including financial information, as directed by the Secretary, within 90 days after the close of the grant year. The APR is located within the EDFacts System Portal under the EASIE Part III tab. Prior to the system being open to users, grantees will receive an email from the EDFacts PSC identifying the date that the APR will be available to grantees and the deadline for its transmission.

    (c) Under 34 CFR 75.250(b), the Secretary may approve a data collection period for a grant for a period of up to 72 months after the end of the project period and may provide a grantee with additional funding for the sole purpose of collecting, analyzing, and reporting performance measurement data regarding the project.

    4. Performance Measures: The Secretary has established the following key performance measures for assessing the effectiveness and efficiency of the Formula Grants program: (1) The percentage of AI/AN students in grades four and eight who score at or above the basic level in reading on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP); (2) the percentage of AI/AN students in grades four and eight who score at or above the basic level in mathematics on the NAEP; (3) the percentage of AI/AN students in grades three through eight meeting State achievement standards by scoring at or above the proficient level in reading and mathematics on State assessments; (4) the difference between the percentage of AI/AN students in grades three through eight at or above the proficient level in reading and mathematics on State assessments and the percentage of all students scoring at those levels; (5) the percentage of AI/AN students who graduate from high school as measured by the four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate; and (6) the percentage of funds used by grantees prior to award close-out.

    5. Integrity and Performance System: If you receive an award under this grant program that over the course of the project period may exceed the simplified acquisition threshold (currently $150,000), under 2 CFR 200.205(a)(2) we must make a judgment about your integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards—that is, the risk posed by you as an applicant—before we make an award. In doing so, we must consider any information about you that is in the integrity and performance system (currently referred to as the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS)), accessible through SAM. You may review and comment on any information about yourself that a Federal agency previously entered and that is currently in FAPIIS.

    Please note that, if the total value of your currently active grants, cooperative agreements, and procurement contracts from the Federal Government exceeds $10,000,000, the requirements in 2 CFR part 200, Appendix XII, require you to report certain integrity information to FAPIIS semiannually. Please review the requirements in 2 CFR part 200, Appendix XII, if this grant plus all the other Federal funds you receive exceed $10,000,000.

    VI. Other Information

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) by contacting the EDFacts PSC listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is published in the Federal Register. Free internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or PDF. To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

    You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

    Dated: January 29, 2018. Jason Botel, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Delegated the Authority to Perform the Functions and Duties of Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02023 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Notice of Filing

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

    Docket Numbers: RP17-1015-000.

    Applicants: XTO Energy Inc., et al.

    Description: Joint Petition of XTO Energy Inc., et al., for Amendment to, and Extension of Limited Waiver Request and Request for Expedited Action.

    Filed Date: 1/23/18.

    Accession Number: 20180123-5207.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/29/18.

    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: January 26, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-01977 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER18-713-000] CA Flats Solar 150, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization

    This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced proceeding of CA Flats Solar 150, LLC's application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate tariff, noting that such application includes a request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability.

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

    Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant's request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability, is February 15, 2018.

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

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

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

    Dated: January 26, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-01975 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL-9973-32-0A] Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Advisory Committee (FRRCC); Notice of Charter Renewal AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    Notice is hereby given that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that, in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), 5 U.S.C. App. 2, the Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Advisory Committee (FRRCC) is in the public interest and is necessary in connection with the performance of EPA's duties. Accordingly, the FRRCC will be renewed for an additional two-year period. The purpose of the FRRCC is to provide advice and recommendations to the EPA Administrator on environmental issues and policies that are of importance to agriculture and rural communities. Inquiries may be directed to Hema Subramanian, Designated Federal Officer for FRRCC, U.S. EPA, (Mail Code 1 101A), 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20460, or [email protected]

    Dated: January 17, 2018. Jeffrey Sands, Senior Advisor to the Administrator for Agriculture.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02050 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPP-2005-0265; FRL-9972-01] Dicloran (DCNA); Amendments To Terminate Uses for Certain Pesticide Registrations AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces EPA's final order for the amendments to terminate uses, voluntarily requested by the registrant and accepted by the Agency, of products containing dicloran (DCNA), pursuant to section 6(f)(1) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), as amended. This termination order follows a March 16, 2016 Federal Register Notice of Receipt of Request from the registrant listed in Table 2 of Unit III. to voluntarily amend product registrations to terminate DCNA use on certain products. The Agency hereby issues in this notice a termination order granting the requested amendments to terminate DCNA use on certain products. Any distribution, sale, or use of the products subject to this termination order is permitted only in accordance with the terms of this order, including any existing stocks provisions.

    DATES:

    The amendments are valid February 1, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Patricia Biggio, Pesticide Re-evaluation Division (7508P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (703) 347-0547; fax number: (703) 308-7070; email address: [email protected]

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

    This action is directed to the public in general, and may be of interest to a wide range of stakeholders including environmental, human health, and agricultural advocates; the chemical industry; pesticide users; and members of the public interested in the sale, distribution, or use of pesticides. Since others also may be interested, the Agency has not attempted to describe all the specific entities that may be affected by this action. If you have any questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular entity, consult the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    B. How can I get copies of this document and other related information?

    EPA has established a docket for this action under docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2005-0265. Publicly available docket materials are available either in the electronic docket at http://www.regulations.gov, or, if only available in hard copy, at the Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) Regulatory Public Docket in Rm. S-4400, One Potomac Yard (South Bldg.), 2777 S. Crystal Dr., Arlington, VA. The hours of operation of this Docket Facility are from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The Docket Facility telephone number is (703) 305-5805.

    II. Background

    This termination order follows a Federal Register of March 16, 2016 (81 FR 14109) (FRL-9941-37), Notice of Receipt of Request from the registrant listed in Table 2 of Unit III. to voluntarily amend product registrations to terminate DCNA use on apricot, chrysanthemum, conifer, gladiolus, grape, greenhouse cucumber, greenhouse lettuce, greenhouse rhubarb, greenhouse tomato, nectarine, peach, plum/prune, rose, and sweet cherry. These are not the last products containing this pesticide registered for use in the United States (U.S.). In the March 16, 2016 notice, EPA indicated that it would issue an order implementing the amendments to terminate uses, unless the Agency received substantive comments within the 180-day comment period that would merit its further review of these requests, or unless the registrant withdrew their request. The Agency received seven comments on the notice; none of which would affect the Agency's action. The Agency hereby issues in this notice a termination order granting the requested amendments to terminate these DCNA uses.

    III. What action is the Agency taking?

    This notice announces the amendments to delete uses, as requested by the sole registrant, of products registered under section 3 of FIFRA. These registrations are listed in sequence by registration number in Table 1 of this unit.

    Table 1—DCNA Product Registration Amendments To Delete Uses EPA
  • registration No.
  • Product name Uses deleted
    10163-189
  • 10163-195
  • 10163-226
  • Botran 75-W Fungicide
  • Botran Technical
  • Botran 5F Fungicide
  • apricots, chrysanthemums, conifers, gladiolus, grapes, greenhouse cucumbers, greenhouse lettuce, greenhouse rhubarb, greenhouse tomato, nectarines, peaches, plums/prunes, roses, and sweet cherries.
    10163-329 Botran P 5F Fungicide

    Table 2 of this unit includes the name and address of record for the registrant of the products in Table 1 of this unit, in sequence by EPA company number. This number corresponds to the first part of the EPA registration numbers of the products listed above.

    Table 2—Registrant of Amended Products EPA
  • company No.
  • Company name and address
    10163 Gowan Company, P.O. Box 5569, Yuma, AZ 85366-5569.
    IV. Summary of Public Comments Received and Agency Response to Comments

    During the public comment period provided, EPA received seven comments in response to the Federal Register of March 16, 2016 (81 FR 14109), notice announcing the Agency's receipt of the request to voluntarily amend product registrations to delete DCNA uses for products listed in Table 1 of Unit III.

    Six of the seven comments were from growers outside of the U.S. that supported the continued use of DCNA. In addition, the Agency also received a single comment from the registrant (Gowan) which proposed the conversion of dicloran crop residue tolerances to import tolerances based on conclusions from previous DCNA risk assessments and Pesticide Data Program (PDP) data from 2004 to 2014. The Agency has reviewed these comments and the Agency's formal response is available at regulation.gov in the DCNA reregistration docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2005-0265.

    Per the Agency's response, the 2006 dietary risk assessment concluded that dietary exposure from all currently registered crops does not exceed the Agency's level of concern. In addition, following a review of available monitoring data, EPA concluded that the small number of samples with detectable residues in monitoring data and the low residue levels found in those samples support Gowan's claim that imported commodities are not likely to pose risks of concern. The monitoring data also supports Gowan's assertion that the subject commodities will not likely be contaminated with residue levels over tolerance. Therefore, the Agency does not expect that the use of DCNA on the subject commodities will create a risk of concern. As such, the Agency supports retaining the DCNA tolerances for import of these commodities to avoid potential trade barriers with countries that use Codex Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) or have DCNA tolerances established for these commodities, and will convert the existing tolerances to import tolerances in a separate action.

    V. Cancellation Order

    Pursuant to FIFRA section 6(f), EPA hereby approves the requested amendments to terminate uses of DCNA for registrations identified in Table 1 of Unit III. Accordingly, the Agency hereby orders that the product registrations identified in Table 1 of Unit III. are amended to terminate use on apricots, chrysanthemums, conifers, gladiolus, grapes, greenhouse cucumbers, greenhouse lettuce, greenhouse rhubarb, greenhouse tomato, nectarines, peaches, plums/prunes, roses, and sweet cherries. The effective date of the amendments to terminate affected uses that are subject of this notice is February 1, 2018. Any distribution, sale, or use of existing stocks of the products identified in Table 1 of Unit III. in a manner inconsistent with any of the provisions for disposition of existing stocks set forth in Unit VII. will be a violation of FIFRA.

    VI. What is the Agency's authority for taking this action?

    Section 6(f)(1) of FIFRA provides that a registrant of a pesticide product may at any time request that any of its pesticide registrations be canceled or amended to terminate one or more uses. FIFRA further provides that, before acting on the request, EPA must publish a notice of receipt of any such request in the Federal Register. Thereafter, following the public comment period, the EPA Administrator may approve such a request. The notice of receipt for this action was published for comment in the Federal Register of March 16, 2016 (81 FR 14109) (FRL-9941-37). The comment period closed on September 12, 2016.

    VII. Provisions for Disposition of Existing Stocks

    Existing stocks are those stocks of registered pesticide products which are currently in the United States and which were packaged, labeled, and released for shipment prior to the effective date of the action. The existing stocks provision for the products subject to this order is as follows.

    The registrant may continue to sell and distribute existing stocks of products listed in Table 1 until February 1, 2019, which is 1 year after publication of this termination order in the Federal Register. Thereafter, the registrant is prohibited from selling or distributing products listed in Table 1 of Unit III. that contains directions for use on the deleted uses, except for export in accordance with FIFRA section 17 or for proper disposal.

    Persons other than the registrant may sell, distribute, or use existing stocks of products listed in Table 1 of Unit III until supplies are exhausted, provided that such sale, distribution, or use is consistent with the terms of the previously approved labeling on, or that accompanied, the deleted uses.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 136 et. seq.

    Dated: January 10, 2018. Yu-Ting Guilaran, Director, Pesticide Re-evaluation Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02027 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL-9973-33—Region 9] Clean Air Act Operating Permit Program; Petitions for Objection to Proposed Permits for Linn Operating, Inc.—Fairfield Lease and Ethyl D Lease, San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of final Order on petitions to object to air permit.

    SUMMARY:

    This document announces that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator has responded to two citizen petitions asking the EPA to object to the proposed issuance of two Authority to Construct/Certificate of Conformity documents (Permits) issued by the San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District (SJVUAPCD). Specifically, the Administrator has denied the June 24, 2015 petitions (Petitions) submitted by the Climate Change Law Foundation to object to SJVUAPCD's proposed issuance of the Permits for the Linn Operating, Inc.—Fairfield and Ethyl D Leases located in Kern County, California.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may review copies of the final Order, the Petitions, and other supporting information at U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region IX, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105-3901.

    The EPA requests that you contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to view copies of the final Order, Petitions, and other supporting information. You may view the hard copies Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., excluding Federal holidays. If you wish to examine these documents, you should make an appointment at least 24 hours before the visiting day. Additionally, the final Order is available electronically at: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2017-10/documents/linn_fairfield_and_ethyl_order_10-6-17.pdf.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Laura Yannayon, EPA Region IX, (415) 972-3534, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    SJVUAPCD Rule 2201 affords the EPA a 45-day period to review and object to, as appropriate, a proposed permit. Rule 2201 § 5.9.1. If the EPA does not object, Rule 2201 allows any person to petition the EPA, within 60 days, to object to the proposed permit. Petitions must be based only on objections to the permit that were raised with reasonable specificity during the public comment period, unless the petitioner demonstrates that it was impracticable to raise these issues during the comment period, or the grounds for the issue arose after this period.

    The EPA received the Petitions dated June 24, 2015, requesting that the EPA object to the proposed issuance of the Permits to Linn Operating, Inc. for the addition of three new gas-fired steam generators on its Fairfield lease, and one new gas-fired steam generator on its Ethyl D lease, both located in Kern County, California. The substantive claims raised in the two Petitions were essentially identical. Therefore, the EPA responded to both Petitions in a single order. In summary, the Petitions claimed that certain emission reductions had not been included in an EPA-approved attainment plan and thus could not be used, and that certain emission reduction credits used in the permitting process were invalid.

    On October 6, 2017, the Administrator issued an order denying the Petitions. The EPA's rationale for denying the claims raised in the petitions are described in the Order.

    Dated: January 16, 2018. Alexis Strauss, Acting Regional Administrator, Region IX.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02049 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL-9973-34—Region 2] Proposed CERCLA Cost Recovery Settlement for the Facet Enterprises, Inc. Superfund Site, Elmira Heights, Chemung County, New York AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Notice; request for public comment.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, as amended (“CERCLA”), notice is hereby given by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”), Region 2, of a proposed cost recovery settlement agreement pursuant to CERCLA, with Motor Components, LLC (“Motor Components”) and Honeywell International, Inc. (“Honeywell”) (collectively, “Settling Parties”) for the Facet Enterprises, Inc. Superfund Site (“Site”), located in Elmira Heights, Chemung County, New York.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before March 5, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    The proposed settlement is available for public inspection at EPA Region 2 offices at 290 Broadway, New York, New York 10007-1866. Comments should reference the Facet Enterprises, Inc. Superfund Site, Elmira Heights, Chemung County, New York, Index No. II-CERCLA-02-2017-2037. To request a copy of the proposed settlement agreement, please contact the EPA employee identified below.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lauren Charney, Attorney, Office of Regional Counsel, New York/Caribbean Superfund Branch, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 290 Broadway, 17th Floor, New York, NY 10007-1866. email: [email protected] Telephone: 212-637-3181.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Settling Parties agree to reimburse EPA for past response costs paid at or in connection with the Site as set forth: (a) Within 30 days of the effective date, Honeywell shall pay $550,000, plus interest accrued, and (b) Motor Components shall pay $1,300,000, plus accrued interest in up to four installments over a period not to exceed three years from the effective date.

    The settlement includes a covenant by EPA not to sue or to take administrative action against the Settling Party/Parties pursuant to Section 107(a) of CERCLA, 42 U.S.C. 9607(a), with regard to the response costs related to the work at the Site enumerated in the settlement agreement. For thirty (30) days following the date of publication of this notice, EPA will receive written comments relating to the settlement. EPA will consider all comments received and may modify or withdraw its consent to the settlement if comments received disclose facts or considerations that indicate that the proposed settlement is inappropriate, improper, or inadequate. EPA's response to any comments received will be available for public inspection at EPA Region 2, 290 Broadway, New York, New York 10007-1866.

    Dated: January 3, 2018. Walter Mugdan, Director, Emergency and Remedial Response Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 2.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02046 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL-9973-47-OA] Notification of a Public Teleconference of the Science Advisory Board Chemical Assessment Advisory Committee Augmented for the Review of EPA's Draft Ethyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (ETBE) and tert-Butyl Alcohol (tert-butanol; tBA) Assessments AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Science Advisory Board (SAB) Staff Office announces a public teleconference of the SAB Chemical Assessment Advisory Committee augmented for the review of two EPA draft assessments; Toxicological Review for Ethyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (ETBE) (External Review Draft, dated June 2017); and Toxicological Review of tert-Butyl Alcohol (tert-butanol or tBA) (External Review Draft, dated June 2017) (CAAC augmented for ETBE/tBA Panel or Panel). The Panel will meet to discuss its draft peer review report regarding the two EPA draft assessments named above.

    DATES:

    The public teleconference will be held on two dates: Thursday, March 22, 2018, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. (Eastern time) and Tuesday, March 27, 2018, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern time).

    ADDRESSES:

    The public teleconference will be held by telephone only.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Any member of the public who wants further information concerning this meeting notice may contact Dr. Shaunta Hill-Hammond, Designated Federal Officer (DFO), via phone at (202) 564-3343, or email at [email protected] General information about the SAB, as well as updates concerning the meeting announced in this notice, may be found on the EPA website at http://www.epa.gov/sab.

    Technical Contact for EPA's Draft Reports: For information concerning the EPA draft assessments, please contact James Avery, phone (703) 347-8668 or via email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background: The SAB was established pursuant to the Environmental Research, Development, and Demonstration Authorization Act (ERDDAA), codified at 42 U.S.C. 4365, to provide independent scientific and technical advice to the Administrator on the scientific and technical basis for Agency positions and regulations. The SAB is a Federal Advisory Committee chartered under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), 5 U.S.C., App. 2. Pursuant to FACA and EPA policy, notice is hereby given that the SAB CAAC augmented for ETBE and tBA Panel will hold a public teleconference to discuss its draft report regarding the EPA's draft assessments; Toxicological Review for Ethyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (ETBE) (External Review Draft, dated June 2017); and Toxicological Review of tert-Butyl Alcohol (tert-butanol or tBA) (External Review Draft, dated June 2017)). The Panel will provide their advice to the Administrator through the chartered SAB.

    EPA's Office of Research and Development (ORD) requested that the SAB conduct a peer review of the two EPA draft assessments. The EPA SAB Staff Office augmented the SAB CAAC with subject matter experts, to provide advice to the Administrator through the chartered SAB regarding these assessments. The CAAC augmented for ETBE/tBA Panel convened a public face-to-face meeting on August 15-17, 2017, to deliberate on the peer review charge questions. The Panel will meet via a public teleconference to discuss its draft peer review report and to hear and consider public comments. The SAB CAAC augmented for ETBE and tBA Panel will comply with the provisions of FACA and all appropriate SAB Staff Office procedural policies.

    Availability of Meeting Materials: Prior to the meeting(s), the Panel's draft report, meeting agenda and other supporting materials (if applicable) will be accessible on the meeting page corresponding to each chemical assessment on the SAB website (http://www.epa.gov/sab).

    Procedures for Providing Public Input: Public comment for consideration by EPA's federal advisory committees and panels has a different purpose from public comment provided to EPA program offices. Therefore, the process for submitting comments to a federal advisory committee is different from the process used to submit comments to an EPA program office. Federal advisory committees and panels, including scientific advisory committees, provide independent advice to the EPA. Members of the public can submit relevant comments pertaining to the EPA's charge, meeting materials, or the group providing advice. Input from the public to the SAB will have the most impact if it provides specific scientific or technical information or analysis for the SAB to consider or if it relates to the clarity or accuracy of the technical information. Members of the public wishing to provide comment should follow the instructions below to submit comments.

    Oral Statements: In general, individuals or groups requesting to make an oral presentation will be limited to three minutes during a public teleconference. Interested parties wishing to provide comments should contact Dr. Hill-Hammond (preferably via email), at the contact information noted above by March 14, 2018, to be placed on the list of public speakers.

    Written Statements: Written statements will be accepted throughout the advisory process; however, for timely consideration by SAB members, statements should be supplied to the DFO (preferably via email) at the contact information noted above by March 14, 2018. It is the SAB Staff Office general policy to post written comments on the web page for the advisory meeting or teleconference. Submitters are requested to provide an unsigned version of each document because the SAB Staff Office does not publish documents with signatures on its websites. Members of the public should be aware that their personal contact information, if included in any written comments, may be posted to the SAB website. Copyrighted material will not be posted without explicit permission of the copyright holder.

    Accessibility: For information on access or services for individuals with disabilities, please contact Dr. Hill-Hammond at the phone number or email address noted above, preferably at least ten days prior to the meeting, to give the EPA as much time as possible to process your request.

    Dated: January 23, 2018. Khanna Johnston, Deputy Director, EPA Science Advisory Board Staff Office.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02058 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL-9973-36—Region 9] Clean Air Act Operating Permit Program; Petition for Objection to Proposed Permit for Alon USA—Bakersfield Refinery, San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of final Order on petition to object to air permit.

    SUMMARY:

    This document announces that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator has responded to a citizen petition asking the EPA to object to the proposed issuance of an Authority to Construct/Certificate of Conformity (Permit) issued by the San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District (SJVUAPCD). Specifically, on December 21, 2016, the then Administrator granted Part V of the December 16, 2014 petition (Petition) and on July 28, 2017, the current Administrator denied Parts II and III of the Petition submitted by the Association of Irritated Residents, Center for Biological Diversity, and the Sierra Club to object to SJVUAPCD's proposed issuance of the Permit for the Alon USA—Bakersfield Refinery located in Kern County, California.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may review copies of the final Orders, the Petition, and other supporting information at U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region IX, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105-3901.

    The EPA requests that you contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to view copies of the final Orders, the Petition, and other supporting information. You may view the hard copies Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., excluding federal holidays. If you wish to examine these documents, you should make an appointment at least 24 hours before the visiting day. Additionally, the final Orders for the Alon USA—Bakersfield Refinery are available electronically at: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2017-01/documents/alon_response2014.pdf (Part V), and https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2017-08/documents/alon_2nd_response2014.pdf (Parts II and III).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Laura Yannayon, EPA Region IX, (415) 972-3534, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    SJVUAPCD Rule 2201 affords the EPA a 45-day period to review and object to, as appropriate, a proposed permit. Rule 2201 § 5.9.1. If the EPA does not object, Rule 2201 allows any person to petition the EPA, within 60 days, to object to the proposed permit. Petitions must be based only on objections to the permit that were raised with reasonable specificity during the public comment period, unless the petitioner demonstrates that it was impracticable to raise these issues during the comment period, or the grounds for the issue arose after this period.

    The EPA received the Petition dated December 16, 2014, requesting that the EPA object to the proposed issuance of the Permit to Alon USA—Bakersfield Refining, for modifications to its petroleum products refinery and gasoline terminal, located in Kern County, California. The Petition contained five different bases for its request for an objection. Pursuant to the terms of a settlement agreement, noticed on October 21, 2016 (81 FR 72804), the EPA issued a final Order responding to the claims made in Part V of the Petition on December 21, 2016, and a second Order responding to the claims made in Parts II and III of the Petition on July 28, 2017.1 Part V of the Petition requested that the EPA object to the Permit because it allegedly relies on invalid emission reduction credits. Parts II and III of the Petition requested that the EPA object to the Permit because the emissions baseline and the assumptions used to calculate project emissions were allegedly inaccurate.

    1 On August 8, 2017, pursuant to the settlement agreement, the Petitioners withdrew Parts I and IV of the Petition. See https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2017-08/documents/alon_withdrawal2014.pdf.

    On December 21, 2016, the then Administrator issued an order granting Part V of the Petition. On March 16, 2017, SJVUAPCD responded to the December 21, 2016 objection. On July 28, 2017, the current Administrator issued an order denying Parts II and III of the Petition. EPA's rationale for granting the Petition in part and denying the Petition in part are described in the Orders.

    Dated: January 16, 2018. Alexis Strauss, Acting Regional Administrator, Region IX.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02051 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION Farm Credit Administration Board; Sunshine Act Meeting AGENCY:

    Farm Credit Administration.

    ACTION:

    Notice, regular meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the Government in the Sunshine Act, of the regular meeting of the Farm Credit Administration Board (Board).

    DATES:

    The regular meeting of the Board will be held at the offices of the Farm Credit Administration in McLean, Virginia, on February 8, 2018, from 9:00 a.m. until such time as the Board concludes its business.

    ADDRESSES:

    Farm Credit Administration, 1501 Farm Credit Drive, McLean, Virginia 22102-5090. Submit attendance requests via email to [email protected] See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for further information about attendance requests.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dale L. Aultman, Secretary to the Farm Credit Administration Board, (703) 883-4009, TTY (703) 883-4056, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Parts of this meeting of the Board will be open to the public (limited space available) and parts will be closed to the public. Please send an email to [email protected] at least 24 hours before the meeting. In your email include: Name, postal address, entity you are representing (if applicable), and telephone number. You will receive an email confirmation from us. Please be prepared to show a photo identification when you arrive. If you need assistance for accessibility reasons, or if you have any questions, contact Dale L. Aultman, Secretary to the Farm Credit Administration Board, at (703) 883-4009. The matters to be considered at the meeting are:

    Open Session A. Approval of Minutes • January 11, 2018 B. Report • Cost of Production Trends for Grain and Soybean Producers Closed Session * • Office of Secondary Market Oversight Periodic Report

    * Session Closed-Exempt pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(8) and (9).

    Dated: January 30, 2018. Dale L. Aultman, Secretary, Farm Credit Administration Board.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02097 Filed 1-30-18; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 6705-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION Open Commission Meeting, Tuesday, January 30, 2018 January 23, 2018.

    The Federal Communications Commission will hold an Open Meeting on the subjects listed below on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 which is scheduled to commence at 10:30 a.m. in Room TW-C305, at 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC.

    Item No. Bureau Subject 1 PUBLIC SAFETY & HOMELAND SECURITY Presentation: The Commission will receive a preliminary report from the Public Safety & Homeland Security Bureau on its investigation into the false emergency alert that occurred in Hawaii on January 13, 2018. 2 PUBLIC SAFETY & HOMELAND SECURITY Title: Wireless Emergency Alerts (PS Docket No. 15-91); Amendment of Part 11 of the Commission's Rules Regarding the Emergency Alert System (PS Docket No. 15-94). Summary: The Commission will consider a Second Report and Order and Second Order on Reconsideration to enhance the effectiveness of Wireless Emergency Alerts, including improving the geographic accuracy of these alerts. 3 WIRELINE COMPETITION Title: Connect America Fund (WC Docket No. 10-90); ETC Annual Reports and Certifications (WC Docket No. 14-58); Rural Broadband Experiments (WC Docket No. 14-259); Connect America Fund Phase II Auction (AU Docket No. 17-182). Summary: The Commission will consider an Order and Order on Reconsideration addressing the remaining issues raised by parties challenging the Commission's orders implementing the Connect America Phase II auction (Auction 903), in which service providers will compete to receive support of up to $1.98 billion to offer voice and broadband service in unserved high-cost areas. 4 WIRELINE COMPETITION AND WIRELESS TELE-COMMUNICATIONS Title: Connect America Fund Phase II Auction Scheduled for July 24, 2018 Notice and Filing Requirements and Other Procedures for Auction 903; Connect America Fund Phase II Auction (AU Docket No. 17-182); Connect America Fund (WC Docket No. 10-90). Summary: The Commission will consider a Public Notice establishing procedures for the Connect America Fund Phase II auction, which will award up to $1.98 billion over 10 years to service providers that commit to offer voice and broadband services to fixed locations in unserved high-cost areas. 5 WIRELINE COMPETITION AND OFFICE OF MANAGING DIRECTORY Title: Establishment of the Office of Economics and Analytics (MD Docket No. 18-3). Summary: The Commission will consider an Order to establish an Office of Economics and Analytics. 6 MEDIA Title: Amendment of Section 73.3613 of the Commission's Rules Regarding Filing of Contracts (MB Docket No. 18-4); Modernization of Media Regulation Initiative (MB Docket No. 17-105). Summary: The Commission will consider a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposing to eliminate the requirement that broadcast licensees and permittees routinely submit paper copies of contracts and other documents to the FCC as specified in Section 73.3613 of the Commission's rules. 7 MEDIA Title: Modernization of Media Regulation Initiative (MB Docket No. 17-105); Amendment of Parts 27, 54, 73, 74, and 76 of the Commission's Rules to Delete Rules Made Obsolete by the Digital Television Transition. Summary: The Commission will consider an Order deleting rules made obsolete by the Digital TV transition. 8 ENFORCEMENT Title: Enforcement Bureau Action. Summary: The Commission will consider an enforcement action.

    The meeting site is fully accessible to people using wheelchairs or other mobility aids. Sign language interpreters, open captioning, and assistive listening devices will be provided on site. Other reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available upon request. In your request, include a description of the accommodation you will need and a way we can contact you if we need more information. Last minute requests will be accepted, but may be impossible to fill. Send an email to: [email protected] or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (TTY).

    Additional information concerning this meeting may be obtained from the Office of Media Relations, (202) 418-0500; TTY 1-888-835-5322. Audio/Video coverage of the meeting will be broadcast live with open captioning over the internet from the FCC Live web page at www.fcc.gov/live.

    For a fee this meeting can be viewed live over George Mason University's Capitol Connection. The Capitol Connection also will carry the meeting live via the internet. To purchase these services, call (703) 993-3100 or go to www.capitolconnection.gmu.edu.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02029 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION Sunshine Act Meeting TIME AND DATE:

    Tuesday, February 6, 2018 at 10:00 a.m.

    PLACE:

    999 E Street NW, Washington, DC.

    STATUS:

    This meeting will be closed to the public.

    MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED:

    Compliance matters pursuant to 52 U.S.C. 30109.

    Matters relating to internal personnel decisions, or internal rules and practices.

    Information the premature disclosure of which would be likely to have a considerable adverse effect on the implementation of a proposed Commission action.

    Matters concerning participation in civil actions or proceedings or arbitration.

    CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION:

    Judith Ingram, Press Officer Telephone: (202) 694-1220

    Laura E. Sinram, Deputy Secretary of the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02120 Filed 1-30-18; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 6715-01-P
    FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION [Petition No. P4-16] Petition of the Coalition for Fair Port Practices for Rulemaking; Notice of Accessibility and Extension of Time

    On January 23, 2018, the Commission resumed normal operations and offices are now open and accessible. Time has been extended for this proceeding. Replies and any further submissions to the record are now due February 1, 2018.

    By the Commission.

    Rachel E. Dickon, Assistant Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-01982 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6731-AA-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP); Notice of Charter Amendment; Correction

    Notice is hereby given of a change in the filing date of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP); Notice of Charter Amendment which was published in the Federal Register on December 28, 2018 Volume 82, Number 248, page 61573.

    The amended filing date should read as follows: November 9, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Stephanie Thomas, ACIP Committee Management Specialist, CDC, NCIRD, email [email protected]

    The Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, has been delegated the authority to sign Federal Register notices pertaining to announcements of meetings and other committee management activities, for both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

    Elaine L. Baker, Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2018-01969 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Children and Families Proposed Information Collection Activity; Comment Request

    Title: Implementation Grants to Develop a Model Intervention for Youth/Young Adults with Child Welfare Involvement at Risk of Homelessness: Phase II—Extension OMB No.: 0970-0445.

    Description: The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) intends to collect data for an evaluation of the initiative, Implementation Grants to Develop a Model Intervention for Youth/Young Adults with Child Welfare Involvement at Risk of Homelessness: Phase II. This builds on the previously approved “Planning Grants to Develop a Model Intervention for Youth/Young Adults with Child Welfare Involvement at Risk of Homelessness” (Phase I). The Phase II data collection described in this Notice was approved by the Office of Management and Budget in July 2017. This request is for a time extension for data collection under OMB #0970-0445. There are no changes to the previously approved information collection. Due to delays, data collection has not begun and will need to extend beyond the current expiration date of July 2018. Grantees are receiving an additional year to conduct their work. To capture data at a similar point in the development of their efforts, data collection will be delayed.

    Phase II is an initiative, funded by the Children's Bureau (CB) within ACF, that will support implementation grants for interventions designed to intervene with youth who have experienced time in foster care and are most likely to have a challenging transition into adulthood, including homelessness and unstable housing experiences. CB awarded six implementation grants (Phase II) in September 2015.

    During the implementation phase, organizations will conduct a range of activities to fine-tune their comprehensive service model, determine whether their model is being implemented as intended, and develop plans to evaluate the model under a potential future funding opportunity (Phase III). During Phase II, ACF will engage a contractor to: Conduct a cross-site process evaluation. Data collected for the process evaluation will be used to assess grantees' organizational capacity to implement and evaluate the model interventions and to monitor each grantee's progress toward achieving the goals of the implementation period.

    Data for the process evaluation will be collected through: Interviews during site visits.

    Respondents: Grantee agency directors and staff; partner agency directors and staff. Partner agencies may vary by site, but are expected to include child welfare, mental health, and youth housing/homelessness agencies.

    Annual Burden Estimates Instrument Total/annual number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden hours
  • per response
  • Total/annual burden hours
    Grantee Site Visit-Semi-Structured Interview Topic Guide 60 1 1.5 90 Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours 90

    In compliance with the requirements of Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Administration for Children and Families is soliciting public comment on the specific aspects of the information collection described above. Copies of the proposed collection of information can be obtained and comments may be forwarded by writing to the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, 330 C Street SW, Washington, DC 20201, Attn: OPRE Reports Clearance Officer. Email address: [email protected] All requests should be identified by the title of the information collection.

    The Department specifically requests comments on (a) whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Consideration will be given to comments and suggestions submitted within 60 days of this publication.

    Mary Jones, ACF/OPRE Certifying Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-01987 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4184-29-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Children and Families Proposed Information Collection Activity; Comment Request

    Proposed Projects:

    Title: Grants to States for Access and Visitation.

    OMB No.: 0970-0204.

    Description: On an annual basis, States must provide OCSE with data on programs that the Grants to States for Access and Visitation Program has funded. These program reporting requirements include, but are not limited to, the collection of data on the number of parents served, types of services delivered, program outcomes, client socio- economic data, referrals sources, and other relevant data including the number of noncustodial parents who were able to obtain increased parenting time with their children and how many AV grant program cases were also open IV-D child support cases.

    Respondents: State Child Access and Visitation Programs and State and/or local service providers.

    Annual Burden Estimates Instrument Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden hours
  • per response
  • Total burden
  • hours
  • Online Portal Survey by States and Jurisdictions 54 1 16 864 Survey of local service grantees 296 1 16 4,736

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 5,600.

    In compliance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13, 44 U.S.C. Chap 35), the Administration for Children and Families is soliciting public comment on the specific aspects of the information collection described above. Copies of the proposed collection of information can be obtained and comments may be forwarded by writing to the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, 330 C Street SW, Washington, DC 20201, Attn: ACF Reports Clearance Officer. Email address: [email protected] All requests should be identified by the title of the information collection.

    The Department specifically requests comments on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Consideration will be given to comments and suggestions submitted within 60 days of this publication.

    Robert Sargis, Reports Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-01985 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4184-41-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Community Living Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Public Comment Request; Evidence-Based Falls Prevention Program; OMB Control Number, 0985-0039 AGENCY:

    Administration for Community Living (ACL), HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Administration for Community Living is announcing that the proposed collection of information listed above has been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance as required under section 506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. This 30-Day notice collects comments on the information collection requirements related to ACL's Evidence-Based Falls Prevention Program's Proposed Extension with Changes of a Currently Approved Collection.

    DATES:

    Submit written comments on the collection of information by March 5, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit written comments on the collection of information by:

    (a) Email to: [email protected], Attn: OMB Desk Officer for ACL;

    (b) fax to 202-395-5806, Attn: OMB Desk Officer for ACL; or

    (c) by mail to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB, New Executive Office Bldg., 725 17th St. NW, Rm. 10235, Washington, DC 20503, Attn: OMB Desk Officer for ACL.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Shannon Skowronski at [email protected] or 202-795-7438.

    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.

    The Evidence-Based Falls Prevention Programs is a cooperative agreement financed through the Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF), most recently with FY 2017 PPHF funds. The statutory authority for cooperative agreements under the current program announcement is contained in the Public Health Service Act, 42 U.S.C. 300u-2 (Community Programs) and 300u-3 (Information Programs); and Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017, Public Law 115-31, Title II; and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, 42 U.S.C. 300u-11 (Prevention and Public Health Fund).

    The Evidence-Based Falls Prevention Programs support a national resource center and award competitive grants to implement evidence-based community programs that have been proven to reduce the incidence of falls for older adults. The programs also identify sustainable funding mechanisms for these programs via the national resource center, promote the importance of falls prevention strategies, and provide public education about the risks of falls and ways to prevent them.

    OMB approval of the existing set of Falls Prevention data collection tools (OMB Control Number, 0985-0039) expires on 01/31/2018. This data collection continues to be necessary for monitoring program operations and outcomes. ACL/AoA proposes to use the following tools: (1) Semi-annual performance reports to monitor grantee progress; (2) a Host Organization Data form to record the location of agencies that sponsor programs that will allow mapping of the delivery infrastructure; and (3) a set of tools used to collect information at each program completed by the program leaders (Program Information Cover Sheet and Attendance Log), a Participant Information Form completed by each participant, and a Post Program Survey to be completed by a random sample of participants. ACL/AoA intends to continue using an online data entry system for the program and participant survey data.

    Comments in Response to the 60-Day Federal Register Notice

    As required by 5 CFR 1320.8(d), a 60-Day notice was published in the Federal Register on October 3, 3017, Volume 82, Number 190, page 46064. Four emails were received with comments. Based on the comments, some minor modifications were made to the proposed survey instruments. In addition to the public comments, feedback on the current forms was sought from the following:

    • ACL Performance and Evaluation subject matter experts • CDC Injury Prevention Center subject matter experts • National Falls Prevention Resource Center and falls prevention subject matter experts • Two grantee focus groups (with fewer than 9 participants combined)

    Based on this collective feedback, the following modifications to the currently approved forms are being proposed:

    • On the Participant Information Form:

    1. Question #8 on currently approved and proposed Participant Information Form: Additional chronic conditions have been added to the list of options: Cancer; high blood pressure/hypertension; osteoporosis; and Parkinson's Disease.

    2. Question #8 on currently approved and proposed Participant Information Form: None (no chronic conditions) has been removed from the list of options.

    3. Question #11 on currently approved and proposed Participant Information Form: Two sub-questions have been added to assess the:

    • Frequency of Falls (6b) • Impact of Falls (6c)

    4. Question #15 on the Participant Information Form has been added to examine home modifications

    5. Question #16 on the Participant Information Form has been added to examine activity level

    On the Post Program Survey:

    1. Question #2 on the currently approved and proposed Post Program Survey: Two sub-questions have been added to assess the:

    • Frequency of Falls (6b) • Impact of Falls (6c)

    2. Question #4 on the currently approved Post Program Survey (“Has this program reduced your fear of falling?”) has been removed.

    3. Question #7 on currently approved Post Program Survey and Question #6 on the proposed form: Removed “I plan to continue exercising” from the list of options. Activity level is now addressed in Question #9.

    4. Question #8 on currently approved Post Program Survey and Question #7 on the proposed form: Removed “Did exercises I learned in this program at home” from the list of options. Activity level is now addressed in Question #9 on the revised form.

    5. Question #8 on currently approved Post Program Survey and Question #7 on the proposed form: Removed “Made changes in my home to reduce my risk of falling (for example, secured rugs or improved lighting)” from the list of options. Home modifications are now addressed in Question #8 in the revised form.

    6. Question #8 on the Participant Information Form has been added to examine home modifications

    7. Question #9 on the Participant Information Form has been added to examine activity level

    On the Program Information Cover Sheet:

    1. Question #6 has been revised to improve clarity to read “Session 0/Introductory Session”.

    2. Question #7 has been revised to change wording to “Name of program offered.”

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours

    The proposed Falls Prevention Data Collection Tools can be found at ACL's Website at: https://www.acl.gov/about-acl/public-input.

    The total estimated burden is 4,345 hours per year. ACL/AoA estimates the burden of this collection of information as 288 hours for project staff, 1,435 hours for local agency staff, and 2,622 hours for individuals.

    Type of respondent Form name Estimated number of
  • respondents
  • Number of responses per respondent Average time per response
  • (in hours)
  • Total burden hours
  • (annual)
  • Project staff Semi-annual Performance Report 18 Twice a year 8 288 Local agency leaders Program Information Cover Sheet/Participant Information Form/Attendance Log/Post Program Survey 700 leaders Twice a year (one set per program) .50 700 Local data entry staff 36 data entry staff Once per program × 1,400 programs .50 700 Local organization staff and local database entry staff Host Organization Data Form 700 staff 1 .05 35 Program participants Participant Information Form 16,390 1 .10 1,639 Program participants Post Program Survey 9,834 1 .10 983 Total Burden Hours 4,345
    Dated: January 26, 2018. Mary Lazare, Principal Deputy Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02000 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4154-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2018-N-0001] Best Practices in Modeling and Simulation for Oncology Products; Public Workshop AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public workshop.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration's (FDA, the Agency, or we) Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), in co-sponsorship with the International Society of Pharmacometrics (ISoP), is announcing a public workshop entitled “Best Practices in Modeling and Simulation for Oncology Products.” The purpose of the meeting is to discuss “best practices” in integrating pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic, efficacy, and safety data into models to best inform oncology drug development, evaluate disease- and mechanism-specific early endpoints to predict long-term efficacy, and discuss potential regulatory implications of model-informed decisions in drug development. This workshop is also being conducted to satisfy one of FDA's performance goals included in the sixth reauthorization of the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA VI), part of the FDA Reauthorization Act of 2017 (FDARA), to hold a series of workshops related to model-informed drug development (MIDD).

    DATES:

    The public workshop will be held on February 1, 2018, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Eastern Time. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for registration date and information.

    ADDRESSES:

    The public workshop will be held at the FDA White Oak Campus, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 31 Conference Center, the Great Room (Rm. 1503, B and C), Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002. Entrance for public workshop participants (non-FDA employees) is through Building 1 where routine security procedures will be performed. For parking and security information, please refer to: http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/WorkingatFDA/BuildingsandFacilities/WhiteOakCampusInformation/ucm241740.htm.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jeannette Dinin, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 22, Rm. 2108, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 240-402-4978, email: [email protected]; or Yvonne Knight, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 51, Rm. 2142, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-2133, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    Under FDARA, FDA agreed, in accordance with section I of the PDUFA VI Performance Goals, Ensuring the Effectiveness of the Human Drug Review, part J, Enhancing Regulatory Decision Tools to Support Drug Development and Review, to convene a series of workshops to identify best practices for MIDD (https://www.fda.gov/downloads/ForIndustry/UserFees/PrescriptionDrugUserFee/UCM511438.pdf). FDA is conducting this workshop as part of the MIDD workshop series.

    Over the past few decades, there has been extensive investment in oncology drug discovery and development. Despite greater understanding of disease biology and drug mechanisms of action, further progress in model-informed strategies is needed to continue advancements in oncology drug development. Innovations in clinical trial design utilizing more informative endpoints could help bring more effective treatment options to cancer patients faster by accelerating development of effective new drugs and reducing failure rates in expensive late-phase development.

    As more effective and complex combination strategies and novel targets for cancer treatment evolve, exploring more informative and predictive endpoints to assess treatment response (e.g., response evaluation criteria in solid tumors-based endpoints (RECIST)) has become an active area of research. Alternative metrics that require shorter periods of observation or provide more precise assessment of treatment effects could lead to more rapid completion of clinical trials and require fewer patients. Promising among these alternative metrics are model-based metrics, such as those based on longitudinal continuous tumor size measurements. Additionally, model-informed approaches can help satisfy a need to optimize dosing regimens for patients. Investigations to refine dosing regimens often occur after new drug approval and/or are driven by pharmacometric modeling approaches. There is growing interest in using model-informed approaches to help balance the risks and benefits of oncology products by identifying optimal dosing regimens, and broad stakeholder engagement and discussion around this topic can be beneficial.

    II. Objectives

    The objectives of the workshop are to:

    1. Discuss “best practices” in integrating human pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic, efficacy, and safety data into models that best inform oncology drug development.

    2. Describe novel imaging techniques and diagnostic and predictive biomarkers that may be utilized in oncology drug development.

    3. Describe disease- and mechanism-specific early endpoints to predict long-term efficacy.

    4. Evaluate the potential to shift from traditional RECIST-based endpoints such as Overall Response Rate (ORR) and Progression Free Survival (PFS) to modified RECIST approaches (e.g., imRECIST for immunotherapies) as well as to other (model-based) tumor kinetic metrics to support early decision making in Phase 1/2 as well as in confirmatory trials.

    5. Discuss potential regulatory implications of model-informed decisions in drug development, including, model-based target identification, dose/exposure justification based on preclinical evidence, dose selection for first-in-human trials, quality by design, early clinical study design, dose finding/titration, confirmatory trials, product labeling, and post-marketing studies.

    A detailed agenda will be posted on the following website in advance of the workshop: https://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/NewsEvents/UCM589458.pdf.

    III. Registration and Accommodations

    Registration: Persons interested in attending this public workshop must register online by January 31, 2018, at https://fdaoce.formstack.com/forms/isop. Please provide complete contact information for each attendee, including name, title, affiliation, address, email, and telephone number.

    Registration is free and based on space availability, with priority given to early registrants. Early registration is recommended because seating is limited; therefore, FDA may limit the number of participants from each organization. Registrants will receive confirmation when they have been accepted. If time and space permit, onsite registration on the day of the public workshop will be provided beginning at 8 a.m.

    If you need special accommodations due to a disability, please contact Yvonne Knight (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT) no later than January 24, 2018.

    Streaming Webcast of the Public Workshop: The meeting will also be webcast. A live webcast of this workshop will be available at https://collaboration.fda.gov/fdaisop/ on the day of the workshop. If you have never attended a Connect Pro event before, test your connection at https://collaboration.fda.gov/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm. To get a quick overview of the Connect Pro program, visit https://www.adobe.com/go/connectpro_overview. FDA has verified the website addresses in this document, as of the date this document publishes in the Federal Register, but websites are subject to change over time.

    Transcripts: Please be advised that as soon as a transcript of the public workshop is available, it will be accessible at https://FDAOCE.formstack.com/forms/isop. It may be viewed at the Dockets Management Staff (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    Dated: January 29, 2018. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-01992 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket Nos. FDA-2016-E-1234 and FDA-2016-E-1257] Determination of Regulatory Review Period for Purposes of Patent Extension; CORLANOR AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or the Agency) has determined the regulatory review period for CORLANOR and is publishing this notice of that determination as required by law. FDA has made the determination because of the submission of applications to the Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Department of Commerce, for the extension of a patent which claims that human drug product.

    DATES:

    Anyone with knowledge that any of the dates as published (in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section) are incorrect may submit either electronic or written comments and ask for a redetermination by April 2, 2018. Furthermore, any interested person may petition FDA for a determination regarding whether the applicant for extension acted with due diligence during the regulatory review period by July 31, 2018. See “Petitions” in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for more information.

    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 April 2, 2018. The https://www.regulations.gov electronic filing system will accept comments until midnight Eastern Time at the end of April 2, 2018. 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 Nos. FDA-2016-E-1234 and FDA-2016-E-1257 for “Determination of Regulatory Review Period for Purposes of Patent Extension; CORLANOR.” 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 § 10.20 (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:

    Beverly Friedman, Office of Regulatory Policy, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 51, Rm. 6250, Silver Spring, MD 20993, 301-796-3600.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    The Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984 (Pub. L. 98-417) and the Generic Animal Drug and Patent Term Restoration Act (Pub. L. 100-670) generally provide that a patent may be extended for a period of up to 5 years so long as the patented item (human drug product, animal drug product, medical device, food additive, or color additive) was subject to regulatory review by FDA before the item was marketed. Under these acts, a product's regulatory review period forms the basis for determining the amount of extension an applicant may receive.

    A regulatory review period consists of two periods of time: A testing phase and an approval phase. For human drug products, the testing phase begins when the exemption to permit the clinical investigations of the drug becomes effective and runs until the approval phase begins. The approval phase starts with the initial submission of an application to market the human drug product and continues until FDA grants permission to market the drug product. Although only a portion of a regulatory review period may count toward the actual amount of extension that the Director of USPTO may award (for example, half the testing phase must be subtracted as well as any time that may have occurred before the patent was issued), FDA's determination of the length of a regulatory review period for a human drug product will include all of the testing phase and approval phase as specified in 35 U.S.C. 156(g)(1)(B).

    FDA has approved for marketing the human drug product CORLANOR (ivabradine hydrochloride). CORLANOR is indicated to reduce the risk of hospitalization for worsening heart failure in patients with stable, symptomatic chronic heart failure with left ventricular ejection fraction ≤ 35% who are in sinus rhythm with resting heart rate ≥ 70 beats per minute and either are on maximally tolerated doses of beta-blockers or have a contraindication to beta-blocker use. Subsequent to this approval, the USPTO received a patent term restoration application for CORLANOR (U.S. Patent Nos. 7,879,842 and 7,867,996) from Les Laboratoires Servier, and the USPTO requested FDA's assistance in determining the patents' eligibility for patent term restoration. In a letter dated July 28, 2016, FDA advised the USPTO that this human drug product had undergone a regulatory review period and that the approval of CORLANOR represented the first permitted commercial marketing or use of the product. Thereafter, the USPTO requested that FDA determine the product's regulatory review period.

    II. Determination of Regulatory Review Period

    FDA has determined that the applicable regulatory review period for CORLANOR is 293 days. Of this time, 0 days occurred during the testing phase of the regulatory review period, while 293 days occurred during the approval phase. These periods of time were derived from the following dates:

    1. The date an exemption under section 505(i) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act) (21 U.S.C. 355(i)) became effective: No exemption claimed. FDA has verified the Les Laboratoires Servier claim that they did not file an investigational new drug application (IND) with FDA.

    2. The date the application was initially submitted with respect to the human drug product under section 505(b) of the FD&C Act: June 27, 2014. FDA has verified the applicant's claim that the new drug application (NDA) for CORLANOR (NDA 206143) was initially submitted on June 27, 2014.

    3. The date the application was approved: April 15, 2015. FDA has verified the applicant's claim that NDA 206143 was approved on April 15, 2015.

    This determination of the regulatory review period establishes the maximum potential length of a patent extension. However, the USPTO applies several statutory limitations in its calculations of the actual period for patent extension. In its applications for patent extension, this applicant seeks 292 days of patent term extension.

    III. Petitions

    Anyone with knowledge that any of the dates as published are incorrect may submit either electronic or written comments and, under 21 CFR 60.24, ask for a redetermination (see DATES). Furthermore, as specified in § 60.30 (21 CFR 60.30), any interested person may petition FDA for a determination regarding whether the applicant for extension acted with due diligence during the regulatory review period. To meet its burden, the petition must comply with all the requirements of § 60.30, including but not limited to: Must be timely (see DATES), must be filed in accordance with § 10.20, must contain sufficient facts to merit an FDA investigation, and must certify that a true and complete copy of the petition has been served upon the patent applicant. (See H. Rept. 857, part 1, 98th Cong., 2d sess., pp. 41-42, 1984.) Petitions should be in the format specified in 21 CFR 10.30.

    Submit petitions electronically to https://www.regulations.gov at Docket Nos. FDA-2013-S-0610. Submit written petitions (two copies are required) to the Dockets Management Staff (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    Dated: January 26, 2018. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-01979 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Health Resources and Services Administration National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program; List of Petitions Received AGENCY:

    Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    HRSA is publishing this notice of petitions received under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (the program), as required by the Public Health Service (PHS) Act, as amended. While the Secretary of HHS (the Secretary) is named as the respondent in all proceedings brought by the filing of petitions for compensation under the Program, the United States Court of Federal Claims is charged by statute with responsibility for considering and acting upon the petitions.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For information about requirements for filing petitions, and the program in general, contact Lisa L. Reyes, Acting Clerk, United States Court of Federal Claims, 717 Madison Place NW, Washington, DC 20005, (202) 357-6400. For information on HRSA's role in the program, contact the Director, National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, 5600 Fishers Lane, Room 08N146B, Rockville, MD 20857; (301) 443-6593, or visit our website at: http://www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation/index.html.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The program provides a system of no-fault compensation for certain individuals who have been injured by specified childhood vaccines. Subtitle 2 of Title XXI of the PHS Act, 42 U.S.C. 300aa-10 et seq., provides that those seeking compensation are to file a petition with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and to serve a copy of the petition on the Secretary of HHS, who is named as the respondent in each proceeding. The Secretary has delegated this responsibility under the program to HRSA. The Court is directed by statute to appoint special masters who take evidence, conduct hearings as appropriate, and make initial decisions as to eligibility for, and amount of, compensation.

    A petition may be filed with respect to injuries, disabilities, illnesses, conditions, and deaths resulting from vaccines described in the Vaccine Injury Table (the table) set forth at 42 CFR 100.3. This table lists for each covered childhood vaccine the conditions that may lead to compensation and, for each condition, the time period for occurrence of the first symptom or manifestation of onset or of significant aggravation after vaccine administration. Compensation may also be awarded for conditions not listed in the Table and for conditions that are manifested outside the time periods specified in the table, but only if the petitioner shows that the condition was caused by one of the listed vaccines.

    Section 2112(b)(2) of the PHS Act, 42 U.S.C. 300aa-12(b)(2), requires that “[w]ithin 30 days after the Secretary receives service of any petition filed under section 2111, the Secretary shall publish notice of such petition in the Federal Register.” Set forth below is a list of petitions received by HRSA on December 1, 2017, through December 31, 2017. This list provides the name of petitioner, city and state of vaccination (if unknown then city and state of person or attorney filing claim), and case number. In cases where the Court has redacted the name of a petitioner and/or the case number, the list reflects such redaction.

    Section 2112(b)(2) also provides that the special master “shall afford all interested persons an opportunity to submit relevant, written information” relating to the following:

    1. The existence of evidence “that there is not a preponderance of the evidence that the illness, disability, injury, condition, or death described in the petition is due to factors unrelated to the administration of the vaccine described in the petition,” and

    2. Any allegation in a petition that the petitioner either:

    a. “[S]ustained, or had significantly aggravated, any illness, disability, injury, or condition not set forth in the Vaccine Injury Table but which was caused by” one of the vaccines referred to in the Table, or

    b. “[S]ustained, or had significantly aggravated, any illness, disability, injury, or condition set forth in the Vaccine Injury Table the first symptom or manifestation of the onset or significant aggravation of which did not occur within the time period set forth in the Table but which was caused by a vaccine” referred to in the Table.

    In accordance with Section 2112(b)(2), all interested persons may submit written information relevant to the issues described above in the case of the petitions listed below. Any person choosing to do so should file an original and three (3) copies of the information with the Clerk of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims at the address listed above (under the heading For Further Information Contact), with a copy to HRSA addressed to Director, Division of Injury Compensation Programs, Healthcare Systems Bureau, 5600 Fishers Lane, 08N146B, Rockville, MD 20857. The Court's caption (Petitioner's Name v. Secretary of HHS) and the docket number assigned to the petition should be used as the caption for the written submission. Chapter 35 of title 44, United States Code, related to paperwork reduction, does not apply to information required for purposes of carrying out the program.

    Dated: January 26, 2018. George Sigounas, Administrator. List of Petitions Filed 1. Janece Dix, Gibsonton, Florida, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1859V 2. Constance Crabtree, Portland, Oregon, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1860V 3. Norval Nichols, Washington, District of Columbia, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1861V 4. Rachelle Gucwa on behalf of B. C., Tavernier, Florida, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1862V 5. Sharla Bafia, Washington, District of Columbia, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1863V 6. Gary Koslica, Kenosha, Wisconsin, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1864V 7. Tiffany Twofoot, Nashua, New Hampshire, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1866V 8. Lauren Wilkins, Pleasant Grove, Utah, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1867V 9. Stephanie Fiorello and Anthony Fiorello on behalf of R. F., Westfield, New Jersey, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1869V 10. Sara Zutter, Brooklyn, New York, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1872V 11. Bailey McCammon, Avon, Indiana, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1873V 12. Kristoff Hendrickson, Saint Louis Park, Minnesota, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1878V 13. Andrew Sanchez-Aldana and Karina Sanchez-Aldana on behalf of V. S. A., San Diego, California, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1879V 14. Kathy Biser, Streetsboro, Ohio, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1880V 15. Tarmesha Brown, Phoenix, Arizona, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1884V 16. Alma Rivera, New York, New York, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1887V 17. Charles Presley, Cherry Log, Georgia, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1888V 18. Kathleen M. Lesley, O'Fallon, Missouri, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1889V 19. Lorrie Jones, D'Iberville, Mississippi, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1890V 20. Annette Quintana, Montrose, Colorado, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1891V 21. Keri Anne Bordelon, Hot Springs, Arkansas, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1892V 22. Janice Romano, Glassboro, New Jersey, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1893V 23. Elizabeth Watkins, Washington, District of Columbia, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1894V 24. Gayle Lawless Cox, Los Gatos, California, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1895V 25. Valerie Newport, Phoenix, Arizona, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1897V 26. Carla Durham, Pitcairn, Pennsylvania, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1899V 27. Carol Gutierrez, Des Moines, Iowa, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1904V 28. Joan Forrest, Holladay, Utah, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1905V 29. Jeanne Rafferty, Washington, District of Columbia, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1906V 30. Traci Wilks Jones, High Point, North Carolina, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1907V 31. Robin Wynne, Boston, Massachusetts, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1908V 32. Emily Middleton, Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1910V 33. Willie J. Blackmon, Banning, California, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1911V 34. Reva Sims, Missoula, Montana, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1913V 35. Darlene Howe, Encinitas, California, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1914V 36. Angela Apuzzo, Boston, Massachusetts, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1915V 37. Jonathan Rogan on behalf of T. R., Encinitas, California, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1916V 38. Sheri Grove, Cedartown, Georgia, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1917V 39. Douglas Kelly, Rockville, Maryland, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1918V 40. Tracy McCormick, Lombard, Illinois, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1919V 41. Gorett Parsloe, Washington, District of Columbia, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1920V 42. Robert Lermond, Washington, District of Columbia, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1921V 43. Steven S. Mills on behalf of Meri E. Boatman, Washington, District of Columbia, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1922V 44. Sandra Williams, Bemidji, Minnesota, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1925V 45. Amanda Tripp, Lewiston, Maine, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1926V 46. Kimberly Smyth, Washington, District of Columbia, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1927V 47. Charyl Wojtaszek, Washington, District of Columbia, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1928V 48. Katherine J. Rader, Maple Grove, Minnesota, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1929V 49. Bradford Kaup, Boise, Idaho, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1930V 50. Deanna Drayton, New York, New York, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1932V 51. Echo Llewellyn, Washington, District of Columbia, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1934V 52. James Phillips, Washington, District of Columbia, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1935V 53. Melody Chesley, Homer, Alaska, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1936V 54. Cynthia Alexander, Washington, District of Columbia, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1939V 55. Tracy Oehling, Manassas Park, Virginia, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1940V 56. Derhyl Middleton, Washington, District of Columbia, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1942V 57. Opal Waltz, Front Royal, Virginia, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1943V 58. Judith Mora, Chandler, Arizona, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1945V 59. Rebecca Crane and Grant Crane on behalf of S. C., Tucson, Arizona, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1947V 60. Christine Rayner, Cranston, Rhode Island, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1953V 61. Michael Valese, Toms River, New Jersey, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1956V 62. Luciana Chaves and Rodrigo Calloni on behalf of A. C., Wheaton, Maryland, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1957V 63. Mara Corter, Raleigh, North Carolina, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1961V 64. Penny Cornelius, Port Huron, Michigan, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1963V 65. Alexandra Morrow, Port Huron, California, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1964V 66. Joseph Hilo, Lititz, Pennsylvania, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1965V 67. Darrell Lamont Tatum, Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1966V 68. Chandra Novak, Howell, Michigan, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1967V 69. Genarina Decastro, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1973V 70. Jeana Milton on behalf of Thirza Arlene Bagley, Deceased, Standale, Michigan, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1974V 71. Katherine Duke, Amarillo, Texas, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1976V 72. Kenneth Cuevas, Durham, North Carolina, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1978V 73. Jackie Duty, Dallas, Texas, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1979V 74. Rhoda Cohen, Howard Beach, New York, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1980V 75. Angela Avanti, Washington, District of Columbia, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1986V 76. Faith Hoelzel, Mukwonago, Wisconsin, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1987V 77. Andrew Bartosiewicz and Lonya Bartosiewicz on behalf of J. B., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1988V 78. Doreen Clouser, Marshall, Illinois, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1989V 79. Janell Ross, Washington, District of Columbia, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1992V 80. Ralph M. Pavelka, Mora, Minnesota, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1993V 81. Ashley Crenshaw, Baltimore, Maryland, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1994V 82. Heather Lynch, Boston, Massachusetts, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1995V 83. Marylou Porzio, Washington, District of Columbia, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1996V 84. Melvina Wong, Washington, District of Columbia, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1997V 85. Angela Lynch, Washington, District of Columbia, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-1999V 86. Leslie Kraus, Bensalem, Pennsylvania, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-2001V 87. Ramona Dicomo, Linwood, New Jersey, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-2002V 88. Martha Stanford, Florence, Alabama, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-2005V 89. Karen Hergett, Billings, Montana, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-2008V 90. Emily McHenry, Chicago, Illinois, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-2009V 91. George Foster, Henderson, New York, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-2010V 92. Laila Saghir, Owings Mills, Maryland, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-2011V 93. Michael Dore, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-2012V 94. Crystal Hill, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-2013V 95. Harry Wilmore, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-2014V 96. Elizabeth Mozer, Dresher, Pennsylvania, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-2015V 97. Jacqueline Pohlman, Auburn, Washington, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-2016V 98. Randall Fennig, Vienna, Virginia, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-2019V 99. Sarah L. Neal and Richard C. Neal on behalf of C. N., Deceased, Ocean City, New Jersey, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-2020V 100. Sarah Neal, Ocean City, New Jersey, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-2021V 101. Stephanie Myers, Towson, Maryland, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-2025V 102. Danielle Gilmore, Bradenton, Florida, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-2026V 103. Marissa Bialek, Washington, District of Columbia, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-2030V 104. Maria Elmakky, Washington, District of Columbia, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-2032V 105. Hoang-Hoa Nguyen on behalf of Tuyet Mai, Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-2051V 106. Angela Gornowicz, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-2053V 107. Lucinda Kelley, Atlanta, Georgia, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-2054V 108. Cheyenne Prescott, Englewood, New Jersey, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-2055V 109. Sylvia Wiseman, Indianapolis, Indiana, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-2060V 110. Brian Anklam and Karen Anklam on behalf of N. A., Twin Falls, Idaho, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-2061V 111. Dean Hrieche, Englewood, New Jersey, Court of Federal Claims No: 17-2063V
    [FR Doc. 2018-02052 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4165-15-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, February 16, 2018, 1:00 p.m. to February 16, 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 January 11, 2018, 83 FR 1375.

    The meeting notice is amended to change the date of the meeting from February 16, 2018 to February 15, 2018. The location and time remain the same. The meeting is closed to the public.

    Dated: January 29, 2018. Melanie J. Pantoja, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02036 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review; Amended Notice of Meeting

    Notice is hereby given of a change in the meeting of the Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel, January 23, 2018, 1:00 p.m. to January 23, 2018, 5:00 p.m., National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892 which was published in the Federal Register on January 03, 2018, 83 FR PG 387.

    The meeting will be held on March 7, 2018 at 1:00 and end at 3:30. The meeting location remains the same. The meeting is closed to the public.

    Dated: January 29, 2018. Melanie J. Pantoja, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02032 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; 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 grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Special Emphasis Panel; NIH Research Project Grant (Parent R01).

    Date: March 5, 2018.

    Time: 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 5601 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20892, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Dharmendar Rathore, Ph.D., Senior Scientific Review Officer, Scientific Review Program, Division of Extramural Activities, Room 3G30, National Institues of Health/NIAID, 5601 Fishers Lane, Drive, MSC 9823, Bethesda, MD 20892-9823, 240-669-5058, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.855, Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation Research; 93.856, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Research, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: January 29, 2018. Natasha M. Copeland, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02037 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-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 Neuroscience of Aging Review Committee, February 1, 2018, 8:00 a.m. to February 2, 2018, 2:00 p.m., Residence Inn Bethesda, 7335 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814 which was published in the Federal Register on January 3, 2018, 83 FR 386.

    The meeting notice is amended to change the meeting location from Residence Inn Bethesda, 7335 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814 to Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, 5701 Marinelli Rd., Rockville MD 20852. The meeting is closed to the public.

    Dated: January 29, 2018. Melanie J. Pantoja, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02035 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; 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 grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Special Emphasis Panel; Mechanism For Time-Sensitive Research Opportunities In Environmental Health Sciences (R21).

    Date: February 15, 2018.

    Time: 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: NIEHS/National Institutes of Health, Keystone Building, 530 Davis Drive, Room 3118, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709.

    Contact Person: Janice B. Allen, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Scientific Review Branch, Division of Extramural Research and Training, Nat. Institute of Environmental Health Science, P.O. Box 12233, MD, EC-30/Room 3170 B, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, 919-541-7556, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.115, Biometry and Risk Estimation—Health Risks from Environmental Exposures; 93.142, NIEHS Hazardous Waste Worker Health and Safety Training; 93.143, NIEHS Superfund Hazardous Substances—Basic Research and Education; 93.894, Resources and Manpower Development in the Environmental Health Sciences; 93.113, Biological Response to Environmental Health Hazards; 93.114, Applied Toxicological Research and Testing, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: January 29, 2018. Natasha M. Copeland, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02038 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, notice is hereby given of the following meetings.

    The meetings 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 grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Member Conflict: Risk Prevention and Social Development.

    Date: February 23, 2018.

    Time: 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Weijia Ni, Ph.D., Chief/Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 3100, MSC 7808, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-594-3292, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; PAR16-260—Methodology and Measurement in the Behavioral and Social Sciences.

    Date: February 26, 2018.

    Time: 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Delia Olufokunbi Sam, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 3158, MSC 7770, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-435-0684, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Healthcare Delivery and Methodologies Integrated Review Group; Health Disparities and Equity Promotion Study Section.

    Date: February 27-28, 2018.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: The Westin St. Francis, 335 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA 94102.

    Contact Person: Jessica Bellinger, Ph.D., Scientific Review Administrator, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 3158, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-827-4446, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Member Conflict: Musculoskeletal and Oral Biology.

    Date: February 27, 2018.

    Time: 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Srikanth Ranganathan, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 4214, MSC 7802, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-435-1787, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Interventions and Mechanisms for Addiction.

    Date: February 27, 2018.

    Time: 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Marc Boulay, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 3110, MSC 7808, Bethesda, MD 20892, (301) 300-6541, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; RFA Panel: Cellular and Molecular Biology of Complex Brain Disorders.

    Date: March 1-2, 2018.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: The Alexandrian, 480 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314.

    Contact Person: Brian H. Scott, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, National Institutes of Health, Center for Scientific Review, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-827-7490, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Ocular Surface, Cornea, Anterior Segment Glaucoma and Refractive Error.

    Date: March 1-2, 2018.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Hotel Palomar, 2121 P Street NW, Washington, DC 20037.

    Contact Person: Kristin Kramer, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 5205, MSC 7846, Bethesda, MD 20892, (301) 437-0911, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Review of Neuroscience AREA Grant Applications.

    Date: March 1-2, 2018.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Alexandria-Old Town, 625 First Street, Alexandria, VA 22314.

    Contact Person: Richard D. Crosland, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 4190, MSC 7850, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-694-7084, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Fellowships: Behavioral Neuroscience.

    Date: March 1-2, 2018.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Bahia Resort Hotel, 998 West Mission Bay Drive, San Diego, CA 92109.

    Contact Person: Mei Qin, MD, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 5213, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-875-2215, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; PAR Panel: Fogarty Global Brain Disorders.

    Date: March 1-2, 2018.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: St. Gregory Hotel, 2033 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20036.

    Contact Person: Suzan Nadi, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 5217B, MSC 7846, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-435-1259, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Fellowships: Neurodevelopment, Synaptic Plasticity and Neurodegeneration.

    Date: March 1-2, 2018.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Holiday Inn Old Town, 625 First Street, Alexandria, VA 22314.

    Contact Person: Mary Schueler, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 5214, MSC 7846, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-451-0996, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; AIDS and AIDS-related applications.

    Date: March 1, 2018.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Residence Inn Bethesda, 7335 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814.

    Contact Person: Jingsheng Tuo, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 3196, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-451-5953, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; PAR Panel: Systems Science and Health in the Behavioral and Social Sciences.

    Date: March 1, 2018.

    Time: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892.

    Contact Person: Ping Wu, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, HDM IRG, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 3166, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-451-8428, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Healthcare Delivery and Methodologies Integrated Review Group; Biostatistical Methods and Research Design Study Section.

    Date: March 1, 2018-March 2, 2018.

    Time: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Virtual Meeting).

    Contact Person: Peter J. Kozel, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 3139, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-435-1116, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; PAR: Selected Topics in Transfusion Medicine.

    Date: March 1-2, 2018.

    Time: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Virtual Meeting).

    Contact Person: Ai-Ping Zou, MD, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 4118, MSC 7814, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-408-9497, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Genes, Genomes, and Genetics Integrated Review Group; Genetics of Health and Disease Study Section.

    Date: March 1-2, 2018.

    Time: 10:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892.

    Contact Person: Cheryl M. Corsaro, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 2204, MSC 7890, Bethesda, MD 20892, (301) 435-1045, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; PAR 16-234: Accelerating the Pace of Drug Abuse Research Using Existing Data.

    Date: March 1, 2018.

    Time: 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Virtual Meeting).

    Contact Person: Kate Fothergill, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive Room 3142, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-435-2309, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Member Conflict: Nursing and Related Clinical Sciences.

    Date: March 1, 2018.

    Time: 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Karin F. Helmers, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 3166, MSC 7770, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-254-9975, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Member Conflict: Skeletal Biology and Disease.

    Date: March 1, 2018.

    Time: 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892.

    Contact Person: Maria Nurminskaya, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, (301) 435-1222, [email protected].

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.306, Comparative Medicine; 93.333, Clinical Research, 93.306, 93.333, 93.337, 93.393-93.396, 93.837-93.844, 93.846-93.878, 93.892, 93.893, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: January 26, 2018. Sylvia L. Neal, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-01954 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review; Amended Notice of Meeting

    Notice is hereby given of a change in the meeting of the Macromolecular Structure and Function C Study Section, February 8, 2018, 8:00 a.m. to February 9, 2018, 5:00 p.m., The Darcy Hotel, 1515 Rhode Island Avenue, Washington, DC 20005 which was published in the Federal Register on January 11, 2018, V 83 Pg. 1376.

    The meeting will be held February 8, 2018 at 8:00 a.m. and end 8:00 p.m. The meeting location remains the same. The meeting is closed to the public.

    Dated: January 29, 2018. Melanie J. Pantoja, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02033 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review; Amended Notice of Meeting

    Notice is hereby given of a change in the meeting of the Skeletal Muscle and Exercise Physiology Study Section, February 8, 2018, 8:00 a.m. to February 9, 2018, 6:00 p.m., Hilton Long Beach and Executive Center, 701 West Ocean Boulevard, Long Beach, CA 90831 which was published in the Federal Register on January 19, 2018, 83 FR PG 2807.

    The meeting will be held on February 7, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. and end February 8, 2018 9:00 p.m. The meeting location remains the same. The meeting is closed to the public.

    Dated: January 29, 2018. Melanie J. Pantoja, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02031 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review; Amended Notice of Meeting

    Notice is hereby given of a change in the meeting of the Nanotechnology Study Section, February 8, 2018, 8:00 a.m. to February 9, 2018, 5:00 p.m., Baltimore Marriott Waterfront, 700 Aliceanna Street, Baltimore, MD 21202 which was published in the Federal Register on January 5, 2018, V-83 Pg. 683.

    The meeting will be held on February 7, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. and end February 9, 2018 at 5:00. The meeting location remains the same. The meeting is closed to the public.

    Dated: January 29, 2018. Melanie J. Pantoja, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02034 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Advisory Committee for Women's Services (ACWS); Notice of Meeting

    Pursuant to Public Law 92-463, notice is hereby given of a meeting of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) Advisory Committee for Women's Services (ACWS) on February 14, 2018.

    The meeting will include discussions on assessing SAMHSA's current strategies related to women experiencing homelessness with behavioral health needs, and SAMHSA's strategies related to women in the criminal justice system with behavioral health needs. Additionally, the ACWS will be speaking with the Assistant Secretary of Mental Health and Substance Use regarding priorities and directions around behavioral health services and access for women and children.

    The meeting is open to the public and will be held at SAMHSA, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD, 20857, in Conference Room 5E29. Attendance by the public will be limited to space available. Interested persons may present data, information, or views, orally or in writing, on issues pending before the committee. Written submissions should be forwarded to the contact person (below) by February 5, 2018. Oral presentations from the public will be scheduled at the conclusion of the meeting. Individuals interested in making oral presentations are encouraged to notify the contact person on or before February 5, 2018. Five minutes will be allotted for each presentation.

    The meeting may be accesed via telephone. To attend on site, obtain the call-in number and access code, submit written or brief oral comments, or request special accommodations for persons with disabilities, please register on-line at http://nac.samhsa.gov/Registration/meetingsRegistration.aspx, or communicate with SAMHSA's Designated Federal Officer, Ms. Valerie Kolick (see contact information below).

    Substantive meeting information and a roster of ACWS members may be obtained either by accessing the SAMHSA Committees' Web https://www.samhsa.gov/about-us/advisory-councils/meetings, or by contacting Ms. Kolick.

    Committee Name: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Advisory Committee for Women's Services (ACWS).

    Date/Time/Type: Wednesday, February 14, 2018, from: 9:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. EDT, Open.

    Place: SAMHSA, 5600 Fishers Lane, Conference Room 5E29, Rockville, Maryland 20857.

    Contact: Valerie Kolick, Designated Federal Official, SAMHSA's Advisory Committee for Women's Services, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857, Telephone: (240) 276-1738, Email: [email protected]

    Carlos Castillo, Committee Management Officer, Substance Abuse and Mental Health, Services Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02010 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4162-20-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Current List of HHS-Certified Laboratories and Instrumented Initial Testing Facilities Which Meet Minimum Standards To Engage in Urine Drug Testing for Federal Agencies AGENCY:

    Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) notifies federal agencies of the laboratories and Instrumented Initial Testing Facilities (IITF) currently certified to meet the standards of the Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs (Mandatory Guidelines).

    A notice listing all currently HHS-certified laboratories and IITFs is published in the Federal Register during the first week of each month. If any laboratory or IITF certification is suspended or revoked, the laboratory or IITF will be omitted from subsequent lists until such time as it is restored to full certification under the Mandatory Guidelines.

    If any laboratory or IITF has withdrawn from the HHS National Laboratory Certification Program (NLCP) during the past month, it will be listed at the end and will be omitted from the monthly listing thereafter.

    This notice is also available on the internet at http://www.samhsa.gov/workplace.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Giselle Hersh, Division of Workplace Programs, SAMHSA/CSAP, 5600 Fishers Lane, Room 16N03A, Rockville, Maryland 20857; 240-276-2600 (voice).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) notifies federal agencies of the laboratories and Instrumented Initial Testing Facilities (IITF) currently certified to meet the standards of the Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs (Mandatory Guidelines). The Mandatory Guidelines were first published in the Federal Register on April 11, 1988 (53 FR 11970), and subsequently revised in the Federal Register on June 9, 1994 (59 FR 29908); September 30, 1997 (62 FR 51118); April 13, 2004 (69 FR 19644); November 25, 2008 (73 FR 71858); December 10, 2008 (73 FR 75122); April 30, 2010 (75 FR 22809); and on January 23, 2017 (82 FR 7920)

    The Mandatory Guidelines were initially developed in accordance with Executive Order 12564 and section 503 of Public Law 100-71. The “Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs,” as amended in the revisions listed above, requires strict standards that laboratories and IITFs must meet in order to conduct drug and specimen validity tests on urine specimens for federal agencies.

    To become certified, an applicant laboratory or IITF must undergo three rounds of performance testing plus an on-site inspection. To maintain that certification, a laboratory or IITF must participate in a quarterly performance testing program plus undergo periodic, on-site inspections.

    Laboratories and IITFs in the applicant stage of certification are not to be considered as meeting the minimum requirements described in the HHS Mandatory Guidelines. A HHS-certified laboratory or IITF must have its letter of certification from HHS/SAMHSA (formerly: HHS/NIDA), which attests that it has met minimum standards.

    In accordance with the Mandatory Guidelines dated January 23, 2017 (82 FR 7920), the following HHS-certified laboratories and IITFs meet the minimum standards to conduct drug and specimen validity tests on urine specimens:

    HHS-Certified Instrumented Initial Testing Facilities Dynacare, 6628 50th Street NW, Edmonton, AB Canada T6B 2N7, 780-784-1190 (Formerly: Gamma-Dynacare Medical Laboratories). HHS-Certified Laboratories ACM Medical Laboratory, Inc., 160 Elmgrove Park, Rochester, NY 14624, 844-486-9226. Alere Toxicology Services, 1111 Newton St., Gretna, LA 70053, 504-361-8989/800-433-3823 (Formerly: Kroll Laboratory Specialists, Inc., Laboratory Specialists, Inc.). Alere Toxicology Services, 450 Southlake Blvd., Richmond, VA 23236, 804-378-9130 (Formerly: Kroll Laboratory Specialists, Inc., Scientific Testing Laboratories, Inc.; Kroll Scientific Testing Laboratories, Inc.). Baptist Medical Center-Toxicology Laboratory, 11401 I-30, Little Rock, AR 72209-7056, 501-202-2783 (Formerly: Forensic Toxicology Laboratory Baptist Medical Center). Clinical Reference Laboratory, Inc., 8433 Quivira Road, Lenexa, KS 66215-2802, 800-445-6917. DrugScan, Inc., 200 Precision Road, Suite 200, Horsham, PA 19044, 800-235-4890. Dynacare * , 245 Pall Mall Street, London, ONT, Canada N6A 1P4, 519-679-1630, (Formerly: Gamma-Dynacare Medical Laboratories). ElSohly Laboratories, Inc., 5 Industrial Park Drive, Oxford, MS 38655, 662-236-2609. Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, 7207 N. Gessner Road, Houston, TX 77040, 713-856-8288/800-800-2387. Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, 69 First Ave., Raritan, NJ 08869, 908-526-2400/800-437-4986 (Formerly: Roche Biomedical Laboratories, Inc.). Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, 1904 TW Alexander Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, 919-572-6900/800-833-3984 (Formerly: LabCorp Occupational Testing Services, Inc., CompuChem Laboratories, Inc.; CompuChem Laboratories, Inc., A Subsidiary of Roche Biomedical Laboratory; Roche CompuChem Laboratories, Inc., A Member of the Roche Group). Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, 1120 Main Street, Southaven, MS 38671, 866-827-8042/800-233-6339 (Formerly: LabCorp Occupational Testing Services, Inc.; MedExpress/National Laboratory Center). LabOne, Inc. d/b/a Quest Diagnostics, 10101 Renner Blvd., Lenexa, KS 66219, 913-888-3927/800-873-8845 (Formerly: Quest Diagnostics Incorporated; LabOne, Inc.; Center for Laboratory Services, a Division of LabOne, Inc.). MedTox Laboratories, Inc., 402 W. County Road D, St. Paul, MN 55112, 651-636-7466/800-832-3244. Legacy Laboratory Services—MetroLab, 225 NE 2nd Ave., Portland, OR 97232, 503-413-5295/800-950-5295. Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Forensic Toxicology Laboratory, 1 Veterans Drive, Minneapolis, MN 55417, 612-725-2088, Testing for Veterans Affairs (VA) Employees Only. National Toxicology Laboratories, Inc., 1100 California Ave., Bakersfield, CA 93304, 661-322-4250/800-350-3515. One Source Toxicology Laboratory, Inc., 1213 Genoa-Red Bluff, Pasadena, TX 77504, 888-747-3774 (Formerly: University of Texas Medical Branch, Clinical Chemistry Division; UTMB Pathology-Toxicology Laboratory). Pacific Toxicology Laboratories, 9348 DeSoto Ave., Chatsworth, CA 91311, 800-328-6942 (Formerly: Centinela Hospital Airport Toxicology Laboratory). Pathology Associates Medical Laboratories, 110 West Cliff Dr., Spokane, WA 99204, 509-755-8991/800-541-7891x7. Phamatech, Inc., 15175 Innovation Drive, San Diego, CA 92128, 888-635-5840. Quest Diagnostics Incorporated, 1777 Montreal Circle, Tucker, GA 30084, 800-729-6432 (Formerly: SmithKline Beecham Clinical Laboratories; SmithKline Bio-Science Laboratories). Quest Diagnostics Incorporated, 400 Egypt Road, Norristown, PA 19403, 610-631-4600/877-642-2216 (Formerly: SmithKline Beecham Clinical Laboratories; SmithKline Bio-Science Laboratories). Quest Diagnostics Incorporated, 8401 Fallbrook Ave., West Hills, CA 91304, 818-737-6370, (Formerly: SmithKline Beecham Clinical Laboratories). Redwood Toxicology Laboratory, 3700 Westwind Blvd., Santa Rosa, CA 95403, 800-255-2159. STERLING Reference Laboratories, 2617 East L Street, Tacoma, Washington 98421, 800-442-0438. U.S. Army Forensic Toxicology Drug Testing, Laboratory, 2490 Wilson St., Fort George G. Meade, MD 20755-5235, 301-677-7085, Testing for Department of Defense (DoD) Employees Only.

    * The Standards Council of Canada (SCC) voted to end its Laboratory Accreditation Program for Substance Abuse (LAPSA) effective May 12, 1998. Laboratories certified through that program were accredited to conduct forensic urine drug testing as required by U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations. As of that date, the certification of those accredited Canadian laboratories will continue under DOT authority. The responsibility for conducting quarterly performance testing plus periodic on-site inspections of those LAPSA-accredited laboratories was transferred to the U.S. HHS, with the HHS' NLCP contractor continuing to have an active role in the performance testing and laboratory inspection processes. Other Canadian laboratories wishing to be considered for the NLCP may apply directly to the NLCP contractor just as U.S. laboratories do.

    Upon finding a Canadian laboratory to be qualified, HHS will recommend that DOT certify the laboratory (Federal Register, July 16, 1996) as meeting the minimum standards of the Mandatory Guidelines published in the Federal Register on January 23, 2017 (82 FR 7920). After receiving DOT certification, the laboratory will be included in the monthly list of HHS-certified laboratories and participate in the NLCP certification maintenance program.

    Charles LoDico, Chemist.
    [FR Doc. 2018-01931 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4160-20-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Docket ID: FEMA-2017-0030; OMB No. 1660-0142] Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Survivor Sheltering Assessment AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will submit the information collection abstracted below to the Office of Management and Budget for review and clearance in accordance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The submission will describe the nature of the information collection, the categories of respondents, the estimated burden (i.e., the time, effort and resources used by respondents to respond) and cost, and the actual data collection instruments FEMA will use.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before March 5, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit written comments on the proposed information collection to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget. Comments should be addressed to the Desk Officer for the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and sent via electronic mail to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection should be made to Director, Records Management Division, 500 C Street SW, Washington, DC 20472, email address [email protected] or Leah Davis, Program Manager, Disaster Management Support Environment, Recovery Technology Programs Division, 540-686-3227.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This proposed information collection previously published in the Federal Register on November 22, 2017 at 82 FR 55622 with a 60-day public comment period. No comments were received regarding information collection 1660-0142. The purpose of this notice is to notify the public that FEMA will submit the information collection abstracted below to the Office of Management and Budget for review and clearance.

    Collection of Information

    Title: Survivor Sheltering Assessment.

    Type of Information Collection: Currently approved information collection with change.

    OMB Number: OMB No. 1660-0142.

    Form Titles and Numbers: FEMA Form 09-0-42, Survivor Sheltering Assessment.

    Abstract: When a Presidential federally declared disaster or emergency occurs, impacted survivors often find themselves temporarily housed in shelters until they are able to return to their homes or find other housing solutions while they recovery. A FEMA employee will interview individual survivors located in shelters regarding the registration status and housing situation using an electronic copy of FEMA Form 009-0-42 Survivor Sheltering Assessment to record the information in the Disaster Management Support Environment Cloud Environment (DMSE CE) database. The purpose of this survey is to help FEMA understand how best it can support survivors as they transition out of temporary shelters. No information given will be used to determine eligibility for assistance. Eligibility for assistance will only be determined through the separate registration process.

    Affected Public: Individuals and Households.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 31,200.

    Estimated Number of Responses: 31,200.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 5,201.

    Estimated Total Annual Respondent Cost: $181,203.

    Estimated Respondents' Operation and Maintenance Costs: None.

    Estimated Respondents' Capital and Start-Up Costs: None.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to the Federal Government: $273,356.

    Comments

    Comments may be submitted as indicated in the ADDRESSES caption above. Comments are solicited to (a) evaluate whether the proposed data collection is necessary for the proper performance of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    Dated: January 26, 2018. William Holzerland, Director, Information Management Divison, Mission Support, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Homeland Security.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02011 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-23-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY [Docket No. DHS-2017-0061] Private Sector Clearance Program, Cooperative Research and Development Agreement, and Classified Critical Infrastructure Protection Program Request AGENCY:

    Office of Infrastructure Protection (IP), National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD), Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

    ACTION:

    60-Day notice and request for comments; revised collection, 1670-0013.

    SUMMARY:

    DHS NPPD IP will submit the following information collection request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. Partnerships between the U.S. Government and the private sector at times necessitates the sharing of classified information. The Private Sector Clearance Program (PSCP), Cooperative Research And Development Agreement (CRADA), and Classified Critical Infrastructure Protection Program (CCIPP) Request Form facilitates this sharing by sponsoring security clearances for certain private sector partners.

    DATES:

    Comments are encouraged and will be accepted until April 2, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number DHS-2017-0061, by one of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Please follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Email: [email protected] Please include docket number DHS-2017-0061 in the subject line of the message.

    Mail: Written comments and questions about this Information Collection Request should be forwarded to DHS/NPPD/IP, ATTN: 1670-0013, 245 Murray Lane SW, Mail Stop 0380, Arlington, VA 20598-0640.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the words “Department of Homeland Security” and the docket number for this action. Comments received will be posted without alteration at http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice may be made available to the public through relevant websites. For this reason, please do not include in your comments information of a confidential nature, such as sensitive personal information or proprietary information. If you send an email comment, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the internet. Please note that responses to this public comment request containing any routine notice about the confidentiality of the communication will be treated as public comments that may be made available to the public notwithstanding the inclusion of the routine notice.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Quintin Whitaker at 703-235-9485 or at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Partnerships between the U.S. Government and the private sector at times necessitate the sharing of classified information. The PSCP and Cyber Information Sharing and Collaboration Program (CISCP) facilitate this sharing by sponsoring security clearances for certain members of each sector based on either their membership on a Sector Coordinating Council (SCC)/association or their infrastructure protection job-related duties. In order to begin the process of approving a nominee to participate in the clearance program, DHS collects the nominee's employment information and Personally Identifiable Information (PII). The nominee's association/SCC membership or employment information is reviewed for approval, and his or her PII is input into the Electronic Questionnaires for Investigations Processing (e-QIP) system, the Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) secure portal for investigation processing.

    The U.S. Government is authorized to ask for this information under Section 201 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (Pub. L. 107-296, 6 U.S.C. 121), and Executive Orders 12968, 13526, and 13549, which authorize the collection of this information.

    The PSCP is designed to facilitate access to security clearances for private sector officials involved in the infrastructure protection mission. The CISCP is designed to facilitate access to security clearances for private sector entities involved in cybersecurity information sharing related to the National Cybersecurity Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) via CRADAs and for individuals via the CCIPP. CRADAs are agreements between the U.S. government and private entities for joint research and development efforts, and can be used to create bi-directional information sharing frameworks between DHS and private sector entities. The CCIPP, commonly referred to as the “Hybrid,” is a tool through which DHS shares classified cybersecurity-related information with critical infrastructure partners. These partners are subject matter experts within specific industries and have specialized knowledge not available within DHS. Private citizens do not receive monetary compensation for their time. DHS has created these programs to sponsor clearances for these individuals who are not employed by or contracted with another Federal agency (the traditional means of obtaining a clearance) and must have clearances.

    Program changes require a revision of the existing collection. These changes include: Updating the title of the collection, the form being used by CISCP, and updates to the form itself. The form will be used by the CISCP in the same manner as the PSCP to sponsor private sector entities and individuals for security clearances. The CISCP will increase the burden totals by 360 responses, 60 burden hours, and $6,155 annual burden cost. For the PSCP, the burden estimates have decreased by 200 responses, 33 burden hours and $706 annual burden cost based on actual responses received. As a result, the total burden estimates will increase overall by 160 responses, 27 burden hours, $5,448 annual burden costs.

    The changes to the form itself include: adding CRADA and CCIPP to the title; adding drop down capabilities relevant for the CRADA and the CCIPP, adding justification guidance to the back of the form, and updating the wording of the field titles and instructions to improve clarity. The changes to the form itself will not change the burden estimates as the only field being added is a menu to distinguish the program type.

    The annual government cost for the collection has increased by $242,850 due to the addition of the CISCP and has increased by $91,998 for the PSCP due to updated wage rates. As a result, the annual government cost has increased by $334,848.

    This is a revised information collection.

    OMB is particularly interested in comments that:

    1. Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    2. Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    3. Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    4. Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submissions of responses.

    Title of Collection: Private Sector Clearance Program, Cooperative Research and Development Agreement, and Classified Critical Infrastructure Protection Program Request.

    OMB Control Number: 1670-0013.

    Frequency: Annually.

    Affected Public: Private and Public Sector.

    Number of Respondents: 660.

    Estimated Time per Respondent: 10 minutes.

    Total Burden Hours: 110 hours.

    Total Burden Cost (capital/startup): $0.

    Total Recordkeeping Burden: $0.

    Total Burden Cost (operating/maintaining): $0.

    David Epperson, Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02009 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-9P-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS-HQ-MB-2017-N168; FF09M13200/189/FXMB12330900000; OMB Control Number 1018-New] Agency Information Collection Activities; Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (Duck Stamp) and Junior Duck Stamp Contests AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of information collection; request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service, we) are proposing a new information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before April 2, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send your comments on the information collection request (ICR) by mail to the Service Information Collection Clearance Officer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803 (mail); or by email to [email protected] Please reference OMB Control Number 1018-Duck Stamp in the subject line of your comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request additional information about this ICR, contact Madonna L. Baucum, Service Information Collection Clearance Officer, by email at [email protected], or by telephone at (703) 358-2503.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we provide the general public and other Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on new, proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps us assess the impact of our information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand our information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format.

    We are soliciting comments on the proposed ICR that is described below. We are especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is the collection necessary to the proper functions of the Service; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Service enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Service minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology.

    Comments that you submit in response to this notice are a matter of public record. We will include or summarize each comment in our request to OMB to approve this ICR. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    Abstract History of the Federal Duck Stamp

    On March 16, 1934, Congress passed, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed, the Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act (16 U.S.C. 718-718k). Popularly known as the Duck Stamp Act, it required all waterfowl hunters 16 years or older to buy a stamp annually. The revenue generated was originally earmarked for the Department of Agriculture, but 5 years later was transferred to the Department of the Interior and the Service.

    In the years since its enactment, the Federal Duck Stamp Program has become one of the most popular and successful conservation programs ever initiated. Today, some 1.5 million stamps are sold each year, and as of 2017, Federal Duck Stamps have generated more than $1 billion for the preservation of more than 6 million acres of waterfowl habitat in the United States. Numerous other birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, and amphibians have similarly prospered because of habitat protection made possible by the program. An estimated one-third of the Nation's endangered and threatened species find food or shelter in refuges preserved by Duck Stamp funds. Moreover, the protected wetlands help dissipate storms, purify water supplies, store flood water, and nourish fish hatchlings important for sport and commercial fishermen.

    History of the Duck Stamp Contest

    Jay N. “Ding” Darling, a nationally known political cartoonist for the Des Moines Register and a noted hunter and wildlife conservationist, designed the first Federal Duck Stamp at President Roosevelt's request. In subsequent years, noted wildlife artists submitted designs. The first Federal Duck Stamp Contest was opened in 1949 to any U.S. artist who wished to enter, and 65 artists submitted a total of 88 design entries. Since then, the contest has been known as the Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp Art (Duck Stamp) Contest and has attracted large numbers of entrants.

    The Duck Stamp Contest (50 CFR part 91) remains the only art competition of its kind sponsored by the U.S. Government. The Secretary of the Interior appoints a panel of noted art, waterfowl, and philatelic authorities to select each year's winning design. Winners receive no compensation for the work, except a pane of their stamps, but winners may sell prints of their designs, which are sought by hunters, conservationists, and art collectors.

    The Service selects five or fewer species of waterfowl each year; each entry must employ one of the Service-designated species as the dominant feature (defined as being in the foreground and clearly the focus of attention). Designs may also include hunting dogs, hunting scenes, waterfowl decoys, national wildlife refuges as the background of habitat scenes, non-eligible species, or other scenes that depict uses of the stamp for sporting, conservation, and collecting purposes. Entries may be in any media EXCEPT photography or computer-generated art. Designs must be the contestants' original hand-drawn creation and may not be copied or duplicated from previously published art, including photographs, or from images in any format published on the internet.

    History of the Junior Duck Stamp Contest

    The Federal Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program (Junior Duck Stamp Program) began in 1989 as an extension of the Migratory Bird Conservation and Hunting Stamp. The national Junior Duck Stamp art contest started in 1993, and the first stamp design was selected from entries from eight participating states. The program was recognized by Congress with the 1994 enactment of the Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program Act (16 U.S.C. 719). All 50 states, Washington, DC, and 2 of the U.S. Territories currently participate in the annual contest.

    The Junior Duck Stamp Program introduces wetland and waterfowl conservation to students in kindergarten through high school. It crosses cultural, ethnic, social, and geographic boundaries to teach greater awareness and guide students in exploring our nation's natural resources. It is the Service's premier conservation education initiative.

    The Junior Duck Stamp Program includes a dynamic art- and science-based curriculum. This non-traditional pairing of subjects brings new interest to both the sciences and the arts. The program teaches students across the nation conservation through the arts, using scientific and wildlife observation principles to encourage visual communication about what they learn. Four curriculum guides, with activities and resources, were developed for use as a year-round study plan to assist students in exploring science in real-life situations.

    Modeled after the Federal Duck Stamp Contest, the annual Junior Duck Stamp Art and Conservation Message Contest (Junior Duck Stamp Contest) was developed as a visual assessment of a student's learning and progression. The Junior Duck Stamp Contest encourages partnerships among Federal and State government agencies, nongovernment organizations, businesses, and volunteers to help recognize and honor thousands of teachers and students throughout the United States for their participation in conservation-related activities. Since 2000, the contest has received more than 478,000 entries.

    The winning artwork from the national art contest serves as the design for the Junior Duck Stamp, which the Service produces annually. This $5 stamp has become a much sought after collector's item. One hundred percent of the revenue from the sale of Junior Duck stamps goes to support recognition and environmental education activities for students who participate in the program. More than $1.25 million in Junior Duck Stamp proceeds have been used to provide recognition, incentives, and scholarships to participating students, teachers, and schools. The Program continues to educate youth about land stewardship and the importance of connecting to their natural worlds. Several students who have participated in the Junior Duck Stamp Program have gone on to become full-time wildlife artists and conservation professionals; many attribute their interest and success to their early exposure to the Junior Duck Stamp Program.

    Who Can Enter the Federal Duck Stamp and Junior Duck Stamp Contests

    The Duck Stamp Contest is open to all U.S. citizens, nationals, and resident aliens who are at least 18 years of age by June 1. Individuals enrolled in kindergarten through grade 12 may participate in the Junior Duck Stamp Contest. All eligible students are encouraged to participate in the Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program annual art and conservation message contest as part of the program curriculum through public, private, and homeschools, as well as through nonformal educational experiences such as those found in scouting, art studios, and nature centers.

    Entry Requirements

    Each entry in the Duck Stamp Contest requires a completed entry form and an entry fee. Information required on the entry form includes:

    • “Display, Participation & Reproduction Rights Agreement” certification form;

    • Basic contact information (name, address, phone numbers, and email address);

    • Date of birth (to verify eligibility);

    • Species portrayed and medium used; and

    • Name of hometown newspaper (for press coverage).

    Each entry in the Junior Duck Stamp Contest requires a completed entry form that requests:

    • Basic contact information (name, address, phone numbers, and email address);

    • Age (to verify eligibility);

    • Parent's name and contact information;

    • Whether the student has a Social Security or VISA immigration number (to verify eligibility to receive prizes);

    • Whether the student is a foreign exchange student;

    • Grade of student (so they may be judged with their peers);

    • The title, species, medium used, and conservation message associated with the drawing;

    • Basic contact information for their teacher and school (name, address, phone numbers, and email address); and

    • Certification of authenticity.

    Students in Grades 7-12 and all national level students are also required to include citations for any resources they used to develop their designs. We use this information to verify that the student has not plagiarized or copied someone else's work. The Service also translates entry forms into other appropriate languages to increase the understanding of the rules and what the parents and students are signing.

    Title of Collection: Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (Duck Stamp) and Junior Duck Stamp Contests.

    OMB Control Number: 1018—NEW.

    Form Number: None.

    Type of Review: Existing collection in use without an OMB Control Number.

    Respondents/Affected Public: Individuals.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

    Frequency of Collection: Annually.

    Activity Total number
  • of annual
  • respondents
  • Average
  • number of
  • submissions
  • each
  • Total
  • number of
  • annual
  • responses
  • Average
  • completion
  • time per
  • response
  • (min)
  • Total annual
  • burden hours
  • Duck Stamp Program Contest Entry Form Individuals 200 1 200 15 50 Junior Duck Stamp Program Contest Entry Form Individuals 25,000 1 25,000 * 30 12,500 Totals 25,200 1 25,200 12,550 * Burden for Junior Duck Stamp Program entry form is longer since both the parents and teacher must sign the form, and the student must provide references.

    Total Estimated Annual Nonhour Burden Cost: $25,000.00 annually associated with entry fees required for contest entry submissions and mailing costs for submissions to the Federal Duck Stamp Contest. There are no fees associated with the Junior Duck Stamp Contest submissions.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    The authority for this action is the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

    Dated: January 29, 2018. Madonna L. Baucum, Information Collection Clearance Officer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-01968 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS-R4-ES-2017-N148; FXES11140400000-178-FF04E00000] Endangered and Threatened Wildlife; Incidental Take Permit Application, Habitat Conservation Plan for Skink Species, and Environmental Assessment for Roadway Relocation in Polk County, FL AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    Under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA), we, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the receipt and availability of a proposed habitat conservation plan and environmental assessment related to an application for a permit associated with relocation of a 1.3-mile segment of Dude Ranch Road (project) located in Polk County, Florida. If issued, the permit would authorize take of the threatened sand skink and blue-tailed mole skink incidental to project construction. We invite the public to comment on these documents.

    DATES:

    To ensure consideration, please send your written comments by March 5, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Obtaining Documents: Documents are available for public inspection by appointment during regular business hours at either of the following locations:

    • Atlanta Regional Office, Ecological Services, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1875 Century Boulevard, Atlanta, GA 30345.

    • South Florida Ecological Services Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1339 20th Street, Vero Beach, FL 32960.

    Submitting Comments: Submit comments by one of the following methods. Please reference TE21091C-0 in all comments. For additional guidance, please see Public Comments under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    U.S. mail: You may mail comments to the Fish and Wildlife Service's Atlanta Regional Office.

    Hand-delivery: You may hand-deliver comments to the Atlanta or the Vero Beach Offices.

    Email: You may email comments to [email protected] Please include your name and email address in your email message. If you do not receive an email confirmation from us that we have received your email message, contact us directly at either telephone number in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. David Dell, Regional HCP Coordinator, at the Atlanta Regional Office (see ADDRESSES); or Mr. John Wrublik, Project Manager, at the South Florida Ecological Services Office (see ADDRESSES); telephone: 772-469-4282. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), please call the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq., ESA), we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the receipt and availability of a proposed habitat conservation plan (HCP), accompanying incidental take permit (ITP) application, and environmental assessment (EA) related to an application from Cemex Construction Materials Florida, LLC (applicant) for a permit to take sand skink (Neoseps reynoldsi) and blue-tailed mole skink (Eumeces egregius lividus) (covered species), incidental to the relocation of a 1.3-mile segment of Dude Ranch Road in Polk County, Florida. We invite the public to comment on these documents.

    The applicants' proposed HCP describes the mitigation and minimization measures proposed to address the impacts to the covered species. Per the National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.; NEPA), the EA analyzes the take of the covered species and impact to the environment. The applicant requests a 5-year ITP under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Environmental Assessment

    The EA assesses the likely environmental impacts associated with the implementation of the activities, including the environmental consequences of the no-action alternative, relocation of the roadway segment outside of the proposed footprint, and the proposed action. The proposed action alternative is issuance of the ITP and implementation of the HCP as submitted by the applicant. The applicant anticipates destroying approximately 12.1 acres of occupied sand skink and blue-tailed mole skink habitat incidental to relocation and construction of a 1.3-mile section of Dude Ranch Road in Polk County, Florida. The existing paved two-lane county roadway is being relocated, per permission of Polk County, to allow for sand mining within the existing Dude Ranch Road footprint and lands adjacent to this footprint. The applicant indicates that sand mining in this area would not be financially feasible without relocation of the roadway. Polk County requires the applicant to relocate the roadway segment to maintain access for local residents and the public to the areas adjacent to the project site.

    Habitat Conservation Plan

    The HCP includes measures to minimize and mitigate impacts to the sand skink and the blue-tailed mole skink resulting from the roadway relocation. To minimize impacts to these species and their habitat, the footprint of the relocated roadway was reduced to the greatest extent practicable. The mitigation proposed by the applicant consists of the purchase of 24.2 credits (equaling 12.1 acres of skink habitat) from the Scrub Conservation Bank (SCB) in Highlands County, Florida. The SCB, which is a Service approved conservation bank, will preserve and manage skink habitat in perpetuity.

    Public Comments

    We specifically request information, views, and opinions from the public on our proposed Federal action, including identification of any other aspects of or impacts to the human environment not already identified in the EA prepared pursuant to the NEPA regulations at 40 CFR 1506.6. Further, we specifically solicit information regarding the adequacy of the HCP per 50 CFR parts 13 and 17.

    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    Covered Area

    Sand skinks and blue-tailed mole skinks historically occurred within xeric uplands throughout the sandy ridges of central Florida. The area encompassed by the ITP application and HCP consists of 12.1 acres of privately owned lands currently leased by the applicant in Polk County, Florida.

    Next Steps

    We will evaluate the ITP application, including the HCP, and any comments we receive to determine whether the application meets the requirements of section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA. We will also evaluate whether a section 10(a)(1)(B) ITP should be issued, as well as conduct an intra-Service consultation pursuant to section 7 of the ESA. We will use the results of this consultation and the above findings in our final analysis to determine whether to issue the ITP. If we determine that the requirements are met, we will issue the ITP number TE21091C-0 for the incidental take of the sand skink and the blue-tailed mole skink to the applicant.

    Authority

    We provide this notice under section 10 of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and NEPA regulations (40 CFR 1506.6).

    Mike Oetker, Acting Regional Director.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02015 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLMT926000-18X-L14400000.BJ0000;MO #4500118138] Notice of Proposed Filing of Plats of Survey: Montana AGENCY:

    Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed official filing.

    SUMMARY:

    The plats of surveys for the lands described in this notice are scheduled to be officially filed 30 calendar days after the date of this publication in the BLM Montana State Office, Billings, Montana. The surveys, which were executed at the request of the BLM, are necessary for the management of these lands.

    DATES:

    A person or party who wishes to protest this decision must file a notice of protest in time for it to be received in the BLM Montana State Office no later than 30 days after the date of this publication.

    ADDRESSES:

    A copy of the plats may be obtained from the Public Room at the BLM Montana State Office, 5001 Southgate Drive, Billings, Montana 59101, upon required payment. The plats may be viewed at this location at no cost.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Josh Alexander, BLM Chief Cadastral Surveyor for Montana; telephone: (406) 896-5123; email: [email protected] Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at (800) 877-8339 to contact the above individual during normal business hours. The FRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The lands surveyed are:

    Fifth Principal Meridian, North Dakota T. 145 N, R. 102 W Secs. 34 and 35.

    A person or party who wishes to protest an official filing of a plat of survey identified above must file a written notice of protest with the BLM Chief Cadastral Surveyor for Montana at the address listed in the ADDRESSES section of this notice. The notice of protest must identify the plat(s) of survey that the person or party wishes to protest. The notice of protest must be received in the BLM Montana State Office no later than the scheduled date of the proposed official filing for the plat(s) of survey being protested; if received after regular business hours, a notice of protest will be considered filed the next business day. A written statement of reasons in support of the protest, if not filed with the notice of protest, must be filed with the BLM Chief Cadastral Surveyor for Montana within 30 calendar days after the notice of protest is received.

    If a notice of protest of the plat(s) of survey is received prior to the scheduled date of official filing or during the 10 calendar day grace period provided in 43 CFR 4.401(a) and the delay in filing is waived, the official filing of the plat(s) of survey identified in the notice of protest will be stayed pending consideration of the protest. A plat of survey will not be officially filed until the next business day after all timely protests have been dismissed or otherwise resolved.

    If a notice of protest is received after the scheduled date of official filing and the 10 calendar day grace period provided in 43 CFR 4.401(a), the notice of protest will be untimely, may not be considered, and may be dismissed.

    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in a notice of protest or statement of reasons, you should be aware that the documents you submit—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available in their entirety at any time. While you can ask us to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    Authority:

    43 U.S.C. Chapter 3.

    Joshua F. Alexander, Chief Cadastral Surveyor for Montana.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02022 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-DN-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [18XL1109AF LLUT920000 L13100000 FI0000 25-7A] Notice of Proposed Class II Reinstatement of Terminated Oil and Gas Lease UTU77328, Utah AGENCY:

    Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of reinstatement.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with Section 31 of the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, as amended, Berry Petroleum Company timely filed a petition for reinstatement of oil and gas lease UTU77328 for lands in Duchesne County, Utah, along with all required rentals and royalties accruing from July 1, 2014, the date of termination. The BLM proposes to reinstate the lease.

    DATES:

    The BLM is proposing to reinstate the lease on March 5, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kent Hoffman, Deputy State Director, Lands and Minerals, Utah State Office, Bureau of Land Management, 440 West 200 South, Suite 500, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84101, phone: 801-539-4063, email: [email protected] Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to contact the above individual during normal business hours. The FRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The lessee has agreed to new lease terms for rental and royalty. The rental for UTU77328 will increase to $5 per acre or fraction thereof and the royalty will increase to 162/3 percent. The $500 administrative fee for the leases has been paid, and the lessee has reimbursed the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for the cost of publishing this notice.

    The following-described lands in Duchesne County, Utah, include:

    UTU77328 Uintah Meridian, Utah T. 6 S., R 5 W., Sec. 7, excepting Patent No. 424727; Sec. 8, excepting Patent No. 424727; Sec. 18.

    The area described contains 1,890.39 acres.

    As the lessee has met all the requirements for reinstatement of the lease as set out in Section 31(d) and (e) of the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 (30 U.S.C. 188), the BLM is proposing to reinstate the lease 30 days following publication of this notice, with the effective date of July 1, 2014, subject to the increased rental and royalty rates cited above. The lease is also subject to the following additional new terms and conditions:

    (1) No Surface Occupancy Stipulation—Anthro Mountain Habitat Management Area;

    (2) Cultural Resources Protection Stipulation;

    (3) Threatened and Endangered Species Act Stipulation;

    (4) Air Quality Mitigation Measures; and

    (5) Federal Flood Risk Management Standard Lease Notice.

    Authority:

    Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 (30 U.S.C. 188) 43 CFR 3108.2-3.

    Edwin L. Roberson, State Director.
    [FR Doc. 2018-01944 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-DQ-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Investigation No. 731-TA-747 (Fourth Review)] Fresh Tomatoes From Mexico; Institution of a Five-Year Review AGENCY:

    United States International Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commission hereby gives notice that it has instituted a review pursuant to the Tariff Act of 1930 (“the Act”), as amended, to determine whether termination of the suspended investigation on fresh tomatoes from Mexico would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury. Pursuant to the Act, interested parties are requested to respond to this notice by submitting the information specified below to the Commission.

    DATES:

    Instituted February 1, 2018. To be assured of consideration, the deadline for responses is March 5, 2018. Comments on the adequacy of responses may be filed with the Commission by April 16, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mary Messer (202-205-3193), Office of Investigations, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436. Hearing-impaired persons can obtain information on this matter by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal on 202-205-1810. Persons with mobility impairments who will need special assistance in gaining access to the Commission should contact the Office of the Secretary at 202-205-2000. General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its internet server https://www.usitc.gov. The public record for this proceeding may be viewed on the Commission's electronic docket (EDIS) at https://edis.usitc.gov.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background.—On November 1, 1996, the Department of Commerce (“Commerce”) suspended an antidumping duty investigation on imports of fresh tomatoes from Mexico (61 FR 56618). On October 1, 2001, Commerce initiated its first five-year review of the suspended investigation (66 FR 49926). On the basis of the withdrawal from the suspension agreement by Mexican tomato growers which accounted for a significant percentage of all fresh tomatoes imported into the United States from Mexico, Commerce terminated the suspension agreement, terminated the first five-year review, and resumed the antidumping investigation, effective July 30, 2002 (67 FR 50858, August 6, 2002). On December 16, 2002, Commerce suspended the antidumping duty investigation on imports of fresh tomatoes from Mexico (67 FR 77044). On November 1, 2007, Commerce initiated its second five-year review of the suspended investigation (72 FR 61861). Once again, based on the withdrawal from the suspension agreement by Mexican tomato growers which accounted for a significant percentage of all fresh tomatoes imported into the United States from Mexico, Commerce terminated the suspension agreement, terminated the second five-year review, and resumed the antidumping investigation, effective January 18, 2008 (73 FR 2887, January 16, 2008). The antidumping investigation was again suspended effective January 22, 2008 (73 FR 4831, January 8, 2008). On December 3, 2012, Commerce initiated its third five-year review of the suspended investigation (77 FR 71684). On February 28, 2013, Mexican tomato growers/exporters accounting for a significant percentage of all fresh tomatoes imported into the United States from Mexico provided written notice to Commerce of their withdrawal from the suspension agreement on fresh tomatoes from Mexico. Because the suspension agreement no longer covered substantially all imports of fresh tomatoes from Mexico, Commerce terminated the suspension agreement, terminated the third five-year review of the suspended investigation, and resumed the antidumping investigation, effective March 1, 2013 (78 FR 14771, March 7, 2013). On March 4, 2013, Commerce signed a new agreement with certain growers/exporters of fresh tomatoes from Mexico, and again suspended its investigation on these imports effective March 4, 2013 (78 FR 14967, March 8, 2013). The Commission is now instituting a fourth review pursuant to section 751(c) of the Act, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1675(c)), to determine whether termination of the suspended investigation would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury to the domestic industry within a reasonably foreseeable time. Provisions concerning the conduct of this proceeding may be found in the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure at 19 CFR parts 201, subparts A and B and 19 CFR part 207, subparts A and F. The Commission will assess the adequacy of interested party responses to this notice of institution to determine whether to conduct a full review or an expedited review. The Commission's determination in any expedited review will be based on the facts available, which may include information provided in response to this notice.

    Definitions.—The following definitions apply to this review:

    (1) Subject Merchandise is the class or kind of merchandise that is within the scope of the five-year review, as defined by Commerce.

    (2) The Subject Country in this review is Mexico.

    (3) The Domestic Like Product is the domestically produced product or products which are like, or in the absence of like, most similar in characteristics and uses with, the Subject Merchandise. For the purpose of the original preliminary investigation, the Commission defined the Domestic Like Product as all fresh market tomatoes. Fresh market tomatoes do not include processing tomatoes.

    (4) The Domestic Industry is the U.S. producers as a whole of the Domestic Like Product, or those producers whose collective output of the Domestic Like Product constitutes a major proportion of the total domestic production of the product. For the purpose of the original preliminary investigation, the Commission defined the Domestic Industry as growers and packers of fresh tomatoes.

    (5) An Importer is any person or firm engaged, either directly or through a parent company or subsidiary, in importing the Subject Merchandise into the United States from a foreign manufacturer or through its selling agent.

    Participation in the proceeding and public service list.—Persons, including industrial users of the Subject Merchandise and, if the merchandise is sold at the retail level, representative consumer organizations, wishing to participate in the proceeding as parties must file an entry of appearance with the Secretary to the Commission, as provided in section 201.11(b)(4) of the Commission's rules, no later than 21 days after publication of this notice in the Federal Register. The Secretary will maintain a public service list containing the names and addresses of all persons, or their representatives, who are parties to the proceeding.

    Former Commission employees who are seeking to appear in Commission five-year reviews are advised that they may appear in a review even if they participated personally and substantially in the corresponding underlying original investigation or an earlier review of the same underlying investigation. The Commission's designated agency ethics official has advised that a five-year review is not the same particular matter as the underlying original investigation, and a five-year review is not the same particular matter as an earlier review of the same underlying investigation for purposes of 18 U.S.C. 207, the post employment statute for Federal employees, and Commission rule 201.15(b) (19 CFR 201.15(b)), 79 FR 3246 (Jan. 17, 2014), 73 FR 24609 (May 5, 2008). Consequently, former employees are not required to seek Commission approval to appear in a review under Commission rule 19 CFR 201.15, even if the corresponding underlying original investigation or an earlier review of the same underlying investigation was pending when they were Commission employees. For further ethics advice on this matter, contact Charles Smith, Deputy Agency Ethics Official, at 202-205-3408.

    Limited disclosure of business proprietary information (BPI) under an administrative protective order (APO) and APO service list.—Pursuant to section 207.7(a) of the Commission's rules, the Secretary will make BPI submitted in this proceeding available to authorized applicants under the APO issued in the proceeding, provided that the application is made no later than 21 days after publication of this notice in the Federal Register. Authorized applicants must represent interested parties, as defined in 19 U.S.C. 1677(9), who are parties to the proceeding. A separate service list will be maintained by the Secretary for those parties authorized to receive BPI under the APO.

    Certification.—Pursuant to section 207.3 of the Commission's rules, any person submitting information to the Commission in connection with this proceeding must certify that the information is accurate and complete to the best of the submitter's knowledge. In making the certification, the submitter will acknowledge that information submitted in response to this request for information and throughout this proceeding or other proceeding may be disclosed to and used: (i) by the Commission, its employees and Offices, and contract personnel (a) for developing or maintaining the records of this or a related proceeding, or (b) in internal investigations, audits, reviews, and evaluations relating to the programs, personnel, and operations of the Commission including under 5 U.S.C. Appendix 3; or (ii) by U.S. government employees and contract personnel, solely for cybersecurity purposes. All contract personnel will sign appropriate nondisclosure agreements.

    Written submissions.—Pursuant to section 207.61 of the Commission's rules, each interested party response to this notice must provide the information specified below. The deadline for filing such responses is March 5, 2018. Pursuant to section 207.62(b) of the Commission's rules, eligible parties (as specified in Commission rule 207.62(b)(1)) may also file comments concerning the adequacy of responses to the notice of institution and whether the Commission should conduct an expedited or full review. The deadline for filing such comments is April 16, 2018. All written submissions must conform with the provisions of section 201.8 of the Commission's rules; any submissions that contain BPI must also conform with the requirements of sections 201.6, 207.3, and 207.7 of the Commission's rules. The Commission's Handbook on E-Filing, available on the Commission's website at https://edis.usitc.gov, elaborates upon the Commission's rules with respect to electronic filing. Also, in accordance with sections 201.16(c) and 207.3 of the Commission's rules, each document filed by a party to the proceeding must be served on all other parties to the proceeding (as identified by either the public or APO service list as appropriate), and a certificate of service must accompany the document (if you are not a party to the proceeding you do not need to serve your response).

    No response to this request for information is required if a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) number is not displayed; the OMB number is 3117 0016/USITC No. 18-5-405, expiration date June 30, 2020. Public reporting burden for the request is estimated to average 15 hours per response. Please send comments regarding the accuracy of this burden estimate to the Office of Investigations, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436.

    Inability to provide requested information.—Pursuant to section 207.61(c) of the Commission's rules, any interested party that cannot furnish the information requested by this notice in the requested form and manner shall notify the Commission at the earliest possible time, provide a full explanation of why it cannot provide the requested information, and indicate alternative forms in which it can provide equivalent information. If an interested party does not provide this notification (or the Commission finds the explanation provided in the notification inadequate) and fails to provide a complete response to this notice, the Commission may take an adverse inference against the party pursuant to section 776(b) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 1677e(b)) in making its determination in the review.

    Information to Be Provided in Response to This Notice of Institution: As used below, the term “firm” includes any related firms.

    (1) The name and address of your firm or entity (including World Wide Web address) and name, telephone number, fax number, and Email address of the certifying official.

    (2) A statement indicating whether your firm/entity is an interested party under 19 U.S.C. 1677(9) and if so, how, including whether your firm/entity is a U.S. grower or packer of the Domestic Like Product, a U.S. union or worker group, a U.S. importer of the Subject Merchandise, a foreign producer or exporter of the Subject Merchandise, a U.S. or foreign trade or business association (a majority of whose members are interested parties under the statute), or another interested party (including an explanation). If you are a union/worker group or trade/business association, identify the firms in which your workers are employed or which are members of your association.

    (3) A statement indicating whether your firm/entity is willing to participate in this proceeding by providing information requested by the Commission.

    (4) A statement of the likely effects of the termination of the suspended investigation on the Domestic Industry in general and/or your firm/entity specifically. In your response, please discuss the various factors specified in section 752(a) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 1675a(a)) including the likely volume of subject imports, likely price effects of subject imports, and likely impact of imports of Subject Merchandise on the Domestic Industry.

    (5) A list of all known and currently operating U.S. growers and packers of the Domestic Like Product. Identify any known related parties and the nature of the relationship as defined in section 771(4)(B) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 1677(4)(B)).

    (6) A list of all known and currently operating U.S. importers of the Subject Merchandise and producers of the Subject Merchandise in the Subject Country that currently export or have exported Subject Merchandise to the United States or other countries after 2011.

    (7) A list of 3-5 leading purchasers in the U.S. market for the Domestic Like Product and the Subject Merchandise (including street address, World Wide Web address, and the name, telephone number, fax number, and Email address of a responsible official at each firm).

    (8) A list of known sources of information on national or regional prices for the Domestic Like Product or the Subject Merchandise in the U.S. or other markets.

    (9) If you are a U.S. grower or packer of the Domestic Like Product, provide the following information on your firm's operations on that product during calendar year 2017, except as noted (report quantity data in pounds and value data in U.S. dollars, f.o.b. plant). If you are a union/worker group or trade/business association, provide the information, on an aggregate basis, for the firms in which your workers are employed/which are members of your association.

    (a) Production (quantity) and, if known, an estimate of the percentage of total U.S. production of the Domestic Like Product accounted for by your firm's(s') production;

    (b) Capacity (quantity) of your firm to produce the Domestic Like Product (that is, the level of production that your establishment(s) could reasonably have expected to attain during the year, assuming normal operating conditions (using equipment and machinery in place and ready to operate), normal operating levels (hours per week/weeks per year), time for downtime, maintenance, repair, and cleanup, and a typical or representative product mix);

    (c) the quantity and value of U.S. commercial shipments of the Domestic Like Product grown and/or packed in your U.S. facility(ies);

    (d) the quantity and value of U.S. internal consumption/company transfers of the Domestic Like Product grown and/or packed in your U.S. facility(ies); and

    (e) the value of (i) net sales, (ii) cost of goods sold (COGS), (iii) gross profit, (iv) selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses, and (v) operating income of the Domestic Like Product grown and/or packed in your U.S. facility(ies) (include both U.S. and export commercial sales, internal consumption, and company transfers) for your most recently completed fiscal year (identify the date on which your fiscal year ends).

    (10) If you are a U.S. importer or a trade/business association of U.S. importers of the Subject Merchandise from the Subject Country, provide the following information on your firm's(s') operations on that product during calendar year 2017 (report quantity data in pounds and value data in U.S. dollars). If you are a trade/business association, provide the information, on an aggregate basis, for the firms which are members of your association.

    (a) The quantity and value (landed, duty-paid but not including antidumping duties) of U.S. imports and, if known, an estimate of the percentage of total U.S. imports of Subject Merchandise from the Subject Country accounted for by your firm's(s') imports;

    (b) the quantity and value (f.o.b. U.S. port, including antidumping duties) of U.S. commercial shipments of Subject Merchandise imported from the Subject Country; and

    (c) the quantity and value (f.o.b. U.S. port, including antidumping duties) of U.S. internal consumption/company transfers of Subject Merchandise imported from the Subject Country.

    (11) If you are a producer, an exporter, or a trade/business association of producers or exporters of the Subject Merchandise in the Subject Country, provide the following information on your firm's(s') operations on that product during calendar year 2017 (report quantity data in pounds and value data in U.S. dollars, landed and duty-paid at the U.S. port but not including antidumping duties). If you are a trade/business association, provide the information, on an aggregate basis, for the firms which are members of your association.

    (a) Production (quantity) and, if known, an estimate of the percentage of total production of Subject Merchandise in the Subject Country accounted for by your firm's(s') production;

    (b) Capacity (quantity) of your firm(s) to produce the Subject Merchandise in the Subject Country (that is, the level of production that your establishment(s) could reasonably have expected to attain during the year, assuming normal operating conditions (using equipment and machinery in place and ready to operate), normal operating levels (hours per week/weeks per year), time for downtime, maintenance, repair, and cleanup, and a typical or representative product mix); and

    (c) the quantity and value of your firm's(s') exports to the United States of Subject Merchandise and, if known, an estimate of the percentage of total exports to the United States of Subject Merchandise from the Subject Country accounted for by your firm's(s') exports.

    (12) Identify significant changes, if any, in the supply and demand conditions or business cycle for the Domestic Like Product that have occurred in the United States or in the market for the Subject Merchandise in the Subject Country after 2011, and significant changes, if any, that are likely to occur within a reasonably foreseeable time. Supply conditions to consider include technology; production methods; development efforts; ability to increase production (including the shift of production facilities used for other products and the use, cost, or availability of major inputs into production); and factors related to the ability to shift supply among different national markets (including barriers to importation in foreign markets or changes in market demand abroad). Demand conditions to consider include end uses and applications; the existence and availability of substitute products; and the level of competition among the Domestic Like Product produced in the United States, Subject Merchandise produced in the Subject Country, and such merchandise from other countries.

    (13) (OPTIONAL) A statement of whether you agree with the above definitions of the Domestic Like Product and Domestic Industry; if you disagree with either or both of these definitions, please explain why and provide alternative definitions.

    Authority:

    This proceeding is being conducted under authority of title VII of the Tariff Act of 1930; this notice is published pursuant to section 207.61 of the Commission's rules.

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: January 19, 2018. Lisa R. Barton, Secretary to the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2018-01348 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Investigation No. 731-TA-921 (Third Review)] Folding Gift Boxes From China; Institution of a Five-Year Review AGENCY:

    United States International Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commission hereby gives notice that it has instituted a review pursuant to the Tariff Act of 1930 (“the Act”), as amended, to determine whether revocation of the antidumping duty order on folding gift boxes from China would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury. Pursuant to the Act, interested parties are requested to respond to this notice by submitting the information specified below to the Commission.

    DATES:

    Instituted February 1, 2018. To be assured of consideration, the deadline for responses is March 5, 2018. Comments on the adequacy of responses may be filed with the Commission by April 16, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mary Messer (202-205-3193), Office of Investigations, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436. Hearing-impaired persons can obtain information on this matter by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal on 202-205-1810. Persons with mobility impairments who will need special assistance in gaining access to the Commission should contact the Office of the Secretary at 202-205-2000. General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its internet server https://www.usitc.gov. The public record for this proceeding may be viewed on the Commission's electronic docket (EDIS) at https://edis.usitc.gov.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background.—On January 8, 2002, the Department of Commerce issued an antidumping duty order on imports of folding gift boxes from China (67 FR 864). Following the first five-year reviews by Commerce and the Commission, effective May 18, 2007, Commerce issued a continuation of the antidumping duty order on imports of folding gift boxes from China (72 FR 28025). Following the second five-year reviews by Commerce and the Commission, effective March 5, 2013, Commerce issued a continuation of the antidumping duty order on imports of folding gift boxes from China (78 FR 14269). The Commission is now conducting a third review pursuant to section 751(c) of the Act, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1675(c)), to determine whether revocation of the order would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury to the domestic industry within a reasonably foreseeable time. Provisions concerning the conduct of this proceeding may be found in the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure at 19 CFR parts 201, subparts A and B and 19 CFR part 207, subparts A and F. The Commission will assess the adequacy of interested party responses to this notice of institution to determine whether to conduct a full review or an expedited review. The Commission's determination in any expedited review will be based on the facts available, which may include information provided in response to this notice.

    Definitions.—The following definitions apply to this review:

    (1) Subject Merchandise is the class or kind of merchandise that is within the scope of the five-year review, as defined by the Department of Commerce.

    (2) The Subject Country in this review is China.

    (3) The Domestic Like Product is the domestically produced product or products which are like, or in the absence of like, most similar in characteristics and uses with, the Subject Merchandise. In its original determination and its expedited first and second five-year review determinations, the Commission defined the Domestic Like Product as certain folding gift boxes for resale, coextensive with Commerce's scope.

    (4) The Domestic Industry is the U.S. producers as a whole of the Domestic Like Product, or those producers whose collective output of the Domestic Like Product constitutes a major proportion of the total domestic production of the product. In its original determination and its expedited first and second five-year review determinations, the Commission defined the Domestic Industry as all domestic producers of certain folding gift boxes for resale.

    (5) An Importer is any person or firm engaged, either directly or through a parent company or subsidiary, in importing the Subject Merchandise into the United States from a foreign manufacturer or through its selling agent.

    Participation in the proceeding and public service list.—Persons, including industrial users of the Subject Merchandise and, if the merchandise is sold at the retail level, representative consumer organizations, wishing to participate in the proceeding as parties must file an entry of appearance with the Secretary to the Commission, as provided in section 201.11(b)(4) of the Commission's rules, no later than 21 days after publication of this notice in the Federal Register. The Secretary will maintain a public service list containing the names and addresses of all persons, or their representatives, who are parties to the proceeding.

    Former Commission employees who are seeking to appear in Commission five-year reviews are advised that they may appear in a review even if they participated personally and substantially in the corresponding underlying original investigation or an earlier review of the same underlying investigation. The Commission's designated agency ethics official has advised that a five-year review is not the same particular matter as the underlying original investigation, and a five-year review is not the same particular matter as an earlier review of the same underlying investigation for purposes of 18 U.S.C. 207, the post employment statute for Federal employees, and Commission rule 201.15(b) (19 CFR 201.15(b)), 79 FR 3246 (Jan. 17, 2014), 73 FR 24609 (May 5, 2008). Consequently, former employees are not required to seek Commission approval to appear in a review under Commission rule 19 CFR 201.15, even if the corresponding underlying original investigation or an earlier review of the same underlying investigation was pending when they were Commission employees. For further ethics advice on this matter, contact Charles Smith, Deputy Agency Ethics Official, at 202-205-3408.

    Limited disclosure of business proprietary information (BPI) under an administrative protective order (APO) and APO service list.—Pursuant to section 207.7(a) of the Commission's rules, the Secretary will make BPI submitted in this proceeding available to authorized applicants under the APO issued in the proceeding, provided that the application is made no later than 21 days after publication of this notice in the Federal Register. Authorized applicants must represent interested parties, as defined in 19 U.S.C. 1677(9), who are parties to the proceeding. A separate service list will be maintained by the Secretary for those parties authorized to receive BPI under the APO.

    Certification.—Pursuant to section 207.3 of the Commission's rules, any person submitting information to the Commission in connection with this proceeding must certify that the information is accurate and complete to the best of the submitter's knowledge. In making the certification, the submitter will acknowledge that information submitted in response to this request for information and throughout this proceeding or other proceeding may be disclosed to and used: (i) By the Commission, its employees and Offices, and contract personnel (a) for developing or maintaining the records of this or a related proceeding, or (b) in internal investigations, audits, reviews, and evaluations relating to the programs, personnel, and operations of the Commission including under 5 U.S.C. Appendix 3; or (ii) by U.S. government employees and contract personnel, solely for cybersecurity purposes. All contract personnel will sign appropriate nondisclosure agreements.

    Written submissions.—Pursuant to section 207.61 of the Commission's rules, each interested party response to this notice must provide the information specified below. The deadline for filing such responses is March 5, 2018. Pursuant to section 207.62(b) of the Commission's rules, eligible parties (as specified in Commission rule 207.62(b)(1)) may also file comments concerning the adequacy of responses to the notice of institution and whether the Commission should conduct an expedited or full review. The deadline for filing such comments is April 16, 2018. All written submissions must conform with the provisions of section 201.8 of the Commission's rules; any submissions that contain BPI must also conform with the requirements of sections 201.6, 207.3, and 207.7 of the Commission's rules. The Commission's Handbook on E-Filing, available on the Commission's website at https://edis.usitc.gov, elaborates upon the Commission's rules with respect to electronic filing. Also, in accordance with sections 201.16(c) and 207.3 of the Commission's rules, each document filed by a party to the proceeding must be served on all other parties to the proceeding (as identified by either the public or APO service list as appropriate), and a certificate of service must accompany the document (if you are not a party to the proceeding you do not need to serve your response).

    No response to this request for information is required if a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) number is not displayed; the OMB number is 3117 0016/USITC No. 18-5-404, expiration date June 30, 2020. Public reporting burden for the request is estimated to average 15 hours per response. Please send comments regarding the accuracy of this burden estimate to the Office of Investigations, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436.

    Inability to provide requested information.—Pursuant to section 207.61(c) of the Commission's rules, any interested party that cannot furnish the information requested by this notice in the requested form and manner shall notify the Commission at the earliest possible time, provide a full explanation of why it cannot provide the requested information, and indicate alternative forms in which it can provide equivalent information. If an interested party does not provide this notification (or the Commission finds the explanation provided in the notification inadequate) and fails to provide a complete response to this notice, the Commission may take an adverse inference against the party pursuant to section 776(b) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 1677e(b)) in making its determination in the review.

    Information to Be Provided in Response to This Notice of Institution: As used below, the term “firm” includes any related firms.

    (1) The name and address of your firm or entity (including World Wide Web address) and name, telephone number, fax number, and Email address of the certifying official.

    (2) A statement indicating whether your firm/entity is an interested party under 19 U.S.C. 1677(9) and if so, how, including whether your firm/entity is a U.S. producer of the Domestic Like Product, a U.S. union or worker group, a U.S. importer of the Subject Merchandise, a foreign producer or exporter of the Subject Merchandise, a U.S. or foreign trade or business association (a majority of whose members are interested parties under the statute), or another interested party (including an explanation). If you are a union/worker group or trade/business association, identify the firms in which your workers are employed or which are members of your association.

    (3) A statement indicating whether your firm/entity is willing to participate in this proceeding by providing information requested by the Commission.

    (4) A statement of the likely effects of the revocation of the antidumping duty order on the Domestic Industry in general and/or your firm/entity specifically. In your response, please discuss the various factors specified in section 752(a) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 1675a(a)) including the likely volume of subject imports, likely price effects of subject imports, and likely impact of imports of Subject Merchandise on the Domestic Industry.

    (5) A list of all known and currently operating U.S. producers of the Domestic Like Product. Identify any known related parties and the nature of the relationship as defined in section 771(4)(B) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 1677(4)(B)).

    (6) A list of all known and currently operating U.S. importers of the Subject Merchandise and producers of the Subject Merchandise in the Subject Country that currently export or have exported Subject Merchandise to the United States or other countries after 2011.

    (7) A list of 3-5 leading purchasers in the U.S. market for the Domestic Like Product and the Subject Merchandise (including street address, World Wide Web address, and the name, telephone number, fax number, and Email address of a responsible official at each firm).

    (8) A list of known sources of information on national or regional prices for the Domestic Like Product or the Subject Merchandise in the U.S. or other markets.

    (9) If you are a U.S. producer of the Domestic Like Product, provide the following information on your firm's operations on that product during calendar year 2017, except as noted (report quantity data in pieces and value data in U.S. dollars, f.o.b. plant). If you are a union/worker group or trade/business association, provide the information, on an aggregate basis, for the firms in which your workers are employed/which are members of your association.

    (a) Production (quantity) and, if known, an estimate of the percentage of total U.S. production of the Domestic Like Product accounted for by your firm's(s') production;

    (b) Capacity (quantity) of your firm to produce the Domestic Like Product (that is, the level of production that your establishment(s) could reasonably have expected to attain during the year, assuming normal operating conditions (using equipment and machinery in place and ready to operate), normal operating levels (hours per week/weeks per year), time for downtime, maintenance, repair, and cleanup, and a typical or representative product mix);

    (c) the quantity and value of U.S. commercial shipments of the Domestic Like Product produced in your U.S. plant(s);

    (d) the quantity and value of U.S. internal consumption/company transfers of the Domestic Like Product produced in your U.S. plant(s); and

    (e) the value of (i) net sales, (ii) cost of goods sold (COGS), (iii) gross profit, (iv) selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses, and (v) operating income of the Domestic Like Product produced in your U.S. plant(s) (include both U.S. and export commercial sales, internal consumption, and company transfers) for your most recently completed fiscal year (identify the date on which your fiscal year ends).

    (10) If you are a U.S. importer or a trade/business association of U.S. importers of the Subject Merchandise from the Subject Country, provide the following information on your firm's(s') operations on that product during calendar year 2017 (report quantity data in pieces and value data in U.S. dollars). If you are a trade/business association, provide the information, on an aggregate basis, for the firms which are members of your association.

    (a) The quantity and value (landed, duty-paid but not including antidumping duties) of U.S. imports and, if known, an estimate of the percentage of total U.S. imports of Subject Merchandise from the Subject Country accounted for by your firm's(s') imports;

    (b) the quantity and value (f.o.b. U.S. port, including antidumping duties) of U.S. commercial shipments of Subject Merchandise imported from the Subject Country; and

    (c) the quantity and value (f.o.b. U.S. port, including antidumping duties) of U.S. internal consumption/company transfers of Subject Merchandise imported from the Subject Country.

    (11) If you are a producer, an exporter, or a trade/business association of producers or exporters of the Subject Merchandise in the Subject Country, provide the following information on your firm's(s') operations on that product during calendar year 2017 (report quantity data in pieces and value data in U.S. dollars, landed and duty-paid at the U.S. port but not including antidumping duties). If you are a trade/business association, provide the information, on an aggregate basis, for the firms which are members of your association.

    (a) Production (quantity) and, if known, an estimate of the percentage of total production of Subject Merchandise in the Subject Country accounted for by your firm's(s') production;

    (b) Capacity (quantity) of your firm(s) to produce the Subject Merchandise in the Subject Country (that is, the level of production that your establishment(s) could reasonably have expected to attain during the year, assuming normal operating conditions (using equipment and machinery in place and ready to operate), normal operating levels (hours per week/weeks per year), time for downtime, maintenance, repair, and cleanup, and a typical or representative product mix); and

    (c) the quantity and value of your firm's(s') exports to the United States of Subject Merchandise and, if known, an estimate of the percentage of total exports to the United States of Subject Merchandise from the Subject Country accounted for by your firm's(s') exports.

    (12) Identify significant changes, if any, in the supply and demand conditions or business cycle for the Domestic Like Product that have occurred in the United States or in the market for the Subject Merchandise in the Subject Country after 2011, and significant changes, if any, that are likely to occur within a reasonably foreseeable time. Supply conditions to consider include technology; production methods; development efforts; ability to increase production (including the shift of production facilities used for other products and the use, cost, or availability of major inputs into production); and factors related to the ability to shift supply among different national markets (including barriers to importation in foreign markets or changes in market demand abroad). Demand conditions to consider include end uses and applications; the existence and availability of substitute products; and the level of competition among the Domestic Like Product produced in the United States, Subject Merchandise produced in the Subject Country, and such merchandise from other countries.

    (13) (OPTIONAL) A statement of whether you agree with the above definitions of the Domestic Like Product and Domestic Industry; if you disagree with either or both of these definitions, please explain why and provide alternative definitions.

    Authority:

    This proceeding is being conducted under authority of title VII of the Tariff Act of 1930; this notice is published pursuant to section 207.61 of the Commission's rules.

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: January 19, 2018. Lisa R. Barton, Secretary to the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2018-01343 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Investigation No. 731-TA-1103 (Second Review)] Certain Activated Carbon From China; Institution of a Five-Year Review AGENCY:

    United States International Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commission hereby gives notice that it has instituted a review pursuant to the Tariff Act of 1930 (“the Act”), as amended, to determine whether revocation of the antidumping duty order on certain activated carbon from China would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury. Pursuant to the Act, interested parties are requested to respond to this notice by submitting the information specified below to the Commission.

    DATES:

    Instituted February 1, 2018. To be assured of consideration, the deadline for responses is March 5, 2018. Comments on the adequacy of responses may be filed with the Commission by April 16, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mary Messer (202-205-3193), Office of Investigations, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436. Hearing-impaired persons can obtain information on this matter by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal on 202-205-1810. Persons with mobility impairments who will need special assistance in gaining access to the Commission should contact the Office of the Secretary at 202-205-2000. General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its internet server https://www.usitc.gov. The public record for this proceeding may be viewed on the Commission's electronic docket (EDIS) at https://edis.usitc.gov.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background.—On April 27, 2007, the Department of Commerce issued an antidumping duty order on imports of certain activated carbon from China (72 FR 20988). Following the first five-year reviews by Commerce and the Commission, effective March 18, 2013, Commerce issued a continuation of the antidumping duty order on imports of certain activated carbon from China (78 FR 16654). The Commission is now conducting a second review pursuant to section 751(c) of the Act, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1675(c)), to determine whether revocation of the order would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury to the domestic industry within a reasonably foreseeable time. Provisions concerning the conduct of this proceeding may be found in the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure at 19 CFR parts 201, subparts A and B and 19 CFR part 207, subparts A and F. The Commission will assess the adequacy of interested party responses to this notice of institution to determine whether to conduct a full review or an expedited review. The Commission's determination in any expedited review will be based on the facts available, which may include information provided in response to this notice.

    Definitions.—The following definitions apply to this review:

    (1) Subject Merchandise is the class or kind of merchandise that is within the scope of the five-year review, as defined by the Department of Commerce.

    (2) The Subject Country in this review is China.

    (3) The Domestic Like Product is the domestically produced product or products which are like, or in the absence of like, most similar in characteristics and uses with, the Subject Merchandise. In its original determination and its full first five-year review determination, the Commission defined the Domestic Like Product to be certain activated carbon, coextensive with Commerce's scope of the investigation.

    (4) The Domestic Industry is the U.S. producers as a whole of the Domestic Like Product, or those producers whose collective output of the Domestic Like Product constitutes a major proportion of the total domestic production of the product. In its original determination, the Commission defined the Domestic Industry as all known producers of certain activated carbon, with the exception of one firm, California Carbon, which was excluded pursuant to the related parties provision. In the full first five-year review, the Commission defined the Domestic Industry as all known producers of certain activated carbon.

    (5) An Importer is any person or firm engaged, either directly or through a parent company or subsidiary, in importing the Subject Merchandise into the United States from a foreign manufacturer or through its selling agent.

    Participation in the proceeding and public service list.—Persons, including industrial users of the Subject Merchandise and, if the merchandise is sold at the retail level, representative consumer organizations, wishing to participate in the proceeding as parties must file an entry of appearance with the Secretary to the Commission, as provided in section 201.11(b)(4) of the Commission's rules, no later than 21 days after publication of this notice in the Federal Register. The Secretary will maintain a public service list containing the names and addresses of all persons, or their representatives, who are parties to the proceeding.

    Former Commission employees who are seeking to appear in Commission five-year reviews are advised that they may appear in a review even if they participated personally and substantially in the corresponding underlying original investigation or an earlier review of the same underlying investigation. The Commission's designated agency ethics official has advised that a five-year review is not the same particular matter as the underlying original investigation, and a five-year review is not the same particular matter as an earlier review of the same underlying investigation for purposes of 18 U.S.C. 207, the post employment statute for Federal employees, and Commission rule 201.15(b) (19 CFR 201.15(b)), 79 FR 3246 (Jan. 17, 2014), 73 FR 24609 (May 5, 2008). Consequently, former employees are not required to seek Commission approval to appear in a review under Commission rule 19 CFR 201.15, even if the corresponding underlying original investigation or an earlier review of the same underlying investigation was pending when they were Commission employees. For further ethics advice on this matter, contact Charles Smith, Deputy Agency Ethics Official, at 202-205-3408.

    Limited disclosure of business proprietary information (BPI) under an administrative protective order (APO) and APO service list.—Pursuant to section 207.7(a) of the Commission's rules, the Secretary will make BPI submitted in this proceeding available to authorized applicants under the APO issued in the proceeding, provided that the application is made no later than 21 days after publication of this notice in the Federal Register. Authorized applicants must represent interested parties, as defined in 19 U.S.C. 1677(9), who are parties to the proceeding. A separate service list will be maintained by the Secretary for those parties authorized to receive BPI under the APO.

    Certification.—Pursuant to section 207.3 of the Commission's rules, any person submitting information to the Commission in connection with this proceeding must certify that the information is accurate and complete to the best of the submitter's knowledge. In making the certification, the submitter will acknowledge that information submitted in response to this request for information and throughout this proceeding or other proceeding may be disclosed to and used: (i) By the Commission, its employees and Offices, and contract personnel (a) for developing or maintaining the records of this or a related proceeding, or (b) in internal investigations, audits, reviews, and evaluations relating to the programs, personnel, and operations of the Commission including under 5 U.S.C. Appendix 3; or (ii) by U.S. government employees and contract personnel, solely for cybersecurity purposes. All contract personnel will sign appropriate nondisclosure agreements.

    Written submissions.—Pursuant to section 207.61 of the Commission's rules, each interested party response to this notice must provide the information specified below. The deadline for filing such responses is March 5, 2018. Pursuant to section 207.62(b) of the Commission's rules, eligible parties (as specified in Commission rule 207.62(b)(1)) may also file comments concerning the adequacy of responses to the notice of institution and whether the Commission should conduct an expedited or full review. The deadline for filing such comments is April 16, 2018. All written submissions must conform with the provisions of section 201.8 of the Commission's rules; any submissions that contain BPI must also conform with the requirements of sections 201.6, 207.3, and 207.7 of the Commission's rules. The Commission's Handbook on E-Filing, available on the Commission's website at https://edis.usitc.gov, elaborates upon the Commission's rules with respect to electronic filing. Also, in accordance with sections 201.16(c) and 207.3 of the Commission's rules, each document filed by a party to the proceeding must be served on all other parties to the proceeding (as identified by either the public or APO service list as appropriate), and a certificate of service must accompany the document (if you are not a party to the proceeding you do not need to serve your response).

    No response to this request for information is required if a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) number is not displayed; the OMB number is 3117 0016/USITC No. 18-5-403, expiration date June 30, 2020. Public reporting burden for the request is estimated to average 15 hours per response. Please send comments regarding the accuracy of this burden estimate to the Office of Investigations, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436.

    Inability to provide requested information.—Pursuant to section 207.61(c) of the Commission's rules, any interested party that cannot furnish the information requested by this notice in the requested form and manner shall notify the Commission at the earliest possible time, provide a full explanation of why it cannot provide the requested information, and indicate alternative forms in which it can provide equivalent information. If an interested party does not provide this notification (or the Commission finds the explanation provided in the notification inadequate) and fails to provide a complete response to this notice, the Commission may take an adverse inference against the party pursuant to section 776(b) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 1677e(b)) in making its determination in the review.

    Information to Be Provided in Response to This Notice of Institution: As used below, the term “firm” includes any related firms.

    (1) The name and address of your firm or entity (including World Wide Web address) and name, telephone number, fax number, and Email address of the certifying official.

    (2) A statement indicating whether your firm/entity is an interested party under 19 U.S.C. 1677(9) and if so, how, including whether your firm/entity is a U.S. producer of the Domestic Like Product, a U.S. union or worker group, a U.S. importer of the Subject Merchandise, a foreign producer or exporter of the Subject Merchandise, a U.S. or foreign trade or business association (a majority of whose members are interested parties under the statute), or another interested party (including an explanation). If you are a union/worker group or trade/business association, identify the firms in which your workers are employed or which are members of your association.

    (3) A statement indicating whether your firm/entity is willing to participate in this proceeding by providing information requested by the Commission.

    (4) A statement of the likely effects of the revocation of the antidumping duty order on the Domestic Industry in general and/or your firm/entity specifically. In your response, please discuss the various factors specified in section 752(a) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 1675a(a)) including the likely volume of subject imports, likely price effects of subject imports, and likely impact of imports of Subject Merchandise on the Domestic Industry.

    (5) A list of all known and currently operating U.S. producers of the Domestic Like Product. Identify any known related parties and the nature of the relationship as defined in section 771(4)(B) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 1677(4)(B)).

    (6) A list of all known and currently operating U.S. importers of the Subject Merchandise and producers of the Subject Merchandise in the Subject Country that currently export or have exported Subject Merchandise to the United States or other countries after 2011.

    (7) A list of 3-5 leading purchasers in the U.S. market for the Domestic Like Product and the Subject Merchandise (including street address, World Wide Web address, and the name, telephone number, fax number, and Email address of a responsible official at each firm).

    (8) A list of known sources of information on national or regional prices for the Domestic Like Product or the Subject Merchandise in the U.S. or other markets.

    (9) If you are a U.S. producer of the Domestic Like Product, provide the following information on your firm's operations on that product during calendar year 2017, except as noted (report quantity data in pounds and value data in U.S. dollars, f.o.b. plant). If you are a union/worker group or trade/business association, provide the information, on an aggregate basis, for the firms in which your workers are employed/which are members of your association.

    (a) Production (quantity) and, if known, an estimate of the percentage of total U.S. production of the Domestic Like Product accounted for by your firm's(s') production;

    (b) Capacity (quantity) of your firm to produce the Domestic Like Product (that is, the level of production that your establishment(s) could reasonably have expected to attain during the year, assuming normal operating conditions (using equipment and machinery in place and ready to operate), normal operating levels (hours per week/weeks per year), time for downtime, maintenance, repair, and cleanup, and a typical or representative product mix);

    (c) the quantity and value of U.S. commercial shipments of the Domestic Like Product produced in your U.S. plant(s);

    (d) the quantity and value of U.S. internal consumption/company transfers of the Domestic Like Product produced in your U.S. plant(s); and

    (e) the value of (i) net sales, (ii) cost of goods sold (COGS), (iii) gross profit, (iv) selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses, and (v) operating income of the Domestic Like Product produced in your U.S. plant(s) (include both U.S. and export commercial sales, internal consumption, and company transfers) for your most recently completed fiscal year (identify the date on which your fiscal year ends).

    (10) If you are a U.S. importer or a trade/business association of U.S. importers of the Subject Merchandise from the Subject Country, provide the following information on your firm's(s') operations on that product during calendar year 2017 (report quantity data in pounds and value data in U.S. dollars). If you are a trade/business association, provide the information, on an aggregate basis, for the firms which are members of your association.

    (a) The quantity and value (landed, duty-paid but not including antidumping duties) of U.S. imports and, if known, an estimate of the percentage of total U.S. imports of Subject Merchandise from the Subject Country accounted for by your firm's(s') imports;

    (b) the quantity and value (f.o.b. U.S. port, including antidumping duties) of U.S. commercial shipments of Subject Merchandise imported from the Subject Country; and

    (c) the quantity and value (f.o.b. U.S. port, including antidumping duties) of U.S. internal consumption/company transfers of Subject Merchandise imported from the Subject Country.

    (11) If you are a producer, an exporter, or a trade/business association of producers or exporters of the Subject Merchandise in the Subject Country, provide the following information on your firm's(s') operations on that product during calendar year 2017 (report quantity data in pounds and value data in U.S. dollars, landed and duty-paid at the U.S. port but not including antidumping duties). If you are a trade/business association, provide the information, on an aggregate basis, for the firms which are members of your association.

    (a) Production (quantity) and, if known, an estimate of the percentage of total production of Subject Merchandise in the Subject Country accounted for by your firm's(s') production;

    (b) Capacity (quantity) of your firm(s) to produce the Subject Merchandise in the Subject Country (that is, the level of production that your establishment(s) could reasonably have expected to attain during the year, assuming normal operating conditions (using equipment and machinery in place and ready to operate), normal operating levels (hours per week/weeks per year), time for downtime, maintenance, repair, and cleanup, and a typical or representative product mix); and

    (c) the quantity and value of your firm's(s') exports to the United States of Subject Merchandise and, if known, an estimate of the percentage of total exports to the United States of Subject Merchandise from the Subject Country accounted for by your firm's(s') exports.

    (12) Identify significant changes, if any, in the supply and demand conditions or business cycle for the Domestic Like Product that have occurred in the United States or in the market for the Subject Merchandise in the Subject Country after 2011, and significant changes, if any, that are likely to occur within a reasonably foreseeable time. Supply conditions to consider include technology; production methods; development efforts; ability to increase production (including the shift of production facilities used for other products and the use, cost, or availability of major inputs into production); and factors related to the ability to shift supply among different national markets (including barriers to importation in foreign markets or changes in market demand abroad). Demand conditions to consider include end uses and applications; the existence and availability of substitute products; and the level of competition among the Domestic Like Product produced in the United States, Subject Merchandise produced in the Subject Country, and such merchandise from other countries.

    (13) (OPTIONAL) A statement of whether you agree with the above definitions of the Domestic Like Product and Domestic Industry; if you disagree with either or both of these definitions, please explain why and provide alternative definitions.

    Authority:

    This proceeding is being conducted under authority of title VII of the Tariff Act of 1930; this notice is published pursuant to section 207.61 of the Commission's rules.

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: January 19, 2018. Lisa R. Barton, Secretary to the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2018-01342 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Investigation Nos. 701-TA-597 and 731-TA-1407 (Preliminary)] Cast Iron Soil Pipe From China; Institution of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Investigations and Scheduling of Preliminary Phase Investigations AGENCY:

    United States International Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commission hereby gives notice of the institution of investigations and commencement of preliminary phase antidumping and countervailing duty investigation Nos. 701-TA-597 and 731-TA-1407 (Preliminary) pursuant to the Tariff Act of 1930 (“the Act”) to determine whether there is a reasonable indication that an industry in the United States is materially injured or threatened with material injury, or the establishment of an industry in the United States is materially retarded, by reason of imports of cast iron soil pipe from the China, provided for in statistical reporting number 7303.00.0030 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, that are alleged to be sold in the United States at less than fair value and alleged to be subsidized by the Government of China. Unless the Department of Commerce extends the time for initiation, the Commission must reach a preliminary determination in antidumping and countervailing duty investigations in 45 days, or in this case by March 12, 2018. The Commission's views must be transmitted to Commerce within five business days thereafter, or by March 19, 2018.

    DATES:

    January 26, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Amelia Shister (202) 205-2047), Office of Investigations, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436. Hearing-impaired persons can obtain information on this matter by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal on 202-205-1810. Persons with mobility impairments who will need special assistance in gaining access to the Commission should contact the Office of the Secretary at 202-205-2000. General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its internet server https://www.usitc.gov. The public record for these investigations may be viewed on the Commission's electronic docket (EDIS) at https://edis.usitc.gov.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background.—These investigations are being instituted, pursuant to sections 703(a) and 733(a) of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1671b(a) and 1673b(a)), in response to a petition filed on January 26, 2018, by the Cast Iron Soil Pipe Institute, Mundelein, Illinois.

    For further information concerning the conduct of these investigations and rules of general application, consult the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure, part 201, subparts A and B (19 CFR part 201), and part 207, subparts A and B (19 CFR part 207).

    Participation in the investigations and public service list.—Persons (other than petitioners) wishing to participate in the investigations as parties must file an entry of appearance with the Secretary to the Commission, as provided in sections 201.11 and 207.10 of the Commission's rules, not later than seven days after publication of this notice in the Federal Register. Industrial users and (if the merchandise under investigation is sold at the retail level) representative consumer organizations have the right to appear as parties in Commission antidumping duty and countervailing duty investigations. The Secretary will prepare a public service list containing the names and addresses of all persons, or their representatives, who are parties to these investigations upon the expiration of the period for filing entries of appearance.

    Limited disclosure of business proprietary information (BPI) under an administrative protective order (APO) and BPI service list.—Pursuant to section 207.7(a) of the Commission's rules, the Secretary will make BPI gathered in these investigations available to authorized applicants representing interested parties (as defined in 19 U.S.C. 1677(9)) who are parties to the investigations under the APO issued in the investigations, provided that the application is made not later than seven days after the publication of this notice in the Federal Register. A separate service list will be maintained by the Secretary for those parties authorized to receive BPI under the APO.

    Conference.—The Commission's Director of Investigations has scheduled a conference in connection with these investigations for 9:30 a.m. on Friday, February 16, 2018, at the U.S. International Trade Commission Building, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC. Requests to appear at the conference should be emailed to [email protected] (DO NOT FILE ON EDIS) on or before February 14, 2018. Parties in support of the imposition of countervailing and antidumping duties in these investigations and parties in opposition to the imposition of such duties will each be collectively allocated one hour within which to make an oral presentation at the conference. A nonparty who has testimony that may aid the Commission's deliberations may request permission to present a short statement at the conference.

    Written submissions.—As provided in sections 201.8 and 207.15 of the Commission's rules, any person may submit to the Commission on or before February 22, 2018, a written brief containing information and arguments pertinent to the subject matter of the investigations. Parties may file written testimony in connection with their presentation at the conference. All written submissions must conform with the provisions of section 201.8 of the Commission's rules; any submissions that contain BPI must also conform with the requirements of sections 201.6, 207.3, and 207.7 of the Commission's rules. The Commission's Handbook on E-Filing, available on the Commission's website at https://edis.usitc.gov, elaborates upon the Commission's rules with respect to electronic filing.

    In accordance with sections 201.16(c) and 207.3 of the rules, each document filed by a party to the investigations must be served on all other parties to the investigations (as identified by either the public or BPI service list), and a certificate of service must be timely filed. The Secretary will not accept a document for filing without a certificate of service.

    Certification.—Pursuant to section 207.3 of the Commission's rules, any person submitting information to the Commission in connection with these investigations must certify that the information is accurate and complete to the best of the submitter's knowledge. In making the certification, the submitter will acknowledge that any information that it submits to the Commission during these investigations may be disclosed to and used: (i) By the Commission, its employees and Offices, and contract personnel (a) for developing or maintaining the records of these or related investigations or reviews, or (b) in internal investigations, audits, reviews, and evaluations relating to the programs, personnel, and operations of the Commission including under 5 U.S.C. Appendix 3; or (ii) by U.S. government employees and contract personnel, solely for cybersecurity purposes. All contract personnel will sign appropriate nondisclosure agreements.

    Authority:

    These investigations are being conducted under authority of title VII of the Tariff Act of 1930; this notice is published pursuant to section 207.12 of the Commission's rules.

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: January 26, 2018. Lisa R. Barton, Secretary to the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2018-01965 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration [Docket No. DEA-392] Bulk Manufacturer of Controlled Substances Registration ACTION:

    Notice of registration.

    SUMMARY:

    Registrants listed below have applied for and been granted registration by the Drug Enforcement Administration as bulk manufacturers of various classes of schedule I and II controlled substances.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The companies listed below applied to be registered as bulk manufacturers of various basic classes of controlled substances. Information on previously published notices is listed in the table below. No comments or objections were submitted for these notices.

    Company FR Docket Published Euticals, Inc 82 FR 50159 October 30, 2017. Cerilliant Corporation 82 FR 51439 November 6, 2017. Cambrex Charles City 82 FR 51642 November 7, 2017.

    The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has considered the factors in 21 U.S.C. 823(a) and determined that the registration of these registrants to manufacture the applicable basic classes of controlled substances is consistent with the public interest and with United States obligations under international treaties, conventions, or protocols in effect on May 1, 1971. The DEA investigated each of the company's maintenance of effective controls against diversion by inspecting and testing each company's physical security systems, verifying each company's compliance with state and local laws, and reviewing each company's background and history.

    Therefore, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 823(a), and in accordance with 21 CFR 1301.33, the DEA has granted a registration as a bulk manufacturer to the above listed persons.

    Dated: January 26, 2018. Susan A. Gibson, Deputy Assistant Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02007 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration [Docket No. DEA-392] Importer of Controlled Substances Registration ACTION:

    Notice of registration.

    SUMMARY:

    Registrants listed below have applied for and been granted registration by the Drug Enforcement Administration as importers of various classes of schedule I or II controlled substances.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The companies listed below applied to be registered as importers of various basic classes of controlled substances. Information on previously published notices is listed in the table below. No comments or objections were submitted and no requests for hearing were submitted for these notices.

    Company FR Docket Published ABBVIE, LTD 82 FR 56994 December 1, 2017. VHG Labs DBA LGC Standard Warehouse 82 FR 58654 December 13, 2017.

    The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has considered the factors in 21 U.S.C. 823, 952(a) and 958(a) and determined that the registration of the listed registrants to import the applicable basic classes of schedule I or II controlled substances is consistent with the public interest and with United States obligations under international treaties, conventions, or protocols in effect on May 1, 1971. The DEA investigated each company's maintenance of effective controls against diversion by inspecting and testing each company's physical security systems, verifying each company's compliance with state and local laws, and reviewing each company's background and history.

    Therefore, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 952(a) and 958(a), and in accordance with 21 CFR 1301.34, the DEA has granted a registration as an importer for schedule I or II controlled substances to the above listed persons.

    Dated: January 26, 2018. Susan A. Gibson, Deputy Assistant Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02006 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Notice of Lodging of Proposed Consent Decree Under the Clean Air Act

    On January 25, 2018, the Department of Justice lodged a proposed Consent Decree with the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana in the lawsuit entitled United States and State of Indiana v. Indiana Harbor Coke Company, et al., Civil Action No. 18-cv-35.

    The Complaint seeks civil penalties and injunctive relief for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act (“CAA”) and Title 326 of the Indiana Administrative Code against Indiana Harbor Coke Company, its corporate parent SunCoke Energy, Inc., and Cokenergy, LLC (collectively, the “Defendants”), the owners and/or operators of the coking facility, located in East Chicago, Indiana. The Complaint alleges violations of the CAA and Title 326 of the Indiana Administrative Code relating primarily to excess emissions of coke oven gases from leaking coke ovens and bypass vent stacks.

    Under the proposed Consent Decree, Defendants would be jointly and severally liable for a $5 million civil penalty, to be split evenly between the United States and Indiana, and Cokenergy would perform a lead abatement supplemental environmental project at a cost of $250,000. The proposed Consent Decree also would require comprehensive coke oven rebuilds to address oven leaks, including potential permanent shut down of an entire battery, representing one fourth of the total number of ovens; interim and permanent reductions in the annual bypass venting permit limit; enhanced monitoring and testing requirements, including solar occultation flux testing; implementation of preventive operations and maintenance plans to minimize conditions that might cause excess emissions; root cause failure analyses for bypass venting incidents and repeated coke oven leaks; and two mitigation measures, dual operation of the spray dryer absorbers to achieve a reduction in sulfur dioxide emissions from the facility and maintenance of two quench towers to achieve a reduction in particulate matter emissions.

    The publication of this notice opens a period for public comment on the Consent Decree. Comments should be addressed to the Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources Division, and should refer to United States and State of Indiana v. Indiana Harbor Coke Company, et al., D.J. Ref. No. 90-5-2-1-08555/1. All comments must be submitted no later than thirty (30) days after the publication date of this notice. Comments may be submitted either by email or by mail:

    To submit comments: Send them to: By email [email protected] By mail Assistant Attorney General, U.S. DOJ—ENRD, P.O. Box 7611, Washington, D.C. 20044-7611.

    During the public comment period, the Consent Decree may be examined and downloaded at this Justice Department website: https://www.justice.gov/enrd/consent-decrees. We will provide a paper copy of the Consent Decree upon written request and payment of reproduction costs. Please mail your request and payment to: Consent Decree Library, U.S. DOJ—ENRD, P.O. Box 7611, Washington, DC 20044-7611.

    Please enclose a check or money order for $12.40 (25 cents per page reproduction cost) payable to the United States Treasury.

    Randall M. Stone, Acting Assistant Section Chief, Environmental Enforcement Section, Environment and Natural Resources Division.
    [FR Doc. 2018-01942 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-15-P
    NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment Request AGENCY:

    National Science Foundation.

    ACTION:

    Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Science Foundation (NSF) has submitted the following information collection requirement to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. This is the second notice for public comment; the first was published in the Federal Register on November 30, 2017, and no comments were received. NSF is forwarding the proposed renewal submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance simultaneously with the publication of this second notice. The full submission may be found at: http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain.

    Comments: Comments are invited on (a) whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the NSF, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the NSF's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Comments should be addressed to: Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB, Attention: Desk Officer for National Science Foundation, 725 7th Street NW, Room 10235, Washington, DC 20503, and to Suzanne H. Plimpton, Reports Clearance Officer, National Science Foundation, 2415 Eisenhower Avenue, Room W18000 Alexandria, Virginia 22314, or send email to [email protected] Copies of the submission may be obtained by calling Ms. Plimpton at (703) 292-7556. Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1800-877-8339, which is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year (including federal holidays).

    NSF may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Request for Proposals.

    OMB Control Number: 3145-0080.

    Proposed Project: The Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) Subpart 15.2—“Solicitation and Receipt of Proposals and Information” prescribes policies and procedures for preparing and issuing Requests for Proposals. The FAR System has been developed in accordance with the requirement of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act of 1974, as amended. The NSF Act of 1950, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 1870, Sec. II, states that NSF has the authority to:

    (c) Enter into contracts or other arrangements, or modifications thereof, for the carrying on, by organizations or individuals in the United States and foreign countries, including other government agencies of the United States and of foreign countries, of such scientific or engineering activities as the Foundation deems necessary to carry out the purposes of this Act, and, at the request of the Secretary of Defense, specific scientific or engineering activities in connection with matters relating to international cooperation or national security, and, when deemed appropriate by the Foundation, such contracts or other arrangements or modifications thereof, may be entered into without legal consideration, without performance or other bonds and without regard to section 5 of title 41, U.S.C.

    Use of the Information: Request for Proposals (RFP) is used to competitively solicit proposals in response to NSF need for services. Impact will be on those individuals or organizations who elect to submit proposals in response to the RFP. Information gathered will be evaluated in light of NSF procurement requirements to determine who will be awarded a contract.

    Estimate of Burden: The Foundation estimates that, on average, 558 hours per respondent will be required to complete the RFP.

    Respondents: Individuals; business or other for-profit; not-for-profit institutions; Federal government; state, local, or tribal governments.

    Estimated Number of Responses: 75.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 41,850 hours.

    Dated: January 29, 2018. Suzanne H. Plimpton, Reports Clearance Officer, National Science Foundation.
    [FR Doc. 2018-01986 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7555-01-P
    OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH REVIEW COMMISSION Senior Executive Service Performance Review Board Membership AGENCY:

    Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

    ACTION:

    Annual notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is given of the appointment of members to the Performance Review Board (PRB) of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

    DATE:

    Membership is effective on February 1, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Linda M. Beard, Human Resources Specialist, U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, 1120 20th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 606-5393.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Review Commission, as required by 5 U.S.C. 4314(c)(1) through (5), has established a Senior Executive Service PRB. The PRB reviews and evaluates the initial appraisal of a senior executive's performance by the supervisor, and makes recommendations to the Chairman of the Review Commission regarding performance ratings, performance awards, and pay-for-performance adjustments. Members of the PRB serve for a period of 24 months. In the case of an appraisal of a career appointee, more than half of the members shall consist of career appointees, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 4314(c)(5). The names and titles of the PRB members are as follows:

    • David Eddy, Chief Counsel Federal Labor Relations Authority;

    • Rachel Leonard, General Counsel of the President, Office of Science and Technology Policy Eisenhower Executive Office Building (EEOB);

    • Mary Thien Hoang, Chief of Staff Federal Maritime Commission; and

    • Ted Wackler, P.E. Deputy Chief of Staff, Executive Office of the President, Office of Science and Technology Policy EEOB.

    Dated: January 24, 2018. Heather L. MacDougall, Chairman.
    [FR Doc. 2018-01957 Filed 1-31-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7600-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-82588; File No. SR-FICC-2018-001] Self-Regulatory Organizations; Fixed Income Clearing Corporation; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Changes to the Required Fund Deposit Calculation in the Government Securities Division Rulebook January 26, 2018.

    Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (“Act”),1 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,2 notice is hereby given that on January 12, 2018, Fixed Income Clearing Corporation (“FICC”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II and III below, which Items have been prepared by the clearing agency.3 The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    3 On January 12, 2018, FICC filed this proposed rule change as an advance notice (SR-FICC-2018-801) (“Advance Notice Filing”) with the Commission pursuant to Section 806(e)(1) Of Title VIII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act entitled the Payment, Clearing, and Settlement Supervision Act of 2010 (the “Clearing Supervision Act”), 12 U.S.C. 5465(e)(1), and Rule 19b-4(n)(1)(i) under the Act, 17 CFR 240.19b-4(n)(1)(i). A copy of the advance notice is available at http://www.dtcc.com/legal/sec-rule-filings.aspx.

    I. Clearing Agency's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

    The purpose of this filing is to amend the Government Securities Division (“GSD”) Rulebook (the “GSD Rules”) 4 to propose changes to GSD's method of calculating Netting Members' margin, referred to in the GSD Rules as the Required Fund Deposit amount.5 Specifically, FICC is proposing to (1) change its method of calculating the VaR Charge component, (2) add a new component referred to as the “Blackout Period Exposure Adjustment” (as defined in section C. of Item II(A)1. below), (3) eliminate the Blackout Period Exposure Charge and the Coverage Charge components, (4) amend the Backtesting Charge component to (i) include the backtesting deficiencies of certain GCF Counterparties during the Blackout Period 6 and (ii) give GSD the ability to assess the Backtesting Charge on an intraday basis for all Netting Members, and (5) amend the calculation for determining the Excess Capital Premium for Broker Netting Members, Inter-Dealer Broker Netting Members and Dealer Netting Members. In addition, FICC is proposing to provide transparency with respect to GSD's existing authority to calculate and assess Intraday Supplemental Fund Deposit amounts.7

    4 Available at DTCC's website, www.dtcc.com/legal/rules-and-procedures.aspx. Capitalized terms used herein and not defined shall have the meaning assigned to such terms in the GSD Rules.

    5Id. at GSD Rules 1 and 4.

    6 As further discussed in subsection F of Item II(A)1. below, the proposed Backtesting Charge would consider a GCF Counterparty's backtesting deficiencies that are attributable to GCF Repo Transactions collateralized with mortgage-backed securities during the Blackout Period.

    7 Pursuant to the GSD Rules, FICC has the existing authority and discretion to calculate an additional amount on an intraday basis in the form of an Intraday Supplemental Clearing Fund Deposit. See GSD Rules 1 and 4, Section 2a, supra note 4.

    FICC has also provided the following documentation to the Commission:

    1. Backtesting results reflect FICC's comparison of the aggregate Clearing Fund requirement (“CFR”) under GSD's current methodology and the aggregate CFR under the proposed methodology (as listed in the first paragraph above) to historical returns of end-of-day snapshots of each Netting Member's portfolio for the period May 2016 through October 2017. The CFR backtesting results under the proposed methodology were calculated in two ways for end-of-day portfolios: One set of results included the proposed Blackout Period Exposure Adjustment and the other set of results excluded the proposed Blackout Period Exposure Adjustment.

    2. An impact study that shows the portfolio level VaR Charge under the proposed methodology for the period January 3, 2013 through December 30, 2016,8 and

    8 This period includes market stress events such as the U.S. presidential election, United Kingdom's vote to leave the European Union, and the 2013 spike in U.S. Treasury yields which resulted from the Federal Reserve's plans to reduce its balance sheet purchases.

    3. An impact study that shows the aggregate Required Fund Deposit amount by Netting Member for the period May 1, 2017 through November 30, 2017.

    4. The GSD Initial Margin Model (the “QRM Methodology”) which would reflect the proposed methodology of the VaR Charge calculation and the proposed Blackout Period Exposure Adjustment.

    FICC is requesting confidential treatment of the above-referenced backtesting results, impact studies and QRM Methodology, and has filed it separately with the Commission.9

    9See 17 CFR 240-24b-2.

    II. Clearing Agency's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

    In its filing with the Commission, the clearing agency included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The clearing agency has prepared summaries, set forth in sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant aspects of such statements.

    (A) Clearing Agency's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose

    The purpose of this filing is to amend the GSD Rules to propose changes to GSD's method of calculating Netting Members' margin, referred to in the GSD Rules as the Required Fund Deposit amount. Specifically, FICC is proposing to (1) change its method of calculating the VaR Charge component, (2) add the Blackout Period Exposure Adjustment as a new component, (3) eliminate the Blackout Period Exposure Charge and the Coverage Charge components, (4) amend the Backtesting Charge to (i) consider the backtesting deficiencies of certain GCF Counterparties during the Blackout Period 10 and (ii) give GSD the ability to assess the Backtesting Charge on an intraday basis for all Netting Members, and (5) amend the calculation for determining the Excess Capital Premium for Broker Netting Members, Dealer Netting Members and Inter-Dealer Broker Netting Members. In addition, FICC is proposing to provide transparency with respect to GSD's existing authority to calculate and assess Intraday Supplemental Fund Deposit amounts.11

    10 As further discussed in subsection F of section II(A)1.below, the proposed Backtesting Charge would consider a GCF Counterparty's backtesting deficiencies that are attributable to GCF Repo Transactions collateralized with mortgage-backed securities during the Blackout Period.

    11See supra note 7.

    The proposed QRM Methodology would reflect the proposed methodology of the VaR Charge calculation and the proposed Blackout Period Exposure Adjustment calculation.

    A. The Required Fund Deposit and Clearing Fund Calculation Overview

    GSD provides trade comparison, netting and settlement for the U.S. Government securities marketplace. Pursuant to the GSD Rules, Netting Members may process the following securities and transaction types through GSD: (1) Buy-sell transactions in eligible U.S. Treasury and Agency securities, (2) delivery versus payment repurchase agreement (“repo”) transactions, where the underlying collateral must be U.S. Treasury securities or Agency securities, and (3) GCF Repo Transactions, where the underlying collateral must be U.S. Treasury securities, Agency securities, or eligible mortgage-backed securities.

    A key tool that FICC uses to manage counterparty risk is the daily calculation and collection of Required Fund Deposits from Netting Members.12 The Required Fund Deposit serves as each Netting Member's margin. Twice each business day, Netting Members are required to satisfy their Required Fund Deposit by 9:30 a.m. (E.T.) (the “AM RFD”) and 2:45 p.m. (E.T.) (the “PM RFD”). The aggregate of all Netting Members' Required Fund Deposits constitutes the Clearing Fund of GSD, which FICC would access should a defaulting Netting Member's own Required Fund Deposit be insufficient to satisfy losses to GSD caused by the liquidation of that Netting Member's portfolio. The objective of a Netting Member's Required Fund Deposit is to mitigate potential losses to GSD associated with liquidation of such Member's portfolio in the event that FICC ceases to act for such Member (hereinafter referred to as a “default”).

    12See GSD Rules 1 and 4, supra note 4.

    As discussed below, a Netting Member's Required Fund Deposit currently consists of the VaR Charge and, to the extent applicable, the Coverage Charge, the Blackout Period Exposure Charge, the Backtesting Charge, the Excess Capital Premium, and other components.13

    13 Pursuant to the GSD Rules, the Required Fund Deposit calculation may include the following additional components: The Holiday Charge, the Cross-Margining Reduction, the GCF Premium Charge, the GCF Repo Event Premium, the Early Unwind Intraday Charge and the Special Charge. See GSD Rules 1 and 4, supra note 4. FICC is not proposing any changes to these components, thus a description of these components is not included in this rule filing.

    1. GSD's Required Fund Deposit Calculation—the VaR Charge Component

    The VaR Charge generally comprises the largest portion of a Netting Member's Required Fund Deposit amount. Currently, GSD uses a methodology referred to as the “full revaluation” approach to capture the market price risk associated with the securities in a Netting Member's portfolio. The full revaluation approach uses valuation algorithms to fully reprice each security in a Netting Member's portfolio over a range of historically simulated scenarios. These historical market moves are then used to project the potential gains or losses that could occur in connection with the liquidation of a defaulting Netting Member's portfolio to determine the amount of the VaR Charge, which is calibrated to cover the projected liquidation losses at a 99% confidence level.

    The VaR Charge provides an estimate of the possible losses for a given portfolio based on a given confidence level over a particular time horizon. The current VaR Charge is calibrated at a 99% confidence level based on a front-weighted 14 1-year look-back period assuming a three-day liquidation period.15 In the event that FICC determines that certain classes of securities in a Netting Member's portfolio (including, but not limited to, the repo rate for Term Repo Transactions and Forward-Starting Repo Transactions) are less amenable to statistical analysis,16 FICC may apply a historic index volatility model rather than the VaR calculation.17

    14 A fronted weighted approach means that GSD allows recently observed market data to have more impact on the VaR Charge than older historic market data.

    15 The three-day liquidation period is sometimes referred to as the “margin period of risk” or “closeout-period.” This period reflects the time between the most recent collection of the Required Fund Deposit from a defaulting Netting Member and the liquidation of such Netting Member's portfolio. FICC currently assumes that it would take three days to liquidate or hedge a portfolio in normal market conditions.

    16 Certain classes of securities are less amenable to statistical analysis because FICC believes that it does not observe sufficient historical market price data to reliably estimate the 99% confidence level.

    17See GSD Rule 4 Section 1b(a), supra note 4.

    In addition to the full revaluation approach that GSD uses to calculate the VaR Charge, GSD also utilizes “implied volatility indicators” among the assumptions and other observable market data as part of its volatility model. Specifically, GSD applies a multiplier (also known as the “augmented volatility adjustment multiplier”) to calculate the VaR Charge. The multiplier is based on the levels of change in current and implied volatility measures of market benchmarks.

    FICC also employs a supplemental risk charge referred to as the Margin Proxy.18 The Margin Proxy is designed to help ensure that each Netting Member's VaR Charge is adequate and, at the minimum, mirrors historical price moves.

    18 The Margin Proxy is currently used to provide supplemental coverage to the VaR Charge, however, pursuant to this rule filing, the Margin Proxy would only be used as an alternative volatility calculation as described below in subsection B.3.—Proposed change to implement the Margin Proxy as the VaR Charge during a vendor data disruption.

    2. GSD's Required Fund Deposit Calculation—Other Components

    In addition to the VaR Charge, a Netting Member's Required Fund Deposit calculation may include a number of other components including, but not limited to, the Coverage Charge, the Blackout Period Exposure Charge, and the Backtesting Charge.19 In addition, the Required Fund Deposit may include an Excess Capital Premium charge.20

    19See supra note 13.

    20See GSD Rules 1 and 3, Section 1, supra note 4.

    The Coverage Charge is designed to address potential shortfalls 21 in the margin amount calculated by the existing VaR Charge and Funds-Only Settlement.22 Thus, the Coverage Charge is applied to supplement the VaR Charge to help ensure that a Netting Member's backtesting coverage achieves the 99% confidence level.

    21 While multiple factors may contribute to a shortfall, shortfalls could be observed based on the mark-to-market change on a Netting Member's positions after the last margin collection.

    22 The Coverage Charge is calculated as the front-weighted average of backtesting coverage deficiencies observed over the prior 100 days. The backtesting coverage deficiencies are determined by comparing (x) the simulated liquidation profit and loss of a Netting Member's portfolio (using actual positions in the Member's portfolio and the actual historical returns on the security positions in the portfolio) to (y) the sum of the VaR Charge and the Funds-Only Settlement Amount (which is the mark-to-market amount) in order to determine whether there would have been any shortfalls between the amounts collected.

    The Blackout Period Exposure Charge is applied when FICC determines that a GCF Counterparty has experienced backtesting deficiencies due to reductions in the notional value of the mortgage-backed securities used to collateralize its GCF Repo Transactions during the monthly Blackout Period. This charge is designed to mitigate FICC's exposure resulting from potential decreases in the collateral value of mortgage-backed securities that occur during the monthly Blackout Period.

    The Backtesting Charge is applied when FICC determines that a Netting Member's portfolio has experienced backtesting deficiencies over the prior 12-month period. The Backtesting Charge is designed to mitigate exposures to GSD caused by settlement risks that may not be adequately captured by GSD's Required Fund Deposit.

    The Excess Capital Premium is applied to a Netting Member's Required Fund Deposit when its VaR Charge exceeds its Excess Capital. The Excess Capital Premium is designed to more effectively manage a Netting Member's credit risk to GSD that is caused because such Netting Member's trading activity has resulted in a VaR Charge that is greater than its excess regulatory capital.

    3. GSD's Backtesting Process

    FICC employs daily backtesting to determine the adequacy of each Netting Member's Required Fund Deposit. Backtesting compares the Required Fund Deposit for each Netting Member with actual price changes in the Netting Member's portfolio. The portfolio values are calculated using the actual positions in a Netting Member's portfolio on a given day and the observed security price changes over the following three days. The backtesting results are reviewed by FICC as part of its performance monitoring and assessment of the adequacy of each Netting Member's Required Fund Deposit. As noted above, a Backtesting Charge may be assessed if GSD determines that a Netting Member's Required Fund Deposit may not fully address the projected liquidation losses estimated from such Netting Member's settlement activity. Similarly, the Coverage Charge may be assessed to address potential shortfalls in the VaR Charge calculation. The Coverage Charge supplements the VaR Charge to help ensure that the Netting Member's backtesting coverage achieves the 99% confidence level. The Coverage Charge considers the backtesting results of only the VaR Charge (including the augmented volatility adjustment multiplier) and mark-to-market, while the Backtesting Charge considers the total Required Fund Deposit amount.

    B. Proposed Changes to GSD's Calculation of the VaR Charge

    FICC is proposing to amend its calculation of GSD's VaR Charge because during the fourth quarter of 2016, FICC's current methodology for calculating the VaR Charge did not respond effectively to the market volatility that existed at that time. As a result, the VaR Charge did not achieve backtesting coverage at a 99% confidence level and therefore yielded backtesting deficiencies beyond FICC's risk tolerance. In response, FICC implemented the Margin Proxy to help ensure that each Netting Member's VaR Charge achieves a minimum 99% confidence level and, at the minimum, mirrors historical price moves, while FICC continued the development effort on the proposed sensitivity based approach to remediate the observed model weaknesses.23

    23See supra note 18.

    As a result of FICC's review of GSD's existing VaR model deficiencies, FICC is proposing to: (1) Replace the full revaluation approach with the sensitivity approach, (2) eliminate the augmented volatility adjustment multiplier, (3) employ the Margin Proxy as an alternative volatility calculation rather than as a minimum volatility calculation, (4) utilize a haircut method for securities that lack sufficient historical data, and (5) establish a minimum calculation, referred to as the VaR Floor (as defined below in subsection 5 below), as the minimum VaR Charge. These proposed changes are described in detail below.

    1. Proposed Change To Replace the Full Revaluation Approach With the Sensitivity Approach

    FICC is proposing to address GSD's existing VaR model deficiencies by replacing the full revaluation method with the sensitivity approach.24 The current full revaluation approach uses valuation algorithms to fully reprice each security in a Netting Member's portfolio over a range of historically simulated scenarios. While there are benefits to this method, some of its deficiencies are that it requires significant historical market data inputs, calibration of various model parameters and extensive quantitative support for price simulations.

    24 GSD's proposed sensitivity approach is similar to the sensitivity approach that FICC's Mortgage-Backed Securities Division (“MBSD”) uses to calculate the VaR Charge for MBSD clearing members. See MBSD's Clearing Rules, available at DTCC's website, www.dtcc.com/legal/rules-and-procedures.aspx. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 79868 (January 24, 2017) 82 FR 8780 (January 30, 2017) (SR-FICC-2016-007) and Securities Exchange Act Release No. 79643 (December 21, 2016), 81 FR 95669 (December 28, 2016) (SR-FICC-2016-801).

    FICC believes that the proposed sensitivity approach would address these deficiencies because it would leverage external vendor 25 expertise in supplying the market risk attributes, which would then be incorporated by FICC into GSD's model to calculate the VaR Charge. Specifically, FICC would source security-level risk sensitivity data and relevant historical risk factor time series data from an external vendor for all Eligible Securities.

    25 FICC does not believe that its engagement of the vendor would present a conflict of interest because the vendor is not an existing Netting Member nor are any of the vendor's affiliates existing Netting Members. To the extent that the vendor or any of its affiliates submit an application to become a Netting Member, FICC will negotiate an appropriate information barrier with the applicant in an effort to prevent a conflict of interest from arising. An affiliate of the vendor currently provides an existing service to FICC; however, this arrangement does not present a conflict of interest because the existing agreement between FICC and the vendor, and the existing agreement between FICC and the vendor's affiliate each contain provisions that limit the sharing of confidential information.

    The sensitivity data would be generated by a vendor based on its econometric, risk and pricing models.26 Because the quality of this data is an important component of calculating the VaR Charge, FICC would conduct independent data checks to verify the accuracy and consistency of the data feed received from the vendor. With respect to the historical risk factor time series data, FICC has evaluated the historical price moves and determined which risk factors primarily explain those price changes, a practice commonly referred to as risk attribution.

    26 The following risk factors would be incorporated into GSD's proposed sensitivity approach: Key rate, convexity, implied inflation rate, agency spread, mortgage-backed securities spread, volatility, mortgage basis, and time risk factor. These risk factors are defined as follows:

    • key rate measures the sensitivity of a price change to changes in interest rates;

    • convexity measures the degree of curvature in the price/yield relationship of key interest rates;

    • implied inflation rate measures the difference between the yield on an ordinary bond and the yield on an inflation-indexed bond with the same maturity;

    • agency spread is yield spread that is added to a benchmark yield curve to discount an Agency bond's cash flows to match its market price;

    • mortgage-backed securities spread is the yield spread that is added to a benchmark yield curve to discount a to-be-announced (“TBA”) security's cash flows to match its market price;

    • volatility reflects the implied volatility observed from the swaption market to estimate fluctuations in interest rates;

    • mortgage basis captures the basis risk between the prevailing mortgage rate and a blended Treasury rate; and

    • time risk factor accounts for the time value change (or carry adjustment) over the assumed liquidation period.

    The above-referenced risk factors are similar to the risk factors currently utilized in MBSD's sensitivity approach, however, GSD has included other risk factors that are specific to the U.S. Treasury securities, Agency securities and mortgage-backed securities cleared through GSD.

    Concerning U.S. Treasury securities and Agency securities, FICC would select the following risk factors: Key rates, convexity, agency spread, implied inflation rates, volatility, and time.

    For mortgage-backed securities, each security would be mapped to a corresponding TBA forward contract and FICC would use the risk exposure analytics for the TBA as an estimate for the mortgage-backed security's risk exposure analytics. FICC would use the following risk factors to model a TBA security: Key rates, convexity, mortgage-backed securities spread, volatility, mortgage basis, and time. To account for differences between mortgage-backed securities and their corresponding TBA, FICC would apply an additional basis risk adjustment.

    FICC's proposal to use the vendor's risk analytics data requires that FICC take steps to mitigate potential model risk. FICC has reviewed a description of the vendor's calculation methodology and the manner in which the market data is used to calibrate the vendor's models. FICC understands and is comfortable with the vendor's controls, governance process and data quality standards. FICC would conduct an independent review of the vendor's release of a new version of its model prior to using it in GSD's proposed sensitivity approach calculation. In the event that the vendor changes its model and methodologies that produce the risk factors and risk sensitivities, FICC would analyze the effect of the proposed changes on GSD's proposed sensitivity approach. Future changes to the QRM Methodology would be subject to a proposed rule change pursuant to Rule 19b-4 (“Rule 19b-4”) 27 of the Act and may be subject to an advance notice filing pursuant to Section 806(e)(1) of the Clearing Supervision Act 28 and Rule 19b-4(n)(1)(I) under the Act.29 Modifications to the proposed VaR Charge may be subject to a proposed rule change pursuant to Rule 19b-4 30 and/or an advance notice filing pursuant to Section 806(e)(1) of the Clearing Supervision Act 31 and Rule 19b-4(n)(1)(I) under the Act.32

    27See 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    28See 12 U.S.C. 5465(e)(1).

    29See 17 CFR 240.19b-4(n)(1)(I).

    30See 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    31See 12 U.S.C. 5465(e)(1).

    32See 17 CFR 240.19b-4(n)(1)(I).

    Under the proposed approach, a Netting Member's portfolio risk sensitivities would be calculated by FICC as the aggregate of the security level risk sensitivities weighted by the corresponding position market values. More specifically, FICC would look at the historical changes of the chosen risk factors during the look-back period in order to generate risk scenarios to arrive at the market value changes for a given portfolio. A statistical probability distribution would be formed from the portfolio's market value changes, which are then calibrated to cover the projected liquidation losses at a 99% confidence level. The portfolio risk sensitivities and the historical risk factor time series data would then be used by FICC's risk model to calculate the VaR Charge for each Netting Member.

    The proposed sensitivity approach differs from the current full revaluation approach mainly in how the market value changes are calculated. The full revaluation approach accounts for changes in market variables and instrument specific characteristics of U.S. Treasury/Agency securities and mortgage-backed securities by incorporating certain historical data to calibrate a pricing model that generates simulated prices. This data is used to create a distribution of returns per each security. By comparison, the proposed sensitivity approach would simulate the market value changes of a Netting Member's portfolio under a given market scenario as the sum of the portfolio risk factor exposures multiplied by the corresponding risk factor movements.

    FICC believes that the sensitivity approach would provide three key benefits. First, the sensitivity approach incorporates a broad range of structured risk factors and a Netting Member portfolios' exposure to these risk factors, while the full revaluation approach is calibrated with only security level historical data that is supplemented by the augmented volatility adjustment multiplier. The proposed sensitivity approach integrates both observed risk factor changes and current market conditions to more effectively respond to current market price moves that may not be reflected in the historical price moves combined with the augmented volatility adjustment multiplier. In this regard, FICC has concluded, based on its assessment of the backtesting results of the proposed sensitivity approach and its comparison of those results to the backtesting results of the current full revaluation approach 33 that the proposed sensitivity approach would address the deficiencies observed in the existing model because it would leverage external vendor expertise, which FICC does not need to develop in-house, in supplying the market risk attributes that would then be incorporated by FICC into GSD's model to calculate the VaR Charge. With respect to FICC's review of the backtesting results, FICC believes that the calculation of the VaR Charge using the proposed sensitivity approach would provide better coverage on volatile days while not significantly increasing the overall Clearing Fund.34 In fact, the calculation of the VaR Charge using the proposed sensitivity approach would produce a VaR Charge amount that is consistent with the current VaR Charge calculation, as supplemented by Margin Proxy.35

    33 The backtesting results compared the aggregate CFR under the current methodology and the aggregate CFR under the proposed methodology to historical returns of end-of-day snapshots of each Netting Member's portfolio for the period May 2016 through October 2017. The CFR backtesting results under the proposed methodology were calculated in two ways for end-of-day portfolios: one set of results included the proposed Blackout Period Exposure Adjustment and the other set of results excluded the proposed Blackout Period Exposure Adjustment.

    34 The CFR backtesting results under the proposed methodology (both with and without Blackout Period Exposure Adjustment) indicate that the proposed methodology provided better overall coverage during the volatile period following the U.S. election than under the current methodology. The CFR Backtesting results under the proposed methodology were also more stable over the May 2016 through October 2017 study period than the CFR backtesting results under the existing methodology.

    35 FICC implemented the Margin Proxy at the end of April 2017. As a result, the CFR backtesting coverage under the current methodology increased in May 2017 and were more consistent with the CFR backtesting results under the proposed methodology from May 2017 through October 2017. Based on data reflected in the impact study, FICC observes that for the period May 1, 2017 to November 30, 2017 an approximate 7% increase in average aggregate AM RFD across all Netting Members.

    The second benefit of the proposed sensitivity approach is that it would provide more transparency to Netting Members. Because Netting Members typically use risk factor analysis for their own risk and financial reporting, such Members would have comparable data and analysis to assess the variation in their VaR Charge based on changes in the market value of their portfolios. Thus, Netting Members would be able to simulate the VaR Charge to a closer degree than under the existing full revaluation approach.

    The third benefit of the proposed sensitivity approach is that it would provide FICC with the ability to adjust the look-back period that FICC uses for purposes of calculating the VaR Charge. Specifically, FICC would change the look-back period from a front-weighted 36 1-year look-back (which is currently utilized today) to a 10-year look-back period that is not front-weighted and would include, to the extent applicable, an additional stressed period.37 The proposed extended look-back period would help to ensure that the historical simulation contains a sufficient number of historical market conditions (including but not limited to stressed market conditions).

    36 A front-weighted look-back period assigns more weight to the most recent market observations thus effectively diminishing the value of older market observations. The front-weighted approach is based on the assumption that the most recent price history is more relevant to current market volatility levels.

    37 Under the proposed model, the 10-year look-back period would include the 2008/2009 financial crisis scenario. To the extent that an equally or more stressed market period does not occur when the 2008/2009 financial crisis period is phased out from the 10-year look-back period (i.e., from September 2018 onward), pursuant to the QRM methodology document, FICC would continue to include the 2008/2009 financial crisis scenario in its historical scenarios. However, if an equally or more stressed market period emerges in the future, FICC may choose not to augment its 10-year historical scenarios with those from the 2008/2009 financial crisis.

    While FICC could extend the 1-year look-back period in the existing full revaluation approach to a 10-year look-back period, the performance of the existing model could deteriorate if current market conditions are materially different than indicated in the historical data. Additionally, since the full revaluation approach requires FICC to maintain in-house complex pricing models and mortgage prepayment models, enhancing these models to extend the look-back period to include 10 years of historical data involves significant model development. The sensitivity approach, on the other hand, would leverage external vendor data to incorporate a longer look-back period of 10 years, which would allow the proposed model to capture periods of historical volatility.

    In the event FICC observes that the 10-year look-back period does not contain a sufficient number of stressed market conditions, FICC would have the ability to include an additional period of historically observed stressed market conditions to a 10-year look-back period or adjust the length of look-back period. The additional stress period is designed to be a continuous period (typically 1 year). FICC believes that it is appropriate to assess on an annual basis whether an additional stressed period should be included. This assessment, which will only occur annually, would include a review of (1) the largest moves in the dominating market risk factor of the proposed sensitivity approach, (2) the impact analyses resulting from the removal and/or addition of a stressed period, and (3) the backtesting results of the proposed look-back period. As described in the QRM Methodology, approval by DTCC's Model Risk Governance Committee (“MRGC”) and, to the extent necessary, the Management Risk Committee (“MRC”) would be required to determine when to apply an additional period of stressed market conditions to the look-back period and the appropriate historical stressed period to utilize if it is not within the current 10-year period.

    2. Proposed Change To Amend the VaR Charge To Eliminate the Augmented Volatility Adjustment Multiplier

    As described above, the augmented volatility adjustment multiplier gives GSD the ability to adjust its volatility calculations as needed to improve the performance of its VaR model in periods of market volatility. The augmented volatility adjustment multiplier was designed to mitigate the effect of the 1-year look‐back period used in the existing full revaluation approach because it allowed the model to better react to conditions that may not have been within the recent historical one-year period. FICC is proposing to eliminate the augmented volatility adjustment multiplier because it would be no longer necessary given that the proposed sensitivity approach would have a longer look-back period and the ability to include an additional stressed market condition to account for periods of market volatility.

    3. Proposed Change To Implement the Margin Proxy as the VaR Charge During a Vendor Data Disruption a. Vendor Data Disruption

    In connection with FICC's proposal to source data for the proposed sensitivity approach, FICC is also proposing procedures that would govern in the event that the vendor fails to provide risk analytics data. If the vendor fails to provide any data or a significant portion of the data timely, FICC would use the most recently available data on the first day that such data disruption occurs. If it is determined that the vendor will resume providing data within five (5) business days, FICC's management would determine whether the VaR Charge should continue to be calculated by using the most recently available data along with an extended look-back period or whether the Margin Proxy should be invoked, subject to the approval of DTCC's Group Chief Risk Officer or his/her designee. If it is determined that the data disruption will extend beyond five (5) business days, the Margin Proxy would be applied as an alternative volatility calculation for the VaR Charge subject to the proposed VaR Floor.38 FICC's proposed use of the Margin Proxy would be subject to the approval of the MRC followed by notification to FICC's Board Risk Committee. FICC would continue to calculate the Margin Proxy on a daily basis and this calculation would continue to reflect separate calculations for U.S. Treasury/Agency securities and mortgage-backed securities.39 The Margin Proxy would be subject to monthly performance review by the MRGC. FICC would monitor the performance of the Margin Proxy calculation on a monthly basis to ensure that it could be used in the circumstance described above. Specifically, FICC would monitor each Netting Member's Required Fund Deposit and the aggregate Clearing Fund requirements versus the requirements calculated by Margin Proxy. FICC would also backtest the Margin Proxy results versus the three-day profit and loss based on actual market price moves. If FICC observes material differences between the Margin Proxy calculations and the aggregate Clearing Fund requirement calculated using the proposed sensitivity approach, or if the Margin Proxy's backtesting results do not meet FICC's 99% confidence level, FICC management may recommend remedial actions to the MRGC, and to the extent necessary the MRC, such as increasing the look-back period and/or applying an appropriate historical stressed period to the Margin Proxy calibration.

    38 The proposed VaR Floor is defined below in subsection B.5.—Proposed change to amend the VaR Charge calculation to establish a VaR Floor.

    39 Currently, GSD conducts separate calculations in order to cover the historical market prices of U.S. Treasury/Agency securities and mortgage-backed securities, respectively, because the historical price changes of these asset classes are different as a result of market factors such as credit spreads and prepayment risk. Separate calculations also provide FICC with the ability to monitor the performance of each asset class individually. Each security in a Netting Member's Margin Portfolio is mapped to a separate benchmark based on the security's asset class and maturity. All securities within each benchmark are then aggregated into a net exposure. FICC then applies an applicable haircut to the net exposure per benchmark to determine the net price risk for each benchmark. Finally, FICC determines the asset class price risk (“Asset Class Price Risk”) for U.S. Treasury/Agency securities and mortgage-backed securities benchmarks separately by aggregating the respective net price risk. For the U.S. Treasury benchmarks, the calculation includes a correlation adjustment to provide risk diversification across tenor buckets that has been historically observed across the U.S. Treasury benchmarks. The Margin Proxy is the sum of the U.S. Treasury/Agency securities and mortgage-backed securities Asset Class Price Risk. No changes are being proposed to this calculation.

    As noted above, FICC intends to source certain sensitivity data and risk factor data from a vendor. FICC's Quantitative Risk Management, Vendor Risk Management, and Information Technology teams have conducted due diligence of the vendor in order to evaluate its control framework for managing key risks. FICC's due diligence included an assessment of the vendor's technology risk, business continuity, regulatory compliance, and privacy controls. FICC has existing policies and procedures for data management that includes market data and analytical data provided by vendors. These policies and procedures do not have to be amended in connection with this proposed rule change. FICC also has tools in place to assess the quality of the data that it receives from vendors.

    b. Regulation SCI Implications

    Rule 1001(c)(1) of Regulation Systems Compliance and Integrity (“SCI”) requires FICC to establish, maintain, and enforce reasonably designed written policies and procedures that include the criteria for identifying responsible SCI personnel, the designation and documentation of responsible SCI personnel, and escalation procedures to quickly inform responsible SCI personnel of potential SCI events.40 Further, pursuant to Rule 1002 of Regulation SCI, each responsible SCI personnel determines when there is a reasonable basis to conclude that a SCI event has occurred, which will trigger certain obligations of a SCI entity with respect to such SCI events.41 FICC has existing policies and procedures that reflect established criteria that must be used by responsible SCI personnel to determine whether a disruption to, or significantly downgrade of, the normal operation of FICC's risk management system has occurred as defined under Regulation SCI. These policies and procedures do not have to be amended in connection with this proposed rule change. In the event that the vendor fails to provide the requisite risk analytics data, the responsible SCI personnel would determine whether a SCI event has occurred, and FICC would fulfill its obligations with respect to the SCI event.

    40See 17 CFR 242.1001(c)(1).

    41See 17 CFR 242.1002.

    4. Proposed Change To Utilize a Haircut Method To Measure the Risk Exposure of Securities That Lack Historical Data

    Occasionally, portfolios contain classes of securities that reflect market price changes that are not consistently related to historical risk factors. The value of these securities is often uncertain because the securities' market volume varies widely, thus the price histories are limited. Because the volume and price information for such securities is not robust, a historical simulation approach would not generate VaR Charge amounts that adequately reflect the risk profile of such securities. Currently, GSD Rule 4 provides that FICC may use a historic index volatility model to calculate the VaR Charge for these classes of securities.42 FICC is proposing to amend GSD Rule 4 to utilize a haircut method based on a historic index volatility model for any security that lacks sufficient historical data to be incorporated into the proposed sensitivity approach.

    42See GSD Rule 4, supra note 4.

    FICC believes that the proposal to implement a haircut method for securities that lack sufficient historical information would allow FICC to use appropriate market data to estimate a margin at a 99% confident level, thus helping to ensure that sufficient margin would be calculated for portfolios that contain these securities. FICC would continue to manage the market risk of clearing these securities by conducting analysis on the type of securities that cannot be processed by the proposed VaR model and engaging in periodic reviews of the haircuts used for calculating margin for these types of securities.

    FICC is proposing to calculate the VaR Charge for these securities by utilizing a haircut approach based on a market benchmark with a similar risk profile as the related security. The proposed haircut approach would be calculated separately for U.S. Treasury/Agency securities (other than (x) treasury floating-rate notes and (y) term repo rate volatility for Term Repo Transactions and Forward-Starting Repo Transactions (including term and forward-starting GCF Repo Transactions)) 43 and mortgage-backed securities.

    43 GSD is not proposing any changes to its current approach to calculating the VaR Charge for floating rate notes. Currently, GSD uses a haircut approach with a constant discount margin movement scenario. The discount margin movement scenario is based on the current market condition of the floating rate note price movements. This amount plus the calculated discount margin sensitivity of each floating rate note issue's market price plus the formula provided by the U.S. Department of Treasury equals the haircut of the floating rate note portion of a Netting Member's portfolio. GSD is also not proposing any change to its current approach to calculating the VaR Charge for repo interest volatility, which is based on internally constructed repo interest rate indices.

    Specifically, each security in a Netting Member's portfolio would be mapped to a respective benchmark based on the security's asset class and remaining maturity, then all securities within each benchmark would be aggregated into a net exposure. FICC would apply an applicable haircut to the net exposure per benchmark to determine the net price risk for each benchmark. Finally, the net price risk would be aggregated across all benchmarks (but separately for U.S. Treasury/Agency securities and mortgage-backed securities) and a correlation adjustment 44 would be applied to securities mapped to the U.S. Treasury benchmarks to provide risk diversification across tenor buckets that were historically observed.

    44 The correlation adjustment is based on 3-day returns during a 10-year look-back. It reflects the average amount that the 3-day returns of each benchmark moves in relation to one another. The correlation adjustment would only be applied for U.S. Treasury and Agency indices with maturities greater than 1 year.

    5. Proposed Change To Amend the VaR Charge Calculation To Establish a VaR Floor

    FICC is proposing to amend the existing calculation of the VaR Charge to include a minimum amount, which would be referred to as the “VaR Floor.” The proposed VaR Floor would be a calculated amount that would be used as the VaR Charge when the sum of the amounts calculated by the proposed sensitivity approach and haircut method is less than the proposed VaR Floor. FICC's proposal to establish a VaR Floor seeks to address the risk that the proposed VaR model calculates a VaR Charge that is erroneously low where the gross market value of unsettled positions in the Netting Member's portfolio is high and the cost of liquidation in the event of a Member default could also be high. This would be likely to occur when the proposed VaR model applies substantial risk offsets among long and short positions in different classes of securities that have a high degree of historical price correlation. Because this high degree of historical price correlation may not apply in future changing market conditions,45 FICC believes that it would be prudent to apply a VaR Floor that is based upon the market value of the gross unsettled positions in the Netting Member's portfolio in order to protect FICC against such risk in the event that FICC is required to liquidate a large Netting Member's portfolio in stressed market conditions.

    45 For example, and without limitation, certain securities may have highly correlated historical price returns, but if future market conditions were to substantially change, these historical correlations could break down, leading to model-generated offsets that would not adequately capture a portfolio's risk.

    The VaR Floor would be calculated as the sum of the following two components: (1) A U.S. Treasury/Agency bond margin floor and (2) a mortgage-backed securities margin floor. The U.S. Treasury/Agency bond margin floor would be calculated by mapping each U.S. Treasury/Agency security to a tenor bucket, then multiplying the gross positions of each tenor bucket by its bond floor rate, and summing the results. The bond floor rate of each tenor bucket would be a fraction (which would be initially set at 10%) of an index-based haircut rate for such tenor bucket. The mortgage-backed securities margin floor would be calculated by multiplying the gross market value of the total value of mortgage-backed securities in a Netting Member's portfolio by a designated amount, referred to as the pool floor rate, (which would be initially set at 0.05%).46 GSD would evaluate the appropriateness of the proposed initial floor rates (e.g., the 10% of the benchmark haircut rate for U.S. Treasury/Agency securities and 0.05% for mortgage-backed securities) at least annually based on backtesting performance and risk tolerance considerations.

    46 For example, assume the pool floor rate is set to 0.05% and the bond floor rate is set to 10% of haircut rates. Further assume that a Netting Member has a portfolio with gross positions of $2 billion in mortgage-backed securities and gross positions of U.S. Treasury/Agency securities that fall into two tenor buckets—$2 billion in tenor bucket “A” and $3 billion in tenor bucket “B.” If the haircut rate for tenor bucket “A” is 1% and the haircut rate for tenor bucket “B” is 2%, then the bond floor rate would be 0.1% and 0.2%, respectively. Therefore, the resulting VaR Floor would be $9 million (i.e., ([0.05%]*[$2 billion]) + [0.1%]*[$2 billion]) + ([0.2%]*[$3 billion])). If the VaR model charge is less than $9 million, then the VaR Floor calculation of $9 million would be set as the VaR Charge.

    6. Mitigating Risks of Concentrated Positions

    For the reasons described above, FICC believes that the proposed changes to GSD's VaR Charge calculation would allow it to better measure and mitigate the risks presented within Netting Members' portfolios.

    One of the risks presented by unsettled positions concentrated in an asset class is that FICC may not be able to liquidate or hedge the unsettled positions of a defaulted Netting Member in the assumed timeframe at the market price in the event of such Netting Member's default. Because FICC relies on external market data in connection with monitoring exposures to its Netting Members, the market data may not reflect the market impact transaction costs associated with the potential liquidation as the concentration risk of an unsettled position increases. However, FICC believes that, through the proposed changes and through existing risk management measures,47 it would be able to effectively measure and mitigate risks presented when a Netting Member's unsettled positions are concentrated in a particular security.

    47 For example, pursuant to existing authority under GSD Rule 4, FICC has the discretion to calculate an additional amount (“special charge”) applicable to a Margin Portfolio as determined by FICC from time to time in view of market conditions and other financial and operational capabilities of the Netting Member. FICC shall make any such determination based on such factors as FICC determines to be appropriate from time to time. See GSD Rule 4, supra note 4.

    FICC will continue to evaluate its exposures to these risks. Any future proposed changes to the margin methodology to address such risks would be subject to a separate proposed rule change pursuant Rule 19b-4 of the Act,48 and/or an advance notice pursuant to Section 806(e)(1) of the Clearing Supervision Act 49 and the rules thereunder.

    48See 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    49See 12 U.S.C. 5465(e)(1).

    C. Proposed Change To Establish the Blackout Period Exposure Adjustment As a Component to the Required Fund Deposit Calculation

    FICC is proposing to add a new component to the Required Fund Deposit calculation that would be applied to the VaR Charge for all GCF Counterparties with GCF Repo Transactions collateralized with mortgage-backed securities during the monthly Blackout Period (the “Blackout Period Exposure Adjustment”). FICC is proposing this new component because it would better protect FICC and its Netting Members from losses that could result from overstated values of mortgage-backed securities pledged as collateral for GCF Repo Transactions during the Blackout Period.

    The proposed Blackout Period Exposure Adjustment would be in the form of a charge that is added to the VaR Charge or a credit that would reduce the VaR Charge. The proposed Blackout Period Exposure Adjustment would be calculated by (1) projecting an average pay-down rate for the government sponsored enterprises (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) and the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae), respectively, then (2) multiplying the projected pay-down rate 50 by the net positions of mortgage-backed securities in the related program, and (3) summing the results from each program. Because the projected pay-down rate would be an average of the weighted averages of pay-down rates for all active mortgage pools of the related program during the three most recent preceding months, it is possible that the proposed Blackout Period Exposure Adjustment could overestimate the amount for a GCF Counterparty with a portfolio that primarily includes slower paying mortgage-backed securities or underestimate the amount for a GCF Counterparty with a portfolio that primarily includes faster paying mortgage-backed securities. However, FICC believes that projecting the pay-down rate separately for each program and weighting the results by recently active pools would reduce instances of large under/over estimation. FICC would continue to monitor the realized pay-down against FICC's weighted average pay-down rates and its vendor's projected pay-down rates as part of the model performance monitoring. Further, in the event that a GCF Counterparty continues to experience backtesting deficiencies, FICC would apply a Backtesting Charge, which as described in section F below, that would be amended to consider backtesting deficiencies attributable to GCF Repo Transactions collateralized with mortgage-backed securities during the Blackout Period.51

    50 GSD would calculate the projected average pay-down rates each month using historical pool factor pay-down rates that are weighted by historical positions during each of the prior three months. Specifically, the projected pay-down rate for a current Blackout Period would be an average of the weighted averages of pay-down rates for all active mortgage pools of the related program during the three most recent preceding months.

    51 The proposed changes to the Backtesting Charge are described below is section F—Proposed change to amend the Backtesting Charge to (i) include backtesting deficiencies attributed to GCF Repo Transactions collateralized with mortgage-backed securities during the Blackout Period and (ii) give GSD the authority to assess a Backtesting Charge on an intraday basis.

    The proposed Blackout Period Exposure Adjustment would only be imposed during the Blackout Period and it would be applied as of the morning Clearing Fund call on the Record Date through and including the intraday Clearing Fund call on the Factor Date, or until the Pool Factors 52 have been updated to reflect the current month's Pool Factors in the GCF Clearing Agent Bank's collateral reports.

    52 Pursuant to the GSD Rules, the term “Pool Factor” means, with respect to the Blackout Period, the percentage of the initial principal that remains outstanding on the mortgage loan pool underlying a mortgage-backed security, as published by the government-sponsored entity that is the issuer of such security. See GSD Rule 1, supra note 4.

    D. Proposed Change To Eliminate the Existing Blackout Period Exposure Charge

    FICC would eliminate the existing Blackout Period Exposure Charge 53 because the proposed Blackout Period Exposure Adjustment (which is described in section C above) would be applied to all GCF Counterparties with GCF Repo Transactions collateralized with mortgage-backed securities during the Blackout Period. The existing Blackout Period Exposure Charge, on the other hand, only applies to GCF Counterparties that have two or more backtesting deficiencies during the Blackout Period and whose overall 12-month trailing backtesting coverage falls below the 99% coverage target.54 FICC believes that the Blackout Period Exposure Charge would no longer be necessary because the applicability of the proposed Blackout Period Exposure Adjustment would better estimate potential changes to the GCF Repo Transactions and help to ensure that GCF Counterparties' with GCF Repo Transactions collateralized with mortgage-backed securities maintain a backtesting coverage above the 99% confidence level. Further, in the event that a GCF Counterparty continues to experience backtesting deficiencies, FICC would apply a Backtesting Charge, which as described in section F below, that would be amended to consider backtesting deficiencies attributable to GCF Repo Transactions collateralized with mortgage-backed securities during the Blackout Period.55

    53 Pursuant to the GSD Rules, FICC imposes a Blackout Period Exposure Charge when FICC determines, based on prior backtesting deficiencies of a GCF Counterparty's Required Fund Deposit, that the GCF Counterparty may experience a deficiency due to reductions in the notional value of the mortgage-backed securities used by such GCF Counterparty to collateralize its GCF Repo trading activity that occur during the monthly Blackout Period. See GSD Rules 1 and 4, supra note 4.

    54See GSD Rules 1 and 4, supra note 4.

    55 The proposed changes to the Backtesting Charge are described below is section F—Proposed change to amend the Backtesting Charge to (i) include backtesting deficiencies attributed to GCF Repo Transactions collateralized with mortgage-backed securities during the Blackout Period and (ii) give GSD the authority to assess a Backtesting Charge on an intraday basis.

    E. Proposed Change To Eliminate the Coverage Charge Component From the Required Fund Deposit Calculation

    FICC is proposing to eliminate the Coverage Charge component from GSD's Required Fund Deposit calculation.56 The Coverage Charge component is based on historical portfolio activity, which may not be indicative of a Netting Member's current risk profile, but was determined by FICC to be appropriate to address potential shortfalls in margin charges under the current VaR model. FICC is proposing to eliminate the Coverage Component because its analysis indicates that the sensitivity approach would provide overall better margin coverage.

    56See GSD Rules 1 and 4, supra note 4.

    As part of the development and assessment of the proposed VaR Charge, FICC backtested the model's performance and analyzed the impact of the margin changes. Results of the analysis indicated that the proposed sensitivity approach would be more responsive to changing market dynamics and a Netting Member's portfolio composition coverage than the existing VaR model that utilizes the full revaluation approach. The backtesting analysis also demonstrated that the proposed sensitivity approach would provide sufficient margin coverage on a standalone basis. Additionally, in the event that FICC observes unexpected deficiencies in the backtesting of a Netting Member's Required Fund Deposit, the Backtesting Charge would apply.57 Given the above, FICC believes the Coverage Charge would no longer be necessary.

    57 Similar to the Coverage Charge, the purpose of the Backtesting Charge is to address potential shortfalls in margin charges, however, the Coverage Charge considers the backtesting results of only the VaR Charge (including the augmented volatility adjustment multiplier) and mark-to-market.

    F. Proposed Change To Amend the Backtesting Charge To (i) Include Backtesting Deficiencies Attributable to GCF Repo Transactions Collateralized With Mortgage-Backed Securities During the Blackout Period and (ii) Give GSD the Authority To Assess a Backtesting Charge on an Intraday Basis

    FICC is proposing to amend the Backtesting Charge to (i) include backtesting deficiencies attributable to GCF Repo Transactions collateralized with mortgage-backed securities during the Blackout Period and (ii) give GSD the authority to assess a Backtesting Charge on an intraday basis.

    (i) Proposed Change To Amend the Backtesting Charge To Include Backtesting Deficiencies Attributable to GCF Repo Transactions Collateralized With Mortgage-Backed Securities During the Blackout Period

    FICC is proposing to amend the Backtesting Charge to provide that this charge would be applied to a GCF Counterparty that experiences backtesting deficiencies that are attributed to GCF Repo Transactions collateralized with mortgage-backed securities during the Blackout Period. Currently, Backtesting Charges are not applied to GCF Counterparties with collateralized mortgage-backed securities during the Blackout Period because such counterparties may be subject to a Blackout Period Exposure Charge. However, now that FICC is proposing to eliminate the Blackout Period Exposure Charge, FICC is proposing to amend the applicability of the Backtesting Charge in the circumstances described above.

    (ii) Proposed Change To Give GSD the Authority To Assess a Backtesting Charge on an Intraday Basis

    FICC is also proposing to amend the Backtesting Charge to provide that this charge may be assessed if a Netting Member is experiencing backtesting deficiencies during the trading day (i.e., intraday) because of such Netting Member's large fluctuations of intraday trading activities. A Backtesting Charge that is imposed intraday would be referred to as a “Intraday Backtesting Charge.” The Intraday Backtesting Charge would be assessed on an intraday basis and it would increase a Netting Member's Required Fund Deposit to help ensure that its intraday backtesting coverage achieves the 99% confidence level.

    The proposed assessment of the Intraday Backtesting Charge differs from the existing assessment of the Backtesting Charge because the existing assessment is based on the backtesting results of a Netting Member's PM RFD versus the historical returns of such Netting Member's portfolio at the end of the trading day while the proposed Intraday Backtesting Charge would be based on the most recent Required Fund Deposit amount that was collected from a Netting Member versus the historical returns of such Netting Member's portfolio intraday.

    In an effort to differentiate the proposed Intraday Backtesting Charge from the existing Backtesting Charge, FICC is proposing to change the name of the existing Backtesting Charge to “Regular Backtesting Charge.” The Intraday Backtesting Charge and the Regular Backtesting Charge would collectively be referred to as the Backtesting Charge.

    Calculation and Assessment of Intraday Backtesting Charges

    FICC would use a snapshot of each Netting Member's portfolio during the trading day,58 and compare each Netting Member's AM RFD with the simulated liquidation gains/losses using an intraday snapshot of the actual positions in the Netting Member's portfolio, and the actual historical security returns. FICC would review portfolios with intraday backtesting deficiencies that bring the results for that Netting Member below the 99% confidence level (i.e., greater than two intraday backtesting deficiency days in a rolling twelve-month period) and determine whether there is an identifiable cause of ongoing repeat backtesting deficiencies. FICC would also evaluate whether multiple Netting Members are experiencing backtesting deficiencies due to similar underlying reasons.

    58 The snapshot would occur once a day. The timing of the snapshot would be subject to change based upon market conditions and/or settlement activity. This snapshot would be taken at the same time for all Netting Members. All positions that have settled would be excluded. FICC would take additional intraday snapshots and/or change the time of the intraday snapshot based upon market conditions. FICC would include the positions from the start-of-day plus any additional positions up to that time.

    As is the case with the existing Backtesting Charge (which would be referred to as the “Regular Backtesting Charge”), the proposed Intraday Backtesting Charge would be assessed on Netting Members with portfolios that experience at least three intraday backtesting deficiencies over the prior 12-month period. The proposed Intraday Backtesting Charge would generally equal a Netting Member's third largest historical intraday backtesting deficiency because FICC believes that an Intraday Backtesting Charge equal to the third largest historical intraday backtesting deficiency would bring the affected Netting Member's historically observed intraday backtesting coverage above the 99% confidence level.

    FICC would have the discretion to adjust the Intraday Backtesting Charge to an amount that is more appropriate for maintaining such Netting Member's intraday backtesting results above the 99% coverage threshold.59

    59 For example, FICC may consider whether the affected Netting Member would be likely to experience future intraday backtesting deficiencies, the estimated size of such deficiencies, material differences in the three largest intraday backtesting deficiencies observed over the prior 12-month period, variabilities in its net settlement activity subsequent to GSD's collection of the AM RFD, seasonality in observed intraday backtesting deficiencies and observed market price volatility in excess of its historical VaR Charge.

    In the event that FICC determines that an Intraday Backtesting Charge should apply in the circumstances described above, FICC would notify the affected Netting Member prior to its assessment of the charge. As is the case with the existing application of the Backtesting Charge, FICC would notify Netting Members on or around the 25th calendar day of the month.

    The proposed Intraday Backtesting Charge would be applied to the affected Netting Member's Required Fund Deposit on a daily basis for a one-month period. FICC would review the assessed Intraday Backtesting Charge on a monthly basis to determine if the charge is still applicable and that the amount charged continues to provide appropriate coverage. In the event that an affected Netting Member's trailing 12-month intraday backtesting coverage exceeds 99% (without taking into account historically imposed Intraday Backtesting Charges), the Intraday Backtesting Charge would be removed.

    G. Proposed Change to the Excess Capital Premium Calculation for Broker Netting Members, Inter-Dealer Broker Netting Members and Dealer Netting Members

    FICC is proposing to move to a net capital measure for Broker Netting Members, Inter-Dealer Broker Netting Members and Dealer Netting Members that would align the Excess Capital Premium for such Members to a measure that is consistent with the equity capital measure that is used for Bank Netting Members in the Excess Capital Premium calculation.

    Currently, the Excess Capital Premium is determined based on the amount that a Netting Member's Required Fund Deposit exceeds its Excess Capital.60 Only Netting Members that are brokers or dealers registered under Section 15 of the Act are required to report Excess Net Capital figures to FICC while other Netting Members report net capital or equity capital. If a Netting Member is not a broker/dealer, FICC would use net capital or equity capital, as applicable (based on the type of regulation that such Netting Member is subject to) in order to calculate its Excess Capital Premium.

    60 Pursuant to the GSD Rules, the term “Excess Capital” means Excess Net Capital, net assets or equity capital as applicable, to a Netting Member based on its type of regulation. See GSD Rule 1, supra note 4.

    FICC is proposing this change because of the Commission's amendments to Rule 15c3-1 (the “Net Capital Rule”), which were adopted in 2013.61 The amendments are designed to promote a broker/dealer's capital quality and require the maintenance of “net capital” (i.e., capital in excess of liabilities) in specified amounts as determined by the type of business conducted. The Net Capital Rule is designed to ensure the availability of funds and assets (including securities) in the event that a broker/dealer's liquidation becomes necessary. The Net Capital Rule represents a net worth perspective, which is adjusted by unrealized profit or loss, deferred tax provisions, and certain liabilities as detailed in the rule. It also includes deductions and offsets, and requires that a broker/dealer demonstrate compliance with the Net Capital Rule including maintaining sufficient net capital at all times (including intraday).

    61See 17 CFR 240.15c3-1. Securities Exchange Act Release No. 34-70072 (July 30, 2013), 78 FR 51823 (August 21, 2013) (File No. S7-08-07).

    FICC believes that the Net Capital Rule is an effective process of separating liquid and illiquid assets, and computing a broker/dealer's regulatory net capital that should replace GSD's existing practice of using Excess Net Capital (which is the difference between the Net Capital and the minimum regulatory Net Capital) as the basis for the Excess Capital Premium.

    H. GSD's Existing Calculation and Assessment of Intraday Supplemental Fund Deposit Amounts

    Separate and apart from the AM RFD and the PM RFD, the GSD Rules give FICC the existing authority to collect Intraday Supplemental Fund Deposits from Netting Members.62 Through this filing, FICC is providing transparency with respect to GSD's existing calculation of Intraday Supplemental Fund Deposit amounts.

    62 As described above in section A.—The Required Fund Deposit and Clearing Fund Calculation Overview, GSD calculates and collects each Netting Member's Required Fund Deposit twice each business day. The AM RFD is collected at 9:30 a.m. (E.T.) and is comprised of a VaR Charge that is based on each Netting Member's portfolio at the end of the trading day. The PM RFD is collected at 2:45 p.m. and is comprised of a VaR Charge that is based on a snapshot of each Netting Member's portfolio collected at noon and, if applicable, an Intraday Supplemental Fund Deposit collected after noon.

    Pursuant to the GSD Rules, the Intraday Supplemental Fund Deposits is determined based on GSD's observations of a Netting Member's simulated VaR Charge as it is re-calculated throughout the trading day based on the open positions of such Member's portfolio at designated times (the “Intraday VaR Charge”).63 FICC is proposing to provide transparency with respect to its existing authority to calculate and assess the Intraday Supplemental Fund Deposit as described in further detail below.

    63See Rule 4 Section 2a, supra note 4.

    The Intraday Supplemental Fund Deposit is designed to mitigate exposure to GSD that results from large fluctuations in a Netting Member's portfolio due to new and settled trade activities that are not otherwise covered by a Netting Member's recently collected Required Fund Deposit. FICC determines whether to assess an Intraday Supplemental Fund Deposit by tracking three criteria (each, a “Parameter Break”) for each Netting Member. The first Parameter Break evaluates whether a Netting Member's Intraday VaR Charge equals or exceeds a set dollar amount (as determined by FICC from time to time) when compared to the VaR Charge that was included in the most recently collected Required Fund Deposit including, any subsequently collected Intraday Supplemental Fund Deposit (the “Dollar Threshold”). The second Parameter Break evaluates whether the Intraday VaR Charge equals or exceeds a percentage increase (as determined by FICC from time to time) of the VaR Charge that was included in the most recently collected Required Fund Deposit including, if applicable, any subsequently collected Intraday Supplemental Fund Deposit (the “Percentage Threshold”). The third Parameter Break evaluates whether a Netting Member is experiencing backtesting results below the 99% confidence level (the “Coverage Target”).

    (a) The Dollar Threshold

    The purpose of the Dollar Threshold is to identify Netting Members with additional risk exposures that represent a substantial portion of the Clearing Fund. FICC believes these Netting Members pose an increased risk of loss to GSD because the coverage provided by the Clearing Fund (which is designed to cover the aggregate losses of all Netting Members' portfolios) would be substantially impacted by large exposures. In other words, in the event that a Netting Member's Required Fund Deposit is not sufficient to satisfy losses to GSD caused by the liquidation of the defaulted Netting Member's portfolio, FICC will use the Clearing Fund to satisfy such losses. However, because the Clearing Fund must be available to satisfy potential losses that may arise from any Netting Member's defaults, GSD will be exposed to a significant risk of loss if a defaulted Netting Member's additional risk exposure accounted for a substantial portion of the Clearing Fund.

    The Dollar Threshold is set to an amount that would help to ensure that the aggregate additional risk exposure of all Netting Members does not exceed 5% of the Clearing Fund. FICC believes that the availability of at least 95% of the Clearing Fund to satisfy all other liquidation losses caused by a defaulted Netting Member is sufficient to mitigate risks posed to FICC by such losses.

    Currently, the Dollar Threshold equals a change in a Netting Member's Intraday VaR Charge that equals or exceeds $1,000,000 when compared to the VaR Charge that was included in the most recently collected Required Fund Deposit including, if applicable, any subsequently collected Intraday Supplemental Fund Deposit. On an annual basis, FICC assesses the sufficiency of the Dollar Threshold, and may adjust the Dollar Threshold if FICC determines that an adjustment is necessary to provide GSD with reasonable coverage.

    (b) The Percentage Threshold

    The purpose of the Percentage Threshold is to identify Netting Members with Intraday VaR Charge amounts that reflect significant changes when such amounts are compared to the VaR Charge that was included as a component in such Netting Member's most recently collected Required Fund Deposit. FICC believes that these Netting Members pose an increased risk of loss to GSD because the most recently collected VaR Charge (which is designed to cover estimated losses to a portfolio over a three-day liquidation period at least 99% of the time) may not adequately reflect a Netting Member's portfolio with such Netting Member's significant intraday changes in additional risk exposure. Thus, in the event that the Netting Member defaults during the trading day the Netting Member's most recently collected Required Fund Deposit may be insufficient to cover the liquidation of its portfolio within a three-day liquidation period.

    Currently, the Percentage Threshold is equal to a Netting Member's Intraday VaR Charge that equals or exceeds 100% of the most recently calculated VaR Charge included in the most recently collected Required Fund Deposit including, if applicable, any subsequently collected Intraday Supplemental Fund Deposit. On an annual basis, FICC assesses the sufficiency of the Percentage Threshold and may adjust the Percentage Threshold if it determines that such adjustment is necessary to provide GSD with reasonable coverage.

    (c) The Coverage Target

    The purpose of the Coverage Target is to identify Netting Members with backtesting results 64 below the 99% confidence level (i.e., greater than two deficiency days in a rolling 12-month period) as reported in the most current month. FICC believes that these Netting Members pose an increased risk of loss to FICC because their backtesting deficiencies demonstrate that GSD' risk-based margin model has not performed as expected based on the Netting Member's trading activity. Thus, the most recently collected Required Fund Deposit might be insufficient to cover the liquidation of a Netting Member's portfolio within a three-day liquidation period in the event that such Member defaults during the trading day.

    64 The referenced backtesting results would only reflect the Backtesting Charge if such charge is collected in the Required Fund Deposit.

    (d) Assessment and Collection of the Intraday Supplemental Fund Deposits

    In the event that FICC determines that a Netting Member's additional risk exposure breaches all three Parameter Breaks, FICC will assess an Intraday Supplemental Fund Deposit. Should FICC determine that certain market conditions exist 65 FICC would impose an Intraday Supplemental Fund Deposit if a Netting Member's Intraday VaR Charge breaches the Dollar Amount threshold and the Percentage Threshold notwithstanding the fact that the Coverage Target has not been breached by such Netting Member.66 In addition, during such market conditions, the Dollar Threshold and Percentage Threshold may be reduced if FICC determines a Netting Member's portfolios may present relatively greater risks to FICC since the most recently collected Required Fund Deposit. Any such reduction will not cause the Dollar Threshold to be less than $250,000 and the Percentage Threshold to be less than 5%.

    65 Examples include but are not limited to (i) sudden swings in an equity index or (ii) movements in the U.S. Treasury yields and mortgage-backed securities spreads that are outside of historically observed market moves.

    66 In certain market condition, a Netting Member's backtesting coverage may not accurately reflect the risks posed by such Netting Member's portfolio. Therefore, FICC imposes the Intraday Supplemental Fund on Netting Members that breach the Dollar Threshold and Percentage Threshold, despite the fact that such Member may not have breached the Coverage Target during certain market conditions.

    FICC has the discretion to waive or change 67 Intraday Supplemental Fund Deposit amounts if it determines that a Netting Member's additional risk exposure and/or breach of a Parameter Break does not accurately reflect GSD's exposure to the fluctuations in the Netting Member's portfolio.68 Given that there are numerous factors that could result in a Netting Member's additional risk exposure and/or breach of a Parameter Break, FICC believes that it is important to maintain such discretion in order to help ensure that the Intraday Supplemental Fund Deposit is imposed only on Netting Members with additional risk exposures that pose a significant level of risk to FICC.

    67 FICC will not reduce the Intraday Supplemental Fund Deposit if such reduction will cause the Netting Member's most recently collected Required Fund Deposit to decrease. In addition, FICC will not increase the Intraday VaR Charge to an amount that is two times more than a Netting Member's most recently collected Required Fund Deposit.

    68 For example, a Netting Member's breach of the Coverage Target could be due to a shortened backtesting look-back period and/or large position fluctuations caused by trading errors.

    I. Delayed Implementation of the Proposed Rule Change

    This proposed rule change would become operative 45 business days after the later date of the Commission's approval of this proposed rule change and its notice of no objection to FICC's related advance notice filing (the “Advance Notice Filing”).69 The delayed implementation is designed to give Netting Members the opportunity to assess the impact that the proposed rule change would have on their Required Fund Deposit.

    69See supra note 3.

    Prior to the effective date, FICC would add a legend to the GSD Rules to state that the specified changes to the GSD Rules are approved but not yet operative, and to provide the date such approved changes would become operative. The legend would also include the file numbers of the approved proposed rule change and Advance Notice Filing and would state that once operative, the legend would automatically be removed from the GSD Rules.

    J. Description of the Proposed Changes to the Text of the GSD Rules 1. Proposed Changes to GSD Rule 1 (Definitions)

    FICC is proposing to amend the term “Backtesting Charge” to provide that a GCF Counterparty's backtesting deficiencies attributable to collateralized mortgage-backed securities during the Blackout Period would be considered in FICC's assessment of the applicability of the charge. FICC is also proposing to amend the definition of the term “Backtesting Charge” to provide that an Intraday Backtesting Charge may be assessed based on the backtesting results of a Netting Member's intraday portfolio. In order to differentiate the Intraday Backtesting charge from the existing application of the Backtesting Charge, the existing charge would be referred to as the “Regular Backtesting Charge.” As a result of this proposed change, FICC would be permitted to assess an Intraday Backtesting Charge based on a Netting Member's intraday portfolio and a Regular Backtesting Charge based on a Netting Member's end of day portfolio. As a result of this proposed change, FICC's calculation of the Intraday Backtesting Charge and the Regular Backtesting Charge could include deficiencies attributable to GCF Repo Transactions collateralized with mortgage-backed securities during the Blackout Period.

    FICC is proposing to add the new defined term “Blackout Period Exposure Adjustment” to define a new component in the Required Fund Deposit calculation. This component would apply to all GCF Counterparties with exposure to mortgage-backed securities in their portfolio during the Blackout Period.

    FICC is proposing to delete the term “Blackout Period Exposure Charge.” This component would no longer be necessary because the proposed Blackout Period Exposure Adjustment would be applied to all GCF Counterparties with exposure to mortgage-backed securities in their portfolio.

    FICC is proposing to delete the term “Coverage Charge” because this component would be eliminated from the Required Fund Deposit calculation.

    FICC is proposing to delete the term “Excess Capital” because FICC is proposing to add the new defined term “Netting Member Capital.”

    FICC is proposing to amend the definition of the term “Excess Capital Ratio” to reflect the replacement of “Excess Capital” with “Netting Member Capital.”

    FICC is proposing to change the term “Intraday Supplemental Clearing Fund Deposit” to “Intraday Supplemental Fund Deposit” because the latter is consistent with the term that is reflected in GSD Rule 4.

    FICC is proposing to amend the term “Margin Proxy” to reflect that the Margin Proxy would be used as an alternative volatility calculation.

    FICC is proposing to add the new defined term “Netting Member Capital” to reflect the change to the Net Capital for Broker Netting Members', Inter-Broker Dealer Netting Members' and Dealer Netting Members' calculation of the Excess Capital Ratio.

    FICC is proposing to amend the definition of the term “VaR Charge” to establish that (1) the Margin Proxy would be utilized as an alternative volatility calculation in the event that the requisite data used to employ the sensitivity approach is unavailable, and (2) a VaR Floor would be utilized as the VaR Charge in the event that the proposed model based approach yields an amount that is lower than the VaR Floor.

    2. Proposed Changes to GSD Rule 4 (Clearing Fund and Loss Allocation) Proposed Changes to Rule 4 Section 1b

    FICC is proposing to eliminate the reference to “Coverage Charge” because this component would no longer be included in the Required Fund Deposit calculation.

    FICC is proposing to add the “Blackout Period Exposure Adjustment” because this would be a new component included in the Required Fund Deposit calculation.

    FICC is proposing to eliminate the reference to “Blackout Period Exposure Charge” because this component would no longer be included in the Required Fund Deposit calculation.

    FICC is proposing to renumber this section in order to accommodate the above-referenced proposed changes.

    FICC is proposing to define “Net Unsettled Position” because it is a defined term in GSD Rule 1.

    FICC is proposing to amend this section to state that a haircut method would be utilized based on the historic index volatility model for the purposes of calculating the VaR Charge for classes of securities that cannot be handled by the VaR model's methodology.

    FICC is proposing to delete the paragraph relating to the Margin Proxy because the Margin Proxy would no longer be used to supplement the VaR Charge.

    K. Description of the QRM Methodology

    The QRM Methodology document provides the methodology by which FICC would calculate the VaR Charge with the proposed sensitivity approach as well as other components of the Required Fund Deposit calculation. The QRM Methodology document specifies (i) the model inputs, parameters, assumptions and qualitative adjustments, (ii) the calculation used to generate Required Fund Deposit amounts, (iii) additional calculations used for benchmarking and monitoring purposes, (iv) theoretical analysis, (v) the process by which the VaR methodology was developed as well as its application and limitations, (vi) internal business requirements associated with the implementation and ongoing monitoring of the VaR methodology, (vii) the model change management process and governance framework (which includes the escalation process for adding a stressed period to the VaR calculation), (viii) the haircut methodology, (ix) the Blackout Period Exposure Adjustment calculations, (x) intraday margin calculation, and (xi) the Margin Proxy calculation.

    2. Statutory Basis

    FICC believes that the proposed changes, as described in Item II.(A)1. above, are consistent with the requirements of the Act and the rules and regulations thereunder applicable to a registered clearing agency. In particular, FICC believes that the proposed changes are consistent with Section 17A(b)(3)(F) of the Act,70 and Rules 17Ad-22(e)(4)(i) and (e)(6)(i), (ii), (iii), (iv) and (v), each promulgated under the Act,71 for the reasons described below.

    70 15 U.S.C. 78q-1(b)(3)(F).

    71 17 CFR 240.17Ad-22(e)(4)(i) and (e)(6)(i), (ii), (iii), (iv) and (v).

    Section 17A(b)(3)(F) 72 of the Act as cited above requires, in part, that the rules of a clearing agency be designed “to assure the safeguarding of securities and funds which are in the custody or control of the clearing agency or for which it is responsible.” As described in detail in Item II.(A)1. above, the proposal consists of changes to the calculation of GSD's Required Fund Deposit. FICC believes that these changes would be designed to assure the safeguarding of securities and funds that are in the custody or control of FICC or for which it is responsible because the proposed changes would enable FICC to better limit its credit exposure to Netting Members arising out of the activity in their portfolios. The proposed changes would collectively work to help ensure that FICC calculates and collects adequate margin from its Netting Members. Specifically, (1) the proposed change to utilize the sensitivity approach would better enable FICC to limit its exposure to Netting Members because the sensitivity approach would incorporate a broad range of structured risk factors as well as an extended look-back period that would calculate better margin coverage for FICC, (2) the proposed use of the Margin Proxy as an alternative volatility calculation would better enable FICC to limit its exposure to Netting Members because it would help to ensure that FICC has a margin methodology in place that effectively measures FICC's exposure to Netting Members in the event that a vendor data disruption reduces the reliability of the margin amount calculated by the proposed sensitivity-based VaR model, (3) the proposed haircut method would better enable FICC to limit its exposure to Netting Members because it would provide a better assessment of the risks associated with classes of securities with inadequate historical pricing data, (4) the proposed VaR Floor would better enable FICC to limit its exposure to Netting Members because it would help to ensure that each Netting Member has a minimum VaR Charge in the event that the proposed VaR model utilizing the sensitivity approach yields too low a VaR Charge for such portfolios, (5) the proposal to add the proposed Blackout Period Exposure Adjustment as a new component and the proposal to amend the Backtesting Charge to consider backtesting deficiencies attributable to GCF Repo Transactions collateralized with mortgage-backed securities during the Blackout Period would better enable FICC to limit its exposure to Netting Members because these changes would help to ensure that FICC collects sufficient margin from GCF Counterparties with GCF Repo Transactions collateralized mortgage-backed securities with risk characteristics that are not effectively captured by the Required Fund Deposit calculation during the Blackout Period, (6) the proposed Intraday Backtesting Charge would better enable FICC to limit its exposure to Netting Members because it would help to ensure that FICC collects appropriate margin from Netting Members that have backtesting deficiencies during the trading day due to large fluctuations of intraday trading activity that could pose risk to FICC in the event that such Netting Members default during the trading day, and (7) the proposed change to the Excess Capital Premium calculation would better enable FICC to limit its exposure to Netting Members because it would help to ensure that FICC does not unnecessarily increase its calculation and collection of Required Fund Deposit amounts for Broker Netting Members, Inter-Dealer Broker Netting Members and Dealer Netting Members. Finally, FICC's proposal to eliminate the Blackout Period Exposure Charge, Coverage Charge and augmented volatility adjustment multiplier would enable FICC to eliminate components that do not measure risk as accurately as the proposed and existing risk management measures, as described above.

    72 15 U.S.C. 78q-1(b)(3)(F).

    By enabling FICC to better limit its exposure to Netting Members, the proposed changes described in Item II.(A)1. are designed to ensure that, in the event of a Netting Member default, FICC's operations would not be disrupted and non-defaulting Netting Members would not be exposed to losses they cannot anticipate or control. In this way, the proposed rules are designed to assure the safeguarding of securities and funds which are in the custody or control of FICC or for which it is responsible and therefore consistent with Section 17A(b)(3)(F) of the Act.

    In addition, FICC believes that the proposed changes are consistent with Rules 17Ad-22(e)(4)(i) and (e)(6)(i), (ii), (iii), (iv) and (v) of the Act.73

    73See 17 CFR 240.17Ad-22(e)(4)(i) and (e)(6)(i), (ii), (iii), (iv) and (v).

    Rule 17Ad-22(e)(4)(i) under the Act 74 requires a clearing agency to establish, implement, maintain and enforce written policies and procedures reasonably designed to effectively identify, measure, monitor, and manage its credit exposures to participants and those exposures arising from its payment, clearing, and settlement processes by maintaining sufficient financial resources to cover its credit exposure to each participant fully with a high degree of confidence.

    74See 17 CFR 240.17Ad-22(e)(4)(i).

    FICC believes that the proposed changes described in Item II.(A)1. above enhance FICC's ability to identify, measure, monitor and manage its credit exposures to Netting Members and those exposures arising from its payment, clearing, and settlement processes because the proposed changes would collectively help to ensure that FICC maintains sufficient financial resources to cover its credit exposure to each Netting Member with a high degree of confidence.

    Because each of the proposed changes to FICC's Required Fund Deposit calculation would provide FICC with a more effective measure of the risks that these calculations were designed to assess, the proposed changes would permit FICC to more effectively identify, measure, monitor and manage its exposures to market price risk, and would enable it to better limit its exposure to potential losses from Netting Member default. Specifically, the proposed changes described in Item II.(A)1. above are designed to help ensure that GSD appropriately calculates and collects margin to cover its credit exposure to each Netting Member with a high degree of confidence because (1) the proposed change to utilize the sensitivity approach would provide better margin coverage for FICC, (2) the proposed use of the Margin Proxy as an alternative volatility calculation would help to ensure that FICC has a margin methodology in place that effectively measures FICC's exposure to Netting Members in the event that a vendor data disruption reduces the reliability of the margin amount calculated by the proposed sensitivity-based VaR model, (3) the proposed haircut method would provide a better assessment of the risks associated with classes of securities with inadequate historical pricing data, (4) the proposed VaR Floor would limit FICC's credit exposures to Netting Members in the event that the proposed VaR model utilizing the sensitivity approach yields too low a VaR Charge for such portfolios, (5) the proposal eliminates the Blackout Period Exposure, Coverage Charge and augmented volatility adjustment multiplier because FICC should not maintain elements of the prior model that would unnecessarily increase Netting Members' Required Fund Deposits, (6) the proposal to add the proposed Blackout Period Exposure Adjustment as a new component would limit FICC's credit exposures during the Blackout Period caused by GCF Repo Transactions collateralized mortgage-backed securities with risk characteristics that are not effectively captured by the Required Fund Deposit calculation, (7) the proposal to amend the Backtesting Charge to consider backtesting deficiencies attributable to GCF Repo Transactions collateralized with mortgage-backed securities during the Blackout Period would help to ensure that FICC could cover credit exposure to GCF Counterparties, (8) the proposed Intraday Backtesting Charge would help to ensure that FICC collects appropriate margin from Netting Members that have backtesting deficiencies during the trading day due to large fluctuations of intraday trading activity that could pose risk to FICC in the event that such Netting Members defaults during the trading day, and (9) the proposed change to the Excess Capital Premium calculation would help to ensure that FICC does not unnecessarily increase its calculation and collection of Required Fund Deposit amounts for Broker Netting Members, Inter-Dealer Broker Netting Members and Dealer Netting Members.

    The proposed changes would continue to be subject to performance reviews by FICC. In the event that FICC's backtesting process reveals that the VaR Charge, Required Fund Deposit amounts and/or the Clearing Fund do not meet FICC's 99% confidence level, FICC would review its margin methodologies and assess whether any changes should be considered. Therefore, FICC believes the proposed changes are consistent with the requirements of Rule 17Ad-22(e)(4)(i) of the Act cited above.

    Rule 17Ad-22(e)(6)(i) under the Act 75 requires a clearing agency to establish, implement, maintain and enforce written policies and procedures reasonably designed to cover its credit exposures to its participants by establishing a risk-based margin system that, at a minimum, considers, and produces margin levels commensurate with, the risks and particular attributes of each relevant product, portfolio, and market.

    75See 17 CFR 240.17Ad-22(e)(6)(i).

    FICC believes that the proposed changes referenced above in the second paragraph of this section (each of which have been described in detail in Item II.(A)1. above) are consistent with Rule 17Ad-22(e)(6)(i) of the Act cited above because the proposed changes would help to ensure that FICC calculates and collects adequate Required Fund Deposit amounts, and that each Netting Member's amount is commensurate with the risks and particular attributes of each relevant product, portfolio, and market. Specifically, (1) the proposed change to utilize the sensitivity approach would provide better margin coverage for FICC, (2) the proposed use of the Margin Proxy as an alternative volatility calculation would help to ensure that FICC has a margin methodology in place that effectively measures FICC's exposure to Netting Members in the event that a vendor data disruption reduces the reliability of the margin amount calculated by the proposed sensitivity-based VaR model, (3) the proposed haircut method would provide a better assessment of the risks associated with classes of securities with inadequate historical pricing data, (4) the proposed VaR Floor would limit FICC's credit exposures to Netting Members in the event that the proposed VaR model utilizing the sensitivity approach yields too low a VaR Charge for such portfolios, (5) the proposal eliminates the Blackout Period Exposure, Coverage Charge and augmented volatility adjustment multiplier because FICC should not maintain elements of the prior model that would unnecessarily increase Netting Members' Required Fund Deposits, (6) the proposal to add the proposed Blackout Period Exposure Adjustment as a new component would limit FICC's credit exposures during the Blackout Period caused by GCF Repo Transactions collateralized mortgage-backed securities with risk characteristics that are not effectively captured by the Required Fund Deposit calculation, (7) the proposal to amend the Backtesting Charge to consider backtesting deficiencies attributable to GCF Repo Transactions collateralized with mortgage-backed securities during the Blackout Period would help to ensure that FICC could cover credit exposure to GCF Counterparties, (8) the proposed Intraday Backtesting Charge would help to ensure that FICC collects appropriate margin from Netting Members that have backtesting deficiencies during the trading day due to large fluctuations of intraday trading activity that could pose risk to FICC in the event that such Netting Members defaults during the trading day, and (9) the proposed change to the Excess Capital Premium calculation would help to ensure that FICC does not unnecessarily increase its calculation and collection of Required Fund Deposit amounts for Broker Netting Members, Inter-Dealer Broker Netting Members and Dealer Netting Members.

    Therefore, FICC believes that the proposed changes are consistent with the requirements of Rule 17Ad-22(e)(6)(i) cited above because the collective proposed rule changes would consider, and produce margin levels commensurate with, the risks and particular attributes of each relevant product, portfolio, and market.

    Rule 17Ad-22(e)(6)(ii) under the Act 76 requires a clearing agency to establish, implement, maintain and enforce written policies and procedures reasonably designed to cover its credit exposures to its participants by establishing a risk-based margin system that, at a minimum, marks participant positions to market and collects margin, including variation margin or equivalent charges if relevant, at least daily and includes the authority and operational capacity to make intraday margin calls in defined circumstances.

    76See 17 CFR 240.17Ad-22(e)(6)(ii).

    FICC believes that the proposed changes are consistent Rule 17Ad-22(e)(6)(ii) of the Act cited above because the proposed Intraday Backtesting Charge would help to ensure that FICC collects appropriate margin from Netting Members that have backtesting deficiencies during the trading day due to large fluctuations of intraday trading activity that could pose risk to FICC in the event that such Netting Members defaults during the trading day. Therefore, FICC believes that the proposed Intraday Backtesting Charge would provide GSD with the authority and operational capacity to make intraday margin calls in a manner that is consistent with Rule 17Ad-22(e)(6)(ii) of the Act cited above.

    Rule 17Ad-22(e)(6)(iii) under the Act 77 requires a clearing agency to establish, implement, maintain and enforce written policies and procedures reasonably designed to cover its credit exposures to its participants by establishing a risk-based margin system that, at a minimum, calculates margin sufficient to cover its potential future exposure to participants in the interval between the last margin collection and the close out of positions following a participant default.

    77See 17 CFR 240.17Ad-22(e)(6)(iii).

    FICC believes that the proposed changes are consistent Rule 17Ad-22(e)(6)(iii) of the Act cited above because the proposed changes are designed to calculate Required Fund Deposit amounts that are sufficient to cover FICC's potential future exposure to Netting Members in the interval between the last margin collection and the close out of positions following a participant default. Specifically, (1) the proposed change to utilize the sensitivity approach would provide better margin coverage for FICC, (2) the proposed use of the Margin Proxy as an alternative volatility calculation would help to ensure that FICC has a margin methodology in place that effectively measures FICC's exposure to Netting Members in the event that a vendor data disruption reduces the reliability of the margin amount calculated by the proposed sensitivity-based VaR model, (3) the proposed haircut method would provide a better assessment of the risks associated with classes of securities with inadequate historical pricing data, (4) the proposed VaR Floor would limit FICC's credit exposures to Netting Members in the event that the proposed VaR model utilizing the sensitivity approach yields too low a VaR Charge for such portfolios, (5) the proposal eliminates the Blackout Period Exposure, Coverage Charge and augmented volatility adjustment multiplier because FICC should not maintain elements of the prior model that would unnecessarily increase Netting Members' Required Fund Deposits, (6) the proposal to add the proposed Blackout Period Exposure Adjustment as a new component would limit FICC's credit exposures during the Blackout Period caused by GCF Repo Transactions collateralized mortgage-backed securities with risk characteristics that are not effectively captured by the Required Fund Deposit calculation, (7) the proposal to amend the Backtesting Charge to consider backtesting deficiencies attributable to GCF Repo Transactions collateralized with mortgage-backed securities during the Blackout Period would help to ensure that FICC could cover credit exposure to GCF Counterparties, (8) the proposed Intraday Backtesting Charge would help to ensure that FICC collects appropriate margin from Netting Members that have backtesting deficiencies during the trading day due to large fluctuations of intraday trading activity that could pose risk to FICC in the event that such Netting Members defaults during the trading day, and (9) the proposed change to the Excess Capital Premium calculation would help to ensure that FICC does not unnecessarily increase its calculation and collection of Required Fund Deposit amounts for Broker Netting Members, Inter-Dealer Broker Netting Members and Dealer Netting Members.

    Therefore, FICC believes that the proposed changes would be consistent with Rule 17Ad-22(e)(6)(iii) of the Act cited above because the proposed rules changes would collectively be designed to help ensure that FICC calculates Required Fund Deposit amounts that are sufficient to cover FICC's potential future exposure to Netting Members in the interval between the last margin collection and the close out of positions following a participant default.

    Rule 17Ad-22(e)(6)(iv) under the Act 78 requires a clearing agency to establish, implement, maintain and enforce written policies and procedures reasonably designed to cover its credit exposures to its participants by establishing a risk-based margin system that, at a minimum, uses reliable sources of timely price data and procedures and sound valuation models for addressing circumstances in which pricing data are not readily available or reliable.

    78See 17 CFR 240.17Ad-22(e)(6)(iv).

    FICC believes that the proposed change to implement a haircut method for securities that lack sufficient historical information is consistent with Rule 17Ad-22(e)(6)(iv) of the Act cited above because the proposed change would allow FICC to use appropriate market data to estimate an appropriate margin at a 99% confidence level, thus helping to ensure that sufficient margin would be calculated for portfolios that contain these securities.

    Rule 17Ad-22(e)(6)(v) under the Act 79 requires a clearing agency to establish, implement, maintain and enforce written policies and procedures reasonably designed to cover its credit exposures to its participants by establishing a risk-based margin system that, at a minimum, uses an appropriate method for measuring credit exposure that accounts for relevant product risk factors and portfolio effects across products.

    79See 17 CFR 240.17Ad-22(e)(6)(v).

    FICC believes that the proposed changes to implement a haircut method for securities that lack sufficient historical information is consistent with Rule 17Ad-22(e)(6)(v) of the Act cited above because the haircut method would allow FICC to use appropriate market data to estimate an appropriate margin at a 99% confident level, thus helping to ensure that sufficient margin would be calculated for portfolios that contain these securities.

    FICC also believes that its proposal to replace the Blackout Period Exposure Charge with the Blackout Period Exposure Adjustment is consistent with Rule 17Ad-22(e)(6)(v) of the Act cited above because the proposed Blackout Period Exposure Adjustment would limit FICC's credit exposures during the Blackout Period caused by portfolios with collateralized mortgage-backed securities with risk characteristics that are not effectively captured by the Required Fund Deposit calculation.

    Therefore, FICC believes that the proposed haircut method and the proposed Blackout Period Exposure Adjustment are consistent with Rule 17Ad-22(e)(6)(v) of the Act cited above because the proposed changes appropriate method for measuring credit exposure that accounts for relevant product risk factors and portfolio effects across products.

    (B) Clearing Agency's Statement on Burden on Competition

    FICC does not believe that the implementation of the risk management changes that comprise the proposed rule change related to the Required Fund Deposit calculations would impose any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the Act.80

    80See 15 U.S.C. 78q-1(b)(3)(I).

    FICC believes that the proposed rule change could have an impact upon competition because implementation of the risk management changes that comprise the proposed rule change would produce changes in the daily calculations of Netting Members' Required Fund Deposits, and thus will either increase or decrease Netting Members' Required Fund Deposits for each day when compared to the calculation of the Required Fund Deposit methodology that FICC currently uses. The proposed changes to the calculation of the Required Fund Deposit could both burden competition and promote competition, at different points in time, by altering Netting Members' Required Fund Deposits. At any point in time when the proposed change to the calculation of the Required Fund Deposit produces relatively greater increases in Required Fund Deposits for Netting Members that have lower operating margins or higher costs of capital than other Netting Members, the proposed change would burden competition. Conversely, when such Netting Members' Required Fund Deposits are reduced because of the proposed change to the calculation of the Required Fund Deposit, the change may promote competition. Because (i) all Netting Members are expected to experience both increases and decreases in Required Fund Deposits compared to the amounts that would be calculated using the existing methodology, depending on each Netting Member's particular portfolio and market conditions, and (ii) no particular category of Netting Member is expected to experience materially greater increases or decreases than other Netting Members, FICC believes that the proposed change will not impose a significant burden on competition.

    FICC believes that any burden on competition that is created by the proposed rule change is necessary in furtherance of the Act because, as described above, the GSD Rules must be designed to assure the safeguarding of securities and funds that are in its custody or control or for which it is responsible.81 The proposed rule change would support FICC's compliance with Rules 17Ad-22(e)(4)(i) and (e)(6)(i), (ii), (iii), (iv) and (v) under the Act 82 for the reasons explained above in Item II.(A)2.

    81See 15 U.S.C. 78q-1(b)(3)(F).

    82See 17 CFR 240.17Ad-22(e)(4)(i) and (e)(6)(i), (ii), (iii), (iv) and (v).

    FICC believes that the risk management changes that comprise the proposed rule change are appropriate in furtherance of the Act because they enhance FICC's methodology for calculating margin requirements by implementing an improved risk-based approach that provides better coverage for FICC with respect to its credit exposures to Netting Members while not significantly increasing Netting Members' Required Fund Deposits when averaged across time. The financial impact of and risk management benefit of each change is further described below.

    Impact of the Proposed Sensitivity Approach

    Utilization of the proposed sensitivity approach to calculate the VaR Charge rather than the existing full revaluation approach with the augmented volatility multiplier is expected, generally, to generate higher VaR Charges during volatile market periods and lower VaR Charges during normal market conditions. While the degree of impact depends upon each Netting Member's particular portfolio, Netting Members that submit similar portfolios will have similar impacts to their VaR Charges during both volatile and normal market conditions. To the extent that a Netting Member's portfolio may pose a greater risk to FICC than would have been captured under the full revaluation approach with the augmented volatility multiplier, such Netting Member will have higher VaR Charges, particularly during volatile market conditions. FICC believes that any burden on competition that derives from the proposed sensitivity approach is necessary in furtherance of the Act because the proposed approach corrects the deficiencies in the existing model and it provides better margin coverage for FICC. Additionally, FICC believes that any burden on competition that derives from the proposed sensitivity approach is appropriate in furtherance of the Act because the proposed approach would produce VaR Charges that are consistent with the current VaR Charge calculation as supplemented by Margin Proxy.

    FICC performed an impact study of the portfolio level VaR Charge under the proposed methodology for the period January 3, 2013 through December 30, 2016 and backtested the performance of the CFR that includes the proposed sensitivity approach from May 2016 through October 2017. This analysis revealed that, under the proposed sensitivity approach, the portfolio level backtesting coverage of the VaR Charge is similar to the existing VaR Charge supplemented by Margin Proxy for the majority of Netting Members, but would have increased for 24% of the Netting Members' portfolios. The rolling 12 months coverage of CFR for May 2016 through October 2017 using the proposed methodology was more stable than the current methodology and remained above 99% for the entire observation period. Implementing the proposed sensitivity approach improves the risk-based model that FICC employs to set margin requirements and better limits FICC's credit exposures to participants.

    Impact of the Margin Proxy as a Proposed Alternative Methodology

    The Margin Proxy would be used as an alternative methodology to calculate the VaR Charge in the event that the data needed to operate the VaR model becomes unavailable for an extended period of time. Invocation of the Margin Proxy could produce slightly higher VaR Charges for Netting Members when compared to the proposed VaR model because the Margin Proxy could reduce certain risk offsets among portfolio positions. FICC believes that any burden on competition that derives from the proposed use of the Margin Proxy is necessary in furtherance of the Act because the Margin Proxy would help to ensure that FICC has a margin methodology in place that effectively measures FICC's exposure to Netting Members in the event that a vendor data disruption reduces the reliability of the margin amount calculated by the proposed sensitivity-based VaR model. FICC believes that any burden on competition that derives from the proposed use of the Margin Proxy is appropriate in furtherance of the Act because (1) FICC's ongoing monitoring of the Margin Proxy would help to ensure that the Margin Proxy calculates VaR Charges that are reasonably consistent with the sensitivity approach and (2) FICC expects that the Margin Proxy would rarely be invoked.

    Impact of the Proposed Change To Utilize a Haircut Method To Measure the Risk Exposure of Securities That Lack Historical Data

    The proposed haircut method would be applied to classes of securities that cannot be processed by the proposed VaR model because such securities have inadequate historical pricing data. The proposed haircut approach could produce higher VaR Charges for Netting Members with portfolios with these classes of securities. FICC believes that any burden on competition that derives from implementing the proposed haircut method is necessary in furtherance of the Act because the proposed haircut method provides a better assessment of the risks associated with these securities and therefore would enhance FICC's ability to limit its credit exposures to participants. FICC believes that any burden on competition that derives from implementing the proposed haircut method is appropriate in furtherance of the Act because FICC would continue to manage the market risk of clearing these securities by conducting analysis on the type of securities that cannot be processed by the proposed VaR model and engaging in periodic reviews of the haircuts used for calculating margin for these types of securities.

    Impact of the Proposed VaR Floor

    The proposed VaR Floor would establish a minimum VaR Charge for Netting Members that have portfolios with long and short positions in different classes of securities that have a high degree of historical price correlation. Implementing the VaR Floor will likely increase Required Fund Deposits for such Netting Members because such portfolios might generate a lower VaR Charge using the sensitivity calculations alone. FICC believes that any burden on competition that derives from the proposed VaR Floor is necessary in furtherance of the Act because the proposed VaR Floor would enhance FICC's ability to limit its credit exposures to participants in the event that the proposed VaR model utilizing the sensitivity approach yields too low a VaR Charge for such portfolios. FICC believes that any burden on competition that derives from the proposed VaR Floor is appropriate in furtherance of the Act because the proposed VaR Floor would help to ensure that FICC has sufficient margin in the event that FICC is required to liquidate or hedge a large securities portfolio in stressed market conditions.

    Impact of the Proposed Blackout Period Exposure Adjustment

    The proposed Blackout Period Exposure Adjustment would be applied, in the form of a credit or charge, to the VaR Charge for GCF Counterparties with GCF Repo Transactions collateralized with mortgage-backed securities during the Blackout Period. The proposed Blackout Period Exposure Adjustment is expected to either increase or decrease a GCF Counterparty's Required Fund Deposit amount if such participant has GCF Repo Transactions collateralized with mortgage-backed securities during the monthly Blackout Period. While the degree of the impact would depend upon the amount and type of mortgage-backed securities used to collateralize GCF Repo Transactions, GCF Counterparties that have similar amounts of mortgage-backed securities are likely to have a similar Blackout Period Exposure Adjustment. Nevertheless, GCF Counterparties that are assessed a Blackout Period Exposure Adjustment may experience a lower Required Fund Deposit in the future because such GCF Counterparties would be less likely to experience backtesting deficiencies and therefore may not be subject to a Backtesting Charge. As noted above, the proposed Blackout Period Exposure Adjustment would be calculated by (1) projecting an average pay-down rate for the government sponsored enterprises (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) and the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae), respectively, then (2) multiplying the projected pay-down rate 83 by the net positions of mortgage-backed securities in the related program, and (3) summing the results from each program. Because the projected pay-down rate would be an average of the weighted averages of pay-down rates for all active mortgage pools of the related program during the three most recent preceding months, it is possible that the proposed Blackout Period Exposure Adjustment could overestimate the amount for a GCF Counterparty with a portfolio that primarily includes slower paying mortgage-backed securities or underestimate the amount for a GCF Counterparty with a portfolio that primarily includes faster paying mortgage-backed securities. FICC believes that any burden on competition that derives from the proposed Blackout Period Exposure Adjustment is necessary in furtherance of the Act because the proposed Blackout Period Exposure Adjustment would effectively measure and limit FICC's credit exposures during the Blackout Period caused by portfolios with collateralized mortgage-backed securities with risk characteristics that are not effectively captured by the existing components of the Required Fund Deposit calculation. FICC believes that any burden on competition that derives from the proposed Blackout Period Exposure Adjustment is appropriate in furtherance of the Act because the proposed Blackout Period Exposure Adjustment is designed to help ensure that GCF Counterparties with collateralized mortgage-backed securities maintain a backtesting coverage above the 99% confidence threshold. Further, FICC would continue to monitor the realized pay-down against FICC's weighted average pay-down rates and its vendor's projected pay-down rates as part of the model performance monitoring. Further, in the event that a GCF Counterparty continues to experience backtesting deficiencies, FICC would apply a Backtesting Charge, which as described in section F above, would be amended to consider backtesting deficiencies attributable to GCF Repo Transactions during the Blackout Period.

    83 GSD would calculate the projected average pay-down rates each month using historical pool factor pay-down rates that are weighted by historical positions during each of the prior three months. Specifically, the projected pay-down rate for a current Blackout Period would be an average of the weighted averages of pay-down rates for all active mortgage pools of the related program during the three most recent preceding months.

    Impact of the Proposed Elimination of the Blackout Period Exposure Charge, Coverage Charge and Augmented Volatility Adjustment Multiplier

    The proposed removal of the Blackout Period Exposure Charge, Coverage Charge and augmented volatility adjustment multiplier would reduce Netting Members' Required Fund Deposits by eliminating charges that are no longer necessary following implementation of the other changes that comprise the proposed rule change. FICC believes that any burden on competition that derives from eliminating the Coverage Charge and augmented volatility adjustment multiplier are necessary in furtherance of the Act because the proposed changes support FICC's implementation of policies and procedures reasonably designed to limit its credit exposures to participants and use of risk-based models to set margin requirements. FICC believes that any burden on competition that derives from eliminating the Coverage Charge and augmented volatility adjustment multiplier are appropriate in furtherance of the Act because FICC should not maintain elements of the prior model that would unnecessarily increase Netting Members' Required Fund Deposits.

    Impact of the Proposed Change To Amend the Backtesting Charge To Include Backtesting Deficiencies That Are Attributable to GCF Repo Transactions Collateralized With Mortgage-Backed Securities During Blackout Period

    The proposed change to amend the Backtesting Charge to include backtesting deficiencies attributable to GCF Repo Transactions collateralized with mortgage-backed securities during the Blackout Period could increase a GCF Counterparty's Required Fund Deposit amount if the third largest deficiency amount used to calculate the Backtesting Charge is larger during the Blackout Period. FICC believes that any burden on competition that derives from the proposed change is necessary in furtherance of the Act because the proposed change would help FICC to maintain its credit exposures to such GCF Repo Participant at a confidence level of at least 99%. FICC believes that any burden on competition that derives from the proposed change is appropriate in furtherance of the Act because the proposed change would help to ensure that FICC collects appropriate margin from a GCF Counterparty with exposures due to decreases in the collateral value of mortgage-backed securities during the monthly Blackout Period that would not be captured by the proposed Blackout Period Exposure Adjustment. FICC believes that imposing the proposed Backtesting Charge during the Blackout Period protects FICC against the risk that a defaulted GCF Counterparty's portfolio contains exposure to GCF Repo Transactions collateralized with mortgage-backed securities that would not be adequately captured by the GCF Counterparty's Required Fund Deposit.

    Impact of the Proposed Change To Assess an Intraday Backtesting Charge

    The proposed change to assess an Intraday Backtesting Charge would increase Netting Members' Required Fund Deposits because FICC would apply an Intraday Backtesting Charge in the event that a Netting Member experiences multiple intraday backtesting deficiencies. FICC believes that any burden on competition that derives from the proposed change to assess an Intraday Backtesting Charge is necessary in furtherance of the Act because the proposed Intraday Backtesting Charge would help to ensure that FICC collects appropriate margin from Netting Members that have backtesting deficiencies during the trading day due to large fluctuations of intraday trading activity that could pose risk to FICC in the event that such Netting Members defaults during the trading day. FICC believes that any burden on competition that derives from the proposed change is appropriate in furtherance of the Act because the Intraday Backtesting Charge would be commensurat