Federal Register Vol. 83, No.226,

Federal Register Volume 83, Issue 226 (November 23, 2018)

Page Range59269-60332
FR Document

83_FR_226
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
83 FR 60331 - National Family Week, 2018PDF
83 FR 59423 - Sunshine Act MeetingsPDF
83 FR 59424 - Sunshine Act MeetingsPDF
83 FR 59380 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
83 FR 59383 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
83 FR 59417 - U.S.-EU Trade Agreement: Advice on the Probable Economic Effect of Providing Duty-Free Treatment for Currently Dutiable Imports; Institution of Investigation and Scheduling of HearingPDF
83 FR 59377 - Environmental Impact Statements; Notice of AvailabilityPDF
83 FR 59442 - R.J. Corman Railroad Group, LLC and R.J. Corman Railroad Company, LLC-Acquisition of Control Exemption-Nashville and Western Railroad Corp. and Nashville & Eastern Railroad Corp.PDF
83 FR 59442 - Certification Pursuant to Section 704 I(F)(3) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2018PDF
83 FR 59398 - Florida; Amendment No. 7 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
83 FR 59408 - Public Meeting of the National Geospatial Advisory CommitteePDF
83 FR 59390 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 59391 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 59362 - Determination of Overfishing or an Overfished ConditionPDF
83 FR 59419 - Request for Letters of Intent To Apply for 2019 Pro Bono Innovation Fund GrantsPDF
83 FR 59379 - Proposed Information Collection Request; Comment Request; Distribution of Offsite Consequence Analysis Information Under Section 112(r)(7)(H) of the Clean Air Act (CAA), as Amended-EPA No. 1981.07, OMB Control Number 2050-0172PDF
83 FR 59348 - Air Plan Approval; Missouri; Emissions Inventory for the Missouri Jackson County and Jefferson County 2010 Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standard Nonattainment AreasPDF
83 FR 59378 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Generator Standards Applicable to Laboratories Owned by Eligible Academic Entities.PDF
83 FR 59400 - Changes in Flood Hazard DeterminationsPDF
83 FR 59444 - Ithaca Central Railroad, LLC-Lease and Operation Exemption-Norfolk Southern Railway CompanyPDF
83 FR 59443 - Watco Holdings, Inc.-Continuance in Control Exemption-Ithaca Central Railroad, LLCPDF
83 FR 59385 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 59377 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; General Hazardous Waste Facility StandardsPDF
83 FR 59393 - Proposed Flood Hazard DeterminationsPDF
83 FR 59394 - Changes in Flood Hazard DeterminationsPDF
83 FR 59307 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Delaware River, Pennsauken Township, NJPDF
83 FR 59385 - Agenda; Board MeetingPDF
83 FR 59449 - Advisory Committee on Women Veterans, Notice of MeetingPDF
83 FR 59412 - Gateway National Recreation Area Fort Hancock 21st Century Advisory Committee Notice of Public MeetingPDF
83 FR 59412 - Na Hoa Pili O Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park Advisory Commission Notice of Public MeetingPDF
83 FR 59363 - Grant of Interim Extension of the Term of U.S. Patent No. 8,311,629; OPTIMIZER® Smart Implantable Pulse GeneratorPDF
83 FR 59343 - Estate and Gift Taxes; Difference in the Basic Exclusion AmountPDF
83 FR 59364 - Grant of Interim Extension of the Term of U.S. Patent No. 8,260,416; OPTIMIZER® Smart Implantable Pulse GeneratorPDF
83 FR 59312 - Safety Zones; Pipeline Construction, Tennessee River Miles 465 to 466, Chattanooga, TNPDF
83 FR 59370 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 59353 - Pilot Program for Collaborative Research on Motor Vehicles With High or Full Driving Automation; Extension of Comment PeriodPDF
83 FR 59399 - Georgia; Amendment No. 6 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
83 FR 59442 - Tulsa-Sapulpa Union Railway Company, L.L.C.-Lease Renewal Exemption With Interchange Commitment-Union Pacific Railroad CompanyPDF
83 FR 59397 - Georgia; Amendment No. 5 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
83 FR 59371 - International Energy Agency MeetingsPDF
83 FR 59398 - Proposed Flood Hazard DeterminationsPDF
83 FR 59403 - Notice of the President's National Infrastructure Advisory Council MeetingPDF
83 FR 59269 - Rural Development Environmental Regulation for Rural Infrastructure ProjectsPDF
83 FR 59318 - Rural Development Environmental Regulation for Rural Infrastructure ProjectsPDF
83 FR 59363 - Nominations to the Marine Fisheries Advisory CommitteePDF
83 FR 59382 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection Renewal; Comment Request (OMB No. 3064-0093)PDF
83 FR 59440 - Data Collection Available for Public CommentsPDF
83 FR 59358 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 87-Lake Charles, Louisiana, Notification of Proposed Production Activity, Driftwood LNG, LLC (Liquified Natural Gas Processing), Sulphur, LouisianaPDF
83 FR 59358 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 18-San Jose, California; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; Bloom Energy Corporation (Commercial Fuel Cells and Related Subassemblies), Sunnyvale and Mountain View, CaliforniaPDF
83 FR 59360 - Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods From India: Notice of Correction to the Amended Final Determination and Amendment of the Antidumping Duty OrderPDF
83 FR 59441 - Data Collection Available for Public CommentsPDF
83 FR 59444 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Epilepsy and Seizure DisordersPDF
83 FR 59411 - Notice of Availability of Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Dairy Syncline Mine and Reclamation Plan, Caribou County, IdahoPDF
83 FR 59447 - Advisory Committee on Aviation Consumer Protection Matters; Subcommittee on In-Flight Sexual MisconductPDF
83 FR 59449 - Advisory Committee on the Readjustment of Veterans; Notice of MeetingPDF
83 FR 59369 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 59363 - Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Surfclam and Ocean Quahog Fisheries; Notice That Vendor Will Provide 2019 Cage TagsPDF
83 FR 59364 - Army Education Advisory Subcommittee Meeting NoticePDF
83 FR 59365 - Expeditionary Technology Search (xTechSearch) II Prize Competition AnnouncementPDF
83 FR 59378 - Environmental Impact Statements; Notice of AvailabilityPDF
83 FR 59303 - DoD Identity ManagementPDF
83 FR 59354 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 59414 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Diversions, Return Flow, and Consumptive Use of Colorado River Water in the Lower Colorado River BasinPDF
83 FR 59357 - Notice of Intent To Request To Conduct a New Information CollectionPDF
83 FR 59354 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Extension of Approved Collection; Comment Request; Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service DeliveryPDF
83 FR 59439 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 59431 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 59432 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 59448 - Notice of OFAC Sanctions ActionPDF
83 FR 59362 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 59409 - Proposed Finding Against Federal Acknowledgment of the Southern Sierra Miwuk NationPDF
83 FR 59315 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; State of Utah; Logan Nonattainment Area Fine Particulate Matter State Implementation Plan for Attainment of 2006 24-Hour Fine Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality StandardsPDF
83 FR 59371 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; International Resource Information System (IRIS)PDF
83 FR 59446 - Hazardous Materials: Information Collection ActivitiesPDF
83 FR 59425 - New Postal ProductsPDF
83 FR 59408 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Human Capital Management Strengths and Needs AssessmentPDF
83 FR 59392 - Collection of Information Under Review by Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0044PDF
83 FR 59386 - Approval of Product Under Voucher: Rare Pediatric Disease Priority Review VoucherPDF
83 FR 59380 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request (OMB No. 3064-0072)PDF
83 FR 59350 - Air Quality Designation for the 2010 Sulfur Dioxide (SO2PDF
83 FR 59356 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 59370 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 59375 - Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Gulf LNG Liquefaction Project: Gulf LNG Liquefaction Company, LLC; Gulf LNG Energy, LLC; Gulf LNG Pipeline, LLCPDF
83 FR 59373 - City of Woonsocket; Notice of Application Tendered for Filing With the Commission and Soliciting Additional Study Requests and Establishing Procedural Schedule for Relicensing and a Deadline for Submission of Final AmendmentsPDF
83 FR 59432 - In the Matter of the BOX Exchange LLC Regarding a Suspension of and Order Instituting Proceedings To Determine Whether To Approve or Disapprove a Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Fee Schedule on the BOX Market LLC Options Facility To Establish BOX Connectivity Fees for Participants and Non-Participants Who Connect to the BOX Network (File No. SR-BOX-2018-24); Order Granting Petition for Review and Scheduling Filing of StatementsPDF
83 FR 59435 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Miami International Securities Exchange, LLC; Notice of Filing of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend Exchange Rule 518, Complex OrdersPDF
83 FR 59429 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BOX Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Permit Up to Ten Expiration Months for Long-Term Options on the SPDR® S&P® 500 Exchange-Traded Fund Shares (“SPY”)PDF
83 FR 59427 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; National Securities Clearing Corporation; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Enhance the Mutual Fund Profile Service To Provide for the Transmission of Event Notifications Through a New Feature Called MF Info XchangePDF
83 FR 59433 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq PHLX LLC; Order Approving a Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rules 1000, 1064, and 1069 To Allow for the Snapshot Functionality of the Floor-Based Management System To Be Used for All OrdersPDF
83 FR 59367 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 59374 - City of Radford; Notice of Availability of Environmental AssessmentPDF
83 FR 59373 - CITGO Petroleum Corporation v. Colonial Pipeline Company; Notice of ComplaintPDF
83 FR 59415 - Certain Two-Way Radio Equipment and Systems, Related Software and Components Thereof; Commission Decision To Affirm-in-Part, Modify-in-Part, Reverse-in-Part, and Strike Certain Portions of a Final Initial Determination Finding a Violation of Section 337; Issuance of Limited Exclusion Order and Cease and Desist Orders; and Termination of the InvestigationPDF
83 FR 59356 - Notice of Request for an Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Nomination Request Form; Animal Disease TrainingPDF
83 FR 60306 - United States v. GS Caltex Corp. et al.; Proposed Final Judgments and Competitive Impact StatementPDF
83 FR 59368 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 59448 - Publication of the Tier 2 Tax RatesPDF
83 FR 59366 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 59418 - Notice of the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) Credit Reduction Applicable in 2018PDF
83 FR 59312 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Three Mile Slough, Rio Vista, CAPDF
83 FR 59406 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Policy for Evaluation of Conservation Efforts When Making Listing Decisions (PECE)PDF
83 FR 59424 - Establishment of Atomic Safety and Licensing Board: Interim Storage Partners LLCPDF
83 FR 59422 - Business and Operations Advisory Committee; Notice of MeetingPDF
83 FR 59426 - Product Change-Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, & First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
83 FR 59426 - Product Change-Priority Mail Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
83 FR 59434 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 59404 - Notice of Certain Operating Cost Adjustment Factors for 2019PDF
83 FR 59388 - Meeting of the Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant BacteriaPDF
83 FR 59368 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 59422 - Cost Accounting Standards Board Meeting AgendaPDF
83 FR 59288 - Airworthiness Directives; Zodiac Seats France Cabin Attendant SeatsPDF
83 FR 59386 - Notice of Request for Information; A Notice by the Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant BacteriaPDF
83 FR 59314 - Safety Zone; Lower Mississippi River, Mile Markers 94 to 95 Above Head of Passes, New Orleans, LAPDF
83 FR 59413 - Agency Information Collection Activities; National Historic Landmarks Nomination FormPDF
83 FR 59413 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Using Web and Mobile-Based Applications During NPS Citizen Science EventsPDF
83 FR 59426 - Transfer of Inbound Letter Post Small Packets and Bulky Letters, and Inbound Registered Service Associated With Such Items, to Competitive Product ListPDF
83 FR 59390 - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
83 FR 59389 - National Institute on Drug Abuse; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
83 FR 59389 - National Institute on Drug Abuse; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
83 FR 59383 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection Renewal; Comment Request (OMB No. 3064-0117; -0145; and -0152)PDF
83 FR 59318 - Fidelity BondsPDF
83 FR 59272 - Appraisals for Higher-Priced Mortgage Loans Exemption ThresholdPDF
83 FR 59276 - Truth in Lending (Regulation Z)PDF
83 FR 59274 - Consumer Leasing (Regulation M)PDF
83 FR 59285 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus SAS AirplanesPDF
83 FR 59328 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus SAS AirplanesPDF
83 FR 59326 - Airworthiness Directives; Dassault Aviation AirplanesPDF
83 FR 59359 - Notice of Commencement of a Compliance Proceeding Pursuant to Section 129 of the Uruguay Round Agreements ActPDF
83 FR 59295 - Accounting and Ratemaking Treatment of Accumulated Deferred Income Taxes and Treatment Following the Sale or Retirement of an AssetPDF
83 FR 59331 - Public Utility Transmission Rate Changes To Address Accumulated Deferred Income TaxesPDF
83 FR 59290 - Airworthiness Directives; Zodiac Aero Evacuation Systems (also known as Air Cruisers Company)PDF
83 FR 59278 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus SAS AirplanesPDF
83 FR 59836 - Medicare Program; Revisions to Payment Policies Under the Physician Fee Schedule and Other Revisions to Part B for CY 2019; Medicare Shared Savings Program Requirements; Quality Payment Program; Medicaid Promoting Interoperability Program; Quality Payment Program Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstance Policy for the 2019 MIPS Payment Year; Provisions From the Medicare Shared Savings Program Accountable Care OrganizationsPathways to Success; and Expanding the Use of Telehealth Services for the Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder Under the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention That Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities ActPDF

Issue

83 226 Friday, November 23, 2018 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

See

Farm Service Agency

See

Forest Service

See

National Agricultural Statistics Service

See

Rural Business-Cooperative Service

See

Rural Housing Service

See

Rural Utilities Service

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 59354-59356 2018-25476 2018-25499 Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery, 59354 2018-25493
Animal Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Animal Disease Training, 59356-59357 2018-25462 Antitrust Division Antitrust Division NOTICES Proposed Final Judgment and Competitive Impact Statement: United States v. GS Caltex Corp. et al., 60306-60327 2018-25461 Army Army Department NOTICES Meetings: Army Education Advisory Subcommittee, 59364-59365 2018-25503 Prize Competitions: Expeditionary Technology Search II, 59365-59366 2018-25502 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection RULES Appraisals for Higher-Priced Mortgage Loans Exemption Threshold, 59272-59274 2018-25400 Consumer Leasing (Regulation M), 59274-59276 2018-25396 Truth in Lending (Regulation Z), 59276-59278 2018-25398 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services RULES Medicare Program: Revisions to Payment Policies under the Physician Fee Schedule and Other Revisions to Part B for CY 2019; Medicare Shared Savings Program Requirements; Quality Payment Program; Medicaid Promoting Interoperability Program; etc., 59836-60303 2018-24170 Children Children and Families Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 59385-59386 2018-25548 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: Delaware River, Pennsauken Township, NJ, 59307-59312 2018-25544 Three Mile Slough, Rio Vista, CA, 59312 2018-25455 Safety Zones: Lower Mississippi River, Mile Markers 94 to 95 Above Head of Passes, New Orleans, LA, 59314 2018-25434 Pipeline Construction, Tennessee River Miles 465 to 466, Chattanooga, TN, 59312-59314 2018-25536 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 59392-59393 2018-25481 Commerce Commerce Department See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

See

Patent and Trademark Office

Comptroller Comptroller of the Currency RULES Appraisals for Higher-Priced Mortgage Loans Exemption Threshold, 59272-59274 2018-25400 Defense Department Defense Department See

Army Department

See

Navy Department

RULES DoD Identity Management, 59303-59307 2018-25500 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 59366-59370 2018-25438 2018-25445 2018-25457 2018-25460 2018-25466 2018-25505 2018-25533
Education Department Education Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: International Resource Information System, 59371 2018-25485 Employment and Training Employment and Training Administration NOTICES Federal Unemployment Tax Act Credit Reduction Applicable in 2018, 59418-59419 2018-25456 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

NOTICES Meetings: International Energy Agency, 59371-59373 2018-25526
Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Utah; Logan Nonattainment Area Fine Particulate Matter State Implementation Plan for Attainment of 2006 24-Hour Fine Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards, 59315-59317 2018-25486 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality Designation for the 2010 Sulfur Dioxide Primary National Ambient Air Quality Standard: Arkansas; Redesignation of the Independence County Area, 59350-59352 2018-25477 Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Missouri: Emissions Inventory for the Missouri Jackson County and Jefferson County 2010 Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standard Nonattainment Areas, 59348-59350 2018-25553 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Distribution of Offsite Consequence Analysis Information under Section 112(r)(7)(H) of the Clean Air Act, 59379-59380 2018-25555 General Hazardous Waste Facility Standards, 59377 2018-25547 Generator Standards Applicable to Laboratories Owned by Eligible Academic Entities, 59378 2018-25552 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Weekly Receipts, 59377-59379 2018-25501 2018-25590 Farm Service Farm Service Agency RULES Rural Development Environmental Regulation for Rural Infrastructure Projects, 59269-59272 2018-25523 PROPOSED RULES Rural Development Environmental Regulation for Rural Infrastructure Projects, 59318 2018-25522 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus SAS Airplanes, 59278-59288 2018-24486 2018-25387 Zodiac Aero Evacuation Systems (also known as Air Cruisers Company), 59290-59295 2018-25003 Zodiac Seats France Cabin Attendant Seats, 59288-59290 2018-25436 PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus SAS airplanes, 59328-59331 2018-25386 Dassault Aviation Airplanes, 59326-59328 2018-25385 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 59380-59385 2018-25425 2018-25479 2018-25520 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 59380, 59383 2018-25697 2018-25698 Federal Emergency Federal Emergency Management Agency NOTICES Changes in Flood Hazard Determinations, 59394-59397, 59400-59403 2018-25545 2018-25551 Flood Hazard Determinations; Proposals, 59393-59394, 59398-59399 2018-25525 2018-25546 Major Disaster Declarations: Florida; Amendment No. 7, 59398 2018-25562 Georgia; Amendment No. 5, 59397-59398 2018-25527 Georgia; Amendment No. 6, 59399-59400 2018-25531 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission RULES Accounting and Ratemaking Treatment of Accumulated Deferred Income Taxes and Treatment Following the Sale or Retirement of an Asset, 59295-59303 2018-25372 PROPOSED RULES Public Utility Transmission Rate Changes to Address Accumulated Deferred Income Taxes, 59331-59343 2018-25370 NOTICES Complaints: CITGO Petroleum Corp. v. Colonial Pipeline Co., 59373 2018-25464 Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: City of Radford, 59374-59375 2018-25465 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Gulf LNG Liquefaction Company, LLC; Gulf LNG Energy, LLC; Gulf LNG Pipeline, LLC; Gulf LNG Liquefaction Project, 59375-59377 2018-25473 Hydroelectric Applications: City of Woonsocket, 59373-59374 2018-25472 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration NOTICES Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications: Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders, 59444-59446 2018-25510 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System RULES Appraisals for Higher-Priced Mortgage Loans Exemption Threshold, 59272-59274 2018-25400 Consumer Leasing (Regulation M), 59274-59276 2018-25396 Truth in Lending (Regulation Z), 59276-59278 2018-25398 Federal Retirement Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board NOTICES Meetings: Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, 59385 2018-25543 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Policy for Evaluation of Conservation Efforts when Making Listing Decisions, 59406-59408 2018-25454 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Approval of Product under Voucher: Rare Pediatric Disease Priority Review Voucher, 59386 2018-25480 Foreign Assets Foreign Assets Control Office NOTICES Blocking or Unblocking of Persons and Properties, 59448 2018-25489 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Proposed Production Activities: Bloom Energy Corp., Foreign-Trade Zone 18, San Jose, CA, 59358-59359 2018-25517 Driftwood LNG, LLC, Foreign-Trade Zone 87, Lake Charles, LA, 59358 2018-25518 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Dairy Syncline Mine and Reclamation Plan, Caribou County, Idaho, 59411-59412 2018-25509 Geological Geological Survey NOTICES Meetings: National Geospatial Advisory Committee, 59408 2018-25561 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Children and Families Administration

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

See

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

NOTICES Meetings: Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, 59388-59389 2018-25439 Requests for Information: Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, 59386-59388 2018-25435
Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

Federal Emergency Management Agency

NOTICES Meetings: President's National Infrastructure Advisory Council, 59403-59404 2018-25524
Housing Housing and Urban Development Department NOTICES Certain Operating Cost Adjustment Factors for 2019, 59404-59406 2018-25440 Indian Affairs Indian Affairs Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Human Capital Management Strengths and Needs Assessment, 59408-59409 2018-25482 Proposed Finding against Federal Acknowledgment of the Southern Sierra Miwuk Nation, 59409-59410 2018-25487 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Geological Survey

See

Indian Affairs Bureau

See

Land Management Bureau

See

National Park Service

See

Reclamation Bureau

Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service PROPOSED RULES Estate and Gift Taxes; Difference in the Basic Exclusion Amount, 59343-59348 2018-25538 NOTICES Tier 2 Tax Rates, 59448 2018-25459 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods from India, 59360-59362 2018-25516 Commencement of a Compliance Proceeding Pursuant to Section 129 of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act, 59359-59360 2018-25384 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Two-Way Radio Equipment and Systems, Related Software and Components Thereof, 59415-59417 2018-25463 U.S.-EU Trade Agreement: Advice on the Probable Economic Effect of Providing Duty-free Treatment for Currently Dutiable Imports, 59417-59418 2018-25677 Justice Department Justice Department See

Antitrust Division

Labor Department Labor Department See

Employment and Training Administration

Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Dairy Syncline Mine and Reclamation Plan, Caribou County, Idaho, 59411-59412 2018-25509 Legal Legal Services Corporation NOTICES Request for Letters of Intent to Apply for 2019 Pro Bono Innovation Fund Grants, 59419-59421 2018-25557 Management Management and Budget Office NOTICES Meetings: Cost Accounting Standards Board, 59422 2018-25437 National Agricultural National Agricultural Statistics Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 59357-59358 2018-25496 National Credit National Credit Union Administration PROPOSED RULES Fidelity Bonds, 59318-59326 2018-25402 National Highway National Highway Traffic Safety Administration PROPOSED RULES Pilot Program for Collaborative Research on Motor Vehicles with High or Full Driving Automation; Extension of Comment Period, 59353 2018-25532 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 59390 2018-25428 National Institute on Drug Abuse, 59389-59390 2018-25426 2018-25427 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 59362-59363 2018-25488 Determinations: Overfishing or an Overfished Condition, 59362 2018-25558 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States: Atlantic Surfclam and Ocean Quahog Fisheries; Notice that Vendor Will Provide 2019 Cage Tags, 59363 2018-25504 Requests for Nominations: Nominations to the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee, 59363 2018-25521 National Park National Park Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: National Historic Landmarks Nomination Form, 59413-59414 2018-25431 Using Web and Mobile-Based Applications during NPS Citizen Science Events, 59413 2018-25430 Meetings: Gateway National Recreation Area Fort Hancock 21st Century Advisory Committee, 59412-59413 2018-25541 Na Hoa Pili O Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park Advisory Commission, 59412 2018-25540 National Science National Science Foundation NOTICES Meetings: Business and Operations Advisory Committee, 59422-59423 2018-25451 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 59423-59424 2018-25717 Navy Navy Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 59370-59371 2018-25474 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Establishment of Atomic Safety and Licensing Board: Interim Storage Partners LLC, 59424 2018-25453 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 59424-59425 2018-25701 Patent Patent and Trademark Office NOTICES Interim Extension of the Term of U.S. Patent: OPTIMIZER Smart Implantable Pulse Generator, 59363-59364 2018-25537 2018-25539 Pipeline Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Hazardous Materials, 59446-59447 2018-25484 Postal Regulatory Postal Regulatory Commission NOTICES New Postal Products, 59425-59426 2018-25483 Postal Service Postal Service NOTICES Product Changes: Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, and First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service Agreement, 59426 2018-25450 Priority Mail Negotiated Service Agreement, 59426 2018-25447 2018-25448 2018-25449 Transfer of Inbound Letter Post Small Packets and Bulky Letters, and Inbound Registered Service Associated with Such Items, to Competitive Product List, 59426 2018-25429 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents PROCLAMATIONS Special Observances: National Family Week (Proc. 9826), 60329-60332 2018-25766 Reclamation Reclamation Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Diversions, Return Flow, and Consumptive Use of Colorado River Water in the Lower Colorado River Basin, 59414-59415 2018-25498 Rural Business Rural Business-Cooperative Service RULES Rural Development Environmental Regulation for Rural Infrastructure Projects, 59269-59272 2018-25523 PROPOSED RULES Rural Development Environmental Regulation for Rural Infrastructure Projects, 59318 2018-25522 Rural Housing Service Rural Housing Service RULES Rural Development Environmental Regulation for Rural Infrastructure Projects, 59269-59272 2018-25523 PROPOSED RULES Rural Development Environmental Regulation for Rural Infrastructure Projects, 59318 2018-25522 Rural Utilities Rural Utilities Service RULES Rural Development Environmental Regulation for Rural Infrastructure Projects, 59269-59272 2018-25523 PROPOSED RULES Rural Development Environmental Regulation for Rural Infrastructure Projects, 59318 2018-25522 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 59431-59435, 59439-59440 2018-25442 2018-25490 2018-25491 2018-25492 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: BOX Exchange LLC, 59429-59432 2018-25469 2018-25471 Miami International Securities Exchange, LLC, 59435-59439 2018-25470 Nasdaq PHLX LLC, 59433-59434 2018-25467 National Securities Clearing Corp., 59427-59429 2018-25468 Small Business Small Business Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 59440-59442 2018-25511 2018-25513 2018-25514 2018-25515 2018-25519 State Department State Department NOTICES Certification Pursuant to Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act: Libya, 59442 2018-25563 Substance Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 59390-59392 2018-25559 2018-25560 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board NOTICES Acquisition of Control Exemption: R. J. Corman Railroad Group, LLC and R. J. Corman Railroad Co., LLC; Nashville and Western Railroad Corp. and Nashville and Eastern Railroad Corp., 59442-59443 2018-25574 Continuances in Control; Exemptions: Watco Holdings, Inc.; Ithaca Central Railroad, LLC, 59443-59444 2018-25549 Lease and Operation Exemptions: Ithaca Central Railroad, LLC from Norfolk Southern Railway Co., 59444 2018-25550 Lease Renewal Exemptions with Interchange Commitments: Tulsa-Sapulpa Union Railway Co., LLC; Union Pacific Railroad Co., 59442 2018-25529 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

See

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

See

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

NOTICES Meetings: Aviation Consumer Protection Matters; Subcommittee on In-Flight Sexual Misconduct, 59447-59448 2018-25508
Treasury Treasury Department See

Comptroller of the Currency

See

Foreign Assets Control Office

See

Internal Revenue Service

Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee on the Readjustment of Veterans, 59449 2018-25507 Advisory Committee on Women Veterans, 59449 2018-25542 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Health and Human Services Department, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 59836-60303 2018-24170 Part III Justice Department, Antitrust Division, 60306-60327 2018-25461 Part IV Presidential Documents, 60329-60332 2018-25766 Reader Aids

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

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83 226 Friday, November 23, 2018 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Business-Cooperative Service Rural Housing Service Rural Utilities Service Farm Service Agency 7 CFR Part 1970 RIN 0572-AC44 Rural Development Environmental Regulation for Rural Infrastructure Projects AGENCY:

Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service, Farm Service Agency, USDA.

ACTION:

Direct final rule.

SUMMARY:

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development (RD), comprised of the Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS), Rural Housing Service (RHS), and Rural Utilities Service (RUS), hereafter referred to as the Agency, is issuing a direct final rule to update the Agency's Environmental Policies and Procedures regulation (7 CFR 1970) to allow the Agency Administrators limited flexibility to obligate federal funds for infrastructure projects prior to completion of the environmental review while ensuring full compliance with National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) procedures prior to project construction and disbursement of any RD funding. This change will allow RD to more fully meet the Administration's goals to speed the initiation of infrastructure projects and encourage planned community economic development without additional cost to taxpayers or change to environmental review requirements.

DATES:

This rule is effective January 7, 2019, without further action, unless the Agency receives significant adverse comments or, an intent to submit a significant adverse comment, by December 24, 2018. Written significant adverse comments or, an intent to submit a significant adverse comment, must be received by Rural Development or carry a postmark or equivalent no later than December 24, 2018. If significant adverse comments are received, the Agency will publish a timely Federal Register document withdrawing this rule. The Agency is publishing a proposed rule contemporaneously with this final rule.

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments on this rule by any of the following methods:

Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and, in the lower “Search Regulations and Federal Actions” box, select “Rural Utilities Service” from the agency drop-down menu, then click on “Submit.” In the Docket ID column, select RUS-18-AGENCY-0005 to submit or view public comments and to view supporting and related materials available electronically. Information on using Regulations.gov, including instructions for accessing documents, submitting comments, and viewing the docket after the close of the comment period, is available through the site's “User Tips” link.

Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Please send your comment addressed to Michele Brooks, Rural Development Innovation Center, Regulations Team Lead, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Stop 1522, Room 1562, Washington, DC 20250. Please state that your comment refers to Docket No. RUS-18-AGENCY-0005.

Other Information: Additional information about Rural Development and its programs is available on the internet at https://www.usda.gov/topics/rural.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Kellie McGinness Kubena, Director, Engineering and Environmental Staff, Rural Utilities Service, USDA Rural Development, 1400 Independence Ave SW, Mail Stop 1571, Room 2242, Washington, DC 20250-1571 Phone: 202-720-1649.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Executive Order 12866

This final rule has been determined to be not significant for the purposes of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, and therefore has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Executive Order 12988

This final rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. The Agency has determined that this rule meets the applicable standards provided in section 3 of the Executive Order. In addition, all state and local laws and regulations that are in conflict with this rule will be preempted. No retroactive effect will be given to this rule and, in accordance with section 212(e) of the Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994 (7 U.S.C. 6912(e)), administrative appeal procedures must be exhausted before an action against the Department or its agencies may be initiated.

Executive Order 12372

This final rule is not subject to the requirements of Executive Order 12372, “Intergovernmental Review,” as implemented under USDA's regulations at 2 CFR part 415, subpart C, because this rule provides general guidance on NEPA and related environmental reviews of applicants' proposals. Applications for Agency programs will be reviewed individually under Executive Order 12372 as required by program procedures.

Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

The Agency has determined that this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, as defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. §§ 601 et seq.), given that the amendment is only an administrative, procedural change on the government's part with respect to obligation of funds.

National Environmental Policy Act

In this final rule, the Agency proposes to create limited flexibility for the timing of obligation of funds relative to the completion of environmental review. The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) does not direct agencies to prepare a NEPA analysis before establishing agency procedures that supplement the CEQ regulations for implementing NEPA. The requirements for establishing agency NEPA procedures are set forth at 40 CFR 1505.1 and 1507.3. The determination that establishing agency NEPA procedures does not require NEPA analysis and documentation has been upheld in Heartwood, Inc. v. U.S. Forest Service, 73 F. Supp. 2d 962, 972-73 (S.D. III. 1999), aff'd, 230 F.3d 947, 954- 55 (7th Cir. 2000).

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) numbers assigned to the RD Programs affected by this rulemaking are as follows:

10.760—Water & Waste Disposal System Systems for Rural Communities. 10.761—Technical Assistance and Training Grants. 10.762—Solid Waste Management Grants. 10.763—Emergency Community Water Assistance Grants. 10.770—Water & Waste Disposal Loan and Grants (Section 306C). 10.766—Community Facilities Loans and Grants. 10.850—Rural Electrification Loans and Loan Guarantees. 10.851—Rural Telephone Loans and Loan Guarantees. 10.855—Distance Learning & Telemedicine Grants. 10.857—State Bulk Fuel Revolving Loan Fund. 10-858—Assistance to High Energy Cost-Rural Communities. 10.863—Community Connect Grants. 10.865—Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, & Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program. 10.866—Repowering Assistance Program. 10.867—Advanced Biofuel Payment Program. 10.868—Rural Energy for America Program. 10.886—Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program.

All active CFDA programs can be found at www.cfda.gov. The Catalog is available on the internet at http://www.cfda.gov and the General Services Administration's (GSA's) free CFDA website at http://www.cfda.gov. The CFDA website also contains a PDF file version of the Catalog that, when printed, has the same layout as the printed document that the Government Publishing Office (GPO) provides. GPO prints and sells the CFDA to interested buyers. For information about purchasing the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance from GPO, call the Superintendent of Documents at 202-512-1800 or toll free at 866-512-1800, or access GPO's online bookstore at http://bookstore.thefederalregister.org.

Rural Development infrastructure programs not listed in this section nor on the CFDA website, but which are enacted pursuant to the Rural Electrification Act of 1936, 7 U.S.C. 901 et seq., the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act of 1972, 7 U.S.C. 1921 et seq., or any other Congressional act for Rural Development, will be covered by the requirements of this action when enacted.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

This final rule contains no Federal mandates (under the regulatory provisions of Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995) for state, local, and tribal governments or the private sector. Therefore, this rule is not subject to the requirements of §§ 202 and 205 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.

E-Government Act Compliance

The Agency is committed to the E-Government Act, which requires Government agencies in general to provide the public the option of submitting information or transacting business electronically to the maximum extent possible.

Executive Order 13132, Federalism

The policies contained in this final rule do not have any substantial direct effect on states, on the relationship between the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Nor does this final rule impose substantial direct compliance costs on state and local governments. Therefore, consultation with the states is not required.

Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

This rule has been reviewed in accordance with the requirements of Executive Order 13175, “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments.” Executive Order 13175 requires Federal agencies to consult and coordinate with tribes on a government-to-government basis on policies that have tribal implications, including regulations, legislative comments or proposed legislation, and other policy statements or actions that have substantial direct effects on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. The latest revision of the Agency's Environmental Policies and Procedures in 2016 involved Tribal consultation via comment period and webinar as a baseline for future consultation on individual program actions. The creation of limited flexibility for the timing of obligation of funds relative to the completion of environmental review is only an administrative, procedural change on the government's part and in no way abridges or alters that agreement. Therefore, no further consultation is necessary on this rule change. The policies contained in this final rule do not have Tribal implications that preempt Tribal law. The Agency will continue to work directly with Tribes and Tribal applicants to improve access to Agency programs. This includes providing focused outreach to Tribes regarding implementation of this rule change. Additionally, the Agency will respond in a timely and meaningful manner to all Tribal government requests for consultation concerning this rule. For further information on the Agency's Tribal consultation efforts, please contact Rural Development's Native American Coordinator at (720) 544-2911 or [email protected].

USDA Non-Discrimination Policy

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA (not all bases apply to all programs). Remedies and complaint filing deadlines vary by program or incident.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible Agency or USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html and at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (1) Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410; (2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or (3) email: [email protected].

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

Information Collection and Recordkeeping Requirements

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, the paperwork burden associated with this final rule has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the currently approved OMB Control Number 0575-0197. The Agency has determined that changes contained in this regulatory action do not substantially change current data collection that would require approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35).

Background

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development (RD) programs provide loans, grants and loan guarantees to support investment in rural infrastructure to spur rural economic development, create jobs, improve the quality of life, and address the health and safety needs of rural residents. Infrastructure investment is an important national policy priority. As directed by E.O. 13807 in 2017, USDA as a member of the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council has reviewed its NEPA implementing regulations and policies to identify impediments to efficient and effective environmental reviews and authorizations for infrastructure projects. This final rule is part of that effort to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of RD's environmental reviews and authorizations for infrastructure projects in rural America.

On April 25, 2017, the President created the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (Task Force) through E.O. 13790 and appointed the Secretary of Agriculture as the Task Force's Chair. Among the purposes and functions of the Task Force was to,

“. . . identify legislative, regulatory, and policy changes to promote in rural America agriculture, economic development, job growth, infrastructure improvements, technological innovation, energy security, and quality of life, including changes that remove barriers to economic prosperity and quality of life in rural America.”

The Task Force Report issued on October 21, 2017, included calls to action on achieving e-Connectivity for Rural America, improving rural quality of life, harnessing technological innovation and developing the rural economy. Purpose of the Regulatory Action

This rulemaking fulfills the mandate of E.O. 13807 as well as the goals of the President's Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity by identifying regulatory changes that promote economic development and improve the quality of life in rural America. The RD infrastructure projects impacted by this rule are often critical to the health and safety and quality of life in rural communities. In some cases, funding decisions made by Rural Development are the first step upon which a much larger process of community economic development depends. This amendment to existing regulation will allow the Agency to obligate funding conditioned upon the full and satisfactory completion of environmental review for infrastructure projects. This change will give applicants, and often the distressed communities they represent, some comfort to proceed with an economic development strategy, including the planning process associated with NEPA, without fear that funds may be rescinded before the NEPA process is completed. With this change in place, RD can more fully meet the government's goals of speeding up the initiation of infrastructure projects, encouraging planned community economic development, and leveraging investment without additional cost to taxpayers or any change in environmental review requirements. Infrastructure projects covered by this final rule include those, such as broadband, telecommunications, electric, energy efficiency, smart grid, water, sewer, transportation, and energy capital investments in physical plant and equipment.

Changes to the Current Regulation

Nothing in this final rule reduces RD's obligation to complete the NEPA planning process prior to foreclosing reasonable alternatives to the federal action. The current regulation at 7 CFR 1970.6 (“Financial assistance”) states that the Agency defines the major decision point for completion of NEPA as the approval of financial assistance. Similarly, 7 CFR 1970.11(b) identifies Agency obligation as the point by which the environmental review must be concluded. As amended by this final rule, 7 CFR 1970.11(b) will now provide RD Administrators limited flexibility to obligate funds for infrastructure projects prior to the completion of the environmental review process where the assurance that funds will be available is important for community health, safety, or economic development. As a result, the environmental review process must be completed prior to disbursement of any RD funds, or any other action that would have adverse environmental impact or limit the choice of reasonable alternatives. The conditions of obligation will be defined in the documentation of the agreement approving the financial assistance between the Agency and the applicant. If, however, the conditions of obligation are not met, or the agency chooses not to proceed with the project after considering the results of the NEPA process, the Agency will rescind the obligated funds. With these conditions, the Agency retains control of the final decision to authorize construction and release funds based on the satisfactory completion of the environmental review. Note, this final rule will not, and does not, change any of the requirements for environmental reviews. Should an applicant choose to commence a project and thus foreclose reasonable alternatives, such action would result in de-obligation of federal funding, thereby eliminating any federal action for NEPA purposes on the part of Rural Development. Until the Agency concludes the environmental review and decides to proceed with the project, the obligated funds will be reserved for the infrastructure project and less susceptible to Congressional rescission.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 1970

Administrative practice and procedure, Buildings and facilities, Environmental impact statements, Environmental protection, Grant programs, Housing, Loan programs, Natural resources, Utilities.

Accordingly, for reasons set forth in the preamble, chapter XVII, of subtitle B, title 7, Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

PART 1970—ENVIRONMENTAL POLICIES AND PROCEDURES 1. The authority citation for part 1970 continues to read as follows: Authority:

7 U.S.C. 6941 et seq., 42 U.S.C. 4241 et seq.; 40 CFR parts 1500-1508; 5 U.S.C. 301; 7 U.S.C. 1989; and 42 U.S.C. 1480.

2. Revise § 1970.11(b) to read as follow:
§ 1970.11 Timing of the environmental review process.

(b) The environmental review process must be concluded before the obligation of funds; except for infrastructure projects where the assurance that funds will be available for community health, safety, or economic development has been determined as necessary by the Agency Administrator. At the discretion of the Agency Administrator, funds may be obligated contingent upon the conclusion of the environmental review process prior to any action that would have an adverse effect on the environment or limit the choices of any reasonable alternatives. Funds so obligated shall be rescinded if the Agency cannot conclude the environmental review process before the end of the fiscal year after the year in which the funds were obligated, or if the Agency determines that it cannot proceed with approval based on findings in the environmental review process. For the purposes of this section, infrastructure projects shall include projects such as broadband, telecommunications, electric, energy efficiency, smart grid, water, sewer, transportation, and energy capital investments in physical plant and equipment, but not investments authorized in the Housing Act of 1949.

Dated: November 9, 2018. Anne C. Hazlett, Assistant to the Secretary, Rural Development. Bill Northey, Under Secretary, Farm Production and Conservation.
[FR Doc. 2018-25523 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Office of the Comptroller of the Currency 12 CFR Part 34 [Docket No. OCC-2018-0031] RIN 1557-AE53 FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM 12 CFR Part 226 [Docket No. R-1634] RIN 7100-AF26 BUREAU OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION 12 CFR Part 1026 RIN 3170-AA91 Appraisals for Higher-Priced Mortgage Loans Exemption Threshold AGENCY:

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Treasury (OCC), Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board); and Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau).

ACTION:

Final rules, official interpretations and commentary.

SUMMARY:

The OCC, the Board, and the Bureau are finalizing amendments to the official interpretations for their regulations that implement section 129H of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA). Section 129H of TILA establishes special appraisal requirements for “higher-risk mortgages,” termed “higher-priced mortgage loans” or “HPMLs” in the agencies' regulations. The OCC, the Board, the Bureau, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) (collectively, the Agencies) issued joint final rules implementing these requirements, effective January 18, 2014. The Agencies' rules exempted, among other loan types, transactions of $25,000 or less, and required that this loan amount be adjusted annually based on any annual percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). If there is no annual percentage increase in the CPI-W, the OCC, the Board, and the Bureau will not adjust this exemption threshold from the prior year. However, in years following a year in which the exemption threshold was not adjusted, the threshold is calculated by applying the annual percentage increase in the CPI-W to the dollar amount that would have resulted, after rounding, if the decreases and any subsequent increases in the CPI-W had been taken into account. Based on the CPI-W in effect as of June 1, 2018, the exemption threshold will increase from $26,000 to $26,700, effective January 1, 2019.

DATES:

This final rule is effective January 1, 2019.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

OCC: MaryAnn Nash, Counsel, Chief Counsel's Office, (202) 649-6287; for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing TTY, (202) 649-5597. Board: Lorna M. Neill, Senior Counsel, Division of Consumer and Community Affairs, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, at (202) 452-3667; for users of Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) only, contact (202) 263-4869. Bureau: Shelley Thompson, Counsel, Office of Regulations, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, at (202) 435-7700.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank Act) amended the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) to add special appraisal requirements for “higher-risk mortgages.” 1 In January 2013, the Agencies issued a joint final rule implementing these requirements and adopted the term “higher-priced mortgage loan” (HPML) instead of “higher-risk mortgage” (the January 2013 Final Rule).2 In July 2013, the Agencies proposed additional exemptions from the January 2013 Final Rule (the 2013 Supplemental Proposed Rule).3 In December 2013, the Agencies issued a supplemental final rule with additional exemptions from the January 2013 Final Rule (the December 2013 Supplemental Final Rule).4 Among other exemptions, the Agencies adopted an exemption from the new HPML appraisal rules for transactions of $25,000 or less, to be adjusted annually for inflation.

1 Public Law 111-203, section 1471, 124 Stat. 1376, 2185-87 (2010), codified at TILA section 129H, 15 U.S.C. 1639h.

2 78 FR 10368 (Feb. 13, 2013).

3 78 FR 48548 (Aug. 8, 2013).

4 78 FR 78520 (Dec. 26, 2013).

The OCC's, the Board's, and the Bureau's versions of the January 2013 Final Rule and December 2013 Supplemental Final Rule and corresponding official interpretations are substantively identical. The FDIC, NCUA, and FHFA adopted the Bureau's version of the regulations under the January 2013 Final Rule and December 2013 Supplemental Final Rule.5

5See NCUA: 12 CFR 722.3; FHFA: 12 CFR part 1222. Although the FDIC adopted the Bureau's version of the regulation, the FDIC did not issue its own regulation containing a cross-reference to the Bureau's version. See 78 FR 10368, 10370 (Feb. 13, 2013).

The OCC's, Board's, and Bureau's regulations,6 and their accompanying interpretations,7 provide that the exemption threshold for smaller loans will be adjusted effective January 1 of each year based on any annual percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) that was in effect on the preceding June 1. Any increase in the threshold amount will be rounded to the nearest $100 increment. For example, if the annual percentage increase in the CPI-W would result in a $950 increase in the threshold amount, the threshold amount will be increased by $1,000. However, if the annual percentage increase in the CPI-W would result in a $949 increase in the threshold amount, the threshold amount will be increased by $900. If there is no annual percentage increase in the CPI-W, the OCC, the Board, and the Bureau will not adjust the threshold amounts from the prior year.8

6 12 CFR 34.203(b)(2) (OCC); 12 CFR 226.43(b)(2) (Board); and 12 CFR 1026.35(c)(2)(ii) (Bureau).

7 12 CFR part 34, Appendix C to Subpart G, comment 203(b)(2)-1 (OCC); 12 CFR part 226, Supplement I, comment 43(b)(2)-1 (Board); and 12 CFR part 1026, Supplement I, comment 35(c)(2)(ii)-1 (Bureau).

8See 78 FR 48548, 48565 (Aug. 8, 2013) (“Thus, under the proposal, if the CPI-W decreases in an annual period, the percentage increase would be zero, and the dollar amount threshold for the exemption would not change.”).

On November 30, 2016, the OCC, the Board, and the Bureau published a final rule in the Federal Register to memorialize the calculation method used by the agencies each year to adjust the exemption threshold to ensure that, as contemplated in the December 2013 Supplemental Final Rule (HPML Small Dollar Adjustment Calculation Rule), the values for the exemption threshold keep pace with the CPI-W.9 The HPML Small Dollar Adjustment Calculation Rule memorialized the policy that, if there is no annual percentage increase in the CPI-W, the OCC, the Board, and Bureau will not adjust the exemption threshold from the prior year. The HPML Small Dollar Adjustment Calculation Rule also provided that, in years following a year in which the exemption threshold was not adjusted because there was a decrease in the CPI-W from the previous year, the threshold is calculated by applying the annual percentage change in the CPI-W to the dollar amount that would have resulted, after rounding, if the decreases and any subsequent increases in the CPI-W had been taken into account. If the resulting amount calculated, after rounding, is greater than the current threshold, then the threshold effective January 1 the following year will increase accordingly; if the resulting amount calculated, after rounding, is equal to or less than the current threshold, then the threshold effective January 1 the following year will not change, but future increases will be calculated based on the amount that would have resulted, after rounding.

9See 81 FR 86250 (Nov. 30, 2016).

II. 2019 Adjustment and Commentary Revision

Effective January 1, 2019, the exemption threshold amount is increased from $26,000 to $26,700. This is based on the CPI-W in effect on June 1, 2018, which was reported on May 10, 2018. The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes consumer-based indices monthly, but does not report a CPI change on June 1; adjustments are reported in the middle of the prior month. The CPI-W is a subset of the CPI-U index (based on all urban consumers) and represents approximately 29 percent of the U.S. population. The CPI-W reported on May 10, 2018, reflects a 2.6 percent increase in the CPI-W from April 2017 to April 2018. Accordingly, the 2.6 percent increase in the CPI-W from April 2017 to April 2018 results in an exemption threshold amount of $26,700. The OCC, the Board, and the Bureau are revising the commentaries to their respective regulations to add new comments as follows:

• Comment 203(b)(2)-3.vi to 12 CFR part 34, Appendix C to Subpart G (OCC);

• Comment 43(b)(2)-3.vi to Supplement I of 12 CFR part 226 (Board); and

• Comment 35(c)(2)(ii)-3.vi to Supplement I of 12 CFR part 1026 (Bureau).

These new comments state that, from January 1, 2019, through December 31, 2019, the threshold amount is $26,700. These revisions are effective January 1, 2019.

III. Regulatory Analysis Administrative Procedure Act

Under the Administrative Procedure Act, notice and opportunity for public comment are not required if an agency finds that notice and public comment are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.10 The amendments in this rule are technical and apply the method previously set forth in the 2013 Supplemental Proposed Rule 11 and the HPML Small Dollar Adjustment Calculation Rule. For these reasons, the OCC, the Board, and the Bureau have determined that publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking and providing opportunity for public comment are unnecessary. Therefore, the amendments are adopted in final form.

10 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B).

11See 78 FR 48548, 48565 (Aug. 8, 2013) (“Thus, under the proposal, if the CPI-W decreases in an annual period, the percentage increase would be zero, and the dollar amount threshold for the exemption would not change.”).

Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) does not apply to a rulemaking where a general notice of proposed rulemaking is not required.12 As noted previously, the agencies have determined that it is unnecessary to publish a general notice of proposed rulemaking for this joint final rule. Accordingly, the RFA's requirements relating to an initial and final regulatory flexibility analysis do not apply.

12 5 U.S.C. 603 and 604.

Paperwork Reduction Act

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995,13 the agencies reviewed this final rule. No collections of information pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act are contained in the final rule.

13 44 U.S.C. 3506; 5 CFR part 1320.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

The OCC analyzes proposed rules for the factors listed in Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995, before promulgating a final rule for which a general notice of proposed rulemaking was published.14 As discussed above, the OCC has determined that the publication of a general notice of proposed rulemaking is unnecessary.

14 2 U.S.C. 1532.

Bureau Congressional Review Act Statement

Pursuant to the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), the Bureau will submit a report containing this rule and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior to the rule taking effect. The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) has designated this rule as not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

List of Subjects 12 CFR Part 34

Appraisal, Appraiser, Banks, Banking, Consumer protection, Credit, Mortgages, National banks, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Savings associations, Truth in lending.

12 CFR Part 226

Advertising, Appraisal, Appraiser, Consumer protection, Credit, Federal Reserve System, Mortgages, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Truth in lending.

12 CFR Part 1026

Advertising, Appraisal, Appraiser, Banking, Banks, Consumer protection, Credit, Credit unions, Mortgages, National banks, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Savings associations, Truth in lending.

DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Authority and Issuance

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the OCC amends 12 CFR part 34 as set forth below:

PART 34—REAL ESTATE LENDING AND APPRAISALS 1. The authority citation for part 34 continues to read as follows: Authority:

12 U.S.C. 1 et seq., 25b, 29, 93a, 371, 1462a, 1463, 1464, 1465, 1701j-3, 1828(o), 3331 et seq., 5101 et seq., 5412(b)(2)(B) and 15 U.S.C. 1639h.

2. In Appendix C to Subpart G, under Section 34.203—Appraisals for Higher-Priced Mortgage Loans, paragraph 34.203(b)(2), paragraph 3.vi is added to read as follows: Appendix C to Subpart G—OCC Interpretations Section 34.203—Appraisals for Higher-Priced Mortgage Loans Paragraph 34.203(b)(2)

3. * * *

vi. From January 1, 2019, through December 31, 2019, the threshold amount is $26,700.

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System Authority and Issuance

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Board amends Regulation Z, 12 CFR part 226, as set forth below:

PART 226—TRUTH IN LENDING (REGULATION Z) 3. The authority citation for part 226 continues to read as follows: Authority:

12 U.S.C. 3806; 15 U.S.C. 1604, 1637(c)(5), 1639(l), and 1639h; Pub. L. 111-24, section 2, 123 Stat. 1734; Pub. L. 111-203, 124 Stat. 1376.

4. In Supplement I to part 226, under Section 226.43—Appraisals for Higher-Risk Mortgage Loans, paragraph 43(b)(2), paragraph 3.vi is added to read as follows: Supplement I to Part 226—Official Staff Interpretations

Section 226.43—Appraisals for Higher-Risk Mortgage Loans

Paragraph 43(b)(2)

3. * * *

vi. From January 1, 2019, through December 31, 2019, the threshold amount is $26,700.

Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Authority and Issuance

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Bureau amends Regulation Z, 12 CFR part 1026, as set forth below:

PART 1026—TRUTH IN LENDING (REGULATION Z) 5. The authority citation for part 1026 continues to read as follows: Authority:

12 U.S.C. 2601, 2603-2605, 2607, 2609, 2617, 3353, 5511, 5512, 5532, 5581; 15 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.

6. In Supplement I to part 1026, under Section 1026.35—Requirements for Higher-Priced Mortgage Loans, paragraph 35(c)(2)(ii), paragraph 3.vi is added to read as follows: Supplement I to Part 1026—Official Interpretations Section 1026.35—Requirements for Higher-Priced Mortgage Loans Paragraph 35(c)(2)(ii)

3. * * *

vi. From January 1, 2019, through December 31, 2019, the threshold amount is $26,700.

Dated: November 6, 2018. Joseph M. Otting, Comptroller of the Currency. By order of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System under delegated authority, November 13, 2018. Ann E. Misback, Secretary of the Board. Dated: November 9, 2018. Mick Mulvaney, Acting Director, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.
[FR Doc. 2018-25400 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-33-P; 6210-01-P; 4810-AM-P
FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM 12 CFR Part 213 [Docket No. R-1632] RIN 7100-AF24 BUREAU OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION 12 CFR Part 1013 RIN 3170-AA89 Consumer Leasing (Regulation M) AGENCY:

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board); and Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau).

ACTION:

Final rules, official interpretations and commentary.

SUMMARY:

The Board and the Bureau are finalizing amendments to the official interpretations and commentary for the agencies' regulations that implement the Consumer Leasing Act (CLA). The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) amended the CLA by requiring that the dollar threshold for exempt consumer leases be adjusted annually by the annual percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). If there is no annual percentage increase in the CPI-W, the Board and the Bureau will not adjust this exemption threshold from the prior year. However, in years following a year in which the exemption threshold was not adjusted, the threshold is calculated by applying the annual percentage change in the CPI-W to the dollar amount that would have resulted, after rounding, if the decreases and any subsequent increases in the CPI-W had been taken into account. Based on the annual percentage increase in the CPI-W as of June 1, 2018, the exemption threshold will increase from $55,800 to $57,200 effective January 1, 2019.

Because the Dodd-Frank Act also requires similar adjustments in the Truth in Lending Act's threshold for exempt consumer credit transactions, the Board and the Bureau are making similar amendments to each of their respective regulations implementing the Truth in Lending Act elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.

DATES:

This final rule is effective January 1, 2019.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Board: Vivian W. Wong, Senior Counsel, Division of Consumer and Community Affairs, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, at (202) 452-3667; for users of Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) only, contact (202) 263-4869.

Bureau: Shelley Thompson, Counsel, Office of Regulations, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, at (202) 435-7700.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank Act) increased the threshold in the Consumer Leasing Act (CLA) for exempt consumer leases, and the threshold in the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) for exempt consumer credit transactions,1 from $25,000 to $50,000, effective July 21, 2011.2 In addition, the Dodd-Frank Act requires that, on and after December 31, 2011, these thresholds be adjusted annually for inflation by the annual percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), as published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In April 2011, the Board issued a final rule amending Regulation M (which implements the CLA) consistent with these provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act, along with a similar final rule amending Regulation Z (which implements TILA) (collectively, the Board Final Threshold Rules).3

1 Although consumer credit transactions above the threshold are generally exempt, loans secured by real property or by personal property used or expected to be used as the principal dwelling of a consumer and private education loans are covered by TILA regardless of the loan amount. See 12 CFR 226.3(b)(1)(i) (Board) and 12 CFR 1026.3(b)(1)(i) (Bureau).

2 Public Law 111-203, section 1100E, 124 Stat. 1376, 2111 (2010).

3 76 FR 18349 (Apr. 4, 2011); 76 FR 18354 (Apr. 4, 2011).

Title X of the Dodd-Frank Act transferred rulemaking authority for a number of consumer financial protection laws from the Board to the Bureau, effective July 21, 2011. In connection with this transfer of rulemaking authority, the Bureau issued its own Regulation M implementing the CLA, 12 CFR part 1013, substantially duplicating the Board's Regulation M.4 Although the Bureau has the authority to issue rules to implement the CLA for most entities, the Board retains authority to issue rules under the CLA for certain motor vehicle dealers covered by section 1029(a) of the Dodd-Frank Act, and the Board's Regulation M continues to apply to those entities.5

4See 76 FR 78500 (Dec. 19, 2011); 81 FR 25323 (April 28, 2016).

5 Section 1029(a) of the Dodd-Frank Act states: “Except as permitted in subsection (b), the Bureau may not exercise any rulemaking, supervisory, enforcement, or any other authority * * * over a motor vehicle dealer that is predominantly engaged in the sale and servicing of motor vehicles, the leasing and servicing of motor vehicles, or both.” 12 U.S.C. 5519(a). Section 1029(b) of the Dodd-Frank Act states: “Subsection (a) shall not apply to any person, to the extent that such person (1) provides consumers with any services related to residential or commercial mortgages or self-financing transactions involving real property; (2) operates a line of business (A) that involves the extension of retail credit or retail leases involving motor vehicles; and (B) in which (i) the extension of retail credit or retail leases are provided directly to consumers; and (ii) the contract governing such extension of retail credit or retail leases is not routinely assigned to an unaffiliated third party finance or leasing source; or (3) offers or provides a consumer financial product or service not involving or related to the sale, financing, leasing, rental, repair, refurbishment, maintenance, or other servicing of motor vehicles, motor vehicle parts, or any related or ancillary product or service.” 12 U.S.C. 5519(b).

The Board's and the Bureau's regulations,6 and their accompanying commentaries, provide that the exemption threshold will be adjusted annually effective January 1 of each year based on any annual percentage increase in the CPI-W that was in effect on the preceding June 1. They further provide that any increase in the threshold amount will be rounded to the nearest $100 increment. For example, if the annual percentage increase in the CPI-W would result in a $950 increase in the threshold amount, the threshold amount will be increased by $1,000. However, if the annual percentage increase in the CPI-W would result in a $949 increase in the threshold amount, the threshold amount will be increased by $900.7 Since 2011, the Board and the Bureau have adjusted the Regulation M exemption threshold annually, in accordance with these rules.

6 12 CFR 213.2(e)(1) (Board) and 12 CFR 1013.2(e)(1) (Bureau).

7See comments 2(e)-9 in Supplements I of 12 CFR parts 213 and 1013.

On November 30, 2016, the Board and the Bureau published a final rule in the Federal Register to memorialize the calculation method used by the agencies each year to adjust the exemption threshold to ensure that, as contemplated by section 1100E(b) of the Dodd-Frank Act, the values for the exemption threshold keep pace with the CPI-W (Regulation M Adjustment Calculation Rule).8 The Regulation M Adjustment Calculation Rule memorialized the policy that, if there is no annual percentage increase in the CPI-W, the Board and Bureau will not adjust the exemption threshold from the prior year. The Regulation M Adjustment Calculation Rule also provided that, in years following a year in which the exemption threshold was not adjusted because there was a decrease in the CPI-W from the previous year, the threshold is calculated by applying the annual percentage change in the CPI-W to the dollar amount that would have resulted, after rounding, if the decreases and any subsequent increases in the CPI-W had been taken into account. If the resulting amount calculated, after rounding, is greater than the current threshold, then the threshold effective January 1 the following year will increase accordingly; if the resulting amount calculated, after rounding, is equal to or less than the current threshold, then the threshold effective January 1 the following year will not change, but future increases will be calculated based on the amount that would have resulted, after rounding.

8See 81 FR 86256 (Nov. 30, 2016).

II. 2019 Adjustment and Commentary Revision

Effective January 1, 2019, the exemption threshold amount is increased from $55,800 to $57,200. This is based on the CPI-W in effect on June 1, 2018, which was reported on May 10, 2018. The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes consumer-based indices monthly, but does not report a CPI change on June 1; adjustments are reported in the middle of the prior month. The CPI-W is a subset of the CPI-U index (based on all urban consumers) and represents approximately 29 percent of the U.S. population. The CPI-W reported on May 10, 2018 reflects a 2.6 percent increase in the CPI-W from April 2017 to April 2018. Accordingly, the 2.6 percent increase in the CPI-W from April 2017 to April 2018 results in an exemption threshold amount of $57,200. The Board and the Bureau are revising the commentaries to their respective regulations to add new comment 2(e)-11.x to state that, from January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019, the threshold amount is $57,200. These revisions are effective January 1, 2019.

III. Regulatory Analysis Administrative Procedure Act

Under the Administrative Procedure Act, notice and opportunity for public comment are not required if the Board and the Bureau find that notice and public comment are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.9 The amendments in this rule are technical and apply the method previously set forth in the Board Final Threshold Rules and the Regulation M Adjustment Calculation Rule. For these reasons, the Board and the Bureau have determined that publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking and providing opportunity for public comment are unnecessary. Therefore, the amendments are adopted in final form.

9 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B).

Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) does not apply to a rulemaking where a general notice of proposed rulemaking is not required.10 As noted previously, the agencies have determined that it is unnecessary to publish a general notice of proposed rulemaking for this joint final rule. Accordingly, the RFA's requirements relating to an initial and final regulatory flexibility analysis do not apply.

10 5 U.S.C. 603 and 604.

Paperwork Reduction Act

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995,11 the agencies reviewed this final rule. No collections of information pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act are contained in the final rule.

11 44 U.S.C. 3506; 5 CFR part 1320.

Bureau Congressional Review Act Statement

Pursuant to the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), the Bureau will submit a report containing this rule and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior to the rule taking effect. The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) has designated this rule as not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

List of Subjects 12 CFR Part 213

Advertising, Consumer leasing, Consumer protection, Federal Reserve System, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

12 CFR Part 1013

Advertising, Consumer leasing, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Truth in lending.

BOARD OF GOVERNORS OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Authority and Issuance

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Board amends Regulation M, 12 CFR part 213, as set forth below:

PART 213—CONSUMER LEASING (REGULATION M) 1. The authority citation for part 213 continues to read as follows: Authority:

15 U.S.C. 1604 and 1667f; Pub. L. 111-203 section 1100E, 124 Stat. 1376.

2. In Supplement I to Part 213, under Section 213.2—Definitions, under 2(e) Consumer Lease, paragraph 11.x is added to read as follows: Supplement I to Part 213—Official Staff Interpretations Section 213.2—Definitions 2(e) Consumer Lease

11. * * *

x. From January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019, the threshold amount is $57,200.

BUREAU OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION Authority and Issuance

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Bureau amends Regulation M, 12 CFR part 1013, as set forth below:

PART 1013—CONSUMER LEASING (REGULATION M) 3. The authority citation for part 1013 continues to read as follows: Authority:

15 U.S.C. 1604 and 1667f; Pub. L. 111-203 section 1100E, 124 Stat. 1376.

4. In Supplement I to part 1013, under Section 1013.2—Definitions, under 2(e)—Consumer Lease, paragraph 11.x is added to read as follows: Supplement I to Part 1013—Official Interpretations Section 1013.2—Definitions 2(e) Consumer Lease

11. * * *

x. From January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019, the threshold amount is $57,200.

By order of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, under delegated authority, November 7, 2018. Ann E. Misback, Secretary of the Board. Dated: November 9, 2018. Mick Mulvaney, Acting Director, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.
[FR Doc. 2018-25396 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-AM-P; 6210-01-P
FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM 12 CFR Part 226 [Docket No. R-1633] RIN 7100-AF25 BUREAU OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION 12 CFR Part 1026 RIN 3170-AA90 Truth in Lending (Regulation Z) AGENCY:

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board); and Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau).

ACTION:

Final rules, official interpretations and commentary.

SUMMARY:

The Board and the Bureau are publishing final rules amending the official interpretations and commentary for the agencies' regulations that implement the Truth in Lending Act (TILA). The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) amended TILA by requiring that the dollar threshold for exempt consumer credit transactions be adjusted annually by the annual percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). If there is no annual percentage increase in the CPI-W, the Board and the Bureau will not adjust this exemption threshold from the prior year. However, in years following a year in which the exemption threshold was not adjusted, the threshold is calculated by applying the annual percentage change in the CPI-W to the dollar amount that would have resulted, after rounding, if the decreases and any subsequent increases in the CPI-W had been taken into account. Based on the annual percentage increase in the CPI-W as of June 1, 2018, the exemption threshold will increase from $55,800 to $57,200 effective January 1, 2019.

Because the Dodd-Frank Act also requires similar adjustments in the Consumer Leasing Act's threshold for exempt consumer leases, the Board and the Bureau are making similar amendments to each of their respective regulations implementing the Consumer Leasing Act elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.

DATES:

This final rule is effective January 1, 2019.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Board: Vivian W. Wong, Senior Counsel, Division of Consumer and Community Affairs, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, at (202) 452-3667; for users of Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) only, contact (202) 263-4869.

Bureau: Shelley Thompson, Counsel, Office of Regulations, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, at (202) 435-7700.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank Act) increased the threshold in the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) for exempt consumer credit transactions,1 and the threshold in the Consumer Leasing Act (CLA) for exempt consumer leases, from $25,000 to $50,000, effective July 21, 2011.2 In addition, the Dodd-Frank Act requires that, on and after December 31, 2011, these thresholds be adjusted annually for inflation by the annual percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), as published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In April 2011, the Board issued a final rule amending Regulation Z (which implements TILA) consistent with these provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act, along with a similar final rule amending Regulation M (which implements the CLA) (collectively, the Board Final Threshold Rules).3

1 Although consumer credit transactions above the threshold are generally exempt, loans secured by real property or by personal property used or expected to be used as the principal dwelling of a consumer and private education loans are covered by TILA regardless of the loan amount. See 12 CFR 226.3(b)(1)(i) (Board) and 12 CFR 1026.3(b)(1)(i) (Bureau).

2 Public Law 111-203, section 1100E, 124 Stat. 1376, 2111 (2010).

3 76 FR 18354 (Apr. 4, 2011); 76 FR 18349 (Apr. 4, 2011).

Title X of the Dodd-Frank Act transferred rulemaking authority for a number of consumer financial protection laws from the Board to the Bureau, effective July 21, 2011. In connection with this transfer of rulemaking authority, the Bureau issued its own Regulation Z implementing TILA, 12 CFR part 1026, substantially duplicating the Board's Regulation Z.4 Although the Bureau has the authority to issue rules to implement TILA for most entities, the Board retains authority to issue rules under TILA for certain motor vehicle dealers covered by section 1029(a) of the Dodd-Frank Act, and the Board's Regulation Z continues to apply to those entities.5

4See 76 FR 79768 (Dec. 22, 2011); 81 FR 25323 (Apr. 28, 2016).

5 Section 1029(a) of the Dodd-Frank Act states: “Except as permitted in subsection (b), the Bureau may not exercise any rulemaking, supervisory, enforcement, or any other authority * * * over a motor vehicle dealer that is predominantly engaged in the sale and servicing of motor vehicles, the leasing and servicing of motor vehicles, or both.” 12 U.S.C. 5519(a). Section 1029(b) of the Dodd-Frank Act states: “Subsection (a) shall not apply to any person, to the extent that such person (1) provides consumers with any services related to residential or commercial mortgages or self-financing transactions involving real property; (2) operates a line of business (A) that involves the extension of retail credit or retail leases involving motor vehicles; and (B) in which (i) the extension of retail credit or retail leases are provided directly to consumers; and (ii) the contract governing such extension of retail credit or retail leases is not routinely assigned to an unaffiliated third party finance or leasing source; or (3) offers or provides a consumer financial product or service not involving or related to the sale, financing, leasing, rental, repair, refurbishment, maintenance, or other servicing of motor vehicles, motor vehicle parts, or any related or ancillary product or service.” 12 U.S.C. 5519(b).

The Board's and the Bureau's regulations,6 and their accompanying commentaries, provide that the exemption threshold will be adjusted annually effective January 1 of each year based on any annual percentage increase in the CPI-W that was in effect on the preceding June 1. They further provide that any increase in the threshold amount will be rounded to the nearest $100 increment. For example, if the annual percentage increase in the CPI-W would result in a $950 increase in the threshold amount, the threshold amount will be increased by $1,000. However, if the annual percentage increase in the CPI-W would result in a $949 increase in the threshold amount, the threshold amount will be increased by $900.7 Since 2011, the Board and the Bureau have adjusted the Regulation Z exemption threshold annually, in accordance with these rules.

6 12 CFR 226.3(b)(1)(ii) (Board) and 12 CFR 1026.3(b)(1)(ii) (Bureau).

7See comments 3(b)-1 in Supplements I of 12 CFR parts 226 and 1026.

On November 30, 2016, the Board and the Bureau published a final rule in the Federal Register to memorialize the calculation method used by the agencies each year to adjust the exemption threshold to ensure that, as contemplated by section 1100E(b) of the Dodd-Frank Act, the values for the exemption threshold keep pace with the CPI-W (Regulation Z Adjustment Calculation Rule).8 The Regulation Z Adjustment Calculation Rule memorialized the policy that, if there is no annual percentage increase in the CPI-W, the Board and Bureau will not adjust the exemption threshold from the prior year. The Regulation Z Adjustment Calculation Rule also provided that, in years following a year in which the exemption threshold was not adjusted because there was a decrease in the CPI-W from the previous year, the threshold is calculated by applying the annual percentage change in the CPI-W to the dollar amount that would have resulted, after rounding, if the decreases and any subsequent increases in the CPI-W had been taken into account. If the resulting amount calculated, after rounding, is greater than the current threshold, then the threshold effective January 1 the following year will increase accordingly; if the resulting amount calculated, after rounding, is equal to or less than the current threshold, then the threshold effective January 1 the following year will not change, but future increases will be calculated based on the amount that would have resulted, after rounding.

8See 81 FR 86260 (Nov. 30, 2016).

II. 2019 Adjustment and Commentary Revision

Effective January 1, 2019, the exemption threshold amount is increased from $55,800 to $57,200. This is based on the CPI-W in effect on June 1, 2018, which was reported on May 10, 2018. The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes consumer-based indices monthly, but does not report a CPI change on June 1; adjustments are reported in the middle of the prior month. The CPI-W is a subset of the CPI-U index (based on all urban consumers) and represents approximately 29 percent of the U.S. population. The CPI-W reported on May 10, 2018 reflects a 2.6 percent increase in the CPI-W from April 2017 to April 2018. Accordingly, the 2.6 percent increase in the CPI-W from April 2017 to April 2018 results in an exemption threshold amount of $57,200. The Board and the Bureau are revising the commentaries to their respective regulations to add new comment 3(b)-3.x to state that, from January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019, the threshold amount is $57,200. These revisions are effective January 1, 2019.

III. Regulatory Analysis Administrative Procedure Act

Under the Administrative Procedure Act, notice and opportunity for public comment are not required if the Board and the Bureau find that notice and public comment are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.9 The amendments in this rule are technical and apply the method previously set forth in the Board Final Threshold Rules and the Regulation Z Adjustment Calculation Rule. For these reasons, the Board and the Bureau have determined that publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking and providing opportunity for public comment are unnecessary. Therefore, the amendments are adopted in final form.

9 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B).

Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) does not apply to a rulemaking where a general notice of proposed rulemaking is not required.10 As noted previously, the agencies have determined that it is unnecessary to publish a general notice of proposed rulemaking for this joint final rule. Accordingly, the RFA's requirements relating to an initial and final regulatory flexibility analysis do not apply.

10 5 U.S.C. 603 and 604.

Paperwork Reduction Act

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995,11 the agencies reviewed this final rule. No collections of information pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act are contained in the final rule.

11 44 U.S.C. 3506; 5 CFR part 1320.

Bureau Congressional Review Act Statement

Pursuant to the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), the Bureau will submit a report containing this rule and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior to the rule taking effect. The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) has designated this rule as not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

List of Subjects 12 CFR Part 226

Advertising, Consumer protection, Federal Reserve System, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Truth in lending.

12 CFR Part 1026

Advertising, Appraisal, Appraiser, Banking, Banks, Consumer protection, Credit, Credit unions, Mortgages, National banks, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Savings associations, Truth in lending.

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System Authority and Issuance

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Board amends Regulation Z, 12 CFR part 226, as set forth below:

PART 226—TRUTH IN LENDING (REGULATION Z) 1. The authority citation for part 226 continues to read as follows: Authority:

12 U.S.C. 3806; 15 U.S.C. 1604, 1637(c)(5), 1639(l) and 1639h; Pub. L. 111-24, section 2, 123 Stat. 1734; Pub. L. 111-203, 124 Stat. 1376.

2. In Supplement I to part 226, under Section 226.3—Exempt Transactions, under 3(b) Credit over applicable threshold amount, paragraph 3.x is added to read as follows: Supplement I to Part 226—Official Staff Interpretations Subpart A—General Section 226.3—Exempt Transactions

3(b) Credit over applicable threshold amount.

3. * * *

x. From January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019, the threshold amount is $57,200.

Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Authority and Issuance

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Bureau amends Regulation Z, 12 CFR part 1026, as set forth below:

PART 1026—TRUTH IN LENDING (REGULATION Z) 3. The authority citation for part 1026 continues to read as follows: Authority:

12 U.S.C. 2601, 2603-2605, 2607, 2609, 2617, 3353, 5511, 5512, 5532, 5581; 15 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.

4. In Supplement I to part 1026, under Section 1026.3—Exempt Transactions, under 3(b)—Credit Over Applicable Threshold Amount, paragraph 3.x is added to read as follows: Supplement I to Part 1026—Official Interpretations Section 1026.3—Exempt Transactions 3(b) Credit Over Applicable Threshold Amount

3. * * *

x. From January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019, the threshold amount is $57,200.

By order of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, under delegated authority, November 7, 2018. Ann E. Misback, Secretary of the Board. Dated: November 9, 2018. Mick Mulvaney, Acting Director, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.
[FR Doc. 2018-25398 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-AM-P; 6210-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0298; Product Identifier 2017-NM-179-AD; Amendment 39-19488; AD 2018-23-02] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus SAS Airplanes AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus SAS Model A318 and A319 series airplanes; Model A320-211, A320-212, A320-214, A320-216, A320-231, A320-232, and A320-233 airplanes; and Model A321-111, A321-112, A321-131, A321-211, A321-212, A321-213, A321-231, and A321-232 airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of missing assembly hardware on the trimmable horizontal stabilizer actuator (THSA). This AD requires repetitive inspections and checks of the lower and upper THSA attachments and applicable related investigative and corrective actions; a one-time inspection of the THSA lower attachment and replacement as applicable; and, for certain airplanes, activation of the electrical load sensing device (ELSD) and concurrent modifications. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

This AD is effective December 28, 2018.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of December 28, 2018.

ADDRESSES:

For Airbus SAS service information identified in this final rule, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EIAS, Rond-Point Emile Dewoitine No: 2, 31700 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; internet http://www.airbus.com.

For United Technologies Corporation Aerospace Systems (UTAS) service information identified in this AD, contact United Technologies Corporation Aerospace Systems (UTAS): Goodrich Corporation, Actuation Systems, Stafford Road, Fordhouses, Wolverhampton WV10 7EH, England; phone: +44 (0) 1902 624938; fax: +44 (0) 1902 788100; email: [email protected]; internet: http://www.goodrich.com/TechPubs

You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195. It is also available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0298.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0298; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this final rule, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for Docket Operations (phone: 800-647-5527) is U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3223.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all Airbus SAS Model A318 and A319 series airplanes; Model A320-211, A320-212, A320-214, A320-216, A320-231, A320-232, and A320-233 airplanes; and Model A321-111, A321-112, A321-131, A321-211, A321-212, A321-213, A321-231, and A321-232 airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on April 16, 2018 (83 FR 16251). The NPRM was prompted by reports of missing assembly hardware on the THSA. The NPRM proposed to require repetitive inspections and checks of the lower and upper THSA attachments and applicable related investigative and corrective actions; a one-time inspection of the THSA lower attachment and replacement as applicable; and, for certain airplanes, activation of the ELSD and concurrent modifications.

We are issuing this AD to address uncontrolled movement of the horizontal stabilizer as a result of the latent (undetected) failure of the THSA's primary load path and consequent loss of control of the airplane.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2017-0237, dated December 4, 2017 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus SAS Model A318 and A319 series airplanes; Model A320-211, A320-212, A320-214, A320-216, A320-231, A320-232, A320-233 airplanes; and Model A321-111, A321-112, A321-131, A321-211, A321-212, A321-213, A321-231, and A321-232 airplanes. The MCAI states:

The Trimmable Horizontal Stabilizer Actuator (THSA) of Airbus A320 Family aeroplanes has been rig-tested to check secondary load path behaviour in case of primary load path failure. In that configuration, the loads are transferred to the secondary load path, which should jam, preventing any Trimmable Horizontal Stabilizer motion. The test results showed that the secondary load path did not jam as expected, preventing detection of the primary load path failure. To verify the integrity of the THSA primary load path and the correct installation of the THSA, Airbus issued Service Bulletin (SB) A320-27-1164, later revised multiple times, and SB A320-27A1179, and EASA issued AD 2006-0223 [which corresponds to FAA AD 2007-06-02, Amendment 39-14983 (72 FR 12072, March 15, 2007) (“AD 2007-06-02”)], AD 2007-0178 [which corresponds to FAA AD 2008-09-16, Amendment 39-15497 (73 FR 24160, May 2, 2008)(“AD 2008-09-16”)], AD 2008-0150, and AD 2014-0147, each AD superseding the previous one, requiring one-time and repetitive inspections.

Since EASA AD 2014-0147 was issued, Airbus designed a new device, called Electrical Load Sensing Device (ELSD), to introduce a new means of THSA upper secondary load path engagement detection. Consequently, Airbus issued several SBs (Airbus SB A320-27-1245, A320-27-1246, and A320-27-1247, depending on aeroplane configuration) providing instructions to install the wiring provision for ELSD installation and to install ELSD on the THSA, and SB A320-27-1248, providing instructions to activate the ELSD. Airbus also revised SB A320-27-1164, now at Revision 13, including instructions applicable for aircraft equipped with ELSD.

Furthermore, following a visual inspection of the THSA, an operator reported that the THSA was found with a bush missing, inducing torqueing of the THSA lower attachment primary bolt against the THSA lug, which resulted in the application of a transverse force on the lug.

Prompted by several other identical findings, Airbus released Alert Operator Transmission (AOT) A27N010-17 to provide instructions for inspection and associated corrective actions.

For the reasons described above, this AD retains the requirements of EASA AD 2014-0147, which is superseded, and requires installation of ELSD on the THSA, ELSD activation, and a one-time inspection to verify the bush presence on the THSA lower attachment.

The unsafe condition is uncontrolled movement of the horizontal stabilizer as a result of the latent (undetected) failure of the THSA's primary load path and consequent loss of control of the airplane.

The required actions include repetitive inspections and checks of the lower and upper THSA attachments and applicable related investigative and corrective actions; a one-time inspection of the THSA lower attachment and replacement as applicable; and, for certain airplanes, activation of the ELSD and concurrent modifications.

Related investigative actions include an inspection of the upper THSA attachment, an inspection of the lower attachment, and a check of the upper and lower clearance between the secondary nut trunnion and the junction plate. Corrective actions include replacement of the THSA and repair.

You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0298.

Comments

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

Support for the NPRM

The Air Line Pilots Association, International, stated its support for the NPRM. United Airlines stated that it has no objection to the NPRM.

Request To Allow Future Revisions of Service Information

Delta Air Lines (DAL) requested that the proposed AD allow operators the opportunity to utilize the latest data and instructions available without the need to request an alternative method of compliance (AMOC). DAL proposed that after each reference made to service information in paragraphs (g), (h), (i), (j), (k), (m)(1), and (m)(2) of the proposed AD, the following statement is included:

Or using a method approved by the Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Airbus's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA).

DAL noted that the service information has been revised multiple times or has been revised within a short period of time. DAL observed that the statement quoted above is based on language used in paragraph (g) of AD 2018-03-12, Amendment 39-19185 (83 FR 5906, February 12, 2018) (“AD 2018-03-12”), and should be considered as standard wording for future ADs, as applicable.

We disagree with the commenter's request. We infer that the commenter is requesting a way for operators to comply with the requirements of an AD by using service information revisions that are issued after an AD is published without having to request an AMOC. We may not refer to any document that does not yet exist. In general terms, we are required by Office of the Federal Register (OFR) regulations for approval of materials “incorporated by reference,” as specified in 1 CFR 51.1(f), to either publish the service document contents as part of the actual AD language; or submit the service document to the OFR for approval as “referenced” material, in which case we may only refer to such material in the text of an AD. The AD may refer to the service document only if the OFR approved it for “incorporation by reference.” See 1 CFR part 51. To allow operators to use later revisions of the referenced document (issued after publication of the AD), either we must revise the AD to reference specific later revisions, or operators must request approval to use later revisions as an AMOC with this AD. However, we may consider approving global AMOCs to allow operators to use future revisions of the service information. We reserve the use of the wording requested by the commenter for situations where no service information is available or a service document, such as an aircraft maintenance manual, cannot be incorporated by reference in an AD. Therefore, we have not changed this AD in this regard.

Request To Specify Required Paragraphs in Airbus Alert Operators Transmission

DAL requested that paragraph (k) of the proposed AD specify only paragraphs 4.2.2 and 4.2.3 of Airbus Alert Operators Transmission (AOT) A27N010-17, Revision 01, dated October 17, 2017, including AOT Appendix_A27N010-17, because, as a whole, the service information contains data that are unrelated to the inspection process. Paragraphs 4.2.2 and 4.2.3 of the service information provide the inspection activities and corrective actions.

We agree with the commenter that the primary instructions for inspection and corrective actions are contained in paragraphs 4.2.2 and 4.2.3 of Airbus AOT A27N010-17, Revision 01, dated October 17, 2017, including AOT Appendix_A27N010-17. We have revised paragraph (k) of this AD to require only paragraphs 4.2.2 and 4.2.3 of Airbus AOT A27N010-17, Revision 01, dated October 17, 2017, including AOT Appendix_A27N010-17. Note that there is relevant information outside of those two paragraphs, such as references to part numbers, aircraft maintenance manual procedures, and an appendix. Procedures outside of paragraphs 4.2.2 and 4.2.3 can be deviated from, using accepted methods provided in an operator's maintenance or inspection program, provided the required AD actions can be done and the airplane can be put back in service in an airworthy condition.

Request To Modify Language Regarding Contacting the Manufacturer

DAL noted that paragraph (o) of the proposed AD provides exceptions to two Airbus service information documents—Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1164, Revision 13, dated August 8, 2016; and Airbus AOT A27N010-17, Revision 01, dated October 17, 2017, including AOT Appendix_A27N010-17, with respect to contacting the manufacturer. DAL proposed that this paragraph be rewritten to state:

Any approved method which specifies to contact the manufacturer: Before further flight, accomplish the corrective actions in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (v)(2) of this AD.

We acknowledge the commenter's request to clarify paragraph (o) of this AD. When specifying exceptions to required service information, we are unable to generalize the required documents by stating “any approved method,” as requested by the commenter. We must identify the specific service information. Therefore, we have not changed this AD in this regard.

Request for Clarification of Service Information Instructions

DAL observed that Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1245, Revision 00, dated March 6, 2017, indicates multiple configurations for certain aircraft. As an example, DAL pointed out that aircraft manufacturer serial number (MSN) 118 is shown as both configuration 078 and configuration 082. DAL stated the service information does not provide clear guidance on determining if both or only one set of material/instructions is applicable. DAL requested that the service bulletin be revised to clarify the intent of the multiple configurations and how to address them.

We disagree with the commenter's request to revise the service information; however, we agree to clarify. The referenced service information is adequate because different aircraft configurations can be determined based on the type of placard installed. Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1245, Revision 00, dated March 6, 2017, provides airplane configuration definitions in paragraph 1.A.(5), “Configuration Definition,” of the “Planning Information” section. According to the configuration definition, configuration 078 has placard 33LM PN D11311117A00 installed and configuration 082 has placard 33LM PN 002051-09 installed. Once the placard installation is determined, an operator can follow the instructions based on each respective configuration. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

Request for One Comprehensive AD To Address THSA System

DAL noted that the Model A319, A320, and A321 THSA system has had a continually complicated maintenance and regulatory history. The THSA system has been subject to numerous ADs throughout the years that address numerous individual shortcomings. The proposed AD encompasses several different aspects (inspections and alterations), yet there are still other regulatory actions such as the replacement of No-Back Brake components or overhaul restrictions, which complicate the operators' maintenance activities. DAL requested that future regulatory actions related to the system be reviewed with a goal of providing a singular, coordinated over-arching regulatory and maintenance requirement.

We agree that there have been several ADs issued on the THSA system addressed in this AD, and we acknowledge the commenter's concerns. We understand that the EASA and the airplane manufacturer are making an effort to combine as many THSA issues as possible into a single rulemaking action to simplify the THSA requirements. In response to their efforts, we may consider additional rulemaking in the future to simplify the THSA requirements. However, at this time, we are issuing this final rule AD to address the specified unsafe condition. No change has been made to this AD in this regard.

Request To Refer to Revised Service Information

Airbus noted that two of the service bulletins referred to in the NPRM were revised and requested that the revised service bulletins be referred to in the final rule. The current revision levels are Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1164, Revision 14, dated January 16, 2018; and Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1248, Revision 01, dated April 16, 2018.

We agree with the commenter's request. In the NPRM we referred to Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1164, Revision 13, dated August 8, 2016; and Service Bulletin A320-27-1248, Revision 00, dated March 6, 2017. Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1164, Revision 14, dated January 16, 2018, includes clarifications regarding reporting inspection results but does not change the proposed reporting requirements of the NPRM and otherwise adds no substantive changes compared with the previous version. Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1248, Revision 01, dated April 16, 2018, clarifies the instructions, but adds no substantive changes compared with the previous version. We have therefore revised the “Related Service Information under 1 CFR part 51” paragraph in this final rule to refer to Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1164, Revision 14, dated January 16, 2018; and Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1248, Revision 01, dated April 16, 2018. We have also revised paragraphs (g), (h), (i), (j), and (o)(1) of this AD to refer to Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1164, Revision 14, dated January 16, 2018. In addition, we revised paragraph (m) of this AD to refer to Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1248, Revision 01, dated April 16, 2018.

Furthermore, we revised paragraph (s), “Credit for Previous Actions,” of this AD to include Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1164, Revision 13, dated August 8, 2016; and Service Bulletin A320-27-1248, Revision 00, dated March 6, 2017. Specifically, we revised paragraph (s)(1) to provide credit for actions done before the effective date of this AD using Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1164, Revision 10, dated March 27, 2014; Revision 11, dated December 15, 2014; Revision 12, dated March 23, 2016; or Revision 13, dated August 8, 2016. We also added paragraph (s)(3) to this AD to provide credit for actions required by paragraph (m)(1) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1248, Revision 00, dated March 6, 2017. We redesignated subsequent paragraphs of this AD accordingly.

Request To Supersede Affected ADs

Airbus requested that the FAA consider aligning with EASA's decision of superseding affected ADs instead of keeping the obsolete ADs active. We infer that Airbus is requesting that we supersede AD 2007-06-02 and AD 2008-09-16 instead of issuing this stand-alone AD that terminates the requirements of AD 2007-06-02 and AD 2008-09-16.

We acknowledge the commenter's request. Although paragraph (u) of this AD states “Accomplishing the initial actions required by paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD, and accomplishing the applicable actions required by paragraphs (i) and (j) of this AD, terminates all requirements of AD 2007-06-02 and AD 2008-09-16,” it does not supersede those ADs. The purpose of issuing stand-alone AD actions is to reduce the complexity involved with superseding certain ADs. After certain compliance times in this AD have passed, we may consider rescinding AD 2007-06-02 and AD 2008-09-16 since they are terminated by certain actions in this AD. In addition, if we converted this AD to a supersedure, we would need to issue another notice for public comment, which would further delay issuance of this final rule. Therefore, we have not changed this AD in this regard.

Conclusion

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

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

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

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

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

Airbus has issued Alert Operators Transmission (AOT) A27N010-17, Revision 01, dated October 17, 2017, including AOT Appendix_A27N010-17. This service information describes the procedure for a one-time general visual inspection of the THSA lower attachment to measure the gap between the THSA lower attachment tab washer and attachment plates and replacement of the THSA lower attachment if the measured gap is less than 0.5 mm. The replacement includes doing an inspection of the THSA parts to confirm the bushing is missing and applicable corrective actions (i.e., repair).

Airbus has also issued Service Bulletin A320-27-1164, Revision 14, dated January 16, 2018. This service information describes procedures for a general visual inspection of the upper THSA attachment for correct installation, cracks, damage and metallic particles; a general visual inspection of the lower and upper THSA attachments for correct installation; a check of the clearance between secondary nut trunnions and junction plates and correct installation of the lower THSA attachment; a general visual inspection of the THSA ball screw to check for the absence of dents; and applicable related investigative and corrective actions.

In addition, Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A320-27-1245, Revision 00, dated March 6, 2017. This service information describes the procedure to modify the wiring provisions for the ELSD.

Airbus has also issued Service Bulletin A320-27-1246, Revision 01, dated November 4, 2016. This service information describes the procedures to adapt the wiring provision of the ELSD and THSA to accommodate the correct installation of the ELSD.

Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A320-27-1247, Revision 00, dated March 6, 2017. This service information describes the procedure to modify the upper attachment secondary load path of the THSA to accommodate the correct installation of the ELSD.

Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A320-27-1248, Revision 01, dated April 16, 2018. This service information describes the procedure to activate the ELSD.

UTAS has issued United Technologies Corporation (UTC) Aerospace Systems Repair Instructions RF-DSC-1361-17, Version 00, including Appendix A, dated May 24, 2017. This service information describes the repair instructions to follow if the bushing is missing, as specified in AOT A27N010-17, Revision 01, dated October 17, 2017.

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

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 1,180 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on
  • U.S. operators
  • Inspections, check, activation, and modifications Up to 59 work-hours × $85 per hour = $5,015 Up to $15,353 Up to $20,368 Up to $24,034,240. Reporting 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 0 85 100,300.

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

    On-Condition Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Replacement 11 work-hours × $85 per hour = $935 $240,000 $240,935

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

    Paperwork Reduction Act

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2018-23-02 Airbus SAS: Amendment 39-19488; Docket No. FAA-2018-0298; Product Identifier 2017-NM-179-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective December 28, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD affects AD 2007-06-02, Amendment 39-14983 (72 FR 12072, March 15, 2007) (“AD 2007-06-02”); and AD 2008-09-16, Amendment 39-15497 (73 FR 24160, May 2, 2008) (“AD 2008-09-16”).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus SAS Model A318-111, A318-112, A318-121, and A318-122 airplanes; Model A319-111, A319-112, A319-113, A319-114, A319-115, A319-131, A319-132, and A319-133 airplanes; Model A320-211, A320-212, A320-214, A320-216, A320-231, A320-232, and A320-233 airplanes; and Model A321-111, A321-112, A321-131, A321-211, A321-212, A321-213, A321-231, and A321-232 airplanes; certificated in any category, all manufacturer serial numbers.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by reports of missing assembly hardware on the trimmable horizontal stabilizer actuator (THSA). We are issuing this AD to address uncontrolled movement of the horizontal stabilizer as a result of the latent (undetected) failure of the THSA's primary load path and consequent loss of control of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Repetitive Actions: Lower THSA Attachment

    Before exceeding 20 months since airplane first flight, or since airplane first flight following last THSA replacement, or within 20 months after the last inspection of the lower THSA attachment as specified in the instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1164, Revision 02 up to Revision 09, whichever occurs latest, do the actions specified in paragraphs (g)(1), (g)(2), and (g)(3) of this AD concurrently, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1164, Revision 14, dated January 16, 2018. Repeat the actions thereafter at intervals not to exceed 20 months.

    (1) Check the clearance between the secondary nut trunnions and the junction plates at the lower THSA attachment.

    (2) Do a general visual inspection of the lower THSA attachment for correct installation of attachment parts.

    (3) Do a general visual inspection of the THSA ball screw for dents.

    (h) Repetitive Inspections: Upper THSA Attachment

    Before exceeding 10 months since airplane first flight, or since airplane first flight following last THSA replacement, or within 10 months after the last inspection of the upper THSA attachment as specified in the instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1164, Revision 02 up to Revision 09, whichever occurs latest, do the actions specified in paragraphs (h)(1) and (h)(2) of this AD concurrently, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1164, Revision 14, dated January 16, 2018. Repeat the inspections thereafter at intervals not to exceed 10 months.

    (1) Do a general visual inspection of the upper THSA attachment for correct installation, cracks, damage, and metallic particles.

    (2) Do a general visual inspection of the upper THSA attachment for correct installation of attachment parts.

    (i) Related Investigative and Corrective Actions

    If, during any action required by paragraph (g) or (h) of this AD, any discrepancy is detected (e.g., any installation deviation, cracking, damage, metallic particles, or dent is found), before further flight, accomplish all applicable related investigative and corrective actions in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1164, Revision 14, dated January 16, 2018; except as required by paragraph (o)(1) of this AD.

    (j) Reporting Requirements for Actions Required by Paragraphs (g) and (h) of This AD

    In case of any findings during any action required by paragraph (g) or (h) of this AD, report the inspection results to Airbus SAS using the applicable “Inspection Reporting Sheet” of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1164, Revision 14, dated January 16, 2018, at the applicable time specified in paragraph (j)(1) or (j)(2) of this AD. If operators have reported findings as part of obtaining any corrective actions approved by the EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA), operators are not required to report those findings as specified in this paragraph.

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

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

    (k) One-Time Inspection and Replacement

    For airplanes on which the THSA has been replaced or reinstalled since the date of issuance of the original certificate of airworthiness, or the date of issuance of the original export certificate of airworthiness: Within 6 months after the effective date of this AD, accomplish a detailed inspection of the THSA lower attachment gap clearances, in accordance with paragraphs 4.2.2 and 4.2.3 of Airbus Alert Operators Transmission (AOT) A27N010-17, Revision 01, dated October 17, 2017, including AOT Appendix_A27N010-17. If the measured gap is less than 0.5 mm, before further flight, replace the THSA, including doing an inspection of the THSA parts to confirm the bushing is missing and applicable corrective actions, in accordance with the instructions of Airbus AOT A27N010-17, Revision 01, dated October 17, 2017, including AOT Appendix_A27N010-17; and United Technologies Corporation (UTC) Aerospace Systems Repair Instructions RF-DSC-1361-17, Version 00, including Appendix A, dated May 24, 2017, as applicable, except as required by paragraph (o)(2) of this AD.

    (l) Definition of Groups

    For the purpose of this AD: Group 1 airplanes are those that, on the effective date of this AD, do not have the electrical load sensing device (ELSD) activated. Group 2 airplanes are those that, on the effective date of this AD, have the ELSD activated.

    (m) Activation and Concurrent Modification

    For Group 1 airplanes (see paragraph (l) of this AD): Do the actions specified in paragraphs (m)(1) and (m)(2) of this AD.

    (1) Within 4 years after the effective date of this AD, activate the ELSD of the THSA on the airplane, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1248, Revision 01, dated April 16, 2018.

    (2) Concurrently with or before the activation of the ELSD required by paragraph (m)(1) of this AD, modify the airplane, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1245, Revision 00, dated March 6, 2017; or Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1246, Revision 01, dated November 4, 2016; as applicable.

    (n) Concurrent Requirement for Airplanes Equipped With THSAs That do Not Have ELSDs

    For an airplane equipped with a THSA having a part number listed in figure 1 to paragraphs (n), (p), and (q) of this AD: Concurrently with or before the activation required by paragraph (m)(1) of this AD, modify the airplane, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1247, Revision 00, dated March 6, 2017.

    ER23NO18.289 (o) Exceptions to Service Information

    (1) Where Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1164, Revision 14, dated January 16, 2018, specifies to contact Airbus SAS for appropriate action, and specifies that action as “RC” (Required for Compliance): Before further flight, accomplish corrective actions in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (v)(2) of this AD.

    (2) Where Airbus AOT A27N010-17, Revision 01, dated October 17, 2017, specifies to contact Airbus SAS for appropriate action: Before further flight, accomplish corrective actions in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (v)(2) of this AD.

    (p) Parts Installation

    Do not install on any airplane a THSA with a part number listed in figure 1 to paragraphs (n), (p), and (q) of this AD and do not deactivate the ELSD at the times specified in paragraph (p)(1) or (p)(2) of this AD, as applicable.

    (1) Group 1 airplanes (see paragraph (l) of this AD): After modification of the airplane as required by paragraph (m)(1) of this AD.

    (2) Group 2 airplanes (see paragraph (l) of this AD): From the effective date of this AD.

    (q) Method of Compliance

    An airplane on which Airbus SAS Modification 155955 has been embodied in production is considered compliant with paragraphs (m)(1), (m)(2), and (n) of this AD, provided that it is determined that no THSA with a part number listed in figure 1 to paragraphs (n), (p), and (q) of this AD is installed on that airplane, and that the ELSD remains activated. A review of airplane maintenance records is acceptable to make this determination, provided those records can be relied upon for that purpose.

    (r) Airplanes Not Affected by the Requirements of Paragraph (k) of This AD

    The inspection required by paragraph (k) of this AD is not required for airplanes on which the THSA has been installed, as specified in the instructions of Airbus A320 Airplane Maintenance Manual (AMM) 27-44-51-400-001, dated May 2017, or subsequent.

    (s) Credit for Previous Actions

    (1) This paragraph provides credit for the initial actions required by paragraphs (g), (h), (i), and (j) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1164, Revision 10, dated March 27, 2014; Revision 11, dated December 15, 2014; Revision 12, dated March 23, 2016; or Revision 13, dated August 8, 2016.

    (2) This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (k) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Airbus AOT A27N010-17, dated March 27, 2017.

    (3) This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (m)(1) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1248, Revision 00, dated March 6, 2017.

    (4) This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (m)(2) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1246, dated March 20, 2015.

    (t) No Terminating Action for Repetitive Inspections in This AD

    Accomplishment on an airplane of the one-time inspection and replacement, as applicable, specified in paragraph (k) of this AD and the modifications specified in paragraphs (m)(1), (m)(2), and (n) of this AD, as applicable, do not constitute terminating action for the repetitive inspections required by paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD for that airplane.

    (u) Terminating Action for Other FAA ADs

    Accomplishing the initial actions required by paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD, and accomplishing the applicable actions required by paragraphs (i) and (j) of this AD, terminate all requirements of AD 2007-06-02 and AD 2008-09-16.

    (v) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

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

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

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

    (4) Required for Compliance (RC): Except as specified in paragraph in (o)(1) of this AD, if any service information contains procedures or tests that are identified as RC, those procedures and tests must be done to comply with this AD; any procedures or tests that are not identified as RC are recommended. Those procedures and tests that are not identified as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an AMOC, provided the procedures and tests identified as RC can be done and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy condition. Any substitutions or changes to procedures or tests identified as RC require approval of an AMOC.

    (w) Special Flight Permits

    Special flight permits, as described in Section 21.197 and Section 21.199 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.197 and 21.199), are not allowed.

    (x) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2017-0237, dated December 4, 2017, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0298.

    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th Street, Des Moines, WA 98198; phone and fax: 206-231-3223.

    (3) Service information identified in this AD that is not incorporated by reference is available at the addresses specified in paragraphs (y)(3) and (y)(5) of this AD.

    (y) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Airbus Alert Operators Transmission (AOT) A27N010-17, Revision 01, dated October 17, 2017, including AOT Appendix_A27N010-17.

    (ii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1164, Revision 14, dated January 16, 2018.

    (iii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1245, Revision 00, dated March 6, 2017.

    (iv) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1246, Revision 01, dated November 4, 2016.

    (v) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1247, Revision 00, dated March 6, 2017.

    (vi) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1248, Revision 01, dated April 16, 2018.

    (vii) United Technologies Corporation Aerospace Systems (UTAS) United Technologies Corporation (UTC) Aerospace Systems Repair Instructions RF-DSC-1361-17, Version 00, including Appendix A, dated May 24, 2017.

    (3) For Airbus SAS service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EIAS, Rond-Point Emile Dewoitine No: 2, 31700 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; internet http://www.airbus.com.

    (4) For United Technologies Corporation Aerospace Systems service information identified in this AD, contact United Technologies Corporation Aerospace Systems: Goodrich Corporation, Actuation Systems, Stafford Road, Fordhouses, Wolverhampton WV10 7EH, England; phone: +44 (0) 1902 624938; fax: +44 (0) 1902 788100; email: [email protected]; internet: http://www.goodrich.com/TechPubs.

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

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

    Issued in Des Moines, Washington, on October 24, 2018. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24486 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0764; Product Identifier 2018-NM-074-AD; Amendment 39-19502; AD 2018-23-15] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus SAS Airplanes AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus SAS Model A330-200 Freighter series airplanes, Model A330-200 and -300 series airplanes, and Model A340-200 and -300 series airplanes. This AD was prompted by defects found during production tests of ram air turbine (RAT) units; investigation revealed that the defects were due to certain RAT hydraulic pumps having an alternative manufacturing process of the pump pistons. This AD requires replacing any defective RAT hydraulic pump with a serviceable part and re-identifying the RAT module part number. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective December 28, 2018.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of December 28, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    For Airbus SAS service information identified in this final rule, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EIAS, Rond-Point Emile Dewoitine No: 2, 31700 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; internet http://www.airbus.com. For UTC Aerospace service information identified in this final rule, contact UTC Aerospace Systems Goodrich Corporation, Actuation Systems, Stafford Road, Fordhouses, Wolverhampton, West Midlands WV10 7EH, England; phone: +44 (0) 1902 624644938; fax: +44 (0) 1902 788100624947; email: [email protected]; internet: https://www.customers.utcaerospacesystems.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195. It is also available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0764.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0764; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this final rule, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for Docket Operations (phone: 800-647-5527) is U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax: 206-231-3229.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all Airbus SAS Model A330-200 Freighter series airplanes, Model A330-200 and -300 series airplanes, and Model A340-200 and -300 series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on August 31, 2018 (83 FR 44514). The NPRM was prompted by defects found during production tests of RAT units; investigation revealed that the defects were due to certain RAT hydraulic pumps having an alternative manufacturing process of the pump pistons. The NPRM proposed to require replacing any defective RAT hydraulic pump with a serviceable part and re-identifying the RAT module part number. We are issuing this AD to address low performance of the pump, which, following a total engine flame-out, or during a total loss of normal electrical power generation, could result in reduced control of the airplane.

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2018-0062, dated March 20, 2018 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus SAS Model A330-200 Freighter series airplanes, Model A330-200 and -300 series airplanes, and Model A340-200 and -300 series airplanes. The MCAI states:

    Four A330 RAT units were returned to the supplier due to low discharge pressure. These defects were detected during Airbus production tests. Subsequent investigations by the RAT manufacturer UTAS (formerly Hamilton Sundstrand) revealed that some RAT hydraulic pumps, [part number] P/N 5916430, were involved in an alternative manufacturing process of the pump pistons. This resulted in form deviations (rough surface finish and sharp edges), which caused excessive wear and damage to the bore where the pistons moved.

    This condition, if not corrected, could lead to low performance of the pump, possibly resulting in reduced control of the aeroplane, particularly if occurring following a total engine flame out, or during a total loss of normal electrical power generation.

    To address this potential unsafe condition, Airbus published [Service Bulletin] SB A330-29-3130 and SB A340-29-4098, providing instructions for identification and replacement of the affected parts.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires replacement of the affected parts. This [EASA] AD also requires re-identification of the RAT module.

    You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0764.

    Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this final rule. We have considered the comment received. The Air Line Pilots Association, International indicated its support for the NPRM.

    New Service Information

    We received UTC Aerospace Systems Service Bulletin ERPS06M-29-22, Revision 2, dated May 24, 2018. We referred to UTC Aerospace Systems Service Bulletins ERPS06M-29-22, dated March 17, 2017; and Revision 1, dated June 27, 2017; as the appropriate sources of service information for identifying certain affected serial numbers and parts therein. Revision 2 of the service information adds Hamilton Sundstrand and Parker hydraulic pump part number (P/N) 5917648 (Parker P/N 4207905) and alternate Hamilton Sundstrand and Parker hydraulic pump P/N 5916485 (Parker P/N 4207903) to table 3 and table 6 for clarification.

    We have added UTC Aerospace Systems Service Bulletin ERPS06M-29-22, Revision 2, dated May 24, 2018, to the Related Service Information under 1 CFR part 51 section of this AD as an appropriate source of service information. We have also added Revision 2 of the service information to the definitions specified in paragraph (g)(1) of this AD.

    Conclusion

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

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

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

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

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus SAS has issued Service Bulletins A330-29-3130 and A340-29-4098, both dated May 3, 2017. This service information describes procedures for replacing any affected RAT hydraulic pump with a serviceable part and re-identifying the RAT module part number. These documents are distinct since they apply to different airplane models.

    UTC Aerospace Systems has issued Service Bulletins ERPS06M-29-22, dated March 17, 2017; Revision 1, dated June 27, 2017; and Revision 2, dated May 24, 2018. This service information identifies affected part and serial numbers for the RAT hydraulic pump. These documents are distinct since each one applies to different hydraulic pump part numbers.

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

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 103 airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

    Estimated Costs Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S.
  • operators
  • Up to 14 work-hours × $85 per hour = Up to $1,190 $0 Up to $1,190 Up to $122,570.
    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2018-23-15 Airbus SAS: Amendment 39-19502; Docket No. FAA-2018-0764; Product Identifier 2018-NM-074-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective December 28, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD affects AD 2016-14-01, Amendment 39-18582 (81 FR 44983, July 12, 2016; corrected August 16, 2016 (81 FR 51097, August 3, 2016)) (“AD 2016-14-01”).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to the airplanes identified in paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(2), (c)(3), (c)(4), and (c)(5) of this AD, certificated in any category, all manufacturer serial numbers.

    (1) Airbus SAS Model A330-223F and -243F airplanes.

    (2) Airbus SAS Model A330-201, -202, -203, -223, and -243 airplanes.

    (3) Airbus SAS Model A330-301, -302, -303, -321, -322, -323, -341, -342, and -343 airplanes.

    (4) Airbus SAS Model A340-211, -212, -213 airplanes.

    (5) Airbus SAS Model A340-311, -312, and -313 airplanes.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 29, Hydraulic Power.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by defects found during production tests of ram air turbine (RAT) units; investigation revealed that the defects were due to certain RAT hydraulic pumps having an alternative manufacturing process of the pump pistons. We are issuing this AD to prevent low performance of the pump, which, following a total engine flame-out, or during a total loss of normal electrical power generation, could result in reduced control of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Definitions for This AD

    (1) An affected part is a RAT hydraulic pump having part number (P/N) 5916430 and a serial number identified in UTC Aerospace Systems Service Bulletin ERPS06M-29-22, dated March 17, 2017; Revision 1, dated June 27, 2017; or Revision 2, dated May 24, 2018.

    (2) A serviceable part is a RAT hydraulic pump identified as acceptable in Airbus Service Bulletin A330-29-3130 or A340-29-4098, both dated May 3, 2017, as applicable.

    (3) Group 1 airplanes are airplanes on which an affected part is installed.

    (4) Group 2 airplanes are airplanes on which no affected part is installed. A Model A330 airplane on which Airbus SAS Modification 206604 has been embodied in production is a Group 2 airplane, provided that the airplane remains in that configuration.

    (h) Replacement and Re-identification for Group 1 Airplanes

    (1) Within 18 months after the effective date of this AD, replace any affected RAT hydraulic pump with a serviceable part, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A330-29-3130 or A340-29-4098, both dated May 3, 2017, as applicable.

    (2) Concurrently with the replacement required by paragraph (h)(1) of this AD, re-identify the part number of the RAT module, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A330-29-3130 or A340-29-4098, both dated May 3, 2017, as applicable.

    Note 1 to paragraph (h)(2) of this AD: Airbus Service Bulletins A330-29-3130 and A340-29-4098, both dated May 3, 2017, provide guidance for re-identification of the part numbers of the RAT hydraulic pumps that are not affected, and the part numbers of the RAT modules that are not equipped with an affected hydraulic pump.

    (i) Compliance With AD 2016-14-01

    After re-identification of a RAT module on an airplane, as required by paragraph (h)(2) of this AD, the airplane remains compliant with the RAT module re-identification requirements of AD 2016-14-01 for that airplane.

    (j) Parts Installation Prohibition

    (1) For Group 1 airplanes: After replacement of any affected RAT hydraulic pump as required by paragraph (h)(1) of this AD, do not install any affected RAT hydraulic pump.

    (2) For Group 2 airplanes: As of the effective date of this AD, do not install any affected RAT hydraulic pump.

    (k) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

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

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

    (l) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA AD 2018-0062, dated March 20, 2018, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0764.

    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax: 206-231-3229.

    (m) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Airbus Service Bulletin A330-29-3130, dated May 3, 2017.

    (ii) Airbus Service Bulletin A340-29-4098, dated May 3, 2017.

    (iii) UTC Aerospace Systems Service Bulletin ERPS06M-29-22, dated March 17, 2017.

    (iv) UTC Aerospace Systems Service Bulletin ERPS06M-29-22, Revision 1, dated June 27, 2017.

    (v) UTC Aerospace Systems Service Bulletin ERPS06M-29-22, Revision 2, dated May 24, 2018.

    (3) For Airbus SAS service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EIAS, Rond-Point Emile Dewoitine No: 2, 31700 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; internet http://www.airbus.com.

    (4) For UTC Aerospace service information identified in this final rule, contact UTC Aerospace Systems Goodrich Corporation, Actuation Systems, Stafford Road, Fordhouses, Wolverhampton, West Midlands WV10 7EH, England; phone: +44 (0) 1902 624644938; fax: +44 (0) 1902 788100624947; email: [email protected]; internet: https://www.customers.utcaerospacesystems.com.

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

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

    Issued in Des Moines, Washington, on November 8, 2018. Chris Spangenberg, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25387 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0632; Product Identifier 2017-NE-16-AD; Amendment 39-19487; AD 2018-23-01] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Zodiac Seats France Cabin Attendant Seats AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Zodiac Seats France 536 Series Cabin Attendant Seats. This AD was prompted by cracks found in a highly concentrated stress area of the seat pan hinges. This AD requires repetitive inspections and replacement of the seat pan. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective December 28, 2018.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of December 28, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    For service information identified in this final rule, contact Zodiac Seats France, Rue Robert Marechal Senior B.P. 69, 36100 Issoudun, France; phone: +33 (0) 2 54 03 39 39; fax: +33 (0) 2 54 03 39 00; email: [email protected]; internet: https://services.zodiacaerospace.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Engine & Propeller Standards Branch, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA, 01803. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7759. It is also available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0632.

    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-2017-0632; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this final rule, the mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI), the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for Docket Operations (phone: 800-647-5527) is U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC, 20590.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dorie Resnik, Aerospace Engineer, Boston ACO Branch, FAA, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA, 01803; phone: 781-238-7693; fax: 781-238-7199; email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking NPRM to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Zodiac Seats France 536 Series Cabin Attendant Seats. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on December 22, 2017 (82 FR 60690). The NPRM was prompted by cracks found in a highly concentrated stress area of the seat pan hinges. The NPRM proposed to require repetitive inspections of the affected cabin attendant seats and, depending on findings, replacement of the seat pan. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Community, has issued EASA AD 2017-0001, dated January 6, 2017 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”) to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

    Cases of cracks were found on Zodiac Seats France cabin attendant seats 536 series installed on some ATR 42 and ATR 72 aeroplanes. The detected damage was located in the area of the seat pan hinges. Investigations identified that fatigue had caused these cracks in a highly concentrated stress area.

    This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to failure of the seat, possibly resulting in injury to the seat occupant.

    To address this potential unsafe condition, Zodiac Seats France issued Service Bulletin (SB) 536-25-003 to provide inspection and replacement instructions. Consequently, EASA issued AD 2016-0164, requiring repetitive visual inspections of the affected cabin attendant seats and, depending on findings, replacement of the seat pan.

    Since that AD was issued, Zodiac Seats France developed a reinforced seat pan, and revised SB 536-25-003 accordingly. After installation of a reinforced seat pan, the seat P/N amendment status is updated.

    For the reason described above, this AD retains the requirements of EASA AD 2016-0164, which is superseded, prohibits installation of unreinforced seat pans on seats already modified, and introduces the reinforced seat pan installation as optional terminating action for the repetitive inspections.

    You may obtain further information by examining the MCAI in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0632.

    Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this final rule. We received no comments on the NPRM or on the determination of the cost to the public.

    Conclusion

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

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

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

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Zodiac Seats France Service Bulletin (SB) No. 536-25-003, Rev. 3, dated June 2, 2017. The SB describes procedures for inspection, modification, or replacement of the seat pan of certain model seats known to be installed on ATR 42 and ATR 72 airplanes. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 55 seat assemblies installed on, but not limited to, ATR 42 and ATR 72 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S. operators
    Seat inspection, modification, or replacement 1.2 work-hours × $85 per hour = $102 $1,500 $1,602 $88,110

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed above, I certify this AD:

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2018-23-01 Zodiac Seats France (formerly SICMA Aero Seat): Amendment 39-19487; Docket No. FAA-2017-0632; Product Identifier 2017-NE-16-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective December 28, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    (1) This AD applies to all Zodiac Seats France Cabin Attendant Seats, 536 Series, part numbers (P/N) 53600, all dash numbers, and all serial numbers, with seat pan P/N F0433453, installed.

    (2) These appliances are installed on, but not limited to, ATR 42 and ATR 72 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by cracks found in a highly concentrated stress area of the seat pan hinges. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of affected seats. The unsafe condition, if not addressed, could result in injury to the seat occupants.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Required Actions

    (1) Before exceeding 2,500 flight cycles (FCs), or within 100 FCs after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later, inspect the seat pan structure in both deployed and stowed positions using paragraph 2.A., Accomplishment Instructions, of Zodiac Seats France Service Bulletin (SB) No. 536-25-003, Rev. 3, dated June 2, 2017.

    (2) If cracks are found, before the next flight:

    (i) Replace seat pan with reinforced seat pan, P/N F0511530, using paragraph 2.B., Accomplishment Instructions, of Zodiac Seats France SB No. 536-25-003, Rev. 3, dated June 2, 2017.

    (ii) Re-mark the seat using paragraph 2.C., Accomplishment Instructions, of Zodiac Seats France SB No. 536-25-003, Rev. 3, dated June 2, 2017.

    (3) If no cracks are found, do the following:

    (i) Re-mark the seat using paragraph 2.C., Accomplishment Instructions, of Zodiac Seats France SB No. 536-25-003, Rev. 3, dated June 2, 2017.

    (ii) Reinspect the seat pan every 100 FCs since last inspection, or replace seat pan with reinforced seat pan, P/N F0511530, using paragraph 2.B., Accomplishment.

    Instructions, of Zodiac Seats France SB No. 536-25-003, Rev. 3, dated June 2, 2017.

    (4) After the effective date of this AD, and until compliance with this AD is accomplished, stow and secure an affected attendant seat in the retracted position to prevent occupancy, in accordance with the provisions and limitations of the applicable Master Minimum Equipment List item.

    (h) Optional Terminating Action

    Installation of a reinforced seat pan, P/N F0511530, using paragraph 2.B., Accomplishment Instructions, of Zodiac Seats France SB No. 536-25-003, Rev. 3, dated June 2, 2017, is terminating action to this AD.

    (i) Credit for Previous Actions

    You may take credit for inspections and modifications performed in accordance with Zodiac Seats France SB No. 536-25-003, Rev. 2, dated September 16, 2016, or earlier versions, if you performed these actions before the effective date of this AD.

    (j) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Boston 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 ACO Branch, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (k)(1) of this AD. You may email your request to: [email protected].

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

    (k) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Dorie Resnik, Aerospace Engineer, Boston ACO Branch, FAA, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA, 01803; phone: 781-238-7693; fax: 781-238-7199; email: [email protected].

    (2) Refer to MCAI EASA AD 2017-0001, dated January 6, 2017, for more information. You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating it in Docket No. FAA-2017-0632.

    (l) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Zodiac Seats France Service Bulletin No. 536-25-003, Rev. 3, dated June 2, 2017.

    (ii) [Reserved.]

    (3) For Zodiac Seats France service information identified in this AD, contact Zodiac Seats France, Rue Robert Marechal Senior B.P. 69, 36100 Issoudun, France; phone: +33 (0) 2 54 03 39 39; fax: +33 (0) 2 54 03 39 00; email: [email protected]aerospace.com; internet: https://services.zodiacaerospace.com.

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

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

    Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on November 16, 2018. Robert J. Ganley, Manager, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25436 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2016-9392; Product Identifier 2016-NM-003-AD; Amendment 39-19499; AD 2018-23-12] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Zodiac Aero Evacuation Systems (also known as Air Cruisers Company) AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Zodiac Aero Evacuation Systems (also known as Air Cruisers Company) fusible plugs installed on emergency evacuation equipment for various transport category airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports indicating that affected fusible plugs activated (vented gas) below the rated temperature. This AD requires an inspection of the fusible plugs to determine the part number and lot number, and replacement of all affected fusible plugs. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective December 28, 2018.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of December 28, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    For service information identified in this final rule, contact Air Cruisers, 1747 State Route 34, Wall Township, NJ 07727-3935; phone 732-681-3527; email [email protected]. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195. It is also available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-9392.

    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-2016-9392; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this final rule, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for Docket Operations (phone: 800-647-5527) is U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to Zodiac Aero Evacuation Systems (also known as Air Cruisers Company) fusible plugs installed on emergency evacuation equipment for various transport category airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on November 18, 2016 (81 FR 81709). The NPRM was prompted by reports indicating that affected fusible plugs activated (vented gas) below the rated temperature. The NPRM proposed to require an inspection of the fusible plugs to determine the part number and lot number, and replacement of all affected fusible plugs.

    We subsequently issued a supplemental NPRM (SNPRM) that was published in the Federal Register on January 24, 2018 (83 FR 3283). The SNPRM proposed to extend the compliance time, clarify the applicability, and clarify certain requirements.

    We are issuing this AD to address fusible plugs that might activate below the rated temperature and render the evacuation system unusable.

    Comments

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

    Request to Extend Compliance Time

    Airlines for America (A4A), on behalf of its members, requested that we extend the compliance time specified in paragraph (h) of the proposed AD (in the SNPRM). A4A stated that the extended compliance time of 42 months after the effective date (in paragraph (g) of the proposed AD (in the SNPRM)) had an unintended consequence in the re-worded compliance paragraph (h) of the proposed AD (in the SNPRM). A4A noted that while the allowance for maintenance records inspection was added, the words “[b]efore further flight” remained. A4A concluded that the current version means that either a planeside finding or a maintenance records discovery will each require action before further flight. A4A stated that while a finding by direct inspection will happen only in a shop and not affect operation of any aircraft, the accommodation for records review could immediately ground an in-service aircraft. A4A requested that we allow 42 months for the replacement if a records review was done.

    We agree to revise the compliance time in paragraph (h) of this AD because we have determined that a compliance time of 42 months to replace the affected part addresses the unsafe condition and provides an acceptable level of safety. We have revised paragraph (h) of the AD to specify a 42-month compliance time for the replacement.

    Request To Specify Serial Numbers

    All Nippon Airways (ANA) requested that we revise paragraph (c) of the proposed AD (in the SNPRM) to refer to service information that specifies the serial numbers and not only the part numbers of the affected emergency equipment. ANA stated that identifying affected [parts] by only the part number means that even after expiration of the compliance time specified in the proposed AD, the inspection must be continued every time the affected emergency equipment is purchased. ANA stated that the serial number of the affected emergency equipment should be specified in the service information listed in paragraph (c) of the proposed AD (in the SNPRM) in order to prevent endless inspections.

    We do not agree because specific serial numbers for the affected emergency equipment have not been identified. In addition, since the fusible plugs are rotable we cannot limit the applicability to only the known emergency equipment on which the fusible plugs were initially installed. Therefore, in order to address the identified unsafe condition, all fusible plugs installed on emergency evacuation equipment identified in the service information specified in paragraph (c) of this AD must be inspected as specified in paragraph (g) of this AD. When installing new equipment on an airplane, operators must ensure the newly installed part is not one of the affected parts by complying with the parts installation prohibition specified in paragraph (i) of this AD. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

    Request To Refer to Service Information

    Southwest Airlines (SWA) and A4A, on behalf of its members, requested that we refer to service information for accomplishing the actions specified in paragraph (g) of the proposed AD (in the SNPRM). SWA stated that the Air Cruisers service bulletins listed in paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(16) of the proposed AD (in the SNPRM) have steps to inspect for the affected fusible plugs and to remove fusible plugs that are stamped with Lot PA-21 or PA-22. SWA noted that the service bulletins have been incorporated into the various Air Cruisers component maintenance manuals (CMMs). A4A stated that the service bulletins and CMMs specify an inspection for the suspect fusible plug lot numbers and replacement if found.

    A4A and SWA also stated that maintenance records would not indicate the level of detail of the fusible plug part numbers and lot numbers installed. SWA stated that the revision of the CMM used to make the components serviceable is noted on FAA Form 8130-3. A4A also stated that access to the fusible plug part number and lot number is not achievable planeside, and noted that the equipment manufacturer recommends the system to be unpacked and inspected in the slide shop. SWA and A4A requested that paragraph (g) of the proposed AD (in the SNPRM) be revised to specify accomplishing the inspection in accordance with the applicable service information specified in paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(16) of the proposed AD (in the SNPRM) and/or the applicable component maintenance manuals.

    We do not agree with revising paragraph (g) of this AD to mandate service information because this AD does not require operators to accomplish the inspection using a specific method. However, we do agree that operators should be aware of the service information that can be used to do the inspection specified in paragraph (g) of this AD. Therefore, we have added Note 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD to specify service bulletins and CMMs that provide guidance for performing the inspection. We have redesignated subsequent notes in this AD accordingly.

    We also acknowledge the commenters' statement that the records review might not be conclusive. As stated in paragraph (g) of this AD, the records review is allowed only if operators can conclusively determine the part number and lot number. For operators that do not have records that can conclusively determine the part number and lot number, the inspection must be done.

    Request To Remove Paragraph (h) of the Proposed AD (in the SNPRM)

    SWA requested that we remove paragraph (h) of the proposed AD (in the SNPRM). SWA stated that paragraph (h) of the proposed AD (in the SNPRM) would require immediate removal of the emergency equipment if an inspection or a records review determines an affected part is installed. SWA suggested that paragraph (h) of the proposed AD (in the SNPRM) be deleted because it is unnecessary. SWA stated the emergency equipment must be removed from the aircraft in order to inspect for the affected fusible plug. SWA noted the component maintenance documents do not provide the level of detail of the fusible plug part numbers and lot numbers installed.

    We do not agree with removing paragraph (h) of this AD because in order to address the unsafe condition the affected fusible plug must not only be removed but must also be replaced as required by paragraph (h) of this AD. We have not changed this AD in this regard. However, as stated previously, we have revised the compliance time in paragraph (h) of this AD to specify replacing within 42 months instead of requiring immediate action.

    Request for Credit for Actions Done Using Certain Service Information

    SWA requested that we give credit for inspections of the affected fusible plugs previously done per Air Cruisers service bulletins and/or CMMs incorporating the requirements of the Air Cruisers service bulletins.

    We agree to clarify. We have not mandated specific service information for accomplishing the actions specified in paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD; therefore, it is not necessary to give credit for using specific service information. For operators that have already accomplished the actions required by paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD, credit is given as specified in paragraph (f) of this AD, which states to accomplish the required actions within the compliance times specified, “unless already done.” Therefore, if operators have accomplished the actions required for compliance with paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD before the effective date of this AD, no further action is necessary.

    Request To Revise Parts Installation Prohibition

    A4A, on behalf of its members, requested that we revise paragraph (i) of the proposed AD (in the SNPRM) to specify that no person may install on any airplane any slide, slide/raft, or off-wing escape system unless the inspection of the fusible plug has been done per the applicable service information specified in paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(16) of the proposed AD (in the SNPRM) and/or the applicable CMM listed in Air Cruisers Service Information Letter (SIL) 25-246, Rev. No. 2, dated January 24, 2017. A4A stated that paragraph (i) of the proposed AD (in the SNPRM) does not sufficiently close the door on direct inspection of the plug, which can only be accomplished by unpacking slides and complete disassembly. A4A stated that only the inspection of records (including service bulletin accomplishment information directly stamped on the slide) can reasonably accomplish the intention of the proposed AD in a practical manner.

    We do not agree because we have not mandated the service information specified by the commenter. In order to comply with paragraph (i) of this AD, operators must prevent the installation of an affected part on an airplane. Paragraph (i) of this AD does not mandate a specific method for operators to follow to ensure the affected part is not installed. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

    Request To Revise Cost Estimate

    A4A, on behalf of its members, requested that we revise the cost estimate. A4A stated that the NPRM assumes one hour of labor per aircraft. A4A noted that because the actions need to be done at an appropriate facility (off wing and often not the operator's own shop), the cost should be per system, and include all facets from uninstalling through reinstallation. A4A stated the operator's actions will consume closer to 4 hours per slide (at $85/hour), with the addition of $500 each way shipping, and the vendor cost (Zodiac's typical billing is $2,900 per slide).

    We agree with revising the cost estimate because operators that cannot do a records review will need to remove the affected emergency equipment to accomplish the inspection. We disagree with including the shipping and vendor costs because not all operators will need to ship the equipment in order to do the inspection or records review. We have revised the Costs of Compliance section in this final rule to specify up to 4 work-hours for the inspection.

    Clarification of Replacement Part

    In paragraph (h) of the proposed AD (in the SNPRM), we specified to replace the fusible plug with a new part that does not have P/N B13984-3, stamped with Lot PA-21 or PA-22. However, we have determined that it is not necessary for the replacement part to be a new part. Therefore, we have revised paragraph (h) of this AD to specify to replace the fusible plug with a serviceable fusible plug P/N B13984-3 that is not stamped with Lot PA-21 or PA-22.

    Additional Affected Parts—Other Related Service Information

    We have reviewed Air Cruisers Service Information Letter (SIL) 25-246, Rev. No. 2, dated January 24, 2017, which indicates additional fusible plugs might be affected by the identified unsafe condition. We have determined that to delay this action in order to allow the public to comment on the merits of inspecting the additional fusible plugs would be inappropriate, since we have determined that an unsafe condition exists and that inspections must be conducted to ensure continued safety. We are considering additional rulemaking to address additional fusible plugs.

    Clarification of Manufacturer's Name

    In the Summary of the SNPRM, we noted that Zodiac Aero Evacuation Systems was formerly known as Air Cruisers. However, Zodiac Aero Evacuation Systems is also known as Air Cruisers Company. For clarity, we have referred to the manufacturer as Zodiac Aero Evacuation Systems (also known as Air Cruisers Company) throughout this final rule.

    Conclusion

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

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

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

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

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed the following Air Cruisers service information. The service information identifies the affected fusible plugs. In addition, it describes procedures for inspecting and replacing affected fusible plugs. These documents are distinct since they apply to different airplane models or configurations.

    • Air Cruisers Service Bulletin 737 103-25-50, dated August 27, 2010.

    • Air Cruisers Service Bulletin 757 105-25-80, dated August 27, 2010.

    • Air Cruisers Service Bulletin 757 105-25-81, dated August 27, 2010.

    • Air Cruisers Service Bulletin 767 106-25-10, Rev. No. 1, dated October 15, 2010.

    • Air Cruisers Service Bulletin 777 107-25-29, Rev. No. 1, dated July 8, 2011.

    • Air Cruisers Service Bulletin A300/A310 001-25-19, dated August 27, 2010.

    • Air Cruisers Service Bulletin A300/A310 003-25-33, dated August 27, 2010.

    • Air Cruisers Service Bulletin A310 002-25-08, dated August 27, 2010.

    • Air Cruisers Service Bulletin A320 004-25-87, Rev. No. 2, dated January 7, 2011.

    • Air Cruisers Service Bulletin A321 005-25-21, dated August 27, 2010.

    • Air Cruisers Service Bulletin BAe 146 201-25-23, dated December 10, 2010.

    • Air Cruisers Service Bulletin F28 352-25-02, dated December 10, 2010.

    • Air Cruisers Service Bulletin F100 351-25-07, dated December 10, 2010.

    • Air Cruisers Service Bulletin Liferaft 35-25-79, dated August 27, 2010.

    • Air Cruisers Service Bulletin MD11 305-25-35, dated August 27, 2010.

    • Air Cruisers Service Bulletin MD80/90/717 304-25-45, dated August 27, 2010.

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

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 3,384 airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on
  • U.S. operators
  • Determination of part and lot number Up to 4 work-hours × $85 per hour = Up to $340 $0 Up to $340 Up to $1,150,560.

    We estimate the following costs per slide to do any necessary replacement of the fusible plug that would be required based on the results of the inspection. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need these replacements:

    On-Condition Cost Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Replacement 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 Not available $85

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2018-23-12 Zodiac Aero Evacuation Systems (also known as Air Cruisers Company): Amendment 39-19499; Docket No. FAA-2016-9392; Product Identifier 2016-NM-003-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective December 28, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Zodiac Aero Evacuation Systems (also known as Air Cruisers Company) fusible plugs installed on emergency evacuation equipment identified in the service information specified in paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(16) of this AD. These affected fusible plugs might be installed on the emergency evacuation equipment of the following manufacturers' airplanes: Airbus, The Boeing Company, BAE Systems (Operations) Limited, and Fokker Services B.V.

    (1) Air Cruisers Service Bulletin 737 103-25-50, dated August 27, 2010.

    (2) Air Cruisers Service Bulletin 757 105-25-80, dated August 27, 2010.

    (3) Air Cruisers Service Bulletin 757 105-25-81, dated August 27, 2010.

    (4) Air Cruisers Service Bulletin 767 106-25-10, Rev. No. 1, dated October 15, 2010.

    (5) Air Cruisers Service Bulletin 777 107-25-29, Rev. No. 1, dated July 8, 2011.

    (6) Air Cruisers Service Bulletin A300/A310 001-25-19, dated August 27, 2010.

    (7) Air Cruisers Service Bulletin A300/A310 003-25-33, dated August 27, 2010.

    (8) Air Cruisers Service Bulletin A310 002-25-08, dated August 27, 2010.

    (9) Air Cruisers Service Bulletin A320 004-25-87, Rev. No. 2, dated January 7, 2011.

    (10) Air Cruisers Service Bulletin A321 005-25-21, dated August 27, 2010.

    (11) Air Cruisers Service Bulletin BAe 146 201-25-23, dated December 10, 2010.

    (12) Air Cruisers Service Bulletin F28 352-25-02, dated December 10, 2010.

    (13) Air Cruisers Service Bulletin F100 351-25-07, dated December 10, 2010.

    (14) Air Cruisers Service Bulletin Liferaft 35-25-79, dated August 27, 2010.

    (15) Air Cruisers Service Bulletin MD11 305-25-35, dated August 27, 2010.

    (16) Air Cruisers Service Bulletin MD80/90/717 304-25-45, dated August 27, 2010.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 25, Equipment/furnishings.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by reports indicating that affected fusible plugs activated (vented gas) below the rated temperature. We are issuing this AD to address fusible plugs that might activate below the rated temperature and render the evacuation system unusable.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Fusible Plug Identification

    Within 42 months after the effective date of this AD, do an inspection to determine if any fusible plug has part number (P/N) B13984-3, stamped with Lot PA-21 or PA-22. A review of the airplane maintenance records is acceptable to make this determination if it can be conclusively determined from that review that a part not having P/N B13984-3, stamped with Lot PA-21 or PA-22, has been installed.

    Note 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD: Guidance for performing the inspection specified in paragraph (g) of this AD can be found in applicable service information specified in paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(16) of this AD and the applicable component maintenance manuals (CMMs) that have incorporated the appropriate Air Cruisers service information.

    (h) Replacement of Affected Fusible Plug

    If, during the inspection or records review required by paragraph (g) of this AD, it is determined that any fusible plug has part number (P/N) B13984-3, stamped with Lot PA-21 or PA-22: Within 42 months after the effective date of this AD, replace that fusible plug with a serviceable fusible plug P/N B13984-3 that is not stamped with Lot PA-21 or PA-22.

    Note 2 to paragraph (h) of this AD: Guidance can be found in the applicable CMM for the replacement. In addition, Air Cruisers Service Information Letter (SIL) 25-246, Rev. No. 1, dated February 21, 2014, provides information regarding affected fusible plugs and guidance on the replacement.

    (i) Parts Installation Prohibition

    As of the effective date of this AD, no person may install on any airplane any fusible plug having P/N B13984-3, stamped with Lot PA-21 or PA-22.

    (j) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

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

    (k) Related Information

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

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

    (l) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

    (2) You must use this service information as applicable to determine parts that are affected by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise.

    (i) Air Cruisers Service Bulletin 737 103-25-50, dated August 27, 2010.

    (ii) Air Cruisers Service Bulletin 757 105-25-80, dated August 27, 2010.

    (iii) Air Cruisers Service Bulletin 757 105-25-81, dated August 27, 2010.

    (iv) Air Cruisers Service Bulletin 767 106-25-10, Rev. No. 1, dated October 15, 2010.

    (v) Air Cruisers Service Bulletin 777 107-25-29, Rev. No. 1, dated July 8, 2011.

    (vi) Air Cruisers Service Bulletin A300/A310 001-25-19, dated August 27, 2010.

    (vii) Air Cruisers Service Bulletin A300/A310 003-25-33, dated August 27, 2010.

    (viii) Air Cruisers Service Bulletin A310 002-25-08, dated August 27, 2010.

    (ix) Air Cruisers Service Bulletin A320 004-25-87, Rev. No. 2, dated January 7, 2011.

    (x) Air Cruisers Service Bulletin A321 005-25-21, dated August 27, 2010.

    (xi) Air Cruisers Service Bulletin BAe 146 201-25-23, dated December 10, 2010.

    (xii) Air Cruisers Service Bulletin F28 352-25-02, dated December 10, 2010.

    (xiii) Air Cruisers Service Bulletin F100 351-25-07, dated December 10, 2010.

    (xiv) Air Cruisers Service Bulletin Liferaft 35-25-79, dated August 27, 2010.

    (xv) Air Cruisers Service Bulletin MD11 305-25-35, dated August 27, 2010.

    (xvi) Air Cruisers Service Bulletin MD80/90/717 304-25-45, dated August 27, 2010.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Air Cruisers, 1747 State Route 34, Wall Township, NJ 07727-3935; phone 732-681-3527; email [email protected].

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

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

    Issued in Des Moines, Washington, on November 8, 2018. Chris Spangenberg, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25003 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 18 CFR Parts 35, 101, 154, 201, and 352 [Docket No. PL19-2-000] Accounting and Ratemaking Treatment of Accumulated Deferred Income Taxes and Treatment Following the Sale or Retirement of an Asset AGENCY:

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Policy statement.

    SUMMARY:

    In this Policy Statement, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) states its policy regarding the treatment of Accumulated Deferred Income Taxes for both accounting and ratemaking purposes as to Commission-jurisdictional public utilities, natural gas pipelines and oil pipelines, in light of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. In addition, the Commission addresses the accounting and ratemaking treatment of Accumulated Deferred Income Taxes following the sale or retirement of an asset.

    DATES:

    This Policy Statement will become applicable November 23, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sharli Silva (Legal Information), Office of the General Counsel, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-8719, [email protected]. Bryan Wheeler (Technical Information), Office of Energy Markets Regulation, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-8497, [email protected]. Monil Patel (Technical Information), Office of Energy Markets Regulation, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-8296, [email protected]. Kimberly Horner (Technical Information), Office of Enforcement, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-8623, [email protected].
    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    1. In this Policy Statement, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) states its policy regarding the treatment of Accumulated Deferred Income Taxes (ADIT) for both accounting and ratemaking purposes as to Commission-jurisdictional public utilities, natural gas pipelines, and oil pipelines, in light of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.1 The Commission also addresses the accounting and ratemaking treatment of ADIT following the sale or retirement of an asset.

    1 An Act to provide for reconciliation pursuant to titles II and V of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2018, Public Law 115-97, 131 Stat. 2054 (2017) (Tax Cuts and Jobs Act).

    I. Background A. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

    2. On December 22, 2017, the President signed into law the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, among other things, reduced the federal corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, effective January 1, 2018.2 This means that, beginning January 1, 2018, companies subject to the Commission's jurisdiction will compute income taxes owed to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) based on a 21 percent tax rate. The tax rate reduction will result in less corporate income tax expense going forward.

    2Id. Sec. 13001, 131 Stat. at 2096.

    3. Importantly, the tax rate reduction will also result in a reduction in ADIT liabilities and ADIT assets on the books of rate-regulated companies. ADIT balances are accumulated on the regulated books and records of such regulated companies based on the requirements of the Uniform System of Accounts (USofA).3 ADIT arises from timing differences between the method of computing taxable income for reporting to the IRS and the method of computing income for regulatory accounting and ratemaking purposes.4 As a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act reducing the federal corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, a portion of an ADIT liability that was collected from customers will no longer be due from public utilities, natural gas pipelines and oil pipelines to the IRS and is considered excess ADIT.

    3See Definition of Accounts 182.3 and Account 254, 18 CFR part 101, Uniform System of Accounts Prescribed for Public Utilities and Licensees Subject to the Provisions of the Federal Power Act; see Definition of Accounts 182.3 and Account 254, 18 CFR part 201, Uniform System of Accounts Prescribed for Natural Gas Companies Subject to the Provisions of the Natural Gas Act; see General Instructions 1-12, Accounting for Income Taxes, 18 CFR part 352, Uniform Systems of Accounts Prescribed for Oil Pipeline Companies Subject to the Provisions of the Interstate Commerce Act.

    4See 18 CFR 35.24(d)(2) (2018).

    B. Order No. 144

    4. The purpose of tax normalization is to match the tax effects of costs and revenues with the recovery in rates of those same costs and revenues.5 As noted above, timing differences may exist between the method of computing taxable income for reporting to the IRS and the method of computing income for regulatory accounting and ratemaking purposes. The tax effects of these differences are placed in a deferred tax account to be used in later periods when the differences reverse.6

    5Tax Normalization for Certain Items Reflecting Timing Differences in the Recognition of Expenses or Revenues for Ratemaking and Income Tax Purposes, Order No. 144, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 30,254 at 31,522, 31,530 (1981), order on reh'g, Order No. 144-A, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 30,340 (1982).

    6 Order No. 144, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 30,254 at 31,554.

    5. The Commission established this policy of tax normalization in Order No. 144 where it required use of “the provision for deferred taxes [(i.e., ADIT)] as a mechanism for setting the tax allowance at the level of current tax cost.” 7 In keeping with this normalization policy, and as relevant to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act's reduction of the federal corporate income tax rate, the Commission in Order No. 144 also required adjustments in the ADIT of public utilities' cost of service when excessive or deficient ADIT has been created as a result of changes in tax rates.8 Furthermore, the Commission required “a rate applicant to compute the income tax component in its cost of service by making provision for any excess or deficiency in its deferred tax reserves resulting . . . from tax rate changes.” 9 The Commission required that such provision be consistent with a Commission-approved ratemaking method made specifically applicable to the rate applicant.10 Where no ratemaking method has been made specifically applicable, the Commission required the rate applicant to advance some method in its next rate case.11 The Commission stated that it would determine the appropriateness of any proposed method on a case-by-case basis, but as the issue is resolved in a number of cases, a method with wide applicability may be adopted.12 The Commission codified the requirements of Order No. 144 in its regulations in 18 CFR 35.24.13

    7Id. at 31,530.

    8Id. at 31,519.

    9 Order No. 144, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 30,254 at 31,560. See also 18 CFR 35.24(c)(1)(ii); 18 CFR 35.24(c)(2).

    10 Order No. 144, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 30,254 at 31,560. See also 18 CFR 35.24(c)(3).

    11 Order No. 144, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 30,254 at 31,560.

    12Id. See also 18 CFR 35.24(c)(3).

    13 Originally promulgated as part of Order No. 144, the regulatory text was redesignated as 18 CFR 35.25 in Order No. 144-A. See Order No. 144-A, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 30,340 at 30,140. In Order No. 545, the Commission again redesignated the regulatory text to its present designation as 18 CFR 35.24. See Streamlining Electric Power Regulation, Order No. 545, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 30,955, at 30,713 (1992) (cross-referenced at 61 FERC ¶61,207).

    1. Public Utilities—18 CFR 35.24

    6. Originally promulgated in Order No. 144, the Commission's regulations in 18 CFR 35.24 provide requirements for the proper ratemaking treatment of the tax effects of all transactions for which there are timing differences.14 Under this section, a public utility must account for excess or deficient ADIT when computing the income tax component of its cost of service.15 Additionally, in accounting for this excess or deficient ADIT, a public utility is required to apply the ratemaking method that has been specifically approved by the Commission for that public utility.16 Where no such ratemaking method exists, a public utility may choose which ratemaking method to apply and the reasonableness of that ratemaking method will be determined on a case-by-case basis by the Commission.17

    14See id.

    15See 18 CFR 35.24(c)(1)(ii), (c)(2).

    16See 18 CFR 35.24(c)(3).

    17See id.

    2. Natural Gas Pipelines—18 CFR 154.305

    7. Order No. 144 also promulgated the Commission's regulations regarding tax normalization for natural gas pipelines which were originally located in part 2 of the regulations as section 2.202.18 Order No. 144-A redesignated the tax normalization regulations for natural gas pipelines by removing them from part 2 of the Commission's regulations and placing them in part 154.19 Subsequently, Order No. 582 redesignated the regulatory text in that part with respect to natural gas pipelines to its current designation in section 154.305, and made various revisions in that section.20 The section requires a natural gas pipeline making a rate filing under the Natural Gas Act to compute the income tax component of its cost of service by using tax normalization for all transactions.21 More specifically, the section requires natural gas pipelines to reduce rate base by the balances that are properly recordable in USofA Account 281 (Accumulated deferred income taxes—accelerated amortization property), Account 282 (Accumulated deferred income taxes—other property), and Account 283 (Accumulated deferred income taxes—other).22 Conversely, rate base must be increased by balances that are properly recordable in Account 190 (Accumulated deferred income taxes).23 The section also requires natural gas pipelines to compute the income tax component in its cost of service by including a provision for amortizing excess or deficiency in deferred taxes. This is done by applying a Commission-approved ratemaking method made specifically applicable to the natural gas pipeline for determining the cost-of-service provision: (1) If the natural gas pipeline has not provided deferred taxes in the same amount that would have accrued had tax normalization always been applied or (2) if, as a result of changes in tax rates, the accumulated provision for deferred taxes becomes deficient in, or in excess of, amounts necessary to meet future tax liabilities.24 Similar to the tax normalization regulations for public utilities, if the Commission has not approved a specific ratemaking method specifically applicable to the natural gas pipeline, then the natural gas pipeline must use a previously approved ratemaking method.25 The Commission will determine whether such method is appropriate on a case-by-case basis.26

    18 Order No. 144, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 30,254.

    19 Order No. 144-A, FERC Stats. & Regs.¶ 30,340 at 30,140. The Commission deemed part 154 a more appropriate location because tax normalization is required to be used by natural gas pipelines in filing their rate applications and the regulations that govern the filing of such rate applications are located in part 154. Id.

    20 18 CFR 154.305 (2018). See Order No. 582, Filing and Reporting Requirements for Interstate Natural Gas Company Rate Schedules and Tariffs, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,025 (1995), order on reh'g, Order No. 582-A, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,043 (1996), order on clarification, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,037 (1996). The tax normalization regulations were moved from 18 CFR 154.63a to 154.305.

    21 18 CFR 154.305.

    22 18 CFR 154.305(c)(1).

    23Id.

    24 18 CFR 154.305(d). Such amounts must be included as an addition or reduction to rate base until the deficiency or excess is fully amortized using the Commission approved ratemaking method. Id.

    25 18 CFR 154.305(d)(3).

    26Id.

    3. Oil Pipelines

    8. Unlike the Commission's regulations applicable to public utilities and natural gas pipelines, there is no tax normalization section under the Commission's regulations for oil pipelines. Instead, the Commission's regulations for oil pipelines under the USofA General Instructions, 1-12 Accounting for Income Taxes, require that when income tax rates are changed, oil pipelines reduce or increase their ADIT balances immediately by the full amount of the excess or deficient tax reserve.27 Specifically, section (b) requires oil pipelines to apply the enacted tax rate in determining the amount of deferred taxes and adjust their deferred tax liabilities and assets for the effect of the change in tax law or rates in the period that the change is enacted.28 The section further requires the adjustment to be recorded in the appropriate deferred tax balance sheet accounts based on the nature of the temporary difference and the related classification requirements of the account.29

    27 18 CFR part 352, General Instructions 1-12, Accounting for Income Taxes.

    28Id.

    29Id.

    4. Prior Accounting Guidance for Public Utilities and Natural Gas Pipelines

    9. In Docket No. AI93-5-000, the Chief Accountant issued accounting guidance on the proper accounting for income taxes.30 Among other matters, the accounting guidance directed public utilities and natural gas companies to adjust their deferred tax liabilities and assets for the effect of the change in tax law or rates in the period that the change is enacted.31 The guidance stated that adjustments should be recorded in the appropriate deferred tax balance sheet accounts (Accounts 190, 281, 282 and 283) based on the nature of the temporary difference and the related classification requirements of the accounts.32 Further, if as a result of action by a regulator, it is probable that the future increase or decrease in taxes payable due to the change in tax law or rates will be recovered from or returned to customers through future rates, an asset or liability should be recognized in Account 182.3 (Other Regulatory Assets), or Account 254 (Other Regulatory Liabilities), as appropriate, for that probable future revenue or reduction in future revenue.33

    30See Accounting for Income Taxes, Docket No. AI93-5-000, at Item 8 (Apr. 23, 1993).

    31Id.

    32Id.

    33Id.

    C. Notice of Inquiry

    10. Following the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the Commission issued a Notice of Inquiry seeking comments on, among other things, whether, and if so, how, the Commission should address the effects on ADIT of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.34 The Commission noted that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act's reduction to the federal corporate income tax rate would potentially create excess or deficient ADIT on the books of public utilities.35 As relevant to the guidance provided in this Policy Statement, the Commission sought comments on the treatment of ADIT for assets sold or retired after December 31, 2017, and the amortization of excess and deficient ADIT.36

    34Inquiry Regarding the Effect of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on Commission-Jurisdictional Rates, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 35,582 (2018) (NOI). In this Policy Statement, we refer to the comments filed in response to the NOI. A list of commenters in that proceeding and the abbreviated names used in this Policy Statement appears in Appendix A.

    35 NOI, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 35,582 at P 13.

    36Id. PP 20-22.

    II. Discussion

    11. This Policy Statement states our requirements regarding the treatment of ADIT in light of the tax rate reduction implemented in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Specifically, we provide guidance regarding: (1) The accounts in which public utilities, natural gas pipelines, and oil companies should record the amortization of excess and/or deficient ADIT for accounting purposes and ratemaking purposes and (2) whether, and if so how, such entities should address excess and/or deficient ADIT that is recorded on the books of public utilities, natural gas pipelines, and oil companies after December 31, 2017, as a result of assets being sold or retired for both accounting and ratemaking purposes.

    12. First, we clarify that for both accounting purposes and ratemaking purposes, public utilities and natural gas companies should record the amortization of the excess and/or deficient ADIT recorded in Account 254 (Other Regulatory Liabilities) and/or Account 182.3 (Other Regulatory Assets) by recording the offsetting entries to Account 410.1 (Provision for Deferred Income Taxes, Utility Operating Income) or Account 411.1 (Provision for Deferred Income Taxes—Credit, Utility Operating Income), as required by the USofA. We further clarify that for accounting purposes oil pipelines should adjust their ADIT balances to reflect the change in federal income tax rates with offsetting entries to the appropriate income statement account, as required by the USofA. Accordingly, oil pipeline companies will not record excess or deficient ADIT for accounting purposes. As detailed below, we also clarify that oil pipelines should provide additional disclosures in the Notes that accompany their FERC Form No. 6, Annual Report of Oil Pipeline Companies (Form No. 6).

    13. Second, for accounting purposes, we reiterate that public utilities and natural gas pipelines must continue to follow the accounting guidance issued by the Chief Accountant in Docket No. AI93-5-000 with respect to changes in tax law or rates. To ensure transparency in the accounting adjustments to the deferred tax accounts, we clarify that entities should provide additional disclosures in their 2018 FERC annual financial filing within the Notes to the Financial Statements as detailed below.

    14. With respect to ratemaking, for a public utility or natural gas pipeline that continues to have an income tax allowance, any excess or deficient ADIT associated with an asset must continue to be amortized in rates even after the sale or retirement of that asset. This excess or deficient ADIT will continue to be refunded to or recovered from ratepayers based on the schedule that was initially established. Similarly, for ratemaking purposes oil pipelines should keep records of excess and deficient ADIT.

    A. In Which Accounts Should Companies Record Amortization of Excess and Deficient ADIT

    15. In the NOI, the Commission sought comment on whether a public utility or natural gas pipeline should record the amortization by recording a reduction to the regulatory asset or regulatory liability account and recording an offsetting entry to Account 407.3 (Regulatory Debits) or Account 407.4 (Regulatory Credits).37 For oil pipelines, the Commission sought comment on whether this information should be recorded in Account 665 (Unusual or Infrequent Items (Debit)) or Account 645 (Unusual or Infrequent Items (Credit)).38

    37 NOI, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 35,582 at P 22.

    38Id.

    1. Comment Summary

    16. Ameren takes issue with the premise of the Commission's question that a separate regulatory liability or asset account is necessary to record excess or deficient ADIT, respectively, arguing that the excess or deficient ADIT should remain in the accounts where they were originally recorded.39 APPA and AMP, along with Indicated Customers, argue that it would be both appropriate and transparent to record the excess ADIT in the same ADIT accounts (e.g., Accounts 190, 282 and 283) where the original entries for the ADIT assets and ADIT liabilities were established, but believe separate regulatory liability and/or asset accounts would also be appropriate.40

    39 Ameren, Comments to NOI, Docket No. RM18-12-000, at 16 (filed May 21, 2018) (Ameren NOI Comments).

    40 APPA and AMP, Comments to NOI, Docket No. RM18-12-000, at 16 (filed May 22, 2018) (APPA and AMP NOI Comments); Indicated Customers, Comments to NOI, Docket No. RM18-12-000, at 14 (filed May 21, 2018) (Indicated Customers NOI Comments).

    17. When separate regulatory liability or assets are used, commenters' viewpoints diverge on the appropriate account to record the offsetting entry. Certain commenters agree with the Commission's initial suggestion.41 PSEG states that Accounts 407.3 and 407.4 correspond to the appropriate balance sheet account where the excess deferred taxes reside.42 Regarding natural gas pipelines, Berkshire asserts that recording the amounts in Account 407.3 or 407.4 will be easier for FERC Form No. 2 users to understand because it will result in similar treatment to other IRS schedule M items and above the line accounting while avoiding the requirement to spread the total year's amortization over each month using the FASB Interpretation No. 18 method.43

    41 Berkshire, Comments to NOI, Docket No. RM18-12-000, at 5-6 (filed May 22, 2018) (Berkshire NOI Comments); Consumer Advocates, Comments to NOI, Docket No. RM18-12-000, at 8-10 (filed May 21, 2018) (Consumer Advocates NOI Comments); DEMEC, Comments to NOI, Docket No. RM18-12-000, at 16 (filed May 21, 2018) (DEMEC NOI Comments); PSEG, Comments to NOI, Docket No. RM18-12-000, at 10-11 (filed May 22, 2018) (PSEG NOI Comments); TransCanada, Comments to NOI, Docket No. RM18-12-000, at 25 (filed May 21, 2018) (TransCanada NOI Comments).

    42 PSEG NOI Comments at 10-11.

    43 Berkshire NOI Comments at 5-6.

    18. Other commenters believe that either Accounts 407.3 and 407.4 or 410.1 (Provision for deferred income taxes, utility operating income) and 411.1 (Provision for deferred income taxes) are appropriate. Avangrid asserts that Account 407 is consistent with the fact that the excess deferred tax obligation ceased upon tax reform enactment and that the utilities will prospectively amortize a regulatory deferral, rather than a deferred tax liability; however, use of Account 411 is consistent with USofA requirements.44 EEI and INGAA state that their members' opinions are split between the two accounting options and request that the Commission recognize that both approaches may be appropriate.45

    44 Avangrid, Comments to NOI, Docket No. RM18-12-000, at 12-13 (May 22, 2018) (Avangrid NOI Comments).

    45 EEI, Comments to NOI, Docket No. RM18-12-000, at 19-20 (filed May 22, 2018) (EEI NOI Comments); INGAA, Comments to NOI, Docket No. RM18-12-000, at 12 (filed June 5, 2018) (INGAA NOI Comments).

    19. Many other commenters believe that only Accounts 410.1 and 411.1 are appropriate.46 New York Transco notes that those accounts were originally used when the regulatory asset or regulatory liability was established.47

    46 Ameren NOI Comments at 16; APPA and AMP NOI Comments at 16; Dominion Energy Gas Pipelines, Comments to NOI, Docket No. RM18-12-000, at 14-15 (filed May 21, 2018) (Dominion Energy Gas Pipelines NOI Comments); Enable Interstate Pipelines, Comments to NOI, Docket No. RM18-12-000, at 39-40 (filed May 21, 2018) (Enable Interstate Pipelines NOI Comments); Indicated Customers, Comments to NOI, Docket No. RM18-12-000, at 10 (filed May 21, 2018) (Indicated Customers NOI Comments); Indicated Local Distribution Companies, Comments to NOI, Docket No. RM18-12-000, at 11 (filed May 22, 2018) (Indicated Local Distribution Companies NOI Comments); New York Transco, Comments to NOI, Docket No. RM18-12-000, at 10 (filed May 22, 2018) (New York Transco NOI Comments).

    47 New York Transco NOI Comments at 10.

    20. Regarding oil pipelines, AOPL states with respect to regulatory accounting under the USofA, any excess ADIT is eliminated when tax rates change consistent with generally accepted accounting principles, rather than being reduced over time through amortization. AOPL states there is no reason to change either the Commission's accounting rules or current oil pipeline accounting practices; the Commission's ratemaking precedent controls rather than accounting rules for purposes of setting cost-of-service rates.48

    48 AOPL, Comments to NOI, Docket No. RM18-12-000, at 16 (filed May 22, 2018) (AOPL NOI Comments).

    2. Determination a. Accounting Guidance

    21. We clarify that public utilities and natural gas pipelines should record the amortization of the excess and/or deficient ADIT recorded in Account 254 (Other Regulatory Assets) and/or Account 182.3 (Other Regulatory Assets) by recording the offsetting entries to Account 410.1 (Provision for Deferred Income Taxes, Utility Operating Income) or Account 411.1 (Provision for Deferred Income Taxes—Credit, Utility Operating Income), as appropriate. As explained below, recording the amortization in Account 410.1 and Account 411.1 is consistent with the instructions for those accounts as detailed in the Commission's regulations and provides more transparency as compared with recording the amounts in Account 407.3 and Account 407.4 because the specific source of the regulatory asset or regulatory liability will be known.

    22. The Commission's instructions for Account 182.3 provide in part “[w]hen specific identification of the particular source of a regulatory asset cannot be made . . . account 407.4, regulatory credits, shall be credited.” 49 Similarly, the Commission's instructions for Account 254 state in part “[w]hen specific identification of the particular source of the regulatory liability cannot be made . . . account 407.3, regulatory debits, shall be debited.” 50

    49See Definition of Account 182.3, 18 CFR part 101, Uniform System of Accounts Prescribed for Public Utilities and Licensees Subject to the Provisions of the Federal Power Act; Definition of Account 182.3, 18 CFR part 201, Uniform System of Accounts Prescribed for Natural Gas Companies Subject to the Provisions of the Natural Gas Act.

    50See Definition of Account 254, 18 CFR part 101, Uniform System of Accounts Prescribed for Public Utilities and Licensees Subject to the Provisions of the Federal Power Act; Definition of Account 254, 18 CFR part 201, Uniform System of Accounts Prescribed for Natural Gas Companies Subject to the Provisions of the Natural Gas Act.

    23. In contrast, Account 410.1 and Account 411.1 are specifically designated for the recordation of ADIT.51 In this situation where, as a result of a change in tax law or rates, excess and/or deficient ADIT have been reclassified to Account 254 and/or Account 182.3, in accordance with the Commission's prior guidance,52 specific identification of the source of the regulatory liability and/or regulatory asset can be made. Accordingly, the Commission's existing regulations support amortizing the excess and/or deficient ADIT recorded in Account 254 and/or Account 182.3 to Account 410.1 or Account 411.1, as appropriate and consistent with the manner such amounts are reflected in rates.

    51See Definition of Account 410.1 and 411.1, 18 CFR part 101, Uniform System of Accounts Prescribed for Public Utilities and Licensees Subject to the Provisions of the Federal Power Act; Definition of Account 410.1 and 411.1, 18 CFR part 201, Uniform System of Accounts Prescribed for Natural Gas Companies Subject to the Provisions of the Natural Gas Act.

    52See Accounting for Income Taxes, Docket No. AI93-5-000, at Item 8 (Apr. 23, 1993).

    24. With respect to oil pipelines, deferred tax balances should be adjusted for the effect of changes in tax law or rates in the period the change is enacted in accordance with the USofA for oil pipelines.53 Specifically, upon the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, oil pipelines should have reduced their ADIT balances to reflect the 21 percent federal income tax rate with offsetting entries to the appropriate income statement account.54 We believe the current guidance set forth in the USofA is appropriate and will not require oil pipelines to account for excess or deficient ADIT or record the amortization of such amounts. However, to ensure transparency with respect to these ADIT adjustments, oil pipelines should disclose in the Notes to their Form No. 6 financial statements, the amounts of their ADIT adjustments resulting from the change in the federal corporate income tax rate, supported by a schedule that illustrates the calculation of the revised balances. Because the accounting for the excess and/or deficient ADIT may create differences between oil pipelines' accounting and ratemaking, such differences should also be disclosed in the Notes to their Form No. 6 financial statements, Form No. 6 Page 230, Analysis of Federal Income and Other Taxes Deferred, and Page 700, Annual Cost of Service Based Analysis Schedule.

    53See 18 CFR part 352, General Instructions 1-12(b), Accounting for Income Taxes. See also, 18 CFR part 352, Instructions for Balance Sheet Accounts, 19-5 Current Deferred Income Tax Assets, 45 Accumulated Deferred Income Tax Assets, 59 Deferred Income Tax Liabilities, and 64 Accumulated Deferred Income Tax Liabilities.

    54Id.

    b. Ratemaking Guidance

    25. With respect to public utilities, the appropriate ratemaking treatment will be addressed in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) we are issuing concurrent with this Policy Statement. In the NOPR, we are proposing to require all public utility transmission providers with transmission rates under an Open Access Transmission Tariff (OATT), a transmission owner tariff, or a rate schedule to revise those rates to account for changes caused by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Natural gas pipelines should continue to file for changes in rates consistent with sections 154.305, 154.312, and 154.313 of the Commission's regulations.55

    55 18 CFR 154.305, 154.312, 154.313 (2018). Section 154.313 should be used if the filing requests a minor rate change.

    26. For oil pipelines, the current regulatory treatment of excess and/or deficient ADIT amounts is to maintain such amounts separately for rate making purposes only and to amortize them by removing the annual amortization amount from the cost of service in the process of determining an income tax allowance. We will continue the practice of amortizing and removing the excess and or deficiency by reducing the allowed return before it is grossed up for income taxes.

    B. Whether, and If So How, To Address Excess ADIT That Is Removed From the Books of Public Utilities, Natural Gas Pipelines, and Oil Pipelines After December 31, 2017, as a Result of Assets Being Sold or Retired

    27. In the NOI, the Commission sought comment on whether, and if so how, it should address excess ADIT that is removed from the books of public utilities, natural gas pipelines, and oil pipelines after December 31, 2017, as a result of assets being sold or retired.56

    56 NOI, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 35,582 at P 20.

    1. Comment Summary

    28. Both public utility and natural gas pipeline commenters note that, to date and in response to the last time Congress changed the federal corporate income tax rate, the IRS only has issued guidance on the disposition of excess ADIT in the context of extraordinary retirements.57 They suggest that the Commission defer addressing excess ADIT that is removed from the books as a result of assets being sold or retired unless and until the IRS has had an opportunity to weigh in on this issue.58

    57See Treas. Reg. 26 CFR 1.168(i)-3, Treatment of Excess Deferred Income Tax Reserve Upon Disposition of Deregulated Public Utility Property.

    58 Avangrid NOI Comments at 11; EEI NOI Comments at 19; Ameren NOI Comments at 15; EQT Midstream, Comments to NOI, Docket No. RM18-12-000, at 14 (filed May 21, 2018) (EQT Midstream NOI Comments); Indicated Transmission Owners, Comments to NOI, Docket No. RM18-12-000, at 10 (filed May 22, 2018); Dominion Energy Gas Pipelines NOI Comments at 13.

    29. Certain public utilities argue that, for companies that properly reflect Average Rate Assumption or the Reverse South Georgia Method and have formula rates that reflect ADIT balances and adjustments thereto, there is no need for the Commission to address excess ADIT that is removed from the books after December 2017 as a result of assets being sold or retired.59

    59 Ameren NOI Comments at 14, MISO Transmission Owners, Comments to NOI, Docket No. RM18-12-000, at 14 (filed May 21, 2018).

    30. Similarly, several natural gas pipelines contend that Commission precedent is clear that when assets are sold or transferred as part of a taxable event, the ADIT balance associated with those assets is extinguished; similarly, deferred liabilities resulting from excess ADIT are also extinguished following the retirement of an asset. These pipelines believe that the Commission has provided no basis for departing from these clear rules.60 These pipelines note that the Commission has stated that “ADIT balances consist of deferred taxes that are intended to be paid at a future time—when the taxes become due. When a taxable event occurs such as the sale of assets . . . taxes are due and the ADIT balances are reduced to zero;” thus, the “ADIT balances that existed prior to the sale no longer exist and are no longer an offset against rate base.” 61 These pipelines state the NOI explained that any ADIT associated with assets that are sold are removed from the regulated entity's “books because any previously deferred tax effects related to the assets are now triggered as part of the computation of gains or losses associated with the sale (i.e., the deferred taxes are now payable to the IRS).” 62

    60 EQT Midstream NOI Comments at 14; INGAA NOI Comments at 11-12; Tallgrass, Comments to NOI, Docket No. RM18-12-000, at 12-13 (filed May 21, 2018); AOPL NOI Comments at 14-15; Enable Interstate Pipelines, Comments to NOI, Docket No. RM18-12-000, at 40 (filed on May 21, 2018).

    61Id. (citing Enbridge Pipeline (KPC), 102 FERC ¶ 61,310, at PP 5, 68 (2003)).

    62Id. (citing NOI, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 35,582 at P 20).

    31. Eversource and Exelon submit that treatment of ADIT balances is best addressed on a company-specific basis and that companies should be able to either remove the ADIT associated with assets removed from their books or continue to amortize those balances over the remaining amortization period.63 Indicated Local Distribution Companies suggest that any future sale or retirement event should be decided as part of a pipeline's general rate proceeding.64

    63 Eversource, Comments to NOI, Docket No. RM18-12-000, at 10 (filed May 22, 2018); Exelon, Comments to NOI, Docket No. RM18-12-000, at 14 (filed May 22, 2018).

    64 Indicated Local Distribution Companies NOI Comments at 9.

    32. Other commenters urge the Commission to require regulated entities to return any excess ADIT associated with any sold or retired assets. They argue that the Commission should be guided by the principle that all excess ADIT balances were provided by customers and thus customers should be credited with such balances through the combination of a credit to amortization expense and the continued offset to rate base. In support, they assert that when a public utility sells a jurisdictional asset, it will remove from its books the entire ADIT associated with a sold asset, which does not transfer with the asset to the new owner, and retain the entire ADIT for investors. Thus, customers are never credited with the excess or any other part of the ADIT that they have been paying during the useful life of the asset prior to its sale.65

    65 Consumer Advocates NOI Comments at 8; Indicated Customers NOI Comments at 10-11; DEMEC NOI Comments, Kumar Test. at P 14.

    33. Indicated Customers note that with regard to the sale of public utility assets for which there is an excess ADIT balance remaining on the books, the 2006 IRS Private Letter Ruling No. PLR-168537-02 prohibits the return to ratepayers of that ADIT and excess ADIT related to the asset that is being sold, because any ADIT and excess ADIT amounts that are on the books for that asset cease to exist as of the date of sale.66 Notwithstanding, Indicated Customers, and APPA and AMP argue that the impact of not returning both the ADIT and excess ADIT, prior to the sale, and the consequent appropriation of customer-provided capital, should be given consideration in the Commission's evaluation of the application seeking approval of the asset transfer. If the ADIT and excess ADIT are not considered in the transfer transaction, they contend that the selling entity would receive a windfall to the detriment of ratepayers. Further, the acquiring utility could have no offsetting ADIT in its rate base related to the purchased assets, thereby causing an increase in rates to customers, in addition to the customers' loss of capital advanced to the selling utility.67

    66 I.R.S. P.L.R., 168537-02 at 9 (May 25, 2006) (“Because [t]axpayer has sold the assets that generated the [accumulated deferred investment tax credit] ADITC, the asset for which regulated depreciation expense is computed is no longer available. Consequently, no portion of the related unamortized ADITC remaining at the date of sale may be returned to ratepayers by amortizing those ADITC amounts over the period [t]axpayer recovers stranded costs from its ratepayers or by decreasing the net loss from the sale of the nuclear generating assets by those ADITC amounts. Additionally, the unamortized [accumulated deferred investment tax credit] and [excess deferred federal income taxes] associated with the sold generating assets ceases to exist at the date of sale.”). APPA and AMP argue that this Private Letter Ruling can be read to have no bearing on the flowback of unprotected ADIT balances. APPA and AMP NOI Comments at n. 8.

    67 Indicated Customers NOI Comments at 10-11; APPA and AMP NOI Comments at 13-14.

    34. Commenters that believe that the Commission should require ADIT balances be returned to the customers offer several suggestions. APPA and AMP suggest that in the case of a sale or early retirement of public utility assets, the flowback should occur immediately in the formula rate update after the event; otherwise, the flowback should be in the form of a lump-sum payment or credit.68 Indicated Customers suggest that the Commission should consider deploying remedies it has used in proceedings under FPA section 203, such as establishing an open season for customers to terminate their contracts, a commitment by applicants to protect customers from any adverse rate impacts, rate moratorium or rate reduction.69 Natural Gas Indicated Shippers suggest that the excess ADIT associated with sold or retired assets should be amortized and returned to the customers in the same manner a pipeline proposes to return excess ADIT due to tax cost changes.70

    68 APPA and AMP NOI Comments at 13-14.

    69 Indicated Customers NOI Comments at 11-12 (citing Inquiry Concerning the Commission's Merger Policy Under the Federal Power Act: Policy Statement, Order No. 592, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,044 (1996), order on reconsideration, 79 FERC ¶ 61,321 (1997)).

    70 Tallgrass Pipelines, Comments to NOI, Docket No. RM18-12-000, at 18 (filed May 22, 2018).

    2. Determination a. Accounting Guidance

    35. As discussed above, in 1993, the Chief Accountant issued guidance on how entities must account for the effect of a change in tax law or rates by adjusting its deferred tax liabilities and assets.71 This guidance remains unchanged, and requires an entity to adjust its deferred tax liabilities and assets for the effect of the change in tax law or rates in the period that the change is enacted.72 If as a result of action by a regulator, it is probable that the future increase or decrease in taxes payable due to a change in tax law or rates will be recovered from or returned to customers through future rates, an asset or liability shall be recognized in Account 182.3 (Other Regulatory Assets) for deficient ADIT, or Account 254 (Other Regulatory Liabilities) for excess ADIT, as appropriate.73 Because these deficient ADIT and excess ADIT balances can no longer be characterized as deferred tax amounts to be settled with the IRS, the sale or retirement of any assets as of January 1, 2018 would not automatically reverse these balances as tax timing differences.

    71See Accounting for Income Taxes, Docket No. AI93-5-000, at Item 8 (Apr. 23, 1993).

    72Id.

    73Id.

    36. Accordingly, for public utilities and natural gas pipelines, the excess and/or deficient ADIT recorded in Account 254 and/or Account 182.3 should continue to be recorded in those accounts and amortized to Accounts 410.1 and/or Account 411.1, if those balances are still deemed to be either refundable to or recoverable from ratepayers. If the rate treatment of those balances is instead disallowed, then those amounts shall be written off to Account 421 (Miscellaneous Non-Operating Income) or Account 426.5 (Other Deductions), as appropriate, in the year of the disallowance.74

    74See Definitions of Account 182.3 and Account 254, 18 CFR part 101, Uniform System of Accounts Prescribed for Public Utilities and Licensees Subject to the Provisions of the Federal Power Act; Definitions of Account 182.3 and Account 254, 18 CFR part 201, Uniform System of Accounts Prescribed for Natural Gas Companies Subject to the Provisions of the Natural Gas Act.

    37. We clarify that, for public utilities and natural gas pipelines, the balances of excess and deficient ADIT recorded in Account 254 and Account 182.3, respectively, continue to exist as regulatory liabilities and assets after an asset sale, in cases for which the excess and deficient ADIT do not transfer to the purchaser of the plant asset. Similarly, we clarify that public utilities and natural gas companies should continue to account for excess and deficient ADIT related to retirements as regulatory liabilities and assets.

    38. We acknowledge that numerous current and deferred tax accounts as well as other accounts may be affected by reversals of ADIT account balances recorded on the books of public utilities and natural gas companies subject to the Commission's jurisdiction. Thus, in order to provide transparency regarding the accounting and rate treatment of amounts removed from the ADIT accounts, we clarify that public utilities and natural gas pipelines should disclose in their FERC annual financial filings within the Notes to the Financial Statements: (1) The FERC accounts affected; (2) how any ADIT accounts were re-measured in the determination of the excess or deficient ADIT amounts in Accounts 182.3 and 254; (3) the related amounts associated with the reversal and elimination of ADIT balances in those accounts; (4) the amount of excess and deficient ADIT that is protected and unprotected; (5) the accounts to which the excess or deficient ADIT will be amortized; and (6) the amortization period of the excess and deficient ADIT to be returned or recovered through rates for both protected and unprotected ADIT.75 Disclosures should also summarize the manner by which excess and deficient will be included in rates by rate jurisdiction.

    75 Public utilities should include this information in FERC Form No. 1 or 1-A and natural gas pipelines should include this information in FERC Form No. 2 or 2-A.

    39. As for oil pipelines, as discussed above, ADIT balances will be reduced immediately by the full amount of the excess or deficient tax reserve in line with the USofA for oil pipelines outlined in General Instruction 1-12.76

    76 General Instructions 1-12, Accounting for Income Taxes, 18 CFR part 352.

    b. Ratemaking Guidance

    40. The Commission has previously found that the sale or retirement of an asset with an ADIT balance is usually deemed a taxable event under IRS rules, and, as such, the ADIT balance is extinguished as the deferred taxes then become payable to the appropriate government authorities, and there is no longer an ADIT balance to “return” to customers.77 However, we believe that excess or deficient ADIT associated with post-December 31, 2017, asset dispositions and retirements should be treated differently for ratemaking purposes. For these assets, there are two associated balances: (1) The ADIT balance based on the 21 percent tax rate that will be owed to the IRS and (2) deficient ADIT or excess ADIT balances resulting from the reduced tax liability that will not be payable to the IRS upon the sale or retirement of the asset. While the ADIT balance that needs to be settled with the IRS would be extinguished following a sale, the deficient ADIT or excess ADIT balances is more reflective of a regulatory liability or asset, and no longer reflects deferred taxes that are still to be settled with the IRS and need not be extinguished.

    77 The Commission has found that master limited partnerships that were no longer entitled to an income tax allowance were not required to return any remaining ADIT balances. Inquiry Regarding the Commission's Policy for Recovery of Income Tax Costs, 162 FERC ¶ 61,227, order on reh'g, 164 FERC ¶ 61,030 (2018) (Revised Income Tax Policy Statement Order on Rehearing). However, as relevant here, the Commission found that “[t]here is a critical distinction between adjustments to amortize excess or deficient ADIT to be included in future rates to account for changes in income tax rates, as opposed to a complete elimination of the income tax allowance. When income tax rates are merely reduced and an income tax allowance remains in future cost of service, it is appropriate to credit any excess in ADIT in the future cost of service.” Revised Income Tax Policy Statement Order on Rehearing, 164 FERC ¶ 61,030 at P 20. Thus, in the case of retired or sold assets of regulated entities that continue to have an income tax allowance (and in the case of all regulated entities with excess and deficient ADIT), it is appropriate to credit any excess in ADIT in the future cost of service.

    41. Additionally, we note that the rationale for continuing to amortize deficient ADIT or excess ADIT balances in rates upon sales or retirements of assets is substantively similar to the rationale for amortizing excess ADIT in rates for assets that have not been sold or retired. The difference is that for a sale or retirement, ADIT based on a 21 percent tax rate will be settled with the IRS immediately, while for an asset that is not sold or retired, the ADIT will be settled with the IRS over the remaining life of the asset as it depreciates. In other words, the difference between the ADIT for assets that are sold or retired and ADIT for assets that are not sold or retired is the timing of when companies will settle the 21 percent of ADIT with the IRS. In both scenarios, there is excess ADIT based on the 14 percent previously collected from the customers that will no longer be payable to the IRS.

    42. While some commenters suggest that continuing to amortize excess or deficient ADIT following a sale or retirement would constitute a normalization violation based on certain IRS private letter rulings, the Commission notes that the IRS established a rulemaking proceeding and reversed its positions made in the PLR referenced by the commenters.78 Current IRS regulations speak specifically to the normalization requirements for sales and retirements as a result of the Tax Reform Act of 1986.79 These regulations permit the amortization of protected excess and/or deficient ADIT even in the event that the underlying asset associated with the ADIT has been sold or retired.80 That is, the selling jurisdictional entity can continue to amortize excess ADIT in rates after the sale without violating the IRS' normalization requirements. The only limitation imposed by the IRS is that the timing of the amortization must be similar to protected excess and/or deficient ADIT for which the underlying asset has not been sold or retired.81

    78See Application of Normalization Accounting Rules to Balances of Excess Deferred Income Taxes and Accumulated Deferred Investment Tax Credits of Public Utilities Whose Assets Cease To Be Public Utility Property, 73 FR 14,934 (Mar. 20, 2008); Application of Normalization Accounting Rules to Balances of Excess Deferred Income Taxes and Accumulated Deferred Investment Tax Credits of Public Utilities Whose Assets Cease to Be Public Utility Property, 70 FR 75,762 (Dec. 21, 2005) (notice of proposed rulemaking, notice of public hearing, and withdrawal of previous proposed regulations).

    79 26 CFR 1.168(i)-3 (2018). This section of the IRS code does not apply to ordinary retirements within the meaning of 26 CFR 1.167(a)-11(d)(3)(ii) of the internal revenue regulations, and such retirements are excluded from this policy statement.

    80Id.

    81Id.

    43. Consistent with the above discussion, oil pipelines should continue maintaining excess and/or deficient ADIT within the appropriate ADIT accounts for ratemaking purposes. When jurisdictional assets are retired or sold the oil pipeline should continue to amortize any excess and/or deficient amounts associated with those assets as part of the process of determining an income tax allowance within the rate making process, or seek prior Commission approval to do otherwise.

    C. Conclusion

    44. We adopt the policies set forth herein regarding the treatment of ADIT for public utilities, natural gas pipelines and oil pipelines. Above, we state our policy regarding the treatment of ADIT for both accounting and ratemaking purposes as to Commission-jurisdictional public utilities, natural gas pipelines and oil pipelines, in light of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and also address the accounting and ratemaking treatment of ADIT following the sale or retirement of an asset. We expect such regulated entities to follow these policies absent prior Commission approval to use a different treatment. We further note that if a regulated entity determines that its unique circumstances merit a different treatment of ADIT, such an entity is free to request such treatment at any time.

    III. Document Availability

    48. In addition to publishing the full text of this document in the Federal Register, the Commission provides all interested persons an opportunity to view and/or print the contents of this document via the internet through FERC's Home Page (http://www.ferc.gov) and in FERC's Public Reference Room during normal business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern time) at 888 First Street NE, Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426.

    49. From FERC's Home Page on the internet, this information is available on eLibrary. The full text of this document is available on eLibrary in PDF and Microsoft Word format for viewing, printing, and/or downloading. To access this document in eLibrary, type the docket number excluding the last three digits of this document in the docket number field.

    50. User assistance is available for eLibrary and the FERC's website during normal business hours from FERC Online Support at (202) 502-6652 (toll free at 1-866-208-3676) or email at [email protected], or the Public Reference Room at (202) 502-8371, TTY (202) 502-8659. Email the Public Reference Room at [email protected].

    IV. Applicability Date

    51. This Policy Statement will become applicable November 23, 2018.

    By the Commission. Commissioner McIntyre is not voting on this order.

    Issued: November 15, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    Note:

    Appendix A will not be published in the Code of Federal Regulations.

    Appendix

    A—List of Commenters to NOI TABLE

    Short name Commenter AEP American Electric Power Service Corporation. Ameren Ameren Services Company on behalf of Union Electric Company d/b/a Ameren Missouri, Ameren Illinois Company d/b/a Ameren Illinois, and Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois. AOPL Association of Oil Pipe Lines. APGA American Public Gas Association. APPA and AMP American Public Power Association and American Municipal Power, Inc. Avangrid Avangrid Networks, Inc. Berkshire Berkshire Hathaway Energy Pipeline Group. Boardwalk Boardwalk Pipeline Partners LP. CAPP Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. Consumer Advocates Office of the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; the Ohio Consumers' Counsel; the Maryland Office of People's Counsel; the Nevada Bureau of Consumer Protection; the Delaware Division of the Public Advocate; the Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate; the Citizens Utility Board of Wisconsin; and the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor. DEMEC Delaware Municipal Electric Corporation, Inc. Dominion Energy Gas Pipelines Dominion Energy Transmission, Inc.; Dominion Energy Carolina Gas Transmission, LLC; Dominion Energy Quester Pipeline, LLC; Dominion Energy Overthrust Pipeline, LLC; and Questar Southern Trails Pipeline Company. EEI Edison Electric Institute. Enable Interstate Pipelines Enable Mississippi River Transmission, LLC and Enable Gas Transmission, LLC. Enbridge and Spectra Enbridge Energy Partners, L.P. and Spectra Energy Partners, LP. EQT Midstream EQT Midstream Partners, LP. Eversource Eversource Energy Service Company. Exelon Exelon Corporation. Indicated Customers Central Electric Power Cooperative, Inc., North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation, Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative, Inc., and the New Jersey Division of Rate Counsel. Indicated Local Distribution Companies Atmos Energy Corporation; the City of Charlottesville, Virginia; the City of Richmond, Virginia; the Easton Utilities Commission; Exelon Corporation; and Washington Gas Light Company. Indicated Transmission Owners American Electric Power Service Corporation; Dominion Energy Services, Inc., on behalf of Virginia Electric and Power Company d/b/a Dominion Energy Virginia; Duquesne Light Company; Exelon Corporation; FirstEnergy Service Company, on behalf of American Transmission Systems, Incorporated; Jersey Central Power & Light Company; Mid-Atlantic Interstate Transmission, LLC; West Penn Power Company; The Potomac Edison Company; Monongahela Power Company; and PPL Electric Utilities Corp. INGAA Interstate Natural Gas Association of America. ITC Great Plains ITC Great Plains, LLC. Kentucky Municipals Frankfort Plant Board of Frankfort, Kentucky; Barbourville Utility Commission of the City of Barbourville, City; Utilities Commission of the City of Corbin; and the Cities of Bardwell, Berea, Falmouth, Madisonville, and Providence, Kentucky. Kinder Morgan Entities Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America LLC; Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, L.L.C.; Southern Natural Gas Company, L.L.C.; Colorado Interstate Gas Company, L.L.C.; Wyoming Interstate Company, L.L.C.; El Paso Natural Gas Company, L.L.C.; Mojave Pipeline Company, L.L.C.; Bear Creek Storage Company, L.L.C.; Cheyenne Plains Gas Pipeline Company, L.L.C.; Elba Express Company, L.L.C.; Kinder Morgan Louisiana Pipeline LLC; Southern LNG Company, L.L.C.; and TransColorado Gas Transmission Company LLC. Kinder Morgan Subsidiaries SFPP, L.P.; Calnev Pipe Line, LLC; and Kinder Morgan Cochin, LLC. MISO Transmission Owners Ameren Services Company, as agent for Union Electric Company d/b/a Ameren Missouri, Ameren Illinois Company d/b/a Ameren Illinois and Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois; American Transmission Company LLC; Central Minnesota Municipal Power Agency; City Water, Light & Power (Springfield, IL); Cleco Power LLC; Cooperative Energy; Dairyland Power Cooperative; Duke Energy Business Services, LLC for Duke Energy Indiana, LLC; East Texas Electric Cooperative; Entergy Arkansas, Inc.; Entergy Louisiana, LLC; Entergy Mississippi, Inc.; Entergy New Orleans, LLC; Entergy Texas, Inc.; Great River Energy; Indiana Municipal Power Agency; Indianapolis Power & Light Company; International Transmission Company d/b/a ITCTransmission; ITC Midwest LLC; Lafayette Utilities System; Michigan Electric Transmission Company, LLC; MidAmerican Energy Company; Minnesota Power (and its subsidiary Superior Water, L&P); Missouri River Energy Services; Montana-Dakota Utilities Co.; Northern Indiana Public Service Company LLC; Northern States Power Company, a Minnesota corporation, and Northern States Power Company, a Wisconsin corporation, subsidiaries of Xcel Energy Inc.; Northwestern Wisconsin Electric Company; Otter Tail Power Company; Prairie Power Inc.; Southern Indiana Gas & Electric Company (d/b/a Vectren Energy Delivery of Indiana); Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency; Wabash Valley Power Association, Inc.; and Wolverine Power Supply Cooperative, Inc. National Grid National Grid USA. Natural Gas Indicated Shippers Aera Energy, LLC; Anadarko Energy Services Company; Apache Corporation; BP Energy Company; ConocoPhillips Company; Hess Corporation; Occidental Energy Marketing, Inc.; Petrohawk Energy Corporation; and XTO Energy, Inc. New York Transco New York Transco LLC. Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter, Oklahoma Attorney General. PJM PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Plains Plains Pipeline, L.P. Process Gas and American Forest and Paper Process Gas Consumers Group and American Forest and Paper Association. PSEG Public Service Electric and Gas Company. Tallgrass Pipelines Trailblazer Pipeline Company LLC; Tallgrass Interstate Gas Transmission, LLC; and Rockies Express Pipeline LLC. TAPS Transmission Access Policy Study Group. TransCanada TransCanada Corporation. United Airlines Petitioners United Airlines, Inc.; American Airlines, Inc.; Delta Air Lines, Inc.; Southwest Airlines, Co.; BP West Coast Products LLC; ExxonMobil Oil Corporation; Chevron Products Company; HollyFrontier Refining & Marketing LLC; Valero Marketing and Supply Company; Airlines for America; and the National Propane Gas Association. Williams Williams Companies, Inc.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25372 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary 32 CFR Part 221 [Docket ID: DOD-2015-OS-0054] RIN 0790-AJ36 DoD Identity Management AGENCY:

    Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness (USD(P&R)), DoD.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This rulemaking establishes implementation guidelines for DoD Self-Service (DS) Logon to provide a secure means of authentication to applications containing personally identifiable information (PII) and personal health information (PHI). This will allow beneficiaries and other individuals with a continuing affiliation with DoD to update pay or health-care information in a secure environment. This service can be accessed by active duty, National Guard and Reserve, and Commissioned Corps members of the uniformed services when separating from active duty or from the uniformed service.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on December 24, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Robert Eves, Defense Human Resources Activity, 571-372-1956.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Public Comments and Responses

    On Thursday, November 3, 2016 (81 FR 76325-76330), the Department of Defense (DoD) published a proposed rule titled, “DoD Identity Management” for a 60-day public comment period. When the comment period ended on January 3, 2017, no comments were received.

    Discussion of Changes Made Based on Internal Review

    While in final internal review, it was discovered, based on existing DoD instructions, that only certain retired DoD civilians should be included among the populations eligible for the DS Logon credential as identified in DoD Instruction 1330.17, “DoD Commissary Program,” and DoD Instruction 1330.21, “Armed Services Exchange Regulations.” Only those retired DoD civilians who are eligible for DoD commissary and exchange benefits are eligible for the DS Logon credential. Compliance with existing DoD policy and current instructions required modification of § 221.6(b)(1)(ii) of the final rule, which was amended to read “Eligible retired DoD civilian employees in accordance with DoD Instruction 1330.17, “DoD Commissary Program” (available at http://www.esd.whs.mil/Portals/54/Documents/DD/issuances/dodi/133017p.pdf) and DoD Instruction 1330.21, “Armed Services Exchange Regulations” (available at http://www.esd.whs.mil/Portals/54/Documents/DD/issuances/dodi/133021p.pdf).” This amendment was made to reflect current Department policy and clarifies that only certain retired DoD civilians (not all retired DoD civlians) are eligible for access to these programs.

    Background

    This final rule establishes implementation guidelines for DS Logon and describes procedures for obtaining a DS Logon credential. All active duty, National Guard and Reserve, and Commissioned Corps members of the uniformed services must obtain a DS Logon credential when separating from active duty or from the uniformed service. The DS Logon credential is also available to all beneficiaries that are eligible for DoD-related benefits or entitlements to facilitate secure authentication to critical websites, to include members of the uniformed services, veterans with a continuing affiliation to the DoD, spouses, dependent children aged 18 and over, certain retired DoD civilians, surrogates and other eligible individuals. It discusses how credential holders may maintain and update their credentials and manage their personal settings. Finally, it discusses the permissions credential holders have to access their information, who has access to view and edit their information, and who is eligible to act on their behalf.

    DoD collects and maintains information on Service members, beneficiaries, DoD employees, and other individuals affiliated with the DoD in order to issue DoD identification (ID) cards that facilitate access to DoD benefits, DoD installations, and DoD information systems. This action formally establishes DoD policy requirements for DS Logon credentials that are used to facilitate logical access to self-service websites. This regulatory action will update the CFR for DoD Manual (DoDM) 1341.02, Volume 1, “DoD Identity Management: DoD Self-Service (DS) Logon Program and Credential.”

    Authorities

    The DoD Personal Identity Protection (PIP) Program uses emerging technologies to support the protection of individual identity and to assist with safeguarding DoD physical assets, networks, and systems from unauthorized access based on fraudulent or fraudulently obtained credentials. DEERS is the authoritative data source for identity and verification of affiliation with the DoD in accordance with the DoD PIP Program. Specific authorities are listed below.

    • Title 10 U.S.C. 1044a. This section establishes the authority for a Judge Advocate, other members of the armed forces designated by law and regulations, or other eligible persons to have the powers to act as a notary. The persons identified in Title 10 U.S.C. 1044a subsection (b) have the general power of a notary and may notarize a completed and signed DD Form 3005, “Application for Surrogate Association for DoD Self-Service (DS) Logon.”

    • DoD Instruction 1000.25, “DoD Personnel Identity Protection (PIP) Program” (available at http://www.esd.whs.mil/Portals/54/Documents/DD/issuances/dodi/100025p.pdf). This issuance establishes minimum acceptable criteria for the establishment and confirmation of personal identity and for the issuance of DoD personnel identity verification credentials.

    • DoD Instruction 1341.2, “Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) Procedures” (available at http://www.esd.whs.mil/Portals/54/Documents/DD/issuances/dodi/134102p.pdf). This issuance establishes DEERS as the authoritative data source for identity and verification of affiliation with the DoD, and benefit eligibility to include medical, dental, and pharmacy.

    • Office of Management and Budget M-04-04, “E-Authentication Guidance for Federal Agencies” (available at https://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/omb/memoranda/fy04/m04-04.pdf). This memorandum requires agencies to review new and existing electronic transactions to ensure that authentication processes provide the appropriate level of assurance, establishing and describing four levels of identity assurance for electronic transactions requiring authentication.

    • 32 CFR part 310. This CFR part established the DoD Privacy Program in accordance with the provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974, and prescribes uniform procedures for the implementation of and compliance with the DoD Privacy Program.

    Expected Impact of the Final Rule

    The annual operating costs for the DS Logon program are approximately $1,700,000.00. Based on 6.8 million active users, the cost to the Department per user is about $0.25. This rule is not anticipated to change the population of individuals able to receive a DS Logon account. As part of the proposed rule, DoD requested comments on a new information collection request for this program. No public comment was received. Additional information on the collection can be found in the Paperwork Reduction Act section of this rule.

    Regulatory Procedures Executive Order 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review” and Executive Order 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review”

    Executive Orders 13563 and 12866 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distribute impacts, and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. It has been determined that this rule is not a significant regulatory action. The rule does not: (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy; a section of the economy; productivity; competition; jobs; the environment; public health or safety; or State, local, or tribal governments or communities; (2) Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another Agency; (3) Materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs, or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in these Executive Orders.

    Executive Order 13771, “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs”

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

    Section 202, Public Law 104-4, “Unfunded Mandates Reform Act”

    Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) (Pub. L. 104-4) requires agencies assess anticipated costs and benefits before issuing any rule whose mandates require spending in any 1 year of $100 million in 1995 dollars, updated annually for inflation. In 2014, that threshold is approximately $141 million. This final rule would not mandate any requirements for State, local, or tribal governments, nor will it affect private sector costs.

    Public Law 96-354, “Regulatory Flexibility Act” (5 U.S.C. 601)

    The Department of Defense certifies that this final rule is not subject to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601) because it would not, if promulgated, have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Therefore, the Regulatory Flexibility Act, as amended, does not require us to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis.

    Public Law 96-511, “Paperwork Reduction Act” (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35)

    It has been certified that 32 CFR part 221 does impose reporting or recordkeeping requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. These requirements have been approved by OMB and assigned OMB Control Number 0704-0559, Application for Surrogate Association for DoD Self-Service (DS) Logon.

    Executive Order 13132, “Federalism”

    Executive Order 13132 establishes certain requirements that an agency must meet when it promulgates a proposed rule (and subsequent final rule) that imposes substantial direct effects on the States, the relationship between the National Government and the states, or the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. This final rule will not impose such substantial direct effects.

    List of Subjects in 32 CFR Part 221

    Identity management, Identification cards, Logon credentials.

    Accordingly, 32 CFR part 221 is added to read as follows: PART 221—DOD IDENTITY MANAGEMENT Sec. 221.1 Purpose. 221.2 Applicability. 221.3 Definitions. 221.4 Policy. 221.5 Responsibilities. 221.6 Procedures. Authority:

    10 U.S.C. 1044a.

    § 221.1 Purpose.

    (a) The purpose of the overall part is to implement policy, assign responsibilities, and provide procedures for DoD personnel identification.

    (b) This part establishes implementation guidelines for DoD Self-Service (DS) Logon Program.

    § 221.2 Applicability.

    This part applies to:

    (a) The Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Military Departments (including the Coast Guard at all times, including when it is a Service in the Department of Homeland Security, by agreement with that Department), the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Joint Staff, the Combatant Commands, the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Defense, the Defense Agencies, the DoD Field Activities, and all other organizational entities within the DoD (referred to collectively in this part as the “DoD Components”).

    (b) The Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS), under agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), under agreement with the Department of Commerce.

    § 221.3 Definitions.

    Unless otherwise noted, the following terms and their definitions are for the purposes of this part:

    Beneficiary. Individuals affiliated with the DoD and any of the uniformed Services identified in § 221.2 Applicability, that may be eligible for benefits or entitlements.

    Certified copy. A copy of a document that is certified as a true original and:

    (1) Conveys the appropriate seal or markings of the issuer;

    (2) Has a means to validate the authenticity of the document by a reference or source number;

    (3) Is a notarized legal document or other document approved by a judge advocate, member of any of the armed forces, or other eligible person in accordance with 10 U.S.C. 1044a; or

    (4) Has the appropriate certificate of authentication by a U.S. Consular Officer in the foreign country of issuance which attests to the authenticity of the signature and seal.

    DoD beneficiary (DB). Beneficiaries who qualify for DoD benefits or entitlements who may be credentialed in accordance with National Institute of Science and Technology Special Publication 800-63-2, “Electronic Authentication Guideline” (available at http://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/SpecialPublications/NIST.SP.800-63-2.pdf). This population may include widows, widowers, and eligible former spouses.

    Dependent. An individual whose relationship to the sponsor leads to entitlement to benefits and privileges.

    DS Logon credential. A username and password to allow Service members, beneficiaries, and other individuals affiliated with the DoD secure access to self-service websites.

    DS Logon credential holder. A Service member, beneficiary, and other individual affiliated with the DoD who has applied for and received a DS Logon credential.

    Former member. An individual who is eligible for, or entitled to, retired pay for non-regular service in accordance with 31 U.S.C. chapter 1223, but who has been discharged from the Service and who maintains no military affiliation.

    Former spouse. An individual who was married to a uniformed services member for at least 20 years, and the member had at least 20 years of service creditable toward retirement, and the marriage overlapped as follows:

    (1) Twenty years marriage, 20 years creditable service for retirement, and 20 years overlap between the marriage and the service (referred to as 20/20/20). The benefits eligibility begins on the date of divorce;

    (2) Twenty years marriage, 20 years creditable service for retirement, and 15 years overlap between the marriage and the service (referred to as 20/20/15). The benefits eligibility begins on the date of divorce; or

    (3) A spouse whose marriage was terminated from a uniformed Service member who has their eligibility to receive retired pay terminated as a result of misconduct based on Service-documented abuse of the spouse and has 10 years of marriage, 20 years of creditable service for retirement, 10 years of overlap between the marriage and the service (referred to as 10/20/10). The benefits eligibility begins on the date of divorce.

    Legal guardian (LG). The terms “guardian” and “conservator” are used synonymously. Some States may limit the authority of a guardian to specific types of health care decisions; a court may also impose limitations on the health care decisions.

    Surrogate. A person who has been delegated authority, either by an eligible individual who is at least 18 years of age and mentally competent to consent or by a court of competent jurisdiction in the United States (or possession of the United States), to act on behalf of the eligible individual in a specific role.

    Widow. The female spouse of a deceased member of the uniformed services.

    Widower. The male spouse of a deceased member of the uniformed services.

    § 221.4 Policy.

    In accordance with DoD Instruction 1000.25, “DoD Personnel Identity Protection (PIP) Program” (available at http://www.esd.whs.mil/Portals/54/Documents/DD/issuances/dodi/100025p.pdf), DoD Instruction 1341.02, “Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) Procedures” (available at http://www.esd.whs.mil/Portals/54/Documents/DD/issuances/dodi/134102p.pdf), Office of Management and Budget M-04-04, “E-Authentication Guidance for Federal Agencies” (available at www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/memoranda/fy04/m04-04.pdf) and 32 CFR part 310, it is DoD policy that DoD will provide a secure means of authentication to PII and personal health information (PHI) for all beneficiaries and other individuals with a continuing affiliation with DoD.

    § 221.5 Responsibilities.

    (a) The Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness (USD(P&R)) oversees implementation of the procedures within this part.

    (b) Under the authority, direction, and control of the USD(P&R), and in addition to the responsibilities in paragraph (c) of this section, the Director, DoDHRA, through the Director, DMDC:

    (1) Approves the addition or elimination of population categories for DS Logon eligibility.

    (2) Develops and fields the required Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) and RAPIDS infrastructure and all elements of field support required to support the management of the DS Logon credential including, but not limited to, issuance, storage, maintenance, and customer service.

    (3) Obtains and distributes DS Logon credentials, and provides a secure means for delivery.

    (c) The DoD Component heads:

    (1) Comply with this part and distribute this guidance to applicable stakeholders.

    (2) Provide manpower for issuance of DS Logon credentials and instruction for use to all eligible individuals who are requesting a DS Logon credential in conjunction with the issuance of a DoD identification (ID) card or who are applying for a DS Logon credential as a surrogate, when responsible for a DoD ID card site(s).

    (d) The Secretaries of the Military Departments, in addition to the responsibilities in paragraph (c) of this section, and the heads of the non-DoD uniformed services:

    (1) Comply with this part and distribute this guidance to applicable stakeholders.

    (2) Provide manpower for issuance of DS Logon credentials and instruction for use to all eligible individuals who are requesting a DS Logon credential in conjunction with the issuance of a DoD ID card or who are applying for a DS Logon credential as a surrogate.

    (3) Ensure all Active Duty, National Guard and Reserve, and Commissioned Corps members of their uniformed services obtain a DS Logon credential when separating from active duty or from the uniformed service.

    § 221.6 Procedures.

    (a) General. A DS Logon credential will be made available to all beneficiaries that are eligible for DoD-related benefits or entitlements to facilitate secure authentication to critical websites. This includes members of the uniformed services, veterans with a continuing affiliation to the DoD, spouses, dependent children aged 18 and over, and other eligible individuals identified in paragraph (b) of this section.

    (b) Overview. Only one DS Logon credential may exist for an individual, regardless of the number of affiliations an individual may have to the DoD.

    (1) Eligibility. Beneficiaries of DoD-related benefits or entitlements and other individuals with a continuing affiliation with the DoD may be eligible for a DS Logon credential. Eligible populations include:

    (i) Veterans, including former members, retirees, Medal of Honor recipients, disabled American veterans, and other veterans with a continuing affiliation to the DoD.

    (ii) Eligible retired DoD civilian employees in accordance with DoD Instruction 1330.17, “DoD Commissary Program” (available at http://www.esd.whs.mil/Portals/54/Documents/DD/issuances/dodi/133017p.pdf), and DoD Instruction 1330.21, “Armed Services Exchange Regulations” (available at http://www.esd.whs.mil/Portals/54/Documents/DD/issuances/dodi/133021p.pdf).

    (iii) Eligible dependents in accordance with Volume 2 of DoD Manual 1000.13, “DoD Identification (ID) Cards: Benefits for Members of the Uniformed Services, Their Dependents, and Other Eligible Individuals” (available at http://www.esd.whs.mil/Portals/54/Documents/DD/issuances/dodm/100013_vol2.pdf), including spouses, dependent children aged 18 or older, and dependent parents.

    (iv) DBs, including eligible widows, widowers, and former spouses, in accordance with Volume 2 of DoD Manual 1000.13.

    (v) Surrogates, as described in paragraph (d) of this section.

    (vi) Other populations as determined by the Director, DMDC.

    (2) [Reserved].

    (c) Lifecycle—(1) Application. Eligible individuals, as identified in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, may apply for a DS Logon credential:

    (i) Online. Individuals with internet access may apply for a sponsor or dependent DS Logon by submitting a:

    (A) My Access Center website request. This type of request supports the provisioning of a Basic DS Logon credential. The My Access Center website can be accessed at https://myaccess.dmdc.osd.mil/.

    (B) CAC request. Individuals with a CAC, a computer with internet access and a CAC reader may apply for either a sponsor or a dependent DS Logon credential via the My Access Center website or any application that has implemented DS Logon.

    (1) A sponsor DS Logon credential is provisioned immediately upon request. This type of request supports the provisioning of a Premium DS Logon credential.

    (2) A request for a DS Logon credential on behalf of a dependent generates an activation letter with an activation code that is mailed to the sponsor at his or her home address in DEERS. Once complete, this type of request supports the provisioning of a Premium DS Logon credential.

    (C) Request using a Defense Finance and Accounting Services (DFAS) myPay account. Eligible individuals may apply for a sponsor or dependent DS Logon credential using a DFAS myPay personal identification number via the My Access Center website. A request for a DS Logon credential generates an activation letter with an activation code that is mailed to the sponsor at his or her home address in DEERS. Once complete, this type of request supports the provisioning of a Premium DS Logon credential.

    (ii) Via remote proofing. Eligible individuals with an existing DEERS record may apply for a sponsor or dependent DS Logon credential using remote proofing via the My Access Center website. Individuals requesting a DS Logon credential via remote proofing must correctly answer a number of system-generated questions. Once remote proofing is completed, a Premium DS Logon credential is provisioned immediately.

    (iii) Via in-person proofing. Eligible individuals may apply for a sponsor or dependent DS Logon credential using in-person proofing. In-person proofing is performed at Department of Veterans Affairs regional offices where the DS access station application is implemented, and at DoD ID card sites when a DS Logon credential is requested either in conjunction with DoD ID card issuance or during initial enrollment of a surrogate. Once in-person proofing is completed, a Premium DS Logon credential is provisioned immediately. Individuals requesting a DS Logon credential via in-person proofing must present:

    (A) Identity documents. DS Logon credential applicants must satisfy the identity verification criteria in paragraph 4a of Volume 1 of DoD Manual 1000.13, “DoD Identification (ID) Cards: ID Card Life-Cycle” (available at http://www.esd.whs.mil/Portals/54/Documents/DD/issuances/dodm/100013_vol1.pdf), by presenting two forms of government-issued ID, one of which must contain a photograph. The requirement for the primary ID to have a photo cannot be waived. Identity documents must be original or a certified copy. All documentation not in English must have a certified English translation.

    (B) Proof of address. DS Logon credential applicants must present proof of address, if address on the presented ID is different than the address in DEERS.

    (C) DD Form 214, “Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty.” DS Logon credential applicants must present a DD Form 214 if a veteran who was separated before 1982. If separated from the Reserve Component, a DS Logon credential applicant may present a Reserve Component separation document in lieu of a DD Form 214.

    (2) Use. DS Logon credential holders may use their DS Logon credential at the My Access Center website and any other DoD self-service website that accepts DS Logon.

    (3) Maintenance. DS Logon credential holders may use the My Access Center website to maintain and update their DS Logon credential and manage their personal settings. The DS Logon credential holder may:

    (i) Activate or deactivate an account.

    (ii) Reset password.

    (iii) Update challenge questions and answers.

    (iv) Upgrade from a Basic DS Logon to a Premium DS Logon credential.

    (v) Select or update preferred sponsor, if a dependent of two sponsors.

    (vi) Manage personal and advanced security settings.

    (vii) Manage contact information.

    (viii) Manage relationships and access granting.

    (ix) Manage the DS Logon credential using additional capabilities as implemented by the Director, DMDC.

    (4) Decommissioning. DS Logon credentials may be decommissioned by the DS Logon credential holder, via self-service; by an operator, at the request of the DS Logon credential holder; or by the system, when the credential holder no longer has an affiliation to the DoD or is identified as deceased in DEERS.

    (5) Reactivation. DS Logon credentials may be reactivated if the person is living and still eligible for the credential.

    (d) Associations. DS Logon supports several types of associations, including DEERS-identified family relationships and operator-initiated and -approved surrogates.

    (1) Family. Individuals are connected to one another based on their family relationship information in DEERS. A family relationship must exist in DEERS before the relationship can exist in DS Logon.

    (i) Multiple sponsors. An individual has only one DS Logon credential, regardless of the number of sponsors the individual has (e.g., a dependent child whose parents are both Service members).

    (ii) Transferring families. If an individual has a second family in DEERS, the individual can move their DS Logon credential to the second family. This changes the assignment of the DS Logon credential from the first family to the second family and removes any granted permissions from the first family.

    (2) Surrogacy. Surrogacy is a feature that allows an individual who may not be affiliated with the DoD and who may not be related to the DS Logon credential holder or eligible individual by a DoD-recognized family relationship to be granted access to a DS Logon credential holder's or an eligible individual's information. A surrogate may be established as the custodian of a deceased Service member's unmarried minor child(ren) who is under 18, who is at least 18 but under 23 and attending school full-time, or who is incapacitated. A surrogate may also be established as the agent of an incapacitated dependent (e.g., spouse, parent) or of a wounded, ill, or incapacitated Service member.

    (i) Eligibility. An operator must first establish an identity in DEERS before establishing the surrogacy association in DS Logon. To establish a surrogate association, the surrogate must present to an operator for approval:

    (A) A completed and signed DD Form 3005, “Application for Surrogate Association for DoD Self-Service (DS) Logon.”

    (B) Any additional eligibility documents required by the DD Form 3005 which describe the scope of the surrogate's authority.

    (C) Proof of identity, in accordance with the requirements for in-person proofing in paragraph (c)(1)(iii) of this section.

    (ii) Types of surrogates—(A) Financial agent (FA). An eligible individual names an FA to assist with specific financial matters.

    (B) Legal agent (LA). An eligible individual names an LA to assist with legal matters.

    (C) Caregiver (CG). An eligible individual names a CG to assist with general health care requirements (example, viewing general health-care related information, scheduling appointments, refilling prescriptions, and tracking medical expenses), but does not make health care decisions.

    (D) Health care agent (HA). An eligible individual (the patient) names an HA in a durable power of attorney for health care documents to make health care decisions.

    (E) Legal guardian (LG). An LG is appointed by a court of competent jurisdiction in the United States (or jurisdiction of the United States) to make legal decisions for an eligible individual.

    (F) Special guardian (SG). An SG is appointed by a court of competent jurisdiction in the United States (or jurisdiction of the United States) for the specific purpose of making health care-related decisions for an eligible individual.

    (e) Permissions. A sponsor, a sponsor's spouse, and a sponsor's dependent over the age of 18 can manage who has access to their information (i.e., who has access to view and edit their information and who is eligible to act on their behalf). The provisions of this section may be superseded by order of a court of competent jurisdiction.

    (1) Sponsor access. Sponsors will automatically have access to the information of all dependents under the age of 18.

    (2) Spousal access—(i) Automatic. A sponsor's spouse will automatically have access to the information of all dependent children under the age of 18 whose relationship to the sponsor began on or after the date of marriage of the sponsor and sponsor's spouse.

    (ii) Sponsor-granted. The sponsor may grant the sponsor's spouse access to the information of dependent children under the age of 18 whose relationship to the sponsor began before the date of marriage of the sponsor and the sponsor's spouse.

    (3) Granted access. A sponsor, a sponsor's spouse, and a sponsor's dependent over the age of 18 may grant access to their information via the My Access Center website in accordance with paragraph (c)(3) of this section. Surrogate access to the information of a sponsor, a sponsor's spouse, and a sponsor's dependent (regardless of age) must be granted via in-person proofing, including the submission of eligibility documents to an operator for approval in accordance with paragraph (d)(2) of this section.

    (i) Access granting by a sponsor. Sponsors may grant their spouse access to the sponsor's information and the information of any sponsor's dependents under the age of 18. Access to the sponsor's information and the information of any sponsor's dependents under the age of 18 may not be granted to any other sponsor's dependent, unless that dependent has been identified as a surrogate.

    (ii) Access granting by a spouse. Spouses may grant the sponsor access to the spouse's information. Access to the spouse's information may not be granted to any other sponsor's dependent, unless that sponsor's dependent has been identified as a surrogate.

    (iii) Access granting by a dependent over 18. A sponsor's dependent over the age of 18 may grant the sponsor and the sponsor's spouse access to the dependent's information. Access to the information of a sponsor's dependent over the age of 18 may not be granted to any other sponsor's dependent, unless that sponsor's dependent has been identified as a surrogate.

    Dated: November 19, 2018. Aaron T. Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25500 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2016-0257] RIN 1625-AA09 Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Delaware River, Pennsauken Township, NJ AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is modifying the operating regulation that governs the DELAIR Memorial Railroad Bridge across the Delaware River, mile 104.6, at Pennsauken Township, NJ. This modified regulation will allow the bridge to be remotely operated from the Conrail South Jersey dispatch center in Mount Laurel, NJ, instead of being operated by an on-site bridge tender. This regulation will not change the operating schedule of the bridge.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective December 24, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov. Type USCG-2016-0257 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rulemaking.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this rule, call or email Mr. Hal R. Pitts, Fifth Coast Guard District (dpb); telephone (757) 398-6222, email [email protected].

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

    On April 12, 2017, we published a document in the Federal Register entitled, “Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Delaware River, Pennsauken Township, NJ” announcing a temporary deviation from the regulations, with request for comments (see 82 FR 17562). This temporary deviation commenced at 8 a.m. on April 24, 2017, and concluded at 7:59 a.m. on October 21, 2017. The comment period closed on August 17, 2017. The purpose of the deviation was to test the newly installed remote operation system of the DELAIR Memorial Railroad Bridge across the Delaware River, mile 104.6, at Pennsauken Township, NJ, owned and operated by Conrail Shared Assets. The installation of the remote operation system did not change the operational schedule of the bridge.

    On June 30, 2017, we published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled, “Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Delaware River, Pennsauken Township, NJ” (see 82 FR 29800). This proposed regulation would allow the bridge to be remotely operated from the Conrail South Jersey dispatch center in Mount Laurel, NJ, instead of being operated by an on-site bridge tender. This proposed regulation would not change the operating schedule of the bridge. The original comment period closed on August 18, 2017.

    During the initial temporary deviation performed from 8 a.m. on April 24, 2017, through 7:59 a.m. on October 21, 2017, the bridge owner identified deficiencies in the remote operation center procedures, bridge to vessel communications, and equipment redundancy. Comments concerning these deficiencies were submitted to the docket and provided to the Coast Guard and bridge owner by representatives from the Mariners' Advisory Committee for the Bay and River Delaware.

    On October 18, 2017, we published a document in the Federal Register entitled, “Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Delaware River, Pennsauken Township, NJ” announcing a second temporary deviation from the regulations, with request for comments (see 82 FR 48419). This temporary deviation commenced at 8 a.m. on October 21, 2017, and concluded at 7:59 a.m. on April 19, 2018. This document included a request for comments and related material to reach the Coast Guard on or before January 15, 2018.

    On December 6, 2017, we published a notice of proposed rulemaking; reopening of comment period; entitled “Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Delaware River, Pennsauken Township, NJ” in the Federal Register (see 82 FR 57561). This document included a request for comments and related material to reach the Coast Guard on or before January 15, 2018.

    On January 22, 2018, we published a notice of temporary deviation from regulations; reopening comment period; entitled “Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Delaware River, Pennsauken Township, NJ” in the Federal Register (see 83 FR 2909). This document included a request for comments and related material to reach the Coast Guard on or before March 2, 2018.

    On February 15, 2018, we published a notice of proposed rulemaking; reopening comment period; entitled “Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Delaware River, Pennsauken Township, NJ” in the Federal Register (see 83 FR 6821). This document included a request for comments and related material to reach the Coast Guard on or before March 2, 2018.

    The Coast Guard reviewed 26 comments posted to the docket and six reports with supporting documentation submitted by the bridge owner during the initial and second temporary deviation periods concerning the remote operation system of the DELAIR Memorial Railroad Bridge. Through this review, the Coast Guard found that further testing and evaluation of the remote operation system of the bridge was necessary before making a decision on the proposed regulation.

    On April 26, 2018, we published a document in the Federal Register entitled, “Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Delaware River, Pennsauken Township, NJ” announcing a third temporary deviation from the regulations, with request for comments (see 83 FR 18226). This temporary deviation commenced at 8 a.m. on April 19, 2018, and concluded at 7:59 a.m. on October 16, 2018. This document included a request for comments and related material to reach the Coast Guard on or before August 17, 2018.

    On May 4, 2018, we published a notice of proposed rulemaking; reopening comment period; entitled “Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Delaware River, Pennsauken Township, NJ” in the Federal Register (see 83 FR 19659). This document included a request for comments and related material to reach the Coast Guard on or before August 17, 2018.

    On October 17, 2018, we published a document in the Federal Register entitled, “Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Delaware River, Pennsauken Township, NJ” announcing a temporary deviation from the regulations (see 83 FR 52319). This document was published to allow the DELAIR Memorial Railroad Bridge across the Delaware River, mile 104.6, at Pennsauken Township, NJ, to continue to be remotely operated from the Conrail South Jersey dispatch center in Mount Laurel, NJ, instead of being operated by an on-site bridge tender, to allow sufficient time for the Coast Guard to conduct an evaluation of the proposed rulemaking. This temporary deviation commenced at 8 a.m. on October 16, 2018, and is scheduled to conclude at 7:59 a.m. on December 15, 2018.

    In total the Coast Guard received 26 comments posted to the docket and eight reports with supporting documentation submitted by the bridge owner on this rule. No comments were received during the third temporary deviation between April 19, 2018, and October 16, 2018.

    III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority 33 U.S.C. 499.

    The DELAIR Memorial Railroad Bridge across the Delaware River, mile 104.6, at Pennsauken Township, NJ, owned and operated by Conrail Shared Assets, has a vertical clearance of 49 feet above mean high water in the closed-to-navigation position. There is a daily average of 28 New Jersey Transit trains and eight Conrail freight trains that cross the bridge and a daily average of three bridge openings that allow one or more vessels to transit through the bridge during each opening. The bridge is normally maintained in the closed position due to the average daily number of trains crossing the bridge. The operating schedule is published in 33 CFR 117.716. This current operating schedule has been in effect since 1984 and will not change with the implementation of remote operation of the bridge. However, within this modified operating regulation, section 117.716 has been restructured to clearly distinguish the remote operation of the DELAIR Memorial Railroad Bridge. This modified operating regulation allows the bridge to be operated remotely from the bridge owner's South Jersey dispatch center in Mount Laurel, NJ.

    The Delaware River is used by a variety of vessels, including deep draft commercial vessels, tug and barge traffic, recreational vessels, and public vessels, including military vessels of various sizes. The three-year average number of bridge openings and maximum number of bridge openings by month and overall for 2013 through 2015, as drawn from the data contained in the bridge tender logs, is presented below.

    Month Average
  • openings
  • Maximum
  • openings
  • January 73 88 February 54 56 March 80 94 April 55 68 May 60 67 June 60 71 July 122 162 August 112 138 September 143 201 October 109 117 November 100 116 December 100 122 Monthly 89 201 Daily 3 7

    The bridge owner and the maritime community have been working together since 2013 in an effort to incorporate sensors and other technologies into the bridge and the Conrail South Jersey dispatch center to allow for the safe and effective remote operation of the bridge.

    IV. Discussion of Comments and Changes to the Final Rule

    During the initial and second temporary deviation periods between April 24, 2017, and April 19, 2018, 26 comments were received, including three duplicate comments, one process comment, and two comments not related to this rule. No comments were received during the third temporary deviation period between April 19, 2018, and October 16, 2018.

    Comments were received from six professional mariners between December 7, 2017, and January 11, 2018, during the second temporary deviation period. These comments expressed concerns associated with the remote operation center's (1) failure to provide timely replies to mariner's requests for a bridge opening, (2) failure to follow established communications protocols, (3) unprofessional responses to mariner's requests and a perception of ineffectual management and a cultural bias against the needs of maritime transportation. These comments were in response to the deficiencies observed during the second temporary deviation period and were observed and reported during the first temporary deviation period, along with corrective actions taken by the bridge owner. Following a review of these comments, the bridge owner acknowledged the recurring deficiencies in the remote operation of the bridge related to human performance factors and management, and reported that additional corrective actions were taken. The Coast Guard found that the bridge owner's actions taken to address the comments received from professional mariners have been satisfactory, given the bridge was operated safely and effectively during the third temporary deviation, which included 681 bridge openings, without further comment from any mariners.

    During the first temporary deviation period, comments were received from the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters that: (1) Questioned the remote operation center's capability to safely and effectively operate the bridge, (2) indicated that bridge tenders were currently performing on-site bridge maintenance, inspection and repair functions that would no longer be performed at the required frequencies, and (3) reported multiple remote operation system failure conditions as defined in the notice of proposed rulemaking. The bridge owner advised the Coast Guard that on-site bridge tenders were not responsible for performing on-site bridge maintenance, inspection or repairs functions and that those functions would continue to be performed by qualified personnel. In reviewing the other two comments above in conjunction with the details concerning the remote operation of the bridge during the second and third temporary deviation periods, the Coast Guard has found that the remote operation center is capable of safely and effectively controlling the bridge and early remote operation system failures have been overcome by the bridge owner's corrective actions.

    The Delaware Riverkeeper Network submitted comments during the first temporary deviation period indicating that: (1) They were opposed to the regulation based on increased potential for negative environmental impacts to local and regional communities, (2) human oversight via an on-site bridge tender should not be replaced by a remote device, (3) the provision for qualified personnel to return and operate the bridge within 60 minutes was not considered an adequate response time, and (4) they believed that the proposed rule was a significant regulatory action based on increased potential for negative environmental impacts. The Coast Guard reviewed these comments and found that there is no evidence to support that remote operation of the bridge increases the potential for negative environmental impacts and is not likely to have an adverse effect to the environment in a material way, therefore the proposed rule is not a significant regulatory action. The Coast Guard also found that the remote operation system does not replace human oversight, and the 60-minute response time was tested throughout the three temporary deviation periods resulting in effective restoration of the remote operation system of the bridge and no adverse impact on navigation.

    12 comments expressed concerns associated with general safety and security of the bridge and the potential inability of remote operation center operators to safely operate the bridge. The Coast Guard found that: (1) Although the on-site bridge tender's duties only include operation of the bridge, the bridge owner's implementation of additional safety and security technologies, in conjunction with the remote operation center's capabilities in providing visibility of the bridge and waterway to the remote operation center operator, adequately addressed the general safety and security related comments. Additionally, the bridge operated safely and effectively during the three temporary deviation periods, which included 2,597 bridge openings.

    The Coast Guard finds that the comments received do not require any changes in the regulatory text as presented in the NPRM.

    V. Discussion of Final Rule

    This operating regulation allows the bridge to be operated remotely from the bridge owner's South Jersey dispatch center in Mount Laurel, NJ. The remote operation system includes eight camera views (four marine and four rail), two forward-looking infrared equipped camera views (marine), marine radar, a dedicated telephone line for bridge operations, radio telephone on VHF-FM channels 13 and 16, and an automated identification system (AIS) transmitter to provide bridge status. The AIS transmitter is installed on the New Jersey side of the bridge at the bridge and land intersection in approximate position 39°58′50.52″ N (39.9807), 75°03′58.75″ W (−75.06632). The AIS transmitter is assigned maritime mobile service identity (MMSI) number 993663001 and provides the status of the bridge (open/closed/inoperative) via the name transmitted by the private aids to navigation as DELAIR BRG-OPEN (fully open and locked position, channel light green), DELAIR BRG-CLOSED (other than fully open, not inoperative), or DELAIR BRG-INOP (other than fully open, inoperative). The AIS transmitter transmits the bridge status every two minutes and upon a change in bridge status.

    The remote operation system is designed to provide greater or equal visibility of the waterway and bridge and in signals (communications) via sound and visual signals and radio telephone (voice) via VHF-FM channels 13 and 16 compared to the on-site bridge tender. The remote operation system also incorporates real-time bridge status via AIS signal to aid mariners in voyage planning and navigational decision-making, a dedicated telephone line (856) 231-2301 for bridge operations, and push-to-talk (PTT) capability on VHF-FM channel 13.

    The signals for the remote operation center or on-site bridge tender to respond to a sound signal for a bridge opening include: (1) When the draw can be opened immediately—a sound signal of one prolonged blast followed by one short blast and illumination of a fixed white light not more than 30 seconds after the requesting signal, and (2) when the draw cannot be opened immediately—five short blasts sounded in rapid succession and illumination of a fixed red light not more 30 seconds after the vessel's opening signal. The signals for the remote operation center or on-site bridge tender to respond to a visual signal for a bridge opening include: (1) When the draw can be opened immediately—illumination of a fixed white light not more than 30 seconds after the requesting signal, and (2) when the draw cannot be opened immediately—illumination of a fixed red light not more 30 seconds after the vessel's opening signal. The fixed white light will remain illuminated until the bridge reaches the fully open position. The fixed white and red lights will be positioned on the east (New Jersey) bridge abutment adjacent to the navigation span.

    Vessels that require an opening shall continue to request an opening via the methods defined in 33 CFR 117.15(b) through (d) (sound or visual signals or radio telephone (VHF-FM) voice communications), via telephone at (856) 231-2301, or via push-to-talk (PTT) on VHF-FM channel 13. Vessels may push the PTT button five times while on VHF-FM channel 13 to request an opening.

    The remote operation system will be considered in a failed condition and qualified personnel will return and operate the bridge within 60 minutes if any of the following conditions are found: (1) The remote operation system becomes incapable of safely and effectively operating the bridge from the remote operation center, (2) visibility of the waterway or bridge is degraded to less than equal that of an on-site bridge tender (all eight camera views are required), (3) signals (communications) via sound or visual signals or radio telephone (voice) via VHF-FM channels 13 or 16 become inoperative, or (4) AIS becomes inoperative.

    VI. Regulatory Analyses

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

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

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

    This regulatory action determination is based on the fact that the operating schedule published in 33 CFR 117.716 will not change with the remote operation of the bridge and the remote operation of the bridge is not likely to have an adverse effect to the environment.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

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

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

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

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

    C. Collection of Information

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

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Government

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

    Also, this rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it does not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes.

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    F. Environment

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

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

    G. Protest Activities

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

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117

    Bridges.

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

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

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

    2. Revise § 117.716 to read as follows:
    § 117.716 Delaware River.

    (a) The following apply to all drawbridges across the Delaware River:

    (1) The draws of railroad bridges need not be opened when there is a train in the bridge block approaching the bridge with the intention of crossing or within five minutes of the known time of the passage of a scheduled passenger train.

    (2) The opening of a bridge may not be delayed more than five minutes for a highway bridge or 10 minutes for a railroad bridge after the signal to open is given.

    (3) The owners of drawbridges shall provide and keep in good legible condition two board gages painted white with black figures not less than six inches high to indicate the vertical clearance under the closed draw at all stages of the tide. The gages shall be so placed on the bridge that they are plainly visible to operators of vessels approaching the bridge either up or downstream.

    (b) The draw of the Conrail Memorial Railroad Bridge, mile 104.6, at Pennsauken Township, NJ shall be operated as follows:

    (1) The bridge will be remotely operated from the Conrail South Jersey dispatch center in Mount Laurel, NJ, unless the remote operation system is in a failed condition.

    (2) An AIS transmitter has been installed on the New Jersey side of the bridge at the bridge and land intersection in approximate position 39°58′50.52″ N (39.9807), 75°03′58.75″ (−75.06632). The AIS transmitter is assigned maritime mobile service identity (MMSI) number 993663001. The status of the bridge (open/closed/inoperative) will be provided via the name transmitted by the AIS private aids to navigation as DELAIR BRG-OPEN (fully open and locked position, channel light green), DELAIR BRG-CLOSED (other than fully open, not inoperative), or DELAIR BRG-INOP (other than fully open, inoperative). The AIS transmitter will transmit the bridge status every two minutes and upon a change in the bridge status.

    (3) The remote operation system will be considered in a failed condition and qualified personnel will return and operate the bridge within 60 minutes if any of the following conditions are found:

    (i) The remote operation system becomes incapable of safely and effectively operating the bridge from the remote operation center; or

    (ii) Visibility of the waterway or bridge is degraded to less than equal that of an on-site bridge tender; or

    (iii) Signals (communications) via sound or visual signals or radio telephone (voice) via VHF-FM channels 13 or 16 become inoperative; or

    (iv) AIS becomes inoperative.

    (4) Vessels that require an opening shall continue to request an opening via the methods defined in § 117.15(b) through (d) (sound or visual signals or radio telephone (VHF-FM) voice communications), via telephone at (856) 231-2301, or via push-to-talk (PTT) on VHF-FM channel 13. Vessels may push the PTT button five times while on VHF-FM channel 13 to request an opening.

    (5) The signals for the remote operation center or on-site bridge tender to respond to a sound signal for a bridge opening include:

    (i) When the draw can be opened immediately—a sound signal of one prolonged blast followed by one short blast and illumination of a fixed white light not more than 30 seconds after the requesting signal; or

    (ii) When the draw cannot be opened immediately—five short blasts sounded in rapid succession and illumination of a fixed red light not more 30 seconds after the vessel's opening signal.

    (6) The signals for the remote operation center or on-site bridge tender to respond to a visual signal for a bridge opening include:

    (i) When the draw can be opened immediately—illumination of a fixed white light not more than 30 seconds after the requesting signal; or

    (ii) When the draw cannot be opened immediately—illumination of a fixed red light not more 30 seconds after the vessel's opening signal.

    (7) The fixed white light will remain illuminated until the bridge reaches the fully open position. The fixed white and red lights will be positioned on the east (New Jersey) bridge abutment adjacent to the navigation span.

    Dated: November 14, 2018. G.G. Stump, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Acting Commander, Fifth Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25544 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2018-1010] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Three Mile Slough, Rio Vista, CA 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 California Route 160 Drawbridge across Three Mile Slough, mile 0.1, near Rio Vista, CA. The deviation is necessary to conduct preventative maintenance. This deviation allows the bridge to remain in the closed-to-navigation position.

    DATES:

    This deviation is effective from 7 a.m. on November 26, 2018, through 4 p.m. on November 27, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this deviation, USCG-2018-1010, 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 Carl T. Hausner, Chief, Bridge Section, Eleventh Coast Guard District; telephone 510-437-3516, email [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The California Department of Transportation has requested a temporary change to the operation of the California Route 160 Drawbridge over Three Mile Slough, mile 0.1, near Rio Vista, CA The drawbridge navigation span provides a vertical clearance of 12 feet above Mean High Water in the closed-to-navigation position. The draw opens on signal as required by 33 CFR 117.5. Navigation on the waterway is commercial and recreational.

    The drawspan will be secured in the closed-to-navigation position from 7 a.m. on November 26, 2018, through 4 p.m. on November 27, 2018, to allow the bridge owner to perform necessary preventative maintenance and non-destructive testing on the bridge's lift span gear box. This temporary deviation has been coordinated with the waterway users. No objections to the proposed temporary deviation were raised.

    Vessels able to pass through the bridge in the closed position may do so at anytime. The bridge will not be able to open for emergencies. The Sacramento River and San Joaquin River can be used as alternate routes 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: November 15, 2018. Carl T. Hausner, District Bridge Chief, Eleventh Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25455 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2018-1030] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zones; Pipeline Construction, Tennessee River Miles 465 to 466, Chattanooga, TN AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone for all navigable waters of the Tennessee River from mile marker (MM) 465 to MM 466. This safety zone is necessary to protect persons, property, and the marine environment from potential hazards associated with the construction of an underground pipeline. Entry of vessels or persons into this zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Sector Ohio Valley or a designated representative.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective without actual notice from November 23, 2018 through 7:30 p.m. on January 25, 2019. For the purposes of enforcement, actual notice will be used from November 19, 2018, through November 23, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2018-1030 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this rule, call or email Petty Officer Nicholas Jones, Marine Safety Detachment Nashville, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 615-736-5421, email [email protected].

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

    The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) with respect to this rule because it is impracticable. We must establish this safety zone by November 19, 2018, and lack sufficient time to provide a reasonable comment period and then consider those comments before issuing the rule. On November 1, 2018, Reynolds Construction, LLC notified Marine Safety Detachment Nashville that their underwater pipeline construction operations at mile marker 465.2 of the Tennessee River would be ready to commence on November 19, 2018. Reynolds Construction estimates that the work will take 10 weeks, excluding November 22-25, December 8-9, December 22-25, and December 29-January 1.

    Under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making it effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. Delaying the effective date of this rule would be contrary to the public interest because immediate action is needed to respond to potential safety hazards associated with the underwater pipeline construction.

    III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231. The Captain of the Port Sector Ohio Valley (COTP) has determined that potential hazards associated with the underwater blasting and pipeline construction will be a safety concern for anyone on a one-mile stretch of the Tennessee River. This rule is necessary to protect persons, vessels, and the marine environment during the construction operations.

    IV. Discussion of the Rule

    This rule establishes a temporary safety zone from mile marker (MM) 465 to MM 466 on the Tennessee River in Chattanooga, TN from 6:30 a.m. on November 19, 2018, through 7:30 p.m. on January 25, 2019. The safety zone will be enforced from 6:30 a.m. through 7:30 p.m. each day, excluding November 22-25, December 8-9, December 22-25, and December 29-January 1. A safety vessel will coordinate all vessel traffic during the enforcement periods. The COTP may terminate enforcement of this rule if the work is finished earlier. The duration of the safety zone is intended to protect persons, vessels, and the marine environment during the construction operations.

    No vessel or person is permitted to enter the safety zone without obtaining permission from the COTP or a designated representative. A designated representative is a commissioned, warrant, or petty officer of the U.S. Coast Guard assigned to units under the operational control of Sector Ohio Valley, U.S. Coast Guard. They may be contacted on VHF Channel 13 or 16, or at 1-800-253-7465. All persons and vessels permitted to enter this safety zone must transit at their slowest safe speed and comply with all directions issued by the COTP or the designated representative. The COTP or a designated representative will inform the public of the enforcement times and dates for this safety zone through Broadcast Notices to Mariners (BNMs), Local Notices to Mariners (LNMs), and/or Marine Safety Information Bulletins (MSIBs), as appropriate.

    V. Regulatory Analyses

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

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

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

    This regulatory action determination is based on the size, location, duration, and time-of-day of the safety zone. This safety zone prohibits transit on a one-mile stretch of the Tennessee River for about 13 hours, on workdays only, during a ten-week period. The rule also allows vessels to seek permission to enter the zone.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

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

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

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

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

    C. Collection of Information

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

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

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

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

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.1D, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have determined that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule prohibits transit on a one-mile stretch of the Tennessee River for about 13 hours on workdays only during a ten-week period. It is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph L60(a) of Appendix A, Table 1 of DHS Instruction Manual 023-01-001-01, Rev. 01. A Record of Environmental Consideration supporting this determination is available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES.

    G. Protest Activities

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

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

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

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

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

    33 U.S.C. 1231; 50 U.S.C. 191; 33 CFR 1.05-1, 6.04-1, 6.04-6, and 160.5; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.2.

    2. Add § 165.35T08-1030 to read as follows:
    § 165.35T08-1030 Safety Zone; Pipeline Construction, Tennessee River, Miles 465 to 466, Chattanooga, TN.

    (a) Location. The following area is a safety zone: All navigable waters of the Tennessee River from mile marker (MM) 465.0 to MM 466.0, Chattanooga, TN.

    (b) Effective period. This section is effective without actual notice from November 23, 2018 through 7:30 p.m. on January 25, 2019. For the purposes of enforcement, actual notice will be used from November 19, 2018 through November 23, 2018.

    (c) Enforcement periods. This section will be enforced each day during the effective period from 6:30 a.m. through 7:30 p.m., excluding November 22-25, December 8-9, December 22-25, and December 29-January 1. The Captain of the Port Sector Ohio Valley (COTP) may terminate enforcement of this section if the work is finished earlier.

    (d) Regulations. (1) In accordance with the general regulations in § 165.23 of this part, entry into this area is prohibited unless authorized by the COTP or a designated representative. A designated representative is a commissioned, warrant, or petty officer of the U.S. Coast Guard assigned to units under the operational control of Sector Ohio Valley, U.S. Coast Guard.

    (2) Persons or vessels requiring entry into or passage through the area must request permission from the COTP or a designated representative. U.S. Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley may be contacted on VHF Channel 13 or 16, or at 1-800-253-7465.

    (3) A designated safety vessel will coordinate all vessel traffic during the enforcement of this safety zone. All persons and vessels permitted to enter this safety zone must transit at their slowest safe speed and comply with all directions issued by the COTP or the designated representative.

    (e) Information broadcasts. The COTP or a designated representative will inform the public of the enforcement times and dates for this safety zone through Broadcast Notices to Mariners (BNMs), Local Notices to Mariners (LNMs), and/or Marine Safety Information Bulletins (MSIBs), as appropriate.

    Dated: November 19, 2018. M.B. Zamperini, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Sector Ohio Valley.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25536 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG- 2018-1022] Safety Zone; Lower Mississippi River, Mile Markers 94 to 95 Above Head of Passes, New Orleans, LA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of enforcement of regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard will enforce a safety zone for a fireworks display located between mile marker (MM) 94 and (MM) 95, above Head of Passes. This action is needed to provide for the safety of life on navigable waterways during this event.

    DATES:

    The regulations in 33 CFR 165.845 will be enforced from 8:15 p.m. through 9:15 p.m. on December 29, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions about this notice of enforcement, call or email Lieutenant Commander Benjamin Morgan, Sector New Orleans, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 504-365-2281, email [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the safety zone located in 33 CFR 165.845 for the fireworks display from 8:15 p.m. through 9:15 p.m. on December 29, 2018. This action is being taken to provide for the safety of life on navigable waterways during this event. Our regulation for marine events within the Eighth Coast Guard District, § 165.845, specifies the location of the regulated area between mile markers 94 and 95 above Head of Passes on the Lower Mississippi River. If you are the operator of a vessel in the regulated area you must comply with directions from the Patrol Commander or any Official Patrol displaying a Coast Guard ensign.

    In addition to this notice of enforcement in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard plans to provide notification of this enforcement period via the local notice to mariners and marine information broadcasts.

    Dated: November 16, 2018. K.M. Luttrell, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Sector New Orleans.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25434 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R08-OAR-2016-0585; FRL-9986-14-Region 8] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; State of Utah; Logan Nonattainment Area Fine Particulate Matter State Implementation Plan for Attainment of 2006 24-Hour Fine Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finalizing approval of the emissions inventory, modeled attainment demonstration, determination for Major Stationary Source Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT), determination for On-Road Mobile Sources Reasonably Available Control Measures (RACM), determination for Cache County Inspection and Maintenance (I/M) Program as additional reasonable measures, determination for Off-Road Mobile Sources RACM, and the 2015 Motor Vehicle Emission Budgets (MVEB) portions of the attainment plan submitted by Utah on December 16, 2014, to address Clean Air Act (CAA or the Act) requirements for the 2006 24-hour fine particulate matter (PM2.5) national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) in the Logan, Utah (UT)—Idaho (ID) Moderate PM2.5 nonattainment area. These actions are being taken under section 110 of the CAA.

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective on December 24, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    The EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-R08-OAR-2016-0585. 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., 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:

    Crystal Ostigaard, Air Program, U.S. EPA, Region 8, Mailcode 8P-AR, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, Colorado 80202-1129, (303) 312-6602, [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document “we,” means the EPA.

    I. Background

    On October 17, 2006 (71 FR 61144), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revised the level of the 24-hour fine particulate matter (PM2.5) National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS), lowering the primary and secondary standards from the 1997 standard of 65 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) to 35 µg/m3. On November 13, 2009 (74 FR 58688), the EPA designated three nonattainment areas in Utah for the 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS of 35 µg/m3. These are the Salt Lake City, Utah (UT); Provo, UT; and Logan, UT-Idaho (ID) nonattainment areas. The State of Utah submitted the Logan, UT-ID Moderate PM2.5 state implementation plan (SIP) on December 16, 2014, to address the requirements under part D of title I of the Clean Air Act (CAA) for the Logan UT-ID PM2.5 nonattainment area.

    On December 4, 2017 (82 FR 57183), the EPA proposed to approve portions of the December 16, 2014 Logan, UT-ID Moderate PM2.5 SIP submittal. Specifically, we proposed to approve:

    • The 2010 base year and 2015 projection year emissions inventories;

    • The modeled attainment demonstration;

    • The RACM/RACT and additional reasonable measure determinations for on-road mobile, including the Cache County I/M Program, off-road mobile, and major stationary sources; and

    • The direct PM2.5, nitrogen oxides (NOX) and volatile organic compound (VOC) MVEBs for 2015 and the MVEB trading mechanism.

    Our proposal provides details on the EPA's evaluation of these portions of the State's submittal.

    II. Response to Comments

    The EPA received seven public comments on the proposed action. After reviewing the comments received, the EPA has determined that the comments, with the exception of a portion of one comment, fall outside the scope of our proposed action or fail to identify any material issue necessitating a response.

    A portion of one comment (EPA-R08-OAR-2016-0585-0017) generally alleges that the EPA lacks actual measurements of what agriculture emits in the form of PM2.5, and that agriculture is not a major emitter of PM2.5. The comment states that the data used to develop “the inventory” was based on erroneous emission factors published by “CPA” 1 for cattle feed yards, feed mills, grain elevators, and dust from farmers' field operations; however, according to the comment, there “has never been any actual PM-2.5 emission data taken on agricultural tillage equipment using EPA approved PM-2.5 samplers.” The comment also alleges that “wildfire emissions were not added to the data.”

    1 The comment does not define this acronym, but we assume the comment intended to refer to EPA.

    Assuming that the comment is intended to refer to the emissions inventories that Utah prepared and submitted for the Logan, UT-ID Moderate PM2.5 SIP and that the EPA proposed to approve, we respond as follows. The comment alleges the use of “erroneous” emission factors without identifying any specific error in the emission factors. Under the SIP Requirements Rule, Utah was not required to run tests on agricultural tillage equipment to develop emissions inventories; instead the requirements for emissions inventories are set forth in 40 CFR 51.1008. See Fine Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards: State Implementation Plan Requirements, 81 FR 58010, 58027-33 (Aug. 24, 2016). The comment does not indicate any way in which the inventories fail to meet those requirements. Finally, for the purposes of PM2.5 nonattainment areas such as the Logan, UT-ID area, wildfire emissions are generally accounted for through the EPA's Exceptional Events Rule,2 not through emissions inventories.

    2 40 CFR 50.14.

    III. Final Action

    For the reasons stated in our proposal, the EPA is finalizing approval of portions of Utah's SIP found at R307-110-10, Section IX Control Measures for Area and Point Sources, Part A, Fine Particulate Matter for the Logan, UT-ID nonattainment area and at SIP Subsection IX.A.23: Control Measures for Area and Point Sources, Fine Particulate Matter for the Logan, UT-ID nonattainment area. Specifically, we are approving the following portions of the Logan, UT-ID Moderate PM2.5 SIP submitted by the State on December 16, 2014:

    • The 2010 base year and 2015 projection year emissions inventories;

    • The modeled attainment demonstration;

    • The RACM/RACT and additional reasonable measure demonstrations for on-road mobile, including the Cache County I/M Program, off-road mobile and major stationary sources; and

    • The direct PM2.5, nitrogen oxides (NOX) and VOC MVEBs for 2015 and the MVEB trading mechanism.

    IV. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, the EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, the EPA is finalizing the incorporation by reference of the approval of portions of the Logan, UT-ID PM2.5 Moderate SIP submitted by the State of Utah as discussed in the proposed rule. 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). Therefore, these materials have been approved by the EPA for inclusion in the state implementation plan, have been incorporated by reference by the 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 the EPA's approval, and will be incorporated by reference in the next update to the SIP compilation.3

    3 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 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 approves state law as meeting federal requirements and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For that reason, this final action:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    In addition, the SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land or in any other area where the EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction. In those areas of Indian country, the 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 Clean Air Act, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by January 22, 2019. 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, Ammonia, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Nitrogen dioxide, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sulfur dioxide, Volatile organic compounds.

    Dated: November 16, 2018. Douglas Benevento, Regional Administrator, EPA, 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 TT—Utah 2. Section 52.2320 is amended by: a. Revising the entry for “R307-110-10” in the table in paragraph (c); and b. Adding the entry, in numerical order, “Section IX.A.23. Fine Particulate Matter, PM2.5 SIP for the Logan, UT-ID Nonattainment Area” in the table in paragraph (e).

    The revision and addition reads as follows:

    § 52.2320 Identification of plan.

    (c) * * *

    Rule No. Rule title State
  • effective
  • date
  • Final rule
  • citation, date
  • Comments
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * R307-110. General Requirements: State Implementation Plan *         *         *         *         *         *         * R307-110-10 Section IX. Control Measures for Area and Point Sources, Part A, Fine Particulate Matter 12/4/2014 [Insert Federal Register citation], 11/23/2018 *         *         *         *         *         *         *

    (e) * * *

    Rule title State
  • effective
  • date
  • Final rule
  • citation,
  • date
  • Comments
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * IX. Control Measures for Area and Point Sources *         *         *         *         *         *         * Section IX.A.23. Fine Particulate Matter, PM2.5 SIP for the Logan, UT-ID Nonattainment Area 12/4/2014 [Insert Federal Register citation], 11/23/2018 Except for Chapters 1-3, Area Sources found in Chapter 6.6, Chapter 8 and Chapter 9. *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2018-25486 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    83 226 Friday, November 23, 2018 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Business-Cooperative Service Rural Housing Service Rural Utilities Service Farm Service Agency 7 CFR Part 1970 RIN 0572-AC44 Rural Development Environmental Regulation for Rural Infrastructure Projects AGENCY:

    Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service, Farm Service Agency, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development (RD), comprised of the Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS), Rural Housing Service (RHS), and Rural Utilities Service (RUS), hereafter referred to as the Agency, proposes amending the Agency's Environmental Policies and Procedures regulation to allow the Agency Administrators limited flexibility to obligate federal funds for infrastructure projects prior to completion of the environmental review while ensuring full compliance with National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) procedures prior to project construction and disbursement of funding. The proposed change will allow RD to more fully meet the Administration's goals to speed the initiation of infrastructure projects and encourage planned community economic development without additional cost to taxpayers or change to environmental review requirements.

    DATE:

    Electronic and written comments must be received on or before December 24, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments on this rule by any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and, in the lower “Search Regulations and Federal Actions” box, select “Rural Utilities Service” from the agency drop-down menu, then click on “Submit.” In the Docket ID column, select RUS-18-AGENCY-0005 to submit or view public comments and to view supporting and related materials available electronically. Information on using Regulations.gov, including instructions for accessing documents, submitting comments, and viewing the docket after the close of the comment period, is available through the site's “User Tips” link.

    Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Please send your comment addressed to Michele Brooks, Rural Development Innovation Center, Regulations Team Lead, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Stop 1522, Room 1562, Washington, DC 20250. Please state that your comment refers to Docket No. RUS-18-AGENCY-0005.

    Other Information: Additional information about Rural Development and its programs is available on the internet at https://www.usda.gov/topics/rural.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kellie McGinness Kubena, Director, Engineering and Environmental Staff, Rural Utilities Service, USDA Rural Development, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Mail Stop 1571, Room 2242, Washington, DC 20250-1571, Phone: 202-720-1649.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the rules section of this issue of the Federal Register, Rural Development is concurrently publishing this action as a direct final rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a non-controversial action and anticipates no adverse comments. The language in the direct final rule will also serve as the language for this proposed rule. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION provided in the direct final rule for the applicable SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION on this action. If no adverse comments are received in response to the direct final rule, no further action will be taken on this proposed rule and the action will become effective at the time specified in the direct final rule. If the Agency receives adverse comments, a timely document will be published withdrawing the direct final rule and all public comments received will be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on this action.

    Dated: November 9, 2018. Anne C. Hazlett, Assistant to the Secretary, Rural Development. Bill Northey, Under Secretary, Farm Production and Conservation.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25522 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION 12 CFR Parts 704 and 713 RIN 3133-AE87 Fidelity Bonds AGENCY:

    National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The NCUA Board (Board) is seeking comment on a proposed rule that would amend its regulations regarding fidelity bonds under Part 704 for corporate credit unions and under Part 713 for natural person credit unions. The proposed rule would accomplish four objectives. First, it would strengthen a board of directors' oversight of a credit union's fidelity bond coverage. Second, it would ensure that there is an adequate period to discover and file fidelity bond claims following a credit union's liquidation. Third, it would codify a 2017 NCUA Office of General Counsel legal opinion that permits a natural person credit union's fidelity bond to include coverage for certain credit union service organizations (CUSOs). Fourth, it would clarify the documents subject to Board approval and require that all bond forms receive Board approval every ten years.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before January 22, 2019.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by any of the following methods (Please send comments by one method only):

    NCUA website: http://www.ncua.gov/news/proposed_regs/proposed_regs.html. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Email: Address to [email protected]. Include “[Your name] Comments on Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Fidelity Bonds)” in the email subject line.

    Fax: (703) 518-6319. Use the subject line described above for email.

    Mail: Address to Gerard Poliquin, Secretary of the Board, National Credit Union Administration, 1775 Duke Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314-3428.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Same as mail address.

    Public inspection: All public comments are available on the agency's website at http://www.ncua.gov/RegulationsOpinionsLaws/comments as submitted, except as may not be possible for technical reasons. Public comments will not be edited to remove any identifying or contact information. Paper copies of comments may be inspected in the NCUA's law library, 1775 Duke Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314, by appointment weekdays between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. To make an appointment, call (703) 518-6540 or send an email to [email protected].

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rob Robine, Trial Attorney, or Rachel Ackmann, Staff Attorney, Office of General Counsel, 1775 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314-3428 or telephone (703) 548-2601.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Introduction II. Proposed Rule III. Section-by-Section Analysis IV. Request for Comment V. Regulatory Procedures I. Introduction a. Background and Legal Authority

    The Federal Credit Union Act (FCU Act) requires that certain credit union employees and appointed and elected officials be subject to fidelity bond coverage.1 The FCU Act directs the Board to promulgate regulations concerning both the amount and character of fidelity bond coverage and to approve bond forms.2 The pertinent portion of the FCU Act provides:

    1 12 U.S.C. 1761a, 1761b, and 1766.

    2 The FCU Act also grants the Board the powers to require such other surety coverage as the Board may determine to be reasonably appropriate; to approve a blanket bond in lieu of individual bonds; and to approve bond coverage in excess of minimum surety coverage.

    The Board is . . . directed to require that every person appointed or elected by any Federal credit union to any position requiring the receipt, payment, or custody of money or other personal property owned by a Federal credit union or in its custody or control as collateral or otherwise, give bond in a corporate surety company holding a certificate of authority from the Secretary of Treasury . . . as an acceptable surety on Federal bonds. Any such bond or bonds shall be in a form approved by the Board with a view to providing surety coverage to the Federal credit union with reference to loss by reason of acts of fraud or dishonesty including forgery, theft, embezzlement, wrongful abstraction, or misapplication on the part of the person, directly or through connivance with others, and such other surety coverages as the Board may determine to be reasonably appropriate. Any such bond or bonds shall be in such an amount in relation to the . . . assets of the Federal credit union as the Board may from time to time prescribe by regulation[.] 3

    3 12 U.S.C. 1766(h).

    Parts 704 and 713 of the NCUA's regulations implement the requirements of the FCU Act regarding fidelity bonds.4 Parts 704 and 713 reiterate the statutory requirement that certain credit union employees and appointed and elected officials are subject to fidelity bond coverage. The parts also establish the requirements for a fidelity bond, the acceptable bond forms, and the minimum permissible coverage. Both parts require a credit union's board of directors to review annually its fidelity bond coverage to ensure it is adequate in relation to the potential risks facing the credit union and the minimum requirements set by the Board. Part 713 is made applicable to all federally insured, state-chartered credit unions (FISCUs) through § 741.201 of the NCUA's regulations.5

    4 12 CFR pts. 704 and 713.

    5 12 CFR 741.201.

    Part 704 was recently revised to amend the provision that determines the maximum amount a credit union may pay for a covered loss, or deductible, before the fidelity bond insurer makes a payment. The NCUA restricts the deductible a corporate credit union may pay to limit the potential losses to it if there is a covered claim. The maximum deductible allowed is a percentage of a corporate credit union's capital based on its leverage ratio. For example, if a corporate credit union has a greater than 2.25 leverage ratio then it may have a maximum deductible that is 15 percent of its tier 1 capital. The recent final rule updated this provision to reference tier 1 capital instead of core capital.6 Part 713, however, has not been substantively revised since 2005 when the NCUA issued a final rule modernizing Part 713.7

    6 80 FR 25932 (May 6, 2015).

    7 70 FR 61713 (Oct. 26, 2005. In 2012, the NCUA revised Part 713 by removing reference to the agency's former Regulatory Flexibility Program. 77 FR 74112 (Dec. 13, 2012).

    b. Regulatory Reform Task Force

    In August 2017, the Board published and sought comment on the NCUA's regulatory reform agenda (Agenda).8 The Agenda identifies those regulations the Board intends to amend or repeal because they are outdated, ineffective, or excessively burdensome. This is consistent with the spirit of Executive Order 13777.9 Although the NCUA, as an independent agency, is not required to comply with Executive Order 13777, the Board has chosen to comply with it in spirit and has reviewed all of the NCUA's regulations to that end. One of the items in the Agenda is related to the NCUA's regulations on fidelity bonds. The Agenda supports exploring ways to implement the requirements of the FCU Act in this context in the least costly way possible. The Agenda further notes that while the FCU Act mandates fidelity bond coverage, the NCUA's objective should be to allow a credit union to make a business decision based on its own circumstances and needs. This would effectively reduce the NCUA's involvement in a credit union's operational decisions while remaining consistent with the FCU Act.

    8 82 FR 39702 (Aug. 22, 2017).

    9 E.O. 13771 (Jan. 30, 2017).

    c. The 2017 Legal Opinion

    As discussed above, Part 713 establishes the minimum requirements for a fidelity bond for a natural person credit union. One such requirement under Part 713 is that fidelity bonds be purchased in an “individual policy.” 10 The “individual policy” provision was intended to prevent multiple credit unions from being insured under one fidelity bond policy. The Board prohibited such joint coverage because the loss suffered by one or two of the joint policyholders could reduce the amount of available coverage for the other policyholders to below the required minimum amount.11 Before 2017, the NCUA's Office of General Counsel (OGC) had issued legal opinions stating that a credit union may not include one or more CUSOs or other parties as additional insureds under its fidelity bond because of the “individual policy” limitation.12 It came to OGC's attention, however, that some bond issuers may have been interpreting their policies to permit the issuance of bonds that covered credit unions and their CUSOs, despite OGC's opinions to the contrary. This prompted OGC to review the regulation and approved bond forms. As a result of that review, OGC issued another legal opinion in September 2017 that rescinded and replaced all previous legal opinions that addressed the “individual policy” requirement.13 The 2017 opinion concluded that the “individual policy” requirement of § 713.3(a) of the NCUA's regulations generally prohibits joint coverage under fidelity bonds, but does not prohibit a credit union from purchasing a fidelity bond that covers both the credit union and certain of its CUSOs, as discussed more fully below.

    10 12 CFR 713.3(a). There is not an analogous provision for corporate credit unions under Part 704, therefore, the legal opinion relates only to fidelity bonds for natural person credit unions under Part 713.

    11 64 FR 28178 (May 27, 1999).

    12 OGC Legal Op. 14-0311 (Mar. 21, 2014); see also OGC Legal Op. 04-0744 (Sept. 21, 2004).

    13 OGC Legal Op. 17-0959 (Sept. 26, 2017).

    II. Proposed Rule

    OGC's review of Part 713 extended beyond the issue of joint coverage and revealed several inconsistencies between the regulation and approved bond forms. The review also revealed several outdated provisions the Board now seeks to update to ensure the safe and sound operation of credit unions and to protect the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF). The Board believes that many of the concerns identified by OGC, as discussed more fully below, are also relevant for corporate credit unions. Therefore, where appropriate, the Board is also proposing amendments to the NCUA's corporate credit union regulations under Part 704. The specific details of the proposed amendments are discussed below.

    III. Section-by-Section Analysis Part 704

    In general, Part 704 applies to all federally insured corporate credit unions. Section 704.18 provides the fidelity bond requirements for such credit unions. Proposed changes to the specific subparagraphs of § 704.18 are discussed below.

    Sec. 704.18 Fidelity Bond Coverage 18(a)

    The proposed rule would not make any changes to paragraph (a).

    18(b)

    The proposed rule would amend current § 704.18(b) by dividing paragraph (b) into two subparts. Current paragraph (b) would remain unchanged and be designated paragraph (b)(1). The proposed rule would add a new paragraph as (b)(2). Proposed paragraph (b)(2) would require that a corporate credit union's board of directors and supervisory committee must review all applications for purchase or renewal of its fidelity bond coverage. After review, the corporate credit union's board must pass a resolution approving the purchase or renewal of fidelity bond coverage and delegate one member of the board, who is not an employee of the corporate credit union, to sign the purchase or renewal agreement and all attachments. No board members may be a signatory on consecutive purchase or renewal agreements for the same fidelity bond coverage policy. This proposed amendment is identical to proposed changes to Part 713 for natural person credit unions. For additional background, see the discussion below for proposed changes to § 713.2(b).

    18(c)

    The proposed rule would make significant revisions to current § 704.18(c). In the proposed rule, § 704.18(c) is split into five new subparagraphs, each of which is described in more detail below.

    18(c)(1)

    The proposed rule would state that a corporate credit union's fidelity bond coverage must be purchased from a company holding a certificate of authority from the Secretary of the Treasury. This is not a substantive change from the current requirements and has only been amended to reflect the comparable language in Part 713.

    18(c)(2)

    Proposed § 704.18(c)(2) would state that fidelity bonds must provide coverage for the fraud and dishonesty of all employees, directors, officers, and supervisory and credit committee members. This is not a substantive change from the current requirements.

    18(c)(3)

    The proposed rule would substantively amend the requirements for a corporate credit union's approved bond forms. The revised requirements reflect the changes proposed for natural person credit unions in Part 713. The proposed rule would require the Board to approve all bond forms before a corporate credit union may use them. In addition, a credit union may not use any bond form that has been amended since receiving Board approval or any rider, endorsement, renewal, or other document that limits coverage of approved bond forms without first receiving approval from the Board. As would be required under proposed Part 713, approval of all bond forms expires 10 years after the date the Board approved or reapproved use of the bond form. Any currently approved bond forms would expire on January 1, 2029. For additional background, see the discussion below for proposed changes to § 713.4.

    18(c)(4)

    The proposed rule would add a new § 704.18(c)(4) to ensure there is an adequate discovery period, the period to discover and file a claim, following a corporate credit union's liquidation. The revised requirements reflect the changes proposed for natural person credit unions in Part 713. The proposed rule would require fidelity bonds to include an option for the liquidating agent to purchase coverage in the event of an involuntary liquidation that extends the discovery period for a covered loss for at least two years after liquidation. In the case of a voluntary liquidation, fidelity bonds would be required to remain in effect, or provide that the discovery period is extended, for at least four months after the final distribution of assets. For additional background, see the discussion below for proposed changes to §§ 713.3(a)(3) and (4).

    18(c)(5)

    The proposed rule would require corporate credit union bonds to include a provision requiring written notification by surety to the NCUA when a credit union's bond is terminated or when the coverage of an employee, director, officer, supervisory or credit committee member has been terminated. The NCUA also must be notified in writing by surety if a deductible is increased above permissible limits. This is not a substantive change from the current requirements.

    18(d)-18(f)

    The proposed rule would not make any changes to paragraphs (d), (e), and (f).

    Part 713

    In general, Part 713 applies to all federally insured natural person credit unions and provides the fidelity bond requirements for them. Proposed changes to the specific subsections of Part 713 are discussed below.

    Sec. 713.1 What is the scope of this section?

    The proposed rule would retain most of the current § 713.1 without change, with the following exceptions. The proposed rule would add the words “federally insured” before the words “credit union” to more precisely describe which credit unions are subject to the section. The current rule uses the term “credit union” and “federal credit union” interchangeably to mean “federal credit union.” As discussed in the background section, the requirements in Part 713 are applicable to both federal credit unions and FISCUs.14 For clarity, the proposed rule would cross reference the requirement in Part 741 that FISCUs must comply with Part 713 and would refer to federally insured credit unions (FICUs) throughout the rule instead of federal credit unions. The Board does not intend any substantive changes by this amendment and only intends to increase the clarity and internal consistency of Part 713.

    14 Part 713 is applicable to all FISCUs through § 741.201 of the NCUA's regulations, which states that any credit union which makes application for share insurance must have the minimum fidelity bond coverage stated in Part 713 in order for its application to be approved and for such share insurance coverage to continue.

    The proposed rule would also include a cross reference for corporate credit unions and would state that corporate credit unions must comply with § 704.18 instead of Part 713.

    Sec. 713.2 What are the responsibilities of a federally insured credit union's board of directors under this section? 2(a)

    The proposed rule would amend current § 713.2 by dividing the section into two subparagraphs. Current § 713.2 would become paragraph (a). The proposed rule would retain most of the current § 713.2 without change, with the following exception. For consistency with the rest of Part 713, the term “Federal credit union” would be revised to “federally insured credit union.”

    2(b)

    The proposed rule would add a new paragraph (b) to § 713.2. Proposed paragraph (b) increases a board of directors' oversight responsibility of its FICU's fidelity bond coverage. Specifically, the Board is proposing to require a FICU's board, and, if applicable, a FICU's supervisory committee, to review all applications for purchase or renewal of bond coverage and to pass a board resolution approving the purchase or renewal. The proposed rule would also require a FICU's board to delegate one board member, who is not an employee of the FICU, to sign the attestation for bond purchase or renewal. This proposal would prohibit the same board member from signing the attestation for renewal in consecutive years.

    The Board notes the current rule already requires a FICU's board to annually review its fidelity bond and other insurance coverage to ensure it is adequate. The proposed rule would take that review a step further and require a FICU's board, and, if applicable, its supervisory committee, to review all applications for purchase or renewal of fidelity bond coverage. The Board believes this change will help ensure the board is addressing the adequacy of the coverage at all stages, rather than at an annual point in time that may be retrospective, and require additional steps by the FICU to remedy a deficiency.

    The Board is also proposing to require a FICU's supervisory committee to conduct a review of all applications for purchase or renewal of fidelity coverage, in addition to the board. The Board believes this is a function within the responsibilities of a FICU's supervisory committee and will add an additional layer of review. For FISCUs operating without a supervisory committee, its board should implement controls or establish procedures for conducting their own analysis of the FISCU's fidelity bond coverage, as opposed to relying on recommendations from the FISCU's officers.

    As noted, the proposed rule would also require a FICU's board to, after conducting its review, pass a resolution approving the purchase or renewal of fidelity coverage and designating a member of the board, who is not an employee of the FICU, to sign applications for purchase, bond renewals, and any accompanying attestations. Also as mentioned, the Board is proposing to require that the member of the board acting as signatory rotate each time the FICU purchases or renews fidelity coverage. The purpose of these requirements is to address the issue of rescission of fidelity coverage when the signatory to the application to purchase or renew coverage is knowledgeable of fraudulent activity. If the signatory to the application for purchase or renewal is knowledgeable of fraudulent activity, the bond issuer may void the policy and not make a payout when losses are discovered. The NCUA believes that a non-employee board member, who would not be involved in the day-to-day operations of a FICU, is less likely to be responsible for a fraudulent activity than an employee. The NCUA also believes that rotating signatories would reduce the potential for the signatory to be knowledgeable of the fraudulent activity.

    In the case where the NCUA is a liquidating agent of a FICU, the NCUSIF would suffer losses due to the fidelity bond being voided. In recent years, the NCUSIF has sustained increased losses due to voided fidelity bond coverage. Before 2010, bond rescission was not a material concern for the NCUA. Since 2010, however, the NCUA has had at least three claims denied due to rescinded fidelity bond coverage and the NCUA is concerned that the frequency of rescinded coverage will continue to increase. As of June 2018, the NCUSIF has already lost in excess of $10 million from fidelity bonds that were voided due to the signatory being aware of the fraudulent activities and litigation related to denied claims is ongoing and may result in additional expenses.

    The Board believes the proposed changes are only a minimal increase in regulatory burden as the FICU's board is already required to annually review its fidelity bond coverage, but would meaningfully mitigate the risk to the NCUSIF associated with fidelity bond coverage rescission. The Board notes that this proposed requirement is also advantageous to individual FICUs, as this will help prevent them from losing coverage absent involuntary liquidation.

    Sec. 713.3 What bond coverage must a federally insured credit union have?

    The proposed rule would amend current § 713.3 by renumbering and revising the section. Current § 713.3 would become paragraph (a), current paragraphs (a) and (b) would be renumbered as paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2), and two new subparagraphs would be added as (a)(3) and (a)(4). Finally, a new paragraph (b) would also be added.

    3(a)(2)

    Current paragraph (b) of § 713.3 states that, at a minimum, a credit union's fidelity bond coverage must include fidelity bonds that cover fraud and dishonesty. The proposed rule would remove the redundant phrase “[i]nclude fidelity bonds that” in current paragraph (b). The proposed rule would read “At a minimum, your bond coverage must: . . . Cover fraud and dishonesty by all employees, directors, officers, supervisory committee members, and credit committee members;”. The change is non-substantive and only intended to remove the unnecessary language and clarify the requirement.

    3(a)(3)

    The proposed rule would add a new paragraph (a)(3) to § 713.3. Proposed paragraph (a)(3) would require a FICU to have fidelity bond coverage that includes an option for the liquidating agent to purchase coverage that extends the discovery period, the period to discover and file a claim, for at least two years after liquidation. Fidelity bonds mitigate the risk presented by fraudulent and other dishonest acts to the NCUSIF and have served as a significant source of recovery in liquidations caused by fraud. However, the NCUA, as liquidating agent, can only file a claim if it discovers the loss during the contractual period permitted for filling a claim. Historically, it had been standard for fidelity bonds to permit a reasonable period for discovery and filing a claim following a FICU's involuntary liquidation. The NCUA has identified approximately $1 million in claims paid to the NCUSIF that were identified during an extended discovery period from 2006 to 2013. Since then, however, insurers have removed standard discovery coverage provisions from fidelity bond contracts. Currently, most fidelity bonds provide that the bond's coverage terminates immediately upon a credit union's liquidation and that the ability to purchase an additional period to discover loss is at the sole discretion of the insurer.

    Under such contracts, the NCUA, as liquidating agent, would not have authority to extend the discovery period following a FICU's closure. There are some instances when liquidation occurs unexpectedly and there is insufficient time to discover a claim before liquidation, or where there is a covered loss, but it is unknown with the specificity required for filing a claim. In such a case, even if the liquidating agent subsequently discovers a covered loss, the fidelity bond issuer may deny the claim. If this happens when the NCUA is liquidating agent, the NCUA would either be forced into litigation to receive payment for the covered loss or not recover for the loss. In either situation, the NCUSIF bears additional losses than if the fidelity bond permitted a reasonable period of discovery. In addition to reducing losses to the NCUSIF, any funds recovered due to an extended discovery period may also be available to pay the failed FICU's creditors and uninsured depositors.15

    15 For the priority of payment following a liquidation, see 12 U.S.C. 1787(b)(11).

    In an attempt to address this gap in coverage, it has been the NCUA's practice to provide notice that there may be a potential claim before a liquidation. This informal solution, however, lacks legal clarity and results in unnecessary risk that an insurer may deny a claim following an involuntary liquidation. The proposed rule would provide the NCUA with an explicit right to extend the discovery period, which should prevent unnecessary losses to the NCUSIF due to contract technicalities.

    The proposed rule would require that fidelity bond coverage provide a discovery period of two years because the FCU Act provides members with 18 months after the appointment of a liquidating agent to claim their insured accounts.16 Therefore, the Board is providing six months to discover and make a claim for fidelity bond coverage following the end of the 18-month statutory period for unclaimed accounts. Further, in the Board's experience, most liquidations are resolved within two years. The Board considers two years a reasonable period to resolve the FICU's affairs, discover any losses from fraudulent or dishonest acts, and file a claim under the fidelity bond. The Board does not expect this proposed requirement to result in any additional cost or burden on FICUs. The liquidating agent would bear the cost of any extension of a discovery period following an involuntary liquidation.

    16 12 U.S.C. 1787(o).

    3(a)(4)

    The Board is also proposing to add a new paragraph (a)(4) to § 713.3 to include a requirement that, for voluntary liquidations, a FICU's fidelity bond coverage remain in effect, or provide that the discovery period is extended, for at least four months after the final distribution of assets. The Board notes that this is currently required for federal credit unions in Part 710, the NCUA's voluntary liquidation regulations, and that this proposed change only reflects that requirement, and does not impose an additional burden for federal credit unions.17 This requirement would represent a new burden, however, for FISCUs. The Board believes that this requirement would impose only a minor burden for FISCUs, and would be beneficial to its members, as any recovery following a voluntary termination would flow through to members.

    17 12 CFR 710.2(c).

    3(b)

    The Board is proposing to amend § 713.3 to allow a FICU to have a fidelity bond that covers both it and certain of its CUSOs, as more fully discussed below. Section 713.3 requires that a bond, at a minimum, must be purchased in “an individual policy.” 18 The NCUA added this section to Part 713 in a 1999 final rule in response to a commenter who pointed out that there had been instances of FICUs jointly purchasing fidelity bonds with each other.19 The commenter was concerned that a loss caused by one or two of the joint policyholders could reduce the amount of available coverage for the other policyholders to below the required minimum amount. In addressing this comment, the Board provided in § 713.3 that a FICU must purchase its own individual policy.20 The regulation did not, however, define “individual policy.”

    18 12 CFR 713.3.

    19 64 FR 28718, 28719 (May 27, 1999).

    20Id. at 28719.

    Since inclusion of this provision in the NCUA's regulations, OGC has issued two public legal opinions interpreting the meaning of “individual policy” and opining on the type of coverage that is prohibited under § 713.3(a).21 A 2014 OGC legal opinion states that a FICU may not include one or more of its CUSOs or other parties as additional insureds under its fidelity bond.22 In a 2004 legal opinion, OGC opined that a CUSO that provides management services for multiple credit unions could not purchase a single fidelity bond with each credit union named as an insured.23 In both letters, OGC explained the purpose of the individual policy requirement is to avoid diluting the individual credit union's coverage.

    21 OGC Legal Op. 04-0744 (Sep. 21, 2004); and OGC Legal Op. 14-1013 (Mar. 21, 2014).

    22 OGC Legal Op. 14-1013 (Mar. 21, 2014).

    23 OGC Legal Op. 04-0744 (Sep. 21, 2004).

    As noted above, OGC issued a third legal opinion on the “individual policy” requirement in 2017 (2017 legal opinion). The 2017 legal opinion rescinded and replaced the previous two opinions and expanded the permissibility for certain joint coverage provisions under the “individual policy” requirement. OGC and the NCUA's Office of Examination and Insurance determined this broader interpretation was both within the NCUA's legal authority under the FCU Act and a safe and sound practice for FICUs. For clarity and ease of reference, the Board now seeks to incorporate the 2017 legal opinion into Part 713.

    The Board, therefore, is proposing to amend § 713.3 to permit a FICU to have a fidelity bond that also covers its CUSO(s). This is permissible if the FICU owns greater than 50 percent of a CUSO it wishes to cover, or a covered CUSO is organized by the FICU for the purpose of handling certain of its business transactions and composed exclusively of its employees. The 50 percent threshold reflects the standard for accounting consolidation under generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP. A FICU would directly benefit from any fidelity bond insurance proceeds collected by a consolidated CUSO.24 This proposed rule, however, would not eliminate the prohibition against joint coverage of entities not majority owned by the FICU, such as other credit unions or non-majority-owned CUSOs. The Board believes this amendment will provide greater flexibility to FICUs without affecting safety and soundness.25

    24 As discussed in the 2017 legal opinion, the NCUA has previously approved certain nominee provisions that included limited joint coverage. For example, a nominee provision may state that a loss sustained by any “nominee” organized by the insured for the purpose of handling certain of its business transactions and composed exclusively of its employees shall be deemed to be loss sustained by the insured.

    25 Note, the proposal is not making a comparable amendment to Part 704. Corporate credit unions are not required to purchase fidelity bonds subject to an individual policy requirement. Therefore, the proposed amendment to clarify the individual policy requirement is only applicable to natural person credit unions.

    Sec. 713.4 What bond forms may a federally insured credit union use?

    The current rule provides that the NCUA will maintain a current list of bond forms approved by the Board for use by FICUs. The rule also states that a FICU must obtain the approval of the Board before it can use any other basic bond form or any rider or endorsement that limits coverage of an approved bond form. The Board is proposing to amend § 713.4 to make several changes to reflect the practices of the NCUA, clarify the list of documents that must have Board approval, and address the expiration and continuing review of approved bond forms. Any questions regarding the NCUA's approval of fidelity bond forms can be directed to the NCUA's OGC, (703) 518-6540, or the Office of Examination and Insurance, (703) 518-6360.

    4(a)

    Current § 713.4(a) states that a current listing of basic bond forms that may be used without prior Board approval is on the NCUA's website. The Board is proposing to clarify this requirement by dividing paragraph (a) into two paragraphs. Proposed paragraph (a) would explicitly state that “the NCUA Board must approve all bond forms before federally insured credit unions may use them.”

    4(b)

    Proposed paragraph (b) would state that approved bond forms are listed on the NCUA's website and may be used by a FICU without further NCUA approval. If a FICU is unable to access the NCUA's website, it can get a current listing of approved bond forms by contacting the NCUA's Office of Public and Congressional Affairs. The proposed rule would rewrite this provision for clarity, but would not make any substantive changes.

    4(c)

    Current paragraph (b), renumbered as paragraph (c), sets forth which fidelity bonds and fidelity bond documents require Board approval. The proposed rule also would set forth which fidelity bonds and fidelity bond documents require Board approval, but would rewrite this provision for clarity. The proposed rule states in paragraph (c) that “Credit unions may not use any of the following without first receiving approval from the NCUA Board.” No substantive changes are intended by this revision, and the revision is only intended to clarify the Board's expectation for FICUs.

    4(c)(1)

    The Board is clarifying that any bond form that has been amended or changed since the Board approved it requires new approval from the Board. The Board notes that this policy is the current practice whereby bond issuers submit amended bond forms to the Board for approval under current § 713.4(b)(1). This proposed change is only intended to make the regulation clearer with respect to this requirement.

    4(c)(2)

    Current § 713.4(b)(2) requires any rider or endorsement that limits coverage of approved basic bond forms to be approved by the Board. The proposed rule would clarify the list of documents that must receive Board approval. The Board is proposing to state explicitly that renewal forms (and any other document) that limit the coverage of approved bond forms must also receive Board approval. The Board is clarifying the list of documents subject to approval because the Board is aware of instances where the renewal or continuation of coverage forms included language affecting the bond coverage, including language that limited the bond coverage. As such, it is the Board's belief that the renewal form is an extension of the bond form and thus this is not an additional burden but further clarification of what constitutes the bond form.

    4(d)

    The Board is proposing to add a new paragraph (d) to sunset its approval on all bond forms ten years after the form is approved. The impetus for this provision is the discovery that Board approved-bond forms were being interpreted in a way that was contrary to the NCUA's understanding of how the bond forms would be used. In addition, a review of previously approved bond forms, as part of issuing the 2017 legal opinion, revealed several instances of outdated provisions, additions that had not been approved by the Board, and some forms that contained provisions that were contrary to the FCU Act and Part 713 of the NCUA's regulations. To avoid instances of this in the future, the Board is proposing to sunset its approval of a bond form after a period of ten years. This ten-year period will begin on the date the Board approves a bond form. The Board notes, however, that the ten-year period will not toll or start over when a bond carrier submits a revision to an approved bond. For example, if the Board approves a bond form on January 1, 2020, and that bond form is subsequently amended and approved by the Board on January 1, 2021, then the bond form will still expire on January 1, 2030, ten years from the date the Board issued its initial approval.

    The Board believes this ten-year sunset provision will provide a definitive date at which an approved bond form will be reviewed by the Board to determine if it is still in compliance with the NCUA's regulations. While this provision will require expired bond forms to be resubmitted to the Board, having a clear date upon which the Board's approval will sunset will help all interested parties prepare to resubmit the bond form to ensure continuity in coverage and operations. The Board also notes that should it determine, upon re-review, that a bond form does not comply with the NCUA's regulations, the Board would not require FICUs with coverage under that bond to seek new coverage. In these situations, the Board would require FICUs to seek new coverage under an approved bond form after its current coverage expires per the terms of the contract between the FICU and the bond issuer.

    With respect to bond forms that the Board has approved before 2019, the Board is proposing to allow its approval on these forms to continue until January 1, 2029. The Board believes this date for sunset of its approval will provide all currently approved bonds with at least ten years before they must be submitted for review and re-approval. The Board believes this will achieve the goal of ensuring all approved bond forms comply with the NCUA's regulations without imposing unnecessary burden on FICUs or bond issuers.

    In addition to including a sunset provision, the Board is also proposing to clarify its right and ability to review a bond form at any time. The Board notes that if it does undertake a review of an approved bond form during the ten-year period, this will not re-start or toll the expiration period and the Board's approval of that form will still sunset ten years from the date the Board issued its original approval.

    Sec. 713.5-§ 713.7

    As discussed above, the proposed rule would use the term federally insured credit union instead of federal credit union in each of §§ 713.5, 713.6, and 713.7 for consistency and clarity.

    IV. Request for Comment

    The Board invites comment on all aspects of this proposed rulemaking. In particular, the Board seeks comment on whether FICUs anticipate any increase in compliance burden under the proposed rule.

    V. Regulatory Procedures a. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) applies to rulemakings in which an agency by rule creates a new paperwork burden on regulated entities or modifies an existing burden. For purposes of the PRA, a paperwork burden may take the form of a reporting, disclosure, or recordkeeping requirement, each referred to as an information collection. The NCUA may not conduct or sponsor, and the respondent is not required to respond to, an information collection unless it displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number.

    A proposed change to Part 713 would require NCUA approval on all bond forms expired after a period of 10 years from the date of NCUA approval or reapproved of its use. The bond company would be required to seek NCUA approval before a bond form may be used by a FICU. The information collection burden associated with this proposed new requirements is minimal, only affecting an estimated two entities annually; for an increase of two hours to the currently approved OMB control number 3133-0170.

    Title of Information Collection: Fidelity Bond and Insurance Coverage for Federal Credit Unions, 12 CFR part 713.

    OMB Control Number: 3133-0170.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 10.

    Estimated Annual Frequency of Response: 1.

    Estimated Total Annual Reponses: 10.

    Estimated Hours per Response: 1.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 10.

    Affected Public: Private Sector: Not-for-profit institutions; Businesses and other for-profits.

    The NCUA invites comments on: (a) Whether the collections of information are necessary for the proper performance of the agencies' functions, including whether the information has practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the estimates of the burden of the information collections, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the information collections 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.

    All comments are a matter of public record. Comments regarding the information collection requirements of this rule should be sent to (1) Dawn Wolfgang, NCUA PRA Clearance Officer, National Credit Union Administration, 1775 Duke Street, Suite 5080, Alexandria, Virginia 22314, or Fax No. 703-519-8572, or Email at [email protected] and the (2) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Attention: Desk Officer for NCUA, New Executive Office Building, Room 10235, Washington, DC 20503, or email at [email protected].

    b. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) generally requires that, in connection with a notice of proposed rulemaking, an agency prepare and make available for public comment an initial regulatory flexibility analysis that describes the impact of a proposed rule on small entities. A regulatory flexibility analysis is not required, however, if the agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities (defined for purposes of the RFA to include credit unions with assets less than $100 million) and publishes its certification and a short, explanatory statement in the Federal Register together with the rule.

    The Board does not believe that the proposed rule would have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Any increased costs for the bond insurer to resubmit their forms every ten years would be spread out among all FICUs and the cost to each FICU would be negligible. Additionally, the proposed requirement that boards, and if applicable, supervisory committees, must approve purchases and renewals would impose no direct cost on FICUs. Accordingly, the NCUA certifies that the proposed rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small FICUs.

    c. Executive Order 13132

    Executive Order 13132 encourages independent regulatory agencies to consider the impact of their actions on state and local interests. The NCUA, an independent regulatory agency as defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(5), voluntarily complies with the executive order to adhere to fundamental federalism principles. This proposed rule will not have a 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. The NCUA has therefore determined that this proposed rule does not constitute a policy that has federalism implications for purposes of the executive order.

    d. Assessment of Federal Regulations and Policies on Families

    The NCUA has determined that this proposed rule would not affect family well-being within the meaning of § 654 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 1999, Public Law 105-277, 112 Stat. 2681 (1998).

    List of Subjects in 12 CFR Parts 704 and 713

    Bonds, Credit unions, Insurance.

    By the National Credit Union Administration Board on November 15, 2018. Gerard Poliquin, Secretary of the Board.

    For the reasons discussed above, the NCUA is proposing to amend 12 CFR parts 704 and 713 as follows:

    PART 704—CORPORATE CREDIT UNIONS 1. The authority citation for part 704 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1762, 1766(a), 1772a, 1781, 1789, and 1795e.

    2. Section 704.18 is amended by revising paragraphs (b) and (c) to read as follows:
    § 704.18 Fidelity bond coverage.

    (b) Review of bond coverage. (1) The board of directors of each corporate credit union shall, at least annually, carefully review the bond coverage in force to determine its adequacy in relation to risk exposure and to the minimum requirements in this section.

    (2) The board of directors and the supervisory committee of each corporate credit union must review all applications for purchase or renewal of its fidelity bond coverage. After review, the credit union's board must pass a resolution approving the purchase or renewal of fidelity bond coverage and delegate one member of the board, who is not an employee of the credit union, to sign the purchase or renewal agreement and all attachments. Provided, however, that no board members may be a signatory on consecutive purchase or renewal agreements for the same fidelity bond coverage policy.

    (c) Minimum coverage; approved forms. (1) The fidelity bond coverage must be purchased from a company holding a certificate of authority from the Secretary of the Treasury.

    (2) Fidelity bonds must provide coverage for the fraud and dishonesty of all employees, directors, officers, and supervisory and credit committee members.

    (3) The NCUA Board must approve all bond forms before a corporate credit union may use them. Corporate credit unions may not use any bond form that has been amended since the time the NCUA Board approved the form or any rider, endorsement, renewal, or other document that limits coverage of approved bond forms without receiving approval from the NCUA Board. Approval on all bond forms expires 10 years after the date the NCUA Board approved or reapproved use of the bond form; provided, however, that any bond forms approved before 2019 will expire on January 1, 2029 and an NCUA Board-approved amendment to a bond form does not toll or cause the 10-year period to restart. The NCUA reserves the right to review a bond form at any point after its approval.

    (4) Fidelity bonds must include an option for the liquidating agent to purchase coverage in the event of an involuntary liquidation that extends the discovery period for a covered loss for at least two years after liquidation. In the case of a voluntary liquidation, fidelity bonds must remain in effect, or provide that the discovery period is extended, for at least four months after the final distribution of assets.

    (5) Notwithstanding the foregoing, all bonds must include a provision, in a form approved by the NCUA Board, requiring written notification by surety to NCUA:

    (i) When the fidelity bond of a credit union is terminated in its entirety;

    (ii) When fidelity bond coverage is terminated, by issuance of a written notice, on an employee, director, officer, supervisory or credit committee member; or

    (iii) When a deductible is increased above permissible limits. Said notification shall be sent to NCUA and shall include a brief statement of cause for termination or increase.

    PART 713—FIDELITY BOND AND INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR FEDERALLY INSURED CREDIT UNIONS 3. The authority citation for Part 713 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1761a, 1761b, 1766(a), 1766(h), 1789(a)(11).

    4. The heading for part 713 is revised as set forth above. 5. Revise § 713.1 to read as follows:
    § 713.1 What is the scope of this section?

    This section provides the requirements for fidelity bonds for federally insured credit union employees and officials and for other insurance coverage for losses such as theft, holdup, vandalism, etc., caused by persons outside the credit union. Federally insured, state-chartered credit unions are required by § 741.201 of this chapter to comply with the fidelity bond coverage requirements of this part. Corporate credit unions must comply with § 704.18 of this chapter in lieu of this part.

    6. Revise § 713.2 to read as follows:
    § 713.2 What are the responsibilities of a federally insured credit union's board of directors under this section?

    (a) The board of directors of each federally insured credit union must at least annually review its fidelity and other insurance coverage to ensure that it is adequate in relation to the potential risks facing the federally insured credit union and the minimum requirements set by the NCUA Board; and

    (b) The board of directors, and, if applicable, the supervisory committee of each federally insured credit union, must review all applications for purchase or renewal of its fidelity bond coverage. After review, the federally insured credit union's board must pass a resolution approving the purchase or renewal of fidelity bond coverage and delegate one member of the board, who is not an employee of the federally insured credit union, to sign the purchase or renewal agreement and all attachments; provided, however, that no board members may be a signatory on consecutive purchase or renewal agreements for the same fidelity bond coverage policy.

    7. Revise § 713.3 to read as follows:
    § 713.3 What bond coverage must a federally insured credit union have?

    (a) At a minimum, your bond coverage must:

    (1) Be purchased in an individual policy from a company holding a certificate of authority from the Secretary of the Treasury;

    (2) Cover fraud and dishonesty by all employees, directors, officers, supervisory committee members, and credit committee members;

    (3) Include an option for the liquidating agent to purchase coverage in the event of an involuntary liquidation that extends the discovery period for a covered loss for at least two years after liquidation; and

    (4) In the case of a voluntary liquidation, remain in effect, or provide that the discovery period is extended, for at least four months after the final distribution of assets, as required in § 710.2(c) of this chapter.

    (b) The requirement in paragraph (a) of this section does not prohibit a federally insured credit union from having a fidelity bond that also covers its credit union service organization (CUSO(s)), provided the federally insured credit union owns more than 50 percent of the CUSO(s) or the CUSO(s) is organized by the federally insured credit union for the purpose of handling certain of its business transactions and composed exclusively of the federally insured credit union's employees.

    8. Revise § 713.4 to read as follows:
    § 713.4 What bond forms may a federally insured credit union use?

    (a) The NCUA Board must approve all bond forms before federally insured credit unions may use them.

    (b) Bond forms the NCUA Board has approved for use by federally insured credit union are listed on the NCUA's website, http://www.ncua.gov, and may be used by federally insured credit unions without further NCUA approval. If you are unable to access the NCUA's website, you can obtain a current listing of approved bond forms by contacting the NCUA's Office of Public and Congressional Affairs.

    (c) Federally insured credit union unions may not use any of the following without first receiving approval from the NCUA Board:

    (1) Any bond form that has been amended or changed since the time the NCUA Board approved the form; and

    (2) Any rider, endorsement, renewal, or other document that limits coverage of approved bond forms.

    (d) Approval on all bond forms expires after a period of 10 years from the date the NCUA Board approved or reapproved use of the bond form. Provided, however, that:

    (1) Any bond forms approved before 2019 will expire on January 1, 2029.

    (2) An NCUA Board-approved amendment to a bond form does not toll or cause the 10-year period to restart; and

    (3) The NCUA reserves the right to review a bond form at any point after its approval.

    § 713.5 [AMENDED]
    9. Section 713.5 is amended by: a. In paragraphs (a) and (b) remove the word “federal” before the words “credit union's” and add in its place the words “federally insured” each place they appear. b. In paragraph (c) add the words “federally insured” before the words “credit union,” “credit unions,” or “credit union's” each place they appear. c. In paragraph (e) remove the word “your” and add in its place the words “a federally insured credit union's”.
    § 713.6 [AMENDED]
    10. In § 713.6 remove the word “federal” before the words “credit union's” or “credit unions” and add the words “federally insured” before the words “credit union's,” “credit unions,” and “credit union” each place they appear. 11. Revise § 713.7 to read as follows:
    § 713.7 May the NCUA Board require a federally insured credit union to secure additional insurance coverage?

    The NCUA Board may require additional coverage when the NCUA Board determines that a federally insured credit union's current coverage is inadequate. The federally insured credit union must purchase this additional coverage within 30 days.

    [FR Doc. 2018-25402 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7535-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0963; Product Identifier 2018-NM-135-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Dassault Aviation 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 Dassault Aviation Model FAN JET FALCON, and FAN JET FALCON SERIES C, D, E, F, and G airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by a determination that new or more restrictive airworthiness limitations and maintenance requirements are necessary. This proposed AD would require revising the existing maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate new or more restrictive airworthiness limitations and maintenance requirements. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by January 7, 2019.

    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 Dassault Falcon Jet Corporation, Teterboro Airport, P.O. Box 2000, South Hackensack, NJ 07606; telephone 201-440-6700; internet http://www.dassaultfalcon.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0963; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this NPRM, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for Docket Operations (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2018-0963; Product Identifier 2018-NM-135-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this NPRM. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this NPRM because of those comments.

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

    Discussion

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2018-0193, dated September 3, 2018 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Dassault Aviation Model FAN JET FALCON and FAN JET FALCON SERIES C, D, E, F, and G airplanes. The MCAI states:

    In June 1988, the Federal Aviation Administration sponsored a conference of ageing aircraft, during which the decision was taken to pay particular attention to those. The ATA [Air Transport Association] and the AIA [Aerospace Industries Association] committed themselves to identify and to set up procedures to ensure continued structural integrity on ageing aircraft. Prompted by these actions, Dassault developed the SSIP [Supplemental Structural Inspection Program], aiming to guarantee the airworthiness of the Fan Jet Falcon aeroplane which reach and exceed half of the Limit of Validity. The airworthiness limitations and certification maintenance instructions for the affected Fan Jet Falcon aeroplanes, which are approved by EASA, are currently defined and published in the ALS [airworthiness limitations section]. These instructions have been identified as mandatory for continued airworthiness.

    Failure to accomplish these instructions could result in an unsafe condition.

    Previously, EASA issued AD 2008-0221 to require accomplishment of the maintenance tasks, and implementation of the airworthiness limitations, as specified in ALS at Revision 7.

    Since that [EASA] AD was issued, Dassault issued ALS Revisions 8 and 9, which introduced new and more restrictive maintenance requirements and/or airworthiness limitations.

    For the reason described above, this [EASA] AD takes over the requirements for Fan Jet Falcon aeroplanes from EASA AD 2008-0221 and requires accomplishment of the actions specified in the ALS.

    Once new [EASA] ADs have been published for all the types addressed by EASA AD 2008-0221, EASA plans to cancel that AD.

    The unsafe condition is fatigue cracking and damage in principal structural elements; such fatigue cracking and damage could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane. Because we determined that a separate FAA AD should be issued for each airplane model due to different ALS requirements, we did not issue an AD that corresponded to EASA AD 2008-0221. You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0963.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Dassault has issued Chapter 5-40, Airworthiness Limitations, DMD 44729, Revision 9, dated November 29, 2017, of the Dassault Aviation Falcon 20 Maintenance Manual. This service information includes life limits for certain airframe components, and describes airworthiness limitations for safe life limits and certification maintenance requirements. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    FAA's Determination

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

    Proposed Requirements of This NPRM

    This proposed AD would require revising the existing maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to include new or more restrictive airworthiness limitations and maintenance requirements.

    This proposed AD would require revisions to certain operator maintenance documents to include new actions (e.g., inspections). Compliance with these actions is required by 14 CFR 91.403(c). For airplanes that have been previously modified, altered, or repaired in the areas addressed by this proposed AD, the operator may not be able to accomplish the actions described in the revisions. In this situation, to comply with 14 CFR 91.403(c), the operator must request approval for an alternative method of compliance according to paragraph (i)(1) of this proposed AD.

    Differences Between This Proposed AD and the MCAI or Service Information

    The MCAI specifies that if there are findings from the ALS inspection tasks, corrective actions must be accomplished in accordance with Dassault maintenance documentation. However, this proposed AD would not include those requirements. Operators of U.S.-registered airplanes are required by general airworthiness and operational regulations to maintain their airplanes using methods that are acceptable to the FAA. We consider those methods to be adequate to replace parts, perform maintenance tasks, and address any corrective actions necessitated by the findings of the ALS inspections specified in this proposed AD.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 61 airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): Dassault Aviation: Docket No. FAA-2018-0963; Product Identifier 2018-NM-135-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by January 7, 2019.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Dassault Aviation Model FAN JET FALCON, and FAN JET FALCON SERIES C, D, E, F, and G airplanes, certificated in any category, all serial numbers, on which the Dassault Fan Jet Falcon Supplemental Structural Inspection Program (Dassault Service Bulletin (SB) 730), has been embodied into the airplane's maintenance program.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 05, Time Limits/Maintenance Checks.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a determination that new or more restrictive airworthiness limitations and maintenance requirements are necessary. We are issuing this AD to address, among other things, fatigue cracking and damage in principal structural elements; such fatigue cracking and damage could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Maintenance or Inspection Program Revision

    Within 90 days after the effective date of this AD, revise the existing maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate the airworthiness limitations specified in Chapter 5-40, Airworthiness Limitations, DMD 44729, Revision 9, dated November 29, 2017, of the Dassault Aviation Falcon 20 Maintenance Manual. The initial compliance time for accomplishing the actions is at the applicable time specified in Chapter 5-40, Airworthiness Limitations, DMD 44729, Revision 9, dated November 29, 2017, of the Dassault Aviation Falcon 20 Maintenance Manual; or within 90 days after the effective date of this AD; whichever occurs later. Where the threshold column in the table in paragraph B, Mandatory Maintenance Operations, of Chapter 5-40, Airworthiness Limitations, DMD 44729, Revision 9, dated November 29, 2017, of the Dassault Aviation Falcon 20 Maintenance Manual specifies a compliance time in years, those compliance times start from the date of issuance of the original airworthiness certificate or date of issuance of the original export certificate of airworthiness.

    (h) No Alternative Actions or Intervals

    After accomplishing the revision required by paragraph (g) of this AD, no alternative actions (e.g., inspections) or intervals may be used unless the actions and intervals are approved as an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (i)(1) of this AD.

    (i) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

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

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

    (j) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA AD 2018-0193, dated September 3, 2018, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0963.

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

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Dassault Falcon Jet Corporation, Teterboro Airport, P.O. Box 2000, South Hackensack, NJ 07606; telephone 201-440-6700; internet http://www.dassaultfalcon.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195.

    Issued in Des Moines, Washington, on November 8, 2018. Chris Spangenberg, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25385 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0962; Product Identifier 2018-NM-125-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus SAS Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus SAS Model A350-941 airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by reports of an overheat failure mode of the hydraulic engine-driven pump (EDP), and a determination that the affected EDP needs to be replaced with an improved EDP. This proposed AD would require replacement of a certain EDP with an improved EDP. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by January 7, 2019.

    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 Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAL, Rond-Point Emile Dewoitine No: 2, 31700 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 45 80; email [email protected]; internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0962; 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:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2018-0962; Product Identifier 2018-NM-125-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this NPRM. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this NPRM because of those comments.

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

    Discussion

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2018-0178, dated August 23, 2018 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus SAS Model A350-941 airplanes. The MCAI states:

    In the Airbus A350 design, the hydraulic fluid cooling system is located in the fuel tanks. Recently, an overheat failure mode of the hydraulic EDP was found, which may cause a fast temperature rise of the hydraulic fluid.

    This condition, if not detected and corrected, combined with an inoperative fuel tank inerting system, could lead to an uncontrolled overheat of the hydraulic fluid, possibly resulting in ignition of the fuel-air mixture in the affected fuel tank.

    To address this potential unsafe condition, Airbus issued a Major Event Revision (MER) of the A350 Master Minimum Equipment List (MMEL) that incorporates restrictions to avoid an uncontrolled overheat of the hydraulic system. Consequently, EASA issued Emergency AD 2017-0154-E to require implementation of these dispatch restrictions.

    After EASA AD 2017-0154-E was issued, following further investigation, Airbus issued another MER of the A350 MMEL that expanded the number of restricted MMEL items. At the same time, Airbus revised Flight Operation Transmission (FOT) 999.0068/17, to inform all operators accordingly. Consequently, EASA issued AD 2017-0180, retaining the requirements of EASA Emergency AD 2017-0154-E, which was superseded, and requiring implementation of the new Airbus A350 MMEL MER and, consequently, restrictions for aeroplane dispatch.

    After EASA AD 2017-0180 was issued, Airbus developed HMCA [Hydraulic Monitoring and Control Application] SW [software] S4.2, embodied in production through Airbus mod 112090, and introduced in service through Airbus SB [service bulletin] A350-29-P012. Consequently, EASA issued AD 2017-0200 [which corresponds to FAA AD 2018-19-19, Amendment 39-19419 (83 FR 48203, September 24, 2018)], retaining the requirements of EASA AD 2017-0180, which was superseded, and requiring modification of the aeroplane by installing HMCA SW S4.2.

    Since EASA AD 2017-0200 was issued, it was determined that the affected part need to be replaced with improved EDP. Consequently, Airbus issued the SB [Service Bulletin A350-29-P013, dated March 12, 2018] to provide instructions to replace the affected parts with improved EDP, having P/N [part number] 53098-06, which are embodied in production through Airbus mod 112192.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD retains the requirement of EASA AD 2017-0200, which is superseded, and requires replacement of each affected parts with improved EDP.

    You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0962.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus SAS has issued Service Bulletin A350-29-P013, dated March 12, 2018. This service information describes procedures for replacing a certain EDP with an improved EDP. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    FAA's Determination

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

    Proposed Requirements of This NPRM

    This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified in the service information described previously, except as discussed under “Differences Between this Proposed AD and the MCAI.”

    Differences Between This Proposed AD and the MCAI

    This NPRM does not propose to supersede AD 2018-19-19. Rather, we have determined that a stand-alone AD would be more appropriate to address the changes in the MCAI. This proposed AD would require replacing the EDP with an improved EDP.

    The MCAI specifies a modification to install HMCA SW S4.2 on certain airplanes. This proposed AD would not require this modification, since the modification is required by AD 2018-19-19. Additionally, the MCAI prohibits installing software prior to HMCA SW S4.2. This proposed AD would not include that prohibition since it has already been prohibited by AD 2018-19-19.

    The MCAI specifies changes to the Airbus MMEL to incorporate dispatch restrictions. However, the FAA MMEL is already updated to incorporate these, and all current and future U.S. operators are already required to use the FAA MMEL, so this proposed AD would not require changes to the MMEL as specified in the MCAI.

    Further, the MCAI notes that, after completing the modification by installing HMCA SW S4.2 and replacing the EDP with an improved EDP, Airbus A350 MMEL Minor Change V29ME1732522, dated January 3, 2018, and Airbus A350 MMEL Major Change V29ME1734973, dated January 30, 2018, can be implemented for that airplane, and those changes remove certain restrictions for that airplane. For U.S. registered aircraft, no provisions for relief are to be added to the MMEL with incorporation of this proposed AD. The FAA-approved MMEL currently contains more restrictive operational limitations, and we will update it when relief is justified.

    Explanation of Compliance Time

    In most ADs, we adopt a compliance time allowing a specified amount of time after the AD's effective date. In this case, however, we are using a fixed compliance date in this proposed AD. The MCAI requires operators of all Airbus SAS Model A350-941 airplanes to replace affected EDPs with improved EDPs to address an identified unsafe condition in a specified amount of time (within 17 months after the MCAI's effective date of September 6, 2018, or February 6, 2020). That compliance time is based on risk analysis requirements, including reports of fuel pump overheats and failures. To support this risk analysis, and to provide for coordinated implementation of EASA's regulations and this proposed AD, we are using the same compliance target in this proposed AD.

    Costs of Compliance

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

    Estimated Costs for Required Actions Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on
  • U.S. operators
  • Up to 25 work-hours × $85 per hour = $2,125 Up to $224,400 Up to $226,525 Up to $2,491,775.

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): Airbus SAS: Docket No. FAA-2018-0962; Product Identifier 2018-NM-125-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by January 7, 2019.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus SAS Model A350-941 airplanes, certificated in any category, all serial numbers.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 29, Hydraulic power.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by reports of an overheat failure mode of the hydraulic engine-driven pump (EDP), and a determination that the affected EDP needs to be replaced with an improved EDP. We are issuing this AD to address the overheat failure mode of the hydraulic EDP, which may cause a fast temperature rise of the hydraulic fluid, and, if combined with an inoperative fuel tank inerting system, could lead to an uncontrolled overheat of the hydraulic fluid, possibly resulting in ignition of the fuel-air mixture of the affected tank.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Required Action

    Before February 6, 2020, replace each EDP having part number (P/N) 53098-04 with an improved EDP, having P/N 53098-06, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A350-29-P013, dated March 12, 2018.

    (h) Parts Installation Prohibition

    At the applicable time specified in paragraph (h)(1) or (h)(2) of this AD: No person may install an EDP having P/N 53098-04 on any airplane.

    (1) For airplanes that, as of the effective date of this AD, have any EDP having P/N 53098-04 installed: After modification of the airplane as specified by paragraph (g) of this AD.

    (2) For airplanes that, as of the effective date of this AD, are post-Modification 112192 and do not have any EDP having P/N 53098-04 installed: As of the effective date of this AD.

    (i) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

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

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

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

    (j) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA AD 2018-0178, dated August 23, 2018, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0962.

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

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAL, Rond-Point Emile Dewoitine No: 2, 31700 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 45 80; email [email protected]; internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195.

    Issued in Des Moines, Washington, on November 8, 2018. Chris Spangenberg, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25386 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 18 CFR Part 35 [Docket No. RM19-5-000] Public Utility Transmission Rate Changes To Address Accumulated Deferred Income Taxes AGENCY:

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) is proposing to require all public utility transmission providers with transmission rates under an Open Access Transmission Tariff (OATT), a transmission owner tariff, or a rate schedule to revise those rates to account for changes caused by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (Tax Cuts and Jobs Act). Specifically, for transmission formula rates, the Commission is proposing to require that public utilities deduct excess accumulated deferred income taxes (ADIT) from or add deficient ADIT to their rate bases and adjust their income tax allowances by amortized excess or deficient ADIT. The Commission is also proposing to require all public utilities with transmission formula rates to incorporate a new permanent worksheet into their transmission formula rates that will annually track ADIT information. Additionally, the Commission is proposing to require all public utilities with transmission stated rates to determine the amount of excess and deferred income tax caused by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act's reduction to the federal corporate income tax rate and return or recover this amount to or from customers.

    DATES:

    Comments are due December 24, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments, identified by docket number, may be filed electronically at http://www.ferc.gov in acceptable native applications and print-to-PDF, but not in scanned or picture format. For those unable to file electronically, comments may be filed by mail or hand-delivery to: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426. The Comment Procedures Section of this document contains more detailed filing procedures.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Noah Lichtenstein (Technical Information), Office of Energy Market Regulation, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-8696, [email protected]. Joshua Walters (Legal Information), Office of the General Counsel, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-6098, [email protected].
    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Contents Paragraph numbers I. Background 7 A. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act 7 B. Overview of Public Utility Transmission Rates 9 C. Order No. 144 and 18 CFR 35.24 12 D. Notice of Inquiry 14 II. Discussion 15 A. Ensuring Rate Base Neutrality 20 1. NOI 20 2. Comments 21 3. Proposed Requirements 26 a. Formula Rates 26 b. Stated Rates 29 B. Return or Recovery of Excess or Deficient ADIT 30 1. NOI 30 2. Comments 31 3. Proposed Requirements 36 a. Formula Rates 36 b. Stated Rates 40 C. Support for Excess and Deficient ADIT Calculation and Amortization 43 1. NOI 43 2. Comments 44 3. Proposed Requirements 46 a. Formula Rates 46 b. Stated Rates 50 III. Proposed Compliance Procedures 51 IV. Information Collection Statement 54 V. Environmental Analysis 62 VI. Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification 63 VII. Comment Procedures 66 VIII. Document Availability 70

    1. In this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Proposed Rule), we are proposing to require all public utility transmission providers with transmission rates under an Open Access Transmission Tariff (OATT), a transmission owner tariff, or a rate schedule to revise those rates to account for changes caused by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (Tax Cuts and Jobs Act).1 These proposed reforms are designed to address the effects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on the Accumulated Deferred Income Taxes (ADIT) reflected in all transmission rates under an OATT, a transmission owner tariff, or a rate schedule of public utility transmission providers. The proposed reforms are intended to ensure that ratepayers receive the benefits of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and that the public utility transmission formula and stated rates are just and reasonable and not unduly discriminatory or preferential following the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The proposed reforms are also intended to ensure that transmission formula and stated rates meet the Commission's tax normalization requirements such that the income tax component of those rates is calculated as though the taxable income were recognized in the same period and amount by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Commission.2

    1 An Act to provide for reconciliation pursuant to titles II and V of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2018, Pub. L. 115-97, 131 Stat. 2054 (2017) (Tax Cuts and Jobs Act). In proposing this new requirement, the Commission relies on existing Commission regulations relating to tax normalization for public utilities as those regulations apply to public utilities with transmission formula or stated rates. See 18 CFR 35.24. In this Proposed Rule, the Commission does not propose any generic reforms as to non-public utilities or the non-transmission rates of public utilities. While any conclusions that the Commission makes in this proceeding may be relevant to such rates, they will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. Furthermore, to the extent any entity believes that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act renders any existing Commission-jurisdictional rate unjust and unreasonable, that entity may submit a complaint to the Commission.

    2 In this Proposed Rule, the Commission refers to comments filed in response to the Notice of Inquiry issued March 15, 2018. Inquiry Regarding the Effect of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on Commission-Jurisdictional Rates, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 35,582 (2018) (NOI). A list of commenters in that proceeding and the abbreviated names used in this Proposed Rule appears in Appendix A. Any comments to this Proposed Rule should be filed in this proceeding, Docket No. RM19-5-000.

    2. The proposed reforms generally fall into three categories and apply to public utilities with transmission formula rates and stated rates in different ways. First, we propose to require all public utilities with transmission formula rates to include a mechanism in their formula rates to deduct any excess ADIT from or add any deficient ADIT to their rate bases. This will ensure that rate base continues to be treated in a manner similar to that prior to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (i.e., that rate base neutrality is preserved). As for public utilities with transmission stated rates, we do not propose any new requirements regarding rate base neutrality.

    3. Second, we propose to require all public utilities with transmission formula rates to include a mechanism in their formula rates that decreases or increases their income tax allowances by any amortized excess or deficient ADIT, respectively. This reform will help to ensure that public utilities with transmission formula rates return excess ADIT to or recover deficient ADIT from ratepayers. As a result, ratepayers who contributed to excess ADIT balances will receive the benefit of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

    4. With regard to public utility transmission providers with stated rates, we are proposing to require these entities to determine the excess and deficient ADIT caused by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act based on the ADIT amounts approved in their last rate case and then to return this amount to or recover this amount from customers. This reform is intended to increase the likelihood that those customers who contributed to the related ADIT accounts receive the benefits of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

    5. Third, we propose to require all public utilities with transmission formula rates to incorporate a new permanent worksheet into their transmission formula rate that will annually track information related to excess or deficient ADIT. We believe that this reform will increase the transparency surrounding the adjustment of rate bases and income tax allowances to account for excess or deficient ADIT by public utilities with transmission formula rates. We do not propose any additional worksheets for public utilities with transmission stated rates because we believe that existing regulations require sufficient transparency.

    6. We seek comments on these proposed reforms and areas for further comment within 30 days after publication of this Proposed Rule in the Federal Register.

    I. Background A. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

    7. On December 22, 2017, the President signed into law the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, among other things, reduced the federal corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, effective January 1, 2018. This means that, beginning January 1, 2018, companies subject to the Commission's jurisdiction will compute income taxes owed to the IRS based on a 21 percent tax rate. The tax rate reduction will result in less corporate income tax expense going forward.3

    3See Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Sec. 13001, 131 Stat. at 2096.

    8. Importantly, the tax rate reduction will also result in a reduction in ADIT liabilities and ADIT assets on the books of rate-regulated companies. ADIT balances are accumulated on the regulated books and records of public utilities based on the requirements of the Uniform System of Accounts. ADIT arises from timing differences between the method of computing taxable income for reporting to the IRS and the method of computing income for regulatory accounting and ratemaking purposes.4 As a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act reducing the federal corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, a portion of an ADIT liability that was collected from customers will no longer be due from public utilities to the IRS and is considered excess ADIT, which must be returned to customers in a cost of service ratemaking context. Additionally, for public utilities that have an ADIT asset, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will result in a reduction to that ADIT asset, and public utilities may seek to reflect in rates a portion of such reductions. Public utilities are required to adjust their ADIT assets and ADIT liabilities for the effect of the change in tax rates in the period that the change is enacted.5

    4See 18 CFR 35.24(d)(2).

    5See 18 CFR 35.24 and 18 CFR 154.305; see also Regulations Implementing Tax Normalization for Certain Items Reflecting Timing Differences in the Recognition of Expenses or Revenues for Ratemaking and Income Tax Purposes, Order No. 144, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 30,254 (1981), order on reh'g, Order No. 144-A, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 30,340 (1982).

    B. Overview of Public Utility Transmission Rates

    9. The Commission is responsible for ensuring that the rates, terms and conditions of service for wholesale sales and transmission of electric energy in interstate commerce are just, reasonable, and not unduly discriminatory or preferential. With respect to the transmission of electric energy in interstate commerce, most jurisdictional entities are subject to cost of service regulation. Cost of service regulation seeks to allow public utilities the opportunity to (1) recover operating costs, including income taxes, (2) recover the cost of capital investments, and (3) earn a just and reasonable return on investments.6 Public utilities have calculated their cost of service-based transmission rates predominately by using formula rates or stated rates. These rates are contained in numerous agreements, including a public utility's OATT, a regional transmission operator's or independent system operator's OATT, coordination agreements, and wholesale distribution agreements. In this Proposed Rule, we focus on all public utilities with transmission formula or stated rates that are contained in an OATT, a transmission owner tariff, or a rate schedule.

    6See Pub. Sys. v. FERC, 709 F.2d 73, 75 (D.C. Cir. 1983).

    10. When a public utility uses stated rates, if the public utility seeks to change its rate, it files a rate case at the Commission to establish the cost of service revenue requirement, allocate costs to various customer groups, and calculate rates. As an alternative, the Commission permits public utilities to establish rates through formulas, in which the Commission accepts the public utility's cost of service calculation methodologies and input sources and allows the public utility to update those inputs every year.

    11. Public utilities must seek changes to their transmission stated rates or formula rates through filings with the Commission under section 205 of the Federal Power Act (FPA),7 while the Commission and third parties can challenge a rate in a proceeding initiated under section 206 of the FPA.8

    7See 16 U.S.C. 824d.

    8See 16 U.S.C. 824e(a).

    C. Order No. 144 and 18 CFR 35.24

    12. The purpose of tax normalization is to match the tax effects of costs and revenues with the recovery in rates of those same costs and revenues.9 As noted above, timing differences may exist between the method of computing taxable income for reporting to the IRS and the method of computing income for regulatory accounting and ratemaking purposes. The tax effects of these differences are placed in a deferred tax account to be used in later periods when the differences reverse.10

    9 Order No. 144, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 30,254 at 31,522, 31,530.

    10Id. at 31,554.

    13. The Commission established this policy of tax normalization in Order No. 144 where it required use of “the provision for deferred taxes [(i.e., ADIT)] as a mechanism for setting the tax allowance at the level of current tax cost.” 11 In keeping with this normalization policy, and as relevant to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act's reduction of the federal corporate income tax rate, the Commission in Order No. 144 also required adjustments in the ADIT of public utilities' cost of service when excessive or deficient ADIT has been created as a result of changes in tax rates.12 Furthermore, the Commission required “a rate applicant to compute the income tax component in its cost of service by making provision for any excess or deficiency in its deferred tax reserves resulting . . . from tax rate changes.”13 The Commission required that such provision be consistent with a Commission-approved ratemaking method made specifically applicable to the rate applicant.14 Where no ratemaking method has been made specifically applicable, the Commission required the rate applicant to advance some method in its next rate case.15 The Commission stated that it would determine the appropriateness of any proposed method on a case-by-case basis, but as the issue is resolved in a number of cases, a method with wide applicability may be adopted.16 The Commission codified the requirements of Order No. 144 in its regulations in 18 CFR 35.24.17

    11Id. at 31,530.

    12Id. at 31,519.

    13 Order No. 144, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 30,254 at 31,560. See also 18 CFR 35.24(c)(1)(ii); 18 CFR 35.24(c)(2).

    14 Order No. 144, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 30,254 at 31,560. See also 18 CFR 35.24(c)(3).

    15 Order No. 144, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 30,254 at 31,560.

    16Id. See also 18 CFR 35.24(c)(3).

    17 Originally promulgated as part of Order 144, the regulatory text was redesignated as 18 CFR 35.25 in Order No. 144-A. See Order No. 144-A, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 30,340 at 30,140. In Order No. 545, the Commission again redesignated the regulatory text to its present designation as 18 CFR 35.24. See Streamlining Electric Power Regulation, Order No. 545, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 30,955, at 30,713 (1992) (cross-referenced at 61 FERC ¶ 61,207).

    D. Notice of Inquiry

    14. Following the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the Commission issued the NOI seeking comments on, among other things, whether, and if so, how, the Commission should address the effects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on ADIT.18 The Commission noted that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act's reduction to the federal corporate income tax rate would potentially create excess or deficient ADIT on the books of public utilities.19 As relevant to the reforms proposed in this Proposed Rule, the Commission sought comments on the preservation of rate base neutrality and how public utilities should make related adjustments to their rate bases for excess and deficient ADIT.20 The Commission also sought comment on how public utilities should adjust their income allowances to return or recover excess or deficient ADIT, respectively,21 as well as the method used to return or recover excess or deficient protected and unprotected ADIT.22 Finally, the Commission sought comment on whether it should require public utilities to provide to the Commission, on a one-time basis, additional information to show the computation of excess or deficient ADIT and the corresponding return of excess ADIT to customers or recovery of deficient ADIT from customers. If so, the Commission also sought comments on what types of information public utilities should provide.23

    18 NOI, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 35,582.

    19Id. P 13.

    20Id. PP 14-15.

    21Id. P 21.

    22Id. PP 17, 19. In the NOI, the Commission referred to “plant-based” and “non-plant based” ADIT. We agree with commenters' recommendation to follow the IRS terminology of “protected” and “unprotected” ADIT instead of “plant-based” and “non-plant based” presented in the NOI. The IRS terms for “protected” and “unprotected” are directly associated with the IRS' normalization protections to ensure a tax payer maintains the benefit of accelerated depreciation over the life of the related asset. Accordingly, we have changed the terms used in this Proposed Rule to better mirror IRS terminology.

    23Id. P 23.

    II. Discussion

    15. Since the issuance of Order No. 144, the landscape of public utility transmission rates has changed dramatically; that is, the vast majority of public utilities now use formula rates rather than stated rates. As described above, unlike stated rates, which are updated only through a rate case initiated by a FPA section 205 application by the public utility or an FPA section 206 action by the Commission or a complaining third party, inputs to formula rates are updated annually to derive a charge assessed to customers. Thus, a rate case no longer remains the appropriate vehicle for formula rates to reflect excess or deficient ADIT in a public utility's cost of transmission service, as contemplated by Order No. 144. The public utility's transmission formula rate should include provisions that accurately reflect excess or deficient ADIT in a public utility's cost of transmission service during the annual updates of the rest of the revenue requirement.

    16. Following the NOI, we have determined that this near-industry-wide transition from stated to formula rates has caused a gap in the transmission formula rates of public utilities such that many, if not most, of those rates do not contain provisions to fully reflect any excess or deficient ADIT following a change in tax rates, as required by Order No. 144 and the Commission's regulations in 18 CFR 35.24. Two components are necessary to maintain an accurate cost of service following a change in income tax rates, such as that caused by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: (1) Preservation of rate base neutrality through the removal of excess ADIT from or addition of deficient ADIT to rate base; and (2) the return of excess ADIT to or recovery of deficient ADIT from ratepayers.24

    24Id. P 13. While the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act decreased the federal corporate income tax rate, the reforms proposed in this Proposed Rule are also meant to ensure that transmission formula rates reflect the effects of tax increases, as well.

    17. A review of public utility transmission formula rates suggests that only some transmission formula rates contain the first component, while even fewer contain the second. Consequently, as discussed in greater detail below, we propose to require public utilities with transmission formula rates to revise those rates to include these two components. Additionally, to provide greater transparency, we propose to require all public utilities with transmission formula rates to incorporate a new permanent worksheet into their transmission formula rates that will annually track ADIT information related to these two components.

    18. Regarding public utilities with transmission stated rates, we propose maintaining Order No. 144's requirement that such public utilities reflect any adjustments made to their ADIT balances as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (and any future tax changes) in their next rate case. However, to increase the likelihood that those customers who contributed to the related ADIT accounts receive the benefit of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, we propose to require public utilities with transmission stated rates to (1) determine any excess or deficient ADIT caused by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and (2) return or recover this amount to or from customers. We believe that the Commission's existing regulations already require all of the information necessary to support the changes proposed herein to reflect the effects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on a transmission stated rate. Therefore, we propose not to require any additional worksheets.

    19. The Commission generally does not permit single-issue ratemaking. However, similar to the Commission's actions following the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,25 given the limited scope of the reforms proposed here, we propose that compliance filings made in response to this Proposed Rule's final requirements may be considered on a single-issue basis.26

    25See AEP Appalachian Transmission Company, Inc., 162 FERC ¶ 61,225 (2018); Alcoa Power Generating Inc.—Long Sault Division, 162 FERC ¶ 61,224 (2018).

    26See generally Indicated RTO Transmission Owners, 161 FERC ¶ 61,018, at PP 13-14 (2017); see also Rates Changes Relating to the Federal Corporate Income Tax Rate for Public Utilities, Order No. 475, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 30,752, order on reh'g, 41 FERC ¶ 61,029 (1987) (allowing public utilities to use a voluntary, abbreviated rate filing procedure to reduce their rates to reflect a reduction in the federal corporate income tax rate on a single-issue basis).

    A. Ensuring Rate Base Neutrality 1. NOI

    20. In the NOI, the Commission sought comment on how to ensure that rate base continues to be treated in a manner similar to that prior to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (i.e., how to preserve rate base neutrality), until excess and deficient ADIT have been fully returned or recovered in a just and reasonable manner. The Commission also sought comment on whether, and if so how, public utilities should make adjustments to rate base to reflect excess and deficient ADIT. The Commission asked that commenters address both formula rates and stated rates.27

    27 NOI, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 35,582 at PP 14-15.

    2. Comments

    21. Numerous public utilities and other commenters assert that, in order to preserve rate base neutrality, unamortized balances of excess ADIT must continue to be treated as an offset to (i.e., a deduction from) rate base until those balances are flowed back in their entirety to customers.28 These commenters generally note that, following the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, public utilities transferred excess ADIT to Account 254 (Other Regulatory Liabilities) or Account 182.3 (Other Regulatory Assets), as appropriate.29 Accordingly, these commenters state that, just as the ADIT balances were deducted from or added to rate base, as appropriate, the corresponding amounts recorded in Accounts 254 and 182.3 should be deducted from or added to rate base. While generally agreeing that rate base adjustments are necessary, several commenters assert that there is no “one-size fits all” solution.30

    28 APPA and AMP, Comments to NOI, Docket No. RM18-12-000, at 4-7 (filed on May 22, 2018) (APPA and AMP NOI Comments); Avangrid, Comments to NOI, Docket No. RM18-12-000, at 5 (May 22, 2018) (Avangrid NOI Comments); Consumer Advocates, Comments to NOI, Docket No. RM18-12-000, at 4-5 (filed May 21, 2018) (Consumer Advocates NOI Comments); DEMEC, Comments to NOI, Docket No. RM18-12-000, at 8 (filed May 21, 2018) (DEMEC NOI Comments); Indicated Customers, Comments to NOI, Docket No. RM18-12-000, at 3-6 (filed May 21, 2018) (Indicated Customers NOI Comments); National Grid, Comments to NOI, Docket No. RM18-12-000, at 6-7 (filed May 21, 2018) (National Grid NOI Comments); New York Transco, Comments to NOI, Docket No. RM18-12-000, at 5 (filed May 22, 2018) (New York Transco NOI Comments); Oklahoma Attorney General, Comments to NOI, Docket No. RM18-12-000, at 4 (filed May 22, 2018) (Oklahoma Attorney General NOI Comments); PSEG, Comments to NOI, Docket No. RM18-12-000, at 4 (filed May 22, 2018) (PSEG NOI Comments).

    29 Avangrid NOI Comments at 5; EEI, Comments to NOI, Docket No. RM18-12-000, at 10 (filed May 22, 2018) (EEI NOI Comments).

    30 Kentucky Municipals, Comments to NOI, Docket No. RM18-12-000, at 3-5 (filed May 21, 2018) (Kentucky Municipals NOI Comments); Exelon, Comments to NOI, Docket No. RM18-12-000, at 11-12 (filed May 22, 2018) (Exelon NOI Comments); TAPS, Comments to NOI, Docket No. RM18-12-000, at 3 (filed May 21, 2018) (TAPS NOI Comments); Indicated Transmission Owners, Comments to NOI, Docket No. RM18-12-000, at 7 (filed May 21, 2018) (Indicated Transmission Owners NOI Comments) ((“[t]here may be no uniform way to achieve the Commission's rate base neutrality objective given differences between companies in accounting methods and rate structures.”) (citation omitted)).

    22. Regarding public utilities with formula rates, several commenters support the addition of a line item to formula rates for rate base adjustments reflecting excess or deficient ADIT recorded in Accounts 254 and 182.3.31 Many of these commenters suggest that the Commission permit public utilities to make single-issue FPA section 205 filings to make the appropriate changes to their formula rates.32 EEI suggests that the Commission should permit utilities with formula rates requiring adjustments to address these during their next true-up annual informational filing.33

    31 Oklahoma Attorney General NOI Comments at 4-5; PSEG NOI Comments at 4; Avangrid NOI Comments at 5-9; Eversource, Comments to NOI, Docket No. RM18-12-000, at 4 (filed May 22, 2018) (Eversource NOI Comments); National Grid NOI Comments at 7-8; TAPS NOI Comments at 4.

    32 Eversource NOI Comments at 4-5; Indicated Transmission Owners NOI Comments at 6; PSEG NOI Comments at 4-5; National Grid NOI Comments at 7-8.

    33 EEI NOI Comments at 11.

    23. Alternatively, APPA and AMP, and Indicated Customers suggest that any excess or deficient ADIT resulting from the implementation of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act be recorded to the same ADIT accounts (e.g., Accounts 190, 281, 282, and 283) where the original entries for the regulatory assets and regulatory liabilities were established.34 APPA and AMP state that by keeping the excess or deficient ADIT in sub-accounts within the original ADIT accounts, it will be more transparent and easier to track as the balances are flowed back.35 As another alternative, the Oklahoma Attorney General asserts that the Commission should consider requiring that the line item currently used to offset rate base with ADIT include both ADIT balances in traditional ADIT-related accounts and those excess ADIT balances in other accounts identified by the Commission.36

    34 APPA and AMP NOI Comments at 7-8; Indicated Customers NOI Comments at 6-7.

    35 APPA and AMP NOI Comments at 7-8.

    36 Oklahoma Attorney General NOI Comments at 4-5.

    24. Other commenters note that such a line item adjustment may not be necessary in all cases.37 Specifically, these commenters assert that certain formula rates (e.g., certain MISO Attachment O, AEP, Exelon, and Eversource formula rates) already provide for the inclusion of excess ADIT in rate base and that the balances in Accounts 254 and 182.3 will naturally flow into rate base without any modification.38

    37 Ameren, Comments to NOI, Docket No. RM18-12-000, at 7-8 (filed May 21, 2018) (Ameren NOI Comments); MISO Transmission Owners, Comments to NOI, Docket No. RM18-12-000, at 7 (filed May 21, 2018) (MISO Transmission Owners NOI Comments); EEI NOI Comments at 11; Exelon NOI Comments at 11-12.

    38 AEP, Comments to NOI, Docket No. RM18-12-000, at 3-4 (filed May 22, 2018) (AEP NOI Comments); Ameren NOI Comments at 7-8; MISO Transmission Owners NOI Comments at 7; Eversource NOI Comments at 3-4; Exelon NOI Comments at 11-12.

    25. Regarding public utilities with stated rates, commenters generally agree that adjustments are not necessary to preserve rate base neutrality with respect to stated rates.39 National Grid and Avangrid state that, under cost-of-service, both ADIT balances and regulatory liability balances should be deducted from rate base in calculating the stated rate.40 Avangrid asserts that rate base neutrality issues are not raised with transmission stated rates because these rates assume the same amount of ADIT deduction to rate base without regard to how the companies adjusted their books and records.41

    39 National Grid NOI Comments at 7-8; Avangrid NOI Comments at 5-6; EEI NOI Comments at 11.

    40 National Grid NOI Comments at 7-8; Avangrid NOI Comments at 5-6.

    41 Avangrid NOI Comments at 5-6.

    3. Proposed Requirements a. Formula Rates

    26. We propose to require all public utilities with transmission formula rates to include a mechanism in their formula rates which deducts any excess ADIT from or adds any deficient ADIT to their rate bases under 18 CFR 35.24. As described above, the Commission's regulations in 18 CFR 35.24 require public utilities to reflect any excess or deficient ADIT as a result of any changes in tax rates in their next rate case. As a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act's reduction of the federal corporate income tax from 35 percent to 21 percent, public utilities have collected excess funds for their ADIT liabilities and have not collected sufficient funds for any ADIT assets. To preserve rate base neutrality by accurately matching the tax allowance with the current tax cost as required by Commission regulations, public utilities with transmission formula rates must include provisions in their formula rates to adjust their ADIT for excess or deficient ADIT.42 We believe our proposal will ensure that public utilities with transmission formula rates will adjust their ADIT for any excess or deficient ADIT caused by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act or any future changes to tax rates which may give rise to excess or deficient ADIT.

    42 Order No. 144, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 30,254 at 31,530, 31,519.

    27. While we are proposing to require public utilities with transmission formula rates to include a mechanism to adjust rate base for any excess or deficient ADIT, we are not proposing to prescribe a specific adjustment mechanism which applies to all public utilities with transmission formula rates. We agree with commenters to the NOI that prescribing a one-size-fits-all approach, such as adding a line item, is not appropriate and that the Commission should instead allow public utilities to propose any necessary changes to their formula rates on an individual basis. Recent filings and comments submitted in the NOI suggest that multiple approaches to modify rate base may be just and reasonable. For example, as noted by MISO Transmission Owners,43 the Commission accepted proposals by ITC Companies and Ameren in which those companies did not revise their formula rates to modify their adjustments to rate base by adding a new line item for rate base.44 Instead, those companies demonstrated that, while not visible in their formula rates, their adjustments to rate base were modified by any excess or deficient ADIT prior to their input to the formula rates. Accordingly, we also propose that public utilities with transmission formula rates may demonstrate that their formula rates already meet the proposed ADIT adjustment requirements described in this Proposed Rule.

    43 MISO Transmission Owners NOI Comments at 7.

    44Midcontinent Indep. Sys. Operator, Inc., 153 FERC ¶ 61,374 (2015); Midcontinent Indep. Sys. Operator, Inc., 163 FERC ¶ 61,163 (2018).

    28. We are not persuaded by commenters to the NOI who suggest that excess or deficient ADIT amounts should be recorded to the same ADIT accounts where the original entries for the regulatory assets and regulatory liabilities were established. The Commission previously issued guidance on this topic, finding that public utilities are required to record a regulatory asset (Account 182.3) associated with deficient ADIT or regulatory liability (Account 254) associated with excess ADIT.45 As a result, we do not propose any changes to that specific accounting guidance.

    45See Accounting for Income Taxes, Docket No. AI93-5-000, at 8 (1993).

    b. Stated Rates

    29. We do not propose any new requirements regarding rate base neutrality for public utilities with transmission stated rates. As noted by commenters to the NOI, stated rates are calculated based in large part on company data submitted, and projections made, at the time of the last rate case. Thus, while ADIT balances may have changed as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, so too will many other aspects of the cost of service and calculations that underlie the stated rate, making it difficult to re-evaluate ADIT and its effect on rate base following a change in tax rates without fully evaluating a public utility's entire cost of service and rates.46 We believe that the revisions we are proposing below, related to the return or recovery of excess or deficient ADIT, will adequately address the effects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on ADIT and will avoid such complications. Therefore, we do not propose to require adjustments to the rate bases of public utilities with transmission stated rates prior to their next rate case on a generic basis.

    46 The Commission previously acknowledged this difficulty in Order No. 475. Order No. 475, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 30,752 at 30,736.

    B. Return or Recovery of Excess or Deficient ADIT 1. NOI

    30. In the NOI, the Commission asked commenters to address how public utilities with stated or formula rates should adjust their income tax allowance such that the allowance would be decreased or increased by the amortization of excess or deficient ADIT, respectively.47 Additionally, the Commission asked commenters how the Average Rate Assumption Method, and alternatively, the Reverse South Georgia Method or South Georgia Method, as appropriate, will be implemented in the amortization of protected excess or deficient ADIT and how quickly to amortize unprotected excess or deficient ADIT.48

    47 NOI, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 35,582 at P 21.

    48Id. PP 17, 19. Under the South Georgia method, a calculation is taken of the difference between the amount actually in the deferred account and the amount that would have been in the account had normalization continuously been followed. Any deficiency is collected from ratepayers (i.e., South Georgia Method), and any excess is returned to ratepayers (i.e., Reverse South Georgia Method), over the remaining depreciable life of the plant that caused the difference. Memphis Light, Gas and Water Div. v. FERC, 707 F.2d 565, 569 (D.C. Cir. 1983).

    2. Comments

    31. Commenters generally support adjusting public utilities' income tax allowances by the amortization of excess or deficient ADIT. Many commenters suggest adding a line item or several line items to public utility transmission formula rates to make this adjustment,49 with some transmission owners noting that they have already submitted or now propose to submit such revisions.50 MISO Transmission Owners note that the Commission accepted such a proposal by ITC Great Plains.51 National Grid suggests that adjustments to income tax allowances could also be made through the weighted cost of capital.52

    49 Ameren NOI Comments at 15-16; Avangrid NOI Comments at 11-12; MISO Transmission Owners NOI Comments at 14-17; National Grid NOI Comments at 15; New York Transco NOI Comments at 10; Oklahoma Attorney General NOI Comments at 6; PSEG NOI Comments at 10.

    50 Ameren NOI Comments at 15-16; Avangrid NOI Comments at 11-12; MISO Transmission Owners NOI Comments at 16-17; New York Transco NOI Comments at 10.

    51 MISO Transmission Owners NOI Comments at 15 (citing Midcontinent Indep. Sys. Operator, Inc., 153 FERC ¶ 61,374). See also Midcontinent Indep. Sys. Operator, Inc., 163 FERC ¶ 61,163.

    52 National Grid NOI Comments at 15.

    32. Commenters also support revisions to transmission stated rates to reflect income tax allowance adjustments for the amortization of excess or deficient ADIT.53 TAPS states that, to address these adjustments, it supports an approach similar to utility-specific investigations the Commission opened with respect to the change in the federal corporate income tax rate.54 However, TAPS expresses concern that stated rate customers will find it challenging to verify their utilities' calculation and asserts that, thus, the Commission should encourage utilities to work with customers toward a mutually acceptable solution and require those utilities to file the return mechanism, including detailed documentation and worksheets so that the calculation of excess ADIT can be validated.55

    53 Avangrid NOI Comments at 9, National Grid NOI Comments at 15, TAPS NOI Comments at 6.

    54 TAPS NOI Comments at 6 (citing Alcoa Power Generating Inc.—Long Sault Div., 162 FERC ¶ 61,224).

    55 TAPS NOI Comments at 5-7.

    33. Some commenters caution the Commission against mandating that public utilities adopt a single method to adjust their formula rates' income tax allowances. Instead, these commenters suggest that the Commission recognize public utilities' specific circumstances by evaluating proposed modifications on a case-by-case basis or recognizing that some formula rates already adjust the income tax allowance by the amortization of excess or deficient ADIT and, therefore, would not require revision.56 Indicated Transmission Owners argue that the Commission should make any evaluations on a single-issue basis.57 The Oklahoma Attorney General suggests that the Commission could use ongoing proceedings, such as the show cause proceedings initiated against public utilities whose formula rates would not automatically adjust to reflect the lower federal corporate income tax rate of 21 percent, to revise formula rates such that the income tax allowance is adjusted by the amortization of excess or deficient ADIT.58

    56 Exelon NOI Comments at 14-15; Indicated Customers NOI Comments at 12-13; MISO Transmission Owners NOI Comments at 17.

    57 Indicated Transmission Owners NOI Comments at 11-12.

    58 Oklahoma Attorney General NOI Comments at 6.

    34. Consumer Advocates are concerned that absent Commission intervention, jurisdictional entities may begin to amortize their excess ADIT, thereby denying customers the full benefit of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Consumer Advocates argue that to the extent any protected ADIT balances have been amortized to date, the Commission should require such excess protected ADIT amortization credits to be reversed and the liability balance restored to that of the implementation date of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.59

    59 Consumer Advocates NOI Comments at 4.

    35. Regarding protected excess or deficient ADIT, commenters agree that the Commission has no need to change its existing regulations or precedent or depart from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act's normalization provisions.60 Regarding unprotected excess or deficient ADIT, commenters agree that the Commission should adopt a case-by-case approach for determining how quickly excess or deficient unprotected ADIT should be flowed back to or recovered from customers.61

    60 AEP NOI Comments at 4-5; Ameren NOI Comments at 11; APPA and AMP NOI Comments at 5-6, 10; Avangrid NOI Comments at 8-9; Consumer Advocates NOI Comments at 6-7; DEMEC NOI Comments at 9; EEI NOI Comments at 14, 16-17; Eversource NOI Comments at 7; Exelon NOI Comments at 13; Indicated Customers NOI Comments at 8-9; Indicated Transmission Owners NOI Comments at 8-9; Kentucky Municipals NOI Comments at 6; MISO Transmission Owners NOI Comments at 8-11; National Grid NOI Comments at 10-11; New York Transco NOI Comments at 7-8; Oklahoma Attorney General NOI Comments at 6-7; PSEG NOI Comments at 7-8.

    61 AEP NOI Comments at 6-7 (“However, in the event the Commission develops a broadly applicable amortization period, AEP recommends that period be 25 years or longer”); Avangrid NOI Comments at 9-11; Dominion, Comments to NOI, Docket No. RM18-12-000, at 12 (filed on May 21, 2018); EEI NOI Comments at 17-18; Enable Interstate Pipelines, Comments to NOI, Docket No. RM18-12-000, at 36-37 (filed on May 21, 2018); Enbridge and Spectra, Comments to NOI, Docket No. RM18-12-000, at 26 (filed May 21, 2018); EQT Midstream, Comments to NOI, Docket No. RM18-12-000, at 13-14 (filed May 21, 2018); Eversource NOI Comments at 8-9; Exelon NOI Comments at 13-14; Indicated Transmission Owners NOI Comments at 9-10; National Grid NOI Comments at 11-13; New York Transco NOI Comments at 9.

    3. Proposed Requirements a. Formula Rates

    36. We propose to require all public utilities with transmission formula rates to include a mechanism in their formula rates which decreases or increases their income tax allowances by any amortized excess or deficient ADIT, respectively, under 18 CFR 35.24. Such a mechanism is necessary because, as described above, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act's reduction of the federal corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent means public utilities have collected from customers funds in excess of what is due to the IRS for ADIT liabilities and, conversely for ADIT assets, funds from customers insufficient to satisfy IRS tax obligations. Similar to the proposed rate base adjustment requirements, these proposed income tax allowance adjustment requirements are intended to satisfy Order No. 144's requirement that the income tax allowance match the current tax cost and reflect the effects of any future changes to tax rates that may give rise to excess or deficient ADIT.

    37. Similar to comments regarding adjustments to rate base, we agree with commenters to the NOI that prescribing a one-size-fits-all approach is not appropriate and that the public utilities with transmission formula rates should instead be allowed to propose any necessary changes to their rates on an individual basis. Accordingly, we do not propose that all public utilities with transmission formula rates must use a single method to adjust their income tax allowances for any amortized excess or deficient ADIT. Many public utilities with transmission formula rates use different formats of rate templates or formulas, and a single, prescriptive method, such as the requirement of a single line item, may not fully capture or transparently convey the amortization of excess or deficient ADIT. Additionally, recent filings by public utilities that proposed revisions to their formula rate templates to reflect changes in income tax rates by, among other things, incorporating mechanisms to return excess ADIT demonstrate that company-specific variations are necessary.62

    62See, e.g., Midcontinent Indep. Sys. Operator, Inc., 153 FERC ¶ 61,374; Midcontinent Indep. Sys. Operator, Inc., 163 FERC ¶ 61,163; Midcontinent Indep. Sys. Operator, Inc., 164 FERC ¶ 61,113 (2018); Emera Maine, 165 FERC ¶ 61,086 (2018).

    38. Regarding the period over which the amortization of excess or deficient ADIT must occur, we believe that public utilities should follow the guidance provided in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, where available. As noted by commenters to the NOI, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act provides a method of general applicability and requires public utilities to return excess protected ADIT 63 no more rapidly than over the life of the underlying asset using the Average Rate Assumption Method, or, where a public utility's books and underlying records do not contain the vintage account data necessary, it must use an alternative method.64 In contrast, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act does not specify what method public utilities must use for excess or deficient unprotected ADIT. We agree with commenters to the NOI that, because such a determination depends on the specific facts and circumstances for each public utility, a case-by-case approach to amortizing excess or deficient unprotected ADIT remains appropriate.

    63 While the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act does not mention deficient protected ADIT specifically, we expect that public utilities will recover such deficient ADIT in the same manner prescribed for excess protected ADIT.

    64 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Sec. 13001(b)(6)(A), 131 Stat. at 2099. If a public utility must use an alternative method, Commission precedent provides that the public utility should use the Reverse South Georgia Method for excess ADIT or the South Georgia Method for deficient ADIT. See Memphis Light, Gas and Water Div. v. FERC, 707 F.2d at 569.

    39. Consumer Advocates are concerned that a portion of the amounts allowable to be returned to customers under the Average Rate Assumption Method schedule would not be refunded due to the fact that any proposed tariff provisions to return excess ADIT as a result of this Proposed Rule will not be effective until after January 1, 2018. We acknowledge that in applying a tax normalization method (e.g., the Average Rate Assumption Method), public utilities are required to develop a schedule removing ADIT from rate base and returning it to customers, effective January 1, 2018, using the fastest allowable method to return the excess ADIT under the IRS' normalization requirements. However, these requirements represent only the fastest allowable return schedule and do not remove a public utility's obligation to return the excess ADIT. Any amounts allowed to be returned under the Average Rate Assumption Method schedule prior to the effective date of proposed tariff provisions made in compliance with the Proposed Rule should still be refunded to customers. In other words, the full regulatory liability for excess ADIT should be captured in rates, beginning on the effective date of any proposed tariff provision. We do not believe that any specific reforms are necessary to accomplish this because public utilities should not amortize an excess ADIT regulatory liability for accounting purposes until it is included in ratemaking.65

    65 The description of Account 182.3 (Other regulatory assets) states, “The amounts recorded in this account are generally to be charged, concurrently with the recovery of the amounts in rates. . .” (emphasis added). 18 CFR part 101, Account 182.3 (Other Regulatory Assets).

    b. Stated Rates

    40. We propose to require all public utilities with transmission stated rates to (1) determine the excess and deficient income tax caused by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act's reduction to the federal corporate income tax rate and (2) return this amount to or recover this amount from customers under 18 CFR 35.24. We also propose for public utilities with transmission stated rates to calculate this excess or deficient ADIT using the ADIT approved in their last rate cases. We believe calculating excess or deficient ADIT in this manner will allow public utilities with transmission stated rates to preserve their costs of service as accepted in their last rate case. We are not seeking to propose a specific way for public utilities with transmission stated rates to return or recover the excess or deficient income taxes to ratepayers; rather, we will evaluate each proposal on an individual basis. We believe the proposed reforms will increase the likelihood that those customers who contributed to the related ADIT accounts receive the benefit of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

    41. TAPS expresses concern that the customers of public utilities with transmission stated rates will lack sufficient information to evaluate any proposals to return or recover excess or deficient ADIT, respectively. We note that the Commission's regulations require public utilities filing changes to transmission rates to identify the effect of tax changes on those rates.66 Accordingly, we expect that public utilities with stated rates would include in their compliance filings resulting from this Proposed Rule supporting information necessary to identify, at minimum, the following: (1) How any ADIT accounts were re-measured and the excess or deficient ADIT contained therein; (2) the accounting of any excess or deficient amounts in Accounts 182.3 and 254; (3) whether the excess or deficient ADIT is protected or unprotected; (4) the accounts to which the excess or deficient ADIT will be amortized; and (5) the amortization period of the excess or deficient ADIT to be returned or recovered through the rates.

    66 18 CFR 35.13; 18 CFR 35.24.

    42. Finally, as noted above, public utilities with transmission stated rates must conform to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act's requirements regarding the period over which the amortization of protected excess or deficient ADIT must occur. We will continue to analyze the appropriate amortization period for unprotected ADIT on a case-by-case basis.

    C. Support for Excess and Deficient ADIT Calculation and Amortization 1. NOI

    43. In the NOI, the Commission sought comment on whether it should require public utilities to provide to the Commission, on a one-time basis, additional information, such as supporting worksheets, to show the computation of excess or deficient ADIT and the corresponding flow-back of excess ADIT to customers or recovery of deficient ADIT from customers. The Commission asked commenters to address what types of information public utilities already record for ADIT-related accounting and whether balances and amortization of regulatory liability and asset accounts, computation of excess and deficient ADIT, delineation between protected and non-protected ADIT, and a description of the allocation method used to determine the transmission-related portion of excess or deficient ADIT would be appropriate to include in a supporting worksheet.67

    67 NOI, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 35,582 at P 23.

    2. Comments

    44. Commenters were split regarding the requirement to provide additional worksheets. Some commenters assert that the Commission should not require any additional worksheets at this time.68 These commenters generally assert that the implementation of general worksheet requirements would be burdensome on the industry.69 They assert that any data should only be required to be submitted on a company by company basis, as necessary, rather than require a one-time proceeding for the purpose of all public utilities providing the data showing whether and how ADIT balances were re-measured.70 Certain commenters assert that the Commission should not require additional worksheets as transmission formula rates and associated protocols already include mechanisms to provide details to customers.71 Avangrid similarly states that the formula rate processes should be used to provide the level of transparency to verify the flowback of excess ADIT ultimately prescribed by the Commission. EEI states that if the Commission does require additional supporting information as part of EEI's proposed show cause orders, the Commission should first provide its proposed financial template, in a rulemaking, to allow for review by public utilities and stakeholders. EEI adds that this would reduce the burden on individual public utilities and the Commission and would be similar to the approach leading up to the Gas Tax Final Rule.72

    68See AEP NOI Comments at 8; Ameren NOI Comments at 16-18; Avangrid NOI Comments at 13-14; EEI NOI Comments at 20-22; Exelon NOI Comments at 15; Indicated Transmission Owners NOI Comments at 12; MISO Transmission Owners NOI Comments at 18-19; and PSEG NOI Comments at 11-12.

    69See EEI NOI Comments at 20-21; Exelon NOI Comments at 15.

    70 EEI NOI Comments at 20.

    71See AEP NOI Comments at 8; Ameren NOI Comments at 16-17; Avangrid NOI Comments at 13-14; Exelon NOI Comments at 15, Indicated Transmission Owners NOI Comments at 12; and MISO Transmission Owners NOI Comments at 18-19.

    72 EEI NOI Comments at 21, n. 36.

    45. Other commenters, however, assert that the Commission should require electric public utilities to provide a one-time filing of additional information to provide transparency regarding excess and deficient ADIT, and how rates will be impacted by any changes.73 APPA and AMP urge the Commission to require that supporting information be filed regarding excess or deficient ADIT, but not be limited to only ADIT-related material. They assert that public utilities should also describe, with supporting schedules, any current or projected effects on their books associated with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act's changes to bonus depreciation, or any other potential rate-related impacts.74 APPA and AMP further state that for public utilities with transmission formula rates, the utilities should provide as part of their annual updates, calculations showing excess ADIT amortization amounts that should be flowed back to customers in the applicable rate period. Consumer Advocates state that in addition to requiring a detailed worksheet identifying all book tax timing differences that comprise deferred tax liability balances, the Commission should evaluate the build-up of net operating losses as deferred tax assets. They assert that such balances should not automatically be inserted as an addition to regulated rate base.75 New York Transco states that each public utility should be permitted to compile and present this additional information in the manner it deems most efficient and useful for stakeholders. New York Transco states that if stakeholders desire additional information, any interested party can seek that information consistent with the formula rate implementation protocols that address information sharing. While not objecting to the provision of additional information, National Grid states that the Commission should not impose this requirement until after December 2018 as the additional information will not be meaningful until after companies have set the final rate change balance after the filing of their fiscal year 2018 federal corporate income tax returns.76

    73See APPA and AMP NOI Comments at 17-18; Consumer Advocates NOI Comments at 10-11; DEMEC NOI Comments at 11-12; Eversource NOI Comments at 11; Indicated Customers NOI Comments at 15; National Grid NOI Comments at 15-16; and New York Transco NOI Comments at 11.

    74 APPA and AMP NOI Comments at 17-18.

    75 Consumer Advocates NOI Comments at 10-11.

    76 National Grid NOI Comments at 16.

    3. Proposed Requirements a. Formula Rates

    46. We propose to require all public utilities with transmission formula rates to incorporate a new permanent worksheet into their transmission formula rates that will annually track information related to excess or deficient ADIT under 18 CFR 35.24. We believe that this reform is necessary to provide interested parties adequate transparency regarding how public utilities with transmission formula rates adjust their rate bases and income tax allowances to account for excess or deficient ADIT. We also believe that requiring public utilities with transmission formula rates to provide this information on an annual basis rather than a one-time basis will better allow interested parties to follow excess or deficient ADIT as it is included in an annual revenue requirement and provide transparency as to any future changes in tax rates. We also believe that updating the proposed worksheet annually will better align with the nature of the vast majority of formula rates where calculation methodologies and input sources are accepted prior to those inputs being populated. Consequently, we do not propose that any worksheet be populated when submitted to the Commission for compliance, only that the function of the worksheet be clear.

    47. Similar to other reforms proposed in this Proposed Rule, we do not propose a pro forma worksheet that must be adopted by all public utilities with transmission formula rates; rather, we propose requiring general categories of information that each excess or deficient ADIT tracking worksheet must contain. We propose that each excess or deficient ADIT worksheet must, at minimum, include the following: (1) How any ADIT accounts were re-measured and the excess or deficient ADIT contained therein; (2) the accounting of any excess or deficient amounts in Accounts 182.3 and 254; (3) whether the excess or deficient ADIT is protected or unprotected; (4) the accounts to which the excess or deficient ADIT are amortized; and (5) the amortization period of the excess or deficient ADIT being returned or recovered through the rates. Because we do not propose to define the form any worksheet or worksheets must take, only the information it must contain, we propose evaluating such worksheet or worksheets on an individual basis. We also request comments on whether we should consider additional guiding principles to those described above.

    48. We disagree with commenters to the NOI that argue that providing such information is overly burdensome for the industry. Public utilities with transmission formula rates will already have gathered the information we propose to require in the worksheets to re-measure their ADIT balances and develop amortization schedules following the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act's reduction of the federal corporate income tax rate. Further, the Commission has already accepted worksheets that convey information similar to the proposed requirements outlined above.77

    77See, e.g., Arizona Public Service Company, Docket No. ER18-975-001 (May 22, 2018) (delegated order).

    49. We also disagree with commenters to the NOI that public utilities' existing formula rate protocols should preclude the Commission from proposing an excess or deficient ADIT worksheet. While the Commission established that formula rate protocols should allow for the provision of any information necessary to understand the inputs to the rate in order to provide sufficient transparency to interested parties, the Commission has since required public utilities to revise their formula rates to include greater detail where it has deemed that certain inputs to the rate are complex enough to warrant prior understanding of their effect.78 As related to excess and deficient ADIT, we believe the proposed worksheet will allow interested parties to ensure they are receiving the benefits of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, as well as to track over time any changes in the rate effects of the tax change as, for example, assets are sold or retired.

    78See, e.g., Midcontinent Indep. Sys. Operator, Inc., 153 FERC ¶ 61,374 at P 14 (directing certain transmission companies to revise their transmission formula rates to include worksheets to ensure appropriate transparency). The Commission has also regularly required certain revisions to new formula rates to provide greater transparency. See, e.g., Xcel Energy Sw. Transmission Co., LLC, 149 FERC ¶ 61,182 (2014); Xcel Energy Transmission Dev. Co., LLC, 149 FERC ¶ 61,181 (2014); Transource Wisconsin, LLC, 149 FERC ¶ 61,180 (2014); Transource Kansas, LLC, 151 FERC ¶ 61,010 (2015).

    b. Stated Rates

    50. As described above in the proposal for return of excess ADIT or recovery of deficient ADIT, we believe that the Commission's existing regulations require public utilities with transmission stated rates to provide sufficient support for any proposed tax-related changes. As a result, we do not propose any additional information requirements for public utilities with transmission stated rates.

    III. Proposed Compliance Procedures

    51. We propose to require each public utility with transmission stated or formula rates to submit a compliance filing within 90 days of the effective date of any subsequent final rule in this proceeding to revise its transmission formula or stated rates, as necessary, to demonstrate that it meets the requirements set forth in any subsequent final rule.

    52. Some public utilities with transmission formula rates may already have mechanisms in place in their rates that address the issues and concerns addressed by any subsequent final rule. Where these provisions would be modified by any subsequent final rule, the public utility must either comply with any subsequent final rule or demonstrate that these previously approved variations continue to be consistent with or superior to the requirements of any subsequent final rule.

    53. The Commission will assess whether each compliance filing satisfies the proposed requirements stated above and issue additional orders as necessary to ensure that each public utility with transmission stated or formula rates meets the requirements of the subsequent final rule.

    IV. Information Collection Statement

    54. The collection of information contained in this Proposed Rule is subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations under section 3507(d) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA).79 OMB's regulations require approval of certain informational collection requirements imposed by an agency.80 Upon approval of a collection(s) of information, OMB will assign an OMB control number and an expiration date. Respondents subject to the filing requirements will not be penalized for failing to respond to these collections of information unless the collections of information display a valid OMB control number.

    79 44 U.S.C. 3507(d).

    80 5 CFR 1320.11.

    55. The reforms proposed in this Proposed Rule address public utilities that have transmission formula rates and transmission stated rates. The reforms related to transmission formula rates represent new requirements for these entities under the Commission's regulations in 18 CFR 35.24, which we believe are necessary because of the dramatic changes in the rate structure of the electric transmission industry since this provision was originally promulgated in 1981.81 These new requirements would require each public utility with a transmission formula rate to revise its rate so that any excess or deficient ADIT is properly reflected in its revenue requirement following a change in tax rates, such as those established by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Additionally, each public utility with a transmission formula rate would be required to incorporate a new permanent worksheet into its transmission formula rate to increase transparency.

    81See discussion infra Section II.E.

    56. The reforms required by this Proposed Rule will require each public utility with stated rates to calculate the excess and deficient ADIT caused by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and to return to or recover from customers those amounts. This reform is intended to increase the likelihood that customers who contributed to the excess ADIT balance timely receive the benefits of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

    57. The reforms proposed in this Proposed Rule would require compliance filings with the Commission by each public utility with transmission stated or formula rates to allow the Commission the opportunity to determine whether each such public utility met the requirements detailed in this Proposed Rule.

    58. We anticipate the reforms proposed in this Proposed Rule, once implemented, would not significantly change currently existing burdens on an ongoing basis. With regard to those public utilities with transmission stated or formula rates that believe that they already comply with the reforms proposed in this Proposed Rule, they could demonstrate their compliance in the filing required 90 days after the effective date of the final revision in this proceeding. We will submit the proposed reporting requirements to OMB for its review and approval under section 3507(d) of the Paperwork Reduction Act.82

    82 44 U.S.C. 3507(d).

    59. While we expect the adoption of the reforms proposed in this Proposed Rule to provide significant benefits, the Commission understands that implementation can be a complex and costly endeavor. We solicit comments on the accuracy of provided burden and cost estimates and any suggested methods for minimizing the respondents' burdens.

    60. Burden Estimate and Information Collection Costs: We believe that the burden estimates below are representative of the average burden on respondents. The estimated burden and cost for the requirements contained in this Proposed Rule follow.

    RM19-5-000 NOPR [Public utility transmission rate changes to address accumulated deferred income taxes] Number of
  • respondents
  • Annual
  • number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total
  • number of
  • responses
  • Average burden
  • and cost per
  • response 83
  • Total annual burden hours and total
  • annual cost
  • Cost per
  • respondent
  • ($)
  • (1) (2) (1) * (2) = (3) (4) (3) * (4) = (5) (5) ÷ (1) Revising formula rates so that excess ADIT is deducted and/or deficient ADIT is added to rate base (one-time) 84 106 1 106 8 hours; $736 848 hours; $78,016 $736 Revising formula rates so that any excess and/or deficient ADIT is amortized (one-time) 106 1 106 8 hours; $736 848 hours; $78,016 736 Revising transmission stated rates to return or recover excess or deficient ADIT (one-time) 31 1 31 15 hours; $1,380 465 hours; $42,780 1,380 Requiring public utilities with transmission formula rates to incorporate a new permanent worksheet that will annually track ADIT information (one-time) 106 1 106 40 hours; $3,680 4,240 hours; $390,080 3,680 Total (Stated Rates) 85 31 465 hours; $42,780 Total (Formula Rates) 86 318 5,936 hours; $546,112 Total 349 6,532 hours; $588,892

    83 The loaded hourly wage figure (includes benefits) is based on the average of the occupational categories for 2017 found on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/naics2_22.htm):

    Accountant (Occupation Code: 13-2011): $56.59.

    Management (Occupation Code: 11-0000): $94.28.

    Legal (Occupation Code: 23-0000): $143.68.

    Office and Administrative Support (Occupation Code: 43-0000): $41.34.

    These various occupational categories' wage figures are averaged and weighted equally as follows: ($94.28/hour + $61.55/hour + $66.90/hour + $143.68/hour) ÷ 4 = $91.60/hour. The resulting wage figure is rounded to $92.00/hour for use in calculating wage figures in the NOPR in Docket No. RM19-5-000.

    84 One-time burdens apply in Year One only. There will be no subsequent burden in Years 2 and beyond.

    85 Total for Public Utilities with Transmission Stated Rates.

    86 Total for Public Utilities with Transmission Formula Rates.

    Cost to Comply: We have projected the total cost of compliance as follows: 87

    87 For a public utility transmission provider with transmission formula rates, the costs for Year 1 would consist of filing proposed changes to its transmission formula rates, including the addition of a new permanent worksheet, with the Commission within 90 days of the effective date of the final revision plus initial implementation. The Commission does not expect any ongoing costs beyond the initial compliance in Year 1. For a public utility transmission provider with transmission stated rates, the costs for Year 1 would consist of filing proposed changes to its transmission stated rates that allow it to return to or recover from customers any excess or deficient ADIT caused by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act with the Commission within 90 days of the effective date of the final revision plus initial implementation.

    Year 1: $546,112 ($5,152/utility) for public utilities with transmission formula rates; $42,780 ($1,380/utility) for public utilities with transmission stated rates.

    Year 2: $0.

    After Year 1, the reforms proposed in this Proposed Rule, once implemented, would not significantly change existing burdens on an ongoing basis.

    Title: FERC-516, Electric Rate Schedules and Tariff Filings.

    Action: Proposed revisions to an information collection.

    OMB Control No.: 1902-0096.

    Respondents for this Proposal: Businesses or other for profit and/or not-for-profit institutions.

    Frequency of Information: One-time during year one.

    Necessity of Information: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission makes this Proposed Rule to ensure that (1) rate base neutrality is preserved following enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act; (2) the reduction in ADIT on the books of rate-regulated companies that was collected from customers but is no longer payable to the IRS due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is returned to or recovered from ratepayers consistent with general ratemaking principles; and (3) there is increased transparency for the process of excess and deficient ADIT calculation and amortization.

    Internal Review: We have reviewed the proposed changes and have determined that such changes are necessary. These requirements conform to the Commission's need for efficient information collection, communication, and management within the energy industry. We have specific, objective support for the burden estimates associated with the information collection requirements.

    61. Interested persons may obtain information on the reporting requirements by contacting the following: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20426 [Attention: Ellen Brown, Office of the Executive Director], email: [email protected], phone: (202) 502-8663, fax: (202) 273-0873. Comments concerning the collection of information and the associated burden estimate(s), may also be sent to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20503 [Attention: Desk Officer for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, phone: (202) 395-0710, fax: (202) 395-7285]. Due to security concerns, comments should be sent electronically to the following email address: [email protected]. Comments submitted to OMB should include FERC-516 and OMB Control No. 1902-0096.

    V. Environmental Analysis

    62. We are required to prepare an Environmental Assessment or an Environmental Impact Statement for any action that may have a significant adverse effect on the human environment.88 The actions proposed to be taken in this Proposed Rule fall within the categorical exclusion under section 380.4(a)(15) of the Commission's regulations. This section provides a categorical exemption for approval of actions under sections 205 and 206 of the FPA relating to the filing of schedules containing all rates and charges for the transmission or sale of electric energy subject to the Commission's jurisdiction, plus the classification, practices, contracts and regulations that affect rates, charges, classification, and services.89 The revisions proposed in this Proposed Rule fall within the categorical exemptions provided in the Commission's regulations, and as a result neither an Environmental Impact Statement nor an Environmental Assessment is required.

    88Regulations Implementing the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, Order No. 486, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 30,783 (1987) (cross-referenced at 41 FERC ¶ 61,284).

    89 18 CFR 380.4(a)(15).

    VI. Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

    63. The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA) 90 generally requires a description and analysis of proposed rules that will have significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The RFA does not mandate any particular outcome in a rulemaking. It only requires consideration of alternatives that are less burdensome to small entities and an agency explanation of why alternatives were rejected.

    90 5 U.S.C. 601-612.

    64. The Small Business Administration (SBA) revised its size standards (effective January 22, 2014) for electric utilities from a standard based on megawatt hours to a standard based on the number of employees, including affiliates. Under SBA's standards, some transmission owners will fall under the following category and associated size threshold: Electric bulk power transmission and control, at 500 employees.91

    91 13 CFR 121.201, Sector 22 (Utilities), NAICS code 221121 (Electric Bulk Power Transmission and Control).

    65. We estimate that the total number of public utility transmission providers with formula rates that would have to develop revisions to their formula rates, including the addition of a new permanent worksheet, and make compliance filings in response to this Proposed Rule is 106. Of these, we estimate that approximately 43 percent are small entities (approximately 46 entities). We estimate the average total cost to each of these entities will be $5,152 in Year 1 and $0 in subsequent years. In addition, we estimate that the total number of public utility transmission providers with stated rates that will have to calculate the excess and deficient income tax to return to or recover from customers is 31. Of these, we estimate that approximately 43 percent are small entities (approximately 13 entities). We estimate the average total cost to each of these entities will be between $1,380 in Year One and $0 in subsequent years. According to SBA guidance, the determination of significance of impact “should be seen as relative to the size of the business, the size of the competitor's business, and the impact the regulation has on larger competitors.” 92 We do not consider the estimated burden to be a significant economic impact. As a result, we certify that the revisions proposed in this Proposed Rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    92 U.S. Small Business Administration, A Guide for Government Agencies How to Comply with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, at 18 (May 2012), https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/advocacy/rfaguide_0512_0.pdf.

    VII. Comment Procedures

    66. We invite interested persons to submit comments on the matters and issues proposed in this notice to be adopted, including any related matters or alternative proposals that commenters may wish to discuss. Comments are due December 24, 2018. Comments must refer to Docket No. RM19-5-000, and must include the commenter's name, the organization they represent, if applicable, and their address in their comments.

    67. The Commission encourages comments to be filed electronically via the eFiling link on the Commission's website at http://www.ferc.gov. The Commission accepts most standard word processing formats. Documents created electronically using word processing software should be filed in native applications or print-to-PDF format and not in a scanned format. Commenters filing electronically do not need to make a paper filing.

    68. Commenters that are not able to file comments electronically must send an original of their comments to: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC, 20426.

    69. All comments will be placed in the Commission's public files and may be viewed, printed, or downloaded remotely as described in the Document Availability section below. Commenters on this proposal are not required to serve copies of their comments on other commenters.

    VIII. Document Availability

    70. In addition to publishing the full text of this document in the Federal Register, the Commission provides all interested persons an opportunity to view and/or print the contents of this document via the internet through the Commission's Home Page (http://www.ferc.gov) and in the Commission's Public Reference Room during normal business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern time) at 888 First Street NE, Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426.

    71. From the Commission's Home Page on the internet, this information is available on eLibrary. The full text of this document is available on eLibrary in PDF and Microsoft Word format for viewing, printing, and/or downloading. To access this document in eLibrary, type the docket number excluding the last three digits of this document in the docket number field.

    72. User assistance is available for eLibrary and the Commission's website during normal business hours from the Commission's Online Support at 202-502-6652 (toll free at 1-866-208-3676) or email at [email protected], or the Public Reference Room at (202) 502-8371, TTY (202) 502-8659. Email the Public Reference Room at [email protected].

    By direction of the Commission. Commissioner McIntyre is not voting on this order.

    Issued: November 15, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    Note:

    Appendix A will not be published in the Federal Register.

    Appendix A—List of Commenters to NOI Short name Commenter AEP American Electric Power Service Corporation. Ameren Ameren Services Company on behalf of Union Electric Company d/b/a Ameren Missouri, Ameren Illinois Company d/b/a Ameren Illinois, and Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois. AOPL Association of Oil Pipe Lines. APGA American Public Gas Association. APPA and AMP American Public Power Association and American Municipal Power, Inc. Avangrid Avangrid Networks, Inc. Berkshire Berkshire Hathaway Energy Pipeline Group. Boardwalk Boardwalk Pipeline Partners LP. CAPP Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. Consumer Advocates Office of the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; the Ohio Consumers' Counsel; the Maryland Office of People's Counsel; the Nevada Bureau of Consumer Protection; the Delaware Division of the Public Advocate; the Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate; the Citizens Utility Board of Wisconsin; and the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor. DEMEC Delaware Municipal Electric Corporation, Inc. Dominion Energy Gas Pipelines Dominion Energy Transmission, Inc.; Dominion Energy Carolina Gas Transmission, LLC; Dominion Energy Quester Pipeline, LLC; Dominion Energy Overthrust Pipeline, LLC; and Questar Southern Trails Pipeline Company. EEI Edison Electric Institute. Enable Interstate Pipelines Enable Mississippi River Transmission, LLC and Enable Gas Transmission, LLC. Enbridge and Spectra Enbridge Energy Partners, L.P. and Spectra Energy Partners, LP. EQT Midstream EQT Midstream Partners, LP. Eversource Eversource Energy Service Company. Exelon Exelon Corporation. Indicated Customers Central Electric Power Cooperative, Inc., North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation, Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative, Inc., and the New Jersey Division of Rate Counsel. Indicated Local Distribution Companies Atmos Energy Corporation; the City of Charlottesville, Virginia; the City of Richmond, Virginia; the Easton Utilities Commission; Exelon Corporation; and Washington Gas Light Company. Indicated Transmission Owners American Electric Power Service Corporation; Dominion Energy Services, Inc., on behalf of Virginia Electric and Power Company d/b/a Dominion Energy Virginia; Duquesne Light Company; Exelon Corporation; FirstEnergy Service Company, on behalf of American Transmission Systems, Incorporated; Jersey Central Power & Light Company; Mid-Atlantic Interstate Transmission, LLC; West Penn Power Company; The Potomac Edison Company; Monongahela Power Company; and PPL Electric Utilities Corp. INGAA Interstate Natural Gas Association of America. ITC Great Plains ITC Great Plains, LLC. Kentucky Municipals Frankfort Plant Board of Frankfort, Kentucky; Barbourville Utility Commission of the City of Barbourville, City; Utilities Commission of the City of Corbin; and the Cities of Bardwell, Berea, Falmouth, Madisonville, and Providence, Kentucky. Kinder Morgan Entities Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America LLC; Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, L.L.C.; Southern Natural Gas Company, L.L.C.; Colorado Interstate Gas Company, L.L.C.; Wyoming Interstate Company, L.L.C.; El Paso Natural Gas Company, L.L.C.; Mojave Pipeline Company, L.L.C.; Bear Creek Storage Company, L.L.C.; Cheyenne Plains Gas Pipeline Company, L.L.C.; Elba Express Company, L.L.C.; Kinder Morgan Louisiana Pipeline LLC; Southern LNG Company, L.L.C.; and TransColorado Gas Transmission Company LLC. Kinder Morgan Subsidiaries SFPP, L.P.; Calnev Pipe Line, LLC; and Kinder Morgan Cochin, LLC. MISO Transmission Owners Ameren Services Company, as agent for Union Electric Company d/b/a Ameren Missouri, Ameren Illinois Company d/b/a Ameren Illinois and Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois; American Transmission Company LLC; Central Minnesota Municipal Power Agency; City Water, Light & Power (Springfield, IL); Cleco Power LLC; Cooperative Energy; Dairyland Power Cooperative; Duke Energy Business Services, LLC for Duke Energy Indiana, LLC; East Texas Electric Cooperative; Entergy Arkansas, Inc.; Entergy Louisiana, LLC; Entergy Mississippi, Inc.; Entergy New Orleans, LLC; Entergy Texas, Inc.; Great River Energy; Indiana Municipal Power Agency; Indianapolis Power & Light Company; International Transmission Company d/b/a ITCTransmission; ITC Midwest LLC; Lafayette Utilities System; Michigan Electric Transmission Company, LLC; MidAmerican Energy Company; Minnesota Power (and its subsidiary Superior Water, L&P); Missouri River Energy Services; Montana-Dakota Utilities Co.; Northern Indiana Public Service Company LLC; Northern States Power Company, a Minnesota corporation, and Northern States Power Company, a Wisconsin corporation, subsidiaries of Xcel Energy Inc.; Northwestern Wisconsin Electric Company; Otter Tail Power Company; Prairie Power Inc.; Southern Indiana Gas & Electric Company (d/b/a Vectren Energy Delivery of Indiana); Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency; Wabash Valley Power Association, Inc.; and Wolverine Power Supply Cooperative, Inc. National Grid National Grid USA. Natural Gas Indicated Shippers Aera Energy, LLC; Anadarko Energy Services Company; Apache Corporation; BP Energy Company; ConocoPhillips Company; Hess Corporation; Occidental Energy Marketing, Inc.; Petrohawk Energy Corporation; and XTO Energy, Inc. New York Transco New York Transco LLC. Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter, Oklahoma Attorney General. PJM PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Plains Plains Pipeline, L.P. Process Gas and American Forest and Paper Process Gas Consumers Group and American Forest and Paper Association. PSEG Public Service Electric and Gas Company. Tallgrass Pipelines Trailblazer Pipeline Company LLC; Tallgrass Interstate Gas Transmission, LLC; and Rockies Express Pipeline LLC. TAPS Transmission Access Policy Study Group. TransCanada TransCanada Corporation. United Airlines Petitioners United Airlines, Inc.; American Airlines, Inc.; Delta Air Lines, Inc.; Southwest Airlines, Co.; BP West Coast Products LLC; ExxonMobil Oil Corporation; Chevron Products Company; HollyFrontier Refining & Marketing LLC; Valero Marketing and Supply Company; Airlines for America; and the National Propane Gas Association. Williams Williams Companies, Inc. [FR Doc. 2018-25370 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 20 [REG-106706-18] RIN 1545-B072 Estate and Gift Taxes; Difference in the Basic Exclusion Amount AGENCY:

    Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking and notification of public hearing.

    SUMMARY:

    This document contains proposed regulations addressing the effect of recent legislative changes to the basic exclusion amount used in computing Federal gift and estate taxes. The proposed regulations will affect donors of gifts made after 2017 and the estates of decedents dying after 2017.

    DATES:

    Written and electronic comments must be received by February 21, 2019. Outlines of topics to be discussed at the public hearing scheduled for March 13, 2019, must be received by February 21, 2019. If no outlines of topics are received by February 21, 2019, the hearing will be cancelled.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send submissions to: CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-106706-18), Room 5203, Internal Revenue Service, P.O. Box 7604, Ben Franklin Station, Washington, DC 20044. Submissions also may be hand delivered Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to: CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-106706-18), Courier's Desk, Internal Revenue Service, 1111 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20224, or sent electronically via the Federal eRulemaking portal at http://www.regulations.gov (IRS REG-106706-18). The public hearing will be held in the Auditorium, Internal Revenue Service Building, 1111 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20224.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Concerning the proposed regulations, Deborah S. Ryan, (202) 317-6859; concerning submissions of comments, the hearing, and/or to be placed on the building access list to attend the hearing, Regina L. Johnson at (202) 317-6901 (not toll-free numbers).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background I. Overview

    In computing the amount of Federal gift tax to be paid on a gift or the amount of Federal estate tax to be paid at death, the gift and estate tax provisions of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) apply a unified rate schedule to the taxpayer's cumulative taxable gifts and taxable estate on death to arrive at a net tentative tax. The net tentative tax then is reduced by a credit based on the applicable exclusion amount (AEA), which is the sum of the basic exclusion amount (BEA) within the meaning of section 2010(c)(3) of the Code and, if applicable, the deceased spousal unused exclusion (DSUE) amount within the meaning of section 2010(c)(4). In certain cases, the AEA also includes a restored exclusion amount pursuant to Notice 2017-15, 2017-6 I.R.B. 783. Prior to January 1, 2018, for estates of decedents dying and gifts made beginning in 2011, section 2010(c)(3) provided a BEA of $5 million, indexed for inflation after 2011. The credit is applied first against the gift tax, on a cumulative basis, as taxable gifts are made. To the extent that any credit remains at death, it is applied against the estate tax.

    This document contains proposed regulations to amend the Estate Tax Regulations (26 CFR part 20) under section 2010(c)(3) of the Code. The proposed regulations would update § 20.2010-1 to conform to statutory changes to the determination of the BEA enacted on December 22, 2017, by sections 11002 and 11061 of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Public Law 115-97, 131 Stat. 2504 (2017) (TCJA).

    II. Federal Gift Tax Computation Generally

    The Federal gift tax is imposed by section 2501 of the Code on an individual's transfers by gift during each calendar year. The gift tax is determined under a seven-step computation required under sections 2502 and 2505 using the rate schedule set forth in section 2001(c) as in effect for the calendar year in which the gifts are made.

    First, section 2502(a)(1) requires the determination of a tentative tax (that is, a tax unreduced by a credit amount) on the sum of all taxable gifts, whether made in the current year or in one or more prior periods (Step 1).

    Second, section 2502(a)(2) requires the determination of a tentative tax on the sum of the taxable gifts made in all prior periods (Step 2).

    Third, section 2502(a) requires the tentative tax determined in Step 2 to be subtracted from the tentative tax determined in Step 1 to arrive at the net tentative gift tax on the gifts made in the current year (Step 3).

    Fourth, section 2505(a)(1) requires the determination of a credit equal to the applicable credit amount within the meaning of section 2010(c). The applicable credit amount is the tentative tax on the AEA determined as if the donor had died on the last day of the current calendar year. The AEA is the sum of the BEA as in effect for the year in which the gift was made, any DSUE amount as of the date of the gift as computed pursuant to § 25.2505-2, and any restored exclusion amount as of the date of the gift as computed pursuant to Notice 2017-15 (Step 4).

    Fifth, section 2505(a)(2) and the flush language at the end of section 2505(a) require the determination of the sum of the amounts allowable as a credit to offset the gift tax on gifts made by the donor in all preceding calendar periods. For purposes of this determination, the allowable credit for each preceding calendar period is the tentative tax, computed at the tax rates in effect for the current period, on the AEA for such prior period, but not exceeding the tentative tax on the gifts actually made during such prior period. Section 2505(c). (Step 5).

    Sixth, section 2505(a) requires that the total credit allowable for prior periods determined in Step 5 be subtracted from the credit for the current period determined in Step 4. (Step 6).

    Finally, section 2505(a) requires that the credit amount determined in Step 6 be subtracted from the net tentative gift tax determined in Step 3 (Step 7).

    III. Federal Estate Tax Computation Generally

    The Federal estate tax is imposed by section 2001(a) on the transfer of a decedent's taxable estate at death. The estate tax is determined under a five-step computation required under sections 2001 and 2010 using the same rate schedule used for gift tax purposes (thus referred to as the unified rate schedule) as in effect at the decedent's death.

    First, section 2001(b)(1) requires the determination of a tentative tax (again, a tax unreduced by a credit amount) on the sum of the taxable estate and the adjusted taxable gifts, defined as all taxable gifts made after 1976 other than those included in the gross estate (Step 1).

    Second, section 2001(b)(2) and (g) require the determination of a hypothetical gift tax (a gift tax reduced, but not to below zero, by the credit amounts allowable in the years of the gifts) on all post-1976 taxable gifts, whether or not included in the gross estate. The credit amount allowable for each year during which a gift was made is the tentative tax, computed using the tax rates in effect at the decedent's death, on the AEA for that year, but not exceeding the tentative tax on the gifts made during that year. Section 2505(c). The AEA is the sum of the BEA as in effect for the year in which the gift was made, any DSUE amount as of the date of the gift as computed pursuant to § 25.2505-2, and any restored exclusion amount as of the date of the gift as computed pursuant to Notice 2017-15. This hypothetical gift tax is referred to as the gift tax payable (Step 2).

    Third, section 2001(b) requires the gift tax payable determined in Step 2 to be subtracted from the tentative tax determined in Step 1 to arrive at the net tentative estate tax (Step 3).

    Fourth, section 2010(a) and (c) require the determination of a credit equal to the tentative tax on the AEA as in effect on the date of the decedent's death. This credit may not exceed the net tentative estate tax. Section 2010(d). (Step 4).

    Finally, section 2010(a) requires that the credit amount determined in Step 4 be subtracted from the net tentative estate tax determined in Step 3. (Step 5).

    IV. TCJA Amendments

    Section 11061 of the TCJA amended section 2010(c)(3) to provide that, for decedents dying and gifts made after December 31, 2017, and before January 1, 2026, the BEA is increased by $5 million to $10 million as adjusted for inflation (increased BEA). On January 1, 2026, the BEA will revert to $5 million. Thus, an individual or the individual's estate may utilize the increased BEA to shelter from gift and estate taxes an additional $5 million of transfers made during the eight-year period beginning on January 1, 2018, and ending on December 31, 2025 (increased BEA period).

    In addition, section 11002 of the TCJA amended section 1(f)(3) of the Code to base the determination of annual cost-of-living adjustments, including those for gift and estate tax purposes, on the Chained Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers for all taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017. Section 11002 of the TCJA also made conforming changes in sections 2010(c)(3)(B)(ii), 2032A(a)(3)(B), and 2503(b)(2)(B).

    Section 11061 of the TCJA also added section 2001(g)(2) to the Code, which, in addition to the necessary or appropriate regulatory authority granted in section 2010(c)(6) for purposes of section 2010(c), directs the Secretary to prescribe such regulations as may be necessary or appropriate to carry out section 2001 with respect to any difference between the BEA applicable at the time of the decedent's death and the BEA applicable with respect to any gifts made by the decedent.

    V. Summary of Concerns Raised by Changes in BEA 1. In General

    Given the cumulative nature of the gift and estate tax computations and the differing manner in which the credit is applied against these two taxes, commenters have raised two questions regarding a potential for inconsistent tax treatment or double taxation of transfers resulting from the temporary nature of the increased BEA. First, in cases in which a taxpayer exhausted his or her BEA and paid gift tax on a pre-2018 gift, and then either makes an additional gift or dies during the increased BEA period, will the increased BEA be absorbed by the pre-2018 gift on which gift tax was paid so as to deny the taxpayer the full benefit of the increased BEA during the increased BEA period? Second, in cases in which a taxpayer made a gift during the increased BEA period that was fully sheltered from gift tax by the increased BEA but makes a gift or dies after the increased BEA period has ended, will the gift that was exempt from gift tax when made during the increased BEA period have the effect of increasing the gift or estate tax on the later transfer (in effect, subjecting the earlier gift to tax even though it was exempt from gift tax when made)?

    As discussed in the remainder of this Background section, the Treasury Department and the IRS have analyzed the statutorily required steps for determining Federal gift and estate taxes in the context of several different situations that could occur either during the increased BEA period as a result of an increase in the BEA, or thereafter as a result of a decrease in the BEA. Only in the last situation discussed below was a potential problem identified, and a change intended to correct that problem is proposed in this notice of proposed rulemaking. This preamble, however, also includes a brief explanation of the reason why no potential problem is believed to exist in any of the first three situations discussed below. For the sake of simplicity, the following discussion assumes that, as may be the more usual case, the AEA includes no DSUE or restored exclusion amount and thus, refers only to the BEA.

    2. Effect of Increase in BEA on Gift Tax

    The first situation considered is whether, for gift tax purposes, the increased BEA available during the increased BEA period is reduced by pre-2018 gifts on which gift tax actually was paid. This issue arises for donors, who made both pre-2018 gifts exceeding the then-applicable BEA, thus making gifts that incurred a gift tax liability, and additional gifts during the increased BEA period. The concern raised is whether the gift tax computation will apply the increased BEA to the pre-2018 gifts, thus reducing the BEA otherwise available to shelter gifts made during the increased BEA period and, in effect, allocating credit to a gift on which gift tax in fact was paid.

    Step 3 of the gift tax determination requires the tentative tax on all gifts from prior periods to be subtracted from the tentative tax on the donor's cumulative gifts (including the current gift). The gifts from prior periods include the pre-2018 gifts on which gift tax was paid. In this way, the full amount of the gift tax liability on the pre-2018 gifts is removed from the current year gift tax computation, regardless of whether that liability was sheltered from gift tax by the BEA and/or was satisfied by a gift tax payment. Steps 4 through 6 of the gift tax determination then require, in effect, that the BEA for the current year be reduced by the BEA allowable in prior periods against the gifts that were made by the donor in those prior periods. The increased BEA was not available in the years when the pre-2018 gifts were made and thus, was not allowable against those gifts. Accordingly, the gift tax determination appropriately reduces the increased BEA only by the amount of BEA allowable against prior period gifts, thereby ensuring that the increased BEA is not reduced by a prior gift on which gift tax in fact was paid.

    3. Effect of Increase in BEA on Estate Tax

    The second situation considered is whether, for estate tax purposes, the increased BEA available during the increased BEA period is reduced by pre-2018 gifts on which gift tax actually was paid. This issue arises in the context of estates of decedents who both made pre-2018 gifts exceeding the then allowable BEA, thus making gifts that incurred a gift tax liability, and die during the increased BEA period. The concern raised is whether the estate tax computation will apply the increased BEA to the pre-2018 gifts, thus reducing the BEA otherwise available against the estate tax during the increased BEA period and, in effect, allocating credit to a gift on which gift tax in fact was paid.

    Step 3 of the estate tax determination requires that the hypothetical gift tax on the decedent's post-1976 taxable gifts be subtracted from the tentative tax on the sum of the taxable estate and adjusted taxable gifts. The post-1976 taxable gifts include the pre-2018 gifts on which gift tax was paid. In this way, the full amount of the gift tax liability on the pre-2018 gifts is removed from the estate tax computation, regardless of whether that liability was sheltered from gift tax by the BEA and/or was satisfied by a gift tax payment. Step 4 of the estate tax determination then requires that a credit on the amount of the BEA for the year of the decedent's death be subtracted from the net tentative estate tax. As a result, the only time that the increased BEA enters into the computation of the estate tax is when the credit on the amount of BEA allowable in the year of the decedent's death is netted against the tentative estate tax, which in turn already has been reduced by the hypothetical gift tax on the full amount of all post-1976 taxable gifts (whether or not gift tax was paid). Thus, the increased BEA is not reduced by the portion of any prior gift on which gift tax was paid, and the full amount of the increased BEA is available to compute the credit against the estate tax.

    4. Effect of Decrease in BEA on Gift Tax

    The third situation considered is whether the gift tax on a gift made after the increased BEA period is inflated by a theoretical gift tax on a gift made during the increased BEA period that was sheltered from gift tax when made. If so, this would effectively reverse the benefit of the increased BEA available for gifts made during the increased BEA period. This issue arises in the case of donors who both made one or more gifts during the increased BEA period that were sheltered from gift tax by the increased BEA in effect during those years, and made a post-2025 gift. The concern raised is whether the gift tax determination on the post-2025 gift will treat the gifts made during the increased BEA period as gifts not sheltered from gift tax by the credit on the BEA, given that the post-2025 gift tax determination is based on the BEA then in effect, rather than on the increased BEA.

    Just as in the first situation considered in part V(2) of this Background section, Step 3 of the gift tax determination directs that the tentative tax on gifts from prior periods be subtracted from the tentative tax on the donor's cumulative gifts (including the current gift). The gift tax from prior periods includes the gift tax attributable to the gifts made during the increased BEA period. In this way, the full amount of the gift tax liability on the increased BEA period gifts is removed from the computation, regardless of whether that liability was sheltered from gift tax by the BEA or was satisfied by a gift tax payment. All that remains is the tentative gift tax on the donor's current gift. Steps 4 through 6 of the gift tax determination then require that the credit based on the BEA for the current year be reduced by such credits allowable in prior periods. Even if the sum of the credits allowable for prior periods exceeds the credit based on the BEA in the current (post-2025) year, the tax on the current gift cannot exceed the tentative tax on that gift and thus will not be improperly inflated. The gift tax determination anticipates and avoids this situation, but no credit will be available against the tentative tax on the post-2025 gift.

    5. Effect of Decrease in BEA on Estate Tax

    The fourth situation considered is whether, for estate tax purposes, a gift made during the increased BEA period that was sheltered from gift tax by the increased BEA inflates a post-2025 estate tax liability. This will be the case if the estate tax computation fails to treat such gifts as sheltered from gift tax, in effect reversing the benefit of the increased BEA available for those gifts. This issue arises in the case of estates of decedents who both made gifts during the increased BEA period that were sheltered from gift tax by the increased BEA in effect during those years, and die after 2025. The concern raised is whether the estate tax computation treats the gifts made during the increased BEA period as post-1976 taxable gifts not sheltered from gift tax by the credit on the BEA, given that the post-2025 estate tax computation is based on the BEA in effect at the decedent's death rather than the BEA in effect on the date of the gifts.

    In this case, the statutory requirements for the computation of the estate tax, in effect, retroactively eliminate the benefit of the increased BEA that was available for gifts made during the increased BEA period. This can be illustrated by the following examples.

    Example 1.

    Individual A made a gift of $11 million in 2018, when the BEA was $10 million. A dies in 2026, when the BEA is $5 million, with a taxable estate of $4 million. Based on a literal application of section 2001(b), the estate tax would be approximately $3,600,000, which is equal to a 40 percent estate tax on $9 million (specifically, the $9 million being the sum of the $4 million taxable estate and $5 million of the 2018 gift sheltered from gift tax by the increased BEA). This in effect would impose estate tax on the portion of the 2018 gift that was sheltered from gift tax by the increased BEA allowable at that time.

    Example 2.

    The facts are the same as in Example 1, but A dies in 2026 with no taxable estate. Based on a literal application of section 2001(b), A's estate tax is approximately $2 million, which is equal to a 40 percent tax on $5 million. Five million dollars is the amount by which, after taking into account the $1 million portion of the 2018 gift on which gift tax was paid, the 2018 gift exceeded the BEA at death. This, in effect, would impose estate tax on the portion of the 2018 gift that was sheltered from the gift tax by the excess of the 2018 BEA over the 2026 BEA.

    This problem occurs as a result of the interplay between Steps 2 and 4 of the estate tax determination, and the differing amounts of BEA taken into account in those steps. Step 2 determines the credit against gift taxes payable on all post-1976 taxable gifts, whether or not included in the gross estate, using the BEA amounts allowable on the dates of the gifts but determined using date of death tax rates. Step 3 subtracts gift tax payable from the tentative tax on the sum of the taxable estate and the adjusted taxable gifts. The result is the net tentative estate tax. Step 4 determines a credit based on the BEA as in effect on the date of the decedent's death. Step 5 then reduces the net tentative estate tax by the credit determined in Step 4. If the credit amount applied at Step 5 is less than that allowable for the decedent's post-1976 taxable gifts at Step 2, the effect is to increase the estate tax by the difference between those two credit amounts. In this circumstance, the statutory requirements have the effect of imposing an estate tax on gifts made during the increased BEA period that were sheltered from gift tax by the increased BEA in effect when the gifts were made.

    Explanation of Provisions

    To implement the TCJA changes to the BEA under section 2010(c)(3), the proposed regulations would amend § 20.2010-1 to provide that, in the case of decedents dying or gifts made after December 31, 2017, and before January 1, 2026, the increased BEA is $10 million. The proposed regulations also would conform the rules of § 20.2010-1 to the changes made by the TCJA regarding the cost of living adjustment.

    Pursuant to section 2001(g)(2), the proposed regulations also would amend § 20.2010-1 to provide a special rule in cases where the portion of the credit as of the decedent's date of death that is based on the BEA is less than the sum of the credit amounts attributable to the BEA allowable in computing gift tax payable within the meaning of section 2001(b)(2). In that case, the portion of the credit against the net tentative estate tax that is attributable to the BEA would be based upon the greater of those two credit amounts. In the view of the Treasury Department and the IRS, the most administrable solution would be to adjust the amount of the credit in Step 4 of the estate tax determination required to be applied against the net tentative estate tax. Specifically, if the total amount allowable as a credit, to the extent based solely on the BEA, in computing the gift tax payable on the decedent's post-1976 taxable gifts, whether or not included in the gross estate, exceeds the credit amount, again to the extent based solely on the BEA in effect at the date of death, the Step 4 credit would be based on the larger amount of BEA. As modified, Step 4 of the estate tax determination therefore would require the determination of a credit equal to the tentative tax on the AEA as in effect on the date of the decedent's death, where the BEA included in that AEA is the larger of (i) the BEA as in effect on the date of the decedent's death under section 2010(c)(3), or (ii) the total amount of the BEA allowable in determining Step 2 of the estate tax computation (that is, the gift tax payable).

    For example, if a decedent had made cumulative post-1976 taxable gifts of $9 million, all of which were sheltered from gift tax by a BEA of $10 million applicable on the dates of the gifts, and if the decedent died after 2025 when the BEA was $5 million, the credit to be applied in computing the estate tax is that based upon the $9 million of BEA that was used to compute gift tax payable.

    The proposed regulations ensure that a decedent's estate is not inappropriately taxed with respect to gifts made during the increased BEA period. Congress' grant of regulatory authority in section 2001(g)(2) to address situations in which differences exist between the BEA applicable to a decedent's gifts and the BEA applicable to the decedent's estate clearly permits the Secretary to address the situation in which a gift is made during the increased BEA period and the decedent dies after the increased BEA period ends.

    Commenters have noted that this problem is similar to that involving the application of the AEA addressed in the DSUE regulations. Section 20.2010-3(b). The DSUE amount generally is what remains of a decedent's BEA that can be used to offset the gift and/or estate tax liability of the decedent's surviving spouse. At any given time, however, a surviving spouse may use only the DSUE amount from his or her last deceased spouse—thus, only until the death of any subsequent spouse. Without those regulations, if a DSUE amount was used to shelter a surviving spouse's gifts from gift tax before the death of a subsequent spouse, and if the surviving spouse also survived the subsequent spouse, those gifts would have had the effect of absorbing the DSUE amount available to the surviving spouse at death, effectively resulting in a taking back of the DSUE amount that had been allocated to the earlier gifts. The DSUE regulations resolve this problem by providing that the DSUE amount available at the surviving spouse's death is the sum of the DSUE amount from that spouse's last deceased spouse, and any DSUE amounts from other deceased spouses that were “applied to one or more taxable gifts” of the surviving spouse.

    Proposed Effective Date

    The amendment to § 20.2010-1 is proposed to be effective on and after the date of publication of a Treasury decision adopting these rules as final regulations in the Federal Register.

    Special Analyses

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

    Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6), it is hereby certified that these proposed regulations will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. These proposed regulations apply to donors of gifts made after 2017 and to the estates of decedents dying after 2017, and implement an increase in the amount that is excluded from gift and estate tax. Neither an individual nor the estate of a deceased individual is a small entity within the meaning of 5 U.S.C. 601(6). Accordingly, a regulatory flexibility analysis is not required.

    Pursuant to section 7805(f) of the Internal Revenue Code, this regulation has been submitted to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration for comment on its impact on small business.

    Comments and Public Hearing

    Before these proposed regulations are adopted as final regulations, consideration will be given to any written or electronic comments that are submitted timely (in the manner described under the ADDRESSES heading) to the IRS. The Treasury Department and the IRS request comments on all aspects of the proposed regulations. All comments will be available at http://www.regulations.gov, or upon request. A public hearing on these proposed regulations has been scheduled for March 13, 2019, beginning at 10 a.m. in the Auditorium, Internal Revenue Building, 1111 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20224. Due to building security procedures, visitors must enter the Constitution Avenue entrance. In addition, all visitors must present photo identification to enter the building. Because of access restrictions, visitors will not be admitted beyond the immediate entrance area more than 30 minutes before the hearing starts. For information about having your name placed on the building access list to attend the hearing, see the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this preamble.

    The rules of 26 CFR 601.601(a)(3) apply to the hearing. Persons who wish to present oral comments at the hearing must submit comments by February 21, 2019, and submit an outline of the topics to be discussed and the time devoted to each topic by February 21, 2019.

    A period of 10 minutes will be allotted to each person for making comments. Copies of the agenda will be available free of charge at the hearing.

    Drafting Information

    The principal author of these proposed regulations is Deborah S. Ryan, Office of the Associate Chief Counsel (Passthroughs and Special Industries). Other personnel from the Treasury Department and the IRS participated in their development.

    Statement of Availability of IRS Documents

    Notice 2017-15 is published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin (or Cumulative Bulletin) and is available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Publishing Office, Washington, DC 20402, or by visiting the IRS website at http://www.irs.gov.

    List of Subjects in 26 CFR Part 20

    Estate taxes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Proposed Amendments to the Regulations

    Accordingly, 26 CFR part 20 is proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 20—ESTATE TAX; ESTATES OF DECEDENTS DYING AFTER AUGUST 16, 1954 Par. 1. The authority citation for part 20 is amended by revising the entry for § 20.2010-1 to read in part as follows: Authority:

    26 U.S.C. 7805.

    Section 20.2010-1 also issued under 26 U.S.C. 2001(g)(2) and 26 U.S.C. 2010(c)(6).

    Par. 2. Section 20.2010-1 is amended by: 1. Redesignating paragraphs (c) through (e) as paragraphs (d) through (f) respectively; 2. Adding a new paragraph (c); and 3. Revising newly redesignated paragraphs (e)(3) and (f).

    The addition and revisions read as follows:

    § 20.2010-1 Unified credit against estate tax; in general.

    (c) Special rule in the case of a difference between the basic exclusion amount applicable to gifts and that applicable at the donor's date of death—(1) Rule. Changes in the basic exclusion amount that occur between the date of a donor's gift and the date of the donor's death may cause the basic exclusion amount allowable on the date of a gift to exceed that allowable on the date of death. If the total of the amounts allowable as a credit in computing the gift tax payable on the decedent's post-1976 gifts, within the meaning of section 2001(b)(2), to the extent such credits are based solely on the basic exclusion amount as defined and adjusted in section 2010(c)(3), exceeds the credit allowable within the meaning of section 2010(a) in computing the estate tax, again only to the extent such credit is based solely on such basic exclusion amount, in each case by applying the tax rates in effect at the decedent's death, then the portion of the credit allowable in computing the estate tax on the decedent's taxable estate that is attributable to the basic exclusion amount is the sum of the amounts attributable to the basic exclusion amount allowable as a credit in computing the gift tax payable on the decedent's post-1976 gifts. The amount allowable as a credit in computing gift tax payable for any year may not exceed the tentative tax on the gifts made during that year, and the amount allowable as a credit in computing the estate tax may not exceed the net tentative tax on the taxable estate. Sections 2505(c) and 2010(d).

    (2) Example. Individual A (never married) made cumulative post-1976 taxable gifts of $9 million, all of which were sheltered from gift tax by the cumulative total of $10 million in basic exclusion amount allowable on the dates of the gifts. A dies after 2025 and the basic exclusion amount on A's date of death is $5 million. A was not eligible for any restored exclusion amount pursuant to Notice 2017-15. Because the total of the amounts allowable as a credit in computing the gift tax payable on A's post-1976 gifts (based on the $9 million basic exclusion amount used to determine those credits) exceeds the credit based on the $5 million basic exclusion amount applicable on the decedent's date of death, under paragraph (c)(1) of this section, the credit to be applied for purposes of computing the estate tax is based on a basic exclusion amount of $9 million, the amount used to determine the credits allowable in computing the gift tax payable on the post-1976 gifts made by A.

    (e) * * *

    (3) Basic exclusion amount. Except to the extent provided in paragraph (e)(3)(iii) of this section, the basic exclusion amount is the sum of the amounts described in paragraphs (e)(3)(i) and (ii) of this section.

    (i) For any decedent dying in calendar year 2011 or thereafter, $5,000,000; and

    (ii) For any decedent dying after calendar year 2011, $5,000,000 multiplied by the cost-of-living adjustment determined under section 1(f)(3) for the calendar year of decedent's death by substituting “calendar year 2010” for “calendar year 2016” in section 1(f)(3)(A)(ii) and rounded to the nearest multiple of $10,000.

    (iii) In the case of the estates of decedents dying after December 31, 2017, and before January 1, 2026, paragraphs (e)(3)(i) and (ii) of this section will be applied by substituting “$10,000,000” for “$5,000,000.”

    (f) Applicability dates—(1) In general. Except as provided in paragraph (f)(2) of this section, this section applies to the estates of decedents dying after June 11, 2015. For the rules applicable to estates of decedents dying after December 31, 2010, and before June 12, 2015, see § 20.2010-1T, as contained in 26 CFR part 20, revised as of April 1, 2015.

    (2) Exceptions. Paragraph (c) of this section applies to estates of decedents dying on and after the date of publication of a Treasury decision adopting these rules as final regulations. Paragraph (e)(3) of this section applies to the estates of decedents dying after December 31, 2017.

    § 20.2010-3 [Amended]
    Par. 3. Section 20.2010-3 is amended by removing “§ 20.2010-1(d)(5)” wherever it appears and adding in its place “§ 20.2010-1(e)(5)”. Kirsten Wielobob, Deputy Commissioner for Service and Enforcement.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25538 Filed 11-20-18; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R07-OAR-2018-0700; FRL-9986-80-Region 7] Air Plan Approval; Missouri; Emissions Inventory for the Missouri Jackson County and Jefferson County 2010 Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standard Nonattainment Areas AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve two submissions from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MoDNR) revising the State Implementation Plan (SIP) for the State of Missouri. The SIP revision submissions address the Clean Air Act (CAA) section 172 requirement to submit a base year emissions inventory for Missouri's partial Jackson County and partial Jefferson County nonattainment areas of the 2010 1-hour Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS).

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before December 24, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R07-OAR-2018-0700 to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket ID No. for this rulemaking. Comments received will be posted without change to https://www.regulations.gov/, including any personal information provided. For detailed instructions on sending comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the “Written Comments” heading of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tracey Casburn, Environmental Protection Agency, Air Planning and Development Branch, 11201 Renner Boulevard, Lenexa, Kansas 66219, by telephone at (913) 551-7016, or by email at [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document “we,” “us,” and “our” refer to the EPA.

    Table of Contents I. Written Comments II. Background Information III. Have the requirements for approval of a SIP revision been met? IV. What is the EPA's analysis of the SIP revision submissions? V. What action is the EPA taking? VI. Statutory and Executive Order reviews I. Written Comments

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R07-OAR-2018-0700, at https://www.regulations.gov. 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, 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.

    II. Background Information

    On June 22, 2010, the EPA promulgated a new 1-hour primary SO2 NAAQS of 75 parts per billion (ppb). See 75 FR 35520, codified at 40 CFR 50.17(a)-(b). On August 5, 2013, the EPA finalized designations for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS, including the partial Jackson County and partial Jefferson County nonattainment areas in the State of Missouri. See 78 FR 47191, codified at 40 CFR part 81, subpart C. These area designations were effective October 4, 2013. Section 191 of the CAA directs states to submit SIP revisions for areas designated as nonattainment for the SO2 NAAQS to the EPA within 18 months of the effective date of the designation (i.e., no later than April 4, 2015). Submittal of the state's nonattainment plan SIP revision submissions is discussed in more detail in the “Have the requirements for approval of a SIP revision been met?” section of this document.

    CAA section 172(c)(3) requires states to develop and submit a comprehensive, accurate, current emissions inventory for all areas designated as nonattainment. An emissions inventory is an estimation of actual emissions of air pollutants in an area that provides data for a variety of air quality planning tasks including establishing baseline emission levels, calculating Federally required emission reduction targets, emission inputs into air quality simulation models, and for tracking emissions over time. The EPA's April 2014 guidance document “Guidance for 1-Hour SO2 Nonattainment Area SIP Submissions” (April 2014 guidance) recommends that the state develop an accurate emissions inventory of current emissions for all sources of SO2 (i.e., point, area and mobile sources) within the nonattainment area as well as any sources located outside the nonattainment area which may affect attainment in the area.1

    1 See page 8 of the April 2014 guidance.

    The EPA has reviewed the state's emission inventory SIP revision submissions and is proposing to approve the SIP revision submissions pursuant to sections 110, 191(a), and 172(c)(3) of the CAA.

    III. Have the requirements for approval of a SIP revision been met?

    The baseline emissions inventory for the Jackson County SO2 nonattainment area was included in MoDNR's October 2015 SIP revision submission “Nonattainment Area Plan for the 2010 1-Hour Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standard—Jackson County Sulfur Dioxide Nonattainment Area” which met the public notice requirements for a SIP revision submission in accordance with 40 CFR 51.102.2 The MoDNR provided public notice of the SIP revision submission from March 22, 2015 to July 2, 2015, and held a public hearing on June 25, 2015. The MoDNR received oral comments from three sources during the hearing and written comments from three sources prior to the close of the public comment period.3

    2 The MoDNR withdrew the “Nonattainment Area Plan for the 2010 1-Hour Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standard—Jackson County Sulfur Dioxide Nonattainment Area” SIP submission, except the EI, from the EPA's consideration on June 11, 2018.

    3 The Sierra Club submitted letters from 78 citizens.

    The baseline emissions inventory for the Jefferson County SO2 nonattainment area was included in MoDNR's June 2015 SIP revision submission “Nonattainment Area Plan for the 2010 1-Hour Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standard—Jefferson County Sulfur Dioxide Nonattainment Area” which met the public notice requirements for a SIP revision submission in accordance with 40 CFR 51.102.4 The MoDNR provided public notice of the SIP revision submission from March 26, 2015 to May 7, 2015, and held a public hearing on April 30, 2015. The MoDNR received oral comments from seven sources during the hearing and written comments from three sources prior to the close of the public comment period.5

    4 The MoDNR withdrew the National Ambient Air Quality Standard—Jefferson County Sulfur Dioxide Nonattainment Area” SIP submission, except the EI, from the EPA's consideration on March 30, 2018.

    5 The Sierra Club submitted postcards and signatures from 240 citizens.

    None of the comments the state received were directly related to the baseline year emissions inventories, therefore no changes were made to the baseline emmisions inventories prior to submitting the SIP revision submissions to the EPA. The emissions inventory SIP revision submissions meet the procedural requirements for SIP submittals in the CAA, including section 110 and implementing regulations.

    IV. What is the EPA's analysis of the SIP revision submissions?

    The baseline emissions inventory in both SIP revision submissions was taken from the 2011 National Emissions Inventory (NEI) database. The MoDNR developed a comprehensive statewide emissions inventory for 2011 as required by the EPA's Air Emissions Reporting Requirements (AERR) rule. See 73 FR 76539 codified at 40 CFR 51.1-51.50. The inventory was submitted to the NEI through the EPA's Emission Inventory System (EIS). The 2011 baseline emissions inventory in both SIP revision submissions included point, area (or nonpoint), and mobile emissions sources of SO2 in accordance with the EPA's April 2014 Guidance. Both 2011 baseline emissions SIP revision submissions were county wide (i.e., not limited to the partial county nonattainment boundary) and SO2 emissions data was reported in tons per year (tpy).6

    6 The MoDNR developed separate model input inventories based on 2012 emissions that included sources inside of and outside of the nonattainment areas. Nonpoint and mobile sources emissions were considered part of the background in the modeling scenarios.

     Table 1—County Wide 2011 Baseline SO2 Emissions [Tpy] Emission category Jackson County Jefferson County Point Source 27,513 43,713 Area (Nonpoint) Source 92 51 Mobile Source 92 27 V. What action is the EPA taking?

    The EPA is proposing to approve the two SIP revision submissions from the MoDNR addressing the CAA section 172(c)(3) requirement to submit a base year emissions inventory for Missouri's partial Jackson County and partial Jefferson County nonattainment areas of the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS. The EPA proposes that these emission inventory SIP revision submissions were submitted in accordance with sections 110, 191(a), and 172(c)(3) of the CAA. Final rulemaking will occur after consideration of any comments.

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the Clean Air Act (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, 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 the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTA) because this rulemaking does not involve technical standards; and

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

    The SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land 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, Emissions Inventory, Incorporation by reference, Sulfur oxides.

    Dated: November 16, 2018. James B. Gulliford, Regional Administrator, Region 7.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, the EPA proposes to amend part 52 as set forth below:

    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—AA Missouri 2. Amend the table in § 52.1320, paragraph (e) by adding new entries “(76)” and “(77)” in numerical order to read as follows:
    § 52.1320 Identification of Plan.

    (e) * * *

    EPA-Approved Missouri Nonregulatory SIP Provisions Name of nonregulatory SIP provision Applicable
  • geographic or
  • nonattainment area
  • State
  • submittal date
  • EPA approval date Explanation
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * (76) Jackson County 1-Hour SO2 NAA Baseline Emissions Inventory Jackson County 10/15/2015 [Date of publication of the final rule in the Federal Register], [Federal Register citation of the final rule] [EPA-R07-OAR-2018-0700; FRL-9986-80-Region 7]. (77) Jefferson County 1-Hour SO2 NAA Baseline Emissions Inventory Jefferson County 6/1/2015 [Date of publication of the final rule in the Federal Register], [Federal Register citation of the final rule] [EPA-R07-OAR-2018-0700; FRL-9986-80-Region 7].
    [FR Doc. 2018-25553 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 81 [EPA-R06-OAR-2018-0624; FRL-9986-54-Region 6] Air Quality Designation for the 2010 Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) Primary National Ambient Air Quality Standard; Arkansas; Redesignation of the Independence County Area AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    On April 20, 2018, the State of Arkansas (AR), through the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) submitted a request for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to assess new available information and redesignate the Independence County, AR unclassifiable area (hereinafter referred to as the “County” or “Area”) for the 2010 sulfur dioxide (SO2) primary national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) to attainment/unclassifiable. The EPA is proposing that it now has sufficient information to determine that the Area is attaining the 2010 SO2 primary NAAQS, and, therefore, is proposing to approve the State's request and redesignate the Area to attainment/unclassifiable for the 2010 primary SO2 NAAQS.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before December 24, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R06-OAR-2018-0624 at https://www.regulations.gov. 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, 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:

    Mr. Ruben Casso, (214) 665-6763, [email protected]. To inspect the hard copy materials, please schedule an appointment with Mr. Casso.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document “we,” “us,” or “our” means the EPA.

    I. Background

    The Clean Air Act (CAA or Act) establishes a process for air quality management through the establishment and implementation of the NAAQS. After the promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS, EPA is required to designate all areas of the country, pursuant to section 107(d)(1) of the CAA. For the 2010 SO2 primary NAAQS, designations were based on the EPA's application of the nationwide analytical approach to, and technical assessment of, the weight of evidence for each area, including but not limited to available air quality monitoring data and air quality modeling results. The EPA issued updated designations guidance through a March 20, 2015, memorandum from Stephen D. Page, Director, U.S. EPA, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, to Air Division Directors, U.S. EPA Regions 1-10 titled, “Updated Guidance for Area Designations for the 2010 Primary Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standard,” which contains the factors the EPA intends to evaluate in determining the appropriate designations and associated boundaries, including: (1) Air quality characterization via ambient monitoring or dispersion modeling results; (2) emissions-related data; (3) meteorology; (4) geography and topography; and (5) jurisdictional boundaries. The guidance also references the EPA's non-binding Monitoring Technical Assistance Document (Monitoring TAD) and Modeling Technical Assistance Document (Modeling TAD),1 which contain scientifically sound recommendations on how air agencies should conduct such monitoring or modeling.

    1 “Sulfur Dioxide (S02) National Ambient Air Quality Standards Designations Modeling Technical Assistance Document”. August 2016 draft https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-0706/documents/areadesignso2modelingtad.pdf. Note. the EPA released earlier drafts of this document in May and 2013 and February 2016.

    Entergy Corporation Independence Steam Electric Station (Independence Station). Independence Station is located in northeastern Arkansas in the eastern portion of Independence County, approximately 5 kilometers (km) southeast of Newark, Arkansas. Independence Station is a large Electrical Generating Unit that was included in the list of facilities to be designated pursuant to a March 2, 2015 Consent Decree.2 There is one other major emitter of SO2 in Independence County.3 The Future Fuel Corporation facility (Future Fuel) located approximately 12 km to the west-northwest of Independence Station.

    2 See Sierra Club et al. v. McCarthy, Civil Action No. 3:13-cv-3953-SI (N.D. Cal.), and 79 FR 31325 (June 2, 2014).

    3 Sources over 100 tons per year emissions of SO2 using EPA's 2014 National Emission Inventory.

    Independence County was designated unclassifiable on July 12, 2016.4 The unclassifiable designation was based on the information the state of Arkansas and the Sierra Club provided to the EPA. Specifically, the designation and associated boundaries were based on the EPA's evaluation of the State's air dispersion modeling analysis, as well as the additional modeling analysis submitted by Sierra Club for the area surrounding Independence Station. In summary, the EPA's evaluation of the state's modeling supported the need for refined emission estimates for the Future Fuel facility to accurately assess potential maximum impacts in Independence County. Both ADEQ's and Sierra Club's previous modeling provided to the EPA in 2015 and 2016 were premised on several factors that were not consistent with recommendations in the Modeling TAD and were unreliable for determining whether the area was or was not meeting the 2010 SO2 NAAQS. After careful evaluation of the State's recommendation, all timely comments and information received, the EPA concluded that it could not determine whether the area around the Independence Station was meeting or not meeting the 2010 SO2 primary NAAQS and designated that area unclassifiable in July 2016. The boundaries for this designation were the jurisdictional boundaries of Independence County, based upon the State's recommendation, its submitted analysis and our concurrence on the State's reasoning.

    4 2010 SO2 primary NAAQS Round 2 Designations for Arkansas were signed on June 30, 2016, and can be found at 81 FR 45039, July 12, 2016.

    Detailed rationale, analyses, and other information supporting our original designation for this area can be found in the final action's technical support document for Arkansas.5 This document, along with all other supporting materials for the original 2010 SO2 primary NAAQS designation for Independence County, can be found at www.regulations.gov in Docket ID EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0464. The technical support document for this proposed action is included in the docket for this action (Docket EPA-R06-OAR-2018-0624).6

    5 Final AR SO2 designation TSD can be found at www.regulations.gov; Docket EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0464-0410).

    6 See “Independence Redesignation TSD.pdf”.

    II. What are the criteria for redesignating an area from unclassifiable to attainment/unclassifiable?

    Section 107(d)(3)(A) provides that the Administrator may notify the Governor of any state that the designation of an area should be revised “on the basis of air quality data, planning and control considerations, or any other air quality-related considerations the Administrator deems appropriate.” The Act further provides in section 107(d)(3)(D) that even if the Administrator has not notified a state Governor that a designation should be revised, the Governor of any state may, on the Governor's own motion, submit a request to revise the designation of any area, and the Administrator must approve or deny the request.

    When approving or denying a request to redesignate an area, the EPA bases its decision on the air quality data for the area as well as the considerations provided under section 107(d)(3)(A).7 The EPA defines an attainment/unclassifiable area 8 as: An area for which available information does not indicate that the area violates the NAAQS or contributes to ambient air quality in a nearby area that does not meet the NAAQS or an area for which the EPA has determined the available information indicates the area meets the NAAQS and does not indicate the area contributes to ambient air quality in a nearby area that does not meet the NAAQS. We are proposing to find that Independence County would fall under the second definition.

    7 While CAA section 107(d)(3)(E) also lists specific requirements for redesignations, those requirements only apply to redesignations of nonattainment areas to attainment and, therefore, are not applicable in the context of a redesignation of an area from unclassifiable to attainment/unclassifiable.

    8 Historically, the EPA has designated most areas that do not meet the definition of nonattainment as “unclassifiable/attainment.” EPA has reversed the order of the label to be “attainment/unclassifiable” to better convey the definition of the designation category and so that the category is more easily distinguished from the separate unclassifiable category. See, e.g., 83 FR 1098, 1099 (January 9, 2018) and 83 FRN 25776, 25778 (June 4, 2018). EPA reserves the “attainment” category for when EPA redesignates a nonattainment area that has attained the relevant NAAQS and has an approved maintenance plan.

    III. What is EPA's rationale for proposing to redesignate the area?

    Independence County was designated unclassifiable by the EPA on July 12, 2016. As discussed previously, modeling results provided by Arkansas and Sierra Club in 2015 and 2016 were not refined enough to make a clear determination of the area's attainment status. Since that designation, the EPA has worked with ADEQ and the two facilities in refining the modeling approaches and inputs resulting in modeling that is acceptable for assessing whether the area is attaining or not attaining the 1-hour SO2 NAAQS. Specifically, ADEQ and the facilities have made refinements in the modeling including: Revising Future Fuel's emissions estimates to vary emissions based on coal usage, using more accurate stack parameters and utilizing a meteorological approach which employs the EPA-generated Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) meteorological modeling and the Mesoscale Model InterFace (MMIF) program to generate representative meteorological data for the Independence County area. The original modeling used 2012-2014 meteorological data from the Little Rock area which is over 70 miles from Future Fuel and Independence Station, so ADEQ wished to use the new 2013-2015 WRF based data to better represent the local meteorology in Independence County. EPA worked with ADEQ to review the meteorological modeling results within the region and at surrounding meteorological stations to assess whether the meteorological model was performing adequately. EPA also assessed whether the use of the WRF data with 12 km grid resolution was acceptable for simulating the meteorological data for Independence County. EPA determined model was acceptable to simulate the meteorological parameters in Independence County and EPA approved the use of the WRF/MMIF meteorological data for use in AERMOD 9 modeling of Independence County.10 This approval is included in the docket for this action (Docket EPA-R06-OAR-2018-0624). ADEQ submitted an updated analysis and letter signed by Governor Asa Hutchinson on April 20, 2018 requesting that the EPA redesignate Independence County, Arkansas as attainment/unclassifiable for the 1-hour SO2 primary NAAQS.

    9 American Meteorological Society (AMS) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regulatory Model (AERMOD). AERMOD is the preferred regulatory model listed in 40 CFR part 51 App. W for atmospheric dispersion of primary pollutants within 50 km in this terrain situation.

    10 Email from Mr. Erik Snyder of EPA Region 6 to Mr. David Clark of ADEQ on January 23, 2018 approving the use of surface and upper air data from WRF/MMIF for a representative location in Independence County, Arkansas.

    According to the EPA's guidance on redesignations, SO2 nonattainment areas using modeling to demonstrate attainment for a redesignation request would be expected to use maximum allowable emissions.11 However, these statements derive from the requirements of CAA section 107(d)(3)(E), which do not pertain to the redesignation of unclassifiable areas. For redesignations of unclassifiable areas, the necessary analysis is equivalent to what would be required in a designation in the first instance since we have not found the area to be attainment or nonattainment. In this first instance, the goal is to establish existing ambient air quality. As such, it is appropriate to use actual emissions for estimating existing air quality. The EPA's acceptance of modeling using actual emissions 12 in this instance should not be construed to define what would be needed for a demonstration of attainment and maintenance for purposes of a redesignation of a nonattainment area to attainment.

    11 Guidance for 1-Hour SO2 Nonattainment Area SIP Submissions, April 2014, at 67; Kent Berry Memorandum “Use of Actual Emissions in Maintenance Demonstrations for ozone and Carbon Monoxide (CO) Nonattainment Areas,” Nov. 30, 1993, at 3.

    12 Actual emissions were used for most sources with the exception of using allowables for a few minor sources at the Future Fuel facility.

    The EPA has reviewed the modeling provided by the state with their redesignation request and finds that it comports with the EPA's, current Modeling TAD 13 and the EPA's Guideline on Air Quality Models (40 CFR part 51 Appendix W) and is acceptable for assessing the attainment status of Independence County, Arkansas. The state's modeling indicates that the predicted maximum Design Value at any receptor in the modeling domain is 159.6 μg/m3, or 60.92 parts per billion (ppb).14 The EPA's review confirms the modeling results appropriately characterize the air quality in Independence County, Arkansas and that predicted ambient SO2 concentrations are below the 2010 SO2 primary NAAQS of 196.4 μg/m3, or 75 ppb.

    13 “Sulfur Dioxide (S02) National Ambient Air Quality Standards Designations Modeling Technical Assistance Document”. August 2016 draft https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-0706/documents/areadesignso2modelingtad.pdf. Note. the EPA released earlier drafts of this document in May and 2013 and February 2016.

    14 The SO2 NAAQS and the Design Value compared to the NAAQS is the 3-year average of the annual 99th percentile of 1-hour daily maximum concentrations.

    IV. Proposed Action

    The EPA is proposing to approve Arkansas' April 20, 2018, request to change the EPA's previous designation and redesignate Independence County from unclassifiable to attainment/unclassifiable for the 2010 SO2 primary NAAQS. The EPA has reviewed the modeling provided by the state with its redesignation request and finds that it comports with the EPA's, current Modeling TAD and the EPA's Guideline on Air Quality Models (40 CFR part 51 Appendix W) and is acceptable for assessing the attainment status of Independence County, Arkansas. If finalized, approval of the redesignation request would change the legal designation for the Area, found at 40 CFR part 81, from unclassifiable to attainment/unclassifiable for the 2010 SO2 primary NAAQS.

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the CAA, redesignation of an area to attainment/unclassifiable is an action that affects the status of a geographical area and does not impose any additional regulatory requirements on sources beyond those imposed by state law. A redesignation to attainment/unclassifiable does not in and of itself create any new requirements. Accordingly, this proposed action merely proposes to redesignate an area to attainment/unclassifiable and does not impose additional requirements. For that reason, this proposed action:

    • Is exempt from 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 it is exempt 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 not subject to 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 (Public Law 104-4);

    • is not subject because it does not have Federalism implications as specified in Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999);

    • is not subject to Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997) because it does not establish an environmental standard intended to mitigate health or safety risks;

    • 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 this action does not involve technical standards;

    • will not have disproportionate human health or environmental effects under Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994); and

    • does not have Tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000) because no tribal lands are located within the Area and the redesignation does not create new requirements. The EPA notes this proposed action will not impose substantial direct costs on Tribal governments or preempt Tribal law.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 81

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, National parks, Wilderness areas.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: November 16, 2018. Anne Idsal, Regional Administrator, Region 6.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25477 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 49 CFR Parts 555, 571, and 591 [Docket No. NHTSA-2018-0092] RIN 2127-AL99 Pilot Program for Collaborative Research on Motor Vehicles With High or Full Driving Automation; Extension of Comment Period AGENCY:

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation (DOT).

    ACTION:

    Advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM); extension of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    In response to a request from the public, NHTSA is announcing a two-week extension of the comment period on the ANPRM on a Pilot Program for Collaborative Research on Motor Vehicles with High or Full Driving Automation. The comment period for the ANPRM was originally scheduled to end on November 26, 2018. It will now end on December 10, 2018.

    DATES:

    The comment period for the ANPRM published on October 10, 2018 at 83 FR 50872 is extended. Written comments on the ANPRM must be received on or before December 10, 2018 in order to be considered timely.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments must be submitted by one of the following methods:

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

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

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

    Regardless of how you submit your comments, they must include the docket number identified in the heading of this notice.

    Note that all comments received, including any personal information provided, will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov. Please see the “Privacy Act” heading below.

    You may call the Docket Management Facility at 202-366-9324.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov or the street address listed above. We will continue to file relevant information in the docket as it becomes available.

    Privacy Act: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the public to better inform its decision-making process. DOT posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information the commenter provides, to http://www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at https://www.transportation.gov/privacy. Anyone can search the electronic form of all comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For research and pilot program issues: Dee Williams, Office of Vehicle Safety Research, 202-366-8537, [email protected], National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590-0001.

    For legal issues: Stephen Wood, Assistant Chief Counsel, Vehicle Rulemaking and Harmonization, Office of Chief Counsel, 202-366-2992, [email protected], at the same address.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On October 10, 2018, NHTSA published an ANPRM to obtain public comments on the factors and structure that are appropriate for the Agency to consider in designing a national pilot program that will enable the Agency to facilitate, monitor and learn from the testing and development of the emerging advanced vehicle safety technologies and to assure the safety of those activities. The ANPRM stated that the closing date for comments is November 26, 2018.

    On November 16, 2018, NHTSA received a request from the Uber Technologies, Inc. for a two-week extension of the comment period. The request can be found in the docket for the ANPRM listed above under ADDRESSES. NHTSA has considered this request and believes that a 14-day extension beyond the original due date is desirable to provide additional time for the public to comment on the complex and novel questions in the ANPRM. This is to notify the public that NHTSA is extending the comment period on the ANPRM, and allowing it to remain open until December 10, 2018.

    Issued in Washington, DC, pursuant to authority delegated in 49 CFR 1.81 and 1.95. Heidi Renate King, Deputy Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25532 Filed 11-19-18; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 4910-59-P
    83 226 Friday, November 23, 2018 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agency Information Collection Activities: Extension of Approved Collection; Comment Request; Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery November 19, 2018. AGENCY:

    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Department of Agriculture.

    ACTION:

    30-Day notice of submission of information collection approval from the Office of Management and Budget and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of a Federal Government-wide effort to streamline the process to seek feedback from the public on service delivery, the Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has submitted a Generic Information Collection Request (Generic ICR): “Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery” to OMB for approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA).

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted December 24, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments may be submitted to the Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503; [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request additional information, please contact Ruth Brown (202) 720-8958.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery.

    Abstract: The information collection activity will garner qualitative customer and stakeholder feedback in an efficient, timely manner, in accordance with the Administration's commitment to improving service delivery. By qualitative feedback we mean information that provides useful insights on perceptions and opinions, but are not statistical surveys that yield quantitative results that can be generalized to the population of study. This feedback will provide insights into customer or stakeholder perceptions, experiences and expectations, provide an early warning of issues with service, or focus attention on areas where communication, training or changes in operations might improve delivery of products or services. These collections will allow for ongoing, collaborative and actionable communications between the Agency and its customers and stakeholders. It will also allow feedback to contribute directly to the improvement of program management.

    Feedback collected under this generic clearance will provide useful information, but it will not yield data that can be generalized to the overall population. This type of generic clearance for qualitative information will not be used for quantitative information collections that are designed to yield reliably actionable results, such as monitoring trends over time or documenting program performance. Such data uses require more rigorous designs that address: The target population to which generalizations will be made, the sampling frame, the sample design (including stratification and clustering), the precision requirements or power calculations that justify the proposed sample size, the expected response rate, methods for assessing potential non-response bias, the protocols for data collection, and any testing procedures that were or will be undertaken prior fielding the study. Depending on the degree of influence the results are likely to have, such collections may still be eligible for submission for other generic mechanisms that are designed to yield quantitative results.

    The Agency received one comment in response to the 60-day notice published in the Federal Register of August 22, 2018 (83 FR 42459).

    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service—0579-0377

    Current Actions: Extension of Currently Approved Information Collection.

    Type of Review: Extension.

    Affected Public: Individuals and Households; Businesses and Organizations; State, Local or Tribal governments; and foreign federal governments.

    Average Expected Annual Number of Activities: 29.

    Respondents: 70,000.

    Annual Responses: 70,000.

    Frequency of Response: Once per request.

    Average Minutes per Response: 0.25.

    Burden Hours: 17,500.

    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 Office of Management and Budget control number.

    Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25493 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request November 19, 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 December 24, 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: Advance of Loan Funds and Budgetary Control and Related Burdens.

    OMB Control Number: 0572-0015.

    Summary of Collection: The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) is authorized by the Rural Electrification Act (RE Act) of 1936, as amended, “to make loans in several States and territories of the United States for rural electrification and for the purpose of furnishing and improving electric and telephone service in rural areas and to assist electric borrowers to implement demand side management, energy conservation programs, and on-grid and off-grid renewable energy systems.” Borrowers will provide the agency with information that supports the use of the funds as well as identify the type of projects for which they will use the funds.

    Need and use of the Information: RUS electric borrowers will submit RUS form 595 and 219. Form 595, Financial Requirement & Expenditure Statement, to request an advance of loan funds remaining for an existing approved loan and to report on the expenditure of previously advanced loan funds. Form 219, Inventory of Work Orders, serves as a connecting line and provides an audit trail that verifies the evidence supporting the propriety of expenditures for construction of retirement projects that supports the advance of funds. The information collected will ensure that loan funds are expended and advanced for RUS approved budget process and amounts. Failure to collect proper information could result in improper determinations of eligibility or improper use of funds.

    Description of Respondents: Not-for-profit institutions; Business or other for-profit.

    Number of Respondents: 574.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion.

    Total Burden Hours: 13,959.

    Rural Utility Service

    Title: 7 CFR 1773, Policy on Audits of RUS Borrowers.

    OMB Control Number: 0572-0095.

    Summary of Collection: Under the authority of the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 (ACT), as amended 7 U.S.C. 901 et seq., the Administrator is authorized and empowered to make loans under certain specified circumstances for rural electrification and the furnishing of electric energy to persons in rural areas and for the purpose of furnishing and improving telephone service in rural areas. RUS, in representing the Federal Government as Mortgagee, relies on the information provided by the borrowers in their financial statements to make lending decisions as to borrowers' credit worthiness and to assure that loan funds are approved, advanced and disbursed for proper Act purposes. Borrowers are required to furnish a full and complete report of their financial condition, operations and cash flows, in form and substance satisfactory to RUS.

    Need and Use of the Information: RUS will collect information to evaluate borrowers' financial performance, determine whether current loans are at financial risk, and determine the credit worthiness of future losses. If information is not collected, it would delay RUS' analysis of the borrowers' financial strength, thereby adversely impacting current lending decisions.

    Description of Respondents: Not-for-profit institutions; Business or other for-profit.

    Number of Respondents: 1,300.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion.

    Total Burden Hours: 14,439.

    Rural Utility Service.

    Title: Substantially Underserved Trust Areas (SUTA), 7 CFR 1700, Subpart D.

    OMB Control Number: 0572-0147.

    Summary of Collection: The 2008 Farm Bill (P.L. 110-246) authorized the Substantially Underserved Trust Area (SUTA) initiative. The SUTA initiative identifies the need and improves the availability of Rural Utility Service (RUS) programs to reach trust areas. The initiative gives the Secretary of Agriculture certain discretionary authorities relating to financial assistance terms and conditions that can enhance the financing possibilities in areas that are underserved by certain RUS electric, water and waste, and telecom and broadband programs.

    Need and use of the Information: RUS provides loan, loan guarantee and grant programs for rural electric, water and waste, and telecommunications and broadband infrastructure. Eligible applicants notify RUS in writing, at the time of application, that it seeks consideration under the requirements of 7 CFR 1700, subpart D. The data covered by this collection are those materials necessary to allow the agency to determine applicant and community eligibility, and an explanation and documentation of the high need for the benefits of the SUTA provisions. Without this information RUS would not be able to make a prudent loan decision.

    Description of Respondents: State, Local or Tribal Government.

    Number of Respondents: 1.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion.

    Total Burden Hours: 30.

    Rural Utility Service.

    Title: The Rural Alaska Village Grant (RAVG) Program; 7 CFR part 1784.

    OMB Control Number: 0572-0150.

    Summary of Collection: The Rural Alaska Village Grant (RAVG) Program is authorized under (Section 3061 of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (CONACT), (7 U.S.C. 1926(d)), as amended. Governing regulations are codified in 7 CFR part 1784. Under the RAVG program, the Secretary may make grants to the State of Alaska for the benefit of rural or Native Villages in Alaska to provide for the development and construction of water and wastewater systems to improve the health and sanitation conditions in those villages. To be eligible to receive a grant under the RAVG program, the project must provide 25 percent in matching funds from the State of Alaska. The matching funds must come from non-Federal sources.

    Need and use of the Information: The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) will collect information using several forms. RUS state and field offices collect the information from applicants, grantees, and consultants. The collected information is used to determine applicant eligibility and project feasibility. RUS also uses the information to ensure that grantees operate on a sound basis and use the grants funds for authorized purposes.

    Description of Respondents: Not-for-profit institutions; State, Local or Tribal Government.

    Number of Respondents: 25.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion.

    Total Burden Hours: 469.

    Kimble Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25499 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request November 19, 2018.

    The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments are requested regarding (1) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments regarding this information collection received by December 24, 2018 will be considered. Written comments should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), New Executive Office Building, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20502. Commenters are encouraged to submit their comments to OMB via email to: [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8958.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

    Title: Contract Pilot and Aircraft Acceptance.

    OMB Control Number: 0579-0298.

    Summary of Collection: The Plant Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 7701 et seq.) authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture, either independently or in cooperation with States, to carry out operations or measures to detect, eradicate, suppress, control, prevent, or retard the spread of plant pests and noxious weeds that are new to or not widely distributed within the United States. This authority has been delegated to the Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). APHIS carries out this program primarily by treating infested lands by aerial spraying of pesticides from aircraft.

    Need and Use of the Information: Contract Pilot and Aircraft Acceptance Form (PPQ-816) and SIT Pilot and Aircraft Cheek-In Sheet (PPQ Form 818) are used by the Plant Protection and Quarantine personnel who are involved with contracts for aerial application services for emergency pest outbreaks. The forms are used to document that the pilot and aircraft meet contract specifications. If APHIS did not collect this information or collected it less frequently, APHIS would not be able to verify if APHIS contracts for aerial application services met specifications.

    Description of Respondents: Businesses.

    Number of Respondents: 15.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion.

    Total Burden Hours: 8.

    Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25476 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS-2018-0072] Notice of Request for an Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Nomination Request Form; Animal Disease Training AGENCY:

    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Extension of approval of an information collection; comment request.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's intention to request an extension of approval of an information collection associated with training related to animal diseases.

    DATES:

    We will consider all comments that we receive on or before January 22, 2019.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2018-0072.

    Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2018-0072, 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-2018-0072 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 training related to animal diseases, contact Ms. Alicia D. Love, Program Specialist, Professional Development Services Branch, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road, Unit 27, Riverdale, MD 20737; (301) 851-3425. For more detailed information on the information collection, contact Ms. Kimberly Hardy, APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 851-2483.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Nomination Request Form; Animal Disease Training.

    OMB Control Number: 0579-0353.

    Type of Request: 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 protect the health of U.S. livestock and poultry populations by preventing the introduction and interstate spread of serious diseases and pests of livestock and by eradicating such diseases from the United States when feasible. In connection with this mission, APHIS' Veterinary Services (VS) program provides vital animal disease training to State, Tribal, international, university, and industry personnel.

    Individuals who wish to attend animal disease-related training must submit a Nomination Request Form (VS Form 1-5) to VS to help the program coordinate courses and select participants. VS develops rosters with course participants' names and contact information to notify them of future training courses and to encourage contact among participants throughout their careers.

    We are asking the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to approve our use of these information collection activities 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 0.33 hours per response.

    Respondents: State, Tribal, international, university, and industry personnel.

    Estimated Annual Number of Respondents: 350.

    Estimated Annual Number of Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Estimated Annual Number of Responses: 350.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 116 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 15th day of November 2018. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25462 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE National Agricultural Statistics Service Notice of Intent To Request To Conduct a New Information Collection AGENCY:

    National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 this notice announces the intention of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) to seek approval to conduct a new information collection to gather economic data from a sample of homeowners, golf courses, sod producers, turfgrass service providers, and commercial businesses with turfgrass in New Jersey.

    DATES:

    Comments on this notice must be received by January 22, 2019 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number 0535-NEW, by any of the following methods:

    Email: [email protected] Include docket number above in the subject line of the message.

    E-fax: (855) 838-6382.

    Mail: Mail any paper, disk, or CD-ROM submissions to: David Hancock, NASS Clearance Officer, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Room 5336 South Building, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250-2024.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Hand deliver to: David Hancock, NASS Clearance Officer, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Room 5336 South Building, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250-2024.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kevin L. Barnes, Associate Administrator, National Agricultural Statistics Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, (202) 720-4333. Copies of this information collection and related instructions can be obtained without charge from David Hancock, NASS—OMB Clearance Officer, at (202) 690-2388 or at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Turfgrass Economic Survey.

    OMB Control Number: 0535-NEW.

    Type of Request: Intent to seek approval to conduct a new information collection for a period of three years.

    Abstract: The primary objective of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is to collect, prepare and issue State and national estimates of crop and livestock production, prices, and disposition; as well as economic statistics, environmental statistics related to agriculture and also to conduct the Census of Agriculture.

    The Turfgrass Economic Survey program will collect economic information from a sample of homeowners, golf courses, sod producers, turfgrass service providers, and commercial businesses with turfgrass in New Jersey. The results of the data collection will track the turfgrass industry's contribution to the New Jersey economy. All questionnaires included in this information collection will be voluntary. This project is conducted as a cooperative effort with Rutgers University. Funding for this survey is being provided by Rutgers University.

    Authority: These data will be collected under authority of 7 U.S.C. 2204(a). Individually identifiable data collected under this authority are governed by Section 1770 of the Food Security Act of 1985 as amended, 7 U.S.C. 2276, which requires USDA to afford strict confidentiality to non-aggregated data provided by respondents. This Notice is submitted in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-113, 44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.) and Office of Management and Budget regulations at 5 CFR part 1320.

    NASS also complies with OMB Implementation Guidance, “Implementation Guidance for Title V of the E-Government Act, Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act of 2002 (CIPSEA),” Federal Register, Vol. 72, No. 115, June 15, 2007, p. 33362.

    Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this information collection is based on similar surveys with expected response time of 45 minutes. The estimated sample size will be approximately 1,400. The frequency of data collection for the different surveys is annual. Estimated number of responses per respondent is 1. Publicity materials and instruction sheets will account for approximately 5 minutes of additional burden per respondent. Respondents who refuse to complete a survey will be allotted 2 minutes of burden per attempt to collect the data.

    Respondents: Homeowners, golf courses, sod producers, turfgrass service providers, and commercial businesses with turfgrass in New Jersey.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 1,400.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 1,200 hours.

    Comments: Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, technological, or other forms of information technology collection methods.

    All responses to this notice will become a matter of public record and be summarized in the request for OMB approval.

    Signed at Washington, DC, November 08, 2018 Kevin L. Barnes, Associate Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25496 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-20-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-75-2018] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 87—Lake Charles, Louisiana, Notification of Proposed Production Activity, Driftwood LNG, LLC (Liquified Natural Gas Processing), Sulphur, Louisiana

    The Lake Charles Harbor and Terminal District, grantee of FTZ 87, submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the FTZ Board on behalf of Driftwood LNG, LLC (Driftwood LNG), located in Sulphur, Louisiana. The notification conforming to the requirements of the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR 400.22) was received on November 16, 2018.

    The Driftwood LNG facility is located within Subzone 87G. The facility (currently proposed for construction) will be used for liquified natural gas processing. Pursuant to 15 CFR 400.14(b), FTZ activity would be limited to the specific foreign-status material and specific finished products described in the submitted notification and subsequently authorized by the FTZ Board.

    Production under FTZ procedures could exempt Driftwood LNG from customs duty payments on the foreign-status gaseous natural gas (duty-free) used in export production. On its domestic sales, for the foreign-status gaseous natural gas, Driftwood LNG would be able to choose the duty rates during customs entry procedures that apply to: Liquified natural gas and stabilized condensate by-product (duty rates are duty-free and 10 cents/barrel, respectively). Driftwood LNG would be able to avoid duty on the foreign-status material which becomes scrap/waste. Customs duties also could possibly be deferred or reduced on foreign-status production equipment.

    The request indicates that gaseous natural gas is subject to special duties under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 (Section 301), depending on the country of origin. The applicable Section 301 decisions require subject merchandise to be admitted to FTZs in privileged foreign status (19 CFR 146.41).

    Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is January 2, 2019.

    A copy of the notification will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Room 21013, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230-0002, and in the “Reading Room” section of the Board's website, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz.

    For further information, contact Diane Finver at [email protected] or (202) 482-1367.

    Dated: November 16, 2018. Elizabeth Whiteman, Acting Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25518 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-74-2018] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 18—San Jose, California; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; Bloom Energy Corporation (Commercial Fuel Cells and Related Subassemblies), Sunnyvale and Mountain View, California

    The City of San Jose, California, grantee of FTZ 18, submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the FTZ Board on behalf of Bloom Energy Corporation (Bloom), located at sites in Sunnyvale and Mountain View, California. The notification conforming to the requirements of the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR 400.22) was received on November 15, 2018.

    The Bloom facility is located within Subzone 18I. The facility is used for the production of commercial fuel cells and related subassemblies. Pursuant to 15 CFR 400.14(b), FTZ activity would be limited to the specific foreign-status materials and components and specific finished products described in the submitted notification (as described below) and subsequently authorized by the FTZ Board.

    Production under FTZ procedures could exempt Bloom from customs duty payments on the foreign-status components used in export production. On its domestic sales, for the foreign-status materials/components noted below, Bloom would be able to choose the duty rates during customs entry procedures that apply to: Piping manifolds; water distribution modules; fuel processing units; fuel cell power modules (DC generators); nickel iron alloy fuel cell power module enclosures (housings); power inverters; and, energy storage and distribution modules (duty rates range from duty-free to 3.8%). Bloom would be able to avoid duty on foreign-status components which become scrap/waste. Customs duties also could possibly be deferred or reduced on foreign-status production equipment.

    The components and materials sourced from abroad include: Glass powder; ceramic substrates; plastic labels; plastic containers with sleeves; plastic enclosure bags; plastic cable ties; rubber grommets; adhesives; cardboard boxes; textile paper filters; zirconia alumina shaping stones; ceramic heat plating; glass fiber insulation jackets; nickel alloy wire probes; alloy steel adapters; stainless steel tubing; stainless steel coated tubing; stainless steel spacers; stainless steel pipes; stainless steel flanges; stainless steel pipe fixtures; stainless steel clamps; stainless steel screws; stainless steel washers; stainless steel cable; stainless steel spacers; nickel plates; nickel mesh; chromium alloy powder; iron and steel flexible tubing with fittings; cooling fans; prototype compressors; axial fan motors; fan cable connectors; fan mount rubber gaskets; aluminum plate-fin heat exchangers; heat exchange units; water filtering machinery; stainless steel weldments; filtering equipment; gas filtering canisters; gas filtering canister brackets; hoists; aluminum screens with frames; stainless steel valves; solenoid valves; inlet/outlet manifolds; housing units for fuel cells; iron/nickel alloy and ceramic fuel cell dielectrics; dielectric transformers for inverters; transformers 1kVA power handling capacity; power inverters; fuel cell control units; rectifier and static converter power cards; rectifier and static converter circuit boards; rectifier and static converter mounting brackets; mixed alloy rectifier and static converter casings; static converters; holding magnets; electric capacitors; electric capacitor caps; programmable controllers; printed circuit boards; electrical contactors; electrical terminators; electrical fuses; printed circuit boards; contactors; electrical controller backplanes and handles; multimodal switchboard antennas; multimodal switchboard mounting switches; internal frames for multimodal switchboards; electrical controllers; diodes; cables for telemetry equipment; electrical conductors fitted with connectors; electrical conductors for telecommunication; copper electrical conductors; cables with fitted connectors; plastic insulating fittings; thermocouples; probe wires; electrical thermocouple assemblies; thermocouple assembly terminals; gas flow meters; transducers; electricity meters; programmable load boxes; fuel cell output (harmonics, temperature and luminosity) measuring devices; mass flow controllers; power conditioning systems regulating power control in fuel cell; mixed alloy interconnecting plates; and, chromium iron interconnect plates (duty rates range from duty-free to 8.5%). The request indicates that textile paper filters will be admitted to the zone in privileged foreign status (19 CFR 146.41), thereby precluding inverted tariff benefits on such items. The request also indicates that certain materials/components are subject to special duties under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 (Section 232) and Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 (Section 301), depending on the country of origin. The applicable Section 232 and Section 301 decisions require subject merchandise to be admitted to FTZs in privileged foreign status (19 CFR 146.41).

    Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is January 2, 2019.

    A copy of the notification will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Room 21013, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230-0002, and in the “Reading Room” section of the Board's website, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz.

    For further information, contact Diane Finver at [email protected] or (202) 482-1367.

    Dated: November 16, 2018. Elizabeth Whiteman, Acting Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25517 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-580-870] Notice of Commencement of a Compliance Proceeding Pursuant to Section 129 of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    DATES:

    Applicable November 23, 2018.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Commerce) is commencing a proceeding to gather information, analyze record evidence, and consider the determinations which would be necessary to bring its measures into conformity with the recommendations and rulings of the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in United States—Antidumping Measures on Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods from Korea (WTO/DS488). This dispute concerns the final determination issued in the antidumping duty (AD) investigation of certain oil country tubular goods (OCTG) from the Republic of Korea (Korea).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Erin Kearney, AD/CVD Operations Office VI, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-0167.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On February 9, 2018, the United States informed the DSB that the United States intends to implement the DSB's recommendations and rulings in WTO/DS488, pursuant to section 129 of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA), 19 U.S.C. 3538. The AD investigation at issue is:

    Case No. Full title FR cite/publication date A-580-870 Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods from the Republic of Korea: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Negative Final Determination of Critical Circumstances 79 FR 41983 (July 18, 2014). Commencement of Section 129 Proceeding

    In accordance with section 129(b)(1) of the URAA, Commerce consulted with the Office of the United States Trade Representative, and on November 7, 2018, pursuant to those consultations, opened a segment in the AD investigation at issue to commence administrative action to comply with the DSB's recommendations and rulings. The segment will consist of a separate administrative record with its own administrative protective order. In accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(b), interested parties may request access to business proprietary information in this segment of the proceeding in which they are participating. For this Section 129 segment, we may request additional information and we may conduct verification of such information. Consistent with section 129(d) of the URAA, Commerce intends to make a preliminary determination in this Section 129 segment, intends to provide interested parties with an opportunity to provide written comments on the preliminary determination, and may hold a hearing.

    Filing Requirements & Letter of Appearance

    In accordance with Commerce's regulations, all submissions to Commerce must be filed electronically using Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by the time and date it is due. Documents exempted from the electronic submission requirements must be filed manually (i.e., in paper form) with Enforcement and Compliance's APO/Dockets Unit, Room 18022, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230, and stamped with the date and time of receipt by the applicable deadlines.1

    1See, generally, 19 CFR 351.303 (for general filing requirements).

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.103(d)(l), to be included on the public service list for the Section 129 determination for the aforementioned proceeding, all interested parties, including parties that were part of the public service list in the underlying investigation and any parties otherwise notified of Commerce's commencement of this Section 129 proceeding, must file a letter of appearance. The letter of appearance must be filed separately from any other document (with the exception of an application for administrative protective order (APO) access; parties applying for and granted APO access would automatically be on the public service list). Parties wishing to enter an appearance or submit information with regard to this proceeding must upload their filing(s) to each relevant case number. Additionally, for each submission made in ACCESS, parties must select “S 129-SEC 129” as the segment and enter “DS488” in the segment specific information field.

    Submission of Factual Information

    Unless notified otherwise, the administrative record is closed for submitting new factual information. At this time, Commerce does not intend to seek new factual information in addition to information already on the record of the investigation. If Commerce determines that additional factual information is necessary, it will notify the parties.

    Factual information is defined in 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) as: (i) Evidence submitted in response to questionnaires; (ii) evidence submitted in support of allegations; (iii) publicly available information to value factors under 19 CFR 351.408(c) or to measure the adequacy of remuneration under 19 CFR 351.511(a)(2); (iv) evidence placed on the record by Commerce; and (v) evidence other than factual information described in (i)-(iv). The regulation requires any party, when submitting factual information, to specify under which subsection of 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) the information is being submitted and, if the information is submitted to rebut, clarify, or correct factual information already on the record, to provide an explanation identifying the information already on the record that the factual information seeks to rebut, clarify, or correct. Time limits for the submission of factual information are addressed in 19 CFR 351.301, which provides specific time limits based on the type of factual information being submitted. Parties should review the regulations prior to submitting factual information in this segment.

    Extension of Time Limits Regulation

    Parties may request an extension of time limits before the expiration of a time limit established under Part 351, or as otherwise specified by the Secretary. In general, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after the expiration of the time limit established under Part 351 expires. For submissions that are due from multiple parties simultaneously, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time on the due date. Under certain circumstances, we may elect to specify a different time limit by which extension requests will be considered untimely for submissions which are due from multiple parties simultaneously. In such a case, we will inform parties in the letter or memorandum setting forth the deadline (including a specified time) by which extension requests must be filed to be considered timely. An extension request must be made in a separate, stand-alone submission; under limited circumstances we will grant untimely-filed requests for the extension of time limits. Review Extension of Time Limits; Final Rule, 78 FR 57790 (September 20, 2013), available at http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-20/html/2013-22853.htm prior to submitting factual information in this segment.

    Certification Requirements

    Any party submitting factual information in an AD or countervailing duty (CVD) proceeding must certify to the accuracy and completeness of that information.2 Parties are hereby reminded that revised certification requirements are in effect for company/government officials, as well as their representatives. Investigations initiated on the basis of petitions filed on or after August 16, 2013, and other segments of any AD or CVD proceedings initiated on or after August 16, 2013, should use the formats for the revised certifications provided at the end of the Final Rule.3 Commerce intends to reject factual submissions if the submitting party does not comply with the applicable revised certification requirements.

    2See section 782(b) of the Act.

    3See Certification of Factual Information to Import Administration During Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 42678 (July 17, 2013) (Final Rule); see also frequently asked questions regarding the Final Rule, available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/tlei/notices/factual_info_final_rule_FAQ_07172013.pdf.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305. On January 22, 2008, Commerce published Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Documents Submission Procedures; APO Procedures, 73 FR 3634 (January 22, 2008). Parties wishing to participate in this proceeding should ensure that they meet the requirements of these procedures (e.g., the filing of letters of appearance as discussed at 19 CFR 351.103(d)).

    This notice is published in accordance with section 129(b)(1) of the URAA.

    Dated: November 15, 2018. Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25384 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-533-857] Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods From India: Notice of Correction to the Amended Final Determination and Amendment of the Antidumping Duty Order AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Commerce) is correcting the amended final antidumping duty determination and order for certain oil country tubular goods (OCTG) from India with respect to the “all-others” companies.

    DATES:

    March 26, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Andrew Huston, AD/CVD Operations, Office VII, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-4261.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On July 18, 2014, Commerce published its final determination of sales at LTFV and final negative determination of critical circumstances in this proceeding.1 As part of the Final Determination, Commerce calculated an all-others rate of 5.79 percent.2 A summary of that determination and resulting litigation can be found in the Amended Final Determination, which was published in the Federal Register on April 12, 2017.3 Subsequently, Commerce issued an Amended Order, which was published in the Federal Register on June 20, 2017.4 Commerce then published a correction to the Amended Final Determination and to the Amended Order on July 28, 2017.5 Commerce is now issuing a second correction to the Amended Final Determination and to the Amended Order as they concern the rate for all other producers and exporters. The rates for the two mandatory respondents remain unchanged.

    1See Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Final Negative Determination of Critical Circumstances: Certain Oil Country Tubular Good from India, 79 FR 41981 (July 18, 2014) (Final Determination), and accompanying issues and decision memorandum (IDM).

    2Id., 79 FR at 41982.

    3See Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods from India: Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony with Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Final Negative Determination of Critical Circumstances and Notice of Amended Final Determination, 82 FR 17631 (April 12, 2017) (Amended Final Determination).

    4See Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods from India: Amendment of Antidumping Duty Order, 82 FR 28045 (June 20, 2017) (Amended Order).

    5See Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods from India: Notice of Correction to Amended Final Determination and Amendment of Antidumping Duty Order, 82 FR 35182 (July 28, 2017) (Correction to Amended Final Determination and Amendment of the Order).

    In June 2018, U.S. Steel sought to enforce the final judgment of the United States Court of International Trade (CIT) that is referenced in the Amended Final Determination. 6 Specifically, U.S. Steel requested that the Court require Commerce to recalculate the all-others rate consistent with the revised weighted-average dumping margins reflected in the Amended Final Determination and Amended Order. 7 On October 17, 2018, the CIT granted, in part, U.S. Steel's motion for enforcement of judgment in U.S. Steel II, and ordered Commerce to issue a revised notice, recalculating the all-others rate.8

    6See Amended Final Determination, 82 FR at 17631 (citing United States Steel Corp. v. United States, 219 F. Supp. 3d 1300 (CIT 2017) (U.S. Steel II)).

    7See Amended Order; see also Correction to Amended Final Determination and Amendment of the Order.

    8See United States Steel Corp. v. United States, Consol. Ct. No. 14-00263, Slip Op. 18-139 (CIT October 17, 2018) (U.S. Steel Enforcement Order).

    On October 17, 2018, the CIT granted, in part, plaintiff U.S. Steel's motion to enforce the Court's March 16, 2017, order sustaining the remand redetermination by Commerce pertaining to the less-than-fair-value (LTFV) investigation of OCTG from India. Accordingly, Commerce is issuing this notice to correct its earlier amended final determination and amended antidumping duty order with respect to the all-others rate.

    Correction to the Amended Final Determination

    We are correcting the Amended Final Determination to reflect the recalculated all-others rate. The relevant text of the Amended Final Determination should have appeared as follows:

    Amended Final Determination

    Because there is now a final court decision, Commerce is amending the Final Determination with respect to GVN single entity (comprised of GVN Fuels Limited, Maharashtra Seamless Limited and Jindal Pipes Limited),9 Jindal SAW, Limited, and the “all-others” companies. The revised weighted-average dumping margins for the period July 1, 2012, through June 30, 2013, are as follows:

    9See Final Determination, 79 FR at 41982, and accompanying IDM at Comment 9.

    Exporter or producer Estimated weighted-average
  • dumping margins
  • (percent)
  • Cash deposit rate
  • (percent) 10
  • GVN Fuels Limited, Maharashtra Seamless Limited and Jindal Pipes
  • Limited (collectively, GVN or GVN single entity)
  • 1.07 (de minimis) 0.00
    Jindal SAW, Limited 11.24 0.00 All-Others 11.24 11 0.60 12
    Amended Cash Deposit Rates

    Neither the GVN single entity nor Jindal SAW, Limited have a superseding cash deposit rate (e.g., from a subsequent administrative review) and, therefore, Commerce will issue revised cash deposit instructions to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The revised cash deposit rates are indicated above, and effective March 26, 2017.

    10 Cash deposit rates are lower than estimated weighted-average dumping margins due to offsets for export subsidies.

    11 The all-others weighted-average dumping margin is based on the rate calculated for Jindal SAW, the only above de minimis rate calculated in this proceeding.

    12See Memorandum, “Calculation of Export Subsidy Rate for All Others,” dated concurrently with this notice.

    13 Cash deposit rates are lower than estimated weighted-average dumping margins due to offsets for export subsidies.

    The all-others cash deposit rate, effective March 26, 2017, will be 0.60 percent, the weighted average all-others dumping margin adjusted by the rate of export subsidies determined for all-other producers and exporters in the companion CVD investigation.

    Correction to the Amended Order

    We are correcting the Amended Order to reflect the recalculated all-others rate. The relevant text of the Amended Order should have appeared as follows:

    Estimated Weighted-Average Dumping Margins

    The estimated weighted-average dumping margins are as follows:

    Exporter or producer Estimated weighted-average
  • dumping margins
  • (percent)
  • Cash deposit rate
  • (percent) 13
  • Jindal SAW, Limited 11.24 0.00 All-Others 11.24 0.60

    This correction to the Amended Final Determination and to the Amended Order is issued and published in accordance with sections 735(d), 736(a), and 777(i) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended.

    Dated: November 19, 2018. Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25516 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XG533 Determination of Overfishing or an Overfished Condition AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This action serves as a notice that NMFS, on behalf of the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary), has found that the following stocks are subject to overfishing or overfished. Gulf of Mexico gray snapper is now subject to overfishing. Thorny skate is still overfished. NMFS, on behalf of the Secretary, notifies the appropriate regional fishery management council (Council) whenever it determines that overfishing is occurring, a stock is in an overfished condition or a stock is approaching an overfished condition.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Regina Spallone, (301) 427-8568.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Pursuant to section 304(e)(2) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), 16 U.S.C. 1854(e)(2), NMFS, on behalf of the Secretary, must notify Councils, and publish in the Federal Register, whenever it determines that a stock or stock complex is subject to overfishing, overfished, or approaching an overfished condition.

    NMFS has determined that the Gulf of Mexico stock of gray snapper is now subject to overfishing. The most recent benchmark assessment for this stock was finalized in 2018, using data through 2015. The assessment supports a determination that the stock is subject to overfishing because the current estimate of fishing mortality (F2013-2015), 0.138, is greater than the maximum fishing mortality threshold (MFMT), 0.115. NMFS has informed the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Gulf Council) that it must prepare and implement a plan amendment or proposed regulations to end overfishing immediately and prevent overfishing from occurring in the fishery. The Gulf Council has already started working on a fishery management plan amendment to address the results of this stock assessment.

    NMFS has determined that thorny skate is still overfished. A stock status update was completed for this stock in 2018, using data through 2017. The update supports a determination that the stock remains overfished because the three-year average biomass index (B2015-2017), 0.285kg/tow, is below the biomass threshold, 2.06 kg/tow. Thorny skate is currently in year 15 of a 25-year rebuilding plan that was implemented in 2003. NMFS continues to work with the New England Fishery Management Council to rebuild this stock.

    Dated: November 19, 2018. Karen H. Abrams, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25558 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

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

    Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

    Title: Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation, Planning, Protection, or Restoration.

    OMB Control Number: 0648-0459.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Request: Regular (extension of a currently approved information collection).

    Number of Respondents: 51.

    Average Hours per Response:: CELCP Plans, 120 hours to develop, 35 hours to revise or update; project application and checklist, 20 hours; semi-annual and annual reporting, 5 hours each.

    Burden Hours: 1,410.

    Needs and Uses: This request is for extension of a currently approved information collection.

    NOAA has, or is given, authority under the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA), annual appropriations or other authorities, to issue funds to coastal states, localities or other recipients for planning, conservation, acquisition, protection, restoration, or construction projects. The required information enables NOAA to implement the CELCP, under its current or future authorization, and facilitate the review of similar projects under different, but related, authorities.

    This includes projects funded through:

    • The Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program (CZMA Section 307A) to protect important coastal and estuarine areas that have significant conservation, recreation, ecological, historical, or aesthetic values, or that are threatened by conversion, and procedures for eligible applicants who choose to participate in the program to use when developing state conservation plans, proposing or soliciting projects under this program, applying for funds, and carrying out projects under this program in a manner that is consistent with the purposes of the program pursuant to program guidelines which can be found on NOAA's website at: www.coast.noaa.gov/czm/landconservation/ or may be obtained upon request via the contact information listed above;

    • the National Estuarine Research Reserve System (CZMA Section 315) Land Acquisition and Construction program;

    • the Coastal Zone Management Program's low-cost acquisition and construction program (CZMA Section 306A); or the

    • Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act.

    Affected Public: State, local or tribal government; not-for-profit institutions.

    Frequency: One time and semi-annually.

    Respondent's Obligation: Required to obtain or retain benefits.

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

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

    Dated: November 19, 2018. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25488 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-08-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XG600 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Surfclam and Ocean Quahog Fisheries; Notice That Vendor Will Provide 2019 Cage Tags AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of vendor to provide fishing year 2019 cage tags.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS informs surfclam and ocean quahog individual transferable quota (ITQ) allocation holders that they will be required to purchase their fishing year 2019 (January 1, 2019—December 31, 2019) cage tags from the National Band and Tag Company. The intent of this notice is to comply with regulations for the Atlantic surfclam and ocean quahog fisheries and to promote efficient distribution of cage tags.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Aimee Ahles, Fishery Management Specialist, (978) 281-9373; fax (978) 281-9161.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Federal Atlantic surfclam and ocean quahog fishery regulations at 50 CFR 648.77(b) authorize the Regional Administrator of the Greater Atlantic Region, NMFS, to specify in the Federal Register a vendor from whom cage tags, required under the Atlantic Surfclam and Ocean Quahog Fishery Management Plan (FMP), shall be purchased. Notice is hereby given that National Band and Tag Company of Newport, Kentucky, is the authorized vendor of cage tags required for the fishing year 2019 Federal surfclam and ocean quahog fisheries. Detailed instructions for purchasing these cage tags will be provided in a letter to ITQ allocation holders in these fisheries from NMFS within the next several weeks.

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: November 19, 2018. Karen H. Abrams, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25504 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XG602 Nominations to the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; request for nominations.

    SUMMARY:

    Nominations are being sought for appointment by the Secretary of Commerce to fill vacancies on the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee (MAFAC or Committee). MAFAC is the only Federal advisory committee with the responsibility to advise the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) on all matters concerning living marine resources that are the responsibility of the Department of Commerce. The Committee makes recommendations to the Secretary to assist in the development and implementation of Departmental regulations, policies, and programs critical to the mission and goals of NMFS. Nominations are encouraged from all interested parties involved with or representing interests affected by NMFS actions in managing living marine resources. Nominees should possess demonstrable expertise in a field related to the management of living marine resources and be able to fulfill the time commitments required for two annual meetings and year round subcommittee work. Individuals serve for a term of three years for no more than two consecutive terms if re-appointed. NMFS is seeking qualified nominees to fill current vacancies.

    DATES:

    Nominations must be postmarked or have an email date stamp on or before December 24, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Nominations should be sent to Heidi Lovett, MAFAC Assistant Director, NMFS Office of Policy, 14th Floor, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910 or email: [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Heidi Lovett, MAFAC Assistant Director; (301) 427-8034; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The MAFAC was approved by the Secretary on December 28, 1970, and subsequently chartered under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. App. 2, on February 17, 1971. The Committee meets twice a year with supplementary subcommittee meetings as determined necessary by the Committee Chair and Subcommittee Chairs. No less than 15 and no more than 21 individuals may serve on the Committee. Membership is comprised of highly qualified, diverse individuals representing commercial, recreational, subsistence, and aquaculture fisheries interests; seafood industry; environmental organizations; academic institutions; tribal and consumer groups; and other living marine resource interest groups from a balance of U.S. geographical regions, including the Western Pacific and Caribbean.

    A MAFAC member cannot be a Federal employee, member of a Regional Fishery Management Council, registered Federal lobbyist, state employee, or agent of a foreign principal. Selected candidates must pass a security check and submit a financial disclosure form. Membership is voluntary, and except for reimbursable travel and related expenses, service is without pay.

    Each nomination submission should include the nominee's name, a cover letter describing the nominee's qualifications and interest in serving on the Committee, curriculum vitae or resume of the nominee, and no more than three supporting letters describing the nominee's qualifications and interest in serving on the Committee. Self-nominations are acceptable. The following contact information should accompany each nominee's submission: Name, address, telephone number, fax number, and email address (if available).

    Nominations should be sent to Heidi Lovett (see ADDRESSES) and must be received by December 24, 2018. The full text of the Committee Charter and its current membership can be viewed at the NMFS' web page at www.fisheries.noaa.gov/topic/partners#marine-fisheries-advisory-committee.

    Dated: November 19, 2018. Jennifer Lukens, Director for the Office of Policy, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25521 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE United States Patent and Trademark Office [Docket No.: PTO-P-2018-0065] Grant of Interim Extension of the Term of U.S. Patent No. 8,311,629; OPTIMIZER® Smart Implantable Pulse Generator AGENCY:

    United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of interim patent term extension.

    SUMMARY:

    The United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued an order granting interim extension for a one-year interim extension of the term of U.S. Patent No. 8,311,629.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mary C. Till by telephone at (571) 272-7755; by mail marked to her attention and addressed to the Commissioner for Patents, Mail Stop Hatch-Waxman PTE, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450; by fax marked to her attention at (571) 273-7755; or by email to [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Section 156 of Title 35, United States Code, generally provides that the term of a patent may be extended for a period of up to five years if the patent claims a product, or a method of making or using a product, that has been subject to certain defined regulatory review, and that the patent may be extended for interim periods of up to one year if the regulatory review is anticipated to extend beyond the expiration date of the patent.

    On October 26, 2018, Impulse Dynamic N.V., the patent owner of record, timely filed an application under 35 U.S.C. 156(d)(5) for an interim extension of the term of U.S. Patent No. 8,311,629. The patent claims the medical device, the OPTIMIZER Smart Implantable Pulse Generator. The application for patent term extension indicates that a Premarket Approval Application (PMA) P180036 was submitted to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on September 5, 2018.

    Review of the patent term extension application indicates that, except for permission to market or use the product commercially, the subject patent would be eligible for an extension of the patent term under 35 U.S.C. 156, and that the patent should be extended for one year as required by 35 U.S.C. 156(d)(5)(B). Because the regulatory review period will continue beyond the original expiration date of the patent, November 16, 2018, interim extension of the patent term under 35 U.S.C. 156(d)(5) is appropriate.

    An interim extension under 35 U.S.C. 156(d)(5) of the term of U.S. Patent No. 8,311,629 is granted for a period of one year from the original expiration date of the patent.

    Dated: November 15, 2018. Robert Bahr, Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy, United States Patent and Trademark Office.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25539 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-16-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Patent and Trademark Office [Docket No.: PTO-P-2018-0064] Grant of Interim Extension of the Term of U.S. Patent No. 8,260,416; OPTIMIZER® Smart Implantable Pulse Generator AGENCY:

    United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of interim patent term extension.

    SUMMARY:

    The United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued an order granting interim extension for a one-year interim extension of the term of U.S. Patent No. 8,260,416.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mary C. Till by telephone at (571) 272-7755; by mail marked to her attention and addressed to the Commissioner for Patents, Mail Stop Hatch-Waxman PTE, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450; by fax marked to her attention at (571) 273-7755; or by email to [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Section 156 of Title 35, United States Code, generally provides that the term of a patent may be extended for a period of up to five years if the patent claims a product, or a method of making or using a product, that has been subject to certain defined regulatory review, and that the patent may be extended for interim periods of up to one year if the regulatory review is anticipated to extend beyond the expiration date of the patent.

    On October 26, 2018, Impulse Dynamic N.V., the patent owner of record, timely filed an application under 35 U.S.C. 156(d)(5) for an interim extension of the term of U.S. Patent No. 8,260,416. The patent claims methods of using the medical device, the OPTIMIZER Smart Implantable Pulse Generator. The application for patent term extension indicates that a Premarket Approval Application (PMA) P180036 was submitted to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on September 5, 2018.

    Review of the patent term extension application indicates that, except for permission to market or use the product commercially, the subject patent would be eligible for an extension of the patent term under 35 U.S.C. 156, and that the patent should be extended for one year as required by 35 U.S.C. 156(d)(5)(B). Because the regulatory review period will continue beyond the original expiration date of the patent, November 19, 2018, interim extension of the patent term under 35 U.S.C. 156(d)(5) is appropriate.

    An interim extension under 35 U.S.C. 156(d)(5) of the term of U.S. Patent No. 8,260,416 is granted for a period of one year from the original expiration date of the patent.

    Dated: November 15, 2018. Robert Bahr, Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy, United States Patent and Trademark Office.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25537 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-16-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army Army Education Advisory Subcommittee Meeting Notice AGENCY:

    Department of the Army, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open subcommittee meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of the Army is publishing this notice to announce the following Federal advisory committee meeting of the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center Board of Visitors, a subcommittee of the Army Education Advisory Committee. This meeting is open to the public.

    DATES:

    The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC) Board of Visitors Subcommittee will meet from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on December 12 and 13, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, Building 326, Weckerling Center, Presidio of Monterey, CA 93944.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Detlev Kesten, the Alternate Designated Federal Officer for the subcommittee, in writing at Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, ATFL-APAS-AA, Bldg. 614, Presidio of Monterey, CA 93944, by email at [email protected], or by telephone at (831) 242-6670.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    Purpose of the Meeting: The purpose of the meeting is to provide the subcommittee with briefings and information focusing on the Institute's plan for its students to achieve higher proficiency scores on the Defense Language Proficiency Test (DLPT), to include updates on curriculum and faculty development efforts.

    Proposed Agenda: December 12—The subcommittee will receive briefings associated with DLIFLC's higher proficiency goals and the Institute's actions in supporting said goal. The subcommittee will complete administrative procedures and appointment requirements. December 13—The subcommittee will have time to discuss and compile observations pertaining to agenda items. General deliberations leading to provisional findings will be referred to the Army Education Advisory Committee for deliberation by the Committee under the open-meeting rules.

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

    Written Comments or Statements: Pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.105(j) and 102-3.140 and section 10(a)(3) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the public or interested organizations may submit written comments or statements to the subcommittee, in response to the stated agenda of the open meeting or in regard to the subcommittee's mission in general. Written comments or statements should be submitted to Mr. Kesten, the subcommittee Alternate Designated Federal Officer, via electronic mail, the preferred mode of submission, at the address listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. Each page of the comment or statement must include the author's name, title or affiliation, address, and daytime phone number. The Alternate Designated Federal Official will review all submitted written comments or statements and provide them to members of the subcommittee for their consideration. Written comments or statements being submitted in response to the agenda set forth in this notice must be received by the Alternate Designated Federal Official at least seven business days prior to the meeting to be considered by the subcommittee. Written comments or statements received after this date may not be provided to the subcommittee until its next meeting.

    Pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.140d, the Committee is not obligated to allow a member of the public to speak or otherwise address the Committee during the meeting. Members of the public will be permitted to make verbal comments during the Committee meeting only at the time and in the manner described below. If a member of the public is interested in making a verbal comment at the open meeting, that individual must submit a request, with a brief statement of the subject matter to be addressed by the comment, at least seven business days in advance to the subcommittee's Alternate Designated Federal Official, via electronic mail, the preferred mode of submission, at the address listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. The Alternate Designated Federal Official will log each request, in the order received, and in consultation with the Subcommittee Chair, determine whether the subject matter of each comment is relevant to the Subcommittee's mission and/or the topics to be addressed in this public meeting. A 15-minute period near the end of the meeting will be available for verbal public comments. Members of the public who have requested to make a verbal comment and whose comments have been deemed relevant under the process described above, will be allotted no more than three minutes during the period, and will be invited to speak in the order in which their requests were received by the Alternate Designated Federal Official.

    Brenda S. Bowen, Army Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25503 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-03-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army Expeditionary Technology Search (xTechSearch) II Prize Competition Announcement AGENCY:

    Department of the Army, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of competition.

    SUMMARY:

    Under the provisions of applicable laws and regulations, the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology (ASA(ALT)) is announcing the second cohort of the Army Expeditionary Technology Search—xTechSearch II Prize Competition—for the Army to enhance engagements with the entrepreneurial funded community, small businesses, and other non-traditional defense partners. The xTechSearch program will provide an opportunity for businesses to pitch novel technology solutions, either a new application for an existing technology or an entirely new technology concept, to the Army.

    DATES:

    1. December 31, 2018 at 12:59PM PST. Deadline for submission of White Papers to the xTechSearch competition. Submissions received after the deadline will not be considered.

    2. February 25-March 8, 2019. Semifinalists—Up to 60 participants conduct technology pitches to xTechSearch panels.

    3. March 26-28, 2019. Up to 25 finalists featured at the Association of the United States Army Global Force Symposium and Exposition in Huntsville, AL.

    4. October 2019. Capstone Demonstration with Army subject matter experts and Leadership.

    ADDRESSES:

    Proposals must be submitted at Challenge.gov: https://challenge.gov/a/buzz/challenge/88/ideas/top.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Jennifer Smith, Deputy Director for Laboratory Management (ASA(ALT)) Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army, Research and Technology, (703) 697-0685 or via Email at: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Eligibility: The entities allowed to participate in this competition are small businesses as defined in 13 CFR part 121. To qualify, the participating entity must fall within the size standard by North American Industry Classification System code 541713, 541714, and 541715.

    There may be only one submission per business. In addition, each entity:

    • Shall be incorporated in and maintain a primary place of business in the United States;

    • May not be a Federal entity or Federal employee acting within the scope of their employment.

    • Sole proprietors may participate in xTechSearch if the individual is a citizen or permanent resident of the United States and the business is registered in the United States.

    • Foreign companies may participate in xTechSearch by establishing a US domestic business relationship (e.g., wholly owned US subsidiary) or partner with a US based company.

    • Companies that have previously participated in the xTechSearch competition are eligible to participate for new technology concepts or improvements to prior submitted proposals.

    Registered participants shall be required to agree to assume any and all risks and waive claims against the Federal Government and its related entities, except in the case of willful misconduct, for any injury, death, damage, or loss of property, revenue, or profits, whether direct, indirect, or consequential, arising from their participation in a prize competition, whether the injury, death, damage, or loss arises through negligence or otherwise.

    Participants shall be required to obtain liability insurance or demonstrate financial responsibility, in amounts determined by the Army, for claims by—

    • Third parties for death, bodily injury, or property damage, or loss resulting from an activity carried out in connection with participation in a prize competition, with the Federal Government named as an additional insured under the registered participant's insurance policy and registered participants agreeing to indemnify the Federal Government against third party claims for damages arising from or related to prize competition activities; and

    The Federal Government for damage or loss to Government property resulting from such an activity.

    Prizes will be offered under 15 U.S.C. Section 3719 (Prize competitions).

    • The total prize pool is $2.18M.

    Evaluation Criteria and Process Phase I: Concept White Paper Contest

    The Phase I proposal must be a white paper describing the novel technology concept, innovative application concept and integration with one or more of the Army's technology focus areas. The proposal must be submitted via the Challenge.gov portal as a single searchable PDF file containing:

    • Title.

    • Author(s).

    Army Technology Focus Area: Choose from the eight (8) Technology Focus Area(s):

    ○ Long Range Precision Fires.

    ○ Next Generation Combat Vehicle.

    ○ Future Vertical Lift.

    ○ Network with hardware, software, and infrastructure.

    ○ Air and Missile Defense.

    ○ Soldier Lethality.

    ○ Medical Technologies.

    ○ Military Engineering Technologies.

    Keyword(s): Provide up to ten (10) keywords that describe the technology.

    Abstract: Provide an abstract (up to 250 words).

    White Paper: Technology proposal concept, no greater than 1000 words (not including title, author(s), keywords, abstract, company bio, graphs, figures or images). The word limit on the White Paper submission will be strictly enforced.

    List of prior SBIR awards in the past 5 years: Include Date award received, Funding organization, Phase of awards, and Topic Title awarded.

    Company Biography (Optional): Company background information, up to 1 page.

    Contestants' concept papers will be reviewed by a panel of subject matter experts who will select the contestants to be invited to the xTechSearch Technology Pitch Forums. Companies selected by the panel will receive a prize of $4,000 and an invitation to Phase II: xTechSearch Technology Pitches.

    Concept White Papers will be ranked using the following Scoring Criteria:

    • Potential for Impact/Revolutionizing the Army—50%.

    • Scientific and Engineering Viability—50%.

    Phase II: xTechSearch Technology Pitches

    • Up to sixty (60) selected contestant semi-finalists will be invited to complete an in-person venture style pitch to a panel of Army subject matter experts and judges at locations across the United States.

    • Companies will pitch their technology and a proposed live proof-of-concept demonstration for Phase III (15 minute pitch followed by 10 minutes for questions and answers).

    • Up to twenty five (25) semifinalists selected by the judge panel will receive a prize of $10,000 and be invited to display an exhibit and make a formal public oral presentation of their proposal at the 2019 AUSA Global Force Symposium and Exposition Innovators' Corner in Huntsville, AL.

    • Scoring Criteria:

    ○ Potential for Impact/Revolutionizing the Army—40%.

    ○ Scientific and Engineering Viability—40%.

    ○ Proof-of-Concept Demonstration Plan—10%.

    ○ Team Ability—10%.

    Phase III: AUSA Innovators' Corner

    • The AUSA Innovators' Corner phase provides up to twenty five (25) xTechSearch semifinalists to be featured at the AUSA Innovators' Corner at the AUSA Global Force meeting, 26-28 March 2019 in Huntsville, AL. The finalists will leverage Army-sponsored exhibit space to engage with Department of Defense (DoD) customers, Army leadership, industry partners, and academia.

    • Up to twelve (12) Phase III prize winner finalists will be announced at AUSA and provided a prize of $120,000 and 6 months to demonstrate proof-of-concept for their xTechSearch technology at the Phase IV: xTechSearch Capstone Demonstration.

    Phase IV: xTechSearch Finale Demonstration—October 2019

    • Each Phase III finalist will demonstrate proof-of-concept for their technology solution to Army subject matter experts and DoD leadership at the AUSA Annual Meeting and Exposition, October 2019, Washington DC. A single grand-prize winner will be selected for the technology concept with the greatest potential for impact and to revolutionize the Army.

    • The winner of the Finale Demonstration will be awarded a prize of $250,000.

    Authority:

    15 U.S.C. Section 3719; Pub. L. 96-480, Section 24, as added Pub. L. 111-358, title I, Section 105a, Jan. 4, 2011 Stat. 3989.

    Brenda S. Bowen, Army Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25502 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-03-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID DOD-2018-OS-0048] Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, DoD.

    ACTION:

    30-Day information collection notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense has submitted to OMB for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by December 24, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments and recommendations on the proposed information collection should be emailed to Ms. Jasmeet Seehra, DoD Desk Officer, at [email protected] Please identify the proposed information collection by DoD Desk Officer, Docket ID number, and title of the information collection.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Fred Licari, 571-372-0493, or [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title; Associated Form; and OMB Number: DoD Enterprise-Wide Contractor Manpower Reporting Application (ECMRA); OMB Control Number 0704-0491.

    Type of Request: Revision.

    Number of Respondents: 5,582.

    Responses per Respondent: 4.

    Annual Responses: 22,328.

    Average Burden per Response: 5 minutes.

    Annual Burden Hours: 1,860.667.

    Needs and Uses: The information collection requirement is necessary to achieve the collection of direct labor hours and associated costs in order to meet the requirements set for the DoD by section 2330a of Title 10, United States Code. Furthermore, ECMRA collections enable DoD organizations to understand the extent of contracted support, the associated level of effort in achieving mission, the reliance on contracted services necessary to facilitate their workforce planning process, and to support statutory requirements set forth in sections 115a, 129a, 235, 2461, and 2463 of Title 10, United States Code.

    Affected Public: Businesses or other for-profit.

    Frequency: Annually.

    Respondent's Obligation: Mandatory.

    OMB Desk Officer: Ms. Jasmeet Seehra.

    You may also submit comments and recommendations, identified by Docket ID number and title, by the following method:

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

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

    DoD Clearance Officer: Mr. Frederick Licari.

    Requests for copies of the information collection proposal should be sent to Mr. Licari at whs.mc-alex.esd.mbx.dd-dod-informatio[email protected]

    Dated: November 16, 2018. Aaron T. Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25457 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID DOD-2018-HA-0067] 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 December 24, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments and recommendations on the proposed information collection should be emailed to Ms. Cortney Higgins, DoD Desk Officer, at [email protected] Please identify the proposed information collection by DoD Desk Officer, Docket ID number, and title of the information collection.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Fred Licari, 571-372-0493, or [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title; Associated Form; and OMB Number: TRICARE Select Survey of Civilian Providers; OMB Control Number 0720-0031.

    Type of Request: Revision.

    Number of Respondents: 20,000.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 20,000.

    Average Burden per Response: 5 minutes.

    Annual Burden Hours: 1,667.

    Needs and Uses: As mandated by Congress, the information collection requirement is necessary to determine how many providers are aware of the TRICARE health benefits program, and specifically accept new TRICARE Select patients in each market area. The original requirement is outlined in Section 711 Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) (Pub. L. 110-181) and was reaffirmed in Section 721 FY12 NDAA (Pub. L. 112-81). Section 712 of FY15 NDAA extended the requirement to conduct the survey from 2017 through 2020. Surveys of civilian physician and non-physician behavioral health care providers will be conducted in a number of locations in the United States each year. Respondents include civilian physicians (M.D.s & D.O.s) and non-physician behavioral health providers (clinical psychologists, clinical social workers and other TRICARE authorized behavioral health providers). The locations surveyed will include areas where the TRICARE Prime benefit is offered (known as TRICARE PRIME Service Areas) and geographic areas where TRICARE Prime is not offered. Respondents will be contacted by mail with a telephone follow-up to complete the survey.

    Affected Public: Individuals or households.

    Frequency: Annually.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

    OMB Desk Officer: Ms. Cortney Higgins.

    You may also submit comments and recommendations, identified by Docket ID number and title, by the following method:

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

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

    DoD Clearance Officer: Mr. Frederick Licari.

    Requests for copies of the information collection proposal should be sent to Mr. Licari at [email protected]

    Dated: November 16, 2018. Aaron T. Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25466 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DOD-2018-OS-0092] Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness (OUSD (P&R)), Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP), DoD.

    ACTION:

    Information collection notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness announces a proposed public information collection and seeks public comment on the provisions thereof. Comments are invited on: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by January 22, 2019.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Department of Defense, Office of the Chief Management Officer, Directorate for Oversight and Compliance, 4800 Mark Center Drive, Mailbox #24, Suite 08D09, Alexandria, VA 22350-1700.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on this proposed information collection or to obtain a copy of the proposal and associated collection instruments, please write to the Federal Voting Assistance Program, ATTN: Sarah Gooch, 4800 Mark Center Drive, Mailbox 10, Alexandria, Virginia 22350-5000 or call 703-588-1584.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title; Associated Form; and OMB Number: Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), Standard Form 76 (SF-76); OMB Control Number 0704-0503.

    Needs and Uses: The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA), 52 U.S.C. 203, requires the Presidential designee (Secretary of Defense) to prescribe official forms, containing an absentee voter registration application, an absentee ballot request application and a backup ballot for use by the States to permit absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters to participate in general, special, primary and runoff elections for Federal office. The authority for the States to collect personal information comes from UOCAVA. The burden for collecting this information resides in the States. The Federal government neither collects nor retains any personal information associated with these forms.

    The collected information will be used by election officials to process uniformed service members, spouses and overseas citizens who submit their information to register to vote, receive an absentee ballot or cast a write-in ballot. The collected information will be retained by election officials to provide election materials, including absentee ballots, to the uniformed services, their eligible family members and overseas voters during the form's eligibility period provided by State law. No information from the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) is collected or retained by the Federal government.

    Affected Public: Individuals or Households.

    Annual Burden Hours: 300,000.

    Number of Respondents: 1,200,000.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 1,200,000.

    Average Burden per Response: 15 minutes.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    The applicant is required to update and resubmit the information annually, whenever they change their mailing address or as otherwise required by State law. If the information is not submitted annually or whenever they change their mailing address, the applicant may not receive ballots for elections for Federal office in that calendar year.

    Dated: November 16, 2018. Aaron T. Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register, Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25438 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID DOD-2018-OS-0064] Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, DoD.

    ACTION:

    30-Day information collection notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense has submitted to OMB for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by December 24, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments and recommendations on the proposed information collection should be emailed to Ms. Jasmeet Seehra, DoD Desk Officer, at [email protected] Please identify the proposed information collection by DoD Desk Officer, Docket ID number, and title of the information collection.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Fred Licari, 571-372-0493, or [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title; Associated Form; and OMB Number: Military One-Source Case Management System (CMS) Intake; OMB Control Number 0704-0528.

    Type of Request: Reinstatement with Change.

    Number of Respondents: 225,584.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 225,584.

    Average Burden per Response: 15 minutes.

    Annual Burden Hours: 56,396.

    Needs and Uses: This information collection is necessary to support the Military One-Source Case Management System, which was established for the purpose of providing comprehensive information to members of the Armed Forces and their families about the benefits and services available to them.

    Affected Public: Individuals or Households.

    Frequency: As required.

    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.

    Requests for copies of the information collection proposal should be sent to Mr. Licari at [email protected]

    Dated: November 16, 2018. Aaron T. Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25460 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID DOD-2018-OS-0065] Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, 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 December 24, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments and recommendations on the proposed information collection should be emailed to Ms. Jasmeet Seehra, DoD Desk Officer, at [email protected] Please identify the proposed information collection by DoD Desk Officer, Docket ID number, and title of the information collection.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Fred Licari, 571-372-0493, or [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title; Associated Form; and OMB Number: Defense Logistics Agency Child and Youth Program; DLA Forms 1849, 1849-1, 1849-2, 1849-3, 1849-4, 1855, 1855-1, 1855-1A, 1855-1B, 1855-1C, 1855-1D (Parts I and II), 1855-1E, 1855-1F; OMB Control Number 0704-XXXX.

    Type Request: Existing collection in use without an OMB Control Number.

    Number of Respondents: 860.

    Responses per Respondent: 14,017.

    Annual Responses: 12,055.

    Average Burden per Response: .08 hours.

    Annual Burden Hours: 964.4.

    Needs and Uses: The Department of Defense (DoD) requires the information in the proposed collection in support of Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Child and Youth Programs (CYPs). This collection includes fourteen (14) DLA forms, some of which are used by all of the collection respondents and some of which are used under specific circumstances. The information collected is used for program planning, management, and health and safety purposes. More specifically, the information in the proposed collection allows CYP staff to provide safe, developmentally appropriate day care services and to ensure proper, effective response in the event of an emergency. Respondents include patrons enrolling their children in a CYP; these patrons may include active duty military, DoD civilian employees, or DoD contractors.

    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.

    Requests for copies of the information collection proposal should be sent to Mr. Licari at [email protected]

    Dated: November 19, 2018. Aaron T. Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25505 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DOD-2018-OS-0036] Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, DoD.

    ACTION:

    30-Day information collection notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense has submitted to OMB for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by December 24, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments and recommendations on the proposed information collection should be emailed to Ms. Jasmeet Seehra, DoD Desk Officer, at [email protected] Please identify the proposed information collection by DoD Desk Officer, Docket ID number, and title of the information collection.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Fred Licari, 571-372-0493, or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Associated Form; and OMB Number: Defense Sexual Assault Incident Database (DSAID); DD Forms 2965, 2910, and 2910-1; OMB Control Number 0704-0482.

    Type of Request: Extension with change.

    Number of Respondents: 730.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 730.

    Average Burden per Response: 2.44 hours.

    Annual Burden Hours: 1,780.

    Needs and Uses: The information collection requirement is necessary to centralize case-level sexual assault data involving a member of the Armed Forces, in a manner consistent with statute and DoD regulations for Restricted and Unrestricted reporting, as well as to facilitate reports to Congress on claims of retaliation in connection with an Unrestricted Report of sexual assault made by or against a member of the Armed Forces. Records may also be used as a management tool for statistical analysis, tracking, reporting, evaluating program effectiveness, conducting research, and case and business management. De-identified data may also be used to respond to mandated reporting requirements.

    Affected Public: Individuals or Households.

    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.

    Requests for copies of the information collection proposal should be sent to Mr. Licari at [email protected]

    Dated: November 16, 2018. Aaron T. Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25445 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DOD-2018-OS-0093] Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Information collection notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) announces a proposed public information collection and seeks public comment on the provisions thereof. Comments are invited on: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by January 22, 2019.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Department of Defense, Office of the Chief Management Officer, Directorate for Oversight and Compliance, 4800 Mark Center Drive, Mailbox #24, Suite 08D09, Alexandria, VA 22350-1700.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on this proposed information collection or to obtain a copy of the proposal and associated collection instruments, please write to Defense Logistics Agency Headquarters (DLA), ATTN: Ms. Nina Beshai, J62BK Information Operations, 8725 John Kingman Road, Fort Belvoir, VA 22060-6221, or call (571) 767-9810.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title; Associated Form; and OMB Number: DLA Police Center Records; DLA Form 635; OMB Control Number 0704-0514.

    Needs and Uses: The DLA Police Center (POLC) system houses data of civilian and military personnel of DLA, contractor employees, and other persons who have committed or are suspected of having committed any criminal act (felony or misdemeanor), as well as any violations of laws, regulations, or ethical standards on DLA-controlled activities or facilities. The information is used by DLA police officers, DLA installation support offices, and the DLA Office of General Counsel (OGC) to monitor progress of cases and to develop non-personal statistic data on crime and criminal investigative support for the future. DLA OGC also uses data to review cases, determine appropriate legal action, and coordinate on all available remedies. Information is released to DLA managers who use the information to determine actions required to correct the causes of loss and to take appropriate action against DLA employees or contractors in cases of their involvement. Records are also used by DLA police to monitor the progress of incidents, identify crime-conducive conditions, and prepare crime vulnerability assessments.

    Affected Public: Individuals or households; federal government.

    Annual Burden Hours: 1,000 hours.

    Number of Respondents: 2,000.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 2,000.

    Average Burden per Response: 30 minutes.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Dated: November 19, 2018. Aaron T. Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25533 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Navy [Docket ID: USN-2018-HQ-0015] Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, 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 December 24, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments and recommendations on the proposed information collection should be emailed to Ms. Jasmeet Seehra, DoD Desk Officer, at [email protected] Please identify the proposed information collection by DoD Desk Officer, Docket ID number, and title of the information collection.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Fred Licari, 571-372-0493, or whs.mc-[email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title; Associated Form; and OMB Number: Department of the Navy (DON).

    Reasonable Accommodations (RA) Tracker; SECNAV Form 12306/1T Confirmation of Reasonable Accommodation Request; OMB Control Number 0703-0063.

    Type of Request: Revision.

    Number of Respondents: 100.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 100.

    Average Burden per Response: 20 minutes.

    Annual Burden Hours: 33.

    Needs and Uses: The information collection requirement is necessary to track, monitor, review, and process requests for reasonable accommodations applicants for employment. This information will be collected by DON EEO personnel involved in the Reasonable Accommodation process and data input into the Reasonable Accommodation Tracker (electronic information system) pursuant to Executive Order 13163. Official Reasonable Accommodation case files are secured with access granted on a strictly limited basis.

    Affected Public: Individuals or households.

    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.

    Requests for copies of the information collection proposal should be sent to Mr. Licari at [email protected]

    Dated: November 16, 2018. Aaron T. Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25474 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2018-ICCD-0081] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; International Resource Information System (IRIS) AGENCY:

    Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE), Department of Education (ED).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

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

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before December 24, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    To access and review all the documents related to the information collection listed in this notice, please use http://www.regulations.gov by searching the Docket ID number ED-2018-ICCD-0081. Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov by selecting the Docket ID number or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 550 12th Street SW, PCP, Room 9086, Washington, DC 20202-0023.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Sara Starke, 202-453-7681.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    Title of Collection: International Resource Information System (IRIS).

    OMB Control Number: 1840-0759.

    Type of Review: An extension of an existing information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: Federal Government, Individuals or Households; Private Sector.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 6,596.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 35,712.

    Abstract: The International Resource Information System (IRIS) is an online performance reporting system for International and Foreign Language Education (IFLE) grantees. IFLE grantees are institutions of higher education, organizations and individuals funded under Title VI of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA) and/or the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act (Fulbright-Hays Act). Grantees under these programs enter budget and performance measure data for interim, annual and final performance reports via IRIS, as well as submit International Travel Approval Requests and Grant Activation Requests.

    Dated: November 19, 2018. Kate Mullan, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25485 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY International Energy Agency Meetings AGENCY:

    Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meetings.

    SUMMARY:

    The Industry Advisory Board (IAB) to the International Energy Agency (IEA) will meet on November 27-29, 2018.

    DATES:

    November 27-29, 2018.

    ADDRESS:

    French Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, Tour Séquoia, Place Carpeaux, La Défense, Paris, France; UIC-P Conference Centre, 16 rue Jean Rey, 75015, Paris, France.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thomas Reilly, Assistant General Counsel for International and National Security Programs, Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20585, (202) 586-5000.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In accordance with section 252(c)(1)(A)(i) of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (42 U.S.C. 6272(c)(1)(A)(i)) (EPCA), the following notice of meetings is provided:

    A meeting involving members of the Industry Advisory Board (IAB) to the International Energy Agency (IEA) in connection with a workshop meeting of the IEA's Standing Group on Emergency Questions (SEQ) will be held at the French Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, Tour Séquoia, Place Carpeaux, La Défense, Paris, France, on November 27, 2018. The purpose of the workshop meeting, which is a follow up from the workshop meeting held on September 18-19, 2018, is to discuss relevant key issues in order to establish a basis for drafting a proposal for possible improvements to the emergency oil stockholding requirement.

    The agenda of the meeting is under the control of the IEA. It is expected that the IEA will adopt the following agenda:

    Draft Agenda of the IEA's Workshop on the Review of the IEA Emergency Oil Stockholding Requirement —Introduction by the Chairman —Presentation by Secretariat: —Overview of key considerations taken when developing different approaches —Presentation and opportunity for clarification —Overview of each approach option presented in background paper, followed by opportunity to ask questions for clarification Discussion of Option 1 —Open floor discussion moderated by Chairman Discussion of Option 2 —Open floor discussion moderated by Chairman Discussion of Option 3 —Open floor discussion moderated by Chairman Session 3—Reaching conclusion on the proposal for the SEQ and the GB Wrap-Up and Next Steps

    As provided in section 252(c)(1)(A)(ii) of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (42 U.S.C. 6272(c)(1)(A)(ii)), Representatives of the Directorate-General for Competition of the European Commission and representatives of members of the IEA Group of Reporting Companies may attend the meeting as observers. The meeting will also be open to representatives of the Secretary of Energy, the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the Federal Trade Commission severally, to any United States Government employee designated by the Secretary of Energy, and to the representatives of Committees of the Congress.

    A meeting of the Industry Advisory Board (IAB) to the International Energy Agency (IEA) will be held at the French Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, Tour Séquoia, Place Carpeaux, La Défense, Paris, France, commencing at 9:30 a.m. on November 28, 2018. The purpose of this notice is to permit attendance by representatives of U.S. company members of the IAB at a meeting of the IEA's Standing Group on Emergency Questions (SEQ), which is scheduled to be held at the same location and time. The IAB will also hold a preparatory meeting among company representatives at the same location at 8:30 a.m. on November 28. The agenda for this preparatory meeting is to review the agenda for the SEQ meeting.

    The agenda of the SEQ meeting is under the control of the SEQ. It is expected that the SEQ will adopt the following agenda:

    Draft Agenda of the 155th Meeting of the SEQ Closed SEQ Session—IEA Member Countries Only 1. Adoption of the Agenda 2. Approval of the Summary Record of the 154th Meeting 3. Status of Compliance with IEP Agreement Stockholding Obligations—Presentation by the Secretariat 4. The Future of Petrochemicals; IEA Report 5. Industry Advisory Board Update 6. Update on the Ministerial Mandates/Oil Stockholding System Review 7. Mid-term Review of the Slovak Republic Open SEQ Session—Open to Association Countries 8. ERR of Ireland—Presentation by the Secretariat 9. ASEAN+6 Report—Presentation by the Secretariat 10. Mid-term Review of Hungary—Presentation by the Administration 11. Outreach—Presentation by the Secretariat 12. Oral Reports by Administrations: Turkey; Stockholding obligation update: Japan; Hokkaido black-out: Belgium; Nuclear power plants: The Netherlands; L-cal gas production: Germany, Switzerland and France; stock releases due to low water level in Rhine 13. Input from Standing Groups & Committees for the 2019 IEA Ministerial 14. Other Business: —ERR Programme Schedule of upcoming SEQ & SOM Meetings: —19-21 March 2019 —25-27 June 2019 —22-24 October 2019

    Representatives of the Directorate-General for Competition of the European Commission and representatives of members of the IEA Group of Reporting Companies may attend the meeting as observers. The meeting will also be open to representatives of the Secretary of Energy, the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the Federal Trade Commission severally, to any United States Government employee designated by the Secretary of Energy, and to the representatives of Committees of the Congress.

    A meeting of the Industry Advisory Board (IAB) to the International Energy Agency (IEA) will be held in the UIC-P Conference Centre, 16 rue Jean Rey, 75015, Paris, France, on November 29, 2018, commencing at 09:30 a.m. The purpose of this notice is to permit attendance by representatives of U.S. company members of the IAB at a joint meeting of the IEA's Standing Group on Emergency Questions (SEQ) and the IEA's Standing Group on the Oil Market (SOM), which is scheduled to be held at the same location and time.

    The agenda of the meeting is under the control of the SEQ and the SOM. It is expected that the SEQ and the SOM will adopt the following agenda:

    Draft Agenda of the Joint Session of the SEQ and the SOM Start Meeting/Introduction 15. Adoption of the Agenda 16. Approval of Summary Record of 27 June 2018 17. Reports on Recent Oil Market and Policy Developments in IEA Countries 18. Update on the Current Oil Market Situation: Followed by Q&A 19. Presentation: “Update on the implementation of the International Maritime Organisation's 2020 fuel specifications” followed by Q&A 20. Presentation: On “substitute Producer Economies” followed by Q&A 21. Presentation: Long term oil market outlook—Chevron, followed by Q&A 22. Presentation: “Uncertainty and Prosperity: A View from Unipec,” followed by Q&A 23. Presentation: “World Energy Investment 2018” followed by Q&A 24. Presentation: “Russian oil perspective” followed by Q&A 25. Other Business: —Tentative schedule of the next SOM meeting: 21 March 2019, Location TBC

    Representatives of the Directorate-General for Competition of the European Commission and representatives of members of the IEA Group of Reporting Companies may attend the meeting as observers. The meeting will also be open to representatives of the Secretary of Energy, the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the Federal Trade Commission severally, to any United States Government employee designated by the Secretary of Energy, and to the representatives of Committees of the Congress.

    Signed in Washington, DC, November 16, 2018. Thomas Reilly, Assistant General Counsel for International and National Security Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25526 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. OR19-7-000] CITGO Petroleum Corporation v. Colonial Pipeline Company; Notice of Complaint

    Take notice that on November 15, 2018, pursuant to sections 13(1), 15(1) and 15(7) of the Interstate Commerce Act (ICA),1 Rules 211 and 214 of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) Rules of Practice and Procedure,2 and sections 343.2, 343.3, and 385.206 of the Commission's Procedural Rules Applicable to Oil Pipeline proceedings,3 CITGO Petroleum Corporation (Complainant) filed a formal complaint against Colonial Pipeline Company (Respondent) alleging that the Respondent's untarriffed increase of a product loss allocation rate is unlawful under sections 6, 13, and 15 of the ICA, as more fully explained in the complaint.

    1 49 App. U.S.C. 15(1) and 15(7) (1988).

    2 18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214.

    3 18 CFR 343.3.

    The Complainant states that a copy of the complaint was served on the contacts for the Respondent listed on the Commission's list of Corporate Officials.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest this filing must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211, 385.214). Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. The Respondent's answer and all interventions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. The Respondent's answer, motions to intervene, and protests must be served on the Complainant.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426.

    This filing is accessible on-line at http://www.ferc.gov, using the “eLibrary” link and is 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.

    Comment Date: 5 p.m. Eastern Time on December 5, 2018.

    Dated: November 15, 2018. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25464 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 2972-027] City of Woonsocket; Notice of Application Tendered for Filing With the Commission and Soliciting Additional Study Requests and Establishing Procedural Schedule for Relicensing and a Deadline for Submission of Final Amendments

    Take notice that the following hydroelectric application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection.

    a. Type of Application: Subsequent Minor License.

    b. Project No.: 2972-027.

    c. Date filed: November 1, 2018.

    d. Applicant: City of Woonsocket, Rhode Island (City).

    e. Name of Project: Woonsocket Falls Project.

    f. Location: On the Blackstone River in the City of Woonsocket, Providence County, Rhode Island. The project diverts water from the impoundment created by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' (Corps) Woonsocket Falls Dam; however, there are no federal or tribal lands within the project boundary.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act 16 U.S.C. 791(a)-825(r).

    h. Applicant Contact: Mr. Michael Debroisse, City of Woonsocket, Engineering, 169 Main Street, Woonsocket, RI 02895; (401) 767-9213.

    i. FERC Contact: Patrick Crile, (202) 502-8042 or [email protected]

    j. Cooperating agencies: Federal, state, local, and tribal agencies with jurisdiction and/or special expertise with respect to environmental issues that wish to cooperate in the preparation of the environmental document should follow the instructions for filing such requests described in item l below. Cooperating agencies should note the Commission's policy that agencies that cooperate in the preparation of the environmental document cannot also intervene. See 94 FERC ¶ 61,076 (2001).

    k. Pursuant to section 4.32(b)(7) of the Commission's regulations, if any resource agency, Indian Tribe, or person believes that an additional scientific study should be conducted in order to form an adequate factual basis for a complete analysis of the application on its merit, the resource agency, Indian Tribe, or person must file a request for a study with the Commission not later than 60 days from the date of filing of the application, and serve a copy of the request on the applicant.

    l. Deadline for filing additional study requests and requests for cooperating agency status: December 31, 2018.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file additional study requests and requests for cooperating agency status using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-2972-027.

    m. The application is not ready for environmental analysis at this time.

    n. The City electronically filed the application with the Commission after the close of business on October 31, 2018. Pursuant to 18 CFR 385.2001(a)(2), any document received after regular business hours is considered filed on the next regular business day. By this notice, the requirement under 18 CFR 16.20(c) to file the subsequent license application at least 24 months before the expiration of the existing license (i.e., no later than October 31, 2018) is waived.

    o. The Woonsocket Falls Project utilizes water from the impoundment created by the Corps' Woonsocket Falls Dam, and consists of: (1) A 14-foot-wide, 20.5-foot-high concrete intake structure located about 60 feet upstream of the Woonsocket Falls Dam and fitted with a 12-foot-wide, 18-foot-high steel trash rack having 3.5-inch clear bar spacing; (2) a 275-foot long, 12-foot-wide, 10-foot-high concrete penstock; (3) a 65-foot-long, 25-foot-wide, 20-foot-high concrete powerhouse containing one adjustable blade turbine-generator unit with an authorized capacity of 1,200 kilowatts; (4) a 50-foot-long, 12.5-foot-diameter steel draft tube; (5) an approximately 50-foot-long, 20-foot-wide, 15-foot-deep tailrace; (6) a 35-foot-long 4.16 kilovolt (kV) generator lead line, a 4.16/13.8-kV step-up transformer, a 1,200-foot-long, and a 13.8-kV transmission line connecting the project generator to the regional grid; and (7) appurtenant facilities.

    The project bypasses approximately 360 feet of the Blackstone River and there is currently no required minimum instream flow for the bypassed reach. However, the City operates the project in a run-of-river (ROR) mode and voluntarily maintains a minimum flow of 20 cubic feet per second (cfs) over the crest of the dam to the bypassed reach using an automatic pond level controller. The Woonsocket Falls project has an average annual generation of approximately 4,580 megawatt-hours.

    The City proposes to: (1) Continue operating the project in a ROR mode; (2) provide a year-round minimum flow of 20 cfs into the bypassed reach; (3) provide upstream eel passage at the project; and (4) implement targeted nighttime turbine shutdowns to facilitate downstream eel passage.

    p. A copy of the application is available for review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission's website at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support. A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in item h above.

    You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    q. Procedural schedule and final amendments: The application will be processed according to the following preliminary schedule. Revisions to the schedule will be made as appropriate.

    Issue Deficiency Letter (if necessary) January 2019. Request Additional Information January 2019. Issue Acceptance Letter April 2019. Issue Scoping Document 1 for comments May 2019. Request Additional Information (if necessary) July 2019. Issue Scoping Document 2 August 2019. Issue Notice of Ready for Environmental Analysis August 2019. Issue Notice of Availability of Environmental Assessment February 2020.

    Final amendments to the application must be filed with the Commission no later than 30 days from the issuance date of the notice of ready for environmental analysis.

    Dated: November 15, 2018. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25472 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 1235-017] City of Radford; Notice of Availability of Environmental Assessment

    In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) regulations, 18 CFR part 380, the Office of Energy Projects has reviewed the application for a subsequent license for the Municipal Hydroelectric Project, located on the Little River, near the City of Radford, in Montgomery and Pulaski Counties, Virginia, and has prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the project.

    The EA contains staff's analysis of the potential environmental impacts of the project and concludes that licensing the project, with appropriate environmental protective measures, would not constitute a major federal action that would significantly affect the quality of the human environment.

    A copy of the EA is available for review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission's website at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY).

    You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    Any comments should be filed within 30 days from the date of this notice.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file comments using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support. In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-1235-017.

    For further information, contact Allyson Conner at (202) 502-6082 or by email at [email protected]

    Dated: November 15, 2018. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25465 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP15-521-000] Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Gulf LNG Liquefaction Project: Gulf LNG Liquefaction Company, LLC; Gulf LNG Energy, LLC; Gulf LNG Pipeline, LLC

    The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) has prepared a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Gulf LNG Liquefaction Project, proposed by Gulf LNG Liquefaction Company, LLC; Gulf LNG Energy, LLC; and Gulf LNG Pipeline, LLC (GLP) (collectively referred to as Gulf LNG) in the above-referenced docket. Gulf LNG requests authorization pursuant to sections 3(a) and 7 of the Natural Gas Act (NGA) to construct and operate onshore liquefied natural gas (LNG) liquefaction and associated facilities to allow export of LNG, and to construct, own, operate, and maintain new interconnection and metering facilities for the existing Gulf LNG Pipeline in Jackson County, Mississippi. The proposed actions are referred to as the Gulf LNG Liquefaction Project (Project) and consist of the Gulf LNG Terminal Expansion (Terminal Expansion) and the GLP Pipeline Modifications.

    The draft EIS assesses the potential environmental effects of construction and operation of the Gulf LNG Liquefaction Project in accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The FERC staff concludes that approval of the proposed Project, with the mitigation measures recommended in the EIS, would have some adverse environmental impacts; however, these impacts would be avoided or reduced to less-than-significant levels.

    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; U.S. Coast Guard; U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy; the U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service; and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency participated as cooperating agencies in the preparation of the EIS. In addition, the Mississippi Office of the Secretary of State has jurisdiction over the wetland mitigation property and, therefore, is assisting us as a cooperating agency. Cooperating agencies have jurisdiction by law or special expertise with respect to resources potentially affected by the proposal and participate in the NEPA analysis. Although the cooperating agencies provided input to the conclusions and recommendations presented in the draft EIS, the agencies will present their own conclusions and recommendations in their respective Records of Decision for the Project.

    The draft EIS addresses the potential environmental effects of the construction and operation of the following proposed facilities:

    • Feed gas pre-treatment facilities, including a mercury removal system, an acid gas removal system (to remove carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide), a molecular sieve dehydration system (to remove water), and a heavy hydrocarbon removal system (to remove natural gas liquids);

    • two separate propane precooled mixed refrigerant liquefaction trains that liquefy natural gas, each with a nominal liquefaction capacity of 5 million metric tons per year (mtpy) and a maximum capacity of more than 5.4 mtpy of LNG;

    • liquefaction facility utilities and associated systems, including two gas-fired turbine compressors per liquefaction train;

    • storage facilities for condensate, ammonia and refrigerants;

    • utilities systems, including instrument, plant air, and nitrogen;

    • a truck loading/unloading facility to unload refrigerants and to load condensate produced during the gas liquefaction process;

    • four flares (including one spare flare) in a single flare tower to incinerate excess gases associated with maintenance, startup/shutdown, and upset conditions during an emergency;

    • two supply docks (North and South Supply Docks) designed to receive barges transporting materials and large equipment during construction, with one dock retained for use during operation;

    • new in-tank LNG loading pumps in the existing LNG storage tanks to transfer LNG through the existing transfer lines to LNG marine carriers;

    • new spill impoundment systems designed to contain LNG, refrigerants and other hazardous fluids;

    • minor changes to piping at the existing berthing facility to permit bi-directional flow;

    • a new concrete storm surge protection wall that connects to the existing storm surge protection wall near the southwest corner of the Terminal Expansion site and extends along the southern border of the Terminal Expansion site;

    • a new earthen berm extending from the northeastern to the southeastern boundaries of the Terminal Expansion site, between the Terminal Expansion and the Bayou Casotte Dredged Material Management Site, and connecting to the new segments of the storm surge protection wall;

    • six off-site construction support areas for use as staging and laydown areas, contractor yards, and parking;

    • modifications to the existing metering stations at the existing Gulfstream Pipeline Company and Destin Pipeline Company interconnection facilities; 1 and

    1 Additionally, Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC (Transco) would construct modifications to the existing Transco/Florida Gas Transmission Company, LLC Interconnect. FERC would review this project under Transco's blanket certificate.

    • modifications to the existing Gulf LNG Pipeline at the existing Terminal to provide a connection to the inlet of the LNG liquefaction pre-treatment facilities.

    The Commission mailed a copy of the Notice of Availability to federal, state, and local government representatives and agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; Native American tribes; potentially affected landowners and other interested individuals and groups; and newspapers and libraries in the Project area. The draft EIS is only available in electronic format. It may be viewed and downloaded from the FERC's website (www.ferc.gov), on the Environmental Documents page (https://www.ferc.gov/industries/gas/enviro/eis.asp). In addition, the draft EIS may be accessed by using the eLibrary link on the FERC's website. Click on the eLibrary link (https://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp), click on General Search, and enter the docket number in the “Docket Number” field, excluding the last three digits (i.e. CP15-521-000). Be sure you have selected an appropriate date range. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected] or toll free at (866) 208-3676, or for TTY, contact (202) 502-8659.

    Any person wishing to comment on the draft EIS may do so. Your comments should focus on draft EIS's disclosure and discussion of potential environmental effects, reasonable alternatives, and measures to avoid or lessen environmental impacts. To ensure consideration of your comments on the proposal in the final EIS, it is important that the Commission receive your comments on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on January 7, 2019.

    For your convenience, there are four methods you can use to submit your comments to the Commission. The Commission will provide equal consideration to all comments received, whether filed in written form or provided verbally. The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has staff available to assist you at (866) 208-3676 or [email protected] Please carefully follow these instructions so that your comments are properly recorded.

    (1) You can file your comments electronically using the eComment feature on the Commission's website (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. This is an easy method for submitting brief, text-only comments on a project;

    (2) You can file your comments electronically by using the eFiling feature on the Commission's website (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. With eFiling, you can provide comments in a variety of formats by attaching them as a file with your submission. New eFiling users must first create an account by clicking on “eRegister.” If you are filing a comment on a particular project, please select “Comment on a Filing” as the filing type; or

    (3) You can file a paper copy of your comments by mailing them to the following address. Be sure to reference the project docket number (CP15-521-000) with your submission: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426.

    (4) In lieu of sending written or electronic comments, the Commission invites you to attend a public comment session its staff will conduct in the Project area to receive comments on the draft EIS, scheduled as follows:

    Date and time Location Tuesday, December 18, 2018, 4:00-8:00 p.m. local time Pelican Landing Convention Center, 6217 Mississippi Highway 613, Moss Point, MS 39563, 228-474-1406.

    The primary goal of this comment session is to have you identify the specific environmental issues and concerns with the draft EIS. Individual verbal comments will be taken on a one-on-one basis with a court reporter. This format is designed to receive the maximum amount of verbal comments, in a convenient way during the timeframe allotted.

    The comment session is scheduled from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. local time. You may arrive at any time after 4:00 p.m. There will not be a formal presentation by Commission staff when the session opens. If you wish to speak, the Commission staff will hand out numbers in the order of your arrival. Comments will be taken until 8:00 p.m. However, if no additional numbers have been handed out and all individuals who wish to provide comments have had an opportunity to do so, staff may conclude the session at 7:30 p.m. Please see appendix 1 for additional information on the session format and conduct.2

    2 The appendices referenced in this notice will not appear in the Federal Register. Copies of the appendices were sent to all those receiving this notice in the mail and are available at www.ferc.gov using the link called “eLibrary” or from the Commission's Public Reference Room, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426, or call (202) 502-8371. For instructions on connecting to eLibrary, refer to the last page of this notice.

    Your verbal comments will be recorded by the court reporter (with FERC staff or representative present) and become part of the public record for this proceeding. Transcripts will be publicly available on FERC's eLibrary system (see below for instructions on using eLibrary). If a significant number of people are interested in providing verbal comments in the one-on-one settings, a time limit of 5 minutes may be implemented for each commentor.

    It is important to note that verbal comments hold the same weight as written or electronically submitted comments. Although there will not be a formal presentation, Commission staff will be available throughout the comment session to answer your questions about the environmental review process.

    Any person seeking to become a party to the proceeding must file a motion to intervene pursuant to Rule 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedures (18 CFR part 385.214). Motions to intervene are more fully described at http://www.ferc.gov/resources/guides/how-to/intervene.asp. Only intervenors have the right to seek rehearing or judicial review of the Commission's decision. The Commission grants affected landowners and others with environmental concerns intervenor status upon showing good cause by stating that they have a clear and direct interest in this proceeding which no other party can adequately represent. Simply filing environmental comments will not give you intervenor status, but you do not need intervenor status to have your comments considered.

    Questions?

    Additional information about the project is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs, at (866) 208-FERC, or on the FERC website (www.ferc.gov) using the eLibrary link. The eLibrary link also provides access to the texts of all formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rulemakings.

    In addition, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription that allows you to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp.

    Dated: November 15, 2018. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25473 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OLEM-2018-0690, FRL-9986-88-OLEM] Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; General Hazardous Waste Facility Standards AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is planning to submit the information collection request (ICR), General Hazardous Waste Facility (EPA ICR No. 1571.12, OMB Control No. 2050-0120) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). Before doing so, the EPA is soliciting public comments on specific aspects of the proposed information collection as described below. This is a proposed extension of the ICR, which is currently approved through April 30, 2019. An Agency may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before January 22, 2019.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OLEM-2018-0690, online using www.regulations.gov (our preferred method), by email to [email protected], or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Peggy Vyas, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: 703-308-5477; fax number: 703-308-8433; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

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

    Abstract: Section 3004 of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), as amended, requires the EPA to develop standards for hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facilities (TSDFs) as may be necessary to protect human health and the environment. Subsections 3004(a)(1), (3), (4), (5), and (6) specify that these standards include, but not be limited to, the following requirements:

    • Maintaining records of all hazardous wastes identified or listed under subtitle C that are treated, stored, or disposed of, and the manner in which such wastes were treated, stored, or disposed of;

    • Operating methods, techniques, and practices for treatment, storage, or disposal of hazardous waste;

    • Location, design, and construction of such hazardous waste treatment, disposal, or storage facilities;

    • Contingency plans for effective action to minimize unanticipated damage from any treatment, storage, or disposal of any such hazardous waste; and

    • Maintaining or operating such facilities and requiring such additional qualifications as to ownership, continuity of operation, training for personnel, and financial responsibility as may be necessary or desirable.

    The regulations implementing these requirements are codified in 40 CFR parts 264 and 265. The collection of this information enables the EPA to properly determine whether owners/operators or hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facilities meet the requirements of Section 3004(a) of RCRA.

    Form Numbers: None.

    Respondents/affected entities: Business and other for-profit, as well as State, Local, and Tribal governments.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Mandatory (RCRA section 3004).

    Estimated number of respondents: 1,872.

    Frequency of response: On occasion.

    Total estimated burden: 672,417 hours per year. Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.03(b).

    Total estimated cost: $41,749,044 (per year), includes $533,425 annualized capital or operation & maintenance costs and $41,225,619 annualized labor costs.

    Changes in estimates: The burden hours are likely to stay substantially the same.

    Dated: November 12, 2018. Barnes Johnson, Director, Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25547 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [ER-FRL-9042-5] Environmental Impact Statements; Notice of Availability

    Responsible Agency: Office of Federal Activities, General Information 202-564-5632 or https://www.epa.gov/nepa/.

    Weekly receipt of Environmental Impact Statements Filed 11/12/2018 Through 11/16/2018 Pursuant to 40 CFR 1506.9 Notice

    Section 309(a) of the Clean Air Act requires that EPA make public its comments on EISs issued by other Federal agencies. EPA's comment letters on EISs are available at: https://cdxnodengn.epa.gov/cdx-enepa-public/action/eis/search.

    EIS No. 20180283, Final Supplement, NRC, LA, NUREG-1437, Supplement 59 Waterford Steam Electric Station, Unit 3 license renewal, Review Period Ends: 12/24/2018, Contact: Elaine Keegan 301-415-8517. Dated: November 19, 2018. Robert Tomiak, Director, Office of Federal Activities.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25590 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OLEM-2018-0692, FRL-9986-86-OLEM] Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Generator Standards Applicable to Laboratories Owned by Eligible Academic Entities. AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is planning to submit the information collection request (ICR), Generator Standards Applicable to Laboratories Owned by Eligible Academic Entities (EPA ICR No. 2317.04, OMB Control No. 2050-0204) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). Before doing so, the EPA is soliciting public comments on specific aspects of the proposed information collection as described below. This is a proposed extension of the ICR, which is currently approved through April 30, 2019. An Agency may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before January 22, 2019.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OLEM-2018-0692, online using www.regulations.gov (our preferred method), by email to [email protected], or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kristen Fitzgerald, (mail code 5304P), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: 703-308-8286; fax number: 703-308-0514; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

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

    Abstract: Subpart K within 40 CFR Part 262 provides a flexible and protective set of regulations that address the specific nature of hazardous waste generation and accumulation in laboratories owned by colleges and universities, including teaching hospitals and non-profit research institutes that are either owned by or formally affiliated with a college or university. In addition, eligible academic entities have the discretion to determine the most appropriate and effective method of compliance with these requirements—by allowing them the choice of either managing their hazardous wastes in accordance with the alternative regulations as set forth in Subpart K, or remaining subject to the existing generator regulations.

    Form Numbers: None.

    Respondents/affected entities: Business and other for-profit, as well as State, Local, and Tribal governments.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Required to obtain or retain a benefit (Sections 2002, 3001, 3002, 3004 of RCRA).

    Estimated number of respondents: 132.

    Frequency of response: On occasion.

    Total estimated burden: 35,813 hours per year. Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.03(b).

    Total estimated cost: $1,806,663 (per year), which includes $1,667,976 in annualized labor and $138,687 in annualized capital or operation & maintenance costs.

    Changes in estimates: The burden hours are likely to stay substantially the same.

    Dated: November 12, 2018. Barnes Johnson, Director, Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25552 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [ER-FRL-9042-4] Environmental Impact Statements; Notice of Availability

    Responsible Agency: Office of Federal

    Activities, General Information 202-564-7156 or https://www.epa.gov/nepa/

    Weekly receipt of Environmental Impact Statements Filed 11/12/2018 through 11/16/2018 Pursuant to 40 CFR 1506.9. Notice:

    Section 309(a) of the Clean Air Act requires that EPA make public its comments on EISs issued by other Federal agencies. EPA's comment letters on EISs are available at: https://cdxnodengn.epa.gov/cdx-enepa-public/action/eis/search.

    EIS No. 20180276, Draft, FERC, LA, The Plaquemines LNG and Gator Express Pipeline Project, Comment Period Ends: 01/07/2019, Contact: Office of External Affairs 866-208-3372.

    EIS No. 20180277, Draft, USFS, BLM, ID, Proposed Dairy Syncline Mine and Reclamation Plan, Comment Period Ends: 02/21/2019, Contact: Bill Stout 208-478-6367.

    EIS No. 20180278, Draft, FERC, MS, Gulf LNG Liquefaction Project, Comment Period Ends: 01/07/2019, Contact: Office of External Affairs 866-208-3372.

    EIS No. 20180279, Draft, BIA, MI, Little River Band of Ottawa Indians Trust Acquisition and Casino Project, Comment Period Ends: 01/07/2019, Contact: Scott Doig 612-725-4514.

    EIS No. 20180280, Draft, FERC, FL, Eagle LNG Partners Jacksonville, LLC, Comment Period Ends: 01/07/2019, Contact: Office of External Affairs 866-208-3372.

    EIS No. 20180281, Final, USFS, MT, The Flathead National Forest Land Management Plan and the NCDE Grizzly Bear Plan Amendments, Review Period Ends: 12/24/2018, Contact: Chip Weber 406-758-5204.

    EIS No. 20180282, Final, USACE, IL, The Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study—Brandon Road Integrated Feasibility Study and Environmental Impact Statement—Will County, Illinois, Review Period Ends: 12/24/2018, Contact: Andrew Leichty 309-794-5399.

    Dated: November 19, 2018. Robert Tomiak, Director, Office of Federal Activities.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25501 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OAR-2003-0073; FRL-9986-93-OAR] Proposed Information Collection Request; Comment Request; Distribution of Offsite Consequence Analysis Information Under Section 112(r)(7)(H) of the Clean Air Act (CAA), as Amended—EPA No. 1981.07, OMB Control Number 2050-0172 AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency is planning to submit an information collection request (ICR), Distribution of Offsite Consequence Analysis Information under Section 112(r)(7)(H) of the Clean Air Act (CAA), as amended—EPA No. 1981.07, OMB Control Number 2050-0172 to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). Before doing so, EPA is soliciting public comments on specific aspects of the proposed information collection as described below. This is a proposed extension of the ICR, which is currently approved through May 31, 2019. An Agency may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before January 22, 2019.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2003-0073 referencing the Docket ID numbers provided for each item in the text, online using www.regulations.gov (our preferred method), or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460 and (2) OMB via email to [email protected] Address comments to OMB Desk Officer for EPA.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Wendy Hoffman, Office of Emergency Management, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 564-8794; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

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

    Abstract: This ICR is the renewal of the ICR developed for the final rule, Accidental Release Prevention Requirements; Risk Management Programs Under the Clean Air Act Section 112(r)(7); Distribution of Off-Site Consequence Analysis Information. CAA section 112(r)(7) required EPA to promulgate reasonable regulations and appropriate guidance to provide for the prevention and detection of accidental releases and for responses to such releases. The regulations include requirements for submittal of a risk management plan (RMP) to EPA. The RMP includes information on offsite consequence analyses (OCA) as well as other elements of the risk management program.

    On August 5, 1999, the President signed the Chemical Safety Information, Site Security, and Fuels Regulatory Relief Act (CSISSFRRA). The Act required the President to promulgate regulations on the distribution of OCA information (CAA section 112(r)(7)(H)(ii)). The President delegated to EPA and the Department of Justice (DOJ) the responsibility to promulgate regulations to govern the dissemination of OCA information to the public. The final rule was published on August 4, 2000 (65 FR 48108). The regulations imposed minimal information and recordkeeping requirements.

    In accordance with the final rule, the federal government established 55 reading rooms at federal facilities geographically distributed across the United States and its territories. At these reading rooms, members of the public are able to read, but not mechanically copy or remove paper copies of OCA information for up to 10 stationary sources per calendar month. At these reading rooms, the members of the public may also have access to OCA information that the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) in whose jurisdiction the person lives or works is authorized to provide.

    The final rule also authorizes and encourages state and local government officials to have access to OCA information for their official use, and to provide members of the public with read-only access to OCA sections of RMPs for sources located within the jurisdiction of the LEPC where the person lives or works and for any other stationary sources with vulnerability zones extending into the LEPC's jurisdiction.

    EPA also established a Vulnerable Zone Indicator System (VZIS) that informs any person located in any state whether an address specified by that person might be within the vulnerable zone of one or more stationary sources, according to the data reported in RMPs. The VZIS is available on the internet. Members of the public who do not have access to the internet are able to obtain the same information by regular mail request to the EPA.

    Form numbers: None.

    Respondents/affected entities: State and local agencies and the public.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Required to obtain or retain a benefit (40 CFR 1400).

    Estimated number of respondents: 860 (total).

    Frequency of response: As necessary.

    Total estimated burden: 1,500 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.03(b).

    Total estimated cost: $46,865 (per year), includes $620 annualized capital or operation & maintenance costs.

    The Agency is requesting comments on the burden and costs estimated in the current ICR. EPA will revise the burden and costs, if necessary, prior to submitting the package to OMB for approval for this information collection.

    Dated: November 14, 2018. Reggie Cheatham, Director, Office of Emergency Management.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25555 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Sunshine Act Meeting

    Pursuant to the provisions of the “Government in the Sunshine Act” (5 U.S.C. 552b), notice is hereby given that at 10:29 a.m. on Tuesday, November 20, 2018, the Board of Directors of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation met in closed session to consider matters related to the Corporation's supervision, corporate, and resolution activities.

    In calling the meeting, the Board determined, on motion of Director Martin J. Gruenberg, seconded by Director Mick Mulvaney (Acting Director, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau), and concurred in by Director Joseph M. Otting (Comptroller of the Currency), and Chairman Jelena McWilliams, that Corporation business required its consideration of the matters which were to be the subject of this meeting on less than seven days' notice to the public; that no earlier notice of the meeting was practicable; that the public interest did not require consideration of the matters in a meeting open to public observation; and that the matters could be considered in a closed meeting by authority of subsections (c)(2), (c)(4), (c)(6), (c)(8), (c)(9)(A)(ii), and (c)(9)(B) of the “Government in the Sunshine Act” (5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(2), (c)(4), (c)(6), (c)(8), (c)(9)(A)(ii), and (c)(9)(B).

    Dated: November 20, 2018. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25698 Filed 11-20-18; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request (OMB No. 3064-0072) AGENCY:

    Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The FDIC, as part of its obligations under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the renewal of the existing information collection described below (3064-0072). On August 16, 2018, the FDIC requested comment for 60 days on a proposal to renew the information collection described below. No comments were received. The FDIC hereby gives notice of its plan to submit to OMB a request to approve the renewal of this collection, and again invites comment on this renewal.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before December 24, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested parties are invited to submit written comments to the FDIC by any of the following methods:

    https://www.FDIC.gov/regulations/laws/federal.

    Email: [email protected] Include the name and number of the collection in the subject line of the message.

    Mail: Jennifer Jones (202-898-6768), Counsel, MB-3105, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 550 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20429.

    Hand Delivery: Comments may be hand-delivered to the guard station at the rear of the 17th Street building (located on F Street), on business days between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

    All comments should refer to the relevant OMB control number. A copy of the comments may also be submitted to the OMB desk officer for the FDIC: Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503.
    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jennifer Jones, Counsel, 202-898-6768, [email protected], MB-3105, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 550 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20429.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On August 16, 2018, the FDIC requested comment for 60 days on a proposal to renew the information collection described below. No comments were received. The FDIC hereby gives notice of its plan to submit to OMB a request to approve the renewal of this collection, and again invites comment on this renewal.

    Proposal to renew the following currently approved collection of information:

    1. Title: Acquisition Services Information Requirements.

    OMB Number: 3064-0072.

    Form Number: 3700/55 (Solicitation/Award); 1600/04 (Background Investigation Questionnaire for Contractor Personnel and Subcontractors); 1600/07 (Background Investigation Questionnaire for Contractors); 3700/12 (Integrity and Fitness Representations and Certifications); 3700/44 (Leasing Representations and Certifications); 3700/57 (Past Performance Questionnaire); 3700/04A (Contractor Representations and Certifications); and 3700/59 (Fair Inclusion of Minorities and Women).

    Affected Public: Vendors of goods and services.

    Burden Estimate:

    Summary of Annual Burden Type of
  • burden
  • Obligation to respond Estimated
  • number of
  • respondents
  • Estimated
  • frequency of
  • responses
  • Estimated
  • time per
  • response
  • Frequency
  • of response
  • Total annual
  • estimated
  • burden
  • (hours)
  • Request for Proposal and Price Quotation (includes Basic Safeguards)—Solicitation/Award (Form 3700/55) Reporting Required to Obtain or Retain Benefits 656 1 6.55 On Occasion 4,297 Request for Information Reporting Voluntary 140 1 12.00 On Occasion 1,680 Background Investigation Questionnaire for Contractor Personnel and Subcontractors (Form 1600/04) Reporting Required to Obtain or Retain Benefits 2,400 1 0.33 On Occasion 792 Background Investigation Questionnaire for Contractors (Form 1600/07) Reporting Required to Obtain or Retain Benefits 200 1 0.5 On Occasion 100 Integrity and Fitness Representations and Certifications (Form 3700/12) Reporting Required to Obtain or Retain Benefits 12 1 0.33 On Occasion 4 Leasing Representations and Certifications (Form 3700/44) Reporting Required to Obtain or Retain Benefits 15 1 1 On Occasion 15 Past Performance Questionnaire (Form 3700/57) Reporting Required to Obtain or Retain Benefits 984 1 0.75 On Occasion 738 Contractor Representations and Certifications (Form 3700/4A) Reporting Required to Obtain or Retain Benefits 12 1 0.33 On Occasion 4 Fair Inclusion of Minorities and Women (Form 3700/59) Reporting Required to Obtain or Retain Benefits 100 1 2 On Occasion 200 Total Hourly Burden 7,830

    General Description of Collection:

    This is a collection of information involving submission of information and various forms by contractors who desire to do business with the FDIC in connection with contract proposals submitted in response to FDIC solicitations.

    In order to obtain competitive proposals and contracts from vendors interested in providing goods or services to the FDIC, the FDIC uses the Solicitation/Award request (Form 3700/55). This form is used in connection with a request for proposal and a request for price quotations.

    In anticipation of a particular contract solicitation, the FDIC may first conduct market research to narrow down the list of potential contractors. This is done through a request for information (RFI). Following the RFI process, potential firms may be notified if they are to be included in the next phase of the acquisition process.

    The FDIC Background Investigation Questionnaire for Contractor Personnel and Subcontractors (Form 1600/04), Background Investigation Questionnaire for Contractors (Form1600/07), Integrity and Fitness Representations and Certifications (Form 3700/12), and Leasing Representations and Certifications (Form 3700/44) are a result of the implementation of 12 CFR part 366. The FDIC adopted 12 CFR part 366 pursuant to Section 12(f)(3) and (4) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, 12 U.S.C. 1822(f)(3) and (4), and the rulemaking authority of the FDIC found at 12 U.S.C. 1819. Pursuant to those sections and consistent with the goals and purposes of titles 18 and 41 of the U.S. Code, the rule establishes the minimum standards of integrity and fitness that contractors, subcontractors, and employees of contractors and subcontractors must meet if they perform any service or function on behalf of the FDIC. This rule includes regulations governing conflicts of interest, ethical responsibility, and use of confidential information in accordance with 1822(f)(3); and the prohibitions and the submission of information in accordance with 1822(f)(4). This rule applies to a person who submits an offer to perform or performs, directly or indirectly, a contractual service or function on behalf of the FDIC.

    In addition, the evaluation of an offeror's past performance under formal contracting procedures is a mandatory technical evaluation criterion in the FDIC's standard solicitation document. In support of the evaluation of the past performance criterion, the FDIC Past Performance Questionnaire (Form 3700/57) was developed to be submitted by other government agencies or commercial businesses who are doing business, or have done business, with the contractor that the FDIC is evaluating.

    The FDIC Contractor Representations and Certifications form (Form 3700/4A) must be completed by any offeror that responds to a solicitation for an award over $100,000.

    Finally, in connection with a contract proposal, the FDIC seeks a commitment from an FDIC contractor to ensure, to the maximum extent possible consistent with applicable law, the fair inclusion of minorities and women in its workforce and the workforces of its applicable subcontractors. The commitment is asserted by the FDIC Fair Inclusion of Minorities and Women form (Form 3700/59), which is a contract clause implementing Section 342(c)(2) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (12 U.S.C. 5452). The clause asserts the FDIC's right to request documentation from the contractor that demonstrates the contractor's good faith effort to include minorities and women in its workforce and subcontractors' workforces.

    The annual burden for this information collection is estimated to be 7,830 hours. This represents an increase of 5,496 hours from the current burden estimate of 2,334 hours. This increase is not due to any new requirements imposed by the FDIC. Rather, it is due to FDIC's reassessment of the burden hours associated with the contracting process and to better account for the burdens associated with requests for proposals and price quotations as well as RFIs.

    Request for Comment

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the FDIC's functions, including whether the information has practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the estimates of the burden of the information collection, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. All comments will become a matter of public record.

    Dated at Washington, DC, on November 19, 2018. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25479 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection Renewal; Comment Request (OMB No. 3064-0093) AGENCY:

    Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The FDIC, as part of its obligations under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the renewal of the existing information collection described below.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before January 22, 2019.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested parties are invited to submit written comments to the FDIC by any of the following methods:

    https://www.FDIC.gov/regulations/laws/federal.

    Email: [email protected] Include the name and number of the collection in the subject line of the message.

    Mail: Manny Cabeza (202-898-3767), Counsel, MB-3007, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 550 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20429.

    Hand Delivery: Comments may be hand-delivered to the guard station at the rear of the 17th Street building (located on F Street), on business days between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

    All comments should refer to the relevant OMB control number. A copy of the comments may also be submitted to the OMB desk officer for the FDIC: Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Manny Cabeza, Counsel, 202-898-3767, [email protected], MB-3007, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 550 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20429.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Proposal to renew the following currently approved collection of information:

    1. Title: Notices Required of Government Securities Dealers or Brokers.

    OMB Number: 3064-0093.

    Form Number: G-FIN; G-FINW; G-FIN4 & G-FIN5.

    Affected Public: Insured state nonmember banks acting as government securities brokers and dealers.

    Burden Estimate:

    Summary of Annual Burden Information collection description Type of
  • burden
  • Obligation
  • to respond
  • Estimated
  • number of
  • respondents
  • Estimated
  • frequency of
  • responses
  • Estimated
  • time per
  • response
  • Estimated
  • annual burden
  • (hours)
  • Notice by Financial Institutions of Government Securities Broker or Government Securities Dealer Activities (G-FIN) Reporting Mandatory 1 On Occasion 1 hour 1 Notice By Financial Institutions of Termination of Activities as a Government Securities Broker of Government Securities Dealer (G-FINW) Reporting Mandatory 1 On Occasion 15 minutes .25 Disclosure Form for Person Associated with a Financial Institution Securities Broker or Dealer (G-FIN-4) Reporting Mandatory 1 On Occasion 2 hours 2 Uniform Termination Notice for Persons Associated With a Financial Institution Government Securities Broker of Dealer (G-FIN-5) Reporting Mandatory 5 On Occasion 2 hours 10

    Total Estimated Annual Burden: 13.25 hours.

    General Description of Collection

    The Government Securities Act of 1986 requires all financial institutions acting as government securities brokers and dealers to notify their Federal regulatory agencies of their broker-dealer activities, unless exempted from the notice requirements by Treasury Department regulation.

    The Form G-FIN and Form G-FINW are used by insured State nonmember banks that are government securities brokers or dealers to notify the FDIC of their status or that they have ceased to function as a government securities broker or dealer.

    The Form G-FIN-4 is used by associated persons of insured State nonmember banks that are government securities brokers or dealers to provide certain information to the bank and to the FDIC concerning employment, residence, and statutory disqualification.

    The Form G-FIN-5 is used by insured State nonmember banks that are government securities brokers or dealers to notify the FDIC that an associated person is no longer associated with the government securities broker or dealer function of the bank.

    There is no change in the method or substance of the collection. The overall reduction in burden hours (from 17 hours to 13.25 hours) is the result of economic fluctuation. In particular, the number of respondents has decreased from 17 to 8 while the hours per response and frequency of responses have remained the same.

    Request for Comment

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the FDIC's functions, including whether the information has practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the estimates of the burden of the information collection, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. All comments will become a matter of public record.

    Dated at Washington, DC, on November 19, 2018. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25520 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Sunshine Act Meeting

    Pursuant to the provisions of the “Government in the Sunshine Act” (5 U.S.C. 552b), notice is hereby given that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation's Board of Directors met in open session at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, November 20, 2018, to consider the following matters:

    Summary Agenda

    Disposition of minutes of previous Board of Directors' Meetings.

    Memorandum and resolution re: Regulatory Capital Rule: Capital Simplification for Qualifying Community Banking Organizations.

    Memorandum and resolution re: Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to Increase the Appraisal Threshold for Residential Real Estate Transactions, Implement the Residential Rural Exemption, and Require Appropriate Appraisal Review.

    Memorandum and resolution re: Final Rule on Transferred OTS Regulations Regarding Fiduciary Powers of State Savings Associations and Consent Requirements for the Exercise of Trust Powers.

    Memorandum and resolution re: Final Rule to Revise the FDIC's Regulations Concerning Inflation-Adjusted Maximum Civil Money Penalty Amounts.

    Report of actions taken pursuant to authority delegated by the Board of Directors.

    Discussion Agenda

    Memorandum and resolution re: Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Proposed Changes to Applicability Thresholds for Regulatory Capital Requirements and Liquidity Requirements.

    In calling the meeting, the Board determined, on motion of Director Martin J. Gruenberg, seconded by Director Mick Mulvaney (Acting Director, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau), concurred in by Director Joseph Otting (Comptroller of the Currency), and Chairman Jelena McWilliams, that Corporation business required its consideration of the matters on less than seven days' notice to the public; and that no earlier notice of the meeting than that previously provided on November 14, 2018, was practicable.

    The meeting was held in the Board Room located on the sixth floor of the FDIC Building located at 550 17th Street NW, Washington, DC.

    Dated: November 20, 2018 Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25697 Filed 11-20-18; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection Renewal; Comment Request (OMB No. 3064-0117; -0145; and -0152) AGENCY:

    Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The FDIC, as part of its obligations under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the renewal of the existing information collections described below.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before January 22, 2019.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested parties are invited to submit written comments to the FDIC by any of the following methods:

    https://www.FDIC.gov/regulations/laws/federal.

    Email: [email protected] Include the name and number of the collection in the subject line of the message.

    Mail: Manny Cabeza (202-898-3767), Counsel, MB-3007, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 550 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20429.

    Hand Delivery: Comments may be hand-delivered to the guard station at the rear of the 17th Street NW building (located on F Street), on business days between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

    All comments should refer to the relevant OMB control number. A copy of the comments may also be submitted to the OMB desk officer for the FDIC: Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Manny Cabeza, Counsel, 202-898-3767, [email protected], MB-3007, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 550 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20429.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Proposal To Renew the Following Currently Approved Collections of Information

    1. Title: Multi-to-Stock Conversion of State Savings Banks.

    OMB Number: 3064-0117.

    Form Number: None.

    Affected Public: Insured state savings associations.

    Burden Estimate:

    Summary of Annual Burden Type of burden Obligation to
  • respond
  • Estimated number of respondents Estimated frequency of responses Estimated time per
  • response
  • (hours)
  • Frequency of
  • response
  • Total annual estimated burden
  • (hours)
  • Multi-to-Stock Conversion of State Savings Bank Reporting Mandatory 5 1 250 hours On Occasion 1,250. Total Hourly Burden 1,250 hours.
    General Description of Collection

    State savings associations must file a notice of intent to convert to stock form, and provide the FDIC with copies of documents filed with state and federal banking and/or securities regulators in connection with any proposed mutual-to-stock conversion.

    There is no change in the method or substance of the collection. The overall reduction in burden hours is the result of economic fluctuation. In particular, the number of respondents has decreased while the hours per response and frequency of responses have remained the same.

    2. Title: Notice Regarding Unauthorized Access to Customer Information.

    OMB Number: 3064-0145.

    Form Number: None.

    Affected Public: Insured state nonmember banks.

    Burden Estimate:

    Summary of Annual Burden Type of burden Estimated number of
  • respondents
  • Estimated time per response
  • (hours)
  • Frequency of response Total
  • estimated
  • annual burden hours
  • Implementation (One Time): Develop Policies and Procedures for Response Program Recordkeeping 2 24 1 48 Ongoing: Notice Regarding Unauthorized Access to Customer Information Third Party Disclosure 315 36 hours On Occasion 11,340 Total Estimated Annual Burden 11,388
    General Description of Collection:

    The Interagency Guidance on Response Programs for Unauthorized Access to Customer Information and Customer Notice describes the federal banking agencies' expectations regarding a response program, including customer notification procedures, that a financial institution should develop and apply under the circumstances described in the Guidance to address unauthorized access to or use of customer information that could result in substantial harm or inconvenience to a customer. The Guidance advises financial institutions when and how they might: (1) Develop notices to customers; (2) in certain circumstances defined in the Guidance, determine which customers should receive the notices and (3) send the notices to customers.

    There is no change in the method or substance of the information collection. With respect to the third party disclosure requirements associated with providing notices regarding unauthorized access to customer information, the FDIC revised its estimate of the response time from 29 hours per response to 36 hours per response. The agency also revised its estimate of the number of annual respondents from 80 to 315 to reflect current industry trend data.

    3. Title: Identity Theft Red Flags.

    OMB Number: 3064-0152.

    Form Number: None.

    Affected Public: Insured state nonmember banks.

    Burden Estimate:

    Summary of Annual Burden Type of burden Obligation to
  • respond
  • Estimated number of respondents Estimated frequency of responses Estimated time
  • per
  • response
  • (hours)
  • Frequency of
  • response
  • Total annual estimated burden
  • (hours)
  • FACT Act Sections 114 and 315—Establish policies and Procedures Recordkeeping Mandatory 3,575 1 16 On Occasion 57,200 FACT Act Section 315—Establish policies and Procedures Third-Party Disclosure Mandatory 3,575 1 4 On Occasion 14,300 Total Hourly Burden 71, 500
    General Description of Collection

    The regulation containing this information collection requirement is 12 CFR part 334, which implements sections 114 and 315 of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACT Act), Public Law 108-159 (2003).

    FACT Act Section 114: Section 114 requires the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the FDIC (the Agencies) to jointly propose guidelines for financial institutions and creditors identifying patterns, practices, and specific forms of activity that indicate the possible existence of identity theft. In addition, each financial institution and creditor is required to establish reasonable policies and procedures to address the risk of identity theft that incorporate the guidelines. Credit card and debit card issuers must develop policies and procedures to assess the validity of a request for a change of address under certain circumstances. The information collections pursuant to section 114 require each financial institution and creditor to create an Identity Theft Prevention Program and report to the board of directors, a committee thereof, or senior management at least annually on compliance with the proposed regulations. In addition, staff must be trained to carry out the program. Each credit and debit card issuer is required to establish policies and procedures to assess the validity of a change of address request. The card issuer must notify the cardholder or use another means to assess the validity of the change of address.

    FACT Act Section 315: Section 315 requires the Agencies to issue regulations providing guidance regarding reasonable policies and procedures that a user of consumer reports must employ when such a user receives a notice of address discrepancy from a consumer reporting agencies. Part 334 provides such guidance. Each user of consumer reports must develop reasonable policies and procedures that it will follow when it receives a notice of address discrepancy from a consumer reporting agency. A user of consumer reports must furnish an address that the user has reasonably confirmed to be accurate to the consumer reporting agency from which it receives a notice of address discrepancy.

    There is no change in the method or substance of the information collection. The total estimated annual burden hours have increased because of the inclusion of the agency's estimate of third-party disclosure burden associated with the notices required by Section 315 of the FACT Act which were previously not included because the agencies had taken the position that the entities covered by the regulation were already furnishing addresses that they had reasonably confirmed to be accurate to consumer reporting agencies from which they receive a notice of address discrepancy as a usual and customary business practice. The above burden estimate now includes burden for the third-party disclosure requirements associated with Section 315 which resulted in an increase in estimated annual burden of 14, 300 hours. This increase was offset, in part, by a reduction in the estimated number of respondents from 4, 017 to 3,575 which resulted in a decrease in the estimated annual burden for the recordkeeping requirement associated with Sections 114 and 315 from 64, 272 hour to 57,200 hours. The net effect of the revision is an increase in estimated annual burden from 64,272 hours to 71,500 hours.

    Request for Comment

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the FDIC's functions, including whether the information has practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the estimates of the burden of the information collection, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. All comments will become a matter of public record.

    Dated at Washington, DC, on November 16, 2018. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25425 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL RETIREMENT THRIFT INVESTMENT Agenda; Board Meeting November 27, 2018, 8:30 a.m.(In-Person) Open Session 1. Approval of the minutes for the October 22, 2018 Board Member Meeting 2. Monthly Reports (a) Participant Activity (b) Investment Performance (c) Legislative Report 3. Quarterly Reports (d) Metrics 4. Office of Participant Services Annual Report 5. Office of Enterprise Planning Annual Report 6. Withdrawal Project Update Closed Session

    Material covered by 5 U.S.C. (c)(4), (c)(6), and (c)(9)(B).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kimberly Weaver, Director, Office of External Affairs, (202) 942-1640.

    Dated: November 19, 2018. Megan G. Grumbine, General Counsel, Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25543 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Children and Families Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    Title: Phase II Evaluation Activities for Implementing a Next Generation Evaluation Agenda for the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program—Extension

    OMB No.: 0970-0489.

    Description: The Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of Planning Research and Evaluation (OPRE) is proposing an extension of a currently approved information collection (OMB no. 1970-0489). The information collection activities are part of the Phase II Evaluation Activities for Implementing a Next Generation Evaluation Agenda for the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (now known as the Chafee Foster Care Program for the Successful Transition to Adulthood). The purpose of the extension is to continue the ongoing information collection, which consists of site visits by staff from the Urban Institute and Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago to conduct formative evaluations of programs serving transition-age foster youth. The evaluations include preliminary visits to discuss the evaluation process with program administrators and site visits to each program to speak with program leaders, partners and key stakeholders, front-line staff, and participants. These formative evaluations will determine programs' readiness for more rigorous evaluation in the future. The activities and products from this project will help ACF to fulfill the ongoing legislative mandate for program evaluation specified in the Foster Care Independence Act of 1999.

    Respondents: Semi-structured interviews will be held with program leaders, partners and stakeholders, and front-line staff as well as young adults being served by the programs.

    Annual Burden Estimates Instrument Total number of respondents Annual
  • number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden hours
  • per response
  • Annual burden hours
    Outreach email for discussion with program administrators and staff 16 8 1 8 64 Outreach email for Focus Group Recruiters 12 6 1 8 48 Discussion Guide for program leaders 48 24 4 1 96 Discussion Guide for program partners and stakeholders 60 30 2 1 60 Discussion Guide for program front-line staff 104 52 1 1 52 Focus Group Guide for program participants 160 80 1 2 160 Compilation and Submission of Administrative Data Files 48 24 2 12 576

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 1,056.

    Additional Information: Copies of the proposed collection may be obtained by writing to the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, 330 C Street SW, Washington, DC 20201, Attn: OPRE Reports Clearance Officer. All requests should be identified by the title of the information collection. Email address: [email protected]

    OMB Comment: OMB is required to make a decision concerning the collection of information between 30 and 60 days after publication of this document in the Federal Register. Therefore, a comment is best assured of having its full effect if OMB receives it within 30 days of publication. Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent directly to the following: Office of Management and Budget, Paperwork Reduction Project, Email: [email protected], Attn: Desk Officer for the Administration for Children and Families.

    Mary B. Jones, ACF/OPRE Certifying Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25548 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4184-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2018-N-1262] Approval of Product Under Voucher: Rare Pediatric Disease Priority Review Voucher AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing the issuance of approval of a product redeeming a priority review voucher. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act), as amended by the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA), authorizes FDA to award priority review vouchers to sponsors of approved rare pediatric disease product applications that meet certain criteria. FDA is required to publish notice of the issuance of vouchers as well as the approval of products redeeming a voucher. FDA has determined that AJOVY (fremanezumab-vfrm), approved September 14, 2018, meets the redemption criteria.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Althea Cuff, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-4061, Fax: 301-796-9858, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under section 529 of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 360ff), which was added by FDASIA, FDA will report the issuance of rare pediatric disease priority review vouchers and the approval of products for which a voucher was redeemed. FDA has determined that AJOVY (fremanezumab-vfrm), approved September 14, 2018, meets the redemption criteria.

    For further information about the Rare Pediatric Disease Priority Review Voucher Program and for a link to the full text of section 529 of the FD&C Act, go to https://www.fda.gov/ForIndustry/DevelopingProductsforRareDiseasesConditions/RarePediatricDiseasePriorityVoucherProgram/default.htm. For further information about AJOVY (fremanezumab-vfrm) go to the [email protected] website at https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cder/daf/.

    Dated: November 16, 2018. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25480 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Notice of Request for Information; A Notice by the Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria AGENCY:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, Office of the Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (Advisory Council) requests information from the general public and stakeholders related to efforts and strategies to combat Antibiotic Resistance (AR). Given the evolution of AR and the long-term nature of the problem, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) tasked the Advisory Council with identifying significant areas that have emerged since the release of the National Action Plan (NAP) for Combatting Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (CARB) in 2015. To aid in the process of developing its response to the Secretary's task, the Advisory Council has posted this Request for Information (RFI) to hear from a wide range of stakeholders and sectors relevant to the overall CARB effort. This RFI offers the opportunity for the public, including interested individuals, organizations, associations, industries, and others, to provide their input on new priority areas within each of the five goals of the NAP that should be considered by the United States Government (USG) for 2020-2025.

    Responses to the RFI must be received by 11:59 p.m. on January 7, 2019 to be considered. The questions in the RFI are available through an online form on the Advisory Council's web page at www.hhs.gov/ash/carb. Individuals unable to submit their answers using the online platform should send an email to [email protected], indicating “RFI Response” in the subject line, along with the corresponding goal number(s) for which they are responding.

    DATES AND TIMES:

    Comments must be received by 11:59 p.m. on January 7, 2019 to be considered.

    ADDRESSES:

    Individuals are encouraged to submit their responses through one of the following methods. Utilization of the online form available on www.hhs.gov/ash/carb is the preferred method of submission. Should you choose to send in your responses via email, please be sure to include “RFI Response” along with the corresponding goal number(s) in the subject line. Responses should not include information of a confidential nature, such as sensitive personal information or proprietary information. Responses to this notice are not offers and cannot be accepted by the federal government to form a binding contract or issue a grant. Please be aware that your comments will not be posted publicly, however they may be made available to the public, in part or in full, subject to applicable laws and regulations.

    Online Form: www.hhs.gov/ash/carb. Online submissions will receive an automatic confirmation acknowledging receipt of your response, but you will not receive individualized feedback on any suggestions.

    Email: [email protected] Please indicate “RFI Response” and the corresponding goal number(s) in the subject line of your email.

    • All submissions will receive an electronic confirmation acknowledging receipt of your response, but you will not receive individualized feedback on any suggestions.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Jomana Musmar, Acting Designated Federal Officer, Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Room 715H, Hubert H. Humphrey Building, 200 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20201. Phone: (202) 690-5566; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under Executive Order 13676, dated September 18, 2014, authority was given to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to establish the Advisory Council, in consultation with the Secretaries of Defense and Agriculture. Activities of the Advisory Council are governed by the provisions of Public Law 92-463, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), which sets forth standards for the formation and use of federal advisory committees.

    The Advisory Council will provide advice, information, and recommendations to the Secretary of HHS regarding programs and policies intended to support and evaluate the implementation of Executive Order 13676, including the National Strategy for CARB and the Action Plan (NAP). The Advisory Council shall function solely for advisory purposes.

    In carrying out its mission, the Advisory Council will provide advice, information, and recommendations to the Secretary regarding programs and policies intended to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics by optimizing their use; advance research to develop improved methods for combating AR and conducting antibiotic stewardship; strengthen surveillance of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections; prevent the transmission of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections; advance the development of rapid point-of-care and agricultural diagnostics; further research on new treatments for bacterial infections; develop alternatives to antibiotics for agricultural purposes; maximize the dissemination of up-to-date information on the appropriate and proper use of antibiotics to the general public and human and animal healthcare providers; and improve international coordination of efforts to combat AR.

    Background: Antibiotic Resistance (AR) poses a significant threat to our Nation's public health, economy, and national security. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that every year more than two million people in the United States (U.S.) contract infections that are resistant to antibiotics, and at least 23,000 people die as a result. The United States exceeds $20 billion in direct health care costs, and loses $35 billion in indirect costs due to loss of productivity associated with antibiotic-resistant infections. By 2050, drug-resistant bacterial infections worldwide are estimated to result in greater than 10 million deaths yearly and cost up to $100 trillion in losses to the world economy. Drug-resistant infections also complicate the U.S. medical response to chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear emergencies, and the global spread of AR makes our deployed service members particularly vulnerable.

    In response to the AR threat, the USG developed the National Strategy for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (CARB) in 2014. The Strategy takes a One Health approach to combating antibiotic resistance based on the persistence of AR within our global environment and the recognition that integrated multi-sectoral action is needed to prevent the emergence and spread of AR. In 2015, the U.S. government issued the corresponding National Action Plan (NAP) for CARB, providing a five-year roadmap (2015-2020) to guide the Nation in implementing the following five goals outlined in the Strategy:

    1. Slow the emergence of resistant bacteria and prevent the spread of resistant infections;

    2. Strengthen national One Health surveillance efforts to combat resistance;

    3. Advance development and use of rapid and innovative diagnostic tests for identification and characterization of resistant bacteria;

    4. Accelerate basic and applied research and development for new antibiotics and other therapeutics, including vaccines; and

    5. Improve international collaboration and capacities for antibiotic resistance prevention, surveillance, control and antibiotic research and development.

    The U.S. government has made meaningful progress towards these goals; however, since the issuance of the NAP in 2015, the domestic and international landscape has changed with continued unparalleled advancement and innovation in technology and the life sciences. Additional action is needed and opportunities exist to continue this progress beyond 2020. As such, the U.S. Government will issue a second iteration of the NAP that will guide action on AR for the period of 2020-2025. The development of this draft will involve the U.S. Government's careful consideration of progress to date on the current NAP, including barriers to progress in certain areas and new developments across sectors, at home and abroad.

    Request for Information: To inform the Advisory Council's deliberation on recommended priorities to consider in the USG's process of developing the next NAP (2020-2025), please review the five goals in the current NAP, and provide the following information:

    • In the context of the existing five goals, on what new priorities should the federal government focus in the next NAP for CARB—that are not already included in the current plan—and why are they the most important? Your response can cover a range of priority areas for human, animal, and environmental health, including surveillance, research and development, stewardship practices, infection prevention and control practices, and/or other areas for consideration.

    In preparing your response, please be sure to:

    ○ Consider how your response fits into the existing One Health paradigm, and how your proposed priority should be further pursued by the U.S. Government;

    ○ Provide an answer that is feasible and actionable by the U.S. Government;

    ○ Limit your responses to no more than two priorities for each of the five goals (a maximum of 10 can be submitted);

    ○ Summarize your response for each priority area in 250 words or less, including its scientific justification;

    ○ Indicate whether your response is relevant domestically, internationally, or both;

    ○ Indicate the domain(s) to which your response applies—human, animal, and/or environmental health;

    ○ Include citations to support your response (references must be in the form of an active link or citation; we will not accept attachments. Peer-reviewed citations and journal links are highly encouraged.

    Response to this RFI is voluntary. Responders are free to address any or all of the goals listed in the NAP. Please note that the USG will not pay for response preparation or for the use of any information contained in the response. The answers provided in this RFI must not include any confidential or proprietary data. Responses to this notice are not offers and cannot be accepted by the USG to form a binding contract or issue a grant. Please be aware that your comments will not be posted publicly, however, they may be made available to the public, in part or in full, subject to applicable laws and regulations.

    More information can be found at www.hhs.gov/ash/carb.

    Dated: November 13, 2018. Jomana F. Musmar, Acting Designated Federal Officer, Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Committee Manager.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25435 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4150-44-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Meeting of the Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria AGENCY:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, Office of the Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    As stipulated by the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is hereby giving notice that a meeting is scheduled to be held for the Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (Advisory Council). The meeting will be open to the public; a public comment session will be held during the meeting. Pre-registration is required for members of the public who wish to attend the meeting and who wish to participate in the public comment session. Individuals who wish to attend the meeting and/or send in their public comment via email should send an email to [email protected] Registration information is available on the website http://www.hhs.gov/ash/carb/ and must be completed by January 23, 2019; all in-person attendees must pre-register by this date. Additional information about registering for the meeting and providing public comment can be obtained at http://www.hhs.gov/ash/carb/ on the Meetings page.

    DATES:

    The meeting is scheduled to be held on January 30, 2019, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and January 31, 2019, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET (times are tentative and subject to change). The confirmed times and agenda items for the meeting will be posted on the website for the Advisory Council at http://www.hhs.gov/ash/carb/ when this information becomes available. Pre-registration for attending the meeting in person is required to be completed no later than January 23, 2019; public attendance at the meeting is limited to the available space.

    ADDRESSES:

    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Hubert H. Humphrey Building, Great Hall, 200 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20201.

    The meeting can also be accessed through a live webcast on the day of the meeting. For more information, visit http://www.hhs.gov/ash/carb/.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Jomana Musmar, Acting Designated Federal Officer, Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Room 715H, Hubert H. Humphrey Building, 200 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20201. Phone: (202) 690-5566; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under Executive Order 13676, dated September 18, 2014, authority was given to the Secretary of HHS to establish the Advisory Council, in consultation with the Secretaries of Defense and Agriculture. Activities of the Advisory Council are governed by the provisions of Public Law 92-463, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), which sets forth standards for the formation and use of federal advisory committees.

    The Advisory Council will provide advice, information, and recommendations to the Secretary of HHS regarding programs and policies intended to support and evaluate the implementation of Executive Order 13676, including the National Strategy for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria and the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria. The Advisory Council shall function solely for advisory purposes.

    In carrying out its mission, the Advisory Council will provide advice, information, and recommendations to the Secretary regarding programs and policies intended to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics by optimizing their use; advance research to develop improved methods for combating antibiotic resistance and conducting antibiotic stewardship; strengthen surveillance of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections; prevent the transmission of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections; advance the development of rapid point-of-care and agricultural diagnostics; further research on new treatments for bacterial infections; develop alternatives to antibiotics for agricultural purposes; maximize the dissemination of up-to-date information on the appropriate and proper use of antibiotics to the general public and human and animal healthcare providers; and improve international coordination of efforts to combat antibiotic resistance.

    The public meeting will be dedicated to hosting stakeholders to explore priority areas that have emerged since the original National Action Plan on Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria was launched in 2015. The meeting agenda will be posted on the Advisory Council website at http://www.hhs.gov/ash/carb/ when it has been finalized. All agenda items are tentative and subject to change.

    Public attendance at the meeting is limited to the available space. Individuals who plan to attend and need special assistance, such as sign language interpretation or other reasonable accommodations, should notify the Advisory Council at the address/telephone number listed above at least one week prior to the meeting. For those unable to attend in person, a live webcast will be available. More information on registration and accessing the webcast can be found at http://www.hhs.gov/ash/carb/.

    Members of the public will have the opportunity to provide comments prior to the Advisory Council meeting by emailing [email protected] Public comments should be sent in by midnight January 23, 2019, and should be limited to no more than one page. All public comments received prior to January 23, 2019, will be provided to Advisory Council members; comments are limited to five minutes per speaker.

    Dated: November 16, 2018. Tammy R. Beckham, Acting Director, National Vaccine Program Office.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25439 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4150-44-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute on Drug Abuse; 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: National Institute on Drug Abuse Special Emphasis Panel; NIDA Research Education Program for Clinical Researchers and Clinicians (R25).

    Date: November 27, 2018.

    Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20852 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Julia Berzhanskaya, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Office of Extramural Policy and Review, Division of Extramural Research, National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH, DHHS, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 4234, MSC 9550, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-827-5840, [email protected]

    This notice is being published less than 15 days prior to the meeting due to the timing limitations imposed by the review and funding cycle.

    Name of Committee: National Institute on Drug Abuse Special Emphasis Panel; Multi-Site Studies for System-Level Implementation of Substance Use Prevention and Treatment Services (R01; R34).

    Date: November 27, 2018.

    Time: 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20852 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Julia Berzhanskaya, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Office of Extramural Policy and Review, Division of Extramural Research, National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH, DHHS, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 4234, MSC 9550, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-827-5840, [email protected]

    This notice is being published less than 15 days prior to the meeting due to the timing limitations imposed by the review and funding cycle.

    Name of Committee: National Institute on Drug Abuse Special Emphasis Panel; Workshops on the Use of Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Data (R25 Clinical Trial Not Allowed).

    Date: November 29, 2018.

    Time: 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20852 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Julia Berzhanskaya, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Office of Extramural Policy and Review, Division of Extramural Research, National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH, DHHS, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 4234, MSC 9550, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-827-5840, [email protected]

    This notice is being published less than 15 days prior to the meeting due to the timing limitations imposed by the review and funding cycle.

    Name of Committee: National Institute on Drug Abuse Special Emphasis Panel; Mechanism for Time-Sensitive Drug Abuse Research (R21 Clinical Trial Optional).

    Date: December 5, 2018.

    Time: 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20852 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Hiromi Ono, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Office of Extramural Policy and Review, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, DHHS, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 4238, MSC 9550, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-827-5820, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: National Institute on Drug Abuse Special Emphasis Panel; Advancing Exceptional Research on HIV/AIDS and Substance Abuse (R01, Clinical Trial Optional).

    Date: December 13, 2018.

    Time: 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20852 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Gerald L. McLaughlin, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Office of Extramural Policy and Review, National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH, DHHS, 6001 Executive Blvd., Room 4238, MSC 9550, Bethesda, MD 20892-9550, 301-827-5819, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos.: 93.279, Drug Abuse and Addiction Research Programs, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: November 16, 2018. Natasha M. Copeland, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25427 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute on Drug Abuse; Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, notice is hereby given of the following meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The contract proposals and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the contract proposals, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute on Drug Abuse Special Emphasis Panel; Pharmacokinetic Analysis Resource Center (8947).

    Date: January 8, 2019.

    Time: 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate contract proposals.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20852 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Lyle Furr, Scientific Review Officer, Office of Extramural Affairs, National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH, DHHS, Room 4227, MSC 9550, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Bethesda, MD 20892-9550, (301) 827-5702, lf33c.nih.gov.

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program No.: 93.279, Drug Abuse and Addiction Research Programs, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: November 16, 2018. Natasha M. Copeland, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25426 Filed 11-21-18; 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; Informatics Methodology and Secondary Analyses for Immunology Data in ImmPort.

    Date: December 14, 2018.

    Time: 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 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: Paul A. Amstad, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Scientific Review Program, Division of Extramural Activities, Room 3G41, 5601 Fishers Lane, Bethesda, MD 20892-7616, 240-669-5067, [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: November 16, 2018. Natasha M. Copeland, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25428 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request

    In compliance with Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 concerning the opportunity for public comment on proposed collections of information, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will publish periodic summaries of proposed projects. To request more information on the proposed projects or to obtain a copy of the information collection plans, call the SAMHSA Reports Clearance Officer at (240) 276-1243.

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collections of information are necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Proposed Project: Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant Synar Report Format, FFY 2020-2022—(OMB No. 0930-0222)—Extension

    Section 1926 of the Public Health Service Act [42 U.S.C. 300x-26] stipulates that Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant (SABG) funding agreements for alcohol and drug abuse programs for fiscal year 1994 and subsequent fiscal years require states to have in effect a law stating that it is unlawful for any manufacturer, retailer, or distributor of tobacco products to sell or distribute any such product to any individual under the age of 18. This section further requires that states conduct annual, random, unannounced inspections to ensure compliance with the law; that the state submit annually a report describing the results of the inspections, the activities carried out by the state to enforce the required law, the success the state has achieved in reducing the availability of tobacco products to individuals under the age of 18, and the strategies to be utilized by the state for enforcing such law during the fiscal year for which the grant is sought.

    Before making an award to a state under the SABG, the Secretary must make a determination that the state has maintained compliance with these requirements. If a determination is made that the state is not in compliance, penalties shall be applied. Penalties ranged from 10 percent of the Block Grant in applicable year 1 (FFY 1997 SABG Applications) to 40 percent in applicable year 4 (FFY 2000 SABG Applications) and subsequent years. Respondents include the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Micronesia, and the Marshall Islands. Red Lake Indian Tribe is not subject to tobacco requirements.

    Regulations that implement this legislation are at 45 CFR 96.130, are approved by OMB under control number 0930-0163, and require that each state submit an annual Synar report to the Secretary describing their progress in complying with section 1926 of the PHS Act. The Synar report, due December 31 following the fiscal year for which the state is reporting, describes the results of the inspections and the activities carried out by the state to enforce the required law; the success the state has achieved in reducing the availability of tobacco products to individuals under the age of 18; and the strategies to be utilized by the state for enforcing such law during the fiscal year for which the grant is sought. SAMHSA's Center for Substance Abuse Prevention will request an extension of OMB approval of the current report format associated with section 1926 (42 U.S.C. 300x-26) to 2022. Extending OMB approval of the current report format will continue to facilitate consistent, credible, and efficient monitoring of Synar compliance across the states.

    Annual Reporting Burden 45 CFR citation Number of
  • respondents 1
  • Responses per
  • respondents
  • Total number of responses Hours per
  • response
  • Total hour
  • burden
  • Annual Report (Section 1—States and Territories) 96.130(e)(1-3) 59 1 59 15 885 State Plan (Section II—States and Territories) 96.130(e)(4,5)96.130(g) 59 1 59 3 177 Total 59 118 1,062 1 Red Lake Indian Tribe is not subject to tobacco requirements.

    Send comments to Summer King, SAMHSA Reports Clearance Officer, 5600 Fishers Lane, Room 15E57-B, Rockville, Maryland 20857, OR email a copy to [email protected] Written comments should be received by January 22, 2019.

    Summer King, Statistician.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25560 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4162-20-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    Periodically, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will publish a summary of information collection requests under OMB review, in compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35). To request a copy of these documents, call the SAMHSA Reports Clearance Officer at (240) 276-1243.

    Project: Minority AIDS Initiative-Management Reporting Tools (MAI-MRTs)—(OMB No. 0930-0357)—Revision

    The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) is requesting from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval for the revision of Minority AIDS Initiative (MAI) monitoring tools, which includes both youth and adult questionnaires as well as the quarterly progress report. This revision includes the inclusion of new cohorts, substantial revisions to the youth and adult questionnaires, updates to the data used to estimate response rates and expected numbers of participants by service duration (see Table 1 below).

    The cohorts of grantees funded by the MAI and included in this clearance request are:

    • Capacity Building Initiative (CBI) 2015 • Capacity Building Initiative (CBI) 2016 • Capacity Building Initiative (CBI) 2017 • Capacity Building Initiative (CBI) 2018 • Prevention Navigators 2017 • Secretary's Minority AIDS Initiative Fund (SMAIF) 2018

    The target population for the MAI grantees will be at-risk minority adolescents and young adults. All MAI grantees are expected to report their monitoring data using SAMHSA's Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF) to target minority populations, as well as other high risk groups residing in communities of color with high prevalence of Substance Abuse and HIV/AIDS. The primary objectives of the monitoring tools include:

    • Assess the success of the MAI in reducing risk factors and increasing protective factors associated with the transmission of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Hepatitis C Virus (HCV), and other sexually-transmitted diseases (STD).

    • Measure the effectiveness of evidence-based programs and infrastructure development activities such as: Outreach and training, mobilization of key stakeholders, substance abuse and HIV/AIDS counseling and education, testing, referrals to appropriate medical treatment and/or other intervention strategies (i.e., cultural enrichment activities, educational and vocational resources, social marketing campaigns, and computer-based curricula).

    • Investigate intervention types and features that yield the best outcomes for specific population groups.

    • Assess the extent to which access to health care was enhanced for population groups and individuals vulnerable to behavioral health disparities residing in communities targeted by funded interventions.

    • Assess the process of adopting and implementing the SPF with the target populations.

    Revisions to the monitoring tools include the following:

    Quarterly Progress Report (QPR) • Removed Numbers Served, HIV Testing, VH Testing, VH Vaccination, and Referrals for Services Not Funded by MAI funds from the Implementation Section. These data will be collected via the participant level • Added opioid items to lists for targeted outcome measures, name of direct services list, indirect services—environmental strategy list and environmental strategy purpose • Added Promising Approaches and Innovations Section (2 questions) • Added upload screen for Final Evaluation Report (for closeout grantees only) tool

    The following two tools have been added to this data collection, but were approved under OMB No. 0930-0347 with the exception of the new items listed below. Questions removed were non-essential.

    Adult Questionnaire • Aligned questions with the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT)/Center for Mental Health Service (CMHS) tools & the Rapid HIV Hepatitis Form, where possible • Removed some demographic questions related to language, education, employment status, health, military details, and relationship status • Removed some knowledge & attitude questions about peer behavior & how they feel about it, sex refusal skills, & HIV knowledge • Removed some behavior questions related to other tobacco products, electronic vapor products, synthetic marijuana, mental health, and experience with alcohol use • Added opioid drug questions • Added questions to capture details on the intervention and the referrals to the record management section (completed by grantee staff) Youth Questionnaire

    In addition to all items listed above, on the youth questionnaire, SAMHSA also removed non-essential questions related to:

    • Interest in school & feelings about ethnic identity • Relationships with parents or guardians • Friend substance abuse and sexual behavior • Exposure to prevention education messages

    The following two tools have been deleted from this data collection:

    • Indirect Service Outcomes (ISO) • HIV Testing Retrospective Reporting Tool

    Revision made per the 60-day comment period:

    (1) Ask about cigarettes and other tobacco products separately. (See questions 26 in the adult questionnaire and 23 in the youth questionnaire for the revisions) (2) Include brand examples in the help text of the questionnaires to clarify what types of vapor products may be included. (See question 24 in the youth questionnaire and question 27 in the adult questionnaire for the revisions) Table 1—Estimates of Annualized Hour Burden Type of
  • respondent
  • activity
  • Number of
  • respondents
  • Responses per
  • respondent
  • Total
  • responses
  • Hours per
  • response
  • Total burden hours
    Quarterly Progress Report 155 4 620 4 2,480 Adult questionnaire 12,000 2 24,000 .20 4,800 Youth questionnaire 3,000 2 6,000 .20 600 Total 15,155 30,620 7,880

    Written comments and recommendations concerning the proposed information collection should be sent by December 24, 2018 to the SAMHSA Desk Officer at the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB). To ensure timely receipt of comments, and to avoid potential delays in OMB's receipt and processing of mail sent through the U.S. Postal Service, commenters are encouraged to submit their comments to OMB via email to: [email protected] Although commenters are encouraged to send their comments via email, commenters may also fax their comments to: 202-395-7285. Commenters may also mail them to: Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, New Executive Office Building, Room 10102, Washington, DC 20503.

    Summer King, Statistician.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25559 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4162-20-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard [Docket No. USCG-2018-0279] Collection of Information Under Review by Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0044 AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Thirty-day notice requesting comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 the U.S. Coast Guard is forwarding an Information Collection Request (ICR), abstracted below, to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), requesting approval for reinstatement, without change, of the following collection of information: 1625-0044, Outer Continental Shelf Activities—Title 33 CFR Subchapter N. Our ICR describes the information we seek to collect from the public. Review and comments by OIRA ensure we only impose paperwork burdens commensurate with our performance of duties.

    DATES:

    Comments must reach the Coast Guard and OIRA on or before December 24, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by Coast Guard docket number [USCG-2018-0279] to the Coast Guard using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at https://www.regulations.gov. Alternatively, you may submit comments to OIRA using one of the following means:

    (1) Email: [email protected]

    (2) Mail: OIRA, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20503, attention Desk Officer for the Coast Guard.

    A copy of the ICR is available through the docket on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov. Additionally, copies are available from: Commandant (CG-612), Attn: Paperwork Reduction Act Manager, U.S. Coast Guard, 2703 Martin Luther King Jr Ave. SE, Stop 7710, Washington, DC 20593-7710.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Anthony Smith, Office of Information Management, telephone 202-475-3532, or fax 202-372-8405, for questions on these documents.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Public Participation and Request for Comments

    This Notice relies on the authority of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended. An ICR is an application to OIRA seeking the approval, extension, or renewal of a Coast Guard collection of information (Collection). The ICR contains information describing the Collection's purpose, the Collection's likely burden on the affected public, an explanation of the necessity of the Collection, and other important information describing the Collection. There is one ICR for each Collection.

    The Coast Guard invites comments on whether this ICR should be granted based on the Collection being necessary for the proper performance of Departmental functions. In particular, the Coast Guard would appreciate comments addressing: (1) The practical utility of the Collection; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden of the Collection; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of information subject to the Collection; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the Collection on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. These comments will help OIRA determine whether to approve the ICR referred to in this Notice.

    We encourage you to respond to this request by submitting comments and related materials. Comments to Coast Guard or OIRA must contain the OMB Control Number of the ICR. They must also contain the docket number of this request, [USCG-2018-0279], and must be received by December 24, 2018.

    Submitting Comments

    We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at https://www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be submitted using https://www.regulations.gov, contact the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate instructions. Documents mentioned in this notice, and all public comments, are in our online docket at https://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following that website's instructions. Additionally, if you go to the online docket and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified when comments are posted.

    We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted without change to https://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and the docket, you may review a Privacy Act notice regarding the Federal Docket Management System in the March 24, 2005, issue of the Federal Register (70 FR 15086).

    OIRA posts its decisions on ICRs online at https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain after the comment period for each ICR. An OMB Notice of Action on each ICR will become available via a hyperlink in the OMB Control Number: 1625-0044.

    Previous Request for Comments

    This request provides a 30-day comment period required by OIRA. The Coast Guard published the 60-day notice (83 FR 45645, September 10, 2018) required by 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2). That Notice elicited no comments. Accordingly, no changes have been made to the Collections.

    Information Collection Request

    Title: Outer Continental Shelf Activities—Title 33 CFR Subchapter N.

    OMB Control Number: 1625-0044.

    Summary: The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, as amended, authorizes the Coast Guard to promulgate and enforce regulations promoting the safety of life and property on OCS facilities. These regulations are located in 33 CFR chapter I subchapter N.

    Need: The information is needed to ensure compliance with the safety regulations related to OCS activities. The regulations contain reporting and recordkeeping requirements for annual inspections of fixed OCS facilities, employee citizenship records, station bills, and emergency evacuation plans.

    Forms: CG-5432, Fixed OCS Facility Inspection Report.

    Respondents: Operators of facilities and vessels engaged in activities on the OCS.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Hour Burden Estimate: The estimated burden has increased from 8,441 hours to 9,582 hours a year due to an increase in the estimated annual number of responses.

    Authority: The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended.

    Dated: November 15, 2018. James D. Roppel, U.S. Coast Guard, Acting Chief, Office of Information Management.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25481 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Docket ID FEMA-2018-0002; Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-B-1861] Proposed Flood Hazard Determinations AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Comments are requested on proposed flood hazard determinations, which may include additions or modifications of any Base Flood Elevation (BFE), base flood depth, Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) boundary or zone designation, or regulatory floodway on the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs), and where applicable, in the supporting Flood Insurance Study (FIS) reports for the communities listed in the table below. The purpose of this notice is to seek general information and comment regarding the preliminary FIRM, and where applicable, the FIS report that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has provided to the affected communities. The FIRM and FIS report are the basis of the floodplain management measures that the community is required either to adopt or to show evidence of having in effect in order to qualify or remain qualified for participation in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). In addition, the FIRM and FIS report, once effective, will be used by insurance agents and others to calculate appropriate flood insurance premium rates for new buildings and the contents of those buildings.

    DATES:

    Comments are to be submitted on or before February 21, 2019.

    ADDRESSES:

    The Preliminary FIRM, and where applicable, the FIS report for each community are available for inspection at both the online location https://www.fema.gov/preliminaryfloodhazarddata and the respective Community Map Repository address listed in the tables below. Additionally, the current effective FIRM and FIS report for each community are accessible online through the FEMA Map Service Center at https://msc.fema.gov for comparison.

    You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. FEMA-B-1861, to Rick Sacbibit, Chief, Engineering Services Branch, Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, FEMA, 400 C Street SW, Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-7659, or (email) [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rick Sacbibit, Chief, Engineering Services Branch, Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, FEMA, 400 C Street SW, Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-7659, or (email) [email protected]; or visit the FEMA Map Information eXchange (FMIX) online at https://www.floodmaps.fema.gov/fhm/fmx_main.html.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    FEMA proposes to make flood hazard determinations for each community listed below, in accordance with section 110 of the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973, 42 U.S.C. 4104, and 44 CFR 67.4(a).

    These proposed flood hazard determinations, together with the floodplain management criteria required by 44 CFR 60.3, are the minimum that are required. They should not be construed to mean that the community must change any existing ordinances that are more stringent in their floodplain management requirements. The community may at any time enact stricter requirements of its own or pursuant to policies established by other Federal, State, or regional entities. These flood hazard determinations are used to meet the floodplain management requirements of the NFIP and are used to calculate the appropriate flood insurance premium rates for new buildings built after the FIRM and FIS report become effective.

    The communities affected by the flood hazard determinations are provided in the tables below. Any request for reconsideration of the revised flood hazard information shown on the Preliminary FIRM and FIS report that satisfies the data requirements outlined in 44 CFR 67.6(b) is considered an appeal. Comments unrelated to the flood hazard determinations also will be considered before the FIRM and FIS report become effective.

    Use of a Scientific Resolution Panel (SRP) is available to communities in support of the appeal resolution process. SRPs are independent panels of experts in hydrology, hydraulics, and other pertinent sciences established to review conflicting scientific and technical data and provide recommendations for resolution. Use of the SRP only may be exercised after FEMA and local communities have been engaged in a collaborative consultation process for at least 60 days without a mutually acceptable resolution of an appeal. Additional information regarding the SRP process can be found online at https://www.floodsrp.org/pdfs/srp_overview.pdf.

    The watersheds and/or communities affected are listed in the tables below. The Preliminary FIRM, and where applicable, FIS report for each community are available for inspection at both the online location https://www.fema.gov/preliminaryfloodhazarddata and the respective Community Map Repository address listed in the tables. For communities with multiple ongoing Preliminary studies, the studies can be identified by the unique project number and Preliminary FIRM date listed in the tables. Additionally, the current effective FIRM and FIS report for each community are accessible online through the FEMA Map Service Center at https://msc.fema.gov for comparison.

    (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No. 97.022, “Flood Insurance.”) David I. Maurstad, Deputy Associate Administrator for Insurance and Mitigation, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency. Community Community map repository address Lincoln County, Georgia and Incorporated Areas Project: 17-04-4564S Preliminary Date: March 14, 2018 City of Lincolnton City Hall, 125 North Peachtree Street, Lincolnton, GA 30817. Unincorporated Areas of Lincoln Lincoln County Courthouse, 210 Humphrey Street, Lincolnton, GA 30817. Bandera County, Texas and Incorporated Areas Project: 14-06-1699S Preliminary Date: June 29, 2018 City of Bandera City Hall, 511 Main Street, Bandera, TX 78003. Unincorporated Areas of Bandera County Bandera County Engineer's Office, 502 11th Street, Bandera, TX 78003. Kendall County, Texas and Incorporated Areas Project: 14-06-1699S Preliminary Date: June 29, 2018 Unincorporated Areas of Kendall County Kendall County Courthouse, 201 East San Antonio Avenue, Suite 101, Boerne, TX 78006. Kerr County, Texas and Incorporated Areas Project: 14-06-1699S Preliminary Date: June 29, 2018 Unincorporated Areas of Kerr County Kerr County Engineering Office, 3766 State Highway 27, Kerrville, TX 78028. Medina County, Texas and Incorporated Areas Project: 14-06-1699S Preliminary Date: June 29, 2018 City of Castroville City Hall, 1209 Fiorella Street, Castroville, TX 78009. Unincorporated Areas of Medina County Medina County Environmental Health Group, 925 Avenue Y, Hondo, TX 78861.
    [FR Doc. 2018-25546 Filed 11-21-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-12-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Docket ID FEMA-2018-0002; Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-B-1866] Changes in Flood Hazard Determinations AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice lists communities where the addition or modification of Base Flood Elevations (BFEs), base flood depths, Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) boundaries or zone designations, or the regulatory floodway (hereinafter referred to as flood hazard determinations), as shown on the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs), and where applicable, in the supporting Flood Insurance Study (FIS) reports, prepared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for each community, is appropriate because of new scientific or technical data. The FIRM, and where applicable, portions of the FIS report, have been revised to reflect these flood hazard determinations through issuance of a Letter of Map Revision (LOMR), in accordance with Federal Regulations. The LOMR will be used by insurance agents and others to calculate appropriate flood insurance premium rates for new buildings and the contents of those buildings. For rating purposes, the currently effective community number is shown in the table below and must be used for all new policies and renewals.

    DATES:

    These flood hazard determinations will be finalized on the dates listed in the table below and revise the FIRM panels and FIS report in effect prior to this determination for the listed communities.

    From the date of the second publication of notification of these changes in a newspaper of local circulation, any person has 90 days in which to request through the community that the Deputy Associate Administrator for Insurance and Mitigation reconsider the changes. The flood hazard determination information may be changed during the 90-day period.

    ADDRESSES:

    The affected communities are listed in the table below. Revised flood hazard information for each community is available for inspection at both the online location and the respective community map repository address listed in the table below. Additionally, the current effective FIRM and FIS report for each community are accessible online through the FEMA Map Service Center at https://msc.fema.gov for comparison.

    Submit comments and/or appeals to the Chief Executive Officer of the community as listed in the table below.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rick Sacbibit, Chief, Engineering Services Branch, Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, FEMA, 400 C Street SW, Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-7659, or (email) [email protected]; or visit the FEMA Map Information eXchange (FMIX) online at https://www.floodmaps.fema.gov/fhm/fmx_main.html.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The specific flood hazard determinations are not described for each community in this notice. However, the online location and local community map repository address where the flood hazard determination information is available for inspection is provided.

    Any request for reconsideration of flood hazard determinations must be submitted to the Chief Executive Officer of the community as listed in the table below.

    The modifications are made pursuant to section 201 of the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973, 42 U.S.C. 4105, and are in accordance with the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968, 42 U.S.C. 4001 et seq., and with 44 CFR part 65.

    The FIRM and FIS report are the basis of the floodplain management measures that the community is required either to adopt or to show evidence of having in effect in order to qualify or remain qualified for participation in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

    These flood hazard determinations, together with the floodplain management criteria required by 44 CFR 60.3, are the minimum that are required. They should not be construed to mean that the community must change any existing ordinances that are more stringent in their floodplain management requirements. The community may at any time enact stricter requirements of its own or pursuant to policies established by other Federal, State, or regional entities. The flood hazard determinations are in accordance with 44 CFR 65.4.

    The affected communities are listed in the following table. Flood hazard determination information for each community is available for inspection at both the online location and the respective community map repository address listed in the table below. Additionally, the current effective FIRM and FIS report for each community are accessible online through the FEMA Map Service Center at https://msc.fema.gov for comparison.

    (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No. 97.022, “Flood Insurance.”) David I. Maurstad, Deputy Associate Administrator for Insurance and Mitigation, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency. State and county Location and
  • case No.
  • Chief executive
  • officer of community
  • Community map
  • repository
  • Online location of
  • letter of map revision
  • Date of
  • modification
  • Community
  • No.
  • Connecticut: Fairfield Town of Newtown (18-01-0540P) The Honorable Dan Rosenthal, First Selectman, Town of Newtown Board of Selectmen, 3 Primrose Street, Newtown, CT 06470 Town Hall, 3 Primrose Street, Newtown, CT 06470 http