Federal Register Vol. 83, No.239,

Federal Register Volume 83, Issue 239 (December 13, 2018)

Page Range64023-64222
FR Document

83_FR_239
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
83 FR 64115 - Availability of Final Evaluation Findings of State Coastal Programs and National Estuarine Research ReservesPDF
83 FR 64126 - Re-Establishment of the Great Lakes Advisory BoardPDF
83 FR 64125 - Proposed Information Collection Request; Comment Request; EPA's ENERGY STAR Program in the Commercial and Industrial Sectors (Renewal)PDF
83 FR 64027 - [EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0288 and EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0283; FRL-9986-73] HEAD6-Benzyladenine; Pesticide TolerancesPDF
83 FR 64113 - Evaluation of State Coastal Management ProgramsPDF
83 FR 64023 - Single-Counterparty Credit Limits for Bank Holding Companies and Foreign Banking Organizations; CorrectionPDF
83 FR 64133 - Issuance of Priority Review Voucher; Rare Pediatric Disease ProductPDF
83 FR 64116 - Fees for Reviews of the Rule Enforcement Programs of Designated Contract Markets and Registered Futures AssociationsPDF
83 FR 64128 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 64173 - Overseas Schools Advisory Council; Notice of MeetingPDF
83 FR 64159 - Bulk Manufacturer of Controlled Substances Application: Cambrex High Point, Inc.PDF
83 FR 64159 - Importer of Controlled Substances Application: Noramco Inc.PDF
83 FR 64158 - Importer of Controlled Substances Application: Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc.PDF
83 FR 64151 - Notice of Public Meeting, Idaho Falls District Resource Advisory Council MeetingPDF
83 FR 64160 - Importer of Controlled Substances Application: Mylan Technologies, Inc.PDF
83 FR 64151 - Notice of Realty Action: Recreation and Public Purposes Act Classification; ArizonaPDF
83 FR 64158 - Importer of Controlled Substances Application: Siegfried USA, LLCPDF
83 FR 64024 - Military Ocean Terminal Concord, CA; Restricted AreaPDF
83 FR 64159 - Bulk Manufacturer of Controlled Substances Application: Eli-Elsohly LaboratoriesPDF
83 FR 64053 - Pacific Ocean at Naval Base Guam Telecommunication Site, Finegayan Small Arms Range, on the Northwestern Coast of Guam; Danger ZonePDF
83 FR 64175 - Notice of Opportunity for Public Comment on Surplus Property Release at the Cullman Regional-Folsom Field Airport, Vinemont, AlabamaPDF
83 FR 64152 - Acadia National Park Advisory Commission Notice of Public MeetingsPDF
83 FR 64177 - Loan Guaranty: Assistance to Eligible Individuals in Acquiring Specially Adapted Housing; Cost-of-Construction IndexPDF
83 FR 64053 - The Standard for Determining Joint-Employer Status; Extension of Comment PeriodPDF
83 FR 64174 - Availability of Record of Decision for the Environmental Impact Statement, Tucson International Airport, Tucson, Pima County, Arizona.PDF
83 FR 64127 - Submission for OMB Review; Authorized Negotiators and Integrity of Unit PricesPDF
83 FR 64128 - Information Collection; Value Engineering RequirementsPDF
83 FR 64166 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Order Granting an Extension to Limited Exemptions From Rule 612(c) of Regulation NMS in Connection With the Exchange's Retail Liquidity Program Until June 30, 2019PDF
83 FR 64047 - Proposed Establishment of the Eastern Connecticut Highlands Viticultural AreaPDF
83 FR 64160 - Notice of Lodging of Proposed Consent Decree Under the Clean Water ActPDF
83 FR 64099 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 64098 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 64177 - Petition for Waiver of CompliancePDF
83 FR 64175 - Notice of Application for Approval of Discontinuance or Modification of a Railroad Signal SystemPDF
83 FR 64176 - Petition for Waiver of CompliancePDF
83 FR 64101 - Notice of Public Meeting of the West Virginia Advisory CommitteePDF
83 FR 64102 - Notice of Public Meeting of the Virginia Advisory CommitteePDF
83 FR 64101 - Notice of Public Meeting of the Pennsylvania Advisory CommitteePDF
83 FR 64167 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Order Granting an Extension to Limited Exemptions From Rule 612(c) of Regulation NMS In Connection With the Exchange's Retail Liquidity Programs Until June 30, 2019PDF
83 FR 64110 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery PlansPDF
83 FR 64105 - Certain Pasta From Italy: Rescission of 2017 Countervailing Duty Administrative ReviewPDF
83 FR 64124 - Electric Quarterly Report Users Group Meeting; Notice of Electric Quarterly Report Users Group MeetingPDF
83 FR 64030 - Suspension of Community EligibilityPDF
83 FR 64023 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Sacramento River, Sacramento, CAPDF
83 FR 64114 - Marine Mammals and Endangered SpeciesPDF
83 FR 64156 - Certain Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems and Components Thereof; Institution of InvestigationPDF
83 FR 64155 - Notice of Receipt of Complaint; Solicitation of Comments Relating to the Public InterestPDF
83 FR 64126 - Regular Meeting; Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation BoardPDF
83 FR 64174 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition Received; Textron Aviation Inc.PDF
83 FR 64149 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Check-In Permit and Use ReportPDF
83 FR 64145 - California; Emergency and Related DeterminationsPDF
83 FR 64141 - California; Amendment No. 1 to Notice of an Emergency DeclarationPDF
83 FR 64100 - Notice of Proposed New Fee Site; Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement ActPDF
83 FR 64118 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 64102 - Agenda and Notice of Public Meeting of the North Dakota Advisory CommitteePDF
83 FR 64032 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Permit Renewal ApplicationsPDF
83 FR 64150 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Efficacy of Oak Savanna Restoration History Information RequestPDF
83 FR 64110 - Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
83 FR 64112 - Fisheries of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Public MeetingPDF
83 FR 64115 - Fisheries of the Gulf of Mexico; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Public MeetingPDF
83 FR 64109 - Fisheries of the South Atlantic; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Public MeetingPDF
83 FR 64114 - Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
83 FR 64126 - Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding CompanyPDF
83 FR 64024 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Lake Washington Ship Canal, Seattle, WAPDF
83 FR 64130 - Determination That IC-GREEN (Indocyanine Green for Injection), 10 Milligrams/Vial, 40 Milligrams/Vial, and 50 Milligrams/Vial Were Not Withdrawn From Sale for Reasons of Safety or EffectivenessPDF
83 FR 64106 - Monosodium Glutamate From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2016-2017PDF
83 FR 64107 - Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods From Turkey: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2016-2017PDF
83 FR 64105 - Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products From India: Rescission of 2017 Countervailing Duty Administrative ReviewPDF
83 FR 64034 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Non-American Fisheries Act Crab Vessels Operating as Catcher Vessels Using Pot Gear in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf of AlaskaPDF
83 FR 64100 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 64153 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Permit Applications-Minimum Requirements for Legal, Financial, Compliance, and Related InformationPDF
83 FR 64103 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Survey of State Government Research and DevelopmentPDF
83 FR 64120 - Notice of Application Accepted for Filing, Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, Protests: Dakota and Goodhue CountiesPDF
83 FR 64118 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
83 FR 64119 - Notice of Petition for Enforcement: Great Divide Wind Farm 2, LLC; Great Divide Wind Farm 3, LLCPDF
83 FR 64134 - National Cancer Institute; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
83 FR 64134 - National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
83 FR 64135 - National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders; Notice of MeetingPDF
83 FR 64132 - Data Integrity and Compliance With Drug CGMP: Questions and Answers; Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
83 FR 64120 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
83 FR 64124 - Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization: Vermillion Power, L.L.C.PDF
83 FR 64163 - Astronomy and Astrophysics Advisory Committee; Notice of MeetingPDF
83 FR 64163 - Advisory Committee for Environmental Research and Education; Notice of MeetingPDF
83 FR 64163 - Proposal Review Panel for Physics; Notice of MeetingPDF
83 FR 64162 - Proposal Review Panel for Physics; Notice of MeetingPDF
83 FR 64045 - Impossible Foods, Inc.; Filing of Color Additive PetitionPDF
83 FR 64123 - Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review of the Palmyra to Ogden A-Line Project; Northern Natural Gas CompanyPDF
83 FR 64131 - Allied Pharma, Inc., et al.; Withdrawal of Approval of Nine Abbreviated New Drug ApplicationsPDF
83 FR 64104 - Notice of Petitions by Firms for Determination of Eligibility To Apply for Trade Adjustment AssistancePDF
83 FR 64171 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; ICE Clear Europe Limited; Notice of Filing of Amendment No. 1 and Order Granting Accelerated Approval of a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1, Relating to Amendments to the ICE Clear Europe Limited Liquidity PlanPDF
83 FR 64168 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rule 15 Relating to the Reference Price for Exchange-Listed SecuritiesPDF
83 FR 64142 - Changes in Flood Hazard DeterminationsPDF
83 FR 64145 - Kansas; Amendment No. 1 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
83 FR 64166 - Product Change-Priority Mail Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
83 FR 64164 - Product Change-Priority Mail Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
83 FR 64138 - Pennsylvania; Major Disaster and Related DeterminationsPDF
83 FR 64135 - Changes in Flood Hazard DeterminationsPDF
83 FR 64141 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Disaster Assistance RegistrationPDF
83 FR 64139 - Changes in Flood Hazard DeterminationsPDF
83 FR 64154 - U.S.-UK 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 64146 - Intent To Request Revision From OMB of One Current Public Collection of Information: Aircraft Operator Security, 49 CFR Part 1544PDF
83 FR 64147 - Intent To Request Revision From OMB of One Current Public Collection of Information: Certified Cargo Screening Standard Security ProgramPDF
83 FR 64097 - Request for Extension and Revision of a Currently Approved Information CollectionPDF
83 FR 64151 - Notice of Filing of Plat of Survey; ArizonaPDF
83 FR 64161 - Workforce Information Advisory CouncilPDF
83 FR 64056 - Air Plan Approval; Michigan; Revisions to Part 1 General Provisions RulesPDF
83 FR 64055 - Air Plan Approval; Michigan; Michigan Minor New Source ReviewPDF
83 FR 64026 - Revisions to California State Implementation Plan; South Coast Air Quality Management District, San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District and Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management; Nonattainment New Source Review Requirements for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone StandardPDF
83 FR 64036 - Policy on No-Action Letters and the BCFP Product SandboxPDF
83 FR 64059 - Water Quality Standards; Establishment of a Numeric Criterion for Selenium for the State of CaliforniaPDF
83 FR 64157 - Notice of Appointment of Individuals To Serve as Members of the Performance Review BoardPDF
83 FR 64078 - Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to National Park Service's Research and Monitoring Activities in Southern Alaska National ParksPDF
83 FR 64180 - Covered Investment Fund Research ReportsPDF
83 FR 64046 - Information and Communication TechnologyPDF
83 FR 64164 - Privacy Act of 1974; System of RecordsPDF

Issue

83 239 Thursday, December 13, 2018 Contents Agricultural Marketing Agricultural Marketing Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 64097-64098 2018-26930 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Agricultural Marketing Service

See

Forest Service

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 64098-64100 2018-26970 2018-27011 2018-27012
Alcohol Tobacco Tax Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau PROPOSED RULES Proposed Establishment of the Eastern Connecticut Highlands Viticultural Area, 64047-64053 2018-27016 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection PROPOSED RULES Policy on No-Action Letters and the BCFP Product Sandbox, 64036-64045 2018-26873 Census Bureau Census Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Survey of State Government Research and Development, 64103-64104 2018-26964 Children Children and Families Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 64128-64130 2018-27041 Civil Rights Civil Rights Commission NOTICES Meetings: North Dakota Advisory Committee, 64102 2018-26985 Pennsylvania Advisory Committee, 64101-64102 2018-27005 Virginia Advisory Committee, 64102-64103 2018-27006 West Virginia Advisory Committee, 64101 2018-27007 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: Lake Washington Ship Canal, Seattle, WA, 64024 2018-26976 Sacramento River, Sacramento, CA, 64023-64024 2018-26997 Commerce Commerce Department See

Census Bureau

See

Economic Development Administration

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Commodity Futures Commodity Futures Trading Commission NOTICES Fees for Reviews of the Rule Enforcement Programs of Designated Contract Markets and Registered Futures Associations, 64116-64118 2018-27042 Defense Department Defense Department See

Engineers Corps

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 64118 2018-26986 Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Authorized Negotiators and Integrity of Unit Prices, 64127 2018-27020 Value Engineering Requirements, 64128 2018-27019
Drug Drug Enforcement Administration NOTICES Bulk Manufacturers of Controlled Substances; Applications: Cambrex High Point, Inc., 64159 2018-27039 Eli-Elsohly Laboratories, 64159 2018-27029 Importers of Controlled Substances; Applications: Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc., 64158-64159 2018-27036 Mylan Technologies, Inc., 64160 2018-27034 Noramco Inc., 64159-64160 2018-27037 Siegfried USA, LLC, 64158 2018-27032 Economic Development Economic Development Administration NOTICES Trade Adjustment Assistance; Petitions, 64104-64105 2018-26946 Employment and Training Employment and Training Administration NOTICES Requests for Nominations: Workforce Information Advisory Council, 64161-64162 2018-26928 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Engineers Engineers Corps RULES Restricted Areas: Military Ocean Terminal Concord, CA, 64024-64026 2018-27031 PROPOSED RULES Danger Zones and Restricted Areas: Pacific Ocean at Naval Base Guam Telecommunication Site, Finegayan Small Arms Range, on the Northwestern Coast of Guam, 64053-64055 2018-27028 Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Revisions to California State Implementation Plan; South Coast Air Quality Management District, San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District and Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management; Nonattainment New Source Review Requirements for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone Standard, 64026-64027 2018-26921 Pesticide Tolerances: 6-Benzyladenine, 64027-64030 2018-27047 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Michigan; Michigan Minor New Source Review, 64055-64056 2018-26923 Michigan; Revisions to Part 1 General Provisions Rules, 64056-64059 2018-26924 Water Quality Standards; Establishment of a Numeric Criterion for Selenium for the State of California, 64059-64078 2018-26781 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: EPA's ENERGY STAR Program in the Commercial and Industrial Sectors (Renewal), 64125-64126 2018-27048 Charter Establishments: Great Lakes Advisory Board, 64126 2018-27050 Farm Credit System Insurance Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation NOTICES Meetings: Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation Board, 64126 2018-26993 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Tucson International Airport, Tucson, Pima County, AZ, 64174 2018-27021 Petitions for Exemptions; Summaries: Textron Aviation, Inc., 64174-64175 2018-26992 Surplus Property Releases: Cullman Regional-Folsom Field Airport, Vinemont, AL, 64175 2018-27027 Federal Emergency Federal Emergency Management Agency RULES Suspension of Community Eligibility, 64030-64032 2018-26998 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Disaster Assistance Registration, 64141-64142 2018-26936 Emergency and Related Determinations: California, 64145-64146 2018-26989 Emergency Declarations: California; Amendment No. 1, 64141 2018-26988 Flood Hazard Determinations; Changes, 64135-64145 2018-26935 2018-26937 2018-26943 Major Disaster and Related Determinations: Pennsylvania, 64138-64139 2018-26938 Major Disaster Declarations: Kansas; Amendment No. 1, 64145 2018-26942 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Applications: Dakota and Goodhue Counties, 64120 2018-26963 Combined Filings, 64118-64123 2018-26956 2018-26962 Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Northern Natural Gas Co.; Palmyra to Ogden A-Line Project, 64123-64124 2018-26948 Initial Market-Based Rate Filings Including Requests for Blanket Section 204 Authorizations: Vermillion Power, LLC, 64124 2018-26955 Meetings: Electric Quarterly Report Users Group, 64124 2018-26999 Petitions for Enforcement: Great Divide Wind Farm 2, LLC; Great Divide Wind Farm 3, LLC, 64119-64120 2018-26961 Federal Railroad Federal Railroad Administration NOTICES Applications: Discontinuance or Modification of a Railroad Signal System, 64175-64176 2018-27009 Petition for Waiver of Compliance, 64177 2018-27010 Petitions for Waivers of Compliance, 64176-64177 2018-27008 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System RULES Single-Counterparty Credit Limits for Bank Holding Companies and Foreign Banking Organizations; Correction, 64023 2018-27044 NOTICES Changes in Bank Control: Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company, 64126-64127 2018-26977 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Check-In Permit and Use Report, 64149-64150 2018-26991 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration PROPOSED RULES Color Additive Petitions: Impossible Foods, Inc., 64045-64046 2018-26949 NOTICES Determinations that Products Were Not Withdrawn From Sale for Reasons of Safety or Effectiveness: IC-GREEN (Indocyanine Green for Injection), 10 Milligrams/Vial, 40 Milligrams/Vial, and 50 Milligrams/Vial, 64130-64131 2018-26975 Guidance: Data Integrity and Compliance With Drug CGMP: Questions and Answers, 64132-64133 2018-26957 Issuance of Priority Review Voucher; Rare Pediatric Disease Product, 64133 2018-27043 Withdrawal of Approval of Nine Abbreviated New Drug Applications: Allied Pharma, Inc., et al., 64131-64132 2018-26947 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Proposed New Fee Site, 64100-64101 2018-26987 General Services General Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Authorized Negotiators and Integrity of Unit Prices, 64127 2018-27020 Value Engineering Requirements, 64128 2018-27019 Geological Geological Survey NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Efficacy of Oak Savanna Restoration History Information Request, 64150 2018-26983 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Children and Families Administration

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

Federal Emergency Management Agency

See

Transportation Security Administration

Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Geological Survey

See

Land Management Bureau

See

National Park Service

See

Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Office

International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products From India, 64105-64106 2018-26972 Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods From Turkey, 64107-64109 2018-26973 Certain Pasta From Italy, 64105 2018-27001 Monosodium Glutamate From the People's Republic of China, 64106-64107 2018-26974 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Appointment of Individuals to Serve as Members of the Performance Review Board, 64157-64158 2018-26742 Complaints: Certain Pickup Truck Folding Bed Cover Systems and Components Thereof, 64155-64156 2018-26994 Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems and Components Thereof, 64156-64157 2018-26995 U.S.-UK Trade Agreement: Advice on the Probable Economic Effect of Providing Duty-free Treatment for Currently Dutiable Imports, 64154-64155 2018-26933 Justice Department Justice Department See

Drug Enforcement Administration

NOTICES Consent Decrees: Clean Water Act, 64160-64161 2018-27013
Labor Department Labor Department See

Employment and Training Administration

Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Meetings: Idaho Falls District Resource Advisory Council, 64151 2018-27035 Plats of Surveys: Arizona, 64151 2018-26929 Realty Actions: Recreation and Public Purposes Act Classification; Arizona, 64151-64152 2018-27033 NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Authorized Negotiators and Integrity of Unit Prices, 64127 2018-27020 Value Engineering Requirements, 64128 2018-27019 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: National Cancer Institute, 64134-64135 2018-26960 National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, 64134 2018-26959 National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, 64135 2018-26958 National Labor National Labor Relations Board PROPOSED RULES The Standard for Determining Joint-Employer Status; Extension of Comment Period, 64053 2018-27024 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic: Permit Renewal Applications, 64032-64034 2018-26984 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska: Pacific Cod by Non-American Fisheries Act Crab Vessels Operating as Catcher Vessels Using Pot Gear in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska, 64034-64035 2018-26971 PROPOSED RULES Takes of Marine Mammals: National Park Service Research and Monitoring Activities in Southern Alaska National Parks, 64078-64096 2018-26741 NOTICES Endangered and Threatened Species: Recovery Plans, 64110-64112 2018-27003 Final Evaluation Findings of State Coastal Programs and National Estuarine Research Reserves, 64115 2018-27065 Meetings: Evaluation of State Coastal Management Programs, 64113-64114 2018-27046 Fisheries of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review, 64112-64113 2018-26981 Fisheries of the Gulf of Mexico; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review, 64115-64116 2018-26980 Fisheries of the South Atlantic; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review, 64109-64110 2018-26979 Pacific Fishery Management Council, 64110, 64114-64115 2018-26978 2018-26982 Permits: Marine Mammals and Endangered Species, 64114 2018-26996 National Park National Park Service NOTICES Meetings: Acadia National Park Advisory Commission, 64152-64153 2018-27026 National Science National Science Foundation NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee for Environmental Research and Education, 64163 2018-26953 Astronomy and Astrophysics Advisory Committee, 64163 2018-26954 Proposal Review Panel for Physics, 64162-64163 2018-26951 2018-26952 Postal Service Postal Service NOTICES Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 64164-64166 2018-26428 Product Changes: Priority Mail Negotiated Service Agreement, 64164, 64166 2018-26939 2018-26940 2018-26941 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission RULES Covered Investment Fund Research Reports, 64180-64222 2018-26613 NOTICES Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: ICE Clear Europe Limited, 64171-64173 2018-26945 New York Stock Exchange LLC, 64166-64170 2018-26944 2018-27018 NYSE Arca, Inc., 64167-64168 2018-27004 State Department State Department PROPOSED RULES Information and Communication Technology, 64046-64047 2018-26570 NOTICES Meetings: Overseas Schools Advisory Council, 64173-64174 2018-27040 Surface Mining Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Office NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Permit Applications—Minimum Requirements for Legal, Financial, Compliance, and Related Information, 64153-64154 2018-26965 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Railroad Administration

Security Transportation Security Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Aircraft Operator Security, 49 CFR Part 1544, 64146-64147 2018-26932 Certified Cargo Screening Standard Security Program, 64147-64149 2018-26931 Treasury Treasury Department See

Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau

Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department NOTICES Loan Guaranty: Assistance to Eligible Individuals in Acquiring Specially Adapted Housing; Cost-of-Construction Index, 64177-64178 2018-27025 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Securities and Exchange Commission, 64180-64222 2018-26613 Reader Aids

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

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

83 239 Thursday, December 13, 2018 Rules and Regulations FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM 12 CFR Part 252 [Regulation YY; Docket Nos. R-1534] RIN 7100-AE 38 Single-Counterparty Credit Limits for Bank Holding Companies and Foreign Banking Organizations; Correction AGENCY:

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

ACTION:

Final rule, correcting amendments.

SUMMARY:

On August 6, 2018, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) published a final rule in the Federal Register (83 FR 38460) regarding Single-Counterparty Credit Limits for Bank Holding Companies and Foreign Banking Organizations. That document included certain incorrect paragraph designations. This document corrects those typographical errors in subparts H and Q of Regulation YY.

DATES:

Effective on December 13, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Benjamin McDonough, Assistant General Counsel, (202) 452-2036, Pam Nardolilli, Special Counsel, (202) 452-3289, Chris Callanan, Counsel, (202) 452-3594, or Lucy Chang, Counsel, (202) 475-6331, Legal Division, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 20th Street and Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20551. Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) users may contact (202) 263-4869.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Board is correcting two errors in the final rule that was published in the Federal Register on August 6, 2018 (83 FR 38460) which caused incorrect paragraph designations in sections 252.76 and 252.174 of the final rule.

List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 252

Administrative practice and procedure, Banks, Banking, Federal Reserve System, Holding companies, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Securities.

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, chapter II of title 12 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

PART 252—ENHANCED PRUDENTIAL STANDARDS (REGULATION YY) 1. The authority citation for part 252 continues to read as follows: Authority:

12 U.S.C. 321-338a, 481-486, 1467a(g), 1818, 1828, 1831n, 1831o, 1831p-l, 1831w, 1835, 1844(b), 1844(c), 3904, 3906-3909, 4808, 5361, 5365, 5366, 5367, 5368, 5371.

§ 252.76 [Amended]
2. In § 252.76, redesignate paragraphs (d)(i), (d)(ii), and (d)(ii)(A) through (C) as paragraphs (d)(1), (d)(2), and (d)(2)(i) through (iii).
§ 252.174 [Amended]
3. In § 252.174 redesignate paragraphs (i)(3)(1) through (4) as paragraphs (i)(3)(i) through (iv). By order of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, acting through the Secretary of the Board under delegated authority, December 10, 2018. Ann Misback, Secretary of the Board.
[FR Doc. 2018-27044 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2018-0153] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Sacramento River, Sacramento, CA AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulation; modification.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard has modified a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the Tower Drawbridge over the Sacramento River, mile 59.0, at Sacramento, CA. The modified deviation extends the period the bridge may remain in the closed-to-navigation position to allow the bridge owner to complete mechanical and electrical rehabilitation work on the bridge.

DATES:

This modified deviation is effective without actual notice from December 13, 2018 through 6 a.m. on January 1, 2019. For the purposes of enforcement actual notice will be used from December 10, 2018 until December 13, 2018.

ADDRESSES:

The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2018-0153], 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:

On October 19, 2018, the Coast Guard published a temporary deviation entitled “Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Sacramento River, Sacramento, California” in the Federal Register (83 FR 52976). That temporary deviation, from 6 a.m. on October 8, 2018 to 6 a.m. on December 1, 2018, allowed the drawspan to remain in the closed-to-navigation position. The bridge owner, the California Department of Transportation, has requested a modification to the currently published deviation to extend from 6 a.m. on December 1, 2018 to 6 a.m. on January 1, 2019 in order to complete the mechanical and electrical rehabilitation work on the bridge.

The Tower Drawbridge, mile 59.0, across the Sacramento River, has a vertical clearance of 30 feet above Mean High Water in the closed-to-navigation position. The draw operates as required by 33 CFR 117.189(a). Navigation on the waterway is commercial and recreational.

The drawspan will be secured in the closed-to-navigation position from 6 a.m. on December 1, 2018 to 6 a.m. on January 1, 2019 to complete electrical and mechanical rehabilitation on the bridge. The extension of time is necessary due to supply chain disruptions and atmospheric conditions. This temporary deviation modification has been coordinated with the waterway users. No objections to the proposed temporary deviation modification were raised.

Vessels able to pass through the bridge in the closed position may do so at anytime. The bridge will be able to open for emergencies if at least 72-hour notice is given to the bridge operator. There is no immediate alternate route for vessels to pass. 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: December 10, 2018. Carl T. Hausner, District Bridge Chief, Eleventh Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. 2018-26997 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2018-1053] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Lake Washington Ship Canal, Seattle, WA 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 Ballard Bridge, mile 1.1, the Fremont Bridge, mile 2.6, and the University Bridge, mile 4.3, all crossing the Lake Washington Ship Canal at Seattle, WA. The deviation is necessary to accommodate re-routed roadway traffic while the Alaskan Way Viaduct is closed. This deviation allows the subject bridges to remain in the closed-to-navigation position to allow congested roadway traffic to move easier.

DATES:

This deviation is effective from 7 a.m. on January 11, 2019, to 7 p.m. on February 9, 2019.

ADDRESSES:

The docket for this deviation, USCG-2018-1053 is available at http://www.regulations.gov. Type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this deviation.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this temporary deviation, call or email Mr. Steven Fischer, Bridge Administrator, Thirteenth Coast Guard District; telephone 206-220-7282, email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), the owner of the impacted drawbridges, requested a temporary deviation from the operating schedule for the Ballard Bridge, mile 1.1, the Fremont Bridge, mile 2.6, and the University Bridge, mile 4.3, all crossing the Lake Washington Ship Canal at Seattle, WA, to facilitate morning and afternoon re-routed roadway traffic. Washington Department of Transportation is closing the Alaskan Way Viaduct forever, and have not finished building new ramp approaches to the new SR99 Tunnel into Seattle, WA. During the closure of the viaduct, SDOT will be re-routing roadway traffic into Seattle across the Lake Washington Ship Canal, and requested to extend the closure hours of the subject bridges. The Ballard Bridge provides a vertical clearance of 29 feet in the closed-to-navigation position; the Fremont Bridge provides a vertical clearance of 14 feet (31 feet of vertical clearance for the center 36 horizontal feet) in the closed-to-navigation position; the University Bridge provides a vertical clearance of 30 feet (45 feet at the center) in the closed-to-navigation position. Vertical clearances refer to the Mean Water Level of Lake Washington. The normal operating schedule for the three subject bridges is in 33 CFR 117.1051(d).

During this deviation period, the three subject bridge draws need not open per the following table for vessels of less than 1000 gross tons, unless the vessel has in tow a vessel of 1000 gross tones or more:

Bridge Date Time Span
  • position
  • Fremont Jan 11, 2019 to Feb 9, 2019 7 a.m. to 10 a.m Closed. Fremont Jan 11, 2019 to Feb 9, 2019 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m Closed. Ballard Jan 11, 2019 to Feb 9, 2019 7 a.m. to 10 a.m Closed. Ballard Jan 11, 2019 to Feb 9, 2019 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m Closed. University Jan 11, 2019 to Feb 9, 2019 7 a.m. to 10 a.m Closed. University Jan 11, 2019 to Feb 9, 2019 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m Closed.

    Waterway usage on the Lake Washington Ship Canal range from commercial tug and barge to small pleasure craft. Vessels able to pass through the subject bridges in the closed-to-navigation position may do so at any time. All three bridges will not be able to open for emergencies, and there is no immediate alternate route for vessels to pass. The Coast Guard will also inform the users of the waterways through our Local and Broadcast Notices to Mariners of the change in operating schedule for the bridges 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 three drawbridges must return to their regular operating schedules 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: December 3, 2018. Steven M. Fischer, Bridge Chief Administrator, Thirteenth Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2018-26976 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers 33 CFR Part 334 Military Ocean Terminal Concord, CA; Restricted Area AGENCY:

    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Army Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC) requested that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) change the name of a restricted area from “Suisun Bay at Naval Weapons Station, Concord; restricted area” to “Military Ocean Terminal Concord (MOTCO); restricted area.” The restricted area is located in Suisun Bay, north of the City of Concord, California. The request to change the name of the restricted area is due to a transfer of real estate from the U.S. Navy to the U.S. Army SDDC. A Memorandum of Agreement between the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Army for the interagency transfer of base closure property and all associated environmental programs for portions of the Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach Detachment Concord was signed on January 24, 2007. The SDDC officially accepted the former U.S. Navy real estate in Fall 2008 to Winter 2009.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective February 11, 2019 without further notice, unless the Corps receives adverse comment by January 14, 2019. If we receive such adverse comment, we will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that this rule will not take effect.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number COE-2018-0006, by any of the following methods:

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

    Email: [email protected];usace.army.mil. Include the docket number COE-2018-0006 in the subject line of the message.

    Mail: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Attn: CECW-CO (David B. Olson), 441 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20314-1000.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Due to security requirements, we cannot receive comments by hand delivery or courier.

    Instructions: Direct your comments to docket number COE-2018-0006. All comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available on-line at http://regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the commenter indicates that the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI, or otherwise protected, through regulations.gov or email. The regulations.gov website is an anonymous access system, which means we will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email directly to the Corps without going through regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the internet. If you submit an electronic comment, we recommend that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any compact disc you submit. If we cannot read your comment because of technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, we may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic comments should avoid the use of any special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to www.regulations.gov. All documents in the docket are listed. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, such as 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.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. David Olson, Headquarters, Operations and Regulatory Community of Practice, Washington, DC at 202-761-4922 or Ms. Naomi Schowalter, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, San Francisco District, at 415-503-6763.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    By letter dated October 23, 2018, SDDC's 834th Transportation Battalion Commander requested the restricted area name change from “Suisun Bay at Naval Weapons Station, Concord; restricted area” to “Military Ocean Terminal Concord (MOTCO); restricted area.” The request was made because of the transfer of the restricted area property from the U.S. Navy to the U.S. Army SDDC. In response to this request by the SDDC, and pursuant to its authorities in Section 7 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1917 (40 Stat 266; 33 U.S.C. 1) and Chapter XIX of the Army Appropriations Act of 1919 (40 Stat 892; 33 U.S.C. 3), the Corps is amending the regulations in 33 CFR part 334 by changing the name of the restricted area.

    The Corps is publishing this rule without prior proposal because we view this as a non-controversial amendment and anticipate no adverse comment. We are only changing the name of the facility associated with this restricted area, and are not changing the restricted area itself or the rules governing that restricted area.

    Procedural Requirements

    a. Review Under Executive Orders 12866 and 13563. 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 direct final rule has not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, this direct final rule has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and pursuant to OMB guidance it is exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 13771.

    The Corps determined this direct final rule is not a significant regulatory action. This regulatory action determination is based on this direct final rule being limited to a name change for the facility associated with the restricted area, from “Suisun Bay at Naval Weapons Station, Concord” to “Military Ocean Terminal Concord.” This direct final rule is issued with respect to a military function of the Department of Defense.

    b. Review Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act. This rule has been reviewed under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (Pub. L. 96-354). The Regulatory Flexibility Act generally requires an agency to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis of any rule subject to notice-and-comment rulemaking requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act or any other statute unless the agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities (i.e., small businesses and small governments). This rulemaking is limited to changing the name of the facility to which the existing regulations apply, and no changes are being made to the restricted area itself or to the regulations governing that restricted area. Unless information is obtained to the contrary during the comment period, the Corps certifies that the direct final rule would have no significant economic impact on the public. After considering the economic impacts of this direct final rule on small entities, I certify that this action will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    c. Review Under the National Environmental Policy Act. The Corps expects that the direct final rule will not have a significant impact to the quality of the human environment and, therefore, preparation of an environmental impact statement will not be required. An environmental assessment will be prepared after the public notice period is closed and all comments have been received and considered. If no adverse comments are received, the environmental assessment will be prepared before the effective date. After the environmental assessment is prepared, it may be reviewed at the District office listed at the end of the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT, above.

    d. Unfunded Mandates Act. The direct final rule does not impose an enforceable duty among the private sector and, therefore, are not a Federal private sector mandate and are not subject to the requirements of Section 202 or 205 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (Public Laws 104-4, 109 Stat. 48, 2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.). We have also found under Section 203 of the Act, that small governments will not be significantly or uniquely affected by this rulemaking.

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 334

    Danger zones, Navigation (water), Restricted areas, Waterways.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, the Corps amends 33 CFR part 334 as follows:

    PART 334—DANGER ZONE AND RESTRICTED AREA REGULATIONS 1. The authority citation for part 334 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    40 Stat. 266 (33 U.S.C. 1) and 40 Stat. 892 (33 U.S.C. 3).

    2. Amend § 334.1110 by revising the section heading and paragraph (b) to read as follows:
    § 334.1110 Military Ocean Terminal Concord; restricted area.

    (a) * * *

    (b) The regulations. (1) No person, vessel, watercraft, conveyance or device shall enter or cause to enter or remain in this area. No person shall refuse or fail to remove any person or property in his custody or under his control from this area upon the request of the Commanding Officer of Military Ocean Terminal Concord or his/her authorized representative.

    (2) The regulations in this section shall be enforced by the Commanding Officer, Military Ocean Terminal Concord, and such agencies as he/she shall designate.

    Dated: December 6, 2018. Thomas P. Smith, Chief, Operations and Regulatory Division Directorate of Civil Works.
    [FR Doc. 2018-27031 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3720-58-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R09-OAR-2018-0587; FRL-9986-16-Region 9] Revisions to California State Implementation Plan; South Coast Air Quality Management District, San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District and Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management; Nonattainment New Source Review Requirements for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone Standard AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finalizing action on three state implementation plan (SIP) revisions submitted by the State of California addressing the nonattainment new source review (NNSR) requirements for the 2008 8-hour ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). These SIP revisions address the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD) and Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District (YSAQMD) portions of the California SIP.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on January 14, 2019.

    ADDRESSES:

    The EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-R09-OAR-2018-0587. All documents in the docket are listed on the http://www.regulations.gov website. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., Confidential Business Information 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:

    Laura Yannayon, EPA Region 9, (415) 972-3534, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document, the terms “we,” “us,” and “our” refer to EPA.

    Table of Contents I. Proposed Action II. Public Comments and EPA Responses III. EPA Action IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Proposed Action

    On August 20, 2018 (83 FR 42063), the EPA proposed to approve the SIP revisions listed in Table 1, addressing the NNSR requirements for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS for the SCAQMD, SJVAPCD and YSAQMD.

    Table 1—Submitted Certification Letters District Adoption date Submittal date South Coast AQMD 7/7/2017 11/16/17 San Joaquin Valley APCD 4/19/18 6/19/18 Yolo-Solano AQMD 3/14/18 6/19/18

    We proposed approval of these SIP revisions because we determined that the 2008 ozone certification submitted for each district fulfills the 40 CFR 51.1114 revision requirement and meets the requirements of Clean Air Act (CAA) section 110 and the minimum SIP requirements of 40 CFR 51.165.

    II. Public Comments and EPA Responses

    The EPA's proposed action provided a 30-day public comment period. During this period, we received three comments on the proposed rule. None of those comments are germane to our evaluation of the submitted 2008 ozone certifications for each district.

    III. EPA Action

    No comments were submitted that change our assessment of the 2008 ozone certifications as described in our proposed action. Therefore, as authorized in section 110(k)(3) of the Act, the EPA is approving these certifications into the California SIP as proposed.

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    In addition, the SIP 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).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Volatile organic compounds.

    Dated: October 24, 2018. Michael Stoker, Regional Administrator, Region IX.

    Part 52, Chapter I, Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations 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 F—California 2. Section 52.220 is amended by adding paragraphs (c)(510) and (511) to read as follows:
    § 52.220 Identification of plan—in part.

    (c) * * *

    (510) New additional materials for the following APCD was submitted on November 16, 2017 by the Governor's designee.

    (i) [Reserved]

    (ii) Additional materials. (A) South Coast Air Quality Management District.

    (1) “Nonattainment New Source Review (NSR) Compliance Demonstration for the 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS),” adopted July 7, 2017.

    (2) [Reserved]

    (511) New additional materials for the following APCD's were submitted on June 19, 2018 by the Governor's designee.

    (i) [Reserved]

    (ii) Additional materials. (A) San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District.

    (1) “Certification that the San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District's Current NNSR Program Addresses the 2008 Ozone NAAQS SIP Requirements Rule,” adopted April 19, 2018.

    (2) [Reserved]

    (B) Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District.

    (1) “Certification that Yolo-Solano's Existing NNSR Program meets the 2008 Ozone NAAQS SIP Requirements Rule,” adopted March 14, 2018.

    (2) [Reserved]

    [FR Doc. 2018-26921 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 180 [EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0288 and EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0283; FRL-9986-73] 6-Benzyladenine; Pesticide Tolerances AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This regulation establishes tolerances for residues of 6-benzyladenine in or on avocados, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, and squash. Interregional Research Project Number 4 and Valent BioSciences LLC have requested these tolerances under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA).

    DATES:

    This regulation is effective December 13, 2018. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before February 11, 2019, and must be filed in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178 (see also Unit I.C. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION).

    ADDRESSES:

    The dockets for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) numbers EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0288 and EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0283, are available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pesticide Programs Regulatory Public Docket (OPP Docket) in the Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460-0001. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPP Docket is (703) 305-5805. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert McNally, Biopesticides and Pollution Prevention Division (7511P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460-0001; main telephone number: (703) 305-7090; email address: [email protected]

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

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

    • Crop production (NAICS code 111).

    • Animal production (NAICS code 112).

    • Food manufacturing (NAICS code 311).

    • Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS code 32532).

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

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

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

    Under FFDCA section 408(g), 21 U.S.C. 346a(g), any person may file an objection to any aspect of this regulation and may also request a hearing on those objections. You must file your objection or request a hearing on this regulation in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, you must identify docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0288 and EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0283 in the subject line on the first page of your submission. All objections and requests for a hearing must be in writing, and must be received by the Hearing Clerk on or before February 11, 2019. Addresses for mail and hand delivery of objections and hearing requests are provided in 40 CFR 178.25(b).

    In addition to filing an objection or hearing request with the Hearing Clerk as described in 40 CFR part 178, please submit a copy of the filing (excluding any Confidential Business Information (CBI)) for inclusion in the public docket. Information not marked confidential pursuant to 40 CFR part 2 may be disclosed publicly by EPA without prior notice. Submit the non-CBI copy of your objection or hearing request, identified by docket ID numbers EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0288 and EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0283, by one of the following methods:

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

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

    Hand Delivery: To make special arrangements for hand delivery or delivery of boxed information, please follow the instructions at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/contacts.html. Additional instructions on commenting or visiting the docket, along with more information about dockets generally, is available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    II. Background

    In the Federal Register of September 15, 2017 (82 FR 43352) (FRL-9965-43), EPA issued a document pursuant to FFDCA section 408(d)(3), 21 U.S.C. 346a(d)(3), announcing the filing of two pesticide petitions: PP 6E8526 by Interregional Research Project Number 4 (IR-4), Rutgers, State University of New Jersey, 681 U.S. Highway No. 1, S. North New Brunswick, NJ 08902; and PP 7F8548 by Valent BioSciences LLC (Valent), 870 Technology Way, Libertyville, IL 60048. Petition 6E8526 requested that 40 CFR part 180 be amended by establishing a tolerance for residues of the plant growth regulator 6-benzyladenine, in or on avocados at 0.05 parts per million (ppm). Petition 7F8548 requested amendment of the current exemption from the requirement of tolerance for residues of 6-benzyladenine, 40 CFR 180.1150, to add fruiting vegetables (tomatoes and peppers) and cucurbit vegetables (cucumbers, melons, and squash). That document referenced summaries of the petitions prepared by Valent, the registrant, which are available in the respective dockets via, www.regulations.gov. Comments were received on the notice of filing, and the Agency's response can be found in Unit III.D.

    Based upon review of the data supporting each petition, EPA is establishing tolerance levels for 6-benzyladenine on avocados, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, melons and squash in one final rule. The reasons for these changes are explained in Part III.E. of this document.

    III. Final Rule A. EPA's Safety Determination

    Section 408(b)(2)(A)(i) of FFDCA allows EPA to establish a tolerance (the legal limit for a pesticide chemical residue in or on a food) only if EPA determines that the tolerance is “safe.” Section 408(b)(2)(A)(ii) of FFDCA defines “safe” to mean that “there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue, including all anticipated dietary exposures and all other exposures for which there is reliable information.” This includes exposure through drinking water and in residential settings but does not include occupational exposure. EPA must take into account the factors set forth in FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(C), which require EPA to give special consideration to exposure of infants and children to the pesticide chemical residue in establishing a tolerance or tolerance exemption and to “ensure that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to infants and children from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue . . . .” Additionally, FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(D) requires that EPA consider “available information concerning the cumulative effects of a particular pesticide's residues and other substances that have a common mechanism of toxicity.”

    EPA evaluated the available toxicological and exposure data on 6-benzyladenine and considered their validity, completeness, and reliability, as well as the relationship of this information to human risk. A summary of the data upon which EPA relied and its risk assessment based on those data can be found within the document entitled “Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) Safety Assessment for Tolerances for Residues of 6-benzyladenine.” This document, as well as other relevant information, is available in the docket for this action as described under ADDRESSES.

    The available data demonstrated that the predominant adverse effect from exposure to 6-benzyladenine was a significant reduction in body weight, including an increased susceptibility of body weight effects in fetuses and offspring. Despite these effects, EPA determined that reliable data show the safety of infants and children would be adequately protected if the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) safety factor was reduced to 1X. EPA conducted a quantitative aggregate risk assessment, taking into account chronic exposures to residues of 6-benzyladenine in food and drinking water (no residential exposures are anticipated) and concluded that risks do not exceed EPA's level of concern.

    Based upon its evaluation, EPA concludes that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to the U.S. population, including infants and children, from aggregate exposure to residues of 6-benzyladenine. Therefore, tolerances are established for residues of 6-benzyladenine, in or on tomato, pepper, cucumber, melon, and squash at 0.01 ppm and in or on avocado at 0.02 ppm.

    B. Analytical Enforcement Methodology

    Adequate enforcement methodologies to quantitatively determine 6-benzyladenine residues by liquid chromatography/mass spectrometer/mass spectrometer (LC/MS/MS) (Meth-209, Determination of 6-Benzyladenine (6-BA) in Selected Fruiting Vegetable and Cucurbit Vegetable Raw Agricultural and Processed Commodities and Meth-210, Determination of 6-Benzyladenine (6-BA) in Selected Oily Crop Raw Agricultural Commodities) are available to enforce the tolerance expression. The methods may be requested from: Chief, Analytical Chemistry Branch, Environmental Science Center, 701 Mapes Rd., Ft. Meade, MD 20755-5350; telephone number: (410) 305-2905; email address: [email protected]

    C. International Residue Limits

    In making its tolerance decisions, EPA seeks to harmonize U.S. tolerances with international standards whenever possible, consistent with U.S. food safety standards and agricultural practices. EPA considers the international maximum residue limits (MRLs) established by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), as required by FFDCA section 408(b)(4). The Codex Alimentarius is a joint United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization food standards program, and it is recognized as an international food safety standards-setting organization in trade agreements to which the United States is a party. EPA may establish a tolerance that is different from a Codex MRL; however, FFDCA section 408(b)(4) requires that EPA explain the reasons for departing from the Codex level. The Codex has not established an MRL for 6-benzyladenine; however, Canada and the European Union (EU) have set default MRLs at 0.1 ppm (Canada) and 0.01 ppm (EU), respectively.

    D. Response to Comments

    One comment was received in response to each of the petitions. Each comment generally opposed pesticide residues on food; only one mentioned 6-benzyladenine by name. Neither comment was accompanied by any substantiation or data supporting a conclusion that the tolerances being established in this action do not meet the FFDCA safety standard. Although EPA recognizes that some individuals would oppose any use of pesticides on food, section 408 of the FFDCA authorizes EPA to set tolerances for residues of pesticide chemicals in or on food when it determines that the tolerance meets the safety standard imposed by that statute. EPA has made that determination for the 6-benzyladenine tolerances established by this final rule.

    E. Revisions to Petitioned-For Tolerance and Tolerance Exemption

    The applicant requested a tolerance for residues of 6-benzyladenine on avocado at 0.05 ppm. Based on available residue data and using the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) calculator, EPA has determined that a tolerance for residues of 6-benzyladenine on avocado at 0.02 ppm is appropriate. In addition, the applicant requested to amend the current exemption, 40 CFR 180.1150, for residues of 6-benzyladenine by adding fruiting vegetables (tomatoes and peppers) and cucurbit vegetables (cucumbers, melons, and squash) at 20 parts per million (ppm) at a maximum of five applications (total 18.8 grams of active ingredient per acre per season) with a seven-day interval between applications. Due to the toxicological profile of the chemical and the measurable residues, EPA has concluded that a tolerance is the appropriate regulatory mechanism for covering residues of 6-benzyladenine under the FFDCA. Based on the available residue data and using the OECD calculator, EPA has determined that tolerances for residues of 6-benzyladenine on tomato, pepper, cucumber, melon, and squash at 0.01 ppm are appropriate.

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

    This action directly regulates growers, food processors, food handlers, and food retailers, not States or tribes. As a result, this action does not alter the relationships or distribution of power and responsibilities established by Congress in the preemption provisions of FFDCA section 408(n)(4). As such, EPA has determined that this action will not have a substantial direct effect on States or tribal governments, on the relationship between the national government and the States or tribal governments, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government or between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. Thus, EPA has determined that Executive Order 13132, entitled “Federalism” (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999), and Executive Order 13175, entitled “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments” (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), do not apply to this action. In addition, this action does not impose any enforceable duty or contain any unfunded mandate as described under Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.).

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

    V. Congressional Review Act

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 180

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

    Dated: November 28, 2018. Richard P. Keigwin, Jr., Director, Office of Pesticide Programs.

    Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I is amended as follows:

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

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

    2. Add § 180.703 to subpart C to read as follows:
    § 180.703 6-benzyladenine; tolerances for residues.

    (a) General. Tolerances are established for residues of the plant growth regulator, 6-benzyladenine in or on the commodities listed in the table below. Compliance with the tolerance levels specified in this paragraph is to be determined by measuring only 6-benzyladenine in or on the commodity.

    Commodity Parts per
  • million
  • Avocado 0.02 Cucumber 0.01 Melon 0.01 Pepper 0.01 Squash 0.01 Tomato 0.01

    (b) Section 18 emergency exemptions. [Reserved]

    (c) Tolerances with regional registrations. [Reserved]

    (d) Indirect or inadvertent residues. [Reserved]

    [FR Doc. 2018-27047 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency 44 CFR Part 64 [Docket ID FEMA-2018-0002; Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-8559] Suspension of Community Eligibility AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This rule identifies communities where the sale of flood insurance has been authorized under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) that are scheduled for suspension on the effective dates listed within this rule because of noncompliance with the floodplain management requirements of the program. If the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) receives documentation that the community has adopted the required floodplain management measures prior to the effective suspension date given in this rule, the suspension will not occur and a notice of this will be provided by publication in the Federal Register on a subsequent date. Also, information identifying the current participation status of a community can be obtained from FEMA's Community Status Book (CSB). The CSB is available at https://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program-community-status-book.

    DATES:

    The effective date of each community's scheduled suspension is the third date (“Susp.”) listed in the third column of the following tables.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you want to determine whether a particular community was suspended on the suspension date or for further information, contact Adrienne L. Sheldon, PE, CFM, Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 400 C Street SW, Washington, DC 20472, (202) 212-3966.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The NFIP enables property owners to purchase Federal flood insurance that is not otherwise generally available from private insurers. In return, communities agree to adopt and administer local floodplain management measures aimed at protecting lives and new construction from future flooding. Section 1315 of the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 4022, prohibits the sale of NFIP flood insurance unless an appropriate public body adopts adequate floodplain management measures with effective enforcement measures. The communities listed in this document no longer meet that statutory requirement for compliance with program regulations, 44 CFR part 59. Accordingly, the communities will be suspended on the effective date in the third column. As of that date, flood insurance will no longer be available in the community. We recognize that some of these communities may adopt and submit the required documentation of legally enforceable floodplain management measures after this rule is published but prior to the actual suspension date. These communities will not be suspended and will continue to be eligible for the sale of NFIP flood insurance. A notice withdrawing the suspension of such communities will be published in the Federal Register.

    In addition, FEMA publishes a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) that identifies the Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs) in these communities. The date of the FIRM, if one has been published, is indicated in the fourth column of the table. No direct Federal financial assistance (except assistance pursuant to the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act not in connection with a flood) may be provided for construction or acquisition of buildings in identified SFHAs for communities not participating in the NFIP and identified for more than a year on FEMA's initial FIRM for the community as having flood-prone areas (section 202(a) of the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973, 42 U.S.C. 4106(a), as amended). This prohibition against certain types of Federal assistance becomes effective for the communities listed on the date shown in the last column. The Administrator finds that notice and public comment procedures under 5 U.S.C. 553(b), are impracticable and unnecessary because communities listed in this final rule have been adequately notified.

    Each community receives 6-month, 90-day, and 30-day notification letters addressed to the Chief Executive Officer stating that the community will be suspended unless the required floodplain management measures are met prior to the effective suspension date. Since these notifications were made, this final rule may take effect within less than 30 days.

    National Environmental Policy Act. FEMA has determined that the community suspension(s) included in this rule is a non-discretionary action and therefore the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) does not apply.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act. The Administrator has determined that this rule is exempt from the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act because the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968, as amended, Section 1315, 42 U.S.C. 4022, prohibits flood insurance coverage unless an appropriate public body adopts adequate floodplain management measures with effective enforcement measures. The communities listed no longer comply with the statutory requirements, and after the effective date, flood insurance will no longer be available in the communities unless remedial action takes place.

    Regulatory Classification. This final rule is not a significant regulatory action under the criteria of section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866 of September 30, 1993, Regulatory Planning and Review, 58 FR 51735.

    Executive Order 13132, Federalism. This rule involves no policies that have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132.

    Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. This rule meets the applicable standards of Executive Order 12988.

    Paperwork Reduction Act. This rule does not involve any collection of information for purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.

    List of Subjects in 44 CFR Part 64

    Flood insurance, Floodplains.

    Accordingly, 44 CFR part 64 is amended as follows:

    PART 64—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 64 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 4001 et seq.; Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1978, 3 CFR, 1978 Comp.; p. 329; E.O. 12127, 44 FR 19367, 3 CFR, 1979 Comp.; p. 376.

    § 64.6 [Amended]
    2. The tables published under the authority of § 64.6 are amended as follows: State and location Community No. Effective date authorization/cancellation of
  • sale of flood insurance in community
  • Current effective map date Date certain
  • federal assis-
  • tance no longer
  • available in
  • SFHAs
  • Region IV North Carolina: Camden County, Unincorporated Areas 370042 May 14, 1974, Emerg; December 4, 1985, Reg; December 21, 2018, Susp. Dec. 21, 2018 Dec. 21, 2018. Currituck County, Unincorporated Areas 370078 March 4, 1974, Emerg; November 1, 1984, Reg; December 21, 2018, Susp. ......do *   Do. Region V Indiana: DeMotte, Town of, Jasper County 180100 March 24, 1975, Emerg; September 1, 1976, Reg; December 21, 2018, Susp. ......do   Do. Jasper County, Unincorporated Areas 180439 July 21, 1982, Emerg; July 1, 1994, Reg; December 21, 2018, Susp. ......do   Do. Remington, Town of, Jasper County 180101 December 8, 1975, Emerg; November 1, 1995, Reg; December 21, 2018, Susp. ......do   Do. Rensselaer, City of, Jasper County 180102 April 22, 1975, Emerg; February 1, 1994, Reg; December 21, 2018, Susp. ......do   Do. Minnesota: Carver, City of, Carver County 275233 April 2, 1971, Emerg; September 8, 1972, Reg; December 21, 2018, Susp. ......do   Do. Carver County, Unincorporated Areas 270049 April 19, 1973, Emerg; February 1, 1978, Reg; December 21, 2018, Susp. ......do   Do. Chanhassen, City of, Carver and Hennepin Counties 270051 June 23, 1975, Emerg; July 2, 1979, Reg; December 21, 2018, Susp. ......do   Do. Chaska, City of, Carver County 275234 March 19, 1971, Emerg; September 8, 1972, Reg; December 21, 2018, Susp. ......do   Do. Mayer, City of, Carver County 270053 N/A, Emerg; May 29, 2002, Reg; December 21, 2018, Susp. ......do   Do. Norwood Young America, City of, Carver County 270593 December 24, 1975, Emerg; May 13, 1983, Reg; December 21, 2018, Susp. ......do   Do. Victoria, City of, Carver County 270054 June 17, 1975, Emerg; July 6, 1984, Reg; December 21, 2018, Susp. ......do   Do. Waconia, City of, Carver County 270055 July 2, 1974, Emerg; January 5, 1978, Reg; December 21, 2018, Susp. ......do   Do. Watertown, City of, Carver County 270056 March 14, 1975, Emerg; November 1, 1978, Reg; December 21, 2018, Susp. ......do   Do. Region VI Louisiana: Carencro, City of, Lafayette Parish 220103 May 10, 1977, Emerg; November 5, 1980, Reg; December 21, 2018, Susp. ......do   Do. Duson, Town of, Acadia and Lafayette Parishes 220104 November 11, 1975, Emerg; September 30, 1981, Reg; December 21, 2018, Susp. ......do   Do. Scott, City of, Lafayette Parish 220106 September 24, 1974, Emerg; April 4, 1983, Reg; December 21, 2018, Susp. ......do   Do. Youngsville, City of, Lafayette Parish 220358 January 16, 1975, Emerg; March 30, 1982, Reg; December 21, 2018, Susp. ......do   Do. -do- = Ditto. Code for reading third column: Emerg.—Emergency; Reg.—Regular; Susp.—Suspension.
    Dated: Dec 4, 2018. Katherine B. Fox, Assistant Administrator for Mitigation, Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration—FEMA Resilience, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2018-26998 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-12-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 171128999-8999-02] RIN 0648-BH43 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Permit Renewal Applications AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS issues this final rule to implement administrative revisions to the renewal process for Federal vessel permits, licenses, and endorsements, and dealer permits in the NMFS Southeast Region. This final rule removes the regulatory requirement that NMFS must mail a renewal application to a permit holder whose Federal vessel, license, or endorsement, or dealer permit is expiring. NMFS will continue to provide notice of the upcoming expiration date to the permit holder. This final rule also removes the regulatory requirement that NMFS must notify an applicant of any deficiency in a renewal application only through sending a letter via traditional mail, such as through the U.S. Postal Service, which allows NMFS expanded options for notifying permit holders. The purpose of this final rule is to reduce the administrative costs and burden to NMFS of renewing Federal permits, while still maintaining the renewal notice, information, and services to the public.

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective on January 14, 2019.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments regarding the burden-hour estimates or other aspects of the collection-of-information requirements contained in this final rule may be submitted to Adam Bailey, NMFS Southeast Regional Office, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701, or the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) by email to [email protected], or by fax to 202-395-5806.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sarah Stephenson, NMFS Southeast Regional Office, telephone: 727-824-5305, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the U.S. southeast region, NMFS and regional fishery management councils manage fisheries in Federal waters under the under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) (16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.) and through regulations implemented by NMFS at 50 CFR part 622.

    On August 1, 2018, NMFS published a proposed rule and requested public comment on possible administrative process revisions to the renewal of Federal vessel permits, licenses, or endorsements, and Federal dealer permits (hereafter referred to collectively as permits) for species managed under multiple fishery management plans (FMPs) developed by Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils (83 FR 37455). The proposed rule outlined the rationale for the actions contained in this final rule. A summary of the management measures described in the proposed rule and implemented by this final rule is provided below.

    Management Measures Contained in This Final Rule

    This final rule removes the requirement that the Regional Administrator (RA) for the NMFS Southeast Region automatically mails a renewal application with the notice sent to a permit holder whose Federal permit is expiring. Instead, approximately 2 months prior to the expiration date of the permit, the RA will continue to provide notice to each permit holder through a letter, email, or other appropriate means, and in the notice provide the available options for an applicant to obtain a permit renewal application.

    NMFS will continue to mail renewal applications upon request from an applicant. Permit holders may call the NMFS Southeast Permits Office to make that request at 1-877-376-4877, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., eastern time. Permit holders may also obtain applications in person or through written request from the NMFS Southeast Permits Office, located at 263 13th Ave. South, St. Petersburg, Florida 33701.

    Applications to renew a Federal permit are currently available for download and printing from the NMFS Southeast Permits Office website at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/operations_management_information_services/constituency_services_branch/permits/index.html.

    In addition, NMFS has continued to expand the number of renewal applications that can be accessed and submitted online at the Southeast Permits Office website. This option includes the ability to pay application fees electronically. As of October 3, 2018, applicants can submit applications online to renew the majority of the Federal permits in the southeast region.

    This final rule also removes the requirement that the RA must notify an applicant of any deficiency in a renewal application only by a letter sent through traditional mail. NMFS may notify a permit holder of an application deficiency through a letter, email, or other appropriate means that may be available.

    NMFS expects this final rule to reduce administrative labor and material costs associated with mailing permit renewal applications and letters of application deficiency to permit holders by allowing NMFS the flexibility to use more efficient means to provide the permit renewal applications and notifications of application deficiency.

    NMFS does not expect this final rule to affect the overall number of annual permit renewals that NMFS receives or change the average time necessary for an applicant to complete an application. This final rule will not result in any change to fisheries operations.

    As described in 50 CFR 622.4(g)(1), NMFS reminds permit holders that a completed renewal application along with required supporting documentation, must be submitted to the RA at least 30 days prior to the date on which the applicant desires to have the permit effective. This final rule does not revise this permit renewal requirement.

    Additional Change Not Part of This Final Rule

    Although not a regulatory requirement, NMFS has historically mailed renewal applications for Federal operator cards (required for the Atlantic dolphin and wahoo, and South Atlantic rock shrimp commercial fisheries) to vessel operators prior to the expiration date. Upon implementation of this final rule, NMFS will not automatically mail a renewal application to individuals with an operator card prior to the expiration date; however, similar to the notification of permit holders with Federal permits discussed in this final rule, NMFS intends to continue providing notification to a vessel operator with an operator card of its upcoming expiration prior to that date. Additionally, NMFS may use methods other than by letter to notify applicants that a renewal application contains deficiencies.

    Comments and Responses

    NMFS received 23 comments from individuals and a fisheries consulting company on the proposed rule. The majority of the comments were in support of the proposed rule. NMFS acknowledges the comments in favor of all or part of the proposed rule, and agrees with them. Comments that were beyond the scope of the proposed rule are not responded to in this final rule. Comments specifically in opposition to all or some of the actions in the proposed rule, as well as NMFS' respective responses, are summarized below.

    Comment 1: The proposed rule will result in additional burdens to permit holders such as additional time requirements and steps in the permit renewal process, and as a result, could cause permits to expire.

    Response: As discussed in the proposed rule, although permit holders who currently rely on the application being automatically mailed to them will be affected, any added cost or time to permit holders to acquire an application by the most commonly anticipated methods, that is, by telephone request, digital download, or online access and submission, is expected to be minimal. All of these methods to acquire an application already exist, and an applicant may select a different option based on their preference each time they need to renew a permit. As of October 2018, applicants can access and submit applications online for the majority of the permits issued under the FMPs, and NMFS continues to expand the number of permit renewal applications that are available to submit online. For those permit holders with access to a computer and the internet, accessing and submitting a renewal application online will provide a direct benefit to permit holders by eliminating the cost of mailing a completed paper application and a check or money order. By providing the ability to pay the permit renewal fee electronically, the benefits include, but are not restricted to, higher transaction speed, reduced check-associated costs, and greater transaction transparency. Those permit holders that do not have access to a computer or the internet can call and request that NMFS mail them an application.

    NMFS does not expect this final rule to change the average time required for an applicant to complete a permit renewal application. NMFS will continue to provide permit reporting requirements and instructions for viewing vessel reporting status in the permit renewal notification, which NMFS sends to every permit holder approximately 2 months prior to the expiration date of a permit. NMFS does not expect this final rule to affect the ability of any permit holder to renew a permit.

    Comment 2: Renewing permits should continue via printed and mailed applications. Receiving an application in the mail has helped remind permit holders to renew their permits, and not all permit holders have access to a computer or prefer not to use electronic methods to obtain an application (e.g., through email or digital download).

    Response: Those permit holders who continue to need NMFS to send a paper application can request one. Removing the requirement to mail all permit renewal applications will reduce costs, while still allowing NMFS to provide paper applications to those permit holders who want them.

    This final rule also allows NMFS to use expanded options for notifying permit holders about permit renewals. NMFS will continue to notify the permit holder approximately 2 months prior to the expiration date of their permit through a letter, email, or other appropriate means that may be available. That renewal notification will also include instructions for obtaining an application.

    Comment 3: Commercial fishermen in catch share programs pay a 3 percent cost recovery fee to NMFS. Because commercial fishermen pay these administrative costs, it is not fair to reduce administrative costs to the government and impose additional administrative duties on commercial fishermen.

    Response: Cost recovery fees can only be used to pay for incremental costs directly related to the management and enforcement of the red snapper and grouper-tilefish individual fishing quota (IFQ) programs. The costs incurred by NMFS to mail renewal applications to permit holders are unrelated to the management and enforcement of those programs. Permits are required to harvest and possess multiple species of fish regardless of whether someone participates in one of IFQ programs, and this final rule applies to all permits issued by the Southeast Permits Office.

    Further, as discussed in the response to Comment 1, any added cost or time to permit holders to acquire an application by the most commonly anticipated methods, that is, by telephone request, digital download, or online access and submission, is expected to be minimal. However, this final rule gives NMFS the flexibility to use more efficient means to provide permit renewal applications and notifications of application deficiency.

    Classification

    The RA for the NMFS Southeast Region has determined that this final rule is consistent with the applicable FMPs in the Gulf and South Atlantic, the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable laws.

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

    The Magnuson-Stevens Act provides the statutory basis for this final rule. No duplicative, overlapping, or conflicting Federal rules have been identified. In addition, no new reporting, recordkeeping, or other compliance requirements are introduced by this final rule.

    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration during the proposed rule stage that this rule would not have a significant adverse economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The factual basis for this determination was published in the proposed rule and is not repeated here. No significant issues were raised by public comments related to the economic impacts on small businesses, and no changes to this final rule were made in response to public comments. As a result, a final regulatory flexibility analysis was not required and none was prepared.

    This final rule contains collection-of-information requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) that OMB has approved under control number 0648-0205. Public reporting burdens for renewal applications in the Southeast Region Permit Family of Forms are estimated to vary between 30 and 55 minutes, depending on the applicable form. The estimated reporting burdens are based on an individual response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. This final rule does not change existing collection-of-information requirements or estimated reporting burdens. Send comments regarding the burden estimates, or any other aspect of this data collection, including suggestions for reducing the burden to Adam Bailey, NMFS Southeast Regional Office (see ADDRESSES), by email to [email protected], or fax to 202-395-5806.

    Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is required to respond to, and no person will be subject to penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the requirements of the PRA, unless that collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number. All currently approved collections of information may be viewed at http://www.cio.noaa.gov/services_programs/prasubs.html.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 622

    Commercial, Dealer, Endorsement, Fisheries, Fishing, Gulf of Mexico, License, Permit, South Atlantic.

    Dated: December 10, 2018. Alan D. Risenhoover, Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 622 is amended as follows:

    PART 622—FISHERIES OF THE CARIBBEAN, GULF OF MEXICO, AND SOUTH ATLANTIC 1. The authority citation for part 622 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    2. In § 622.4, revise paragraph (g)(1) to read as follows:
    § 622.4 Permits and fees—general.

    (g) * * *

    (1) Vessel permits, licenses, and endorsements, and dealer permits. Unless specified otherwise, a vessel or dealer permit holder who has been issued a permit, license, or endorsement under this part must renew such permit, license, or endorsement on an annual basis. The RA will notify a vessel or dealer permit holder whose permit, license, or endorsement is expiring approximately 2 months prior to the expiration date. A vessel or dealer permit holder who does not receive a notification is still required to submit an application form as specified below. The applicant must submit a completed renewal application form and all required supporting documents to the RA prior to the applicable deadline for renewal of the permit, license, or endorsement, and at least 30 calendar days prior to the date on which the applicant desires to have the permit made effective. Application forms and instructions for renewal are available online at sero.nmfs.noaa.gov or from the RA (Southeast Permits Office) at 1-877-376-4877, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., eastern time. If the RA receives an incomplete application, the RA will notify the applicant of the deficiency. If the applicant fails to correct the deficiency within 30 calendar days of the notification date by the RA, the application will be considered abandoned. A permit, license, or endorsement that is not renewed within the applicable deadline will not be reissued.

    [FR Doc. 2018-26984 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 170816769-8162-02] RIN 0648-XG672 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Non-American Fisheries Act Crab Vessels Operating as Catcher Vessels Using Pot Gear in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; closure.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by non-American Fisheries Act (AFA) crab vessels that are subject to sideboard limits, and operating as catcher vessels (CVs) using pot gear, in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the 2018 Pacific cod sideboard limit established for non-AFA crab vessels that are operating as CVs using pot gear in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA.

    DATES:

    Effective 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), December 10, 2018, through 2400 hours, A.l.t., December 31, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Josh Keaton, 907-586-7228.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the GOA exclusive economic zone according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP) prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council under authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Regulations governing fishing by U.S. vessels in accordance with the FMP appear at subpart H of 50 CFR part 600 and 50 CFR part 679. Regulations governing sideboard protections for GOA groundfish fisheries appear at subpart B of 50 CFR part 680.

    The 2018 Pacific cod sideboard limit established for non-AFA crab vessels, and that are operating as CVs using pot gear in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA, is 564 metric tons (mt), as established by the final 2018 and 2019 harvest specifications for groundfish of the GOA (83 FR 8768, March 1, 2018).

    In accordance with § 680.22(e)(2)(i), the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator) has determined that the 2018 Pacific cod sideboard limit established for non-AFA crab vessels that are operating as CVs using pot gear in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA will soon be reached. Therefore, the Regional Administrator is establishing a sideboard directed fishing allowance of 560 mt, and is setting aside the remaining 4 mt as bycatch to support other anticipated groundfish fisheries. In accordance with § 680.22(e)(3), the Regional Administrator finds that this sideboard directed fishing allowance has been reached. Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by non-AFA crab vessels that are operating as CVs using pot gear in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA.

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

    Classification

    This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would delay the sideboard directed fishing closure of Pacific cod for non-AFA crab vessels that are subject to sideboard limits, and that are operating as CVs using pot gear in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of December 6, 2018.

    The AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the effective date of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). This finding is based upon the reasons provided above for waiver of prior notice and opportunity for public comment.

    This action is required by § 680.22 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: December 10, 2018. Karen H. Abrams, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-26971 Filed 12-10-18; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    83 239 Thursday, December 13, 2018 Proposed Rules BUREAU OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION 12 CFR Chapter X [Docket No. CFPB-2018-0042] Policy on No-Action Letters and the BCFP Product Sandbox AGENCY:

    Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.

    ACTION:

    Proposed policy guidance and procedural rule; proposed information collection; request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau or BCFP) invites the public to take this opportunity to comment on its proposed Policy on No-Action Letters and the BCFP Product Sandbox, which is intended to carry out certain of the Bureau's authorities under Federal consumer financial law; and a proposed information collection associated with applications submitted by applicants requesting admission to the BCFP Product Sandbox under the proposed Policy as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    Written comments are encouraged and must be received on or before February 11, 2019.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. [CFPB-2018-0042], by any of the following methods:

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

    Email: [email protected] Include Docket No. [CFPB-2018-0042] in the subject line of the email.

    Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier: Comment Intake, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, 1700 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20552.

    Instructions: All submissions should include the agency name and docket number. Because paper mail in the Washington, DC area and at the Bureau is subject to delay, commenters are encouraged to submit comments electronically. In general, all comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov. In addition, comments will be available for public inspection and copying at 1700 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20552, on official business days between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. You can make an appointment to inspect the documents by telephoning (202) 435-7275. All comments, including attachments and other supporting materials, will become part of the public record and subject to public disclosure. Sensitive personal information, such as account numbers or Social Security numbers, should not be included. Comments generally will not be edited to remove any identifying or contact information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information about the proposed Policy, contact Paul Watkins, Assistant Director; Edward Blatnik, Senior Counsel; Albert Chang, Counsel; Office of Innovation, at [email protected] or 202-435-7000. If you require this document in an alternative electronic format, please contact [email protected]

    Documentation prepared in support of the information collection request is available at www.regulations.gov. Requests for additional information on the proposed information collection should be directed to the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, Attention: PRA Office, 1700 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20552, (202) 435-9575, or email: [email protected] Please do not submit comments to this mailbox.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    In section 1021(a) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act), Congress established the Bureau's statutory purpose as ensuring that all consumers have access to markets for consumer financial products and services and that markets for consumer financial products and services are fair, transparent, and competitive.1 Relatedly, the Bureau's objectives include exercising its authorities under Federal consumer financial law for the purposes of ensuring that outdated, unnecessary, or unduly burdensome regulations are regularly identified and addressed in order to reduce unwarranted regulatory burdens, and that markets for consumer financial products and services operate transparently and efficiently to facilitate access and innovation.2

    1 12 U.S.C. 5511(a).

    2 12 U.S.C. 5511(b)(3), (5).

    Congress has given the Bureau a variety of authorities under Title X of the Dodd-Frank Act and the enumerated consumer laws 3 that it can exercise to promote this purpose and these objectives. These authorities include the authority to permit certain activity by a particular entity (or entities) by order (including approvals and exemptions), and discretionary supervision and enforcement authority.4

    3 12 U.S.C. 5481(12).

    4See notes 61, 64-65, infra.

    Pursuant to the purpose, objectives, and certain of the authorities listed above, the Bureau proposed its Policy on No-Action Letters in October 2014 5 and finalized it in February 2016 (2016 Policy).6 The 2016 Policy provides for the issuance of No-Action Letters consisting of non-binding staff-level no-action recommendations. The Bureau has issued only one such No-Action Letter to date.7

    5 79 FR 62118 (Oct. 16, 2014).

    6 81 FR 8686 (Feb. 22, 2016).

    7See Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, CFPB Announces First No-Action Letter to Upstart Network (Sept. 14, 2017), available at https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/newsroom/cfpb-announces-first-no-action-letter-upstart-network/.

    II. Summary of the Proposed Policy

    In line with the above authority, the Bureau is proposing to revise the 2016 Policy and proposing the BCFP Product Sandbox through its proposed Policy on No-Action Letters and the BCFP Product Sandbox (Policy) in order to more effectively carry out its statutory purpose and objectives. As noted, the Bureau has provided only one No-Action Letter under the 2016 Policy. The Bureau believes this strongly suggests that both the process required to obtain a No-Action Letter and the relief available under the 2016 Policy have not provided firms with sufficient incentives to seek No-Action Letters from Bureau staff. Accordingly, the Bureau is seeking comment on a number of changes to the 2016 Policy that would address these issues and bring certain aspects of the Bureau's policy more into alignment with no-action letter programs offered by other Federal regulators. The proposed Policy has two parts. Part I is a revision of the 2016 Policy designed to increase the utilization of the Policy and bring certain elements more in line with similar no-action letter programs offered by other agencies. Part II is a description of the BCFP Product Sandbox.8

    8 The Bureau believes it is necessary and appropriate, and in the public interest, to include both parts in a single Policy in order to establish uniform procedures to encourage focused presentation of issues, ensure expeditious consideration of applications, and minimize the expenditure of Bureau resources.

    The proposed Policy has the following overarching goals: (1) Streamlining the application process; (2) streamlining the Bureau's processing of applications; (3) expanding the types of statutory and/or regulatory relief available; 9 (4) specifying procedures for an extension where the relief initially provided is of limited duration; and (5) providing for coordination with existing or future programs offered by other regulators designed to facilitate innovation.

    9 For convenience, the term “relief” will be used hereinafter to cover relief from statutory and/or regulatory provisions.

    Part I: No-Action Letters. In Part I, the Bureau is proposing to streamline the process of applying for a No-Action Letter by eliminating several elements it believes to be redundant or unduly burdensome, such as a commitment to data-sharing.10 Similarly, the Bureau's review of applications for a No-Action Letter would be streamlined to focus on the quality and persuasiveness of the application, with particular emphasis on the potential benefits of the product or service in question for consumers, the extent to which the applicant identifies and controls for potential risks to consumers, and the extent to which no-action relief is needed. Because these measures would be likely to expedite the application and review process, the Bureau would expect to grant or deny an application within 60 days of notifying the applicant that the Bureau has deemed the application to be complete.11

    10 Commenters on the proposed 2016 Policy stated that it would require applicants to submit an unduly burdensome volume of information. 81 FR 8686, 8689 (Feb. 22, 2016). Stakeholders have expressed similar concerns subsequent to the finalization of the 2016 Policy.

    11 In comments on the proposed 2016 Policy, several stakeholders urged the Bureau to adopt a specific timetable for granting or denying an application for a No-Action Letter—ranging from 45 to 90 days—in order to accommodate the rapid development processes of innovative products and services. 81 FR 6686, 8689 (Feb. 22, 2016).

    To more closely align Part I with certain aspects of no-action letter programs offered by other Federal agencies, the Bureau is re-assessing data-sharing requirements and time-period limitations for No-Action Letters available under Part I.12 In contrast to the 2016 Policy, which requires applicants to commit to sharing data about the product or service in question, no such data sharing would be expected under Part I of the proposed Policy. Similarly, whereas one of the factors Bureau staff will consider in deciding whether to grant an application for a No-Action Letter under the 2016 Policy is the extent to which the letter would be limited in duration, the default assumption under Part I of the proposed Policy would be that No-Action Letters would have no such temporal limitation.

    12 Many of the proposed revisions are designed to more closely align Part I with no-action letter programs offered by other Federal agencies. See, e.g., Securities and Exchange Commission, Procedures Applicable to Requests for No-Action and Interpretive Letters, Securities Act Release No. 6269 (Dec. 5, 1980) (available at: http://www.sec.gov/rules/other/33-6269.pdf) (limited application elements; no temporal limitation; no data-sharing requirements); Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Requests for Exemptive, No-Action and Interpretative Letters, 17 CFR 140.99 (same); Federal Housing Finance Agency, 12 CFR 1211.1, 1211.4, 1211.6 (same); Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Informal Staff Advice on Regulatory Requirements; Interpretive Order Regarding No-Action Letter Process, 70 FR 71487 (Nov. 29, 2005) (same).

    Under the 2016 Policy, a No-Action letter is a staff recommendation of no-action relief. Under Part I of the proposed Policy, in contrast, No-Action Letters would be issued by duly authorized officials of the Bureau to provide recipients greater assurance that the Bureau itself stands behind the no-action relief provided by the letters. Whereas UDAAP-focused No-Action Letters were expected to be particularly uncommon under the 2016 Policy, there would be no such expectation under Part I of the proposed Policy.13

    13 Several commenters on the proposed 2016 Policy urged the Bureau not to exclude UDAAP-focused No-Action Letters on the grounds that no-action relief is particularly valuable for UDAAP matters. 81 FR 6686, 8688 (Feb. 22, 2016). Stakeholders have reiterated this view subsequent to the finalization of the 2016 Policy, including in comments submitted in response to the Bureau's Request for Information Regarding Bureau Guidance and Implementation Support. 83 FR 13959 (Apr. 20, 2018).

    Finally, Part I would include a new section concerning Bureau coordination with other regulators that offer no-action letters or similar forms of relief.14

    14 The Bureau has also made a number of technical changes to accommodate the above-described substantive revisions and to increase clarity.

    Part II: BCFP Product Sandbox. The 2016 Policy is limited to a single type of relief: Non-binding staff-level no-action recommendations. In comments on the proposed 2016 Policy, the Bureau was urged to provide types of relief that are legally binding on the Bureau as well as other parties. In its response to such comments, the Bureau stated that “experience with the NAL process will assist the Bureau in evaluating other potential” forms of relief.15 As noted, the Bureau has provided only one No-Action Letter under the 2016 Policy since it was finalized in February 2016, which strongly suggests that the relief available under the 2016 Policy has not provided firms with a sufficient incentive to seek No-Action Letters from Bureau staff. In view of this experience, the Bureau is proposing to create the BCFP Product Sandbox. The BCFP Product Sandbox would include no-action relief substantially the same as that available under Part I, as well as two forms of additional relief: (a) Approvals by order under three statutory safe harbor provisions 16 (approval relief); and (b) exemptions by order (i) from statutory provisions (as well as provisions of regulations implementing the statute in question) under statutory exemption-by-order provisions (statutory exemptions); 17 or (ii) from regulatory provisions that do not mirror statutory provisions under rulemaking authority or other general authority (regulatory exemptions).18

    15 81 FR 8686, 8688 (Feb. 22, 2016).

    16See note 61, infra.

    17 See note 64, infra.

    18 See note 65, infra. Collectively, statutory exemptions and regulatory exemptions are referred to in the Policy as exemption relief.

    In keeping with the “sandbox” concept, approval relief and exemption relief would be provided for a limited period of time. The Bureau expects that two years would be appropriate in most cases.19 Part II of the proposed Policy also includes a section regarding extensions for participation in the BCFP Product Sandbox, which would specify the procedures for applying for such an extension and clarify the Bureau's intention to grant such applications where there is evidence of consumer benefit and an absence of consumer harm. Similarly, in contrast to Part I, Part II would require applicants to commit to sharing data with the Bureau concerning the products or services offered or provided in the BCFP Product Sandbox.

    19 Like the no-action relief available under Part II, the no-action relief available under Part II would not have a limited duration.

    Finally, like Part I, Part II would have a streamlined application and review process, and the Bureau would expect to grant or deny an application within 60 days of notifying the applicant that the Bureau has deemed the application to be complete. It would also include a similar provision concerning Bureau coordination with other regulators that offer similar programs designed to facilitate innovation.

    The Bureau invites comments with respect to any aspect of the proposed Policy. The Bureau is particularly interested in comment on the scope of the grounds for revocation, including whether there are additional changes in law that should be included as grounds for revocation.

    III. Regulatory Requirements

    The Bureau has concluded that, if finalized, this Policy Guidance would constitute an agency general statement of policy and a rule of agency organization, procedure, or practice exempt from the notice and comment rulemaking requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b). The Policy is intended to provide information regarding the Bureau's plans to exercise its discretion to provide no-action, approval, and exemption relief, and to describe the procedural components of such discretion. The Policy does not impose any legal requirements on third parties, nor does it create or confer any substantive rights on third parties that could be enforceable in any administrative or civil proceeding. Because no notice of proposed rulemaking is required, the Regulatory Flexibility Act does not require an initial or final regulatory flexibility analysis.20

    20 5 U.S.C. 603(a), 604(a).

    IV. Paperwork Reduction Act

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), Federal agencies are generally required to seek the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval for information collection requirements prior to implementation. Further, the Bureau may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless OMB approves the collection under the PRA and it displays a currently valid OMB control number. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person is required to comply with, or is subject to penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information if the collection instrument does not display a currently valid OMB control number. OMB has previously approved the collections of information contained in the Bureau's current Policy on No-Action Letters. The OMB Number is 3170-0059 (Expiration Date: 02/28/2019). The Bureau has determined that certain proposed revisions to the Policy would result in material changes from what has been previously approved by OMB; therefore, the Bureau plans to submit a request to OMB seeking approval for the revised information collections as contained in this proposed revised Policy.

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, the Bureau conducts a preclearance consultation program to provide the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on the new information collection requirements in accordance with the PRA (See 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)). This helps ensure that: The public understands the Bureau's requirements or instructions, respondents can provide the requested data in the desired format, reporting burden (time and financial resources) is minimized, collection instruments are clearly understood, and the Bureau can properly assess the impact of collection requirements on respondents.

    The Proposed Policy contains revised information collection requirements which consist of the information that should be submitted in applications for admission to the BCFP Product Sandbox as described below in Section II.B. Documentation prepared in support of this information collection request is available at www.regulations.gov. Requests for additional information and comments regarding the proposed revised collection of information should be submitted as described in the ADDRESSES section of this document.

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Bureau, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) The accuracy of the Bureau's estimate of the burden of the collection of information, including the validity of the methods and the 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. Comments submitted in response to this document will be summarized and/or included in the request for Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval. All comments will become a matter of public record.

    V. Proposed Policy

    The text of the proposed Policy is as follows:

    Policy on No-Action Letters and the BCFP Product Sandbox

    In section 1021(a) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act), Congress established the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection's (Bureau's) statutory purpose as ensuring that all consumers have access to markets for consumer financial products and services and that markets for consumer financial products and services are fair, transparent, and competitive.21 Relatedly, the Bureau's objectives include exercising its authorities under Federal consumer financial law for the purposes of ensuring that outdated, unnecessary, or unduly burdensome regulations are regularly identified and addressed in order to reduce unwarranted regulatory burdens, and that markets for consumer financial products and services operate transparently and efficiently to facilitate access and innovation.22

    21 12 U.S.C. 5511(a).

    22 12 U.S.C. 5511(b)(3), (5).

    Congress has given the Bureau a variety of authorities under Title X of the Dodd-Frank Act and the enumerated consumer laws 23 that it can exercise to promote this purpose and these objectives. These authorities include the authority to permit certain activity by a particular entity (or entities) by order (including approvals and exemptions), and discretionary supervision and enforcement authority.24 Providing such types of relief may not only benefit consumers and entities that offer or provide consumer financial products or services; it may also inform the Bureau's exercise of other authorities with respect to such products or services, such as market monitoring and rulemaking.

    23 12 U.S.C. 5481(12).

    24See notes 26, 61, 64-65, infra.

    The Policy on No-Action Letters and the BCFP Product Sandbox (Policy) sets forth the Bureau's policy and procedures regarding (i) issuance of No-Action Letters; and (ii) admission to the BCFP Product Sandbox, which involves issuance of (a) approvals by order and/or exemptions by order, and (b) no-action relief. The Policy's main purpose is to provide a mechanism through which the Bureau may more effectively carry out its statutory purpose and objectives.25

    25 The Policy is not intended to, nor should it be construed to: (1) Restrict or limit in any way the Bureau's discretion in exercising its authorities; (2) constitute an interpretation of law; or (3) create or confer upon any covered person or consumer, any substantive or procedural rights or defenses that are enforceable in any manner. In contrast, a particular No-Action Letter involves the Bureau's exercise of its supervision and enforcement discretion in a particular manner, and a particular approval or exemption gives the recipient certain legal rights.

    The Policy has two parts: (I) No-Action Letters; (II) the BCFP Product Sandbox. The Bureau considers Part I and Part II to be mutually exclusive.

    Part I. No-Action Letters

    This part consists of six sections:

    • Section A describes No-Action Letters.

    • Section B describes information that should be included in applications for a No-Action Letter.

    • Section C lists factors the Bureau intends to consider in deciding whether to grant an application for a No-Action Letter.

    • Section D describes the Bureau's procedures for issuing No-Action Letters.

    • Section E describes how the Bureau intends to coordinate with other regulators with respect to No-Action Letters.

    • Section F describes Bureau disclosure of information about No-Action Letters.

    A. Description of No-Action Letters

    A No-Action Letter under Part I is a document provided to a particular entity or entities, based on particular facts and circumstances, through which the Bureau exercises its discretionary supervision and enforcement authority by providing no-action relief.26 The Bureau intends that a No-Action Letter will include a statement that, subject to good faith, substantial compliance with the terms and conditions of the letter, and in the exercise of its discretion, the Bureau will not make supervisory findings or bring a supervisory or enforcement action against the recipient predicated on the recipient's offering or providing the described aspects of the product or service 27 under (a) its authority to prevent unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices; 28 or (b) any other identified statutory or regulatory authority within the Bureau's jurisdiction.29 The Bureau intends that a No-Action Letter will also include a statement that the letter is limited to the recipient's (or recipients') offering or providing the described aspects of the product or service, and that it does not apply to the recipient's (or recipients') offering or providing different aspects of the product or service.30 31

    26See 12 U.S.C. 5561 et seq. (enforcement authority); 12 U.S.C. 5531(a) (UDAAP enforcement authority); 12 U.S.C. 5514, 5515 (supervision authority); 12 U.S.C. 5511(a) (“The Bureau shall seek to implement and, where applicable, enforce Federal consumer financial law . . .”) (emphasis added); Heckler v. Chaney, 470 U.S. 821, 832 (1985); see also 12 U.S.C. 5512(b)(1) (authorizing the Director of the Bureau to “issue . . . guidance as may be necessary or appropriate to enable the Bureau to administer and carry out the purposes and objectives of the Federal consumer financial laws, and to prevent evasions thereof”).

    27 For convenience, “described aspects of the product or service” is used in Part I to capture the subject matter scope of a No-Action Letter, including both the particular aspects of the product or service in question, and the particular manner in which it is offered or provided.

    28 Implicit in the statement under part (a) is that the Bureau has not determined that the acts or practices in question are unfair, deceptive, or abusive.

    29 The Bureau maintains the right to obtain information relating to the consumer financial product or service subject to a No-Action Letter under its applicable supervision and enforcement authorities.

    30 For example, if only written disclosures were included within the scope of a No-Action Letter, marketing representations made orally by call center representatives could nevertheless be subject to supervisory or enforcement action.

    31 Additional content the Bureau expects to be included in No-Action Letters is specified in Section I.D.

    B. Submitting Applications for No-Action Letters

    Applications for a No-Action Letter should include the following:

    1. The identity of the entity or entities applying for a No-Action Letter;

    2. A description of the consumer financial product or service in question, including (a) how the product or service functions, and the terms on which it will be offered; and (b) the manner in which it is offered or provided, including any consumer disclosures;

    3. An explanation of the potential consumer benefits of the product or service and/or the manner in which it is offered or provided;

    4. An explanation of the potential consumer risks posed by the product or service and/or the manner in which it is offered or provided, and how the applicant(s) intends to mitigate such risks;

    5. An identification of the statutory and/or regulatory provisions from which the applicant(s) seeks no-action relief and an identification of the potential uncertainty, ambiguity, or barrier that such relief would address; 32

    32 Applicants should describe the relevant provisions with as much specificity as practicable, in part to enable the Bureau to respond expeditiously to the application. The Bureau recognizes that in some cases it may be difficult to determine precisely which provisions would apply, in the normal course, to the product or service in question. In other cases, the applicant may lack the legal resources to make a fully precise determination. In such circumstances, the applicant should provide the maximum specification practicable under the circumstances and explain the limits on further specification.

    6. If an applicant(s) wishes to request confidential treatment under the Freedom of Information Act,33 the Bureau's rule on Disclosure of Records and Information,34 or other applicable law, this request and the basis therefor should be included in a separate letter and submitted with the application.35 Applicants are advised to specifically identify the information for which confidential treatment is requested, and may reference the Bureau's intentions regarding confidentiality under Section I.F; and

    33 5 U.S.C. 552.

    34 12 CFR part 1070.

    35 Applicants should describe the relevant legal bases for confidentiality with as much specificity as practicable. The Bureau recognizes that some applicants may lack the legal resources to provide a detailed and complete showing. In such circumstances, the applicant should provide the maximum specification practicable under the circumstances and explain the limits on further specification.

    7. If an applicant(s) wishes the Bureau to coordinate with other regulators, the applicant(s) should identify those regulators, including but not limited to those that have been contacted about offering or providing the product or service in question.36

    36 Depending on the extent of coordination requested, the Bureau many not be able to respond to the application within the time frame specified in Section I.C.

    The Bureau invites applications from trade associations, service providers,37 and other third-parties. A trade association may wish to apply for a No-Action Letter on behalf of one or more of its members. Similarly, a service provider may wish to apply for a No-Action Letter covering business relationships with existing or prospective clients. In either case, the third-party applicant may be unable to describe all entities interested in a No-Action Letter. The third-party applicant may also have difficulty submitting a complete application without specific knowledge of the business practices of every entity interested in a No-Action Letter.

    37 The term “service provider” is generally defined in section 1002(26) of the Dodd-Frank Act as “any person that provides a material service to a covered person in connection with the offering or provision by such covered person of a consumer financial product or service.” 12 U.S.C. 5481(26). Some potential service providers may be unable to submit an application for a No-Action Letter without entering into a business relationship that enables them to provide a material service to a covered person. At the same time, a service provider may be unable to enter into such a business relationship absent appropriate relief.

    A trade association, service provider, or other third-party applicant should endeavor to submit a complete application. However, if a third-party applicant is unable to submit a complete application,38 the Bureau may issue a provisional No-Action Letter subject to submission of additional information and the Bureau's subsequent issuance of a non-provisional No-Action Letter. Based on a review of this additional information, a non-provisional No-Action Letter may be issued to the third-party and/or the entity (or entities) described by the third-party. Additional entities described by the third-party applicant may receive the letter at the same or later time by informing the Bureau that they wish to receive the letter and providing the necessary information.

    38 For example, although a third-party should endeavor to identify all other entities jointly interested in pursuing an application, it may not be able to identify all such entities by name at the time of the application. In such cases, the third-party applicant could describe the type of other entity it wishes to receive a No-Action Letter.

    Applications may be submitted via email to: [email protected] or through other means designated by the Office of Innovation.39 Submitted applications may be withdrawn at any time. Potential applicants are encouraged to contact the Office of Innovation at the same email address for informal preliminary discussion of a contemplated proposal prior to submitting a formal application.40

    39 Except as provided in Section I.B, applications should not include any PII.

    40 The email subject line should begin: “No-Action Letter—Inquiry.”

    C. Bureau Assessment of Applications for No-Action Letters

    In deciding whether to grant an application for a No-Action Letter, the Bureau intends to consider the quality and persuasiveness of the application, with particular emphasis on the information specified in subsections I.B.3, I.B.4, and I.B.5.41

    41 The decision whether to grant an application for a No-Action Letter will be within the Bureau's sole discretion.

    The Bureau intends to grant or deny an application within 60 days of notifying the applicant that the Bureau has deemed the application to be complete.

    D. Bureau Procedures for Issuing No-Action Letters

    When the Bureau decides to grant an application for a No-Action Letter, it intends to provide the recipient(s) with a No-Action Letter signed by the Assistant Director of the Office of Innovation or other members of the Office of Innovation, duly authorized by the Bureau, that sets forth the specific terms and conditions of the no-action relief provided.42 The Bureau expects the No-Action Letter will:

    42 If the Bureau decides to deny an application, it will inform the applicant(s) of its decision. The Bureau intends to respond to reasonable requests to reconsider its denial of an application within 60 days of such requests. Applicants may also withdraw, modify, and re-submit applications at any time.

    1. Identify the recipient(s);

    2. Specify the subject matter scope of the letter, i.e., the described aspects of the product or service;

    3. State that the letter is limited to the recipient's (or recipients') offering or providing the described aspects of the product or service, and that it does not apply to the recipient's (or recipients') offering or providing different aspects of the product or service;

    4. State that the letter is limited to the recipient(s), and that it does not apply to any other persons or entities;

    5. Require the recipient(s) to inform the Bureau of material changes to information included in the application that would materially increase the risk of material, tangible harm to consumers;

    6. Specify any other limitations or conditions, and the extent that the Bureau intends to publicly disclose information about the No-Action Letter; 43

    43 If an applicant(s) objects to the disclosure of certain information and the Bureau insists that the information must be publicly disclosed if a No-Action Letter is issued, the applicant(s) may withdraw the application and the Bureau intends to treat all information related to the application as confidential to the full extent permitted by law.

    7. State that, subject to good faith, substantial compliance with the terms and conditions of the letter, and in the exercise of its discretion, the Bureau will not make supervisory findings or bring a supervisory or enforcement action against the recipient(s) predicated on the recipient's (or recipients') offering or providing the described aspects of the product or service under (a) its authority to prevent unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices; 44 or (b) any other identified statutory or regulatory authority within the Bureau's jurisdiction.45

    44 Implicit in the statement under part (a) is that the Bureau has not determined that the acts or practices in question are unfair, deceptive, or abusive.

    45 A No-Action Letter permits the Bureau to exercise its supervision and enforcement authorities with respect to the recipient's (or recipients') conduct outside the scope of the No-Action Letter.

    8. State that, if the No-Action Letter is revoked for a reason other than the recipient's (or recipients') failure to substantially comply in good faith with the terms and conditions of the letter, the revocation is prospective only; i.e., that the Bureau would not pursue an action to impose retroactive liability in such circumstances.

    In certain circumstances, the Bureau may revoke the No-Action Letter in whole or in part. Based, in part, on its knowledge of no-action letter programs operated by other Federal agencies, the Bureau anticipates revocation to be quite rare. The Bureau expects the No-action Letter to specify the grounds of revocation, which the Bureau anticipates will be: (i) Failure to substantially comply in good faith with the terms and conditions of the letter; (ii) a determination by the Bureau that the recipient's (or recipients') offering or providing the described aspects of the product or service is causing material, tangible, harm to consumers; and (iii) a determination by the Bureau that the legal uncertainty, ambiguity, or barrier that was the basis for grant of a No-Action Letter has changed as a result of as statutory change or a Supreme Court decision.

    Before revoking a No-Action Letter, the Bureau will notify the recipient(s) of the grounds for revocation, and permit an opportunity to respond within a reasonable period of time. If the Bureau determines that the recipients(s) failed to substantially comply in good faith with the terms and conditions of the No-Action Letter, it will offer the recipient(s) an opportunity to cure the failure within a reasonable period of time before revoking the No-Action Letter. If the Bureau revokes or partially revokes a No-Action Letter, it will do so in writing and it will specify the reason(s) for its decision. The Bureau intends to allow the recipient(s) to wind-down the offering or providing of the describe aspects of the product or service during an appropriate period after revocation, unless the revocation was based upon the product or service causing material, tangible harm to consumers and a wind-down period would increase such harm.

    E. Regulatory Coordination

    Section 1015 of the Dodd-Frank Act instructs the Bureau to coordinate with Federal agencies and State regulators, as appropriate, to promote consistent regulatory treatment of consumer financial and investment products and services.46 Similarly, section 1042(c) of the Dodd-Frank Act instructs the Bureau to provide guidance in order to further coordinate actions with the State attorneys general and other regulators.47 Such coordination includes coordinating in circumstances where other regulators have chosen to limit their enforcement or other regulatory authority. The Bureau is interested in entering into agreements with State authorities that issue similar forms of no-action relief that would provide for an alternative means of receiving a No-Action Letter from the Bureau, i.e., alternative to the process described in Sections I.B, I.C, and I.D.

    46 12 U.S.C. 5495.

    47 12 U.S.C. 5552(c).

    Furthermore, the Bureau wishes to coordinate with other regulators more generally. To this end, the Bureau intends to enter into agreements whenever practicable to coordinate relief under Part I with similar forms of relief offered by State, Federal, or international regulators.

    F. Bureau Disclosure of Information Regarding No-Action Letters

    The Bureau intends to publish No-Action Letters on its website, as well as, in appropriate cases, a version or summary of the application. The Bureau also may publish denials of applications on its website, including an explanation of why the application was denied, particularly if it determines that doing so would be in the public interest.48

    48 The Bureau intends to publish denials only after the applicant is given an opportunity to request reconsideration of the denial. Upon request, and to the extent permitted by law, the Bureau does not intend to release identifying information from published denials, and intends to redact such information from the denials published on its website.

    Public disclosure of any other information regarding No-Action Letters is governed by applicable law, including the Dodd-Frank Act,49 the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA),50 and the Bureau's rule on Disclosure of Records and Information (Disclosure Rule).51 The Disclosure Rule generally prohibits the Bureau from disclosing confidential information,52 and defines confidential information to include information that may be exempt from disclosure under the FOIA 53 —including Exemption 4 regarding trade secrets and confidential commercial or financial information that is privileged or confidential.54 The Disclosure Rule defines confidential supervisory information to include any information provided to the Bureau by a financial institution to enable the Bureau to monitor for risks to consumers in the offering or provision of consumer financial products or services.55 Relatedly, the Disclosure Rule defines business information as commercial or financial information obtained by the Bureau from a submitter that may be protected from disclosure under Exemption 4 of FOIA, and generally provides that such business information shall not be disclosed pursuant to a FOIA request except in accordance with section 1070.20 of the rule.56

    49See, e.g., 12 U.S.C. 5512(c)(8).

    50 5 U.S.C. 552.

    51 12 CFR part 1070.

    52 12 CFR 1070.41.

    53 12 CFR 1070.2(f).

    54 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4).

    55 12 CFR 1070.2(i)(1)(iv).

    56 12 CFR 1070.20(a), (b).

    The Bureau anticipates that much of the information submitted by applicants in their applications, and by recipients during the pendency of the No-Action Letter, will qualify as confidential information, which may include confidential supervisory information and/or business information, under the Disclosure Rule.57 In particular, information requested from applicants under subsections I.B.3, I.B.4, and I.B.5 is designed to enable the Bureau to assess potential risks to consumers posed by a No-Action Letter. Similarly, under subsection I.D.5, the Bureau is requiring notification of material changes to any application information to enable the Bureau to monitor for risks during the pendency of a No-Action Letter. Therefore, the Bureau expects that much of the information submitted that is responsive to subsections I.B.3, I.B.4, I.B.5, and I.D.5 may constitute confidential supervisory information since it is obtained, in part, for the purpose of monitoring for risks to consumers. Additionally, the Bureau expects that much of the information submitted that is responsive to subsection I.B.2 will constitute business information. The Bureau expects that it may also constitute confidential supervisory information, since understanding the nature of the applicant's product or service and the manner in which it is offered or provided is essential for the Bureau to monitor for risks to consumers.58

    57 To the extent associated communications include the same information, that information would have the same status. But other information in associated communications may be subject to disclosure.

    58 To the extent an applicant or recipient submits information in connection with any of the identified subsections that is not actually responsive to these subsections, such information may be subject to disclosure.

    Disclosure of information or data provided to the Bureau under the Policy to other Federal and State agencies is governed by applicable law, including the Dodd-Frank Act 59 and the Bureau's Disclosure Rule, and subject to Bureau Bulletin 12-01.60 This includes disclosure consistent with Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) the Bureau has with other Federal and State agencies. For example, under certain MOUs with other Federal agencies, the Bureau has agreed to provide CSI to those agencies.

    59See, e.g., 15 U.S.C. 5512(c)(6); 5514(b)(3); 5515(b)(2); 5516(c)(2); 5516(d)(2).

    60 Available at: https://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/2012/01/GC_bulletin_12-01.pdf.

    To the extent the Bureau wishes to publicly disclose non-confidential information regarding a No-Action Letter, the terms of such disclosure will be included in the letter. The Bureau intends to draft the No-Action Letter in a manner such that confidential information is not disclosed. Consistent with applicable law and its own rules, the Bureau will not seek to publicly disclose any information that would conflict with consumers' privacy interests.

    Part II. BCFP Product Sandbox

    This part consists of seven sections:

    • Section A describes the three types of relief available to participants in the BCFP Product Sandbox.

    • Section B describes information that should be included in applications for admission to the BCFP Product Sandbox.

    • Section C lists factors the Bureau intends to consider in deciding whether to grant an application for admission to the BCFP Product Sandbox.

    • Section D describes procedures for granting admission to the BCFP Product Sandbox.

    • Section E describes procedures for granting extensions of participation in the BCFP Product Sandbox.

    • Section F describes how the Bureau intends to coordinate with other regulators with respect to the BCFP Product Sandbox.

    • Section G describes Bureau disclosure of information about the BCFP Product Sandbox.

    A. Types of Relief Available to Participants in the BCFP Product Sandbox 1. Approvals

    An approval under Part II is relief provided by the Bureau to a particular entity or entities, based on particular facts and circumstances, under one or more of three statutory safe harbor provisions.61 An approval issued to a particular entity or entities will include (a) a statement that, subject to good faith compliance with specified terms and conditions, the Bureau approves the recipient's (or recipients') offering or providing the described aspects of the product or service; 62 and (b) a specification of the legal authority and rational basis for the Bureau's issuance of the approval.

    61 15 U.S.C. 1640(f) (TILA); 15 U.S.C. 1691e(e) (ECOA); 15 U.S.C. 1693m(d) (EFTA).

    62 For convenience, “described aspects of the product or service” is used in Part II to capture the subject matter scope of admission to the BCFP Product Sandbox and the attendant relief, including both the particular aspects of the product or service in question, and the particular manner in which it is offered or provided.

    By operation of the applicable statutory provision(s), the recipient would have a “safe harbor” from liability under the applicable statute(s) to the fullest extent permitted by these provisions as to any act done or omitted in good faith in conformity with the approval; i.e., the recipient would be immune from enforcement actions by any Federal or State authorities, as well as from lawsuits brought by private parties.63

    63 15 U.S.C. 1640(f); 15 U.S.C. 1691e(e); 15 U.S.C. 1693m(d).

    2. Exemptions

    An exemption under Part II is relief provided to a particular entity or entities, based on particular facts and circumstances, through which the Bureau exercises its authority to grant exemptions by order (i) from statutory provisions (as well as provisions of regulations implementing the statute in question) under statutory exemption-by-order provisions (statutory exemptions); 64 or (ii) from regulatory provisions that do not mirror statutory provisions under rulemaking authority or other general authority (regulatory exemptions).65 An exemption issued to a particular entity or entities will include (a) a statement that, subject to good faith compliance with specified terms and conditions, the Bureau exempts the recipient(s) from complying with or deems it to be in compliance with specified statutory or regulatory provisions in connection with its offering or providing the described aspects of the product or service; and (b) a specification of the legal authority and rational basis for the Bureau's issuance of the exemption.

    64See, e.g., 15 U.S.C. 1691c-2(g)(2) (ECOA); 15 U.S.C. 1639(p)(2) (HOEPA); 12 U.S.C. 1831t(d) (FDIA). Any exemption issued by the Bureau pursuant to such statutory authority will satisfy any applicable statutory requirements.

    65See, e.g., United States v. Allegheny-Ludlum Steel Corp., 406 U.S. 742, 755 (1972) (“It is well established that an agency's authority to proceed in a complex area . . . by means of rules of general application entails a concomitant authority to provide exemption procedures in order to allow for special circumstances.”); Brodsky v. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Comm'n, 783 F. Supp. 2d 448 (S.D.N.Y. 2011) (same); 15 U.S.C. 5512(b)(1) (authorizing the Director of the Bureau to “prescribe rules and issue orders and guidance as may be necessary or appropriate to enable the Bureau to administer and carry out the purposes and objectives of the Federal consumer financial laws, and to prevent evasions thereof”).

    Where the Bureau provides such an exemption to a recipient(s), the recipient(s) would be immune from enforcement actions by any Federal or State authorities, as well as from lawsuits brought by private parties, based on the relevant statutory or regulatory provisions and on the recipient's (or recipients') offering or providing the described aspects of the product or service.66

    66See, e.g., 15 U.S.C. 5532(e) (exemption from a rule or enumerated consumer law issued by the Bureau constitutes a safe harbor from liability); Williams v. Chartwell Fin. Servs., Ltd., 204 F.3d 748, 754 (7th Cir. 2004) (exemption effectively provides a safe harbor from liability).

    3. No-Action Relief

    The no-action relief available under Part II is substantially the same as the no-action relief available under Part I, including not having a limited duration.67

    67 Although the no-action relief itself is substantially the same under Part I and Part II, potential applicants should keep in mind other differences between Part I and Part II when deciding whether to apply for a No-Action Letter under Part I, or for admission to the BCFP Product Sandbox under Part II, such as differences in data sharing expectations.

    B. Submitting Applications for Admission to the BCFP Product Sandbox

    An application for admission to the BCFP Product Sandbox should include the following:

    1. The identity of the entity or entities applying for admission to the BCFP Product Sandbox;

    2. A description of the consumer financial product or service to be offered or provided within the BCFP Product Sandbox, including (a) how the product or service functions, and the terms on which it will be offered; and (b) the manner in which it is offered or provided to consumers, including any consumer disclosures;

    3. The requested duration of participation in the BCFP Product Sandbox,68 and a description of any other limitations on participation, such as limits on the volume of transactions, the number of consumers to which the product or service is to be offered or provided, or geographic scope;

    68 The Bureau expects that two years will be an appropriate duration in most cases. As indicated in subsection II.A.3, the no-action relief available under Part II, like the no-action relief available under Part I, can be of unlimited duration. The “requested duration of participation in the BCFP Product Sandbox” element pertains only to approval relief and exemption relief.

    4. An explanation of the potential consumer benefits of the product or service and/or the manner in which it is offered or provided, and suggested metrics for evaluating whether such benefits are realized, such as consumer utilization numbers;

    5. An explanation of the potential consumer risks posed by the product or service and/or the manner in which it is offered or provided, and how the applicant(s) intends to mitigate such risks, including any plans for addressing unanticipated consumer harms and the amount of resources available to provide restitution for material, quantifiable, economic harm to consumers caused by the applicant's (or applicants') offering or providing the product or service;

    6. An identification of the statutory and regulatory provisions from which the applicant(s) seeks relief, the type of relief sought (approval, exemption, and/or no-action relief), and an identification of the potential uncertainty, ambiguity or barrier that such relief would address; 6970

    69 Applicants should describe the relevant provisions with as much specificity as practicable, in part to enable the Bureau to respond expeditiously to the application. The Bureau recognizes that in some cases it may be difficult to determine precisely which provisions would apply, in the normal course, to the product or service in question. In other cases, the applicant may lack the legal resources to make a fully precise determination. In such circumstances, the applicant should provide the maximum specification practicable under the circumstances and explain the limits on further specification.

    70 If an applicant(s) seeks an exemption under statutes that permit the Bureau to issue exemptions by order provided certain standards are satisfied, the applicant(s) should explain how the relevant standards are satisfied.

    7. A description of data the applicant(s) possesses and/or intends to develop pertaining to the impact of the product or service on consumers that will be shared with the Bureau if the application is granted,71 and a proposed schedule for sharing this data with the Bureau;

    71 The data the applicant expects to share with the Bureau should be limited to aggregate data.

    8. If an applicant(s) wishes to request confidential treatment under the Freedom of Information Act,72 the Bureau's rule on Disclosure of Records and Information,73 or other applicable law, this request and the basis therefor should be included in a separate letter and submitted with the application.74 Applicants are advised to specifically identify the information for which confidential treatment is requested; and

    72 5 U.S.C. 552.

    73 12 CFR part 1070.

    74 Applicants should describe the relevant legal bases for confidentiality with as much specificity as practicable. The Bureau recognizes that some applicants may lack the legal resources to provide a detailed and complete showing. In such circumstances, the applicant should provide the maximum specification practicable under the circumstances and explain the limits on further specification.

    9. If an applicant(s) wishes the Bureau to coordinate with other regulators, the applicant(s) should identify those regulators, including but not limited to those that have been contacted about offering or providing the product or service in question.75

    75 Depending on the extent of coordination requested, the Bureau many not be able to respond to the application within the time frame specified in Section II.C.

    The Bureau invites applications from trade associations, service providers,76 and other third-parties. A trade association may wish to apply for admission to the BCFP Product Sandbox on behalf of one or more of its members. Similarly, a service provider may wish to apply for admission to the BCFP Product Sandbox with existing or prospective clients. In either case, the third-party applicant may be unable to describe all entities interested in admission to the BCFP Product Sandbox. The third-party applicant may also have difficulty submitting a complete application for admission without specific knowledge of the business practices of every entity interested in admission.

    76 The term “service provider” is generally defined in section 1002(26) of the Dodd-Frank Act as “any person that provides a material service to a covered person in connection with the offering or provision by such covered person of a consumer financial product or service.” 12 U.S.C. 5481(26). Some potential service providers may be unable to submit an application for admission to the BCFP Product Sandbox without entering into a business relationship that enables them to provide a material service to a covered person. At the same time, a service provider may be unable to enter into such a business relationship absent appropriate relief.

    A trade association, service provider, or other third-party applicant should endeavor to submit a complete application. However, if a third-party applicant is unable to submit a complete application,77 the Bureau may grant provisional admission to the BCFP Product Sandbox subject to submission of additional information and the Bureau's subsequent grant of non-provisional admission. Based on a review of this additional information, non-provisional admission may be granted to the third-party and/or the entity (or entities) described by the third-party. Additional entities identified by the third-party may be granted admission at the same or later time by informing the Bureau that they wish to be granted admission and providing the necessary information.

    77 For example, although a third-party should endeavor to identify all other entities jointly interested in pursuing an application, it may not be able to identify all such entities by name at the time of the application. In such cases, the third-party applicant could describe the type of other entity it wishes to be admitted to the BCFP Product Sandbox.

    Applications may be submitted via email to: [email protected] or through other means designated by the Office of Innovation.78 Submitted applications may be withdrawn at any time. Potential applicants are encouraged to contact the Office of Innovation at the same email address for informal preliminary discussion of a contemplated proposal prior to submitting a formal, complete application.79

    78 Except as provided in Section II.B, applications should not include any PII.

    79 The email subject line should begin “BCFP Product Sandbox—Inquiry.”

    C. Bureau Assessment of Applications for Admission to the BCFP Product Sandbox

    In deciding whether to grant an application for admission to the BCFP Product Sandbox,80 the Bureau intends consider the quality and persuasiveness of the application, with particular emphasis on the information specified in subsections II.B.4, II.B.5, and II.B.6.

    80 The decision whether to grant an application for admission to the BCFP Product Sandbox will be within the Bureau's sole discretion.

    The Bureau intends to grant or deny an application within 60 days of notifying the applicant that the Bureau has deemed the application to be complete.

    D. Procedures for Granting Admission to the BCFP Product Sandbox 81

    81 The procedures specified in Section II.D may be modified pursuant to coordination efforts with other regulators, as specified in Section II.F.

    When the Bureau decides to grant an application for admission to the BCFP Product Sandbox, it intends to provide the recipient(s) with a document entitled: BCFP Product Sandbox Participation Terms and Conditions (Terms and Conditions document), that sets forth the terms and conditions of the recipient's (or recipients') participation in the BCFP Product Sandbox, including the types and scope of the relief provided to the recipient(s) during its participation in the Sandbox. The Terms and Conditions document will be signed by the Assistant Director of the Office of Innovation or other members of the Office of Innovation, duly authorized by the Bureau and by an officer of each recipient.82 The Bureau expects the Terms and Conditions document will:

    82 If the Bureau decides to deny an application, it will inform the applicant(s) of its decision. The Bureau intends to respond to reasonable requests to reconsider its denial of an application within 60 days of such requests. Applicants may also withdraw, modify, and re-submit applications at any time.

    1. Identify the recipient entity or entities;

    2. Specify the subject matter scope of the document, i.e., the described aspects of the product or service;

    3. State that the document is limited to the recipient's (or recipients') offering or providing the described aspects of the product or service, and that it does not apply to the recipient's (or recipients') offering or providing different aspects of the product or service;

    4. State that the document is limited to the recipient(s), and that it does not apply to any other persons or entities;

    5. Require the recipient(s) to report information about the effects of offering or providing the described aspects of the product or service on complaint patterns, default rates, or similar metrics that will enable to the Bureau to determine if doing so is causing material, tangible harm to consumers.

    6. Include a commitment by the recipient(s) to compensate consumers for material, quantifiable, economic harm caused by the recipient's (or recipients') offering or providing the described aspects of the product or service within the BCFP Product Sandbox;

    7. Specify any other limitations or conditions, such as the duration of the recipient's (or recipients') participation in the BCFP Product Sandbox,83 the nature and extent of the recipient's (or recipients') data sharing, and the extent that the Bureau intends to publicly disclose information about the recipient's (or recipients') participation in the BCFP Product Sandbox; 84

    83 The Bureau expects two years to be an appropriate duration in most cases.

    84 If an applicant(s) objects to the disclosure of certain information and the Bureau insists that the information must be publicly disclosed if admission to the BCFP Product Sandbox is to granted, the applicant(s) may withdraw the application and the Bureau intends to treat all information related to the application as confidential to the full extent permitted by law.

    8. (a) State that, subject to good faith compliance with the terms and conditions of the document, (i) the Bureau approves the recipient's (or recipients') offering or providing the described aspects of the product or service, and/or (ii) the Bureau exempts the recipient(s) from complying with or deems it to be in compliance with specified statutory or regulatory provisions in connection with its offering or providing the described aspects of the product or service; and (b) specify the legal authority 85 and rational basis for the Bureau's issuance of the approval and/or exemption.

    85See notes 61, 64-65, supra.

    9. State that, subject to good faith compliance with the terms and conditions of the document, and in the exercise of its discretion, the Bureau will not make supervisory findings or bring a supervisory or enforcement action against the recipient(s) predicated on the recipient's (or recipients') offering or providing the described aspects of the product or service under (a) its authority to prevent unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices; 86 or (b) any other identified statutory or regulatory authority within the Bureau's jurisdiction.87

    86 Implicit in the statement under part (a) is that the Bureau has not determined that doing so is deceptive, unfair, or abusive.

    87 The relief provided to a participant(s) in the BCFP Product Sandbox permits the Bureau to exercise its supervision and enforcement authorities with respect to conduct by the participant(s) outside the scope of that relief.

    10. State that, if the relief provided pursuant to the document is revoked for a reason other than the recipient's (or recipients') failure to comply in good faith with the terms and conditions of the document, the revocation is prospective only; i.e., that the Bureau would not pursue an action to impose retroactive liability in such circumstances.

    In certain circumstances, the Bureau may revoke admission to the BCFP Product Sandbox in whole or in part. Based, in part, on its knowledge of similar relief programs operated by other Federal agencies, the Bureau anticipates revocation to be quite rare. The Bureau expects the Terms and Condition document to specify the grounds of revocation, which the Bureau anticipates will be: (i) Failure to comply in good faith with the terms and conditions of the document; (ii) a determination by the Bureau that the recipient's (or recipients') offering or providing the described aspects of the product or service is causing material, tangible harm to consumers; and (iii) a determination by the Bureau that the legal uncertainty, ambiguity, or barrier that was the basis for the relief provided has changed as a result of a statutory change or a Supreme Court decision.

    Before issuing a revocation, the Bureau will notify the recipient(s) of the grounds for revocation, and permit an opportunity to respond within a reasonable period of time. If the Bureau nonetheless determines that the recipient(s) failed to comply with the Terms and Conditions document, it will offer the recipient(s) an opportunity to cure the failure within a reasonable period of time before issuing a revocation. If the Bureau issues a revocation for failure to comply in good faith with the Terms and Conditions document, it will do so in writing and it will specify the reason(s) for its decision, including the reason(s) why any attempt to cure was inadequate. The Bureau intends to allow the recipient(s) to wind-down the offering or providing of the described aspects of the product or service during a period of six months after revocation, unless the revocation was based upon the product or service causing material, tangible harm to consumers and a wind-down period would increase such harm.

    E. Procedures for Extension of Participation in the BCFP Product Sandbox

    Participants in the BCFP Product Sandbox may apply for an extension of a specified period of time based upon the quality and persuasiveness of the data provided to the Bureau under Section II.D. The Bureau expects to place particular weight on the extent to which the data shows that the described aspects of the product or service are benefitting consumers and/or not causing material, tangible harm to consumers. Such applications for an extension should include the proposed duration of the extension and should be submitted no later than 90 days prior to the expiration of the applicant's participation in the BCFP Product Sandbox.88 Alternatively, participants may reapply by resubmitting the entirety of the information specified in Section II.B.

    88 Assuming the two-year period the Bureau expects to be appropriate in most cases, the Bureau believes recipients would have sufficient time to gather evidence supportive of an extension request. For periods of one year or less, the Bureau may consider an extension deadline appropriate for the period in question.

    Upon the presentation of persuasive data, the Bureau anticipates granting such extension applications for a period at least as long as the period of the applicant's (or applicants') original participation in the BCFP Product Sandbox. The Bureau anticipates permitting longer extensions where the Bureau is considering amending applicable regulatory requirements.89 During the time period pending a rule amendment, the Bureau intends to consider means of providing similar relief to other covered entities that engage in the same or similar conduct in offering or providing comparable products.

    89 The Bureau's plans regarding rulemaking activity are set forth in its Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, published in full on www.reginfo.gov. If the period of an extension were tied to the Bureau's consideration of amending relevant regulatory provisions and the Bureau announced it was discontinuing its plans to amend the provisions in question, the extension period would be adjusted accordingly, e.g., adjusted to end on a specific date.

    F. Regulatory Coordination

    Section 1015 of the Dodd-Frank Act instructs the Bureau to coordinate with Federal agencies and State regulators, as appropriate, to promote consistent regulatory treatment of consumer financial and investment products and services.90 Similarly, section 1042(c) of the Dodd-Frank Act instructs the Bureau to provide guidance in order to further coordinate actions with the State attorneys general and other regulators.91 Such coordination includes coordinating in circumstances where other regulators have chosen to limit their enforcement or other regulatory authority. One method of limiting such authority is through a State sandbox, or group of State sandboxes, or other limited scope State authorization program (“State sandbox”).92 The Bureau is interested in entering into agreements with State authorities that operate or plan to operate a State sandbox that would provide for an alternative means of admission to the BCFP Product Sandbox, i.e., alternative to the process described in Sections II.B, II.C, and II.D.

    90 12 U.S.C. 5495.

    91 12 U.S.C. 5552(c).

    92 The concept of a regulatory sandbox is relatively new and does not have a precise, generally accepted definition. The term is used in this Policy to refer to a regulatory structure where a participant obtains limited or temporary access to a market in exchange for reduced regulatory barriers to entry or reduced regulatory uncertainty.

    Furthermore, the Bureau wishes to coordinate with other regulators more generally. To this end, the Bureau intends to enter into agreements whenever practicable to coordinate relief under Part II with similar forms of relief offered by State, Federal, or international regulators.

    G. Bureau Disclosure of Information Regarding the BCFP Product Sandbox

    The Bureau intends to publish on its website information about the BCFP Product Sandbox. For entities admitted to the BCFP Product Sandbox pursuant to the process specified in Sections II.B, II.C, and II.D, the information is expected to include: (i) The identity of the entity or entities admitted to the BCFP Product Sandbox; (ii) the subject matter scope of its or their participation; 93 (iii) the duration of its or their participation; (iv) the types of relief provided to participant(s); (v) for approvals and/or exemptions, the legal authority and rational basis for the approval and/or exemption; and (vi) in appropriate cases, a version or summary of the application.94 The Bureau also intends to publish on its website information about denials of applications submitted pursuant to Section B, including an explanation of why the application was denied.95

    93See subsection II.D.2, supra.

    94 The Bureau intends, at minimum, to publish the names of participants admitted to the BCFP Product Sandbox pursuant to Section II.F, but reserves the discretion to negotiate any additional disclosure terms with the corresponding regulator to the extent permitted by law.

    95 Upon request, and to the extent permitted by law, the Bureau does not intend to release identifying information from published denials, and intends to redact such information from the denials published on its website. The Bureau intends to publish denials only after the applicant is given an opportunity to request reconsideration of the denial.

    Public disclosure of any other information regarding admission to the BCFP Product Sandbox is governed by applicable law, including the Dodd-Frank Act,96 the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA),97 and the Bureau's rule on Disclosure of Records and Information (Disclosure Rule).98 The Disclosure Rule generally prohibits the Bureau from disclosing confidential information,99 and defines confidential information to include confidential supervisory information and Bureau information that may be exempt from disclosure under the FOIA 100 —including trade secrets and confidential commercial or financial information that is privileged or confidential.101 The Disclosure Rule defines confidential supervisory information to include any information provided to the Bureau by a financial institution to enable the Bureau to monitor for risks to consumers in the offering or provision of consumer financial products or services.102 Relatedly, the Disclosure Rule defines business information as commercial or financial information obtained by the Bureau from a submitter that may be protected from disclosure under Exemption 4 of FOIA, and generally provides that such business information shall not be disclosed pursuant to a FOIA request except in accordance with section 1070.20 of the rule.103

    96See, e.g., 12 U.S.C. 5512(c)(8).

    97 5 U.S.C. 552.

    98 12 CFR part 1070.

    99 12 CFR 1070.41.

    100 12 CFR 1070.2(f).

    101 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4).

    102 12 CFR 1070.2(i)(1)(iv).

    103 12 CFR 1070.20(a), (b).

    The Bureau anticipates that much of the information submitted by applicants in their applications, and by recipients during their participation in the BCFP Product Sandbox pursuant to the Terms and Conditions document, will qualify as confidential information, which may include confidential supervisory information, and/or business information, under the Disclosure Rule.104 In particular, the information requested under subsections II.B.3, II.B.4, II.B.6, and II.B.8 is designed to enable the Bureau to assess potential risks to consumers posed by the described aspect of the product or service. Similarly, subsection II.D.5 requires recipients to report information about the effects of offering or providing the described aspects of the product or service on complaint patterns, default rates, or similar metrics that will enable to the Bureau to determine if doing so is causing material, tangible harm to consumers. The other data and information the recipient(s) will provide pursuant to subsection II.D.6 will likewise be used by the Bureau to monitor for risks to consumers. Therefore, the Bureau expects that much of the information submitted that is responsive to subsections II.B.3, II.B.4, II.B.6, and II.B.8, and the referenced portions of subsection II.D, may constitute confidential supervisory information, since it is obtained for the purpose of monitoring for risks to consumers. Additionally, the Bureau expects that much of the information or data submitted responsive to subsections II.B.2, II.B.8, and II.D.6 will constitute business information. The Bureau expects that it may also constitute confidential supervisory information, since understanding the nature of the described aspects of the product or service is essential for the Bureau to monitor for risks to consumers.105106

    104 To the extent associated communications include the same information, that information would have the same status. But other information in associated communications may be subject to disclosure.

    105 To the extent an applicant or recipient submits information in connection with any of the identified subsections that is not actually responsive to these subsections, such information may be subject to disclosure.

    106 The Bureau notes that the preceding protections from public disclosure must be balanced against the Bureau's potential need to publicly disclose submitted data in some form—as permitted by applicable law and/or consent of recipients—if it decides to revise relevant regulatory provisions through notice-and-comment rulemaking based, in part, on such data—as provided in Section E.

    Disclosure of information or data provided to the Bureau under the Policy to other Federal and State agencies is governed by applicable law, including the Dodd-Frank Act 107 and the Bureau's Disclosure Rule, and subject to Bureau Bulletin 12-01.108 This includes disclosure consistent with Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) the Bureau has with other Federal and State agencies. For example, under certain MOUs with other Federal agencies, the Bureau has agreed to provide CSI to those agencies.

    107See, e.g., 15 U.S.C. 5512(c)(6); 5514(b)(3); 5515(b)(2); 5516(c)(2); 5516(d)(2).

    108 Available at: https://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/2012/01/GC_bulletin_12-01.pdf.

    To the extent the Bureau wishes to publicly disclose non-confidential information regarding the BCFP Product Sandbox, the terms of such disclosure will be included in the Terms and Conditions document specified in Section II.D. The Bureau intends to draft the document in a manner such that confidential information is not disclosed. Consistent with applicable law and its own rules, the Bureau will not seek to publicly disclose any information or data that would conflict with consumers' privacy interests.

    Dated: December 6, 2018. Mick Mulvaney, Acting Director, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.
    [FR Doc. 2018-26873 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-AM-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 73 [Docket No. FDA-2018-C-4464] Impossible Foods, Inc.; Filing of Color Additive Petition AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notification of petition.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or we) is announcing that we have filed a petition, submitted by Impossible Foods, Inc., proposing that the color additive regulations be amended to provide for the safe use of soy leghemoglobin as a color additive in plant-based, non-animal derived ground beef analogue products.

    DATES:

    The color additive petition was filed on November 5, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to https://www.regulations.gov and insert the docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document into the “Search” box and follow the prompts, and/or go to the Dockets Management Staff, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ellen Anderson, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Food and Drug Administration, 5001 Campus Dr., College Park, MD 20740, 240-402-1309.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under section 721(d)(1) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 379e(d)(1)), we are giving notice that we have filed a color additive petition (CAP 9C0314), submitted by Impossible Foods, Inc., c/o Exponent, Inc., 1150 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 1100, Washington, DC 20036. The petition proposes to amend the color additive regulations in part 73 (21 CFR part 73), “Listing of Color Additives Exempt From Certification,” to provide for the safe use of soy leghemoglobin as a color additive in plant-based, non-animal derived ground beef analogue products.

    The petitioner has claimed that this action is categorically excluded under 21 CFR 25.32(k) because soy leghemoglobin would be added directly to food and is intended to remain in food through ingestion by consumers and is not intended to replace macronutrients in food. In addition, the petitioner has stated that, to their knowledge, no extraordinary circumstances exist. If FDA determines a categorical exclusion applies, neither an environmental assessment nor an environmental impact statement is required. If FDA determines a categorical exclusion does not apply, we will request an environmental assessment and make it available for public inspection.

    Dated: December 7, 2018. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-26949 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF STATE 22 CFR Part 147 [Public Notice: 10458] RIN 1400-AE35 Information and Communication Technology AGENCY:

    State Department.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of State (the Department) updates and revises the rules that implement Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, consistent with a recent update to accessibility standards from the U.S. Access Board.

    DATES:

    The Department will accept comments until February 11, 2019.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by the method:

    Internet: At www.Regulations.gov, you can search for the document using the Docket Number: DOS-2018-0029 or using the notice's RIN 1400-AE35.

    Email: [email protected]—Alice Kottmyer, Attorney-Adviser, Department of State.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Alice Kottmyer, Attorney Adviser, Office of Management, Office of the Legal Adviser, (202) 647-2318.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The Department published its rules implementing section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. 794d (section 508), in 2016. 81 FR 32645.

    Section 508 authorizes the Access Board to establish standards for technical and functional performance criteria to ensure that information technologies are accessible and usable by persons with disabilities. In January of 2017, the Access Board published a “refresh” of its existing standards and guidelines, which updated accessibility requirements for information and communication technology (ICT) covered by section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act or section 255 of the Communications Act. The rule jointly updated and reorganized the section 508 standards and section 255 guidelines to advance accessibility, facilitate compliance, and harmonize the requirements with other standards in United States and abroad. 82 FR 5832. Federal agencies, however, need only comply with the revised 508 standards (codified at 38 CFR 1194.1 and appendices A, C, and D), whereas the revised section 255 guidelines apply exclusively to telecommunications equipment manufacturers.

    Why is the Department promulgating this rule?

    In its “refresh”, the Access Board, among other things, reorganized the section 508 standards and updated terminology, such as replacing references to “electronic and information technology” with “information and communication technology”. The title of the standards was also changed from “Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Standards”, to “Information and Communication Technology Standards and Guidelines”.

    The amendments to part 147 proposed in this notice are intended to align the Department's regulations with the Access Board's revised section 508 standards. The Department also proposes adding one new provision (§ 147.9), which provides a prohibition against intimidation or retaliation against anyone who files a complaint, furnishes information, or engages in other lawful activities in furtherance of section 508, part 147, or other regulations that implement section 508.

    Regulatory Findings Administrative Procedure Act

    This Department is publishing this document as a proposed rule with a 60-day comment period.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act/Executive Order 13272: Consideration of Small Entities in Agency Rulemaking

    The Department certifies that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities (small businesses, small nonprofit organizations and small governmental jurisdictions).

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995, 2 U.S.C. 1532, generally requires agencies to prepare a statement before proposing any rule that may result in an annual expenditure of $100 million or more by State, local, or tribal governments, or by the private sector. This rule will not result in any such expenditure, nor will it significantly or uniquely affect small governments.

    Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996

    This rule is not a major rule as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804. With this rulemaking, the Department is making changes to terminology to align its rules with those of the Access Board. The Department is aware of no monetary effect on the economy that would result from this rulemaking, nor will there be any increase in costs or prices; or any effect on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of United States-based companies to compete with foreign-based companies in domestic and import markets.

    Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review

    The Department of State does not consider this rule to be a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866, section 3(f). The Department of State has reviewed this rule to ensure its consistency with the regulatory philosophy and principles set forth in Executive Order 12866. The Department has determined that the benefits of this regulation, i.e., aligning its regulation with the standards promulgated by the Access Board, outweigh any costs.

    Executive Orders 12372: Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs and 13132: Federalism

    This regulation will not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. The rule will not have federalism implications warranting the application of Executive Orders 12372 and 13132.

    Executive Order 12988: Civil Justice Reform

    The Department has reviewed the regulation in light of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988 to eliminate ambiguity, minimize litigation, establish clear legal standards, and reduce burden.

    Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

    The Department has considered this rule in light of Executive Order 13563, dated January 18, 2011, and affirms that this regulation is consistent with the guidance therein.

    Executive Order 13771: Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs

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

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    The regulations in 22 CFR part 147 are related to OMB Control Number 1405-0220, which is in effect. This rule does not impose new or revised information collection requirements under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35.

    List of Subjects in 22 CFR Part 147

    Civil rights, Communications equipment, Computer technology, Government employees, Individuals with disabilities, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Telecommunications.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Department of State proposes to amend 22 CFR part 147 as follows:

    PART 147—INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY 1. The authority citation for part 147 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    22 U.S.C. 2651a; 29 U.S.C. 794, 794d; 36 CFR part 1194.

    2. Revise the heading for part 147 as set forth above. Subpart A of Part 147 [Amended] 3. In subpart A of part 147: a. Remove “electronic and information technology” and add in its place “information and communication technology”, wherever it occurs. b. Remove the acronym “EIT” and add in its place the acronym “ICT”, wherever it occurs.
    § 147.2 [Amended]
    4. In § 147.2, remove “36 CFR 1194.4” and add in its place “E103.4 of appendix A to 36 CFR part 1194.” 5. In § 147.3, revise the introductory text and the definition of “Section 508.”
    § 147.3 Definitions.

    The Department of State adopts the definitions in E103.4 of appendix A to 36 CFR part 1194.

    Section 508 means section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, codified at 29 U.S.C. 794d.

    § 147.4 [Amended]
    6. Amend § 147.4 as follows: a. In paragraph (a), remove “Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Standards (36 CFR part 1194)” and add in its place “Revised 508 Standards (36 CFR 1194.1 and appendices A, C and D to 36 CFR part 1194).” b. In paragraph (b), remove “36 CFR part 1194” and add in its place “36 CFR 1194.1.”
    § 147.5 [Amended]
    7. In § 147.5, remove “EIT Accessibility Standards” and add in its place “Revised 508 Standards.”
    § 147.6 [Amended]
    8. Amend § 147.6 as follows: a. In paragraph (b), remove “Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Standards, 36 CFR part 1194” and add in its place “Revised 508 Standards (36 CFR 1194.1 and appendices A, C and D to 36 CFR part 1194).” b. In paragraph (c), remove “36 CFR part 1194” and add in its place “36 CFR 1194.1”. c. In paragraph (d), remove “36 CFR part 1194” and add in its place “36 CFR 1194.1”.
    § 147.7 [Amended]
    9. Amend § 147.7(b) by removing “36 CFR part 1194” and adding in its place “36 CFR 1194.1”. 10. Add § 147.9 to read as follows:
    § 147.9 Intimidation and retaliation prohibited.

    No person may discharge, intimidate, retaliate, threaten, coerce or otherwise discriminate against any person because such person has filed a complaint, furnished information, assisted or participated in any manner in an investigation, review, hearing or any other activity related to the administration of, or exercise of authority under, or privilege secured by section 508 and the regulations in this part.

    Dated: November 26, 2018. Gregory B. Smith, Director, Office of Civil Rights and Chief Diversity Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-26570 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4710-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau 27 CFR Part 9 [Docket No. TTB-2018-0010; Notice No. 179] RIN 1513-AC41 Proposed Establishment of the Eastern Connecticut Highlands Viticultural Area AGENCY:

    Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) proposes to establish the approximately 1,246 square-mile “Eastern Connecticut Highlands” viticultural area in all or portions of Hartford, New Haven, Tolland, Windham, New London, and Middlesex Counties in Connecticut. The proposed viticultural area is not within and does not overlap any other established AVA. TTB designates viticultural areas to allow vintners to better describe the origin of their wines and to allow consumers to better identify wines they may purchase. TTB invites comments on this proposed addition to its regulations.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by February 11, 2019.

    ADDRESSES:

    Please send your comments on this notice to one of the following addresses:

    Internet: https://www.regulations.gov (via the online comment form for this notice as posted within Docket No. TTB-2018-0010 at “Regulations.gov,” the Federal e-rulemaking portal);

    U.S. mail: Director, Regulations and Rulings Division, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW, Box 12, Washington, DC 20005; or

    Hand delivery/courier in lieu of mail: Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20005.

    See the Public Participation section of this notice for specific instructions and requirements for submitting comments, and for information on how to request a public hearing or view or obtain copies of the petition and supporting materials.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Karen A. Thornton, Regulations and Rulings Division, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW, Box 12, Washington, DC 20005; phone 202-453-1039, ext. 175.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background on Viticultural Areas TTB Authority

    Section 105(e) of the Federal Alcohol Administration Act (FAA Act), 27 U.S.C. 205(e), authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to prescribe regulations for the labeling of wine, distilled spirits, and malt beverages. The FAA Act provides that these regulations should, among other things, prohibit consumer deception and the use of misleading statements on labels and ensure that labels provide the consumer with adequate information as to the identity and quality of the product. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) administers the FAA Act pursuant to section 1111(d) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, codified at 6 U.S.C. 531(d). The Secretary has delegated various authorities through Treasury Department Order 120-01, dated December 10, 2013, (superseding Treasury Order 120-01, dated January 24, 2003), to the TTB Administrator to perform the functions and duties in the administration and enforcement of these provisions.

    Part 4 of the TTB regulations (27 CFR part 4) authorizes TTB to establish definitive viticultural areas and regulate the use of their names as appellations of origin on wine labels and in wine advertisements. Part 9 of the TTB regulations (27 CFR part 9) sets forth standards for the preparation and submission of petitions for the establishment or modification of American viticultural areas (AVAs) and lists the approved AVAs.

    Definition

    Section 4.25(e)(1)(i) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.25(e)(1)(i)) defines a viticultural area for American wine as a delimited grape-growing region having distinguishing features, as described in part 9 of the regulations, and a name and a delineated boundary, as established in part 9 of the regulations. These designations allow vintners and consumers to attribute a given quality, reputation, or other characteristic of a wine made from grapes grown in an area to the wine's geographic origin. The establishment of AVAs allows vintners to describe more accurately the origin of their wines to consumers and helps consumers to identify wines they may purchase. Establishment of an AVA is neither an approval nor an endorsement by TTB of the wine produced in that area.

    Requirements

    Section 4.25(e)(2) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.25(e)(2)) outlines the procedure for proposing an AVA and provides that any interested party may petition TTB to establish a grape-growing region as an AVA. Section 9.12 of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 9.12) prescribes the standards for petitions for the establishment or modification of AVAs. Petitions to establish an AVA must include the following:

    • Evidence that the area within the proposed AVA boundary is nationally or locally known by the AVA name specified in the petition;

    • An explanation of the basis for defining the boundary of the proposed AVA;

    • A narrative description of the features of the proposed AVA affecting viticulture, such as climate, geology, soils, physical features, and elevation, that make the proposed AVA distinctive and distinguish it from adjacent areas outside the proposed AVA;

    • The appropriate United States Geological Survey (USGS) map(s) showing the location of the proposed AVA, with the boundary of the proposed AVA clearly drawn thereon; and

    • A detailed narrative description of the proposed AVA boundary based on USGS map markings.

    Eastern Connecticut Highlands Petition

    TTB received a petition from Steven Vollweiler, president of Sharpe Hill Vineyard, proposing the establishment of the approximately 1,246-square mile “Eastern Connecticut Highlands” AVA. The proposed Eastern Connecticut Highlands AVA covers the eastern third of the State and includes all or portions of Hartford, New Haven, Tolland, Windham, New London, and Middlesex Counties. Sixteen commercially-producing vineyards covering approximately 114.75 acres are distributed throughout the proposed AVA. An additional 20.5 acres of commercial vineyards are planned for the near future. Six wineries are also within the proposed AVA, with an additional three new wineries planned for the near future. Grape varieties planted within the proposed AVA include cold-resistant varietals such as St. Croix, Traminette, Vidal, Cayuga, Frontenac, and Vignoles.

    According to the petition, the distinguishing features of the proposed Eastern Connecticut Highlands AVA include its geology, topography, soils, and climate. Unless otherwise noted, all information and data pertaining to the proposed AVA contained in this document are from the petition for the proposed Eastern Connecticut Highlands AVA and its supporting exhibits.

    Name Evidence

    The proposed Eastern Connecticut Highlands AVA is located in what is known and referred to as the upland areas east of the Central Valley of Connecticut. These upland areas are commonly referred to as the “eastern highlands.” The petition proposes adding “Connecticut” to the proposed AVA name in order to avoid confusion with other regions in the United States that are referred to as “eastern highlands.”

    Examples of the use of the term “eastern highlands” to describe the region of the proposed AVA include an article about Connecticut's physiography that appears on the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection's web page. The article describes the region of the proposed AVA as “the Eastern Uplands or Highlands region.” 1 The same web page also contains an article on the Air Line State Park Trail, which follows the rail bed of a rail line that formerly ran between Boston and New York City. This article states that in order for the rail line to be built, certain political and physical obstacles needed to be overcome, one of which was “Connecticut's eastern highlands.” 2 In its entry on Connecticut, an online geography encyclopedia notes that, “The state is divided into two roughly equal sections, usually called the eastern highland and the western highland, which are separated by the Connecticut Valley lowland.” 3 As supporting name evidence, the petitioner provided a link to a hiking website with a page titled “Eastern Highlands Rock Climbing” 4 that includes rock climbing locations within the proposed AVA. The petition included a map of the physical geology of Connecticut, which shows the three regions of the State, including an area labeled “Eastern Highlands.” Finally, the petition notes that a major healthcare organization that serves the region of the proposed AVA is named the Eastern Highlands Health District.

    1http://www.ct.gov/deep/lib/deep/wildlife/Pdf_files/nongame/ctwap/2005cwcs/CWCSCh2.pdf.

    2http://www.ct.gov/deep/airlinetrail.

    3http://www.infoplease.com/encyclopedia/us/connecticut-state-united-states-geography.html.

    4https://www.mountainproject.com/v/eastern-highlands/10607668.

    Boundary Evidence

    The proposed Eastern Connecticut Highlands AVA encompasses the upland region of eastern Connecticut. According to the petition, the proposed boundary closely follows certain fault lines that lie along the geologic boundaries of the uplands region. The eastern and southern proposed boundaries approximate the Lake Char Fault and the Honey Hill Fault, respectively, and the western boundary follows the Eastern Border Fault of the Mesozoic Harford Basin. Beyond these boundaries, the topography and climate differ from within the proposed AVA. The Massachusetts-Connecticut State line forms the northern boundary of the proposed AVA because the climate and elevations of the region to the north of the proposed AVA differ slightly from the climate and elevations of the proposed AVA and because the proposed “Eastern Connecticut Highlands” name does not extend into Massachusetts.

    Distinguishing Features

    The distinguishing features of the proposed Eastern Connecticut Highlands AVA are its geology, topography, soils, and climate.

    Geology

    According to the petition, the varying resistance to erosion of the underlying rocks determines the topography and the physiographic provinces of Connecticut. The proposed Eastern Connecticut Highlands AVA is underlain by a Paleozoic formation generally referred to by geologists as Iapetus Terrane, named for the ancient ocean that once covered the region. The Iapetus Terrane is comprised largely of metamorphic rocks that are difficult to erode, resulting in the hills and mountains that characterize the landscape of the proposed AVA. The underlying geology also plays a major role in the formation of soils within the proposed AVA. The topography and soils of the proposed AVA will be discussed later in this document.

    To the west of the proposed AVA, the region known as the Central Valley is underlain by younger, more easily eroded sandstone, shale, and basalt lava flows that have a significantly different chemical composition than the geological formations of the proposed AVA. The regions to the east and south of the proposed AVA are part of the Avalonia Terrane, which consists of older, Pre-Cambrian rocks.

    Topography

    The proposed Eastern Connecticut Highlands AVA is characterized by hilly-to-mountainous terrain. Elevations within the proposed AVA range from about 200 feet in the valley floors between the hills to just more than 1,000 feet at the highest elevations in the northern portion. Along the eastern and western edges of the proposed AVA, the hills that run along the Eastern Border fault and the Lake Char Fault were formed from erosion-resistant metamorphic rocks. As a result, these hills tend to have sharp ridgelines and high elevations. In the central portion of the proposed AVA, the hills formed from metamorphic rocks that were less erosion-resistant than the rocks along the eastern and western edges. As a result, the hills in the central portion of the proposed AVA are more rounded and are “closely crammed together, almost nudging each other for more space.” 5 The petition states that the tops of these hills have concordant elevations, meaning that one hilltop will have about the same elevation as the neighboring hills. The hilltop elevations decrease as one moves from north to south. The petition states that if one were to imagine placing a gigantic sheet of plywood on top of the hills, the plywood would form a plane that gently slopes southward at about 10 to 20 feet per mile.

    5 Michael Bell, The Face of Connecticut. State Geological and Natural History Survey of Connecticut, Bulletin 100 (1985).

    By contrast, the region to the west of the proposed AVA is a broad, flat valley. Elevations within the valley range from about 150 feet to 250 feet. South of the proposed AVA, within the region known as the Coastal Slope, elevations are also generally lower than within the proposed AVA, ranging from sea level to about 400 feet. The shoreline of this coastal region consists of rocky prominences separated by coves and tidal lands that may extend several miles inland. The highlands terrain of the proposed AVA extends north into Massachusetts and east into Rhode Island, but the elevations differ in those locations. The petition states that the highlands of Massachusetts have generally higher elevations than the proposed AVA. The petition also notes that the highlands of Rhode Island diminish as one moves eastward, and the elevations become lower.

    The petition states that topography affects viticulture within the proposed Eastern Connecticut Highlands AVA because topography impacts the climate of a region. Regions with higher elevations, such as the proposed AVA, generally have a colder climate than regions with lower elevations, such as the neighboring Central Valley. Additionally, regions that are closer to the coast, such as the Coastal Slope region south of the proposed AVA and the lower elevations of Rhode Island, are more significantly affected by maritime climate than higher inland regions like the proposed AVA. Temperatures affect the varietals of grapes that can be successfully grown in any given area, as will be discussed later in this document.

    Soils

    According to the petition, Connecticut was affected by the last Ice Age glacier, which covered all of the State with ice a mile or more thick. As the ice slowly flowed in a generally southerly direction, it scraped and eroded the underlying bedrock, which contains an abundance of mineral nutrients. Eroded debris deposited by glaciers is referred to as glacial till. Glacial till soils are generally fertile and well-suited for agriculture, including viticulture.

    There are two main types of glacial till—lodgement (or basal) till, which is material deposited by glaciers as they move across the landscape, and ablation (or meltout) till, which is material deposited as a stagnant or slow moving glacier melts. The petition states that the soils of the proposed Eastern Connecticut Highlands AVA developed on lodgement till. These soils are thick sandy-to-silty loams and can range from well to poorly drained and are typically less permeable than soils formed from ablation till. According to the petition, the proposed AVA has the largest area of lodgement till soils in the State. By contrast, the Coastal Slope region of Connecticut, south of the proposed AVA, has the smallest amount of lodgement till soils. The southern and western regions of the State contain large areas of ablation soils. Soils in the Central Valley west of the proposed AVA formed in widespread glacial lake beds and are often poorly drained.

    The petition also provided information on the concentrations of seven elements found in the soils of the proposed AVA and the regions to the east, south, and west that play important roles in vine nutrition: Calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, sulfur, and zinc. The petition states that when compared to the Central Valley, the proposed AVA has higher levels of calcium, iron, magnesium, and sulfur, and lower levels of potassium, phosphorous, and zinc. The petition states that these differences in soil chemistry are due to the very different chemical composition of the geological features underlying the Central Valley, which are formed primarily from sedimentary rocks and basalt. Compared to the regions to the east and south, the proposed AVA has similar levels of calcium, phosphorus, and sulfur, higher levels of iron, magnesium, and zinc, and lower levels of potassium. The petition states that there are fewer chemical differences between the soils of the proposed AVA and the regions to the east and south because similar metamorphic rocks comprise the underlying geological features of all three of these regions. However, the proposed AVA does contain some soils derived from mafic rocks, which are igneous rocks that are very rich in iron and magnesium and contribute to the higher levels of those elements within the proposed AVA's soils.

    The petition notes that calcium plays a role in a vine's ability to uptake iron, and too much calcium can inhibit iron uptake. Iron is necessary for plants, including grapevines, to undertake chlorophyll synthesis, which allows for the production of nutrients needed for grapevine growth.6 Lack of iron may lead to chlorosis—an iron deficiency that may cause yellowing on grapevines and ultimately lead to grapevine death.7 Magnesium is involved with carbohydrate metabolism, and a lack of magnesium may also lead to chlorosis.8 Phosphorous is involved with energy transport in the vines, and a phosphorous deficiency can reduce grapevine growth and cause premature grape ripening.9 Potassium helps maintain fruit acidity by exchange with hydrogen ions, and a potassium deficiency can harm grapevines and cause grapes to unevenly ripen or fail to ripen.10 Higher levels of sulfur are generally known to increase soil acidity and provide grapevines with vitamins necessary for grapevine growth.11

    6See James Schuster, Focus on Plant Problems—Chlorosis. University of Illinois. http://extension.illinois.edu/focus/index.cfm?problem=chlorosis (viewed June 5, 2018).

    7Id; see also Albert J. Winkler et al., General Viticulture 425-426 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2nd ed. 1974).

    8General Viticulture at 425.

    9Id.

    10Id. at 415-418.

    11Id. at 426-427.

    Finally, the petition included the following table listing the most common soil series of the proposed AVA, the Central Valley to the west, and the Avalon Terrane to the south and east. The table shows that the proposed AVA shares some of the same soils as the regions to the south and east but contains none of the soils found in the region to the west. The petition states that the greater difference in soils series between the proposed AVA and the Central Valley is due to the greater differences in the underlying geology. The proposed AVA and the regions to the east and south have similar underlying geologic structures, but the slight chemical differences contribute to the slight differences in soil series.

    Table 1—Soil Series Proposed AVA Central Valley
  • (west)
  • Avalon Terrane
  • (east and south)
  • Agawam-Merrimac-Hinckley, Brimfield-Brookfield, Broadbrook-Rainbow, Canton-Charlton-Hollis, Charlton-Hollis, Hinckley-Merrimac, Hollis-Charlton, Hollis-Woodbridge, Paxton-Woodbridge Branford-Manchester, Cheshire-Wethersfield-Manchester, Cheshire-Yalesville, Elridge-Bancroft-Scitico, Hadley-Winooski, Hartford-Manchester, Holyoke-Wethersfield-Cheshire, Penwood-Manchester, Rumney-Podunk, Wethersfield-Holyoke-Broadbrook, Wethersfield-Ludlow, Windsor-Ninigret-Merrimac Agawam-Merrimac-Hinckley, Broadbrook-Rainbow, Canton-Charlton-Hollis, Charlton-Hollis, Hollis-Charlton, Narragansett-Hollis, Paxton-Woodbridge.
    Climate

    The petition included information on the average annual temperatures, growing degree days (GDDs) 12 , coldest recorded temperature, average date of the latest spring frost, and average date of the earliest fall frost for the proposed Eastern Connecticut Highlands AVA and the surrounding regions. The data was gathered from 1996 to 2015 and is included in the following table.

    12 In the Winkler climate classification system, annual heat accumulation during the growing season, measured in annual growing degree days (GDDs), defines climatic regions. One GDD accumulates for each degree Fahrenheit that a day's mean temperature is above 50 degrees, the minimum temperature required for grapevine growth. Id. at 61-64.

    Table 2—Climate Location
  • (direction from proposed AVA)
  • Average
  • annual
  • temperature
  • (fahrenheit)
  • Growing
  • degree days
  • Coldest
  • temperature
  • (fahrenheit)
  • Average
  • date of last
  • spring frost
  • Average
  • date of first
  • fall frost
  • Windham Airport (within) 50.1 2,780 −13 May 3 October 15. Windsor Locks, CT (west) 51.3 3,036 −11 April 23 October 15. Hartford, CT (west) 52.2 3,185 −4 April 12 October 23. Groton, CT (south) 51.5 2,709 −5 April 18 October 26. New Haven, CT (south) 52.5 3,057 −2 April 9 November 1. Worcester, MA (north) 50.5 2,445 −16 April 20 October 21. Fitchburg, MA (north) 49.7 2,667 −11 April 23 October 17. Orange, MA (north) 47.2 2,409 −22 May 10 October 7. Lincoln, RI (east) 50 2,577 −9 April 24 October 23. Warwick, RI (east) 52.2 3,029 −6 April 12 October 31.

    The data shows that the proposed AVA has average annual temperatures that are generally similar to the surrounding locations. However, this data also shows more pronounced differences in other climate measurements. When compared to the region to the north, the proposed AVA has significantly higher GDD accumulations than all three northern locations, indicating warmer growing season temperatures. The proposed AVA also has a generally shorter growing season than two of the northern locations, as indicated by the later last-spring-frost date and earlier first-fall-frost date for the proposed AVA. Compared to the regions to the south and east, the proposed AVA has lower GDD accumulations than two of the locations. The proposed AVA also has a shorter growing season than all four of the southern and eastern comparison locations, which are closer to the Long Island Sound and thus benefit from temperature-moderating marine breezes. Finally, compared to the Central Valley region to the west, the proposed AVA has lower GDD accumulations and a shorter growing season than both western comparison locations.

    The petition states that the GDD accumulations within the proposed Eastern Connecticut Highlands AVA and each of the surrounding regions are sufficient to ripen most Vitis vinifera varietals. However, the petition goes on to state that cold hardiness is the prime determinant of which varietals can be successfully grown in the proposed AVA. The proposed AVA has the lowest minimum temperature of all of the surrounding regions except for two locations to the north. Most vinifera varietals do poorly in climates with extreme cold winter temperatures, which can kill dormant vines, or late spring frosts, which can damage tender new vine growth. As a result, most vineyards in the proposed AVA plant cold-hardy non-vinifera hybrids such as St. Croix, Traminette, Vidal, Cayuga, Frontanec, and Vignoles. By contrast, vineyards planted to the south of the proposed AVA, within the warmer coastal region, plant more vinifera varietals including Cabernet franc, Merlot, Riesling, and Chardonnay.

    Summary of Distinguishing Features

    In summary, the geology, topography, soils, and climate of the proposed Eastern Connecticut Highlands AVA distinguish it from the surrounding regions. The proposed AVA is a region of hills and mountains with underlying geological features that are resistant to erosion. To the west of the proposed AVA in the Central Valley, the topography is characterized by a broad, flat plain with underlying geological features that are easily eroded. North of the proposed AVA, the elevations are generally higher. To the east and south, the underlying geological features are older, and the elevation of the topography gradually descends to the coast.

    The soils of the proposed AVA developed on the largest area of lodgement till in the State and consist of thick sandy-to-silty loams. The regions to the east and south of the proposed AVA share some of the same soil series of the proposed AVA, but the AVA has lower potassium levels and higher levels of iron, magnesium, and zinc than in these regions. Additionally, the soils to the south and east of the proposed AVA contain less lodgement till. To the west of the proposed AVA, the soils developed in glacial lake beds and are of different soil series than the soils of the proposed AVA. The soils to the west of the proposed AVA also contain lower levels of calcium, iron, magnesium, and sulfur than the soils of the proposed AVA.

    The climate of the proposed AVA is generally cooler than most of the surrounding regions and is suitable for growing cold-hardy hybrid varietals of grapes. The regions to the south, east, and west all have warmer lowest-recorded temperatures and earlier last-spring-frost dates than the proposed AVA, making those regions more suitable to growing vinifera varietals that are less cold-hardy. The region to the north of the proposed AVA has GDD accumulations and lowest-recorded temperatures that are generally lower than for the proposed AVA.

    TTB Determination

    TTB concludes that the petition to establish the approximately 1,246 square-mile Eastern Connecticut Highlands AVA merits consideration and public comment, as invited in this notice of proposed rulemaking.

    Boundary Description

    See the narrative description of the boundary of the petitioned-for AVA in the proposed regulatory text published at the end of this proposed rule.

    Maps

    The petitioner provided the required maps, and they are listed below in the proposed regulatory text.

    Impact on Current Wine Labels

    Part 4 of the TTB regulations prohibits any label reference on a wine that indicates or implies an origin other than the wine's true place of origin. For a wine to be labeled with an AVA name, at least 85 percent of the wine must be derived from grapes grown within the area represented by that name, and the wine must meet the other conditions listed in § 4.25(e)(3) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.25(e)(3)). If the wine is not eligible for labeling with an AVA name and that name appears in the brand name, then the label is not in compliance and the bottler must change the brand name and obtain approval of a new label. Similarly, if the AVA name appears in another reference on the label in a misleading manner, the bottler would have to obtain approval of a new label. Different rules apply if a wine has a brand name containing an AVA name that was used as a brand name on a label approved before July 7, 1986. See § 4.39(i)(2) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.39(i)(2)) for details.

    If TTB establishes this proposed AVA, its name, “Eastern Connecticut Highlands,” will be recognized as a name of viticultural significance under § 4.39(i)(3) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.39(i)(3)). The text of the proposed regulation clarifies this point. Consequently, wine bottlers using the name “Eastern Connecticut Highlands” in a brand name, including a trademark, or in another label reference as to the origin of the wine, would have to ensure that the product is eligible to use the AVA name as an appellation of origin if this proposed rule is adopted as a final rule. Accordingly, the proposed part 9 regulatory text set forth in this document specifies the full name “Eastern Connecticut Highlands” as a term of viticultural significance for the proposed AVA for the purposes of part 4 of the TTB regulations.

    Public Participation Comments Invited

    TTB invites comments from interested members of the public on whether it should establish the proposed AVA. TTB is also interested in receiving comments on the sufficiency and accuracy of the name, boundary, soils, climate, and other required information submitted in support of the petition. Please provide any available specific information in support of your comments.

    Because of the potential impact of the establishment of the proposed Eastern Connecticut Highlands AVA on wine labels that include the term “Eastern Connecticut Highlands” as discussed above under Impact on Current Wine Labels, TTB is particularly interested in comments regarding whether there will be a conflict between the proposed AVA name and currently used brand names. If a commenter believes that a conflict will arise, the comment should describe the nature of that conflict, including any anticipated negative economic impact that approval of the proposed AVA will have on an existing viticultural enterprise. TTB is also interested in receiving suggestions for ways to avoid conflicts, for example, by adopting a modified or different name for the AVA.

    Submitting Comments

    You may submit comments on this notice by using one of the following three methods:

    Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: You may send comments via the online comment form posted with this notice within Docket No. TTB-2018-0010 on “Regulations.gov,” the Federal e-rulemaking portal, at https://www.regulations.gov. A direct link to that docket is available under Notice No. 179 on the TTB website at https://www.ttb.gov/wine/wine-rulemaking.shtml. Supplemental files may be attached to comments submitted via Regulations.gov. For complete instructions on how to use Regulations.gov, visit the site and click on the “Help” tab.

    U.S. Mail: You may send comments via postal mail to the Director, Regulations and Rulings Division, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW, Box 12, Washington, DC 20005.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: You may hand-carry your comments or have them hand-carried to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20005.

    Please submit your comments by the closing date shown above in this notice. Your comments must reference Notice No. 179 and include your name and mailing address. Your comments also must be made in English, be legible, and be written in language acceptable for public disclosure. TTB does not acknowledge receipt of comments, and TTB considers all comments as originals.

    In your comment, please clearly state if you are commenting for yourself or on behalf of an association, business, or other entity. If you are commenting on behalf of an entity, your comment must include the entity's name, as well as your name and position title. If you comment via Regulations.gov, please enter the entity's name in the “Organization” blank of the online comment form. If you comment via postal mail or hand delivery/courier, please submit your entity's comment on letterhead.

    You may also write to the Administrator before the comment closing date to ask for a public hearing. The Administrator reserves the right to determine whether to hold a public hearing.

    Confidentiality

    All submitted comments and attachments are part of the public record and subject to disclosure. Do not enclose any material in your comments that you consider to be confidential or inappropriate for public disclosure.

    Public Disclosure

    TTB will post, and you may view, copies of this notice, selected supporting materials, and any online or mailed comments received about this proposal within Docket No. TTB-2018-0010 on the Federal e-rulemaking portal, Regulations.gov, at http://www.regulations.gov. A direct link to that docket is available on the TTB website at https://www.ttb.gov/wine/wine_rulemaking.shtml under Notice No. 179. You may also reach the relevant docket through the Regulations.gov search page at http://www.regulations.gov. For information on how to use Regulations.gov, click on the site's “Help” tab.

    All posted comments will display the commenter's name, organization (if any), city, and State, and, in the case of mailed comments, all address information, including email addresses. TTB may omit voluminous attachments or material that the Bureau considers unsuitable for posting.

    You may also view copies of this notice, all related petitions, maps and other supporting materials, and any electronic or mailed comments that TTB receives about this proposal by appointment at the TTB Public Reading Room, 1310 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20005. You may also obtain copies at 20 cents per 8.5 x 11-inch page. Please note that TTB is unable to provide copies of USGS maps or other similarly-sized documents that may be included as part of the AVA petition. Contact TTB's Public Reading Room at the above address or by telephone at 202-822-9904 to schedule an appointment or to request copies of comments or other materials.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    TTB certifies that this proposed regulation, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The proposed regulation imposes no new reporting, recordkeeping, or other administrative requirement. Any benefit derived from the use of a viticultural area name would be the result of a proprietor's efforts and consumer acceptance of wines from that area. Therefore, no regulatory flexibility analysis is required.

    Executive Order 12866

    It has been determined that this proposed rule is not a significant regulatory action as defined by Executive Order 12866 of September 30, 1993. Therefore, no regulatory assessment is required.

    Drafting Information

    Karen A. Thornton of the Regulations and Rulings Division drafted this notice of proposed rulemaking.

    List of Subjects in 27 CFR Part 9

    Wine.

    Proposed Regulatory Amendment

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, TTB proposes to amend title 27, chapter I, part 9, Code of Federal Regulations, as follows:

    PART 9—AMERICAN VITICULTURAL AREAS 1. The authority citation for part 9 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    27 U.S.C. 205.

    Subpart C—Approved American Viticultural Areas 2. Subpart C is amended by adding § 9.__to read as follows:
    § 9.__ Eastern Connecticut Highlands.

    (a) Name. The name of the viticultural area described in this section is “Eastern Connecticut Highlands”. For purposes of part 4 of this chapter, “Eastern Connecticut Highlands” is a term of viticultural significance.

    (b) Approved maps. The one United States Geological Survey (USGS) 1:125,000 scale topographic map used to determine the boundary of the Eastern Connecticut Highlands viticultural area is titled “State of Connecticut.”

    (c) Boundary. The Eastern Connecticut Highlands viticultural area is located in Hartford, New Haven, Tolland, Windham, New London, and Middlesex Counties in Connecticut. The boundary of the Eastern Connecticut Highlands viticultural area is as described below:

    (1) The beginning point is on the State of Connecticut map at the intersection of State Highway 83 and the Massachusetts-Connecticut State line in Somers. From the beginning point, proceed east along the Massachusetts-Connecticut State line approximately 33 miles to the intersection of the shared State line and an unnamed road, known locally as Bonnette Avenue, in Thompson; then

    (2) Proceed southeast along Bonnette Avenue approximately 0.38 mile to its intersection with an unnamed road known locally as Sand Dam Road; then

    (3) Proceed southeast along Sand Dam Road approximately 1.5 miles to its intersection with an unnamed road known locally as Thompson Road; then

    (4) Proceed south along Thompson Road approximately 1,000 feet to its intersection with an unnamed road known locally as Quaddick Town Farm Road; then

    (5) Proceed east then south along Quaddick Town Farm Road approximately 5.5 miles into the town of Putnam, where the road becomes known as East Putnam Road, and continuing south along East Putnam Road approximately 1 mile to its intersection with U.S. Highway 44; then

    (6) Proceed west along U.S. Highway 44 approximately 1 mile to its intersection with an unnamed road known locally as Tucker Hill Road; then

    (7) Proceed south along Tucker Hill Road approximately 0.38 mile to its intersection with an unnamed road known locally as Five Mile River Road; then

    (8) Proceed southwest then west along Five Mile River Road 1.75 miles to its intersection with State Highway 21; then

    (9) Proceed south along State Highway 21 approximately 2 miles to its intersection with State Highway 12; then

    (10) Proceed south along State Highway 12 approximately 1 mile to its intersection with Five Mile River; then

    (11) Proceed west along Five Mile River approximately 0.13 mile to its intersection with the highway marked on the map State Highway 52 (also known as Interstate 395); then

    (12) Proceed south along State Highway 52/Interstate 395 approximately 14.5 miles to its intersection with State Highway 201; then

    (13) Proceed southeast along State Highway 201 approximately 5.25 miles to its intersection with State Highway 165; then

    (14) Proceed southwest along State Highway 165 approximately 10 miles to its intersection with State Highway 2; then

    (15) Proceed west along State Highway 2 approximately 1 mile to its intersection with State Highway 82; then

    (16) Proceed southwest, then northwest, then southwest along State Highway 82 approximately 27.72 miles to its intersection with State Highway 9; then

    (17) Proceed southeast along State Highway 9 approximately 3.7 miles to its intersection with State Highway 80; then

    (18) Proceed west along State Highway 80 approximately 15.7 miles to its intersection with State Highway 77; then

    (19) Proceed north along State Highway 77 approximately 8.3 miles to its intersection with State Highway 17; then

    (20) Proceed northeast along State Highway 17 approximately 6.8 miles to the point where it becomes concurrent with State Highway 9; then

    (21) Proceed north along concurrent State Highway 17-State Highway 9 approximately 0.75 mile the point where State Highway 17 departs from State Highway 9; then

    (22) Proceed east along State Highway 17 approximately 0.25 mile, crossing over the Connecticut River, to the highway's intersection with State Highway 17A; then

    (23) Proceed north along State Highway 17A approximately 3 miles to its intersection with State Highway 17; then

    (24) Proceed north along State Highway 17 approximately 8 miles to its intersection with State Highway 94; then

    (25) Proceed east along State Highway 94 approximately 4 miles to its intersection with State Highway 83; then

    (26) Proceed north along State Highway 83 approximately 25 miles, returning to the beginning point.

    Signed: June 25, 2018. John J. Manfreda, Administrator. Approved: December 4, 2018. Timothy E. Skud, Deputy Assistant Secretary (Tax, Trade, and Tariff Policy).
    [FR Doc. 2018-27016 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-31-P
    NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD 29 CFR Chapter I RIN 3142-AA13 The Standard for Determining Joint-Employer Status; Extension of Comment Period AGENCY:

    National Labor Relations Board.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; second extension of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Labor Relations Board (the Board) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register of September 14, 2018, seeking comments from the public concerning the standard for determining joint-employer status under the National Labor Relations Act. The date to submit responses to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is again extended for 30 days.

    DATES:

    The comment period for the notice of proposed rulemaking published at 83 FR 46681, and first extended at 83 FR 55329, is extended. Comments must be received by the Board on or before January 14, 2019. Comments replying to the comments submitted during the initial comment period must be received by the Board on or before January 21, 2019.

    Dated: December 10, 2018. Farah Z. Qureshi, Associate Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-27024 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers 33 CFR Part 334 [COE-2018-0005] Pacific Ocean at Naval Base Guam Telecommunication Site, Finegayan Small Arms Range, on the Northwestern Coast of Guam; Danger Zone AGENCY:

    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) is proposing to revise the existing regulations to establish a danger zone at the U.S. Naval Base Guam Telecommunication Site in the Pacific Ocean, Guam. The Navy requested establishment of a danger zone extending over the Pacific Ocean adjacent to the Finegayan Small Arms Range. Establishment of a danger zone would intermittently restrict commercial, public, and private vessels from entering or lingering in the restricted safety zone to ensure public safety during small arms training activities. This danger zone is necessary to minimize potential conflicts between local populace activities and ongoing military training in the subject area.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted on or before January 14, 2019.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number COE-2018-0005, by any of the following methods:

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

    Email: [email protected] Include the docket number, COE-2018-0005, in the subject line of the message.

    Mail: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Attn: CECW-CO-R (David B. Olson), 441 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20314-1000.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Due to security requirements, we cannot receive comments by hand delivery or courier.

    Instructions: Direct your comments to docket number COE-2018-0005. All comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available on-line at http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the commenter indicates that the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI, or otherwise protected, through regulations.gov or email. The regulations.gov website is an anonymous access system, which means we will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email directly to the Corps without going through regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the internet. If you submit an electronic comment, we recommend that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any compact disc you may submit. If we cannot read your comment because of technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, we may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic comments should avoid the use of any special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to www.regulations.gov . All documents in the docket are listed. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, such as 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.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. David Olson, Headquarters, Operations and Regulatory Community of Practice, Washington, DC at 202-761-4922 or Ms. Karen Urelius, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Honolulu District, Regulatory Branch at 671-339-2108.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    Pursuant to its authorities in Section 7 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1917 (40 Stat 266; 33 U.S.C. 1) and Chapter XIX of the Army Appropriations Act of 1919 (40 Stat 892; 33 U.S.C. 3) the Corps is proposing to revise the regulations at 33 CFR part 334 by establishing a danger zone in the Pacific Ocean. The amendment to this regulation will allow the Commanding Officer of the U.S. Naval Base Guam to restrict passage of persons, watercraft, and vessels in the waters within the danger zone during use of the Finegayan Small Arms Range. The establishment of a danger zone would intermittently restrict commercial, public, and private vessels from entering or lingering in the restricted safety zone to ensure public safety during small arms training activities at the Finegayan Small Arms Range. This danger zone will be in place as a precautionary measure to protect the public from any potential impacts in firing small arms to the west.

    The proposed establishment of this danger zone was considered in the Final Mariana Islands Training and Testing/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement prepared by the Navy. This location is an existing range and meets all of the landside requirements of a small arms range. With limited land on the island, it is not feasible to have the firing range and safety zone completely on land.

    Military and Government of Guam law enforcement agencies are required to qualify with their assigned weapon prior to executing their duties. Additionally, other military forces (ships, submarines, expeditionary forces and other combat forces) are required to qualify and maintain their qualifications on the weapons needed to further the execution of their assigned mission. These ranges are not only used by forces assigned to the island, but also deployable military forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines). The Department of Defense requires frequent firing of assigned weapons to ensure proficiency in the use and operations of assigned weapons.

    Currently there are two other ranges on Naval Base Guam that are being used to support weapons qualifications. However, due to the number of units required to maintain weapon qualifications, the two ranges are insufficient. Both ranges are fully booked with commands having to be placed on a waiting list for range availability.

    Procedural Requirements

    a. Review Under Executive Orders 12866 and 13563. 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 proposed rule has not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, this proposed rule has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and pursuant to OMB guidance it is exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 13771.

    The Corps determined this proposed rule is not a significant regulatory action. This regulatory action determination is based on the proposed rule governing the danger zone, which allow any vessel that needs to transit the danger zone to expeditiously transit through the danger zone when the small arms range is in use. When the range is not in use, the danger zone will be open to normal maritime traffic and to all activities, include anchoring and loitering. The proposed rule is issued with respect to a military function of the Department of Defense and the provisions of Executive Order 12866 do not apply.

    b. Review Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act. This proposed rule has been reviewed under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (Pub. L. 96-354). The Regulatory Flexibility Act generally requires an agency to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis of any rule subject to notice-and-comment rulemaking requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act or any other statute unless the agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities (i.e., small businesses and small governments). The danger zone is necessary to protect public safety during use of the small arms range. Unless information is obtained to the contrary during the comment period, the Corps certifies that the proposed rule would have no significant economic impact on the public. After considering the economic impacts of this proposed danger zone regulation on small entities, I certify that this action will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    c. Review Under the National Environmental Policy Act. Due to the administrative nature of this action and because there is no intended change in the use of the area, the Corps expects that this regulation, if adopted, will not have a significant impact on the quality of the human environment and, therefore, preparation of an environmental impact statement will not be required. An environmental assessment will be prepared after the public notice period is closed and all comments have been received and considered.

    d. Unfunded Mandates Act. This proposed rule does not contain a Federal mandate that may result in expenditures of $100 million or more for State, local, and Tribal governments, in the aggregate, or the private sector in any one year. Therefore, this proposed rule is not subject to the requirements of Sections 202 and 205 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA). The proposed rule contains no regulatory requirements that might significantly or uniquely affect small governments. Therefore, the proposed rule is not subject to the requirements of Section 203 of UMRA.

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 334

    Danger zones, Navigation (water), Restricted areas, Waterways.

    For the reasons set forth in the summary above, the Corps proposes to amend 33 CFR part 334 as follows:

    PART 334—DANGER ZONE AND RESTRICTED AREA REGULATIONS 1. The authority citation for part 334 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    40 Stat. 266 (33 U.S.C. 1) and 40 Stat. 892 (33 U.S.C. 3).

    2. Add § 334.1415 to read as follows:
    § 334.1415 Pacific Ocean, adjacent to the Finegayan Small Arms Range at Naval Base Guam Telecommunication Site, on the northwestern coast of Guam; danger zone.

    (a) The area. Coordinates are bounded by the following four points: Point A (13°34′57″ N; 144°49′53″ E) following the high tide line to Point B (13°35′49″ N; 144°47′59″ E), Point C (13°34′57″ N; 144°47′45″ E), and Point D (13°34′48″ N; 144°49′50″ E). The datum for these coordinates is NAD-83.

    (b) The regulation. (1) Vessels or persons shall expeditiously transit through the danger zone when the small arms range is in use. Vessels shall not be permitted to anchor or loiter within the danger zone while the range is in use. Range activities shall be halted until all vessels are cleared from the danger zone. When the range is not in use, the danger zone shall be open to normal maritime traffic and all activities to include anchoring and loitering.

    (2) When the range is in use, the person(s) or officer(s) in charge shall display a red flag from a conspicuous and easily-seen location along the nearby shore to signify that the range is in use and will post lookouts to ensure the safety of all vessels transiting through the area. If the range is in use at night, a strobe light shall be displayed from the same conspicuous and easily-seen location in lieu of flags. The range shall not be used when visibility is equal to or less than the maximum range of the weapons being used at the facility.

    (c) Enforcement. The restrictions on public access in this section shall be enforced by the Commander, Joint Region Marianas, and such agencies as the Commander may designate in writing.

    Dated: December 6, 2018. Thomas P. Smith, Chief, Operations and Regulatory Division, Directorate of Civil Works.
    [FR Doc. 2018-27028 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3720-58-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R05-OAR-2007-1092; FRL-9987-74-Region 5] Air Plan Approval; Michigan; Michigan Minor New Source Review AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve the rescission of Michigan rule 221 from the Michigan state implementation plan (SIP). Rule 221 exempted sources that had significant net emission increases of sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, and carbon monoxide from offset requirements. Michigan rescinded this rule effective November 14, 1990.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before January 14, 2019.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R05-OAR-2007-1092 at https://www.regulations.gov, or via email to [email protected]. For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit https://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Constantine Blathras, Environmental Engineer, Air Permits Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (312) 886-0671, [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    I. Background

    Section 110(a)(2)(C) of the Clean Air Act requires that the SIP include a program to provide for the “regulation of the modification and construction of any stationary source within the areas covered by the plan as necessary to assure that national ambient air quality standards are achieved.” This includes a program for permitting construction and modification of both major and minor sources that the State deems necessary to protect air quality. The State of Michigan's minor source permit to install rules are contained in Part 2 (Air Use Approval) of the Michigan Administrative Code. Changes to the Part 2 rules were submitted on November 12, 1993; May 16, 1996; April 3, 1998; September 2, 2003; March 24, 2009; and February 28, 2017. EPA approved changes to the Part 2 rules most recently in a final approval dated August 31, 2018 (83 FR 44485).

    Rule 336.1221 (Construction of sources of particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, or carbon monoxide in or near nonattainment areas; conditions for approval).

    EPA published a proposed disapproval of the 1993, 1996, and 1996 submittals on November 9, 1999 (64 FR 61046), but never published a final disapproval. As part of that proposed disapproval, EPA conducted an evaluation of the State submittal and found that as one of the items, the State failed to rescind Michigan rule 336.1221. In that action, EPA stated, “Michigan rule 336.1221 impermissibly exempts sources that have significant net emissions increases of sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, and carbon monoxide from offset requirements. MDEQ rescinded Michigan rule 336.1221 effective November 14, 1990. However, the State never submitted the rule to USEPA for rescission. Because Michigan did not submit the rescission to the USEPA for removal of the rule from the SIP, the Michigan NSR rules are not approvable at this time.”

    On September 24, 2003, the State of Michigan submitted a SIP revision to EPA requesting full approval of Michigan's Clean Air Act New Source Review SIP. As part of that submittal requesting revisions to Parts 1 (General Provisions) and 2, Michigan specifically requested to rescind rule 336.1221. As part of its technical support document, Michigan stated that rule 336.1221 was rescinded from the State rules in 1990, and requests that EPA remove it from the SIP.

    At the time of the 1999 proposed disapproval, the Part 2 rules also included the state's major nonattainment PTI permitting program. The major nonattainment provisions have been removed from Part 2, and are now covered by the Part 19 (New Source Review for Major Sources Impacting Nonattainment Areas) rules. The Part 19 rules were fully approved by EPA into the Michigan SIP on December 16, 2013, (78 FR 76064). The Federal nonattainment air quality permitting regulations are found in 40 CFR 51.165(a) and (b). The Federal rules found at 40 CFR 51.165(a) and (b) specify the elements necessary for approval of a State permit program for preconstruction review for nonattainment purposes under Part D of the Clean Air Act. A major source or major modification that would be located in an area designated as nonattainment and subject to the nonattainment area permitting rules must meet stringent conditions designed to ensure that the new source's emissions will be controlled to the greatest degree possible; that more than equivalent offsetting emission reductions will be obtained from existing sources; and that there will be progress toward achieving the National Ambient Air Quality Standards. EPA has found that the rules as submitted by Michigan for inclusion into its SIP are at least as stringent as the Federal rules. By rescinding rule 221 from the Michigan SIP, the Michigan SIP is meeting the Federal statutory requirements for an approvable Part 2 and Part 19 air permitting program.

    II. What action is EPA taking?

    EPA is proposing to approve the rescission of Michigan rule 336.1221 from the Michigan SIP.

    III. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the Clean Air Act, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the Clean Air 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 Clean Air Act. Accordingly, this action merely approves state law as meeting Federal requirements and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For that reason, this 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 (Public Law 104-4);

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Carbon monoxide, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Particulate matter, Sulfur oxides.

    Dated: November 27, 2018. Cathy Stepp, Regional Administrator, Region 5.
    [FR Doc. 2018-26923 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R05-OAR-2017-0741; FRL-9987-73-Region 5] Air Plan Approval; Michigan; Revisions to Part 1 General Provisions Rules AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve a request submitted by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) on December 12, 2017, and supplemented on August 9, 2018, as a revision to Michigan's state implementation plan (SIP). The SIP submission incorporates several revisions to Michigan's Air Pollution Control Rules entitled “Part 1—General Provisions.” The revisions include administrative changes to the existing rule.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before January 14, 2019.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R05-OAR-2017-0741 at https://www.regulations.gov or via email to [email protected]. For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit https://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Charles Hatten, Environmental Engineer, Control Strategies Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (312) 886-6031, [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    I. What are the State rule revisions? II. What is EPA's analysis of the State's submittal? III. What action is EPA taking? IV. Incorporation by Reference V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. What are the State rule revisions?

    On December 12, 2017, and August 9, 2018, MDEQ submitted a request to EPA to incorporate revisions to Michigan's Air Pollution Control Rules entitled Part 1—General Provisions (Part 1). The submission revises the following Michigan's Air Pollution Control rules: R 336.1101 to 1103, R 336.1106 to 1109, R 336.1112 to 1116, and R 336.1118 to 1123. The revisions are primarily administrative changes.

    In the August 9, 2018, submission, MDEQ rescinded its request to modify Part 1 for the following definitions: R336.1101(a) “Act,” R336.1101(h) “Air pollution,” R336.1101(q) “Aqueous based parts washer,” and R336.1103(aa) “Cold cleaner.”

    II. What is EPA's analysis of the State's submittal? Rule Revisions for Which EPA Is Proposing To Approve

    Part 1 is a compilation of the definitions used in Michigan's rules. The revisions to Part 1 include a range of administrative changes, from grammatical corrections to language updates. Examples of these revisions include changing terminology such as “which” to “that,” or “commission” to “department.”

    MDEQ revised the language in several rules to be consistent with rule R 336.1902, namely, requiring all of the “Adoption by reference” for various test methods be located in R 336.1902. For example, the definitions of “Heavy liquids,” “PM-10,” “PM 2.5,” “Reid vapor pressure,” “True vapor pressure,” and “Waxy, heavy pour crude oil,” the revised rule language shows that the applicable test method adopted by reference is in R 336.1902.

    In rule R 336.1122(f) MDEQ updated the definition of “Volatile organic compound” (VOC) to reflect revisions made to the Federal definition at 40 CFR 51.100(s). MDEQ amended the list of compounds excluded from the definition of VOC to add the following six compounds: (1.) HCF2OCF2H (HFE-134), (2.) HCF2OCF2OCF2H (HFE-236cal2), (3.) HCF2OCF2CF2OCF2H (HFE-338pcc13), (4.) HCF2OCF2OCF2CF2OCF2H (H-Galden 1040X or H-Galden ZT 130 (or 150 or 180)), (5.) Trans 1-chloro-3,3,3-trifluoroprop-1-ene (Solstice TM 1233zd(E)), and (6.) 2-amino-2-methyl-1-propanol (AMP). These additional compounds were determined by EPA to have negligible photochemical reactivity, and therefore, EPA does not expect them to make a significant contribution to ozone formation.1 MDEQ also updated an existing exemption for the compound t-butyl acetate to be consistent with EPA's removal of the recordkeeping, emissions reporting, photochemical dispersion modeling and inventory requirements related to the use of t-butyl acetate as a VOC. See 81 FR 9339 (February 25, 2016).

    1 See 78 FR 9823, February 12, 2013; 78 FR 53029, August 28, 2013; 79 FR 17037, March 27, 2014.

    Last, other modifications to Part 1 include the deletion and addition of several definitions. MDEQ revised Part 1 to remove definitions that are unclear, incorrect, redundant, or no longer used in Michigan's rules. MDEQ removed “Allowed emissions,” “Federal land manager,” “Linearized multistage computer model,” “Offset ratio,” and “Very large precipitator.” In like manner, MDEQ revised Part 1 by adding the following definitions: “Adhesion prime,” “Air pollution control equipment,” “Applicant,” “Federally enforceable,” “Field gas,” “Field testing,” “Flexible coating,” and “Fog coat,” “Organic resin,” “Secondary emissions,” “Significant,” “Stencil coat,” “Styrene devolatilizer unit,” “Styrene recovery unit,” “Synthetic natural gas,” “Synthetic organic chemical and polymer manufacturing plant,” “Synthetic organic chemical and polymer manufacturing process unit,” “Used oil,” and “Wayne county permit.”

    EPA finds these changes are acceptable and thus is proposing their approval into the Michigan SIP.

    Rule Revision for Which EPA Is Taking No Action R 336.1103 Definitions; C

    In rule R 336.1103, MDEQ requested the removal of (pp) from the definition of “Creditable.” EPA is taking no action to remove this definition from Michigan's SIP because EPA already removed the definition from Part 1 in a previous rulemaking. See 78 FR 76064 (December 16, 2013).

    R 336.1119 Definitions; S

    MDEQ amended this rule by adding (c) for the definition “Secondary risk screening level,” and (q) for the definition “State-only enforceable.” Secondary risk screening level means “the concentration of a possible, probable, or known human carcinogen in ambient air which has been calculated, for regulatory purposes, according to the risk assessment procedures in R 336.1229(1), to produce an estimated upper-bound lifetime cancer risk of 1 in 100,000.” State-only enforceable means “that the limitation or condition is derived solely from the act and the air pollution control rules and is not federally enforceable. State-only enforceable requirements include R 336.1224, R 336.1225, R 336.1901, any permit requirement established solely pursuant to R 366.1201(1)(b), or any other regulation that is enforceable solely under the act and is not federally enforceable.” EPA is taking no action on these State-only provisions.

    R 336.1120 Definitions; T

    In rule 336.1120(f), “`Toxic air contaminant' or `TAC'” is defined as “any air contaminant for which there is no National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) and which is or may become harmful to public health or the environment when present in the outdoor atmosphere in sufficient quantities and duration.” This definition includes a list of exempt substances that are not considered TACs. MDEQ amended the list of exempt substances to add the following: “animal or plant materials, including extracts and concentrates thereof, used as ingredients in food products or dietary supplements in accordance with applicable regulations of the United States Food and Drug Administration.” EPA is taking no action on this amendment to rule R 336.1120(f).

    Other Revisions to Part 1

    MDEQ revised Part 1 to add the following definitions: R 336.1115(d) for “`Oral reference dose' or `RfD',” R 336.1119(x) for “Sufficient evidence,” and R 336.1123(c) for “Weight of evidence.” EPA is taking no action on these definitions.

    Section 110(l) Analysis of the State's Submittal

    EPA is proposing to approve the revisions to Part 1 discussed above because the revisions meet all applicable requirements under the Clean Air Act (CAA), consistent with section 110(k)(3) of the CAA. Furthermore, MDEQ has shown that the revisions to Part 1 do not interfere with any applicable requirement concerning attainment and reasonable further progress or any other applicable CAA requirement, consistent with section 110(l) of the CAA.

    Under Section 110(l) of the CAA, EPA shall not approve a SIP revision if it would interfere with any applicable requirement concerning attainment and reasonable further progress (as defined in section 171 of the CAA) or any other applicable requirement of the CAA. The proposed SIP revision would not interfere with any applicable CAA requirements based on technical analysis submitted by MDEQ. Part 1 rules are definitions and are not meant to affect any sources. The changes to the definitions in Part 1 rules will have no effect on actual or allowable emissions as they only clarify words and phrases within other rules.

    MDEQ has shown there is no impact of revising Part 1 rule that would hinder Michigan's ability to maintain and meet the NAAQS for nitrogen dioxide, ozone, lead, particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, and carbon monoxide. Therefore, these revisions to Part 1 are approvable as they are merely administrative changes. The revisions will not increase any emissions to the atmosphere because they do not impact on any source applicability or emissions.

    III. What action is EPA taking?

    EPA is proposing to approve revisions to Michigan's Part 1 Rule submitted by MDEQ on December 12, 2017, and supplemented on August 9, 2018, as a revision to the Michigan SIP.

    Michigan requested that EPA approve the following rules: R 336.1101 Definitions; A (except for (a) Act, (h) Air pollution, and (q) Aqueous based parts washer), R 336.1102 Definitions: B, R 336.1103 Definitions C (except for (aa) Cold cleaner), R 336.1106 Definitions; F, R 336.1107 Definitions; G, R 336.1108 Definitions; H, R 336.1109 Definitions; I, R 336.1112 Definitions; L, R 336.1113 Definitions; M, R 336.1114 Definitions; N, R 336.1115 Definitions; O (except for (d) “`Oral reference dose' or `RfD'”), R 336.1116 Definitions; P, R 336.1118 Definitions; R, R 336.1119 Definitions; S (except for (c) Secondary risk screening level, (q) State-only enforceable, and (x) Sufficient evidence), R 336.1120 Definitions; T (except for (f) “`Toxic air contaminant' or `TAC'”), R 336.1121 Definitions; U, R 336.1122 Definitions; V, R 336.1123 Definitions; W (except for (c) Weight of evidence). We are also proposing approval of a revision removing the following definitions from Part 1: “Allowed emissions,” “Federal land manager,” “Linearized multistage computer model,” “Offset ratio,” and “Very large precipitator.”

    EPA is not taking any action on R 336.1103(pp) “Creditable,” R 336.1115(d) “`Oral reference dose' or `RfD',” 336.1119(c) “Secondary risk screening level,” R 336.1119(q) “State-only enforceable,” R 336.1119(x) “Sufficient evidence,” R 336.1120(f) “`Toxic air contaminant' or `TAC',” and R 336.1123(c) “Weight of evidence.”

    IV. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, EPA is proposing to include in a final EPA rule regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, EPA proposes to incorporate by reference Michigan Administrative Code R 336.1101 Definitions; A (except for (a) Act, (h) Air pollution, and (q) Aqueous based parts washer), R 336.1102 Definitions: B, R 336.1103 Definitions C (except for (aa) Cold cleaner), R 336.1106 Definitions; F, R 336.1107 Definitions; G, R 336.1108 Definitions; H, R 336.1109 Definitions I, R 336.1112 Definitions; L, R 336.1113 Definitions; M, R 336.1114 Definitions; N, R 336.1115 Definitions; O (except for (d) “`Oral reference dose' or `RfD'”), R 336.1116 Definitions; P, R 336.1118 Definitions; R, R 336.1119 Definitions; S (except for (c) Secondary risk screening level, (q) State-only enforceable, and (x) Sufficient evidence), R 336.1120 Definitions; T (except for (f) “`Toxic air contaminant' or `TAC'”), R 336.1121 Definitions; U, R 336.1122 Definitions; V, R 336.1123 Definitions; W (except for (c) Weight of evidence), effective December 20, 2016. EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available through www.regulations.gov and at the EPA Region 5 Office (please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this preamble for more information).

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Carbon monoxide, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Lead, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sulfur oxides, Volatile organic compounds.

    Dated: November 27, 2018. Cathy Stepp, Regional Administrator, Region 5.
    [FR Doc. 2018-26924 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 131 [EPA-HQ-OW-2018-0056; FRL-9987-61-OW] RIN 2040-AF79 Water Quality Standards; Establishment of a Numeric Criterion for Selenium for the State of California AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to establish a federal Clean Water Act (CWA) selenium water quality criterion applicable to California that protects aquatic life and aquatic-dependent wildlife in the fresh waters of California. In 2016, the EPA published a revised recommended aquatic life selenium criterion for freshwater based on the latest scientific knowledge. The EPA is proposing to amend the California Toxics Rule to include a revised statewide chronic selenium water quality criterion for California fresh waters to protect aquatic life and aquatic-dependent wildlife which builds upon the science in the EPA's 2016 Final Aquatic Life Ambient Water Quality Criteria for Selenium—Freshwater.

    DATES:

    Comments date: Comments must be received on or before February 11, 2019.

    Public hearing dates: Tuesday, January 29, 2019 from 9 a.m.-11 a.m. PT, Wednesday, January 30, 2019 from 4 p.m.-6 p.m. PT.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2018-0056, at https://www.regulations.gov (our preferred method), or the other methods identified at https://www.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from the docket. 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.

    Docket: All documents in the docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at two Docket Facilities. The Office of Water (“OW”) Docket Center is open from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The Docket telephone number is (202) 566-2426 and the Docket address is OW Docket, EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20004. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744.

    Public Hearings: The EPA is offering two online public hearings so that interested parties may provide oral comments on this proposed rulemaking. For more details on the public hearings and a link to register, please visit https://www.epa.gov/wqs-tech/water-quality-standards-establishment-numeric-criterion-selenium-fresh-waters-california.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Julianne McLaughlin, Office of Water, Standards and Health Protection Division (4305T), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 566-2542; email address: [email protected]; or Diane E. Fleck, P.E., Esq., Water Division (WTR-2-1), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 9, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105; telephone number: (415) 972-3527; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This proposed rule is organized as follows:

    I. General Information II. Background A. Statutory and Regulatory Authority B. National Toxics Rule C. California Toxics Rule D. Litigation E. Selenium and Sources of Selenium III. Proposed Criterion A. Approach B. Administrator's Determination of Necessity C. Proposed Criterion D. Implementation E. Incorporation by Reference IV. Endangered Species Act V. Applicability of the EPA Promulgated Water Quality Standards When Final VI. Implementation and Alternative Regulatory Approaches II. Economic Analysis A. Identifying Affected Entities B. Method for Estimating Costs C. Results VIII. Statutory and Executive Orders A. Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review) and Executive Order 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review) B. Executive Order 13771 (Reducing Regulations and Controlling Regulatory Costs) C. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) D. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) F. Executive Order 13132 (Federalism) G. Executive Order 13175 (Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments) H. Executive Order 13045 (Protection of Children from Environmental Health and Safety Risks) I. Executive Oder 13211 (Actions That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use) J. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 K. Executive Order 12898 (Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations) I. General Information Applicability

    Entities such as industries, stormwater management districts, or publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) that directly or indirectly discharge selenium to the fresh waters of California could be indirectly affected by this rulemaking because federal water quality standards (WQS) promulgated by the EPA would apply to CWA regulatory programs, such as National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting. Citizens concerned with water quality in California could also be interested in this rulemaking. Categories and entities that could be affected include the following:

    Category Examples of potentially-affected entities Industry Industries discharging pollutants to fresh waters of California. Municipalities Publicly owned treatment works or other facilities discharging pollutants to fresh waters of California. Stormwater Management Districts Entities responsible for managing stormwater discharges to fresh waters of California. Agriculture Entities with agriculture drainage to fresh waters of California.

    This table is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a guide for readers regarding entities that could be affected by this action. Any parties or entities who depend upon or contribute to the water quality of California waters where the freshwater criterion would apply could be indirectly affected by this proposed rule. To determine whether your facility or activities could be affected by this action, you should carefully examine this proposed rule. If you have questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular entity, consult the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

    II. Background A. Statutory and Regulatory Authority

    CWA section 101(a)(2) (33 U.S.C. 1251(a)(2)) establishes a national goal, wherever attainable, of “water quality which provides for the protection and propagation of fish, shellfish, and wildlife and provides for recreation in and on the water . . .” In this proposal, the relevant goals are the protection and propagation of fish, shellfish, and wildlife.

    CWA section 303(c) (33 U.S.C. 1313(c)) directs states to adopt WQS for their waters subject to the CWA. CWA section 303(c)(2)(A) 1 requires that whenever a state revises or adopts a new standard that the state's WQS specify designated uses of the waters and water quality criteria based on those uses. The EPA's regulations at 40 CFR 131.11(a)(1) provide that “[s]uch criteria must be based on sound scientific rationale and must contain sufficient parameters or constituents to protect the designated use [and] [f]or waters with multiple use designations, the criteria shall support the most sensitive use.” In addition, 40 CFR 131.10(b) provides that “[i]n designating uses of a water body and the appropriate criteria for those uses, the [s]tate shall take into consideration the water quality standards of downstream waters and shall ensure that its water quality standards provide for the attainment and maintenance of the water quality standards of downstream waters.”

    1 CWA 303(c)(2)(A): Whenever the State revises or adopts a new standard, such revised or new standard shall be submitted to the Administrator. Such revised or new water quality standard shall consist of the designated uses of the navigable waters involved and the water quality criteria for such waters based upon such uses. Such standards shall be such as to protect the public health or welfare, enhance the quality of water and serve the purposes of this chapter. Such standards shall be established taking into consideration their use and value for public water supplies, propagation of fish and wildlife, recreational purposes, and agricultural, industrial, and other purposes, and also taking into consideration their use and value for navigation.

    States are required to review applicable WQS at least once every three years and, if appropriate, revise or adopt new WQS (CWA section 303(c)(1) 2 and 40 CFR 131.20). Any new or revised WQS must be submitted to the EPA for review and approval or disapproval (CWA section 303(c)(2)(A) and (c)(3) 3 and 40 CFR 131.20 and 131.21). Under CWA section 303(c)(4)(B),4 the Administrator is authorized to determine that a new or revised standard is needed to meet CWA requirements.

    2 CWA 303(c)(1): The Governor of a State or the state water pollution control agency of such State shall from time to time (but at least once each three year period beginning with October 18, 1972) hold public hearings for the purpose of reviewing applicable water quality standards and, as appropriate, modifying and adopting standards. Results of such review shall be made available to the Administrator.

    3 CWA 303(c)(3): If the Administrator, within sixty days after the date of submission of the revised or new standard, determines that such standard meets the requirements of this chapter, such standard shall thereafter be the water quality standard for the applicable waters of that State. If the Administrator determines that any such revised or new standard is not consistent with the applicable requirements of this chapter, he shall not later than the ninetieth day after the date of submission of such standard notify the State and specify the changes to meet such requirements. If such changes are not adopted by the State within ninety days after the date of notification, the Administrator shall promulgate such standard pursuant to paragraph (4) of this subsection.

    4 CWA 303(c)(4): The Administrator shall promptly prepare and publish proposed regulations setting forth a revised or new water quality standard for the navigable waters involved—(A) if a revised or new water quality standard submitted by such State under paragraph (3) of this subsection for such waters is determined by the Administrator not to be consistent with the applicable requirements of this chapter, or (B) in any case where the Administrator determines that a revised or new standard is necessary to meet the requirements of this chapter. The Administrator shall promulgate any revised or new standard under this paragraph not later than ninety days after he publishes such proposed standards, unless prior to such promulgation, such State has adopted a revised or new water quality standard which the Administrator determines to be in accordance with this chapter.

    Under CWA section 304(a), the EPA periodically publishes criteria recommendations for states to consider when adopting water quality criteria for particular pollutants to meet the CWA section 101(a)(2) goals. In establishing numeric criteria, states should adopt water quality criteria based on the EPA's CWA section 304(a) criteria, section 304(a) criteria modified to reflect site-specific conditions, or other scientifically defensible methods (40 CFR 131.11(b)(1)). CWA section 303(c)(2)(B) 5 requires states to adopt numeric criteria for all toxic pollutants listed pursuant to CWA section 307(a)(1) for which the EPA has published 304(a) criteria, as necessary to support the states' designated uses.

    5 CWA 303(c)(2)(B): Whenever a State reviews water quality standards pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection, or revises or adopts new standards pursuant to this paragraph, such State shall adopt criteria for all toxic pollutants listed pursuant to section 1317(a)(1) of this title for which criteria have been published under section 1314(a) of this title, the discharge or presence of which in the affected waters could reasonably be expected to interfere with those designated uses adopted by the State, as necessary to support such designated uses. Such criteria shall be specific numerical criteria for such toxic pollutants. Where such numerical criteria are not available, whenever a State reviews water quality standards pursuant to paragraph (1) or revises or adopts new standards pursuant to this paragraph, such State shall adopt criteria based on biological monitoring or assessment methods consistent with information published pursuant to section 1314(a)(8) of this title. Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit or delay the use of effluent limitations or other permit conditions based on or involving biological monitoring or assessment methods or previously adopted numerical criteria.

    B. National Toxics Rule

    On December 22, 1992, the EPA promulgated Water Quality Standards; Establishment of Numeric Criteria for Priority Toxic Pollutants; States' Compliance at 57 FR 60848 (hereafter referred to as the National Toxics Rule or NTR).6 The NTR established chemical-specific numeric criteria for priority toxic pollutants for states that the EPA Administrator had determined were not in compliance with the requirements of CWA section 303(c)(2)(B). The NTR included selenium water quality criteria for the protection of aquatic life in the waters of the San Francisco Bay upstream to and including Suisun Bay and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta; and waters of Salt Slough, Mud Slough (north) and the San Joaquin River, Sack Dam to Vernalis. The NTR established the following criteria: For waters of the San Francisco Bay upstream to and including Suisun Bay and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, a chronic criterion of 5 micrograms per liter (µg/L) and an acute criterion of 20 µg/L; for Salt Slough and Mud Slough (north), a chronic criterion of 5 µg/L and an acute criterion of 20 µg/L; for the San Joaquin River from Sack Dam to the mouth of Merced River, an acute criterion of 20 µg/L; and for the San Joaquin River from Sack Dam to Vernalis, a chronic criterion of 5 µg/L. All criteria are expressed in the total recoverable form of selenium.

    6 The NTR is codified at 40 CFR 131.36.

    The selenium criteria in the NTR were based on the EPA's CWA section 304(a) recommended criteria values that existed at the time. These recommendations are documented in the EPA's Ambient Water Quality Criteria for Selenium—1987, Office of Water, EPA-440/5-87-008, September 1987.

    The EPA derived the 1987 freshwater aquatic life recommended criteria values for selenium from observed impacts on fish populations at a contaminated lake, Belews Lake, in North Carolina. The lake, a cooling water reservoir, had been affected by selenium loads from a coal-fired power plant. Since aquatic life was exposed to selenium from both the water column and diet, the criteria reflect both types of exposure in Belews Lake. The EPA derived the 1987 saltwater aquatic life recommended criteria values for selenium using data from lab studies. The EPA calculated the criteria in accordance with the EPA's Guidelines for Deriving Numerical National Water Quality Criteria for the Protection of Aquatic Organisms and Their Uses, Office of Research and Development, 1985. The 1987 recommended freshwater criteria values for total recoverable selenium are 5 µg/L (chronic) and 20 µg/L (acute), and the saltwater criteria values for total recoverable selenium are 71 µg/L (chronic) and 290 µg/L (acute).

    In the NTR, the EPA promulgated acute and chronic selenium criteria for the San Francisco Bay and Delta based on the 1987 freshwater recommended criteria values for selenium, even though the San Francisco Bay and Delta are marine and estuarine waters. The EPA used the more stringent freshwater values because of a concern that the saltwater criteria were not sufficiently protective “based on substantial evidence that there are high levels of selenium bioaccumulation in San Francisco Bay and the saltwater criteria fail to account for food chain effects” and “utilization of the saltwater criteria for selenium in the San Francisco Bay/Delta would be inappropriate.” (57 FR 60898).

    Since the NTR promulgation, the EPA has revised the 1987 CWA section 304(a) recommended criteria for selenium to better account for bioaccumulation through the food chain in different ecosystems. The EPA recently published a revised CWA section 304(a) freshwater recommended criterion for selenium: Final Aquatic Life Ambient Water Quality Criterion for Selenium—Freshwater 2016, US EPA, Office of Water, EPA 822-R-16-006, June 2016. The 2016 recommended chronic freshwater criterion is comprised of four criterion elements, two of which are based on the concentration of selenium in fish tissue and two of which are based on the concentration of selenium in the water column. The recommended elements are: (1) A fish egg-ovary element of 15.1 mg/kg dry weight; (2) a fish whole-body element of 8.5 mg/kg dry weight and/or a muscle element of 11.3 mg/kg dry weight; (3) a water column element of 3.1 µg/L in lotic aquatic systems and 1.5 µg/L in lentic aquatic systems; and (4) a water column intermittent element derived from the chronic water column element to account for potential chronic effects from short-term exposures (one value for lentic and one value for lotic aquatic systems).

    The EPA considered the methodology and information used to derive the 2016 CWA section 304(a) recommended selenium criterion, along with additional information specific to aquatic-dependent wildlife in California, in developing a revised selenium criterion for the fresh waters of California in this proposed rule.

    C. California Toxics Rule

    On May 18, 2000, the EPA promulgated Water Quality Standards; Establishment of Numeric Criteria for Priority Toxic Pollutants for the State of California at 65 FR 31681 (hereafter referred to as the California Toxics Rule or CTR).7 The CTR established numeric water quality criteria for priority toxic pollutants for inland surface waters and enclosed bays and estuaries within California. As referenced earlier, CWA section 303(c)(2)(B) requires states to adopt numeric water quality criteria for priority toxic pollutants for which the EPA has issued CWA section 304(a) recommended criteria reflecting the latest scientific knowledge (referred to as CWA 304(a) recommended criteria), the presence or discharge of which could reasonably be expected to interfere with maintaining designated uses. The EPA promulgated the CTR to fill a gap in California WQS that was created in 1994 when a State court overturned the State's water quality control plans which contained water quality criteria for priority toxic pollutants including selenium. The CTR included water quality criteria for priority toxic pollutants for inland surface waters and enclosed bays and estuaries within California. For the authority to promulgate the 2000 CTR, the EPA relied on an EPA Administrator's determination under section 303(c)(4) of the CWA, included in the 1997 CTR proposal, that numeric criteria are necessary in California to meet the requirements of section 303(c)(2)(B) to protect the State's designated uses.8 The criteria that the EPA previously promulgated for California in the NTR,9 together with the criteria promulgated in the CTR and California's designated uses and antidegradation provisions, established WQS for priority toxic pollutants for inland surface waters and enclosed bays and estuaries in California.

    7 The CTR is codified at 40 CFR 131.38.

    8 See the CTR preamble at section E. Rationale and Approach for Developing the Final Rule, 1. Legal Basis, “EPA is using section 303(c)(4)(B) as the legal basis for today's final rule.” 65 FR 31687, May 18, 2000.

    9 The CTR Criteria Table at 40 CFR 131.38(b)(1) includes all water quality criteria previously promulgated in the NTR, so that readers can find all federally promulgated water quality criteria for California in one place. All criteria previously promulgated in the NTR are footnoted as such in the CTR.

    As required by section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), the EPA had consulted with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) (collectively, the Services) concerning the EPA's rulemaking actions for California. The EPA initiated consultation in 1994, and in March 2000, the Services issued a final Joint Biological Opinion. The final Joint Biological Opinion 10 recorded commitments by the EPA to withhold promulgation of (i.e., reserve) the EPA's proposed acute 11 freshwater aquatic life criterion for selenium in the final CTR and revise the CWA section 304(a) recommended acute and chronic aquatic life criteria for selenium and later update the criteria for California consistent with the revised recommendations. Subsequently, the EPA reserved the acute freshwater selenium criterion and finalized the chronic freshwater selenium criterion in the May 2000 CTR, as well as the acute and chronic saltwater selenium criteria.

    10 Final Joint Biological Opinion dated March 24, 2000, from the National Marine Fisheries Service, Long Beach, California, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Sacramento, California, concerning the EPA's final rule for the Promulgation of Water Quality Standards: Establishment of Numeric Criteria for Priority Toxic Pollutants for the State of California (CTR).

    11 The proposed freshwater acute selenium criterion in the CTR was as follows: The CMC = l/[(f1/CMC1) + (f2/CMC2)] where f1 and f2 are the fractions of total selenium that are treated as selenite and selenate respectively, and f1 + f2 = 1. CMC1 and CMC2 are the CMCs for selenite and selenate, respectively, or 185.9 µg/L and 12.83 µg/L, respectively. This criterion was in the total recoverable form. CMC is the continuous maximum concentration.

    Because a distinct separation generally does not exist between freshwater and saltwater aquatic communities, the EPA further established the following rule in the CTR 12 for determining which criteria to apply in certain situations: (1) The freshwater criteria apply at salinities of 1 part per thousand 13 and below at locations where this occurs 95% or more of the time; (2) the saltwater criteria apply at salinities of 10 parts per thousand and above at locations where this occurs 95% or more of the time; and (3) at salinities between 1 and 10 parts per thousand, the more stringent of the two apply.

    12 See the CTR at 40 CFR 131.38 (c)(3).

    13 In previous federal rules, including the NTR and the CTR, salinity was referred to using the units of parts per thousand (ppt). Since these rules were published, the scientific community has started referring to salinity in practical salinity units (psu). This proposed rule will stay consistent with the CTR terminology, but it should be noted that ppt is generally no longer used to describe salinity.

    In addition to the NTR and CTR acute and chronic criteria for selenium discussed in the preceding paragraphs, California had also adopted site-specific acute and chronic criteria (objectives) in the lower San Joaquin River area. In 1990, prior to the NTR, the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board (CVRWQCB) adopted, and the EPA approved, an acute selenium objective of 12 µg/L maximum concentration for the San Joaquin River, mouth of Merced River to Vernalis, and a chronic site-specific objective for the Grassland Water District, the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge, and the Los Banos State Wildlife Refuge of 2 µg/L monthly mean. Therefore, the State acute criterion is effective for the San Joaquin River, mouth of Merced River to Vernalis.

    In addition, the EPA did not promulgate a chronic criterion for the Grassland Water District, the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge, and the Los Banos State Wildlife Refuge in the CTR. The CVRWQCB subsequently amended its Basin Plan, to apply the chronic 2 µg/L monthly mean selenium objective (and an acute 20 µg/L maximum concentration objective) only to “Salt Slough and constructed and reconstructed water supply channels in the Grassland watershed listed in Appendix 40 [of the CVRWQCB Basin Plan]” (The Water Quality Control Plan (Basin Plan) for the California Regional Water Quality Control Board Central Valley Region, Fourth Edition, July 2016). The EPA approved this change to California's WQS under CWA section 303(c) in a letter dated May 24, 2000. The Basin Plan amendment also included a chronic site-specific objective of 5 µg/L (4-day average) for Mud Slough (north) and for the San Joaquin River from Sack Dam to Vernalis, and an acute objective of 20 µg/L for Mud Slough (north) and the San Joaquin River from Sack Dam to the mouth of the Merced River, to be consistent with the previously promulgated criteria in the NTR.

    This proposed rule does not apply to the San Joaquin River from Sack Dam to Vernalis, Mud Slough, or Salt Slough because they have applicable selenium criteria from the NTR and/or approved CVRWQCB site-specific criteria (objectives). This proposed rule also does not apply to the constructed and reconstructed water supply channels in the Grassland watershed listed in Appendix 40 of the CVRWQCB's Basin Plan. The CVRWQCB's Staff Report for the Basin Plan amendment indicates that the existing chronic 2 µg/L monthly mean objective is intended to protect both aquatic life and waterfowl from the toxic effects of selenium. This proposed rule does apply the revised chronic criterion to the waters of the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge and the Los Banos State Wildlife Refuge to protect aquatic life and wildlife from short-term and long-term exposures of selenium.

    The proposed rule also does not apply to surface waters that are tributaries to the Salton Sea. The Colorado River Regional Water Quality Control Board adopted, and the EPA approved on May 29, 2000, site-specific selenium water quality objectives “for all surface waters that are tributaries to the Salton Sea.” The site-specific objectives consist of an acute objective of 20 µg/L one-hour average and a chronic objective of 5 µg/L four-day average (The Water Quality Control Plan (Basin Plan) for the California Regional Water Quality Control Board Colorado River Basin Region, August 2017).

    The State of California has nine Regional Water Quality Control Boards (Regional Boards), each located in and overseeing different areas of the State. Each Regional Board has a regional water quality control plan (Basin Plan) that sets forth the EPA-approved designated (beneficial) uses for the waterbodies it oversees. Once the EPA finalizes the proposed criterion, the criterion becomes the applicable CWA-effective criterion for CWA implementation purposes by each of the Regional Boards.

    D. Litigation

    In 2013, two organizations filed a legal complaint against the EPA in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. The complaint was based in part on the fact that the EPA had previously determined, in the proposed CTR, that an acute criterion was necessary to implement section 303(c)(2)(B) of the CWA (62 FR 42160, August 5, 1997) and the work to update the reserved freshwater acute selenium criterion from the 2000 CTR had not yet been completed. The EPA ultimately entered into a consent decree resolving these claims in 2014 (Our Children's Earth Foundation and Ecological Rights Foundation v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., 13-cv-2857 (N.D. Cal., August 22, 2014)).

    Under the terms of the consent decree, the EPA committed to proposing selenium criteria for California fresh waters covered by the original CTR to protect aquatic life and aquatic-dependent wildlife by November 30, 2018. The consent decree also requires that the EPA request initiation of any necessary ESA section 7(a)(2) consultation with the Services on the proposed selenium criteria no later than nine months after the date the EPA proposes the criteria. Further, under the consent decree, the EPA is required to finalize its proposal of selenium criteria within six months of the later of either making a “no effect” determination, receiving written concurrence from the Services, or concluding formal consultation with the Services. In the event that the EPA approves selenium criteria for the protection of aquatic life and aquatic-dependent wildlife submitted by California for all or any portion of fresh waters in the rest of California (i.e., all fresh waters not part of the San Francisco Bay and Delta) the EPA would no longer be obligated to propose or finalize criteria for such waters.

    E. Selenium and Sources of Selenium

    Selenium is an element that occurs naturally in sediments of marine origin and enters the aquatic environment when rainwater comes into contact with deposits. Selenium is mobilized through anthropogenic activities such as agriculture irrigation, mining, and petroleum refining. It also comes into contact with the environment due to releases from holding ponds associated with mining. Selenium is emitted from power plants that burn coal or oil, selenium refineries, smelters, milling operations, and end-product manufacturers (e.g. semiconductor manufacturers).14 Once inorganic selenium is converted into a bioavailable form, it enters the food chain and can bioaccumulate. Depending on environmental conditions, one or another form of selenium such as selenate, selenite or organo-selenium, which differ in transformation rates and bioavailability, may predominate in the aquatic environment.

    14 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Public Health Service. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Selenium. September 2003 (https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/tp92.pdf).

    Selenium is an essential micronutrient and low levels of selenium in the diet are required for normal cellular function in almost all animals. However, selenium at amounts not much above the required nutritional levels can have toxic effects on aquatic life and aquatic-dependent wildlife, making it one of the most toxic of the biologically essential elements. Egg-laying vertebrates have a lower tolerance than do mammals, and the transition from levels of selenium that are biologically essential to those that are toxic for these species occurs across a relatively narrow range of exposure concentrations. (see Final Aquatic Life Ambient Water Quality Criteria for Selenium—Freshwater 2016, US EPA, Office of Water, EPA 822-R-16-006, June 2016). Elevated selenium levels above what is nutritionally required in fish and other wildlife inhibit normal growth and reduce reproductive success through effects that lower embryo survival, most notably teratogenesis (i.e., embryo/larval deformities). The deformities associated with exposure to elevated selenium in fish may include skeletal, craniofacial, and fin deformities, and various forms of edema that result in mortality. Elevated selenium exposure in birds can reduce reproductive success including decreased fertility, reduced egg hatchability (embryo mortality), and increased incidence of deformities in embryos.

    Scientific studies 15 indicate that selenium toxicity to aquatic life and aquatic-dependent wildlife is driven by diet (i.e., the consumption of selenium-contaminated prey) rather than by direct exposure to dissolved selenium in the water column. Unlike other bioaccumulative contaminants such as mercury, the single largest step in selenium accumulation in aquatic environments occurs at the base of the food web where algae and other microorganisms accumulate selenium from water. The vulnerability of a species to selenium toxicity is determined by a number of factors in addition to the amount of contaminated prey consumed. A species' sensitivity to selenium, its population status, and the duration, timing and life stage of exposure are all factors to consider. In addition, the hydrologic conditions and water chemistry of a water body affect bioaccumulation; in general, slow-moving, calm waters or lentic waters enhance the production of bioavailable forms of selenium (selenite), while faster-moving waters or lotic waters limit selenium uptake given the rapid movement and predominant form of selenium (selenate). The EPA considered these and other factors in determining the proposed selenium criterion for California.

    15 Scientific studies used in the development of this rulemaking can be found in this proposed rule's docket, as well as dockets EPA-HQ-OW-2004-0019 and EPA-HQ-OW-2015-0392.

    Sources of Selenium in California

    Selenium is found in the upper Cretaceous and Tertiary marine and sedimentary deposits that form the California Coast Ranges and inland Central Valley basin. Sedimentary rocks, particularly shales, have the highest naturally occurring selenium content and the natural weathering of geologic strata containing selenium can lead to selenium leaching into groundwater and surface water. Two major categories of anthropogenic activities are known to cause increased selenium mobilization and introduction into aquatic systems. The first is human disturbances to the geological sedimentary deposits; the second is irrigation of selenium-rich soils. Additional sources include five oil refineries along the San Francisco Bay, which are not included in the scope of this proposal.

    In California, areas with Tertiary and Cretaceous marine sedimentary deposits are known to have elevated selenium. Watersheds in these areas may have elevated selenium levels in water, especially if human disturbances to the geological sedimentary deposits in these areas are high. For instance, human disturbances have included expanding the width and depth of open drainage channels for flood control purposes in agricultural and urbanized areas and conducting construction activities in the upland hills that contain marine shales. These activities have disrupted and exposed the underlying selenium-bearing marine sedimentary deposits subjecting them to erosion, weathering, and transport to downslope areas in the watershed.

    Irrigation of selenium-rich soils for crop production in arid and semi-arid regions of California can mobilize selenium and move it off-site in drainage water that has leached through soil. Where deposits of Cretaceous marine shales occur, they can weather to produce high selenium soils. In semi-arid areas of California, irrigation water applied to soils containing soluble selenium can leach selenium. The excess water (from tile drains to irrigation return flow) containing selenium can be discharged into basins, ponds, or streams. For example, elevated selenium levels at the Kesterson Reservoir in California originated from agricultural irrigation return flow collected in tile drains that discharged into the reservoir.

    III. Proposed Criterion A. Approach

    In 2016, the EPA updated its CWA section 304(a) recommendation for a chronic aquatic life criterion for selenium for freshwater, based on the latest scientific knowledge on selenium toxicity and bioaccumulation (Final Aquatic Life Ambient Water Quality Criteria for Selenium—Freshwater 2016, US EPA, Office of Water, EPA 822-R-16-006, June 2016). This information was not available when the EPA finalized the NTR or the CTR in 1992 and 2000, respectively. The EPA is now proposing a revised chronic selenium criterion to protect aquatic life and aquatic-dependent wildlife for the fresh waters of California based on this latest scientific knowledge and consistent with its obligation under the consent decree.

    This chronic freshwater selenium criterion will apply to California waters in a manner consistent with the CTR. The freshwater and saltwater aquatic life criteria listed in the CTR apply as follows: (1) The freshwater criteria apply at salinities of 1 part per thousand and below at locations where this occurs 95% or more of the time; (2) saltwater criteria apply at salinities of 10 parts per thousand and above at locations where this occurs 95% more of the time; and (3) at salinities between 1 and 10 parts per thousand the more stringent of the two apply.

    The proposed criterion would establish levels of selenium that protect California's aquatic life and aquatic-dependent wildlife designated (beneficial) uses for fresh waters of California consistent with California's implementation of the CTR. California's applicable designated uses for the protection of aquatic life and aquatic-dependent wildlife are listed in Table 2.

    16 Refer to document titled, “Applicable Designated (Beneficial) Uses for California,” in the docket associated with this rulemaking, to find designated uses captured in the California Regional Water Quality Control Boards' Water Quality Control Plans (i.e., Regional Boards' Basin Plans).

    Table 2—Applicable Designated (Beneficial) Uses for California 16 Use Abbreviation Definition Warm Freshwater Habitat WARM Uses of water that support warm water ecosystems including, but not limited to, preservation or enhancement of aquatic habitats, vegetation, fish, or wildlife, including invertebrates. Cold Freshwater Habitat COLD Uses of water that support cold water ecosystems including, but not limited to, preservation or enhancement of aquatic habitats, vegetation, fish, or wildlife, including invertebrates. Migration of Aquatic Organisms MIGR Uses of water that support habitats necessary for migration or other temporary activities by aquatic organisms, such as anadromous fish. Spawning, Reproduction, and/or Early Development SPWN Uses of water that support high quality aquatic habitats suitable for reproduction and early development of fish. Estuarine Habitat EST Uses of water that support estuarine ecosystems including, but not limited to, preservation or enhancement of estuarine habitats, vegetation, fish, shellfish, or wildlife (e.g., estuarine mammals, waterfowl, shorebirds). Wildlife Habitat WILD Uses of water that support terrestrial ecosystems including, but not limited to, preservation or enhancement of terrestrial habitats, vegetation, wildlife (e.g., mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates), or wildlife water and food sources. Rare, Threatened, or Endangered Species RARE Uses of water that support habitats necessary, at least in part, for the survival and successful maintenance of plant or animal species established under state or federal law as rare, threatened or endangered. B. Administrator's Determination of Necessity

    As noted above, as part of the prior CTR rulemaking, the EPA invoked its authority under CWA section 303(c)(4)(B) when it proposed acute and chronic selenium criteria for fresh waters in California not subject to numeric criteria. The basis for that 303(c)(4)(B) determination was California's lack of numeric criteria, including selenium criteria as required by CWA section 303(c)(2)(B), which directs states to adopt numeric criteria for those toxic pollutants for which the EPA has published CWA 304(a) recommended criteria. In 1997, the EPA proposed acute and chronic aquatic life criteria for selenium based on the EPA's then-current CWA 304(a) recommended criteria. Through the course of that rulemaking, the EPA consulted with the Services pursuant to section 7(a) of the Endangered Species Act. As part of that consultation process, the EPA committed to reserving (not promulgating) the proposed acute criterion. Because the EPA did not finalize the proposed acute criterion, nor did it reconsider the accompanying section 303(c)(4)(B) determination, the EPA remained subject to a statutory duty to promulgate an acute selenium criterion for California. The EPA did promulgate chronic selenium criteria in 2000, but also committed to proposing revised chronic criteria by 2003. The Services incorporated the EPA's commitments as Terms and Conditions in the final biological opinion on the effects of the final promulgation of the CTR.

    Today's proposal of a revised chronic selenium criterion is necessary to complete actions initiated pursuant to the Administrator's 1997 and 2000 CTR determinations. The EPA is proposing a revised numeric selenium criterion, to comply with CWA section 303(c)(2)(B). The EPA is proposing a chronic criterion for California based on the EPA's current CWA 304(a) recommended criterion for selenium, which only includes a chronic criterion. The current science shows that an acute criterion is not necessary to protect from the lethal effects of selenium if a protective chronic criterion is in place, which by definition protects against sublethal effects and effects of short-term elevations of selenium that are introduced into the food web and could result in chronic effects. Therefore, if a protective chronic selenium criterion, such as the EPA is proposing today, is ultimately promulgated, an acute criterion would no longer be necessary to meet the requirements of the CWA, and so the Administrator's determinations contained in the 1997 and 2000 preambles to the CTR will be negated insofar as they called for the promulgation of an acute selenium criterion.

    C. Proposed Criterion

    Water quality criteria establish the maximum allowable pollutant level that is protective of the designated uses of a water body. States adopt or, as in this case, the EPA may promulgate criteria as part of WQS. Under the CWA, WQS are used to derive water quality-based effluent limitations (WQBELs) in permits for point source dischargers, thereby limiting the amount of pollutants that may be discharged into a water body to maintain its designated uses. The EPA is proposing a selenium water quality criterion for California comprised of criterion elements of fish tissue, bird tissue, and a performance-based approach to be used by California to translate the tissue criterion elements into protective water column elements on a site-specific basis. The EPA is proposing selenium fish and bird tissue elements because they reflect biological uptake through diet, the predominant pathway for selenium toxicity, and because they are most predictive of the observed biological endpoint of concern: Reproductive toxicity.

    The EPA is proposing the freshwater selenium criterion in California that is depicted in Table 3. The EPA is proposing its recommended 2016 CWA section 304(a) selenium criterion for freshwater with the addition of a bird tissue criterion element and the replacement of the 304(a) selenium monthly average exposure water column criterion element with a performance-based approach 17 for translating the tissue elements into corresponding water-column elements on a site-specific basis. This performance-based approach maximizes the flexibility for the State to develop water-column translations specifically tailored to each individual waterbody. The available data indicate that applying the criterion in Table 3 would protect aquatic life and aquatic-dependent wildlife from the toxic effects of selenium, recognizing that fish tissue elements and the bird tissue element supersede any translated site-specific water column elements and that the fish egg-ovary element supersedes all other fish tissue elements. The proposed tissue criterion elements consist of a bird egg criterion element of 11.2 mg/kg dry weight, a fish egg-ovary criterion element of 15.1 mg/kg dry weight, a fish whole-body criterion element of 8.5 mg/kg dry weight or a fish muscle criterion element of 11.3 mg/kg dry weight. The fish tissue and bird tissue criterion elements were developed to protect aquatic and aquatic-dependent wildlife populations from impacts caused by selenium. Tissue data provide instantaneous point measurements that reflect integrative accumulation of selenium over time and space in fish or birds at a given site. California will have flexibility in how they interpret a discrete fish sample to represent a given species' population at a site. Generally, fish and bird tissue samples collected to calculate average tissue concentrations (often in composites) for a species at a site are collected in one sampling event, or over a short interval due to logistical constraints and cost for obtaining samples. The proposed performance-based approach consists of a methodology, Draft Translation of Selenium Tissue Criterion Elements to Site-Specific Water Column Criterion Elements for California Version 1, August 8, 2018, available in the docket for this rulemaking, to translate the tissue criterion elements to site-specific water column criterion elements (discussed in greater detail below Table 3). The EPA is also proposing an intermittent exposure water column element that would be derived from the site-specific water column criterion elements. The EPA is proposing that the bird tissue element be independently applicable from and equivalent to the fish tissue elements, but that all tissue elements will supersede translated water column elements for the specific taxon when both are measured.

    17 A performance-based approach relies on the state or authorized tribe adopting a process (i.e., a criterion derivation methodology, with associated implementation procedures) rather than a specific outcome (e.g., numeric criterion or concentration of a pollutant) in its water quality standards regulation. In instances where the EPA promulgates a water quality standard (including a performance-based approach) for a state or authorized tribe, the EPA is held to the same requirements and expectations for that water quality standard as the state or authorized tribe. The concept of a performance-based approach was first described in the Federal Register Notice EPA Review and Approval of State and Tribal Water Quality Standards—Final Rule (65 FR 24641-24653; April 27, 2000).

    The EPA is proposing the following criterion:

    BILLING CODE 6560-50-P EP13DE18.007 BILLING CODE 6560-50-C Performance-Based Approach for Translating Tissue Criterion Elements to Site-Specific Water Column Criterion Elements

    As part of the proposed criterion depicted in Table 3, the EPA is including a methodology, incorporated by reference, to translate the fish tissue criterion elements' concentrations and the bird tissue criterion element's concentration into site-specific water column concentrations. This is considered a performance-based approach to developing site-specific water column elements consistent with other elements of the criterion. This set of binding procedures for translating fish and bird tissue criterion elements is detailed in the Draft Translation of Selenium Tissue Criterion Elements to Site-Specific Water Column Criterion Elements for California, Version 1, August 8, 2018 and is located in the docket for this rulemaking. The performance-based approach provides two methodologies for deriving site-specific water column criterion elements: The mechanistic modeling approach and the empirical bioaccumulation factor (BAF) approach.

    The mechanistic modeling approach uses scientific knowledge of the physical and chemical processes underlying bioaccumulation to establish a relationship between the concentrations of selenium in the water column and the concentration of selenium in the tissue of aquatic and aquatic-dependent organisms. The mechanistic modeling approach enables formulation of site-specific models of trophic transfer of selenium through aquatic food webs and translation of the tissue elements into an equivalent site-specific water column selenium element. It is also the approach used to develop the 2016 CWA 304(a) recommended selenium criterion water column elements.

    The empirical BAF approach establishes a site-specific relationship between water column selenium concentrations and fish (or bird) tissue selenium concentrations by measuring both directly and using the relationship between them to determine a site-specific water column criterion element.

    If, after soliciting comment, the EPA finalizes a selenium criterion that includes the proposed performance-based approach as part of the federal promulgation, each resulting site-specific water column criterion element would be applicable for CWA purposes, without the need for EPA approval under CWA section 303(c). Importantly, for public transparency, the EPA recommends that California maintain a list of the resulting site-specific water column criterion elements and the underlying data used for their respective derivation on their publicly accessible website.

    The proposed chronic selenium criterion applies to the entire aquatic community, including fish, amphibians, invertebrates, and aquatic-dependent wildlife. Based on the analysis in the accompanying Technical Support Document (TSD) to this proposed rule (Aquatic Life and Aquatic-Dependent Wildlife Selenium Water Quality Criterion for Fresh Waters of California) and the EPA's previous work (Final Aquatic Life Ambient Water Quality Criteria for Selenium—Freshwater 2016, US EPA, Office of Water, EPA 822-R-16-006, June 2016), as well as currently available data, fish and birds are considered the most sensitive taxa to selenium effects. Selenium criterion elements based on fish tissue (egg-ovary, whole body, and/or muscle) or bird egg tissue data will override the performance-based translated water column concentrations because fish and bird tissue concentrations provide the most robust and direct information on potential selenium effects in fish and birds.

    Although selenium may cause acute toxicity at high concentrations, i.e., toxicity from a brief but highly elevated concentration of selenium in the water, chronic dietary exposure poses the highest risk to aquatic life and aquatic-dependent wildlife. Chronic toxicity occurs primarily through maternal transfer of selenium to eggs and causes subsequent reproductive effects, such as larval and embryo structural deformity, edema, and mortality. Because chronic effects of selenium are observed at much lower concentrations than acute effects, the chronic criterion is also expected to protect aquatic and aquatic-dependent communities from any potential acute effects of selenium. However, some high concentration, short-term exposures could be detrimental by causing significant long-term, residual, bioaccumulative effects (i.e., by the introduction of a significant selenium load into the system). Therefore, the EPA is also proposing the performance-based approach be used to address intermittent exposure criterion to selenium to prevent long-term detrimental effects from these high concentration, short-term exposures. The EPA's proposed intermittent exposure criterion element should be derived mathematically, from the performance-based site-specific monthly water column elements for lentic and/or lotic waters using the equation shown in Table 3. The equation expresses the intermittent exposure water criterion element in terms of the 30-day average chronic water criterion element, for a lentic or lotic system, as appropriate, while accounting for the fraction in days of any 30-day period the intermittent spikes occur and for the background concentration occurring during the remaining time. The intermittent exposure criterion calculation is consistent with the EPA's national 304(a) recommended freshwater aquatic life criterion for selenium (see Section 3.3.) and is meant to be used in situations where a noncontinous discharge is present in the water body of interest.

    The EPA solicits comment on the Draft Translation of Selenium Tissue Criterion Elements to Site-Specific Water Column Criterion Elements for California, Version 1, August 8, 2018 and how it has been applied in this proposed rule and requests any additional information for consideration by the EPA. The EPA specifically solicits comment on whether it would be appropriate to include a method for a larger scale (e.g., ecoregional or state-wide) water column translation from fish or bird egg tissue in a performance-based approach, and if so, what methods are available and appropriate for this large scale translation. Such an approach would need, for example, methods for selecting sites from a larger area and would need to specify in the performance-based approach how decisions will be made using information from multiple sites.

    Additionally, the EPA is soliciting public comment on an alternative to the proposed criterion whereby the criterion would be expressed in the same manner as in this proposed rule (same bird tissue, fish tissue, and intermittent exposure criterion elements as presented in Table 3), however, in addition to the performance-based approach to translate site-specific water column criterion elements, the EPA would include the water column criterion elements from the Agency's 2016 CWA section 304(a) selenium criterion for freshwater: A lotic water column criterion element of 3.1 µg/L and a lentic water column criterion element of 1.5 µg/L. The derivation of these water column criterion elements is described in detail in the accompanying TSD to this proposed rule and the EPA's previous work in its 2016 CWA section 304(a) selenium criterion for freshwater. The EPA also solicits comment on an alternative that would be expressed in the same manner as the proposed criterion (same bird tissue, fish tissue, and intermittent exposure criterion elements as presented in Table 3), and include the EPA water column criterion elements from the Agency's 2016 CWA section 304(a) selenium criterion for freshwater, instead of including the performance-based approach.

    The EPA also solicits comment on the criterion structure whereby rather than proposing one criterion that protects applicable aquatic life and wildlife designated uses, the rule, if finalized, would consist of two separate criteria with one intended to protect the applicable aquatic life designated uses and one intended to protect the applicable wildlife designated uses. The two separate criteria would be structured as follows: (1) An aquatic life criterion, consisting of the same fish tissue elements and performance-based approach presented in Table 3, to protect the applicable aquatic life designated uses; and (2) an aquatic-dependent wildlife criterion, consisting of the same bird tissue element and performance-based approach presented in Table 3, to protect the applicable wildlife designated uses. The EPA solicits comment on the criterion structure and whether one criterion or two separate criteria are preferred for implementation reasons. This approach could also utilize either the performance-based approach to translate tissue elements to site-specific water-column elements or the water-column elements from the Agency's 2016 CWA section 304(a) selenium criterion for freshwater. If the proposed rule is finalized as currently written, one criterion (as shown in Table 3) would be used to protect both aquatic life and aquatic-dependent wildlife designated uses in the waters covered by this proposed rule, as opposed to two separate criteria, each intended to protect a separate designated use.

    D. Implementation

    The EPA is proposing that for purposes of assessing attainment of the criterion, the bird tissue element be independently applicable from the fish tissue elements (i.e., if the bird tissue element is exceeded, the criterion is not being attained for the applicable wildlife designated use), but that all tissue elements will supersede translated water column elements for the specific taxon when both are measured (i.e., if both of the tissue elements are being met, the criterion is being attained even if the water column element is exceeded). Additionally, fish egg-ovary data supersedes any whole-body, muscle, or translated water column element data for that taxon when fish-egg ovary are measured (i.e., if the fish egg-ovary element is being met, the criterion is being attained even if the whole-body, muscle, or water column elements are not being met). Similarly, the bird tissue element supersedes translated water column elements for that taxon when both are measured. California has flexibility in how to evaluate individual and composite samples for each taxon. The State's assessment methodology should make its decision-making process in this situation clear. This construct is equivalent to the EPA's CWA 304(a) recommended selenium criterion in that tissue criterion elements have primacy over water column criterion elements.

    Selenium concentrations in fish and bird tissue are primarily a result of selenium bioaccumulation via dietary exposure. Because of this, fish and bird tissue concentrations in waters with new inputs of selenium may not fully represent potential effects on fish, birds, and the aquatic ecosystem. New inputs are defined as new anthropogenic activities resulting in the release of selenium into a lentic or lotic aquatic system. New inputs do not refer to seasonal variability of selenium that occurs naturally within a system (e.g. spring run-off events or precipitation-driven pulses). In this circumstance fish tissue data and bird tissue data may not fully represent potential effects on the aquatic ecosystem, making the use of a translated water column element derived using the mechanistic model portion of the performance-based approach more appropriate to protect the entire aquatic ecosystem.

    Because tissue concentrations alone may present challenges when attempting to incorporate them directly in NPDES permits, the EPA is also proposing a performance-based approach for California to use to translate tissue elements to site-specific water column concentrations. These translated water column criterion concentrations would not prevent California from also using the tissue criterion elements for monitoring and regulation of pollutant discharges. In implementing the water quality criterion for selenium under the NPDES permits program, California may need to establish additional procedures due to the unique components of the selenium criterion. Where California uses a translated selenium water column concentration only (as opposed to using both the water column and fish tissue or bird tissue elements) for conducting reasonable potential (RP) determinations and establishing WQBELs per 40 CFR 122.44(d), existing implementation procedures used for other aquatic life protection criteria may be appropriate. However, if California also decides to use the selenium fish tissue criterion elements and bird tissue criterion element for NPDES permitting purposes, additional state WQS implementation procedures (IPs) will likely be needed to determine the need for and development of WQBELs necessary to ensure that the tissue criterion element(s) are met.

    E. Incorporation by Reference

    The EPA is proposing that the final EPA regulatory text will incorporate one EPA document by reference. In accordance with the requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, the EPA is proposing to incorporate by reference the final version of the EPA's current Draft Translation of Selenium Tissue Criterion Elements to Site-Specific Water Column Criterion Elements for California, Version 1, August 8, 2018, discussed in Section III.C. of this preamble. The EPA has made, and will continue to make, this document available electronically through www.regulations.gov at the docket associated with this rulemaking and at the appropriate EPA office (see the ADDRESSES section of this preamble for more information).

    IV. Endangered Species Act

    Pursuant to section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the EPA is consulting with the FWS and NMFS concerning the EPA's rulemaking action for the selenium water quality criterion in California. The EPA will transmit to the Services documentation that supports the selenium water quality criterion in this proposed rule. As a result of this consultation, the EPA may modify some provisions of this proposed rule.

    V. Applicability of the EPA Promulgated Water Quality Standards When Final

    Under the CWA, Congress gave states primary responsibility for developing and adopting WQS for their waters (CWA section 303(a)-(c)). Although the EPA is proposing a selenium criterion for the protection of aquatic life and aquatic-dependent wildlife for the fresh waters of California, California continues to have the option to adopt and submit to the EPA selenium criteria (objectives) for the State's waters consistent with CWA section 303(c) and the EPA's implementing regulations at 40 CFR part 131. The EPA encourages California to expeditiously adopt selenium criteria. Consistent with CWA section 303(c)(4) and the terms of the consent decree, if California adopts and submits selenium criteria for the protection of aquatic life and aquatic-dependent wildlife, and the EPA approves such criteria before finalizing this proposed rule, the EPA would not proceed with the promulgation for those waters for which the EPA approves California's criteria. Under those circumstances, federal promulgation would no longer be necessary to meet the requirements of the Act.

    If the EPA finalizes this proposed rule and California subsequently adopts and submits selenium criteria for the protection of aquatic and aquatic-dependent wildlife for California, the EPA would approve California's criteria if those criteria meet the requirements of section 303(c) of the CWA and the EPA's implementing regulation at 40 CFR part 131. If the EPA's federally-promulgated criteria are more stringent than the State's criteria, the EPA's federally-promulgated criteria are and will be the applicable water quality standard for purposes of the CWA until the Agency withdraws those federally-promulgated standards. The EPA would expeditiously undertake such a rulemaking to withdraw the federal criteria if and when California adopts and the EPA approves corresponding criteria. After the EPA's withdrawal of federally promulgated criteria, the State's EPA-approved criteria would become the applicable criteria for CWA purposes. If the State's adopted criteria are as stringent or more stringent than the federally-promulgated criteria, then the State's criteria would become the CWA applicable WQS upon the EPA's approval (40 CFR 131.21(c)).

    VI. Implementation and Alternative Regulatory Approaches

    The federal WQS regulation at 40 CFR part 131 provides several tools that California has available to use at its discretion when implementing or deciding how to implement these aquatic life criteria, once finalized. Among other things, the EPA's WQS regulation: (1) Specifies how states and authorized tribes establish, modify or remove designated uses, (2) specifies the requirements for establishing criteria to protect designated uses, including criteria modified to reflect site-specific conditions, (3) authorizes and provides regulatory guidelines for states and authorized tribes to adopt WQS variances that provide time to achieve the applicable WQS, and (4) allows states and authorized tribes to authorize the use of compliance schedules in NPDES permits to meet WQBELs derived from the applicable WQS. Each of these approaches are discussed in more detail in the next sections.

    Designated Uses

    The EPA's proposed selenium criterion applies to fresh waters of California where the protection of aquatic life and aquatic-dependent wildlife are designated uses. The federal regulations at 40 CFR 131.10 provide information on establishing, modifying, and removing designated uses. If California removes designated uses such that no aquatic life or aquatic-dependent wildlife uses apply to any particular water body segment affected by this rule and adopts the highest attainable use,18 the State must also adopt criteria to protect the newly designated highest attainable use consistent with 40 CFR 131.11. It is possible that criteria other than the federally promulgated criteria would protect the highest attainable use. If the EPA finds removal or modification of the designated use and the adoption of the highest attainable use and criteria to protect that use to be consistent with CWA section 303(c) and the implementing regulation at 40 CFR part 131, the Agency would approve the revised WQS. The EPA would then undertake a rulemaking to withdraw the corresponding federal WQS for the relevant water(s).

    18 If a state or authorized tribe adopts a new or revised WQS based on a required use attainability analysis, then it must also adopt the highest attainable use (40 CFR 131.10(g)). Highest attainable use is the modified aquatic life, wildlife, or recreation use that is both closest to the uses specified in section 101(a)(2) of the Act and attainable, based on the evaluation of the factor(s) in 40 CFR 131.10(g) that preclude(s) attainment of the use and any other information or analyses that were used to evaluate attainability. There is no required highest attainable use where the state demonstrates the relevant use specified in section 101(a)(2) of the Act and sub-categories of such a use are not attainable (see 40 CFR 131.3(m)).

    Site-Specific Criteria

    The regulations at 40 CFR 131.11 specify requirements for modifying water quality criteria to reflect site-specific conditions. In the context of this rulemaking, a site-specific criterion (SSC) is an alternative value to the federal selenium criterion that would be applied on an area-wide or water body-specific basis that meets the regulatory test of protecting the designated uses, being scientifically defensible, and ensuring the protection and maintenance of downstream WQS. A SSC may be more or less stringent than the otherwise applicable federal criterion. A SSC may be called for when further scientific data and analyses indicate that a different selenium concentration (e.g., a different fish tissue or bird tissue criterion element) may be needed to protect the aquatic life and aquatic-dependent wildlife-related designated uses in a particular water body or portion of a water body.

    WQS Variances

    California's WQS provide sufficient authority to apply WQS variances when implementing a federally promulgated criterion for selenium, as long as such WQS variances are adopted consistent with 40 CFR 131.14 and submitted to the EPA for review and approval under CWA section 303(c). Federal regulations at 40 CFR 131.14 define a WQS variance as a time-limited designated use and criterion, for a specific pollutant or water quality parameter, that reflects the highest attainable condition during the term of the WQS variance. WQS variances adopted in accordance with 40 CFR 131.14 (including a public hearing consistent with 40 CFR 25.5) provide a flexible but defined pathway for states and authorized tribes to meet their NPDES permit obligations by allowing dischargers the time they need (as demonstrated by the state or authorized tribe) to make incremental progress toward meeting WQS that are not immediately attainable but may be in the future. When adopting a WQS variance, states and authorized tribes specify the interim requirements of the WQS variance by identifying a quantitative expression that reflects the highest attainable condition (HAC) during the term of the WQS variance, establishing the term of the WQS variance, and describing the pollutant control activities expected to occur over the specified term of the WQS variance. WQS variances help states and authorized tribes focus on improving water quality, rather than pursuing a downgrade of the underlying water quality goals through modification or removal of a designated use, as a WQS variance cannot lower currently attained water quality. WQS variances provide a legal avenue by which NPDES permit limits can be written to comply with the WQS variance rather than the underlying WQS for the term of the WQS variance. If dischargers are still unable to meet the WQBELs derived from the applicable WQS once a WQS variance term is complete, the regulation allows the state and authorized tribe to adopt a subsequent WQS variance if it is adopted consistent with 40 CFR 131.14. The EPA is proposing a criterion that applies to use designations that California has already established. California's WQS currently include the authority to use WQS variances when implementing criteria, as long as such WQS variances are adopted consistent with 40 CFR 131.14. California may use EPA-approved WQS variance procedures when adopting such WQS variances.

    Compliance Schedules

    The EPA's regulations at 40 CFR 122.47 and 40 CFR 131.15 address how permitting authorities can use permit compliance schedules in NPDES permits if dischargers need additional time to undertake actions like facility upgrades or operation changes to meet their WQBELs based on the applicable WQS. The EPA's regulation at 40 CFR 122.47 allows permitting authorities to include compliance schedules in their NPDES permits, when appropriate and where authorized by the state or authorized tribe, in order to provide a discharger with additional time to meet its WQBELs implementing applicable WQS. The EPA's regulation at 40 CFR 131.15 requires that states and authorized tribes that choose to allow the use of NPDES permit compliance schedules adopt specific provisions authorizing their use and obtain the EPA approval under CWA section 303(c) to ensure that a decision to allow permit compliance schedules is transparent and allows for public input (80 FR 51022, August 21, 2015). The EPA's approval of the state's or authorized tribe's permit compliance schedule authorizing provision (CSAP) as a WQS pursuant to 40 CFR 131.15 ensures that any NPDES permit that contains a compliance schedule meets the requirement that the WQBEL derive from and comply with all applicable WQS (40 CFR 122.44(d)(1)(vii)(A)).

    California is authorized to administer the NPDES program and has adopted several mechanisms to authorize compliance schedules in NPDES permits. In 2008, California adopted a statewide CSAP that the EPA subsequently approved under CWA section 303(c), the Policy for Compliance Schedules in National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permits, SWRCB Resolution No. 2008-0025, April 15, 2008. This EPA-approved regulation authorizes the use of permit compliance schedules consistent with 40 CFR 131.15, and is not affected by this rule. The CSAP will allow California, as the permitting authority, to use permit compliance schedules, as appropriate, for the purpose of achieving compliance with a WQBEL based on a final federal selenium criterion that is more stringent than the existing criteria for California, as soon as possible.

    VII. Economic Analysis

    The proposed criterion would serve as a basis for development of new or revised NPDES permit conditions for point source dischargers and additional best management practice (BMP) controls on nonpoint sources of pollutant loadings. The EPA cannot be certain of whether a particular discharger would change their operations if this proposed criterion were finalized and the discharger were found to have reasonable potential to cause or contribute to an exceedance of a WQS. Moreover, the EPA cannot anticipate how California would implement the criterion. California is authorized to administer the NPDES program and retains discretion in implementing WQS. In addition to examples laid out in Section VI—any of which would be consistent with the regulatory requirement at 40 CFR 122.44(d)(1)(i) to ensure that State NPDES permits comply with the applicable CWA WQS—the State can calculate water column criterion elements on a site-specific basis relying on the performance-based approach. Despite this discretion, if California determines that a permit is necessary, such permit would need to comply with the EPA's regulations at 40 CFR 122.44(d)(1)(i). Still, to best inform the public of the potential impacts of this proposed rule, the EPA made some assumptions to evaluate the potential costs associated with State implementation of the EPA's proposed criterion. The EPA chose to evaluate the expected costs associated with State implementation of the Agency's proposed selenium criterion based on available information. This analysis is documented in Economic Analysis for Proposed Selenium Water Quality Standards Applicable to the State of California, which can be found in the docket for this rulemaking. The EPA seeks public comment on all aspects of the economic analysis including, but not limited to, its assumptions relating to the baseline criteria, affected entities, implementation, and compliance costs.

    For the economic analysis, the EPA assumed the baseline to be full implementation of existing water quality criteria (i.e., “baseline criteria”) and then estimated the incremental impacts for compliance with the selenium criterion in this proposed rule. Aside from the freshwater chronic criterion of 5 μg/L established under the CTR, the EPA assumed that the following sites have site-specific criteria: The San Joaquin River from Sack Dam to Vernalis, Mud Slough, Salt Slough, the constructed and reconstructed water supply channels in the Grassland watershed, the surface water tributaries to the Salton Sea, and the San Francisco Bay Delta. There are approximately 76 existing selenium impairments pursuant to the existing baseline freshwater criterion of 5 μg/L. The EPA assumes that the California Regional Water Quality Control Boards will develop total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) and implementation plans to bring all these waters into compliance with baseline criteria. Therefore, any incremental costs identified by the economic analysis to comply with the proposed criterion above and beyond the baseline are attributable to this proposed rule.

    For point source costs, any NPDES-permitted facility that discharges selenium could potentially incur compliance costs. The types of affected facilities could include industrial facilities and publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) discharging wastewater to fresh surface waters.

    To facilitate this analysis, the EPA interpreted the proposed criterion as the lentic and lotic water-column elements from the Agency's 2016 CWA section 304(a) selenium criterion for freshwater, and refer to this as the economic analysis criterion. Using the proposed performance-based approach detailed in Draft Translation of Selenium Tissue Criterion Elements to Site-Specific Water Column Criterion Elements for California Version 1, August 8, 2018, site-specific water-column translations of tissue elements may be more or less stringent than the economic analysis criterion for lentic and lotic waters. Because the economic analysis criterion reflects the 20th percentile of a national set of tissue element translations (see Figure 3.9 on page 92 of the EPA's 2016 selenium criterion document), the use of these values as proxies for the site-specific translations using the performance-based approach may be more or less conservative with respect to estimating potential associated costs of implementation. Hereafter in this section, the term “economic analysis criterion” refers to the lentic value of 1.5 μg/L and the lotic value of 3.1 μg/L as proxies for the performance-based approach water-column translations of the tissue elements.

    A. Identifying Affected Entities

    The EPA estimated costs to municipal, industrial, and other dischargers under the proposed criterion. The EPA used its Integrated Compliance Information System National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (ICIS-NPDES) database to identify individually permitted facilities in California whose NPDES permits contain effluent limitations and/or monitoring requirements for selenium. The EPA excluded facilities that discharge to saltwater, as well as the facilities discharging to waters where SSC are in place for selenium (listed above). Based on this review, the EPA identified 110 facilities to evaluate for reasonable potential to cause or contribute to an exceedance of the applicable proposed criterion (i.e., the lentic or lotic water column value applicable based on the receiving water). Nineteen facilities demonstrated reasonable potential to exceed the applicable proposed criterion that results in the need for water quality-based effluent limits that could be lower than current limits. Even though the EPA only had sufficient data to analyze 110 facilities for reasonable potential to exceed the proposed criterion, the EPA identified 249 potentially affected facilities. See the Economic Analysis for more details.

    B. Method for Estimating Costs

    The EPA estimated costs for point source dischargers that receive more stringent limits based on the proposed criterion and existing effluent concentrations. The EPA reviewed facility permits, existing treatment systems, and available treatment technologies to develop likely compliance scenarios and associated incremental costs for each permittee to meet their proposed effluent limitations. After the EPA costed for the facilities that demonstrated reasonable potential to exceed the proposed criterion, it extrapolated those costs to the remaining potentially affected facilities, when possible.

    To estimate costs for nonpoint source controls, the EPA compared available water quality measurements for selenium against the economic analysis criterion to identify lentic and lotic fresh waters that might be incrementally impaired under the proposed criterion. Although the State of California's implementation procedures may result in different waters identified as impaired for selenium and the State may choose a different approach to achieving water quality criteria, the EPA assumed, for the purpose of its cost analysis, that nonpoint dischargers of agricultural drainage return flows to impaired waters in regions with a high percentage of irrigated cropland would need to implement BMPs to reduce irrigation drainage. To estimate the potential incremental impact of the rule on nonpoint sources, the EPA identified the incrementally impaired waters with high proportions of cropland. The EPA's estimate for incremental BMPs costs included annualized costs for implementing drip irrigation to replace a less efficient type of irrigation to reduce the return flow from agricultural areas surrounding the impaired waters. The EPA also estimated the potential administrative costs to government entities to develop TMDLs for the potentially impaired waters.

    C. Results

    The EPA provides estimated costs to point source dischargers by type, based on capital and operation and maintenance costs, reported on an annual basis as the sum of annual O&M costs and capital costs annualized at a 3% discount rate over the 20-year life of the capital equipment. Total costs, if all controls were implemented in the first year, range from $34.1 to 50.2 million per year; when reflecting a 5-year phase-in due to NPDES permit cycle, total costs range from $31.0 to 45.7 million per year. Deferring some cost to later years reduces the total amount and is likely given the 5-year NPDES permit renewal cycle and staggered TMDL development.

    The estimated costs to nonpoint sources that may result from state implementation of the proposed criterion range from $9.9 to $11.0 million per year, using a 13-year TMDL phase-in period. The EPA annualized BMP capital costs over the expected useful life of the BMPs using a 3% discount rate and added annual operation and maintenance costs to derive annual cost estimates. See the Economic Analysis for more details.

    If there are incrementally impaired waters under the proposed criterion, then the California Regional Water Quality Control Boards may need to develop TMDLs for these waters, thereby incurring incremental government regulatory costs. If there is a separate TMDL for each of the 28 incrementally impaired waterbodies, and each TMDL costs between $37,000 and $40,000 to complete,19 then the cumulative costs for doing all of them in a single year may be $1.0 million to $1.1 million. Distributing this cost uniformly over 13 years results in annual costs of $0.08 to $0.09 million.

    19 These unit cost estimates derive from values provided in a U.S. EPA draft report from 2001, entitled The National Costs of the Total Maximum Daily Load Program (EPA 841-D-01-003), escalated to $2017. These unit costs per TMDL represent practices from nearly 20 years ago, and therefore may not reflect increased costs of analysis using more sophisticated contemporary methods.

    Note that, while this analysis is based on the best publicly available data, it may not fully reflect the impact of the proposed criterion. If additional monitoring data were available, or if the California Regional Water Quality Control Boards increase monitoring of ambient conditions in future assessment periods, additional impairments may be identified under the baseline and/or proposed criteria. Conversely, there may be fewer waters identified as impaired for selenium after California has fully implemented baseline activities to address sources of existing impairments for selenium or other contaminants (e.g., planned baseline BMPs for stormwater discharges from urban or industrial sources for metals TMDLs).

    Table 4 shows aggregate costs for point source controls, nonpoint source BMPs, and administrative costs for the 3% discount rate, where the total annual cost ranges from $41 million to $57 million. The 7% discount rate estimates of total annual costs range from $45 million to $61 million. See the economic analysis for full derivation.

    Table 4—Summary of Total Annual Cost Estimates [Millions; 2017$] Cost type Low cost High cost Point Sources 1 $31.0 $45.7 Nonpoint Sources 1 9.9 11.0 Government Administration 2 0.04 0.04 Total 40.9 56.7 1 Annual costs include capital costs annualized over the 20-year expected life of the equipment at 3% plus annual operating and maintenance costs. Annual costs also reflect a 5-year implementation period for point sources and a 13-year implementation period for nonpoint source BMPs. 2 Total TMDL development costs are uniformly distributed over 13 years. VIII. Statutory and Executive Orders A. Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review) and Executive Order 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review)

    As determined by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), this action is a significant regulatory action and was submitted to OMB for review. Any changes made during OMB's review have been documented in the docket. The EPA evaluated the potential costs to NPDES dischargers associated with State implementation of the EPA's proposed criteria. This analysis, Economic Analysis for Proposed Selenium Water Quality Standards Applicable to the State of California, is summarized in Section VII of the preamble and is available in the docket.

    B. Executive Order 13771 (Reducing Regulations and Controlling Regulatory Costs)

    This action is expected to be an Executive Order 13771 regulatory action. Details on the estimated costs of this proposed rule can be found in the EPA's analysis of the potential costs and benefits associated with this action.

    C. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    This action does not impose an information collection burden under the PRA. While actions to implement these WQS could entail additional paperwork burden, this action does not directly contain any information collection, reporting, or record-keeping requirements.

    D. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    I certify that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the RFA. This action will not impose any requirements on small entities. The EPA-promulgated WQS are implemented through various water quality control programs including the NPDES program, which limits discharges to navigable waters except in compliance with a NPDES permit. CWA Section 301(b)(1)(C) 20 and the EPA's implementing regulations at 40 CFR 122.44(d)(1) and 122.44(d)(1)(A) provide that all NPDES permits shall include any limits on discharges that are necessary to meet applicable WQS. Thus, under the CWA, the EPA's promulgation of WQS establishes standards that the state implements through the NPDES permit process. While the state has discretion in developing discharge limits, as needed to meet the WQS, those limits, per regulations at 40 CFR 122.44(d)(1)(i), “must control all pollutants or pollutant parameters (either conventional, nonconventional, or toxic pollutants) which the Director determines are or may be discharged at a level that will cause, have the reasonable potential to cause, or contribute to an excursion above any [s]tate water quality standard, including [s]tate narrative criteria for water quality.” As a result of this action, the State of California will need to ensure that permits it issues include any limitations on discharges necessary to comply with the WQS established in the final rule. In doing so, the State will have a number of choices associated with permit writing. While California's implementation of the rule may ultimately result in new or revised permit conditions for some dischargers, including small entities, the EPA's action, by itself, does not impose any of these requirements on small entities; that is, these requirements are not self-implementing.

    20 301(b) Timetable for Achievement of Objectives. In order to carry out the objective of this chapter there shall be achieved—(1)(C): Not later than July 1, 1977, any more stringent limitation, including those necessary to meet water quality standards, treatment standards, or schedules of compliance, established pursuant to any State law or regulations (under authority preserved by section 1370 of this title) or any other Federal law or regulation, or required to implement any applicable water quality standard established pursuant to this chapter.

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

    This action does not contain any unfunded mandates as described in UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538, and does not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. As these water quality criteria are not self-implementing, the action imposes no enforceable duty on any state, local or tribal governments or the private sector.

    F. Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)

    Under the technical requirements of Executive Order 13132, the EPA has determined that this proposed rule may not have federalism implications but believes that the consultation requirements of the Executive Order have been satisfied in any event. On several occasions over the course of February 2018 through September 2018, the EPA discussed with the California State Water Quality Control Board and several Regional Water Quality Control Boards the Agency's development of the federal rulemaking and clarified early in the process that if and when the State decided to develop and establish its own selenium standards, the EPA would instead assist the State in its process. During these discussions, the EPA explained the scientific basis for the fish and bird tissue elements of the selenium criterion and the methodologies for translating the tissue elements to water column values; the external peer review process and the comments the Agency received on the derivation of the criterion; the Agency's consideration of those comments and responses; possible alternatives for a criteria or criterion matrix; and the overall timing of the federal rulemaking effort. The EPA coordinated with the State and considered the State's initial feedback in making the Agency's decision to propose and solicit comment on the criterion matrix and the various options described in Section III. Proposed Criterion of this proposed rulemaking.

    The EPA specifically solicits comments on this proposed action from state and local officials.

    G. Executive Order 13175 (Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments)

    This action does not have tribal implications as specified in Executive Order 13175. This proposed rule does not impose substantial direct compliance costs on federally recognized tribal governments, nor does it substantially affect the relationship between the federal government and tribes, or the distribution of power and responsibilities between the federal government and tribes. Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this action.

    Consistent with the EPA Policy on Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribes, the EPA consulted with tribal officials during the development of this action. The EPA will continue to communicate with the tribes prior to its final action.

    H. Executive Order 13045 (Protection of Children From Environmental Health and Safety Risks)

    The EPA interprets Executive Order 13045 as applying only to those regulatory actions that concern environmental health or safety risks that the EPA has reason to believe may disproportionately affect children, per the definition of “covered regulatory action” in section 2-202 of the Executive Order. This action is not subject to Executive Order 13045 because it does not concern an environmental health risk or safety risk.

    I. Executive Order 13211 (Actions That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use)

    This action is not a “significant energy action” because it is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy.

    J. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995

    This proposed rulemaking does not involve technical standards.

    K. Executive Order 12898 (Federal Actions To Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations)

    The human health or environmental risk addressed by this action will not have potential disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority, low-income or indigenous populations. The criteria in this proposed rule would support the health and abundance of aquatic life and aquatic-dependent wildlife in California and would, therefore, benefit all communities that rely on these ecosystems.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 131

    Environmental protection, Incorporation by reference, Indians—lands, Intergovernmental relations, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Water pollution control.

    Dated: November 29, 2018. Andrew R. Wheeler, Acting Administrator.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the EPA proposes to amend 40 CFR part 131 as follows:

    PART 131—WATER QUALITY STANDARDS 1. The authority citation for part 131 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.

    2. Amend § 131.38 by revising the table in paragraph (b)(1) and paragraphs (c)(3)(ii) and (iii) to read as follows:
    § 131.38 Establishment of numeric criteria for priority toxic pollutants for the State of California.

    (b)(1) * * *

    A Number compound CAS No. B
  • Freshwater
  • Criterion
  • maximum
  • conc.d
  • (µg/L)
  • B1
  • Criterion
  • continuous
  • conc.d
  • (µg/L)
  • B2
  • C
  • Saltwater
  • Criterion
  • maximum
  • conc.d
  • (µg/L)
  • C1
  • Criterion
  • continuous
  • conc.d
  • (µg/L)
  • C2
  • D
  • Human health
  • (10 6 risk for carcinogens)
  • for consumption of:
  • Water and
  • organisms
  • (µg/L)
  • D1
  • Organisms
  • only
  • (µg/L)
  • D2
  • 1. Antimony 7440360 as 14 at 4300 2. Arsenic b 7440382 imw 340 imw 150 im 69 im 36 3. Beryllium 7440417 (n) (n) 4. Cadmium b 7440439 eimwx 4.3 eimw 2.2 im 42 im 9.3 (n) (n) 5a. Chromium (III) 16065831 eimo 550 eimo 180 (n) (n) 5b. Chromium (VI) b 18540299 imw 16 imw 11 im 1100 im 50 (n) (n) 6. Copper b 7440508 eimwx 13 eimw 9.0 im 4.8 im 3.1 1300 7. Lead b 7439921 eimz 65 eimz 2.5 im 210 im 8.1 (n) (n) 8. Mercury b 7439976 [Reserved] [Reserved] [Reserved] [Reserved] a 0.050 a 0.051 9. Nickel b 7440020 eimw 470 eimw 52 im 74 im 8.2 a 610 a 4600 10. Selenium b 7782492 (p) (qaa) im 290 im 71 (n) (n) 11. Silver b 7440224 eim 3.4 im 1.9 12. Thallium 7440280 as 1.7 at 6.3 13. Zinc b 7440666 eimwx 120 eimw 120 im 90 im 81 14. Cyanide b 57125 o 22 o 5.2 r 1 r 1 a 700 aj 220,000 15. Asbestos 1332214 ks 7,000,000 fibers/L 16. 2,3,7,8-TCDD (Dioxin) 1746016 c 0.000000013 c 0.000000014 17. Acrolein 107028 s 320 t 780 18. Acrylonitrile 107131 acs 0.059 act 0.66 19. Benzene 71432 ac 1.2 ac 71 20. Bromoform 75252 ac 4.3 ac 360 21. Carbon Tetrachloride 56235 acs 0.25 act 4.4 22. Chlorobenzene 108907 as 680 ajt 21,000 23. Chlorodibromomethane 124481 acy 0.41 ac 34 24. Chloroethane 75003 25. 2-Chloroethylvinyl Ether 110758 26. Chloroform 67663 [Reserved] [Reserved] 27. Dichlorobromomethane 75274 acy 0.56 ac 46 28. 1,1-Dichloroethane 75343 29. 1,2-Dichloroethane 107062 acs 0.38 act 99 30. 1,1-Dichloroethylene 75354 acs 0.057 act 3.2 31. 1,2-Dichloropropane 78875 a 0.52 a 39 32. 1,3-Dichloropropylene 542756 as 10 at 1,700 33. Ethylbenzene 100414 as 3,100 at 29,000 34. Methyl Bromide 74839 a 48 a 4,000 35. Methyl Chloride 74873 (n) (n) 36. Methylene Chloride 75092 ac 4.7 ac 1,600 37. 1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane 79345 acs 0.17 act 11 38. Tetrachloroethylene 127184 cs 0.8 ct 8.85 39. Toluene 108883 a 6,800 a 200,000 40. 1,2-Trans-Dichloroethylene 156605 a 700 a 140,000 41. 1,1,1-Trichloroethane 71556 (n) (n) 42. 1,1,2-Trichloroethane 79005 acs 0.60 act 42 43. Trichloroethylene 79016 cs 2.7 ct 81 44. Vinyl Chloride 75014 cs 2 ct 525 45. 2-Chlorophenol 95578 a 120 a 400 46. 2,4-Dichlorophenol 120832 as 93 at 790 47. 2,4-Dimethylphenol 105679 a 540 a 2,300 48. 2-Methyl-4,6-Dinitrophenol 534521 s 13.4 t 765 49. 2,4-Dinitrophenol 51285 as 70 at 14,000 50. 2-Nitrophenol 88755 51. 4-Nitrophenol 100027 52. 3-Methyl-4-Chlorophenol 59507 53. Pentachlorophenol 87865 fw 19 fw 15 13 7.9 ac 0.28 acj 8.2 54. Phenol 108952 a 21,000 ajt 4,600,000 55. 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol 88062 ac 2.1 ac 6.5 56. Acenaphthene 83329 a 1,200 a 2,700 57. Acenaphthylene 208968 58. Anthracene 120127 a 9,600 a 110,000 59. Benzidine 92875 acs 0.00012 act 0.00054 60. Benzo(a)Anthracene 56553 ac 0.0044 ac 0.049 61. Benzo(a)Pyrene 50328 ac 0.0044 ac 0.049 62. Benzo(b)Fluoranthene 205992 ac 0.0044 ac 0.049 63. Benzo(ghi)Perylene 191242 64. Benzo(k)Fluoranthene 207089 ac 0.0044 ac 0.049 65. Bis(2-Chloroethoxy)Methane 111911 66. Bis(2-Chloroethyl)Ether 111444 acs 0.031 act 1.4 67. Bis(2-Chloroisopropyl)Ether 108601 a 1,400 at 170,000 68. Bis(2-Ethylhexyl)Phthalate 117817 acs 1.8 act 5.9 69. 4-Bromophenyl Phenyl Ether 101553 70. Butylbenzyl Phthalate 85687 a 3,000 a 5,200 71. 2-Chloronaphthalene 91587 a 1,700 a 4,300 72. 4-Chlorophenyl Phenyl Ether 7005723 73. Chrysene 218019 ac 0.0044 ac 0.049 74. Dibenzo(a,h)Anthracene 53703 ac 0.0044 ac 0.049 75. 1,2 Dichlorobenzene 95501 a 2,700 a 17,000 76. 1,3 Dichlorobenzene 541731 400 2,600 77. 1,4 Dichlorobenzene 106467 400 2,600 78. 3,3'-Dichlorobenzidine 91941 acs 0.04 act 0.077 79. Diethyl Phthalate 84662 as 23,000 at 120,000 80. Dimethyl Phthalate 131113 s 313,000 t 2,900,000 81. Di-n-Butyl Phthalate 84742 as 2,700 at 12,000 82. 2,4-Dinitrotoluene 121142 cs 0.11 ct 9.1 83. 2,6-Dinitrotoluene 606202 84. Di-n-Octyl Phthalate 117840 85. 1,2-Diphenylhydrazine 122667 acs 0.040 act 0.54 86. Fluoranthene 206440 a 300 a 370 87. Fluorene 86737 a 1,300 a 14,000 88. Hexachlorobenzene 118741 ac 0.00075 ac 0.00077 89. Hexachlorobutadiene 87683 acs 0.44 act 50 90. Hexachlorocyclopentadiene 77474 as 240 ajt 17,000 91. Hexachloroethane 67721 acs 1.9 act 8.9 92. Indeno(1,2,3-cd) Pyrene 193395 ac 0.0044 ac 0.049 93. Isophorone 78591 cs 8.4 ct 600 94. Naphthalene 91203 95. Nitrobenzene 98953 as 17 ajt 1,900 96. N-Nitrosodimethylamine 62759 acs 0.00069 act 8.1 97. N-Nitrosodi-n-Propylamine 621647 a 0.005 a 1.4 98. N-Nitrosodiphenylamine 86306 acs 5.0 act 16 99. Phenanthrene 85018 100. Pyrene 129000 a 960 a 11,000 101. 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene 120821 102. Aldrin 309002 g 3 g 1.3 ac 0.00013 ac 0.00014 103. alpha-BHC 319846 ac 0.0039 ac 0.013 104. beta-BHC 319857 ac 0.014 ac 0.046 105. gamma-BHC 58899 w 0.95 g 0.16 c 0.019 c 0.063 106. delta-BHC 319868 107. Chlordane 57749 g 2.4 g 0.0043 g 0.09 g 0.004 ac 0.00057 ac 0.00059 108. 4,4'-DDT 50293 g 1.1 g 0.001 g 0.13 g 0.001 ac 0.00059 ac 0.00059 109. 4,4'-DDE 72559 ac 0.00059 ac 0.00059 110. 4,4'-DDD 72548 ac 0.00083 ac 0.00084 111. Dieldrin 60571 w 0.24 w 0.056 g 0.71 g 0.0019 ac 0.00014 ac 0.00014 112. alpha-Endosulfan 959988 g 0.22 g 0.056 g 0.034 g 0.0087 a 110 a 240 113. beta-Endosulfan 33213659 g 0.22 g 0.056 g 0.034 g 0.0087 a 110 a 240 114. Endosulfan Sulfate 1031078 a 110 a 240 115. Endrin 72208 w 0.086 w 0.036 g 0.037 g 0.0023 a 0.76 aj 0.81 116. Endrin Aldehyde 7421934 a 0.76 aj 0.81 117. Heptachlor 76448 g 0.52 g 0.0038 g 0.053 g 0.0036 ac 0.00021 ac 0.00021 118. Heptachlor Epoxide 1024573 g 0.52 g 0.0038 g 0.053 g 0.0036 ac 0.00010 ac 0.00011 119-125. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) u 0.014 u 0.03 cv 0.00017 cv 0.00017 126. Toxaphene 8001352 0.73 0.0002 0.21 0.0002 ac 0.00073 ac 0.00075 Total Number of Criteria h 22 21 22 20 92 90 Footnotes to Table In Paragraph (b)(1): a Criteria revised to reflect the Agency q1* or RfD, as contained in the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) as of October 1, 1996. The fish tissue bioconcentration factor (BCF) from the 1980 documents was retained in each case. b Criteria apply to California waters except for those waters subject to objectives in Tables III-2A and III-2B of the San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Board's (SFRWQCB) 1986 Basin Plan that were adopted by the SFRWQCB and the State Water Resources Control Board, approved by the EPA, and which continue to apply. For copper and nickel, criteria apply to California waters except for waters south of Dumbarton Bridge in San Francisco Bay that are subject to the objectives in the SFRWQCB's Basin Plan as amended by SFRWQCB Resolution R2-2002-0061, dated May 22, 2002, and approved by the State Water Resources Control Board. The EPA approved the aquatic life site-specific objectives on January 21, 2003. The copper and nickel aquatic life site-specific objectives contained in the amended Basin Plan apply instead. c Criteria are based on carcinogenicity of 10 (−6) risk. d Criteria Maximum Concentration (CMC) equals the highest concentration of a pollutant to which aquatic life can be exposed for a short period of time without deleterious effects. Criteria Continuous Concentration (CCC) equals the highest concentration of a pollutant to which aquatic life can be exposed for an extended period of time (4 days) without deleterious effects. ug/L equals micrograms per liter. e Freshwater aquatic life criteria for metals are expressed as a function of total hardness (mg/L) in the water body. The equations are provided in matrix at paragraph (b)(2) of this section. Values displayed above in the matrix correspond to a total hardness of 100 mg/l. f Freshwater aquatic life criteria for pentachlorophenol are expressed as a function of pH, and are calculated as follows: Values displayed above in the matrix correspond to a pH of 7.8. CMC = exp(1.005(pH)−4.869). CCC = exp(1.005(pH)−5.134). g This criterion is based on 304(a) aquatic life criterion issued in 1980, and was issued in one of the following documents: Aldrin/Dieldrin (EPA 440/5-80-019), Chlordane (EPA 440/5-80-027), DDT (EPA 440/5-80-038), Endosulfan (EPA 440/5-80-046), Endrin (EPA 440/5-80-047), Heptachlor (440/5-80-052), Hexachlorocyclohexane (EPA 440/5-80-054), Silver (EPA 440/5-80-071). The Minimum Data Requirements and derivation procedures were different in the 1980 Guidelines than in the 1985 Guidelines. For example, a “CMC” derived using the 1980 Guidelines was derived to be used as an instantaneous maximum. If assessment is to be done using an averaging period, the values given should be divided by 2 to obtain a value that is more comparable to a CMC derived using the 1985 Guidelines. h These totals simply sum the criteria in each column. For aquatic life, there are 23 priority toxic pollutants with some type of freshwater or saltwater, acute or chronic criteria. For human health, there are 92 priority toxic pollutants with either “water + organism” or “organism only” criteria. Note that these totals count chromium as one pollutant even though the EPA has developed criteria based on two valence states. In the matrix, the EPA has assigned numbers 5a and 5b to the criteria for chromium to reflect the fact that the list of 126 priority pollutants includes only a single listing for chromium. i Criteria for these metals are expressed as a function of the water-effect ratio, WER, as defined in paragraph (c) of this section. CMC = column B1 or C1 value × WER; CCC = column B2 or C2 value × WER. j No criterion for protection of human health from consumption of aquatic organisms (excluding water) was presented in the 1980 criteria document or in the 1986 Quality Criteria for Water. Nevertheless, sufficient information was presented in the 1980 document to allow a calculation of a criterion, even though the results of such a calculation were not shown in the document. k The CWA 304(a) criterion for asbestos is the MCL. l [Reserved]. m These freshwater and saltwater criteria for metals are expressed in terms of the dissolved fraction of the metal in the water column. Criterion values were calculated by using the EPA's Clean Water Act 304(a) guidance values (described in the total recoverable fraction) and then applying the conversion factors in § 131.36(b)(1) and (2). n The EPA is not promulgating human health criteria for these contaminants. However, permit authorities should address these contaminants in NPDES permit actions using the State's existing narrative criteria for toxics. o These criteria were promulgated for specific waters in California in the National Toxics Rule (“NTR”), at § 131.36. The specific waters to which the NTR criteria apply include: Waters of the State defined as bays or estuaries and waters of the State defined as inland, i.e., all surface waters of the State not ocean waters. These waters specifically include the San Francisco Bay upstream to and including Suisun Bay and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. This section does not apply instead of the NTR for this criterion. p No acute criterion applies except as follows. A criterion of 20 µg/L was promulgated for specific waters in California in the NTR in the total recoverable form and still applies to waters of the San Francisco Bay upstream to and including Suisun Bay and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta; waters of Salt Slough; Mud Slough (north); and the San Joaquin River, Sack Dam to the mouth of Merced River. The State of California adopted and the EPA approved site-specific acute criteria that still apply to the San Joaquin River, mouth of Merced to Vernalis; Salt Slough; constructed and reconstructed water supply channels in the Grassland watershed listed in Appendix 40 of the State of California Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board Basin Plan; and all surface waters that are tributaries to the Salton Sea. q The chronic criterion specified in footnote aa applies except as follows. A chronic criterion of 5 µg/L was promulgated for specific waters in California in the NTR in the total recoverable form and still applies to waters of the San Francisco Bay upstream to and including Suisun Bay and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta; waters of Salt Slough; Mud Slough (north); and the San Joaquin River, Sack Dam to Vernalis. Footnote aa does not apply instead of the NTR for these waters. The State of California adopted and the EPA approved a site-specific criterion for the Salt Slough, constructed and reconstructed water supply channels in the Grassland watershed listed in appendix 40 of the State of California Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board Basin Plan, and all surface waters that are tributaries to the Salton Sea; therefore, footnote aa does not apply to these waters. r These criteria were promulgated for specific waters in California in the NTR. The specific waters to which the NTR criteria apply include: Waters of the State defined as bays or estuaries including the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta within California Regional Water Board 5, but excluding the San Francisco Bay. This section does not apply instead of the NTR for these criteria. s These criteria were promulgated for specific waters in California in the NTR. The specific waters to which the NTR criteria apply include: Waters of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and waters of the State defined as inland (i.e., all surface waters of the State not bays or estuaries or ocean) that include a MUN use designation. This section does not apply instead of the NTR for these criteria. t These criteria were promulgated for specific waters in California in the NTR. The specific waters to which the NTR criteria apply include: Waters of the State defined as bays and estuaries including San Francisco Bay upstream to and including Suisun Bay and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta; and waters of the State defined as inland (i.e., all surface waters of the State not bays or estuaries or ocean) without a MUN use designation. This section does not apply instead of the NTR for these criteria. u PCBs are a class of chemicals which include aroclors 1242, 1254, 1221, 1232, 1248, 1260, and 1016, CAS numbers 53469219, 11097691, 11104282, 11141165, 12672296, 11096825, and 12674112, respectively. The aquatic life criteria apply to the sum of this set of seven aroclors. v This criterion applies to total PCBs, e.g., the sum of all congener or isomer or homolog or aroclor analyses. w This criterion has been recalculated pursuant to the 1995 Updates: Water Quality Criteria Documents for the Protection of Aquatic Life in Ambient Water, Office of Water, EPA-820-B-96-001, September 1996. See also Great Lakes Water Quality Initiative Criteria Documents for the Protection of Aquatic Life in Ambient Water, Office of Water, EPA-80-B-95-004, March 1995. x The State of California has adopted and the EPA has approved site specific criteria for the Sacramento River (and tributaries) above Hamilton City; therefore, these criteria do not apply to these waters. y The State of California adopted and the EPA approved a site-specific criterion for New Alamo Creek from Old Alamo Creek to Ulatis Creek and for Ulatis Creek from Alamo Creek to Cache Slough; therefore, this criterion does not apply to these waters. z The State of California adopted and the EPA approved a site-specific criterion for the Los Angeles River and its tributaries; therefore, this criterion does not apply to these waters. aa Proposed California Freshwater Selenium Ambient Chronic Water Quality Criterion for Protection of Aquatic Life and Aquatic-Dependent Wildlife
    EP13DE18.008 General Notes to Table in Paragraph (b)(1)

    1. The table in this paragraph (b)(1) lists all of the EPA's priority toxic pollutants whether or not criteria guidance are available. Blank spaces indicate the absence of national section 304(a) criteria guidance. Because of variations in chemical nomenclature systems, this listing of toxic pollutants does not duplicate the listing in appendix A to 40 CFR part 423-126 Priority Pollutants. The EPA has added the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) registry numbers, which provide a unique identification for each chemical.

    2. The following chemicals have organoleptic-based criteria recommendations that are not included on this chart: Zinc, 3-methyl-4-chlorophenol.

    3. Freshwater and saltwater aquatic life criteria apply as specified in paragraph (c)(3) of this section.

    (c) * * *

    (3) * * *

    (ii) For waters in which the salinity is equal to or greater than 10 parts per thousand 95% or more of the time, the applicable criteria are the saltwater criteria in Column C, except for selenium in waters of the San Francisco Bay upstream to and including Suisun Bay and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta where the applicable criteria are the freshwater criteria in Column B of the National Toxic Rule (“NTR”) at § 131.36.

    (iii) For waters in which the salinity is between 1 and 10 parts per thousand as defined in paragraphs (c)(3)(i) and (ii) of this section, the applicable criteria are the more stringent of the freshwater or saltwater criteria, except for selenium in waters of the San Francisco Bay upstream to and including Suisun Bay and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta where the applicable criteria are the freshwater criteria in Column B of the NTR. However, the Regional Administrator may approve the use of the alternative freshwater or saltwater criteria if scientifically defensible information and data demonstrate that on a site-specific basis the biology of the water body is dominated by freshwater aquatic life and that freshwater criteria are more appropriate; or conversely, the biology of the water body is dominated by saltwater aquatic life and that saltwater criteria are more appropriate. Before approving any change, the EPA will publish for public comment a document proposing the change.

    [FR Doc. 2018-26781 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 217 [Docket No. 180411364-8364-01] RIN 0648-BH90 Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to National Park Service's Research and Monitoring Activities in Southern Alaska National Parks AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS has received a request from the National Park Service (NPS) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to research and monitoring activities in southern Alaska over the course of five years (2019-2024). These activities include glaucous-winged gull and climate monitoring activities in Glacier Bay National Park (GLBA NP), Alaska and marine bird and mammal survey activities conducted by the Southwest Alaska Inventory and Monitoring Network (SWAN) in national parks and adjacent lands. As required by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is proposing regulations to govern that take and requests comments on the proposed regulations.

    DATES:

    Comments and information must be received no later than January 14, 2019.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2018-0059, by any of the following methods:

    Electronic submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D= NOAA-NMFS-2018-0059, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Submit written comments to Jolie Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service, 1315 East West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Gray Redding, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Availability

    A copy of NPS's application and any supporting documents, as well as a list of the references cited in this document, may be obtained online at: https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/national/marine-mammal-protection/incidental-take-authorizations-research-and-other-activities. In case of problems accessing these documents, please call the contact listed above (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

    To comply with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and NOAA Administrative Order (NAO) 216-6A, NMFS must review our proposed action (i.e., the issuance of an incidental take authorization) with respect to potential impacts on the human environment.

    This action is consistent with categories of activities identified in CE B4 of the Companion Manual for NOAA Administrative Order 216-6A, which do not individually or cumulatively have the potential for significant impacts on the quality of the human environment and for which we have not identified any extraordinary circumstances that would preclude this categorical exclusion. Accordingly, NMFS has preliminarily determined that the issuance of the proposed rule and subsequent Letters of Authorization qualifies to be categorically excluded from further NEPA review. We will review all comments submitted in response to this notice prior to concluding our NEPA process or making a final decision on the request.

    Purpose and Need for Regulatory Action

    This proposed rule, to be issued under the authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.), would establish a framework for authorizing the take of marine mammals incidental to NPS's gull and climate monitoring activities within GLBA NP and marine bird and mammal surveys in the SWAN region. Researchers conducting these surveys may cause behavioral disturbance (Level B harassment) of harbor seals and Steller sea lions.

    We received an application from NPS requesting five-year regulations and authorization to take harbor seals and Steller sea lions. Take would occur by Level B harassment incidental to research and monitoring activities due to behavioral disturbance of pinnipeds. The regulations would be valid from 2019 to 2024. Please see “Background” below for definitions of harassment.

    Legal Authority for the Proposed Action

    Section 101(a)(5)(A) of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1371(a)(5)(A)) directs the Secretary of Commerce to allow, upon request, the incidental, but not intentional taking of small numbers of marine mammals by U.S. citizens who engage in a specified activity (other than commercial fishing) within a specified geographical region for up to five years if, after notice and public comment, the agency makes certain findings and issues regulations that set forth permissible methods of taking pursuant to that activity, as well as monitoring and reporting requirements. Section 101(a)(5)(A) of the MMPA and the implementing regulations at 50 CFR part 216, subpart I provide the legal basis for issuing this proposed rule containing five-year regulations, and for any subsequent Letters of Authorization. As directed by this legal authority, this proposed rule contains mitigation, monitoring, and reporting requirements.

    Summary of Major Provisions Within the Proposed Rule

    The following provides a summary of some of the major provisions within the proposed rulemaking for NPS's research and monitoring activities in southern Alaska. We have preliminarily determined that NPS's adherence to the proposed mitigation, monitoring, and reporting measures listed below would achieve the least practicable adverse impact on the affected marine mammals. They include:

    • Measures to minimize the number and intensity of incidental takes during monitoring activities and to minimize the duration of disturbances.

    • Measures designed to eliminate startling reactions.

    • Eliminating or altering research activities on GLBA NP beaches when pups are present, and setting limits on the frequency and duration of events during pupping season.

    Background

    Paragraphs 101(a)(5)(A) and (D) of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1371 (a)(5)(A) and (D)) direct the Secretary of Commerce to allow, upon request, the incidental, but not intentional, taking of small numbers of marine mammals by U.S. citizens who engage in a specified activity (other than commercial fishing) within a specified geographical region if certain findings are made and either regulations are issued or, if the taking is limited to harassment, a notice of a proposed authorization is provided to the public for review.

    An authorization for incidental takings shall be granted if NMFS finds that the taking will have a negligible impact on the species or stock(s); will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of the species or stock(s) for subsistence uses (where relevant); and if the permissible methods of taking and requirements pertaining to the mitigation, monitoring and reporting of such takings are set forth. NMFS has defined “negligible impact” in 50 CFR 216.103 as an impact resulting from the specified activity that cannot be reasonably expected to, and is not reasonably likely to, adversely affect the species or stock through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival. NMFS has defined “unmitigable adverse impact” in 50 CFR 216.103 as an impact resulting from the specified activity:

    • That is likely to reduce the availability of the species to a level insufficient for a harvest to meet subsistence needs by:

    ○ Causing the marine mammals to abandon or avoid hunting areas;

    ○ Directly displacing subsistence users; or

    ○ Placing physical barriers between the marine mammals and the subsistence hunters; and

    • That cannot be sufficiently mitigated by other measures to increase the availability of marine mammals to allow subsistence needs to be met.

    Except with respect to certain activities not pertinent here, the MMPA defines “harassment” as: Any act of pursuit, torment, or annoyance which (i) has the potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild (Level A harassment); or (ii) has the potential to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering (Level B harassment).

    Summary of Request

    On February 6, 2018, we received an adequate and complete request from NPS for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to gull and climate monitoring activities in GLBA NP. On February 22, 2018 (83 FR 7699), we published a notice of receipt of NPS's application in the Federal Register, requesting comments and information related to the request for 30 days. We did not receive any comments. NPS provided a revised application incorporating minor revisions on April 23, 2018. Subsequently, NPS has identified additional research and monitoring projects in southern Alaska (SWAN region) with similar sources of marine mammal disturbance and potential effects. On October 29, 2018, NMFS received an adequate and complete revised application including these additional research and monitoring activities. These additional activities were determined to be similar in scope and impact to the original proposed activities, and NMFS determined that publication of a revised notice of receipt was not necessary for the updated application.

    Prior to this request for incidental take regulations and subsequent Letters of Authorization (LOA), we issued five consecutive incidental harassment authorizations (IHA) to NPS for incidental take associated with the GLBA NP ongoing gull and climate monitoring activities. NPS was first issued an IHA, valid for a period of one year, effective on September 18, 2014 (79 FR 56065), and was subsequently issued one-year IHAs for incidental take associated with the same activities, effective on March 24, 2015 (80 FR 28229), June 1, 2016 (77 FR 24471), May 20, 2017 (82 FR 24681), and February 15, 2018 (83 FR 6842). NPS has abided by all of NMFS's mitigation and monitoring requirements in previous activities for which take was authorized.

    Description of the Specified Activity Glacier Bay

    NPS is proposing to conduct two research projects within the GLBA NP in southeast Alaska: (1) Glaucous-winged gull monitoring, and (2) the maintenance of a weather station operation for long-term climate monitoring. NPS would conduct ground and vessel surveys at six study sites within GLBA NP for gull monitoring: South Marble Island, Boulder Island, Lone Island, Geikie Rock, Flapjack Island, and Tlingit Point Islet. These sites will be accessed up to five times per year. In addition, NPS is requesting permission to access Lone Island an additional three times per year for weather station maintenance and operation bringing the total number of site visits to Lone Island to eight. This includes adding one additional trip for any emergency repairs that may be needed. Researchers accessing the islands for gull monitoring and weather station operation may cause behavioral disturbance (Level B harassment) of harbor seals. NPS expects that the disturbance to harbor seals from both projects will be limited to Level B harassment.

    The purpose for the above-mentioned research activities are as follows. Gull monitoring studies are mandated by a Record of Decision of a Legislative Environmental Impact Statement (LEIS) (NPS 2010) which states that NPS must initiate a monitoring program for glaucous-winged gulls (Larus glaucescens) to inform future native egg harvest by the Hoonah Tlingit in Glacier Bay, Alaska. Installation of a new weather station on Lone Island was conducted by the NPS in the spring of 2018 as one of several installations intended to fill coverage gaps among existing weather stations in GLBA NP (NPS 2015a). In order to properly maintain the newly installed weather station, researchers must access the Lone Island weather station site at least twice a year for annual maintenance and repairs.

    SWAN

    NPS is applying for an LOA to conduct the SWAN marine bird and mammal multi-species nearshore surveys along the coastlines of Katmai National Park and Preserve (KATM), Kenai Fjords National Park (KEFJ), and in Kachemak Bay (KBAY) in support of long-term monitoring programs in these regions of southwest Alaska. Occasional disturbance of Steller sea lions and harbor seals may occur during surveys. Steller sea lion and harbor seal habitat coincides with surveyed nearshore transects. Please see NPS's application for established transect locations for KATM and KEFJ and proposed transect locations for KBAY. NPS expects that the disturbance will be limited to Level B harassment and will not result in serious injury or death. SWAN also seeks to foster further collaborations with NOAA and share monitoring data in the future.

    Dates and Duration Glacier Bay

    The specified activity would be valid during the five-year period of validity for these proposed regulations (March 1, 2019 through February 29, 2024). Ground and vessel surveys for nesting gulls will be conducted from May through September on bird nesting islands in GLBA NP (see Figure 1 of LOA Application) and other suspected gull colonies. There will be 1-3 ground visits and 1-2 vessel surveys at each site for a maximum of five visits per site. Duration of surveys will be 30 minutes to two hours each.

    Maintenance of the Lone Island weather station may begin March 1, 2019. To avoid the gull-nesting period, all maintenance and emergency repair-related site visits to this location are planned to occur between March and April during the first year, and October to April in following years, but visits could occur outside of this time period if necessary with authorization from the park Superintendent to ensure protection of park resources and values. Possible unanticipated station failures requiring emergency repair will require up to eight hours. Two planned maintenance visits will require approximately two hours per visit.

    SWAN

    NPS's activities in the SWAN region would be valid during the five year period of validity for these proposed regulations (March 1, 2019 through February 29, 2024). Standardized surveys of marine birds are proposed in KATM and KEFJ between late June and early July and are generally conducted by two survey crews on independent small vessels (5-8 m length) traveling at speeds of 8-12 knots along randomly selected sections of coastline that represent independent transects. The two crews operate independently and do not survey the same transects. Winter surveys are conducted in March and consist of the same set of transects surveyed in the summer months. Only one region, either KATM or KEFJ, per winter season is surveyed. Regions surveyed in the winter are on a rotation. Similar annual surveys are proposed in KBAY, with summer surveys occurring in June or July and no winter survey proposed. The survey of each area takes 3-4 days to complete with both crews operating.

    Specified Geographical Region Glacier Bay

    The proposed study sites would occur in the vicinity of the following locations: South Marble, Boulder, Lone, and Flapjack Islands, Tlinglit Point Islet, and Geikie Rock in GLBA NP in southeast Alaska (see Figure 1 of LOA application). Each of these study sites are located on the eastern side of the park situated near Geikie Inlet and all provide harbor seal habitat throughout the year, however the highest presence of seals occurs during the breeding and molting season (May to October) (Lewis et al., 2017). On Boulder and Flapjack islands, the proposed gull monitoring study sites are located on the north side whereas harbor seal haulouts are positioned on the south (Lewis et al., 2017). Also, on Lone Island, harbor seals are sited near tidal rocks off the northeast tip of the island (ADEC, 2014), whereas on Geikie Rock they are known to be found throughout the entire site due to its small size (Lewis 2017). NPS will also conduct studies at South Marble Island and Tlingit Point Islet; however, there are no reported harbor seal haulout sites at those locations. South Marble Island is regularly occupied by hauled out Steller sea lions, but GLBA NP researchers have been able to access the island previously while maintaining 100 m minimum distance from the Steller sea lions and avoiding disturbance.

    SWAN

    The proposed surveys will occur at two national parks, KATM and KEFJ, as well as the nearby KBAY, in southwest AK. Detailed maps of the survey transects are available in the NPS's LOA application. Transects are conducted 100 or 150 m from shore and have a total width of approximately 200 to 300 m centered on the vessel.

    Detailed Description of Activities Glacier Bay's Glaucous-Winged Gull Monitoring

    Gull monitoring will be conducted using a combination of ground and vessel surveys by landing at specific access points on the islands. NPS proposes to conduct: (1) Ground-based surveys at a maximum frequency of three visits per site; and (2) vessel-based surveys at a maximum frequency of two visits per site during the period of May through September.

    Ground-based surveys for gull monitoring will involve two trained observers conducting complete nest counts of the gull colonies. The survey will encompass all portions of the gull colony accessible to humans and thus represent a census of the harvestable nests. GPS locations of nests and associated vegetation along with the number of live and predated eggs will be collected during at least one visit to obtain precise nest locations to characterize nesting habitat. On subsequent surveys, nest counts will be tallied on paper so observers can move through the colony more quickly and minimize disturbance. Ground surveys will be discontinued after the first hatched chick is detected to minimize disturbance and mortalities of gulls. During ground surveys, observers will also record other bird and marine mammal species in proximity to colonies.

    The observers would access each island using a kayak, a 32.8 to 39.4-foot (ft) (10 to 12 meter (m)) motorboat, or a 12 ft (4 m) inflatable rowing dinghy. The landing craft's transit speed would not exceed 4 knots (kn) (4.6 miles per hour (mph)). Ground surveys generally last 30 minutes (min) to two hours (hrs) each depending on the size of the island and the number of nesting gulls. During ground surveys, Level B harassment of harbor seals can occur from either acoustic disturbance from motorboat sounds or visual disturbance from the presence of observers. Past monitoring reports show that most takes (flushes or movements greater than one meter) from ground surveys occurred as vessels approached a study site to perform a survey. Takes usually occurred while the vessel was 50-100 meters from the island (NPS 2015b; NPS 2016).

    Vessel-based surveys for gull monitoring will be conducted from the deck of a motorized vessel (10 to 12 meters) and will be used to count the number of adult and fledgling gulls that are visible from the water (Zador, 2001; Arimitsu et al., 2007). Vessel surveys provide a more reliable estimate of the numbers of gulls in the colony than ground surveys because NPS can count nesting birds in areas that are inaccessible by foot and because the birds do not flush from the researchers' presence. GLBA NP would conduct these surveys by circling the islands at approximately 100 m from shore while counting the number of adult and chick gulls as well as other bird and mammal species present. Surveys can be from 30 min to two hrs in duration. During vessel surveys, Level B harassment of harbor seals can occur from either acoustic disturbance from motorboat sounds or visual disturbance from the presence of observers. Past monitoring reports show that most takes (flushes or movements greater than one meter) from vessel surveys occurred as the vessel was 100 m from the island (NPS 2015b; NPS 2016).

    Glacier Bay's Climate Monitoring (Weather Station Maintenance)

    To conduct climate monitoring and weather station maintenance activities, Lone Island will be accessed by a 10-20 m motor vessel. Materials will be carried by hand to the weather station location. Station configuration and maintenance is typical of Remote Automated Weather Stations (RAWS) operated by land management agencies for weather and climate monitoring, fire weather observation, and other uses. The weather station consists of an 8-ft monopole and associated guy lines. In addition, there is a fuel cell and sealed 12V battery housed in a watertight enclosure that provides power to the station. Standard meteorological sensors for measuring precipitation, wind, temperature, solar radiation, and snow depth are used. Data is housed in internal memory and communicated via satellite telemetry to the Wildland Fire Management Institute where it is relayed to a variety of repositories such as the Western Regional Climate Center in near real-time. It is possible that the weather station can be accessed in a fashion that will not disturb hauled out harbor seals. However NPS is requesting authorization to ensure its ability to perform yearly maintenance of the weather station.

    SWAN Marine Bird and Marine Mammal Surveys

    SWAN standardized surveys of marine birds are conducted in KATM and KEFJ between late June and early July and are generally conducted from small vessels (5-8 m length) traveling at speeds of 8-12 knots along randomly selected sections of coastline that represent independent transects. SWAN is also proposing similar surveys be implemented in KBAY in cooperation with USGS and Gulf Watch Alaska. The survey design consists of a series of transects along shorelines such that a minimum of 20 percent of an NPS park shoreline is surveyed. Transects are systematically selected beginning at a random starting point from the pool of contiguous 2.5-5 km transects that are adjacent to the mainland or islands. The transect width is 200-300 m, depending on the elevation of the observer platform, and the survey boat represents the midpoint. There are two survey teams, and each transect is surveyed by one team of three. The boat operator generally surveys the 100-150 m offshore area of the transect, while a second observer surveys the 100-150 m nearshore area. The third team member enters the observations into a laptop running software specifically designed for this type of surveying, and the third team member can assist with observations when needed. All marine birds and mammals within the 200-300 m transect swath are identified and counted. Detailed descriptions of methods and procedures can be found in the Marine Bird and Mammal Survey SOP (Bodkin 2011).

    Description of Marine Mammals in the Area of the Specified Activity

    Sections 3 and 4 of the LOA application summarize available information regarding status and trends, distribution and habitat preferences, and behavior and life history, of the potentially affected species. Additional information regarding population trends and threats may be found in NMFS's Stock Assessment Reports (SAR; https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/national/marine-mammal-protection/marine-mammal-stock-assessments) and more general information about these species (e.g., physical and behavioral descriptions) may be found on NMFS's website (https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/find-species).

    Table 1 lists all species with expected potential for occurrence within the survey areas and summarizes information related to the population or stock, including regulatory status under the MMPA and Endangered Species Act (ESA) and potential biological removal (PBR), where known. For taxonomy, we follow the Committee on Taxonomy (2017). PBR is defined by the MMPA as the maximum number of animals, not including natural mortalities, that may be removed from a marine mammal stock while allowing that stock to reach or maintain its optimum sustainable population (as described in NMFS's SARs). While no mortality is anticipated or authorized here, PBR and annual serious injury and mortality from anthropogenic sources are included here as gross indicators of the status of the species and other threats. Marine mammal abundance estimates presented in this document represent the total number of individuals that make up a given stock or the total number estimated within a particular study or survey area. NMFS's stock abundance estimates for most species represent the total estimate of individuals within the geographic area, if known, that comprises that stock. For some species, this geographic area may extend beyond U.S. waters. All managed stocks in this region are assessed in NMFS's U.S. Alaska SARs (Muto et al., 2018). All values presented in Table 1 are the most recent available at the time of publication and are available in the 2017 SARs (Muto et al., 2018).

    Table 1—Marine Mammals That Could Occur in the Project Area Common name Scientific name Stock ESA/
  • MMPA
  • status;
  • strategic
  • (Y/N) 1
  • Stock abundance
  • (CV, Nmin, most recent
  • abundance survey) 2
  • PBR Annual M/SI 3
    Order Carnivora—Superfamily Pinnipedia Family Otariidae (eared seals and sea lions): Steller sea lion Eumetopias jubatus Eastern U.S. -/-; N 41,638 (n/a, 41,638, 2015) 4 306 236 Western U.S. E/D; Y 54,267 (n/a; 54,267; 2017) 4 326 252 Family Phocidae (earless seals): Harbor seal Phoca vitulina richardii Glacier Bay/Icy Strait -/-; N 7,210 (n/a.; 5,647; 2011) 4 169 104 Cook Inlet/Shelikof Strait -/-; N 27,386 (n/a; 25,651; 2011) 4 770 234 Prince William Sound -/-; N 29,889 (n/a; 27,936; 2011) 4 838 279 1 Endangered Species Act (ESA) status: Endangered (E), Threatened (T)/MMPA status: Depleted (D). A dash (-) indicates that the species is not listed under the ESA or designated as depleted under the MMPA. Under the MMPA, a strategic stock is one for which the level of direct human-caused mortality exceeds PBR or which is determined to be declining and likely to be listed under the ESA within the foreseeable future. Any species or stock listed under the ESA is automatically designated under the MMPA as depleted and as a strategic stock. 2 NMFS marine mammal stock assessment reports online at: https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/national/marine-mammal-protection/marine-mammal-stock-assessments. CV is coefficient of variation; Nmin is the minimum estimate of stock abundance. In some cases, CV is not applicable (n/a). 3 These values, found in NMFS's SARs, represent annual levels of human-caused mortality plus serious injury from all sources combined (e.g., commercial fisheries, ship strike). Annual M/SI often cannot be determined precisely and is in some cases presented as a minimum value or range. 4 CV value not reported in SARs.

    All marine mammal species that could potentially occur in the proposed survey areas are included in Table 1. While cetaceans, including humpback, beluga, and killer whales, may be present in nearby waters, NPS's activities are expected to result in harassment only for hauled out pinnipeds. Therefore, cetaceans are not considered further in this analysis. However, NPS does propose cetacean avoidance measures as described in the “Proposed Mitigation” section below. Finally, sea otters may be found throughout the proposed project area. However, sea otters are managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and are not considered further in this document.

    Steller Sea Lions

    The Steller sea lion is the largest of the eared seals, ranging along the North Pacific Rim from northern Japan to California, with centers of abundance and distribution in the Gulf of Alaska and Aleutian Islands. Steller sea lions were listed as threatened range-wide under the ESA on November 26, 1990 (55 FR 49204). Subsequently, NMFS published a final rule designating critical habitat for the species as a 20 nautical mile buffer around all major haulouts and rookeries, as well as associated terrestrial, air and aquatic zones, and three large offshore foraging areas (58 FR 45269; August 27, 1993). In 1997, NMFS reclassified Steller sea lions as two distinct population segments (DPS), or stocks, based on genetic studies and other information (62 FR 24345; May 5, 1997). Steller sea lion populations that primarily occur west of 144° W (Cape Suckling, Alaska) comprise the western stock, while all others comprise the eastern stock; however, there is regular movement of both stocks across this boundary (Jemison et al., 2013). Upon this reclassification, the western DPS, or stock, was listed as endangered while the eastern DPS, or stock, remained as threatened (62 FR 24345; May 5, 1997) and in November 2013, the eastern DPS was delisted (78 FR 66140).

    Steller sea lions are not known to migrate, but individuals may disperse widely outside the breeding season (late May to early July). At sea, Steller sea lions are commonly found from nearshore habitats to the continental shelf and slope. The western stock breeds on rookeries in Alaska from Prince William Sound west through the Aleutian Islands. Steller sea lions use 38 rookeries and hundreds of haulouts within their range in western Alaska (Allen and Angliss 2013). The eastern stock originates from rookeries east of Cape Suckling, Alaska, and can be found between southeast Alaska and California.

    SWAN

    SWAN's activities all occur west of the 144° W line that splits the two Steller sea lion stocks, but there is some mixing across that boundary. Steller sea lions impacted by NPS' research and monitoring activities could belong to either stock, and it is not possible to determine which stock a Steller sea lion belongs to by simple observation. Both stocks of Steller sea lions are therefore considered in this analysis.

    SWAN surveys occur in areas with known Steller sea lion haulouts and there are two rookeries in KEFJ (see application). KATM and KEFJ shorelines are both within Steller sea lion critical habitat including the aquatic zone (or buffer) that extends 37 kilometers (20 nautical miles) seaward in all directions from each rookery and major haulout. Critical habitat also includes three large offshore foraging areas: The Shelikof Strait area, the Bogoslof area, and the Seguam Pass area (58 FR 45269) with only the Shelikof Strait area relevant to this action. Steller sea lions are sometimes present in KBAY, but the area is not critical habitat. Regulations prevent approach by vessel to within three nautical miles of major rookeries (50 CFR 224.103).

    Glacier Bay

    The temporal and/or spatial occurrence of Steller sea lions is such that take is not expected to occur in GLBA NP research sites and researchers would not approach Steller sea lions. Steller sea lions which occur in GLBA NP are generally found on South Marble Island (see Figure 1 in the Application). No disturbance of Steller sea lions is expected from GLBA NP activities, so their presence in the area is not discussed beyond the information provided here.

    A total of five Steller sea lions have been observed during the 2015, 2016, and 2017 GLBA NP gull survey seasons (climate monitoring did not take place during these years) (NPS 2015b; NPS 2016; NPS 2017). However, all Steller sea lions that were spotted were observed outside the study area. Steller sea lions are present in GLBA NP, but are not generally seen on the islands being researched. NPS has proposed mitigation, including staying at least 100 m away from all Steller sea lions (see Proposed Mitigation), which has been found to be sufficient to avoid take by Level B harassment due to Steller sea lions' tolerance of vessels and lack of response to humans from a distance.

    Harbor Seals

    Harbor seals are the most abundant marine mammal species found within the action area and are present year-round. Harbor seals range from Baja California north along the west coasts of Washington, Oregon, California, British Columbia, and Southeast Alaska; west through the Gulf of Alaska, Prince William Sound, and the Aleutian Islands; and north in the Bering Sea to Cape Newenham and the Pribilof Islands. The current statewide abundance estimate for Alaskan harbor seals is 205,090 (Muto et al., 2017), based on aerial survey data collected during 1998-2011. In 2010, harbor seals in Alaska were partitioned into 12 separate stocks based largely on genetic structure (Allen and Angliss, 2010). Harbor seals have declined dramatically in some parts of their range over the past few decades, while in other parts their numbers have increased or remained stable over similar time periods.

    Harbor seals haul out on rocks, reefs, beaches, and drifting glacial ice (Allen and Angliss, 2014). They are non-migratory; their local movements are associated with tides, weather, season, food availability, and reproduction, as well as sex and age class (Allen and Angliss, 2014; Boveng et al., 2012; Lowry et al., 2001; Swain et al., 1996). Pupping in Alaska generally takes place in May and June; while molting generally occurs from June to October.

    Glacier Bay Stock/Icy Strait Stock

    Harbor seals of Glacier Bay range from Cape Fairweather southeast to Column Point, extending inland to Glacier Bay, Icy Strait, and from Hanus Reef south to Tenakee Inlet (Muto et al., 2017). This is the only stock that would be impacted by research and monitoring activities in GLBA NP. The Glacier Bay/Icy Strait stock showed a negative population trend from 1992 to 2008 in June and August for glacial (−7.7 percent/year; −8.2 percent/year) and terrestrial sites (−12.4 percent/year, August only) (Womble et al., 2010 as cited in Muto et al., 2017). Trend estimates by Mathews and Pendleton (2006) were similarly negative for both glacial and terrestrial sites. Prior to 1993, seal counts were up to 1,347 in the East Arm of Glacier Bay; 2008 counts were fewer than 200 (Streveler, 1979; Molnia, 2007 as cited in Muto et al., 2017). These observed declines in harbor seals resulted in new research efforts which were initiated in 2004 and were aimed at trying to further understand the biology and ecology of seals and possible factors that may have contributed to the declines (e.g., Herreman et al. 2009, Blundell et al. 2011, Hueffer et al. 2012, Womble and Gende 2013a, Womble et al. 2014), with an emphasis on possible factors that may have contributed to the declines. The recent studies suggest that (1) harbor seals in Glacier Bay are not significantly stressed due to nutritional constraints (Blundell et al. 2011), (2) the clinical health and disease status of seals within Glacier Bay is not different than seals from stable or increasing populations (Hueffer et al. 2012), and (3) disturbance by vessels does not appear to be a primary factor driving the decline (Young 2009).

    Long-term monitoring of harbor seals on glacial ice has occurred in Glacier Bay since the 1970s (Mathews and Pendleton, 2006) and has shown this area to support one of the largest breeding aggregations in Alaska (Steveler, 1979; Calambokidis et al., 1987 as cited in Muto et al., 2015). After a large scale retreat of the Muir Glacier (more than 7 km), in the East Arm of Glacier Bay, between 1973 and 1986 and the subsequent grounding and cessation of calving in 1993, floating glacial ice was greatly reduced as a haulout substrate for harbor seals and ultimately resulted in the abandonment of upper Muir Inlet by harbor seals (Calambokidis et al., 1987; Hall et al., 1995; Mathews, 1995 as cited in Muto et al., 2017). The most recent long-term trend estimate for harbor seals at terrestrial sites in Glacier Bay for the 22-year period from 1992-2013 is −6.91 percent/year (SE = 0.40, 95% CI = −7.69, −6.13) (Womble et al. 2015). This trend is less negative than previous estimates stated in the paragraph above. In addition, from 2004-2013, there was a 10-year trend estimate of 9.64 percent increase per year (SE = 1.66, 95% CI = 6.40, 12.89) (Womble et al., 2015).

    Results from satellite telemetry studies suggest that harbor seals travel extensively beyond the boundaries of Glacier Bay during the post-breeding season (September-April); however, harbor seals demonstrated a high degree of inter-annual site fidelity (93 percent) to Glacier Bay the following breeding season (Womble and Gende 2013b). Spatial and temporal regulations, for vessels transiting in and near harbor seal breeding areas, and operating regulations, for vessels operating within those areas, are all aimed at reducing the impacts of human visitation.

    Harbor seals from the Glacier Bay/Icy Strait stock can be found hauled out at four of the gull monitoring study sites (Table 2). Seal counts from gull monitoring surveys likely represent a minimum estimate due to difficulty observing marine mammals from a vessel. Counts from gull monitoring surveys are conducted during high tide so fewer seals may be present.

    Table 2—Number of Observed Harbor Seals and Taken by Level B Harassment for the Species Under IHAs at Gull Study Sites From 2015-2017 in GLBA NP Site name Latitude
  • (dd)
  • Longitude
  • (dd)
  • 2015 Observed/
  • taken
  • 2016 Observed/
  • taken
  • 2017 Observed/
  • taken
  • Boulder 58.55535 −136.01814 13/11 21/0 4/0 Flapjack 58.58698 −135.98251 0/0 101/41 0/0 Geikie 58.69402 −136.31291 45/14 37/0 33/33 Lone 58.72102 −136.29470 98/32 58/39 49/0 Total 156/57 217/80 86/33

    As alluded to, there can be greater numbers of seals on the survey islands than what is detected by the NPS during the gull surveys. Aerial survey maximum counts show that harbor seals sometimes haul out in large numbers at all four locations (see Table 2 of the application). However, harbor seals hauled out at Flapjack Island are generally on the southern end whereas the gull colony is on the northern end. Similarly, harbor seals on Boulder Island tend to haul out on the southern end while the gull colony is located and can be accessed on the northern end without causing disturbance of harbor seals. Aerial survey counts for harbor seals are conducted during low tide while ground and vessel surveys are conducted during high tide which, along with greater visibility during aerial surveys, may also contribute to the greater numbers of seals observed during the aerial surveys because there is more land available to use as a haulout during low tide.

    Prince William Sound Stock

    The Prince William Sound stock includes harbor seals both within and adjacent to Prince William Sound proper from approximately Cape Fairweather to Elizabeth Island, including the KEFJ survey area. Within Prince William Sound proper, harbor seals declined in abundance by 63 percent between 1984 and 1997 (Frost et al. 1999). In Aialik Bay, adjacent to Prince William Sound proper, there has been a decline in pup production by 4.6 percent annually from 40 down to 32 pups born from 1994 to 2009 (Hoover-Miller et al. 2011). The current (2007-2011) estimate of the Prince William Sound population trend over a 5-year period is +26 seals per year with a probability that the stock is decreasing of 0.56. The presence of an increasing trend with a greater than .5 probability of decreasing is due to skewness impacting statistical estimates. This occurrence is discussed further in Muto et al. (2018).

    From 1992-1997, results from a satellite telemetry study showed Prince William Sound harbor seals tended to remain in or near Prince William Sound. Juvenile seals were occasionally found to range up to 300 to 500 km east and west into the Gulf of Alaska. In June and July, when SWAN region surveys would occur, harbor seals tended to have their smallest home range sizes, remaining nearer to their haulout than other times of year (Lowry et al. 2001).

    Cook Inlet/Shelikof Strait Stock

    The Cook Inlet/Shelikof Strait stock includes harbor seals from approximately Elizabeth Island to Unimak Island, as well as those within Cook Inlet. Multiple harbor seal haulouts exist in KBAY and KATM (London et al, 2015; Montgomery et al 2007). This stock of harbor seals would be found in the KATM and KBAY survey areas of SWAN's activities. A multi-year study of seasonal movements and abundance of harbor seals in Cook Inlet was conducted between 2004 and 2007. This study involved multiple aerial surveys throughout the year, and the data indicated a stable population of harbor seals during the August molting period (Boveng et al. 2011). Aerial surveys along the Alaska Peninsula present greater logistical challenges and have therefore been conducted less frequently. The current (2007-2011) estimate of the Cook Inlet/Shelikof Strait population trend is +313 seals per year, with a probability of 0.38 that the stock is decreasing (Muto et al. 2018).

    Potential Effects of the Specified Activity on Marine Mammals and Their Habitat

    This section includes a summary and discussion of the ways that components of the specified activity may impact marine mammals and their habitat. The “Estimated Take” section later in this document includes a quantitative analysis of the number of individuals that are expected to be taken by this activity. The “Negligible Impact Analysis and Determination” section considers the content of this section, the “Estimated Take” section, and the “Proposed Mitigation” section, to draw conclusions regarding the likely impacts of these activities on the reproductive success or survivorship of individuals and how those impacts on individuals are likely to impact marine mammal species or stocks.

    As previously stated, acoustic and visual stimuli generated by motorboat operations and the presence of researchers have the potential to cause Level B harassment of harbor seals hauled out on Boulder, Lone, and Flapjack Islands, and Geikie Rock within GLBA NP. These same stimuli generated by motorboat operations have the potential to cause Level B harassment of harbor seals and Steller sea lions in KATM, KEFJ, and KBAY. The following discussion provides further detail on the potential visual and acoustic disturbances harbor seals and Steller sea lions may encounter during the NPS' research and monitoring activities.

    Human and Vessel Disturbance

    Harbor seals and Steller sea lions may potentially experience behavioral disruption rising to the level of harassment from monitoring and research activities, which may include brief periods of airborne noise from research vessels and visual disturbance due to the presence and activity of the researchers both on vessels and on land during ground surveys. Disturbed pinnipeds are likely to experience any or all of these stimuli, and take may occur due to any in both isolation or combined with one another. Due to the likely constant combination of visual and acoustic stimuli resulting from the presence of vessels and researchers, we do not consider impacts from acoustic and visual stimuli separately.

    Disturbances resulting from human activity can impact short- and long-term pinniped haul out behavior (Renouf et al., 1981; Schneider and Payne, 1983; Terhune and Almon, 1983; Allen et al., 1984; Stewart, 1984; Suryan and Harvey, 1999; and Kucey and Trites, 2006). Disturbance includes a variety of effects, including subtle to conspicuous changes in behavior, movement, and displacement. Reactions to sound, if any, depend on the species, state of maturity, experience, current activity, reproductive state, time of day, and many other factors (Richardson et al., 1995; Wartzok et al., 2004; Southall et al., 2007; Weilgart, 2007). These behavioral reactions from marine mammals are often shown as: changing durations of surfacing and dives, or moving direction and/or speed; reduced/increased vocal activities; changing/cessation of certain behavioral activities (such as socializing or feeding); visible startle response or aggressive behavior; avoidance of areas; and/or flight responses (e.g., pinnipeds flushing into the water from haulouts or rookeries). If a marine mammal does react briefly to human presence by changing its behavior or moving a small distance, the impacts of the change are unlikely to be significant to the individual, let alone the stock or population. However, if visual stimuli from human presence displaces marine mammals from an important feeding or breeding area for a prolonged period, impacts on individuals and populations could be significant (e.g., Lusseau and Bejder, 2007; Weilgart, 2007).

    Visual stimuli resulting from the presence of researchers and vessels have the potential to result in take of harbor seals and Steller sea lions on the research islands and coasts where these pinnipeds haul out. The characteristics of these stimuli differ between the GLBA NP and SWAN activities. In SWAN's activities, vessels move at faster speeds (8-12 kn, vs 2-3 kn for GLBA NP) but are present for a short time period transiting through an area and at a consistent distance. Alternatively, while GLBA NP vessels are slower, they must approach islands where pinnipeds may be hauled out, and both the vessel and researchers will be present for a longer period of time. As noted, harbor seals and Steller sea lions can exhibit a behavioral response (e.g., including alert behavior, movement, vocalizing, or flushing) to visual stimuli. NMFS does not consider the lesser reactions (e.g., alert behavior such as raising a head) to constitute harassment. Table 3 displays NMFS's three-point scale that categorizes pinniped disturbance reactions by severity. Observed behavior falling within categories two and three would be considered level B harassment. GLBA NP is able to record these behaviors for all observed pinnipeds. Because of the nature of their survey, SWAN researchers will only be able to record the total number of observed pinnipeds, and those which show an easily observable level 3 response (flushing). With these numbers and previous monitoring information from GLBA NP, NPS and NMFS should be able to estimate the total number of takes by Level B harassment resulting from SWAN monitoring.

    Table 3—Three-Point Scale [Seal response to disturbance] Level Type of response Definition 1 Alert Seal head orientation or brief movement in response to disturbance, which may include turning head towards the disturbance, craning head and neck while holding the body rigid in a u-shaped position, changing from a lying to a sitting position, or brief movement of less than twice the animal's body length. Alerts would be recorded, but not counted as a `take'. 2 Movement Movements in response to the source of disturbance, ranging from short withdrawals at least twice the animal's body length to longer retreats over the beach or, if already moving, a change of direction of greater than 90 degrees. These movements would be recorded and counted as a `take'. 3 Flush All retreats (flushes) to the water. Flushing into the water would be recorded and counted as a `take'.

    Upon the occurrence of low-severity disturbance (i.e., the approach of a vessel or person as opposed to an explosion or sonic boom), pinnipeds typically exhibit a continuum of responses, beginning with alert movements (e.g., raising the head), which may then escalate to movement away from the stimulus and possible flushing into the water. Flushed pinnipeds typically re-occupy the same haulout within minutes to hours of a stimulus (Allen et al., 1984 (Johnson and Acevedo-Gutierrez, 2007). As a result, a minimal number of animals may be taken more than once during the proposed survey activities so the number of takes likely represents exposures. In the case of GLBA NP, because there will be no more than five annual visits to three gull study sites and no more than eight annual visits to one other survey site, it is expected that individual harbor seals at Boulder Island, Flapjack Island, and Geike Rock will be disturbed no more than five times per year and no more than eight times per year on Lone Island. For SWAN's activities, KATM, KEFJ, and KBAY are each visited during the summer. There is a winter survey conducted each year at either KATM or KEFJ. Therefore individual harbor seals and Stellar sea lions at these locations will be disturbed no more than two times per year.

    Numerous studies have shown that human activity can flush pinnipeds off haulout sites and beaches (Kenyon, 1972; Allen et al., 1984; Calambokidis et al., 1991; Suryan and Harvey, 1999; and Mortenson et al., 2000, Mathews, 2000). In 1997, Henry and Hammill (2001) conducted a study to measure the impacts of small boats (i.e., kayaks, canoes, motorboats and sailboats) on harbor seal haul out behavior in Métis Bay, Quebec, Canada. During that study, the authors noted that the most frequent disturbances (n=73) were caused by lower speed, lingering kayaks and canoes (33.3 percent) as opposed to motorboats (27.8 percent) conducting high speed passes. The seals flight reactions could be linked to a surprise factor by kayaks-canoes, which approach slowly, quietly and low on water making them look like predators. However, the authors note that once the animals were disturbed, there did not appear to be any significant lingering effect on the recovery of numbers to their pre-disturbance levels. In conclusion, the study showed that boat traffic at current levels has only a temporary effect on the haul out behavior of harbor seals in the Métis Bay area.

    In 2004, Johnson and Acevedo-Gutierrez (2007) evaluated the efficacy of buffer zones for watercraft around harbor seal haulout sites on Yellow Island, Washington State. The authors estimated the minimum distance between the vessels and the haulout sites; categorized the vessel types; and evaluated seal responses to the disturbances. During the course of the seven-weekend study, the authors recorded 14 human-related disturbances, which were associated with stopped powerboats and kayaks. During these events, hauled out seals became noticeably active and moved into the water. The flushing occurred when stopped kayaks and powerboats were at distances as far as 453 and 1,217 ft (138 and 371 m) respectively. The authors note that the seals were unaffected by passing powerboats, even those approaching as close as 128 ft (39 m), possibly indicating that the animals had become tolerant of the brief presence of the vessels and ignored them. The authors reported that on average, the seals quickly recovered from the disturbances and returned to the haulout site in less than or equal to 60 minutes. Seal numbers did not return to pre-disturbance levels within 180 minutes of the disturbance less than one quarter of the time observed. The study concluded that the return of seal numbers to pre-disturbance levels and the relatively regular seasonal cycle in abundance throughout the area counter the idea that disturbances from powerboats may result in site abandonment (Johnson and Acevedo-Gutierrez, 2007). Specific reactions from past NPS gull monitoring surveys are detailed in this proposed rule's Estimated Take Section.

    Vessel Strike Glacier Bay

    The probability of vessel and marine mammal interactions (i.e., motorboat strike) occurring during the proposed research activities is unlikely due to the motorboat's slow operational speed, which is typically 2 to 3 kn (2.3 to 3.4 mph) and the researchers continually scanning the water for marine mammals presence during transit to the islands. Thus, NMFS does not anticipate that strikes or collisions would result from the movement of the motorboat.

    SWAN

    SWAN's survey vessels move at higher speeds, 8 to 12 kn, than those used in the proposed GLBA NP activities, but vessel and marine mammal interactions are still unlikely because the on board researchers are constantly scanning the water for marine mammal presence. For SWAN's activities, NMFS does not anticipate any strikes or collisions between vessels and marine mammals.

    Harbor Seal Pupping Glacier Bay

    During the harbor seal breeding (May-June) and molting (August) periods, ~66 percent of seals in Glacier Bay inhabit the primary glacial ice site and ~22 percent of seals are found in and adjacent to a group of islands in the southeast portion of Glacier Bay. At the proposed GLBA NP study sites, in 2016 only one pup was observed and no pups were observed during project activities in 2017 and 2015. Pups have been observed during NPS aerial surveys during the pupping seasons (conducted during low tide), but in few numbers (see Table 4). NMFS does not anticipate that the proposed activities would result in separation of mothers and pups as pups are rarely seen at the study sites.

    Table 4—Average and Maximum Counts of Hauled Out Harbor Seal Pups at Glaucous-Winged Gull Study Sites During Harbor Seal Monitoring Aerial Surveys From 2007-2016 [Womble unpublished data] Site Average of
  • pup count
  • Std. dev. of
  • pup count 1
  • Max. of pup
  • count
  • Boulder Island 0.8 1.3 5 Flapjack Island 14.9 11.5 43 Geikie Rock 0.1 0.4 2 Lone Island 0.8 0.9 4 Total 4.74 9 43 1 A quantity calculated to indicate the extent of deviation for a group of pups as a whole.
    SWAN

    Based on aerial surveys between 2003 and 2005, the upper portions of KBAY had high harbor seal pup abundance during the peak pupping season (June) (Boveng at al, 2011). Proposed KBAY survey transects occur in this area of high abundance (See Figure 5 in LOA application). Boveng et al (2011) found that within Cook Inlet, June harbor seal pup abundance in an individual survey unit correlated positively with June adult abundance in that unit. Therefore, based on the anticipated presence of adult harbor seals, there are also likely pups present at sites in KATM and KEFJ during the pupping season (June). Despite the presence of pups, SWAN's research and monitoring activities are expected to result in minimal disturbance to the hauled out harbor seals of all life stages due to the distance and duration of the vessel's presence (see Proposed Mitigation), and NMFS does not anticipate that the proposed activities would result in separation of mothers and pups.

    Steller Sea Lion Pupping SWAN

    During the Steller sea lion pupping season (May-July), mothers spend time both on land with their pups and at sea foraging. Because SWAN's proposed surveys avoid transects that pass Steller sea lion rookeries, NMFS does not anticipate any impacts on hauled out Steller sea lion mothers and their pups.

    Summary

    Based on studies described here and previous monitoring reports from GLBA NP (Discussed further in the Estimated Take Section), we anticipate that any pinnipeds found in the vicinity of the proposed projects in both GLBA NP and the SWAN region could have short-term behavioral reactions (i.e., may result in marine mammals avoiding certain areas) due to noise and visual disturbance generated by: (1) Motorboat approaches and departures and (2) human presence during research and monitoring activities. We would expect the pinnipeds to return to a haulout site within minutes to hours of the stimulus based on previous research (Allen et al., 1984). Pinnipeds may be temporarily displaced from their haulout sites, but we do not expect that the pinnipeds would permanently abandon a haulout site during the conduct of the proposed research as activities are short in duration (brief transit through an area to up to two hours), and previous surveys have demonstrated that pinnipeds have returned to their haulout sites and have not permanently abandoned the sites.

    NMFS does not anticipate that the proposed activities would result in the injury, serious injury, or mortality of pinnipeds. NMFS does not anticipate that vessel strikes would result from the movement of the motorboat. The proposed activities will not result in any permanent impact on habitats used by marine mammals, including prey species and foraging habitat.

    Marine Mammal Habitat

    NMFS does not anticipate that the proposed operations in GLBA NP or the SWAN region would result in any effects on the habitats used by the marine mammals in the proposed area, including the food sources they use (i.e., fish and invertebrates). The main impact associated with the proposed activity will be temporarily elevated noise levels from motorboats and human disturbance on marine mammals potentially leading to temporary displacement from a site, previously discussed in this proposed rule. NPS' LEIS for gull monitoring surveys in GLBA NP concluded that the activities do not result in the loss or modification to marine mammal habitat (NPS 2010). Additionally, any minor habitat alterations stemming from the maintenance of NPS' weather station will be located in an area that will not impact marine mammals. SWAN's activities in KATM and KEFJ do occur in Steller sea lion critical habitat, but will have minimal impact due to the nature of the disturbance and explicit avoidance of the most sensitive areas (rookeries). In all, the proposed activities in both GLBA NP and the SWAN region will not result in any permanent impact on habitats used by marine mammals, including prey species and foraging habitat.

    Estimated Take

    This section provides an estimate of the number of incidental takes proposed for authorization through this IHA, which will inform both NMFS's consideration of whether the number of takes is “small” and the negligible impact determination.

    Harassment is the only type of take expected to result from these activities. Except with respect to certain activities not pertinent here, section 3(18) of the MMPA defines “harassment” as any act of pursuit, torment, or annoyance which (i) has the potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild (Level A harassment); or (ii) has the potential to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering (Level B harassment).

    Authorized takes would be by Level B harassment only, in the form of disruption of behavioral patterns for individual marine mammals resulting from exposure to motorboats and the presence of NPS personnel. Based on the nature of the activity and proposed mitigation measures, Level A harassment is neither anticipated nor proposed to be authorized. As described previously, no mortality is anticipated or proposed to be authorized for this activity. Below we describe how the take is estimated.

    Glacier Bay

    In GLBA NP, harbor seals may be disturbed when vessels approach or researchers go ashore for the purpose of monitoring gull colonies and for the maintenance of the Lone Island weather tower. Harbor seals tend to haul out in small numbers at study sites. Using monitoring report data from 2015 to 2017 (see raw data from Tables 1 of the 2017, 2016 and 2015 Monitoring Reports, which are available online at: https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/national/marine-mammal-protection/incidental-take-authorizations-research-and-other-activities), the average number of harbor seals per survey visit was calculated to estimate the approximate number of seals observers would find on any given survey day. As a result, the following averages were determined for each island: Boulder Island—average 3.45 seals, Flapjack Island—average 10.10 seals, Geikie Rock—average 9.58 seals, and Lone Island average of 18.91 seals (See Table 5). Estimated take for gull and climate monitoring was calculated by multiplying the average number of seals observed during past gull monitoring surveys (2015-2017) by the number of total site visits. This includes five annual visits to Boulder Island, Flapjack Island, and Geikie Rock and eight annual visits to Lone Island (to include three site visits for climate monitoring activities). Therefore, the total estimated annual incidents of harassment equals 267 which totals to 1,335 takes during the entire five years of the proposed activities (See Table 5).

    During climate monitoring, which is expected to take place from March to April and October to February, seal numbers are expected to dramatically decline within the action area. Although harbor seal survey data within GLBA NP is lacking for the months of October through February, results from satellite telemetry studies suggest that harbor seals travel extensively beyond the boundaries of GLBA NP during the post-breeding season (September-April) (Womble and Gende, 2013b). Therefore, using the latest observation data from past gull monitoring activities (that occurred from May to September) is applicable when estimating take for climate monitoring activities, as it will provide the most conservative estimates.

    Table 5—Proposed Takes by Level B Harassment During NPS Gull and Climate Monitoring Surveys Site proposed
  • for survey
  • Average
  • number of seals
  • observed per visit 1
  • Number of
  • proposed site
  • visits
  • Proposed
  • Level B
  • harassment 1
  • Percentage of
  • population 3
  • Boulder Island 3.45 seals 5 17.27 0.24 Flapjack Island 10.10 seals 5 50.50 0.70 Geikie Rock 9.58 seals 5 47.92 0.66 Lone Island 18.91 seals 2 8 151.27 2.10 Annual Total 267 3.70 1 Data from 2015-2017 NPS gull surveys (NPS 2015b; NPS 2016; NPS 2017). 2 Number includes three additional days for climate monitoring activities. 3 Based on the percentage of the Glacier Bay/Icy Strait stock of harbor seals that are proposed to be taken by Level B harassment during the NPS's proposed gull and climate monitoring activities.
    SWAN

    Harbor seals and Steller sea lions may be disturbed by vessel presence, movement, or noise during the execution of SWAN's survey transects. The estimated number of takes by Level B harassment included in Table 6 are based on numbers of pinnipeds observed from a similar survey of KATM and KEFJ in 2013. In this survey, researchers observed an estimated 100 harbor seals and 100 Steller sea lions during each of the KATM and KEFJ surveys. Data from 2013 surveys were used to estimate take because in 2013, most of the transects were able to be completed. Thus, 2013 data offers the most conservative count-based estimate. Based on pinnipeds observed in 2013, NPS estimates that each year, across the three survey sites, SWAN's activities will result in take by Level B harassment of 300 harbor seals and 200 Steller sea lions. The observed number of harbor seals has been increased by 100 to account for the previously not surveyed KBAY, resulting in an estimated 1500 harbor seal and 1000 Steller sea lion takes by Level B harassment across the five years. For harbor seals, NPS estimates that 100 individuals will experience take by Level B harassment in each survey area each year. Annually, that would mean 200 harbor seal takes by Level B harassment in the Cook Inlet/Shelikof Strait stock (1000 over 5 years), and 100 harbor seal takes by Level B harassment from the Prince William Sound stock (500 over 5 years). For Steller sea lion takes by Level B harassment, NPS estimates that 100 individuals will experience take by Level B harassment each year in KATM and KEFJ. However, no takes by Level B harassment will occur in KBAY because Steller sea lions are not common in KBAY. For simplicity, NMFS assumes and analyzes the impacts of the full Steller sea lion take on both the eastern and western stocks. Because these estimates are based on observations of pinnipeds and not harassments, NMFS considers the estimated numbers of take by Level B harassment presented in Table 6 conservative.

    1 See Table 3 for NMFS' three-point scale that categorizes pinniped disturbance reactions by severity. NMFS only considers responses falling into Levels 2 and 3 as harassment (Level B Take) under the MMPA.

    Table 6—Proposed Takes by Level B Harassment Due to SWAN's Research and Monitoring Activities Species Stock Proposed
  • Level B take
  • (annual)
  • Total
  • Level B takes
  • in 5 years
  • Percentage of
  • population
  • over 1 year 1
  • (%)
  • Harbor seal Cook Inlet/Shelikof Strait 200 1,000 0.7 Prince William Sound 100 500 0.3 Steller sea lion Western 2 200 2 1,000 2 0.4 Eastern 2 200 2 1,000 2 0.5 1 Based on the population size of each relevant stock as presented in Table 1. 2 NMFS is only proposing to authorize 200 annual (1000 over 5 years) takes by Level B harassment for Steller sea lions, but is analyzing this take as fully coming from each of the U.S. Steller sea lion stocks.
    Effects of Specified Activities on Subsistence Uses of Marine Mammals

    The availability of the affected marine mammal stocks or species for subsistence uses may be impacted by this activity, though this is not an anticipated outcome. The subsistence uses that may be affected and the potential impacts of the activity on those uses are described below. Measures included in these proposed regulations to reduce the impacts of the activity on subsistence uses are identical to those which minimize disturbance of pinnipeds as described in the Proposed Mitigation section. Last, the information from this section and the Proposed Mitigation section is analyzed to determine whether the necessary findings may be made in the Unmitigable Adverse Impact Analysis and Determination section.

    Subsistence harvest of pinnipeds is prohibited in GLBA NP, KATM, and KEFJ but it does occur in nearby areas outside park boundaries. Native communities near KBAY, including Homer, Seldovia, Nanwalek, and Port Graham harvested an estimated 32 harbor seals and 3 Steller sea lions in 2007 (Wolfe et al. 2009). It is not known exactly where these pinnipeds were harvested but some of them could potentially have been harvested in KBAY. 2007 harvest of both Steller sea lions and harbor seals was at a low point in June and July when SWAN's surveys would occur in KBAY. Additionally, the disturbance to pinnipeds caused by NPS's activities is limited to non-lethal take by Level B harassment and is temporary and short in duration. Because the subsistence harvest is separated in time and space from NPS's proposed activities, and the disturbance should not result in anything other than short term (minutes to hours) avoidance of haulouts, there should be no impacts on subsistence harvest.

    Proposed Mitigation

    In order to issue an incidental take authorization (ITA) under section 101(a)(5)(A) of the MMPA, NMFS must set forth the permissible methods of taking pursuant to such activity, “and other means of effecting the least practicable impact on such species or stock and its habitat, paying particular attention to rookeries, mating grounds, and areas of similar significance, and on the availability of such species or stock for taking” for certain subsistence uses. NMFS regulations require applicants for ITAs to include information about the availability and feasibility (economic and technological) of equipment, methods, and manner of conducting such activity or other means of effecting the least practicable adverse impact upon the affected species or stocks and their habitat (50 CFR 216.104(a)(11)).

    In evaluating how mitigation may or may not be appropriate to ensure the least practicable adverse impact on species or stocks and their habitat, as well as on subsistence uses where applicable, we carefully consider two primary factors:

    (1) The manner in which, and the degree to which, the successful implementation of the measure(s) is expected to reduce impacts to marine mammals, marine mammal species or stocks, and their habitat. This considers the nature of the potential adverse impact being mitigated (likelihood, scope, range). It further considers the likelihood that the measure will be effective if implemented (probability of accomplishing the mitigating result if implemented as planned) the likelihood of effective implementation (probability of implementing as planned); and

    (2) The practicability of the measures for applicant implementation, which may consider such things as cost, impact on operations, and, in the case of a military readiness activity, personnel safety, practicality of implementation, and impact on the effectiveness of the military readiness activity.

    Glacier Bay

    NPS has based the mitigation measures which they propose to implement during the proposed research, on the following: (1) Protocols used during previous gull research activities as required by our previous authorizations for these activities; and (2) recommended best practices in Womble et al. (2013a); Richardson et al. (1995); and Weir and Dolman (2007).

    To reduce the potential for disturbance from acoustic and visual stimuli associated with gull and climate monitoring activities within GBLA NP, NPS has proposed to implement the following mitigation measures for marine mammals:

    Pre-Survey Monitoring

    Before all surveys, the lead NPS biologist will instruct additional survey crew on appropriate conduct when in the vicinity of hauled-out marine mammals. This training shall brief survey personnel on marine mammals (inclusive of identification as needed, e.g., neonates). Prior to deciding to land onshore to conduct gull and climate monitoring, the researchers would use high-powered image stabilizing binoculars from the watercraft to document the number, species, and location of hauled-out marine mammals at each island. The vessels would maintain a distance of 328 to 1,640 ft (100 to 500 m) from the shoreline to allow the researchers to conduct pre-survey monitoring. If offshore predators, harbor seal pups of less than one week of age (i.e., neonates), or Steller sea lions are observed, researchers will follow the protocols for site avoidance discussed below. If neither of these instances occur, researchers will then perform a controlled landing on the survey site.

    Site Avoidance

    If a harbor seal pup less than one week old (i.e,. neonates) or a harbor seal predator (i.e., killer whale) is observed near or within the action area, researchers will not go ashore to conduct gull or climate monitoring activities. Also, if Steller sea lions are observed within or near the study site, researchers will maintain a distance of at least 100 m from the animals at all times.

    Controlled Landings

    The researchers would determine whether to approach an island study site based on type of animals present. Researchers would approach the island by motorboat at a speed of approximately 2 to 3 kn (2.3 to 3.4 mph). This would provide enough time for any marine mammals present to slowly enter the water without panic (flushing). The researchers would also select a pathway of approach farthest from the hauled-out harbor seals to minimize disturbance.

    Minimize Predator Interactions

    During pre-survey monitoring on approach to a site, NPS will observe the surrounding area for predators. If the researchers visually observe marine predators (i.e., killer whales) present within a one mile radius of hauled-out marine mammals, the researchers would not approach the study site.

    Disturbance Reduction Protocols

    While onshore at study sites, the researchers would remain vigilant for hauled-out marine mammals. If marine mammals are present, the researchers would move slowly and use quiet voices to minimize disturbance to the animals present.

    Whale Avoidance

    Although humpback whales and killer whales are not expected to be impacted by the proposed activities at GLBA NP, avoidance measures will be taken if humpback whales or killer whales are observed. Based on regulations (81 FR 62018; September 8, 2016), NPS will avoid operation of a motor vessel within 1/4 nautical mile of a whale. If accidentally positioned within 1/4 nautical mile of a whale, researchers will slow the vessel speed to 10 knots or less and maintain course away from the whale until at least 1/4 nautical mile of separation exists.

    SWAN

    NPS has based the mitigation measures which they propose to implement at SWAN on the following: (1) Protocols used during previous authorizations for similar GLBA NP research; (2) recommended best practices in Womble et al. (2013a); Richardson et al. (1995); and Weir and Dolman (2007); and (3) experience of SWAN researchers in previous surveys.

    To reduce the potential for disturbance from acoustic and visual stimuli associated with SWAN's surveys, NPS has proposed to implement the following mitigation measures for marine mammals:

    Disturbance Reduction Protocols

    While surveying study sites, the researchers will maintain a vessel distance of 100 to 150 m from shorelines at all times. If hauled out Steller sea lions and harbor seals are observed, the survey would maintain speed and minimum distance from the haulout to avoid startling. Additionally the survey will be attempted from a distance greater than 150 m, if conditions allow proper execution of the survey at that distance.

    Rookery Avoidance

    SWAN will avoid transects that pass known Steller sea lion rookery beaches in order to minimize disturbance of these rookeries and the surrounding critical habitat.

    Whale Avoidance

    Although humpback and beluga whales are not expected to be impacted by SWAN's proposed work, avoidance measures will be taken if these species are observed. Based on regulations (81 FR 62018; September 8, 2016), SWAN will avoid operation of a motor vessel within 1/4 mile of a whale. If accidentally positioned within 1/4 nautical mile of a whale, researchers will slow the vessel speed to 10 knots or less and maintain course away from the whale until at least 1/4 nautical mile of separation exists.

    Mitigation Conclusions

    Based on our evaluation of the applicant's proposed measures, as well as other measures considered by NMFS, NMFS has preliminarily determined that the proposed mitigation measures provide the means of effecting the least practicable impact on marine mammal species or stocks and their habitat, paying particular attention to rookeries, mating grounds, areas of similar significance, and on the availability of such species or stock for subsistence uses.

    Proposed Monitoring and Reporting

    In order to issue an ITA for an activity, section 101(a)(5)(A) of the MMPA states that NMFS must set forth “requirements pertaining to the monitoring and reporting of such taking.” The MMPA implementing regulations at 50 CFR 216.104 (a)(13) indicate that requests for authorizations must include the suggested means of accomplishing the necessary monitoring and reporting that will result in increased knowledge of the species and of the level of taking or impacts on populations of marine mammals that are expected to be present in the proposed action area. Effective reporting is critical both to compliance as well as ensuring that the most value is obtained from the required monitoring.

    Monitoring and reporting requirements prescribed by NMFS should contribute to improved understanding of one or more of the following:

    • Occurrence of marine mammal species or stocks in the area in which take is anticipated (e.g., presence, abundance, distribution, density);

    • Nature, scope, or context of likely marine mammal exposure to potential stressors/impacts (individual or cumulative, acute or chronic), through better understanding of: (1) Action or environment (e.g., source characterization, propagation, ambient noise); (2) affected species (e.g., life history, dive patterns); (3) co-occurrence of marine mammal species with the action; or (4) biological or behavioral context of exposure (e.g., age, calving or feeding areas);

    • Individual marine mammal responses (behavioral or physiological) to acoustic stressors (acute, chronic, or cumulative), other stressors, or cumulative impacts from multiple stressors;

    • How anticipated responses to stressors impact either: (1) Long-term fitness and survival of individual marine mammals; or (2) populations, species, or stocks;

    • Effects on marine mammal habitat (e.g., marine mammal prey species, acoustic habitat, or other important physical components of marine mammal habitat); and

    • Mitigation and monitoring effectiveness.

    SWAN

    NPS proposes to conduct marine mammal monitoring during the SWAN activities, in order to implement the mitigation measures that require real-time monitoring and to gain a better understanding of marine mammals and their impacts to the project's activities. Because the activity is a survey of marine birds and mammals in the area, researchers will naturally be monitoring the area for pinnipeds or other marine mammals during all activities. Monitoring activities will consist of conducting and recording observations of pinnipeds within the vicinity of the proposed research areas. The monitoring notes would provide dates, transect location, species, numbers of animals present within the transect, and numbers of pinnipeds that flushed into the water.

    The method for recording disturbances follows those in Mortenson (1996). For NPS' activities in the SWAN region, pinniped disturbances would be based on a three-point scale that represents an increasing response to the disturbance (Table 3). Because SWAN surveys are conducted at speed, researchers will be able to record the total number of each pinniped species observed and the number of Level 3 (Flushing) responses that occur, but not other, less noticeable disturbance responses.

    SWAN does not have previous monitoring aimed specifically at recording and quantifying marine mammal disturbance. Similarity between the GLBA NP and SWAN proposed activities for this proposed rule suggest mitigation measures based on relevant portions of previous GLBA NP authorizations will provide the means of effecting the least practicable impact on the species or stock in the SWAN activity.

    GLBA NP

    NPS proposes to conduct marine mammal monitoring during the present GLBA NP project, in order to implement the mitigation measures that require real-time monitoring and to gain a better understanding of marine mammals and their impacts to the project's activities. In addition, NPS's monitoring plan is guiding additional monitoring effort designed to answer questions of interest regarding pinniped usage of GLBA NP haulouts and the effects of NPS's activity on these local populations. The researchers will monitor the area for pinnipeds during all research activities. Monitoring activities will consist of conducting and recording observations of pinnipeds within the vicinity of the proposed research areas. The monitoring notes would provide dates, location, species, the researcher's activity, behavioral state, numbers of animals that were alert or moved greater than one meter, and numbers of pinnipeds that flushed into the water.

    The method for recording disturbances follows those in Mortenson (1996). NPS activities in GLBA NP would record pinniped disturbances on a three-point scale that represents an increasing response to the disturbance (Table 3). Both a level 2 and level 3 response would be recorded as a take by Level B harassment. NPS will record the time, source, and duration of the disturbance, as well as an estimated distance between the source and haulout.

    Previous Monitoring Results

    NPS has complied with the monitoring requirements under the previous GLBA NP authorizations. NMFS posted the 2017 report on our website at https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/national/marine-mammal-protection/incidental-take-authorizations-research-and-other-activities and the results from the previous NPS monitoring reports support our findings that the mitigation measures required under the 2014—2017 Authorizations provide the means of effecting the least practicable impact on the species or stock in the GLBA NP activity. During the last 3 years of GLBA NP activity, approximately a third of all observed harbor seals have flushed in response to these activities (37 percent in 2015, 37 percent in 2016, and 38 percent in 2017). The following narratives provide a detailed account of each of the past 3 years of monitoring for the GLBA NP activity (Summarized in Table 7):

    In 2017, of the 86 harbor seals that were observed: 33 flushed in to the water, 0 became alert but did not move >1 m, and 0 moved >1 m but did not flush into the water. In all, no harbor seal pups were observed. On two occasions, harbor seals were flushed into the water when islands were accessed for gull surveys. In these instances, the vessel approached the island at a very slow speed and most of the harbor seals flushed into the water at approximately 150—185 m. On two events, harbor seals were observed hauled out on Boulder Island and not disturbed due to their distance from the survey area. In addition, during two pre-monitoring surveys conducted for Lone Island, harbor seals were observed hauled out and the survey was not conducted to prevent disturbance of harbor seals.

    In 2016, of the 216 harbor seals that were observed: 77 Flushed in to the water; 3 became alert but did not move >1 m, and 17 moved >1 m but did not flush into the water. On five occasions, harbor seals were flushed into the water when islands were accessed for gull surveys. In these instances, the vessel approached the island at a very slow speed and most of the harbor seals flushed into the water at approximately 50-100 m. In four instances, fewer than 25 harbor seals were present, but in one instance, 41 harbor seals were observed flushing into the water when NPS first saw them as they rounded a point of land in kayaks accessing Flapjack Island. In five instances, harbor seals were observed hauled out and not disturbed due to their distance from the survey areas.

    In 2015, of the 156 harbor seals that were observed: 57 Flushed in to the water; 25 became alert but did not move >1 m, and 0 moved >1 m but did not flush into the water. No pups were observed. On 2 occasions, harbor seals were observed at the study sites in numbers <25 and the islands were accessed for gull surveys. In these instances, the vessel approached the island at very slow speed and most of the harbor seals flushed into water at approximately 200 m (Geikie 8/5/15) and 280 m (Lone, 8/5/15). In one instance, (Lone, 6/11/15) NPS counted 20 harbor seals hauled out during the initial vessel-based monitoring, but once on the island, NPS observed 33 hauled out seals. When NPS realized the number of seals present, they ceased the survey and left the area, flushing 13 seals into the water.

    Table 7—Summary Table of 2015-2017 Monitoring Reports for NPS Gull Studies Monitoring year Number of
  • adults
  • observed
  • Number of
  • pups observed
  • Flushed
  • into water
  • Moved >1 m
  • but did not
  • flush
  • Alert but
  • did not
  • move >1 m
  • Level B take
  • authorized for
  • activity
  • Level B take
  • recorded during
  • activities
  • 2017 86 0 33 0 0 218 33 2016 216 1 77 3 17 500 80 2015 156 0 57 0 25 500 57
    Coordination

    NPS can add to the knowledge of pinnipeds in the proposed action area by noting observations of: (1) Unusual behaviors, numbers, or distributions of pinnipeds, such that any potential follow-up research can be conducted by the appropriate personnel; (2) tag-bearing carcasses of pinnipeds, allowing transmittal of the information to appropriate agencies and personnel; and (3) rare or unusual species of marine mammals for agency follow-up.

    Glacier Bay

    NPS actively monitors harbor seals at breeding and molting haulout locations to assess trends over time (e.g., Mathews & Pendleton, 2006; Womble et al. 2010, Womble and Gende, 2013b). NPS's monitoring plan is guiding additional monitoring effort designed to answer questions of interest regarding pinniped usage of GLBA NP haulouts and the effects of NPS's activity on these local populations. This monitoring program involves collaborations with biologists from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and the NMFS Alaska Fisheries Science Center. NPS will continue these collaborations and encourage continued or renewed monitoring of marine mammal species. NPS will coordinate with state and Federal marine mammal biologists to determine what additional data or observations may be useful for monitoring marine mammals and haulouts in GLBA NP. Additionally, NPS would report vessel-based counts of marine mammals, branded, or injured animals, and all observed disturbances to the appropriate state and Federal agencies.

    SWAN

    NPS is establishing a monitoring program for pinnipeds in the SWAN region through its marine bird and marine mammal surveys. NPS will also coordinate with state and Federal marine mammal biologists to determine what additional data or observations may be useful for monitoring marine mammals and haul outs in the SWAN survey areas.

    SWAN has been conducting nearshore coastal surveys along the KATM and KEFJ since 2006 and 2007, respectively (Coletti et al., 2018). SWAN collaborates closely with U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the University of Alaska Fairbanks and others under the Gulf Watch Alaska (https://www.gulfwatchalaska.org/) program, primarily funded by the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council. SWAN will continue these collaborations and encourage continued or renewed monitoring of marine mammal species. Additionally, NPS will report vessel-based counts of marine mammals, branded or injured animals, and all observed disturbances to state and Federal agencies.

    Reporting

    SWAN and GLBA NP are each required to submit separate draft annual reports on all activities and marine mammal monitoring results to NMFS within ninety days following the end of its monitoring period. These reports will include a summary of the information gathered pursuant to the monitoring requirements set forth in the Authorization. SWAN and GLBA NP will submit final reports to NMFS within 30 days after receiving comments on the draft report. If SWAN or GLBA NP receive no comments from NMFS on the report, NMFS will consider the draft report to be the final report. NPS will also submit a comprehensive 5-year report covering all activities conducted under the incidental take regulations 90 days following expiration of these regulations or, if new regulations are sought, no later than 90 days prior to expiration of the regulations.

    Each report will describe the operations conducted and sightings of marine mammals near the proposed project. The report will provide full documentation of methods, results, and interpretation pertaining to all monitoring. The report will provide:

    1. A summary and table of the dates, times, and weather during all research activities;

    2. Species, number, location, and behavior of any marine mammals observed throughout all monitoring activities;

    3. An estimate of the number (by species) of marine mammals exposed to acoustic or visual stimuli associated with the research activities; and

    4. A description of the implementation and effectiveness of the monitoring and mitigation measures of the Authorization and full documentation of methods, results, and interpretation pertaining to all monitoring.

    In the unanticipated event that the specified activity clearly causes the take of a marine mammal in a manner prohibited by the authorization, such as an injury (Level A harassment), serious injury, or mortality (e.g., vessel-strike, stampede, etc.), NPS shall immediately cease the specified activities and immediately report the incident to the Office of Protected Resources, NMFS and the Alaska Regional Stranding Coordinator. The report must include the following information:

    • Time, date, and location (latitude/longitude) of the incident;

    • Description and location of the incident (including tide level if applicable);

    • Environmental conditions (e.g., wind speed and direction, Beaufort sea state, cloud cover, and visibility);

    • Description of all marine mammal observations in the 24 hours preceding the incident;

    • Species identification or description of the animal(s) involved;

    • Fate of the animal(s); and

    • Photographs or video footage of the animal(s) (if equipment is available).

    NPS shall not resume its activities until NMFS is able to review the circumstances of the prohibited take. NMFS will work with NPS to determine what is necessary to minimize the likelihood of further prohibited take and ensure MMPA compliance. NPS may not resume their activities until notified by us via letter, email, or telephone.

    In the event that NPS discovers an injured or dead marine mammal, and the lead researcher determines that the cause of the injury or death is unknown and the death is relatively recent (i.e., in less than a moderate state of decomposition as we describe in the next paragraph), NPS will immediately report the incident to the Office of Protected Resources, NMFS and the Alaska Regional Stranding Coordinator. The report must include the same information identified in the paragraph above. Activities may continue while we review the circumstances of the incident. We will work with NPS to determine whether modifications in the activities are appropriate.

    In the event that NPS discovers an injured or dead marine mammal, and the lead visual observer determines that the injury or death is not associated with or related to the authorized activities (e.g., previously wounded animal, carcass with moderate to advanced decomposition, or scavenger damage), NPS will report the incident to the incident to the Office of Protected Resources, NMFS and the Alaska Regional Stranding Coordinator within 24 hours of the discovery. NPS researchers will provide photographs or video footage (if available) or other documentation of the stranded animal sighting to us. NPS can continue their research activities.

    Negligible Impact Analysis and Determination

    NMFS has defined negligible impact as an impact resulting from the specified activity that cannot be reasonably expected to, and is not reasonably likely to, adversely affect the species or stock through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival (50 CFR 216.103). A negligible impact finding is based on the lack of likely adverse effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival (i.e., population-level effects). An estimate of the number of takes alone is not enough information on which to base an impact determination. In addition to considering estimates of the number of marine mammals that might be “taken” through harassment, NMFS considers other factors, such as the likely nature of any responses (e.g., intensity, duration), the context of any responses (e.g., critical reproductive time or location, migration), as well as effects on habitat, and the likely effectiveness of the mitigation. We also assess the number, intensity, and context of estimated takes by evaluating this information relative to population status. Consistent with the 1989 preamble for NMFS's implementing regulations (54 FR 40338; September 29, 1989), the impacts from other past and ongoing anthropogenic activities are incorporated into this analysis via their impacts on the environmental baseline (e.g., as reflected in the regulatory status of the species, population size and growth rate where known, ongoing sources of human-caused mortality, or ambient noise levels).

    During these activities, harbor seals and Steller sea lions may exhibit behavioral modifications, including temporarily vacating the area during the proposed research and monitoring activities to avoid human and vessel disturbance. However, due to the project's minimal levels of visual and acoustic disturbance (Level B harassment only), NMFS does not expect NPS's specified activities to cause long-term behavioral disturbance, abandonment of the haulout area, injury, serious injury, or mortality. In addition, while a portion of these proposed activities would take place in areas of significance for marine mammal feeding, resting, breeding, or pupping, there would be no adverse impacts on marine mammal habitat as discussed above. Due to the nature, degree, and context of the behavioral harassment anticipated, we do not expect the activities to impact annual rates of recruitment or survival.

    NMFS does not expect pinnipeds to permanently abandon any area surveyed by NPS researchers, as is evidenced by continued presence of pinnipeds at the GLBA NP sites during annual gull and climate monitoring. NMFS anticipates that impacts to hauled-out harbor seals and Steller sea lions during NPS' research and monitoring activities would be behavioral harassment of limited duration (i.e., up to two hours per site visit) and limited intensity (i.e., temporary flushing at most).

    In summary and as described above, the following factors primarily support our preliminary determination that the impacts resulting from this activity are not expected to adversely affect the species or stock through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival:

    • No mortality is anticipated or authorized;

    • The takes from Level B harassment would be due to potential behavioral disturbance;

    • The effects of the research activities would be limited to short-term startle responses and localized behavioral changes due to the short and sporadic duration of the research activities;

    • The proposed activities would partially take place in areas of significance for marine mammal feeding, resting, breeding, or pupping but due to their nature and duration would not adversely impact marine mammal habitat or deny pinnipeds access to this habitat because of the large availability of alternate haulouts and short-duration of disturbance;

    • Anecdotal observations and results from previous monitoring reports show that the pinnipeds returned to the various sites and did not permanently abandon haulout sites after NPS conducted their research activities; and

    • Harbor seals and Steller sea lions may flush into the water despite researchers best efforts to keep calm and quiet around these pinnipeds; however, injury or mortality has never been documented and is not anticipated from flushing events. GLBA NP researchers would approach study sites slowly to provide enough time for any marine mammals present to slowly enter the water without panic. SWAN researchers would attempt to conduct their surveys at a distance which would not result in pinniped disturbance.

    Based on the analysis contained herein of the likely effects of the specified activity on marine mammals and their habitat, and taking into consideration the implementation of the proposed monitoring and mitigation measures, NMFS preliminarily finds that the total marine mammal take from the proposed activity will have a negligible impact on all affected marine mammal species or stocks.

    Small Numbers Analysis

    As noted above, only small numbers of incidental take may be authorized under Section 101(a)(5)(D) of the MMPA for specified activities other than military readiness activities. The MMPA does not define small numbers and so, in practice, where estimated numbers are available, NMFS compares the number of individuals proposed to be taken to the most appropriate estimation of abundance of the relevant species or stock in our determination of whether an authorization is limited to small numbers of marine mammals. Additionally, other qualitative factors may be considered in the analysis, such as the temporal or spatial scale of the activities.

    As mentioned previously, NMFS estimates that NPS' research activities, including gull monitoring, climate monitoring, and marine animal surveys, could potentially affect, by Level B harassment only, two species of marine mammal under our jurisdiction. For harbor seals, this annual take estimate is small relative to the three impacted stocks, ranging from 0.3 to 3.7 percent (See Table 1, Table 5, and Table 6). For Steller sea lions, this annual take estimate is small (200 sea lions) relative to the western stock (0.4 percent) or eastern stock (0.5 percent). In addition to this, there is a high probability in the GLBA NP activities that repetitive takes of the same animal may occur which reduces the percentage of population impacted even further.

    Based on the analysis contained herein of the proposed activity (including the proposed mitigation and monitoring measures) and the anticipated take of marine mammals, NMFS preliminarily finds that small numbers of marine mammals will be taken relative to the population size of the affected species or stocks.

    Impact on Availability of Affected Species for Taking for Subsistence Uses

    There are no relevant subsistence uses of marine mammals implicated by the specified activities in GLBA NP, KATM, or KEFJ. Subsistence harvest is prohibited in these national parks and the nature of the activities means they should not affect any harvest occurring in nearby waters. There is possible pinniped harvest in KBAY, but the timing of the survey is removed from the peak seasons of harvest. Additionally, the disturbance to pinnipeds caused by NPS's activities is limited to non-lethal take by Level B harassment and is temporary and short in duration. Therefore, we have preliminarily determined that the total taking of affected species or stocks would not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of such species or stocks for taking for subsistence purposes.

    Endangered Species Act (ESA)

    Section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA: 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) requires that each Federal agency insure that any action it authorizes, funds, or carries out is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered or threatened species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of designated critical habitat. To ensure ESA compliance for the issuance of incidental take regulations and subsequent LOAs, NMFS consults internally, in this case with the Alaska Regional Office, whenever we propose to authorize take for endangered or threatened species.

    NMFS is proposing to authorize take of western DPS Steller sea lions, which are listed under the ESA.

    NMFS's Office of Protected Resources has requested initiation of Section 7 consultation with NMFS's Alaska Regional Office for the issuance of this LOA. NMFS will conclude the ESA consultation prior to reaching a determination regarding the proposed issuance of the authorization.

    Adaptive Management

    The regulations governing the take of marine mammals incidental to NPS research and monitoring activities in GLBA NP and SWAN region would contain an adaptive management component.

    The reporting requirements associated with this proposed rule are designed to provide NMFS with monitoring data from the previous year to allow consideration of whether any changes are appropriate. The use of adaptive management allows NMFS to consider new information from different sources to determine (with input from NPS regarding practicability) on an annual or biennial basis if mitigation or monitoring measures should be modified (including additions or deletions). Mitigation measures could be modified if new data suggests that such modifications would have a reasonable likelihood of reducing adverse effects to marine mammals and if the measures are practicable.

    NPS's monitoring program (see “Proposed Monitoring and Reporting”) would be managed adaptively. Changes to the proposed monitoring program may be adopted if they are reasonably likely to better accomplish the MMPA monitoring goals described previously or may better answer the specific questions associated with NPS's monitoring plan.

    The following are some of the possible sources of applicable data to be considered through the adaptive management process: (1) Results from monitoring reports, as required by MMPA authorizations; (2) results from general marine mammal and sound research; and (3) any information which reveals that marine mammals may have been taken in a manner, extent, or number not authorized by these regulations or subsequent LOAs.

    Request for Information

    NMFS requests interested persons to submit comments, information, and suggestions concerning NPS's request and the proposed regulations (see ADDRESSES). All comments will be reviewed and evaluated as we prepare the final rule and make final determinations on whether to issue the requested authorizations. This notice and referenced documents provide all environmental information relating to our proposed action for public review.

    Classification

    Pursuant to the procedures established to implement Executive Order 12866, the Office of Management and Budget has determined that this proposed rule is not significant.

    Pursuant to section 605(b) of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), the Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce has certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration that this proposed rule, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. NPS is the sole entity that would be subject to the requirements in these proposed regulations, and the NPS is not a small governmental jurisdiction, small organization, or small business, as defined by the RFA. Because of this certification, a regulatory flexibility analysis is not required and none has been prepared.

    Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person is 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 (PRA) unless that collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number. However, this proposed rule does not contain a collection-of-information requirement subject to the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) because the applicant is a Federal agency, and the information is not “uses for general statistical purposes”. 44 U.S.C. 3502(3)(A).

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 217

    Exports, Fish, Imports, Indians, Labeling, Marine mammals, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Seafood, Transportation.

    Dated: December 4, 2018. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.

    For reasons set forth in the preamble, 50 CFR part 217 is proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 217—REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE TAKING AND IMPORTING OF MARINE MAMMALS 1. The authority citation for part 217 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.

    2. Add subpart C to part 217 to read as follows: Subpart C—Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Research and Monitoring in Southern Alaska National Parks Sec. 217.20 Specified activity and specified geographical region. 217.21 Effective dates. 217.22 Permissible methods of taking. 217.23 Prohibitions. 217.24 Mitigation requirements. 217.25 Requirements for monitoring and reporting. 217.26 Letters of Authorization. 217.27 Renewals and modifications of Letters of Authorization. 217.28 [Reserved] 217.29 [Reserved]
    § 217.20 Specified activity and specified geographical region.

    (a) Regulations in this subpart apply only to the National Park Service (NPS) and those persons it authorizes or funds to conduct activities on its behalf for the taking of marine mammals that occurs in the area outlined in paragraph (b) of this section and that occurs incidental to the NPS's research and monitoring activities listed in the Letter of Authorization (LOA).

    (b) The taking of marine mammals by NPS may be authorized in an LOA only if it occurs at Glacier Bay National Park (GLBA NP) or in the NPS's Southwest Alaska Inventory and Monitoring Network (SWAN) sites.

    § 217.21 Effective dates.

    Regulations in this subpart are effective from March 1, 2019 through February 29, 2024.

    § 217.22 Permissible methods of taking.

    Under LOAs issued pursuant to §§ 216.106 of this chapter and 217.26, the Holder of the LOA (hereinafter “NPS”) may incidentally, but not intentionally, take marine mammals within the area described in § 217.20(b) by Level B harassment associated with research and monitoring activities, provided the activity is in compliance with all terms, conditions, and requirements of the regulations in this subpart and the appropriate LOA.

    § 217.23 Prohibitions.

    Notwithstanding takings contemplated in § 217.20 and authorized by an LOA issued under §§ 216.106 of this chapter and 217.26, no person in connection with the activities described in § 217.20 may:

    (a) Violate, or fail to comply with, the terms, conditions, and requirements of this subpart or an LOA issued under §§ 216.106 of this chapter and 217.26;

    (b) Take any marine mammal not specified in such LOAs;

    (c) Take any marine mammal specified in such LOAs in any manner other than as specified;

    (d) Take a marine mammal specified in such LOAs if NMFS determines such taking results in more than a negligible impact on the species or stocks of such marine mammal; or

    (e) Take a marine mammal specified in such LOAs if NMFS determines such taking results in an unmitigable adverse impact on the species or stock of such marine mammal for taking for subsistence uses.

    § 217.24 Mitigation requirements.

    When conducting the activities identified in § 217.20(a), the mitigation measures contained in any LOA issued under § 216.106 of this chapter and § 217.24 must be implemented. These mitigation measures shall include but are not limited to:

    (a) General conditions: (1) A copy of any issued LOA must be in the possession of NPS, its designees, and additional survey crew personnel operating under the authority of the issued LOA.

    (2) Before all surveys, the lead NPS biologist must instruct additional survey crew on appropriate conduct when in the vicinity of hauled-out marine mammals. This training must brief survey personnel on marine mammals (inclusive of identification as needed, e.g., neonates).

    (3) If humpback whales, killer whales, or beluga whales are observed, NPS must avoid operation of a motor vessel within 1/4 nautical mile of a whale. If accidentally positioned within 1/4 nautical mile of a whale, NPS must slow the vessel speed to 10 knots or less and maintain course away from the whale until at least 1/4 nautical mile of separation exists.

    (b) Glacier Bay Gull and Climate Monitoring. (1) On an annual basis, NPS may conduct a maximum of five days of gull monitoring for each survey location listed in the LOA.

    (2) On an annual basis, the NPS may conduct a maximum of three days of activities related to climate monitoring on Lone Island.

    (3) NPS is required to conduct pre-survey monitoring before deciding to access a study site.

    (4) Prior to deciding to land onshore, NPS must use high-powered image stabilizing binoculars before approaching at distances of greater than 500 m (1,640 ft) to determine and document the number, species, and location of hauled-out marine mammals.

    (5) During pre-survey monitoring, vessels must maintain a distance of 328 to 1,640 ft (100 to 500 m) from the shoreline.

    (6) If a harbor seal pup less than one week of age (neonate) is present within or near a study site or a path to a study site, NPS must not access the site nor conduct the study at that time. In addition, if during the activity, a pup less than one week of age is observed, all research activities must conclude for the day.

    (7) NPS must maintain a distance of at least 100 m from any Steller sea lion;

    (8) NPS must perform controlled and slow ingress to islands where harbor seals are present.

    (9) NPS must monitor for offshore predators at the study sites during pre-survey monitoring and must avoid research activities when killer whales (Orcinus orca) or other predators are observed within a 1 mile radius.

    (10) NPS must maintain a quiet working atmosphere, avoid loud noises, and must use hushed voices in the presence of hauled-out pinnipeds.

    (c) SWAN Marine bird and mammal surveys. (1) On an annual basis, NPS may conduct one summer survey at each location listed in the LOA.

    (2) On an annual basis, the NPS may conduct one winter survey at each location listed in the LOA.

    (3) NPS must maintain a minimum vessel distance of 100 meters from the shoreline at all times while surveying.

    (4) If hauled out Steller sea lions or harbor seals are observed, NPS must maintain the vessel speed and minimum distance. If survey conditions allow, the survey will be attempted from a distance greater than 150 meters.

    § 217.25 Requirements for monitoring and reporting.

    NPS is required to conduct marine mammal monitoring during research and monitoring activities. NPS and/or its designees must record the following for the designated monitoring activity:

    (a) Glacier Bay Gull and Climate Monitoring. (1) Species counts (with numbers of adults/juveniles); and numbers of disturbances, by species and age, according to a three-point scale of intensity;

    (2) Information on the weather, including the tidal state and horizontal visibility;

    (3) The observer will note the presence of any offshore predators (date, time, number, and species); and

    (4) The observer will note unusual behaviors, numbers, or distributions of pinnipeds, such that any potential follow-up research can be conducted by the appropriate personnel; marked or tag-bearing pinnipeds or carcasses, allowing transmittal of the information to appropriate agencies; and any rare or unusual species of marine mammal for agency follow-up. The observer will report that information to NMFS's Alaska Fisheries Science Center and/or the Alaska Department of Fish and Game Marine Mammal Program.

    (b) SWAN Marine Bird and Mammal Surveying. (1) Species counts and numbers of type 3, flushing, disturbances;

    (2) Information on the weather, including the tidal state and horizontal visibility; and

    (3) The observer will note unusual behaviors, numbers, or distributions of pinnipeds, such that any potential follow-up research can be conducted by the appropriate personnel; marked or tag-bearing pinnipeds or carcasses, allowing transmittal of the information to appropriate agencies; and any rare or unusual species of marine mammal for agency follow-up. The observer will report that information to NMFS's Alaska Fisheries Science Center and/or the Alaska Department of Fish and Game Marine Mammal Program.

    (c) NPS must submit separate annual draft reports for GLBA NP and SWAN on all monitoring conducted within ninety calendar days of the completion of annual research and monitoring activities. Final reports for both GLBA NP and SWAN must be prepared and submitted within thirty days following resolution of comments on each draft report from NMFS. This report must contain:

    (1) A summary and table of the dates, times, and weather during all research activities;

    (2) Species, number, location, and behavior of any marine mammals observed throughout all monitoring activities;

    (3) An estimate of the number (by species) of marine mammals exposed to acoustic or visual stimuli associated with the research activities; and

    (4) A description of the implementation and effectiveness of the monitoring and mitigation measures of the Authorization and full documentation of methods, results, and interpretation pertaining to all monitoring.

    (d) NPS must submit a comprehensive 5-year report covering all activities conducted under the incidental take regulations at least 90 days prior to expiration of these regulations if new regulations are sought or 90 days after expiration of regulations.

    (e) Reporting of injured or dead marine mammals. (1) In the unanticipated event that the activity defined in § 219.20(a) clearly causes the take of a marine mammal in a prohibited manner such as an injury (Level A harassment), serious injury, or mortality, NPS must immediately cease the specified activities and report the incident to the Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, and the Alaska Regional Stranding Coordinator, NMFS. The report must include the following information:

    (i) Time and date of the incident;

    (ii) Description of the incident;

    (iii) Environmental conditions (e.g., wind speed and direction, Beaufort sea state, cloud cover, and visibility);

    (iv) Description of all marine mammal observations and active sound source use in the 24 hours preceding the incident;

    (v) Species identification or description of the animal(s) involved;

    (vi) Fate of the animal(s); and

    (vii) Photographs or video footage of the animal(s).

    (2) Activities must not resume until NMFS is able to review the circumstances of the prohibited take. NMFS will work with NPS to determine what measures are necessary to minimize the likelihood of further prohibited take and ensure MMPA compliance. NPS must not resume their activities until notified by NMFS.

    (3) In the event that NPS discovers an injured or dead marine mammal, and the lead observer determines that the cause of the injury or death is unknown and the death is relatively recent (e.g., in less than a moderate state of decomposition), NPS must immediately report the incident to the Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, and the Alaska Stranding Coordinator, NMFS. The report must include the same information identified in § 217.25(e)(1). Activities may continue while NMFS reviews the circumstances of the incident. NMFS will work with NPS to determine whether additional mitigation measures or modifications to the activities are appropriate.

    (4) In the event that NPS discovers an injured or dead marine mammal and determines that the injury or death is not associated with or related to the activities defined in § 217.20(a) (e.g., previously wounded animal, carcass with moderate to advanced decomposition, scavenger damage), NPS must report the incident to OPR and the Alaska Stranding Coordinator, NMFS, within 24 hours of the discovery. NPS must provide photographs or video footage or other documentation of the stranded animal sighting to NMFS. NPS can continue their research activities.

    (5) Pursuant to paragraphs § 217.25(e)(2) through (4), NPS may use discretion in determining what injuries (i.e., nature and severity) are appropriate for reporting. At minimum, NPS must report those injuries considered to be serious (i.e., will likely result in death) or that are likely caused by human interaction (e.g., entanglement, gunshot). Also pursuant to paragraphs § 217.25(e)(3) and (4) of this section, NPS may use discretion in determining the appropriate vantage point for obtaining photographs of injured/dead marine mammals.

    § 217.26 Letters of Authorization.

    (a) To incidentally take marine mammals pursuant to these regulations, NPS must apply for and obtain an LOA.

    (b) An LOA, unless suspended or revoked, may be effective for a period of time not to exceed the expiration date of these regulations.

    (c) If an LOA expires prior to the expiration date of these regulations, NPS may apply for and obtain a renewal of the LOA.

    (d) In the event of projected changes to the activity or to mitigation and monitoring measures required by an LOA, NPS must apply for and obtain a modification of the LOA as described in § 217.27.

    (e) The LOA shall set forth:

    (1) Permissible methods of incidental taking;

    (2) Means of effecting the least practicable adverse impact (i.e., mitigation) on the species, its habitat, and on the availability of the species for subsistence uses; and

    (3) Requirements for monitoring and reporting.

    (f) Issuance of the LOA shall be based on a determination that the level of taking will be consistent with the findings made for the total taking allowable under these regulations.

    (g) Notice of issuance or denial of an LOA shall be published in the Federal Register within 30 days of a determination.

    § 217.27 Renewals and modifications of Letters of Authorization.

    (a) An LOA issued under §§ 216.106 of this chapter and 217.26 for the activity identified in § 217.20(a) shall be renewed or modified upon request by the applicant, provided that:

    (1) The proposed specified activity and mitigation, monitoring, and reporting measures, as well as the anticipated impacts, are the same as those described and analyzed for these regulations (excluding changes made pursuant to the adaptive management provision in paragraph (c)(1) of this section), and

    (2) NMFS determines that the mitigation, monitoring, and reporting measures required by the previous LOA under these regulations were implemented.

    (b) For an LOA modification or renewal requests by the applicant that include changes to the activity or the mitigation, monitoring, or reporting (excluding changes made pursuant to the adaptive management provision in paragraph (c)(1) of this section) that do not change the findings made for the regulations or result in no more than a minor change in the total estimated number of takes (or distribution by species or years), NMFS may publish a notice of proposed LOA in the Federal Register, including the associated analysis of the change, and solicit public comment before issuing the LOA.

    (c) An LOA issued under §§ 216.106 of this chapter and 217.26 for the activity identified in § 217.20(a) may be modified by NMFS under the following circumstances:

    (1) Adaptive Management—NMFS may modify (including augment) the existing mitigation, monitoring, or reporting measures (after consulting with NPS regarding the practicability of the modifications) if doing so creates a reasonable likelihood of more effectively accomplishing the goals of the mitigation and monitoring set forth in the preamble for these regulations.

    (i) Possible sources of data that could contribute to the decision to modify the mitigation, monitoring, or reporting measures in an LOA:

    (A) Results from NPS's monitoring from the previous year(s).

    (B) Results from other marine mammal research or studies.

    (C) Any information that reveals marine mammals may have been taken in a manner, extent or number not authorized by these regulations or subsequent LOAs.

    (ii) If, through adaptive management, the modifications to the mitigation, monitoring, or reporting measures are substantial, NMFS shall publish a notice of proposed LOA in the Federal Register and solicit public comment.

    (2) Emergencies—If NMFS determines that an emergency exists that poses a significant risk to the well-being of the species or stocks of marine mammals specified in LOAs issued pursuant to §§ 216.106 of this chapter and 217.26, an LOA may be modified without prior notice or opportunity for public comment. Notice would be published in the Federal Register within thirty days of the action.

    § 217.28 [Reserved]
    § 217.29 [Reserved]
    [FR Doc. 2018-26741 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    83 239 Thursday, December 13, 2018 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service [DOC. No. AMS-FGIS-18-0077] Request for Extension and Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection AGENCY:

    Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), this notice announces AMS's intention to request that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approve a 3-year extension and revision to a currently approved information collection; a voluntary customer survey concerning the delivery of official inspection, grading, and weighing services authorized under the United States Grain Standards Act (USGSA) and the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (AMA). OMB approved this information collection as OMB 0580-0018 under Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards (GIPSA). Due to the realignment of offices authorized by the Secretary's memorandum dated November 14, 2017, which eliminated the GIPSA as a standalone agency, the grain inspection activities formerly part of GIPSA are now under the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and assigned a new OMB control number of 0581-0310.

    This voluntary survey gives customers who are primarily in the grain, oilseed, rice, lentil, dry pea, edible bean, and related agricultural commodity markets an opportunity to provide feedback on the quality of services they receive and provides AMS with information on new services that customers wish to receive. Customer feedback assists Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS) with enhancing the value of services and service delivery provided by the official inspection, grading, and weighing system.

    DATES:

    We will consider comments that we receive by February 11, 2019.

    ADDRESSES:

    We invite you to submit comments on this notice. You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

    Internet: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for submitting comments.

    Mail, hand deliver, or courier: Jennifer S. Hill, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Room 2410-S, Washington, DC 20250-3620. Fax: (202) 690-3929. Instructions: All comments should be identified as “FGIS customer service survey” and should reference the date and page number of this issue of the Federal Register. The information collection package and other documents relating to this action will be available for public inspection in the above office during regular business hours. All comments will be available for public inspection in the above office during regular business hours (7 CFR 1.27(b)). Please call (202) 690-3929 to arrange to inspect documents.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jennifer S. Hill, Grain Marketing Specialist, International Affairs Division, email address: [email protected], telephone (202) 690-3929.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Congress enacted the USGSA (7 U.S.C. 71 et seq.) and the AMA (7 U.S.C. 1621 et seq.) to facilitate the marketing of grain, oilseeds, pulses, rice, and related commodities. These statutes provide for the establishment of standards and terms which accurately and consistently measure the quality of grain and related products, provide for uniform official inspection and weighing, provide regulatory and service responsibilities, and furnish the framework for commodity quality improvement incentives to both domestic and foreign buyers. FGIS establishes policies, guidelines, and regulations to carry out the objectives of the USGSA and the AMA. Regulations appear at 7 CFR parts 800, 801, and 802 for the USGSA and 7 CFR part 868 for the AMA. The USGSA, with few exceptions, requires official inspection of export grain sold by grade. Official services are provided, upon request, for grain in domestic commerce. The AMA authorizes similar inspection and weighing services, upon request, for rice, pulses, flour, corn meal, and certain other agricultural products. There are approximately 9,000 current users of the official inspection, grading, and weighing programs. These customers are located nationwide and represent a diverse mixture of small, medium, and large producers, merchandisers, processors, exporters, and other financially interested parties. These customers request official services from an FGIS Field Office; delegated, designated, or cooperating State office; or designated private agency office. The goal of FGIS and the official inspection, grading, and weighing system is to provide timely, high quality, accurate, consistent, and professional service that facilitates the orderly marketing of grain and related commodities. To accomplish this goal and in accordance with E.O. 12862, FGIS seeks feedback from customers to evaluate the services provided by the official inspection, grading, and weighing programs.

    Title: Survey of Customers of the Official Inspection, Grading, and Weighing Programs (Grain and Related Commodities).

    OMB Number: 0581-0310.

    Expiration Date of Approval: March 31, 2019.

    Type of Request: Extension and revision of a currently approved information collection.

    Abstract: the Collecting information using a voluntary service survey provides customers of FGIS and the official inspection, grading, and weighing services an opportunity to evaluate, on a scale of one to five, the timeliness, cost-effectiveness, accuracy, consistency, and usefulness of those services and results, and the professionalism of employees. Customers provide additional comments or indicate what new or existing services they would use if such services were offered or available. FGIS uses the voluntary service survey to maintain a formal means of determining customers' expectations and the quality of official services that are delivered. To collect this information, FGIS would continue to conduct, over a 3-year period, an annual voluntary customer service survey of current and potential customers of the official inspection, grading, and weighing system. FGIS would make the survey available to any interested party who visits our website or is provided the link. The survey instrument would consist of twelve (12) questions only; FGIS tailors subsequent survey instruments to earlier responses. The information collected from the survey permits FGIS to gauge customers' satisfaction with existing services, compare results from year to year, and determine what new services customers desire.

    The customer service survey consists of one document containing questions about timeliness, cost effectiveness, accuracy, consistency, usefulness of services and results, and the professionalism of employees. Some examples of survey questions include the following: “I receive results in a timely manner,” “Official results are accurate,” and “Inspection personnel are knowledgeable.” Customers assess survey questions using a one to five rating scale with responses ranging from “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree” or “no opinion.” The survey also asks customers about the products for which they primarily request service, and what percentage of their product is officially inspected. Customers can also provide additional comments or request new or existing services on the survey. The survey provides space for customers to provide their email addresses should they wish to be directly contacted about their survey responses. By obtaining information from customers through a voluntary customer service survey, FGIS believes that it will continue to improve services and service delivery of its official inspection, grading, and weighing programs that meets or exceeds customer expectations.

    Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 10 minutes (i.e., 0.167 hours) per response.

    Respondents: The primary respondents will be interested current or potential customers of the official inspection, grading, and weighing program who either visit the AMS Website or receive the link via outreach communications.

    FY 2019: Estimated Number of Respondents: 605 (i.e., 1100 total customers times 55% response rate = 605).

    Frequency of Responses: 1.

    Estimated Annual Burden: 109 hours. (605 responses times 0.167 hours/response plus 495 non-respondents times 0.0170 hours/response = 109 hours).

    FY 2020: Estimated Number of Respondents: 616. (i.e., 1100 total customers times 56% response rate = 616).

    Frequency of Responses: 1.

    Estimated Annual Burden: 111 hours (616 responses times 0.167 hours/response plus 484 non-respondents times 0.0170 hours/response = 111 hours).

    FY 2021: Estimated Number of Respondents: 627 (i.e., 1100 total customers times 57% response rate = 627).

    Frequency of Responses: 1.

    Estimated Annual Burden: 105 hours (627 responses times 0.167 hours/response plus to 473 non-respondents times 0.0170 hours/response = 113 hours).

    As required by the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)) and its implementing regulations (5 CFR 1320.8(d)(1)(i)), AMS specifically requests comments on: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of AMS's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology. All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval.

    All comments will become a matter of public record.

    Dated: December 7, 2018. Greg Ibach, Under Secretary, Marketing and Regulatory Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2018-26930 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request December 10, 2018.

    The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments are requested regarding (1) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques and other forms of information technology.

    Comments regarding this information collection received by January 14, 2019 will be considered. Written comments should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), New Executive Office Building, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC, 20503. Commentors are encouraged to submit their comments to OMB via email to: [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8681.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Forest Service

    Title: Forest Service Pesticide-Use Proposal Form.

    OMB Control Number: 0596-0241.

    Summary of Collection: The Forest Service (FS) is authorized under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, as amended (7 U.S.C. 136, and 40 CFR part 171; the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978 (16 U.S.C. 2101) as amended by the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 1421), and 36 CFR part 219; and the National Environmental Policy Act 42 CFR part 4321), and 36 CFR part 220 to collect information on proposed use of pesticides on lands administered by FS to safe guard natural resources and human health.

    Need and Use of the Information: FS will use form FS-2100-2 to collect pesticide project information from entities for application of pesticides upon FS administered lands within rights-of-way easements, permitted lands, and under similar circumstances. Categories of information requested are descriptive of type, amount, and location of applications, as well as identification of qualifying credentials of those performing the work. Proposals will be evaluated by FS pesticide use coordinators and other administrative personnel to safeguard human health and ecological protection consistent with FS land use management programs. Without the ability to collect the details of proposed projects from outside parties, the FS would not be able to make appropriately informed decisions concerning land stewardship and necessary ecological and human health safeguards.

    Description of Respondents: Individuals or households, Businesses and Organizations, and State, Local and Tribal Governments.

    Number of Respondents: 36.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: Other (One time only).

    Total Burden Hours: 600.

    TItle: Airplane Pilot Qualifications and Approval Record, Helicopter Pilot Qualifications and Approval Record, Airplane Data Record, and Helicopter Data Record.

    OMB Control Number: 0596-0015.

    Summary of Collection: The Forest Service (FS) is the largest owner and operator of aircraft in the federal government outside of the Department of Defense. The process by which FS operates, maintains, and provides aircraft is through the use of Federal Government contractual agreements with private industry. Two types of aviation contracts are used: Exclusive Use contracts and Call-When-Needed (CWN) contracts. Currently, in excess of 700 private companies contract with the FS for use in resource protection and administrative projects. In addition, the agency owns and operates 27 agency aircraft. The majority of FS flying is in support of wildland fire suppression. Contractor aircraft and pilots are used to place water and chemical retardants on fires, provide aerial delivery of firefighters to fires, perform reconnaissance, resource surveys, search for lost personnel, and fire detection. Contracts for such services established rigorous qualification requirements for pilots and specific condition/equipment/performance requirements for aircraft. The authority is granted under the Federal Aviation Administration Regulations in Title 14 (Aeronautics and Space) of the Code of Federal Regulations.

    Need and Use of the Information: FS will collect information using FS forms to document the basis for approval of contract pilot and aircraft for use in specific FS aviation missions. The information collected from contract pilots in face to face meetings (such as name, age, pilots license number, number of hours flown in type of aircraft, etc.) is based on the length and type of contract but is usually done on an reoccurring annual basis. Without the information supplied on these forms, FS contracting officers and pilot/aircraft inspectors cannot determine if pilots and aircraft meet the detailed qualification, equipment, and condition requirements essential to safe, efficient accomplishment of FS specified flying missions and which are included in contract specifications.

    Description of Respondents: Individuals or households, Businesses and Organizations, and State, Local and Tribal Governments.

    Number of Respondents: 2,555.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: Other (One time only).

    Total Burden Hours: 3,577.

    Title: Forest Industries Post Data Collection Systems.

    OMB Control Number: 0596-0010.

    Summary of Collection: The Forest and Range Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974 (Pub. L. 93-278), National Forest Management Act of 1976 (16 U.S.C. 1600), and the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Research Act of 1978 (Pub. L. 95-307) amended by the Energy Security Act of 1980 (42 U.S.C. 8701) require the Forest Service (FS) to evaluate trends in the use of logs and wood chips, to forecast anticipated levels of logs and wood chips, and to analyze changes in the harvest of the resources. Forest product and other wood-using industries are important to state, regional, and national economies. In most southern states, the value of rounded timber products is ranked either first or second in relation to other major agricultural crops. The importance and value of the timber products industry is significant in other regions of the United States as well. The FS will collect information using questionnaires.

    Need and Use of the Information: To monitor the types, species, volumes, sources, and prices of the timber products harvested throughout the Nation. Using the “Primary Mill Questionnaire” FS will collect industrial round wood information from the primary wood-using industries throughout the United States and from mills in Canada that directly receive wood from the United States. FS will also use the “Pulp & Board Forest Industries Questionnaire.” The data will be used to develop specific economic development plans for a new forest related industry in a State and to assist existing industries in identifying raw material problems and opportunity. The “Loggers Survey” will track information pertaining to the logging company to determine changes in the logging contractor workforce as a whole, not by individual company. This type of data is important in understanding the logging industry and its response to outside influences. If the information were not collected, data would not be available for sub-state, state, regional and national policy makers and program developers to make decisions related to the forestland on a scientific basis.

    Description of Respondents: Businesses or other for-profit; Not-for-profit institutions.

    Number of Respondents: 5,737.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: Other (One time only).

    Total Burden Hours: 2,223.

    Kimble Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-27011 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request December 10, 2018.

    The Department of Agriculture will submit the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13 on or after the date of publication of this notice. 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 should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC; New Executive Office Building, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC, 20503. 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.

    Comments regarding these information collections are best assured of having their full effect if received by January 14, 2019. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8681.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Agricultural Marketing Service

    Title: Application for Plant Variety Protection Certificate and Objective Description of Variety.

    OMB Control Number: 0581-0055.

    Summary of Collection: The Plant Variety Protection Act (PVPA) (December 24, 1970; 84 Stat. 1542, 7 U.S.C. 2321 et seq.) was established to encourage the development of novel varieties of sexually-reproduced plants and make them available to the public, providing intellectual property rights (IPR) protection to those who breed, develop, or discover such novel varieties, and thereby promote progress in agriculture in the public interest. The PVPA is a voluntary user funded program that grants intellectual property ownership rights to breeders of new and novel seed-and tuber-reproduced plant varieties. To obtain these rights the applicant must provide information that shows the variety is eligible for protection and that it is indeed new, distinct, uniform, and stable, as the law requires. Applicants are provided with applications to identify the information that is required to issue a certificate of protection.

    Need and Use of the Information: Applicants must complete the ST-470,

    “Application for Plant Variety Protection Certificate,” and the ST-470 series of forms, “Objective Description of Variety” along with other forms. The Agricultural Marketing Service will use the information from the applicant to be evaluated by examiners to determine if the variety is eligible for protection under the PVPA. If this information were not collected there will be no basis for issuing certificate of protection, and no way for applicants to request protection.

    Description of Respondents: Business or other for profit.

    Number of Respondents: 93.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion; Other (when forms are requested).

    Total Burden Hours: 2,062.

    Kimble Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-27012 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request December 10, 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 January 14, 2019 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.

    Food Safety and Inspection Service

    Title: Foodborne Illness Outbreak Surveys for the FSIS Public Health Partners.

    OMB Control Number: 0583—New.

    Summary of Collection: The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has been delegated the authority to exercise the functions of the Secretary as provided in the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) (21 U. S.C. 601 et seq.), the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA) (21 U.S.C. 451, et seq.), and the Egg Products Inspection Act (EPIA) (21 U.S.C. 1031). These statues mandate that FSIS protect the public by ensuring that meat, poultry, and egg products are safe, wholesome, unadulterated, and properly labeled and packaged. FSIS intends to collect information from state and territorial government partners on ways to strengthen the collaborative response to illness outbreaks associated with FSIS-regulated food products.

    Need and Use of the Information: FSIS will administer a series of surveys regarding foodborne illness outbreak investigation to state and territorial government partners. The results of these surveys will help FSIS assess communication trends and prioritize outreach efforts.

    Description of Respondents: State, Local or Tribal Government.

    Number of Respondents: 112.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: Annually.

    Total Burden Hours: 19.

    Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-26970 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-DM-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Notice of Proposed New Fee Site; Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act AGENCY:

    Helena-Lewis & Clark National Forest, USDA, Forest Service.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed new fee site.

    SUMMARY:

    The Helena-Lewis & Clark National Forest is proposing to implement a new fee at the newly acquired AT&T cabin with a proposed fee of $45 per night.

    This fee is only proposed and will be determined upon further analysis and public comment.

    DATES:

    Comments will be accepted through January 14, 2019. Comments can be compiled, analyzed, and shared with the North-Central Montana Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Recreation Resource Advisory Council. The proposed effective date of implementation of the proposed new fee will be no earlier than six months after publication of this notice.

    ADDRESSES:

    Lisa Stoeffler, Acting Forest Supervisor, Helena-Lewis & Clark National Forest, 2880 Skyway Drive, Helena, MT 59602 or email to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rory Glueckert, Forest Recreation Program Manager, Helena-Lewis & Clark National Forest at 406-495-3761 or [email protected]; Information about proposed fee changes can also be found on the Helena-Lewis & Clark National Forest website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/helena. Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Federal Recreation Lands Enhancement Act (Title VII, Pub. L. 108-447) directed the Secretary of Agriculture to publish a six month advance notice in the Federal Register, whenever new recreation fee areas are established. Once public involvement is complete, these new fees will be reviewed by the BLM North Central Montana Recreation Resource Advisory Council prior to a final decision and implementation. Reasonable fees, paid by users of these sites and services, will help ensure that the Forest can continue maintaining and improving the sites for future generations. A market analysis of surrounding recreation sites with similar amenities indicates that the proposed fees are comparable and reasonable. Advance reservations for the AT&T Cabin will be available through www.recreation.gov or by calling 1-877-444-6777. The reservation service charge is $8 for reservations.

    Dated: December 4, 2018. Jennifer Eberlien, Acting Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System.
    [FR Doc. 2018-26987 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the West Virginia Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission), and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) that a meeting of the West Virginia Advisory Committee to the Commission will convene by conference call at 12:00 p.m. (EST) on Friday, January 11, 2019. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss plans for preparing the Committee report on the collateral consequences of a felony record on West Virginians' access to employment, housing, professional licenses and public benefits.

    DATES:

    Friday, January 11, at 12:00 p.m. EST.

    Public Call-In Information: Conference call-in number: 1-877-604-9665 and conference call ID: 5788080.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ivy Davis at [email protected] or by phone at 202-376-7533.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Interested members of the public may listen to the discussion by calling the following toll-free conference call-in number: 1-877-604-9665 and conference call ID: 5788080. Please be advised that before placing them into the conference call, the conference call operator will ask callers to provide their names, their organizational affiliations (if any), and email addresses (so that callers may be notified of future meetings). Callers can expect to incur charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, and the Commission will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over land-line connections to the toll-free conference call-in number.

    Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the discussion by first calling the Federal Relay Service at 1-888-364-3109 and providing the operator with the toll-free conference call-in number: 1-877-604-9665 and conference call ID: 5788080.

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

    Records and documents discussed during the meeting will be available for public viewing as they become available at https://database.faca.gov/committee/meetings.aspx?cid=279, click the “Meeting Details” and “Documents” links. Records generated from this meeting may also be inspected and reproduced at the Eastern Regional Office, as they become available, both before and after the meetings. Persons interested in the work of this advisory committee are advised to go to the Commission's website, www.usccr.gov, or to contact the Eastern Regional Office at the above phone number, email or street address.

    Agenda: Friday, January 11, 2019 I. Rollcall II. Welcome III. Planning Discussion IV. Other Business V. Adjourn Dated: December 10, 2018. David Mussatt, Supervisory Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2018-27007 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Pennsylvania Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission), and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) that a meeting of the Pennsylvania Advisory Committee to the Commission will convene by conference call at 11:30 a.m. (EST) on Tuesday, January 15, 2019. The Committee is considering possible topics for its civil rights project.

    DATES:

    Tuesday, January 15, 2019, at 11:30 a.m. (EDT).

    Public Call-In Information: Conference call-in number: 800-949-2175 and conference call ID 8426059.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ivy Davis at [email protected] or by phone at 202-376-7533.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Interested members of the public may listen to the discussion by calling the following toll-free conference call-in number: 800-949-2175 and conference call ID 8426059. Please be advised that before placing them into the conference call, the conference call operator will ask callers to provide their names, their organizational affiliations (if any), and email addresses (so that callers may be notified of future meetings). Callers can expect to incur charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, and the Commission will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over land-line connections to the toll-free conference call-in number.

    Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the discussion by first calling the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339 and providing the operator with the toll-free conference call-in number: 800-949-2175 and conference call ID 8426059.

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

    Records and documents discussed during the meeting will be available for public viewing as they become available at https://database.faca.gov/committee/meetings.aspx?cid=279, click the “Meeting Details” and “Documents” links. Records generated from this meeting may also be inspected and reproduced at the Eastern Regional Office, as they become available, both before and after the meeting. Persons interested in the work of this advisory committee are advised to go to the Commission's website, www.usccr.gov, or to contact the Eastern Regional Office at the above phone number, email or street address.

    Agenda: Tuesday, January 15, 2019 I. Rollcall II. Welcome and Introductions III. Other Business IV. Public Comment V. Adjourn Dated: December 10, 2018. David Mussatt, Supervisory Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2018-27005 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Agenda and Notice of Public Meeting of the North Dakota Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of meetings.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission), and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), that a planning meeting of the North Dakota Advisory Committee to the Commission will by teleconference at 12:00 p.m. (CST) on Tuesday, December 18, 2018. The purpose of the meeting is for planning on the voting rights project.

    DATES:

    Tuesday, December 18, 2018, at 12:00 p.m. CST.

    Public Call-In Information: Conference call-in number: 1-888-719-5012 and conference call 1106229.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Evelyn Bohor, at [email protected] or by phone at 303-866-1040.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Interested members of the public may listen to the discussion by calling the following toll-free conference call-in number: 1-888-719-5012 and conference call 1106229. Please be advised that before placing them into the conference call, the conference call operator will ask callers to provide their names, their organizational affiliations (if any), and email addresses (so that callers may be notified of future meetings). Callers can expect to incur charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, and the Commission will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over land-line connections to the toll-free conference call-in number.

    Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the discussion by first calling the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339 and providing the operator with the toll-free conference call-in number: 1-888-719-5012 and conference call 1106229.

    Members of the public are invited to make statements during the open comment period of the meeting or submit written comments. The comments must be received in the regional office approximately 30 days after each scheduled meeting. Written comments may be mailed to the Rocky Mountain Regional Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1961 Stout Street, Suite 13-201, Denver, CO 80294, faxed to (303) 866-1040, or emailed to Evelyn Bohor at [email protected]. Persons who desire additional information may contact the Rocky Mountain Regional Office at (303) 866-1040.

    Records and documents discussed during the meeting will be available for public viewing as they become available at https://gsageo.force.com/FACA/apex/FACAPublicCommittee?id=a10t0000001gzl9AAA; click the “Meeting Details” and “Documents” links. Records generated from this meeting may also be inspected and reproduced at the Rocky Mountain Regional Office, as they become available, both before and after the meeting. Persons interested in the work of this advisory committee are advised to go to the Commission's website, www.usccr.gov, or to contact the Rocky Mountain Regional Office at the above phone numbers, email or street address.

    Agenda: Tuesday, December 18, 2018, 12:00 p.m. (CST)

    • Roll call • Project Planning—Voting Rights • Open Comment • Adjourn

    Exceptional Circumstance: Pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.150, the notice for this meeting is given less than 15 calendar days prior to the meeting because of the exceptional circumstance of the original scheduled meeting being cancelled for the national day of mourning.

    Dated: December 10, 2018. David Mussatt, Supervisory Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2018-26985 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Virginia Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission), and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) that a meeting of the Virginia Advisory Committee to the Commission will convene by conference call at 12:00 p.m. (EST) on Wednesday, January 16, 2019. The purpose of the meeting is for Committee members to continue discussing plans for the in-person briefing on hate crimes in VA—incidences and responses to be scheduled in February.

    DATES:

    Wednesday, January 16, 2019, at 12:00 p.m. EST.

    Public Call-In Information: Conference call-in number: 1-800-474-8920 and conference call ID 8310490.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ivy Davis at [email protected] or by phone at 202-376-7533.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Interested members of the public may listen to the discussion by calling the following toll-free conference call-in number: 1-800-474-8920 and conference call ID 8310490. Please be advised that before placing them into the conference call, the conference call operator will ask callers to provide their names, their organizational affiliations (if any), and email addresses (so that callers may be notified of future meetings). Callers can expect to incur charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, and the Commission will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over land-line connections to the toll-free conference call-in number.

    Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the discussion by first calling the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339 and providing the operator with the toll-free conference call-in number: 1-800-474-8920 and conference call ID 8310490.

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

    Records and documents discussed during the meeting will be available for public viewing as they become available at https://database.faca.gov/committee/meetings.aspx?cid=279, click the “Meeting Details” and “Documents” links. Records generated from this meeting may also be inspected and reproduced at the Eastern Regional Office, as they become available, both before and after the meetings. Persons interested in the work of this advisory committee are advised to go to the Commission's website, www.usccr.gov, or to contact the Eastern Regional Office at the above phone number, email or street address.

    Agenda: Wednesday, January 16, 2019 I. Rollcall II. Welcome III. Planning Discussion IV. Other Business V. Public Comment VI. Adjourn Dated: December 10, 2018. David Mussatt, Supervisory Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2018-27006 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Census Bureau Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Survey of State Government Research and Development AGENCY:

    U.S. Census Bureau, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    To ensure consideration, written or on-line comments must be submitted on or before February 11, 2019.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230 (or via the internet at [email protected]).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument(s) and instructions should be directed to Michael Flaherty, U.S. Census Bureau, HQ-6H051, 4600 Silver Hill Rd., Suitland, MD 20746, (301) 763-7699 (or via the internet at [email protected]).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Abstract

    The United States Census Bureau plans to continue to conduct the Survey of State Government Research and Development (SGRD) to measure research and development performed and funded by state government agencies in the United States. The Census Bureau conducts the survey on behalf of the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) within the National Science Foundation.

    The National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended, includes a statutory charge to “provide a central clearinghouse for the collection, interpretation, and analysis of data on scientific and engineering resources and to provide a source of information for policy formulation by other agencies in the Federal Government.” This mandate was further codified in the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 § 505, which requires NCSES to “collect, acquire, analyze, report, and disseminate . . . statistical data on (A) research and development trends . . .” Under the aegis of these legislative mandates, NCSES has sponsored surveys of research and development (R&D) since 1951, including the SGRD since 2006. The Census Bureau's authorization to undertake this work is found at 13 U.S.C. Section 8(b) which provides that the Census Bureau “may make special statistical compilations and surveys for departments, agencies, and establishments of the Federal government, the government of the District of Columbia, the government of any possession or area (including political subdivisions thereof) . . . State or local agencies, or other public and private persons and agencies.”

    The SGRD is the only comprehensive source of state government research and development expenditure data collected on a nationwide scale using uniform definitions, concepts, and procedures. The collection covers the expenditures of all agencies in the fifty state governments, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico that perform or fund R&D. The NCSES coordinates with the Census Bureau for the data collection. The NCSES uses this collection to satisfy, in part, its need to collect research and development expenditures data.

    Fiscal data provided by respondents aid data users in measuring the effectiveness of resource allocation. The products of this data collection make it possible for data users to obtain information on such things as expenditures according to source of funding (e.g., federal funds or state funds), by performer of the work (e.g., intramural and extramural to state agencies), by function (e.g., agriculture, energy, health, transportation, etc.), by type of work (e.g., basic research, applied research, or experimental development) for intramural performance of R&D, and by R&D plant (e.g., construction projects). Final results produced by NCSES contain state and national estimates useful to a variety of data users interested in research and development performance including: The National Science Board; the Office of Management and Budget; the Office of Science and Technology Policy and other science policy makers; institutional researchers; and private organizations.

    There are no substantive changes to content for the SGRD so total respondent burden will not change.

    The survey announcements and forms used in the research and development survey are:

    Survey Announcement. An introductory letter from the Directors of the NCSES and the Census Bureau is mailed to the Governor's Office to announce the survey collection and to solicit assignment of a State Coordinator. The State Coordinator's Announcement is sent electronically at the beginning of each survey period to solicit assistance in identifying state agencies which may perform or fund R&D activities.

    Form SRD-1. This form contains item descriptions and definitions of the research and development items collected by the Census Bureau on behalf of the NCSES. It is used primarily as a worksheet and instruction guide by the state agencies providing research and development expenditure data in their respective states. All states supply their data by electronic means.

    II. Method of Collection

    The Census Bureau mails the 50 State governors, the mayor of DC, and the governor of Puerto Rico a letter requesting that they appoint a state coordinator for the survey. They are asked to respond within 30 days. The Census Bureau then emails the state coordinators a spreadsheet asking them to identify state agencies that may be active R&D performers. State coordinators are asked to respond within 30 days. The Census Bureau subsequently emails each state agency identified by the respective state coordinators a pdf version of the survey form, which contains embedded data checks and auto-summing functionality. Agencies are asked to complete and email back this pdf version of the form. Alternatively, agencies can download the pdf form from the Census Bureau's Help Site or contact the Census Bureau to request an spreadsheet version of the form with similar data checks and auto-summing. Agencies are also able to report over the telephone by calling the Census Bureau. Agencies are asked to respond within 60 days.

    III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0607-0933.

    Form Number: SRD-1.

    Type of Review: Regular submission.

    Affected Public: State government agencies.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 51 governors, 1 mayor, 52 state coordinators, and approximately 500 state government agencies.

    Estimated Time per Response: 5 minutes for each governor, 1 hour for each state coordinator, and 2 hours for each state agency surveyed.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 1,056.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to the Public: $0. (This is not the cost of respondents' time, but the indirect costs respondents may incur for such things as purchases of specialized software or hardware needed to report, or expenditures for accounting or records maintenance services required specifically by the collection.)

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

    Legal Authority: National Science Foundation Act of 1950 as amended and the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010, Title 42 U.S.C. 1861-76; Title 13, U.S.C. Section 8(b).

    IV. Request for Comments

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

    Sheleen Dumas, Departmental Lead PRA Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Commerce Department.
    [FR Doc. 2018-26964 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-07-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Economic Development Administration Notice of Petitions by Firms for Determination of Eligibility To Apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance AGENCY:

    Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice and opportunity for public comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Economic Development Administration (EDA) has received petitions for certification of eligibility to apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance from the firms listed below. Accordingly, EDA has initiated investigations to determine whether increased imports into the United States of articles like or directly competitive with those produced by each of the firms contributed importantly to the total or partial separation of the firms' workers, or threat thereof, and to a decrease in sales or production of each petitioning firm.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    List of Petitions Received by EDA for Certification of Eligibility To Apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance [11/20/2018 through 12/5/2018] Firm name Firm address Date accepted for investigation Product(s) Plattco Corporation 7 White Street, Plattsburgh, NY 12901 11/21/2018 The firm manufactures valves, especially double-flap airlock valves and slide-gate valves, as well as custom metal castings. Premier Manufacturing and Supply Chain Services, Inc 7755 Miller Drive, Frederick, CO 80504 11/27/2018 The firm manufactures circuit boards for electrical apparatuses. Silvex Incorporated 45 Thomas Drive, Westbrooke, ME 04092 12/3/2018 The firm provides services for electroplating, anodizing, and surface finishing metals.

    Any party having a substantial interest in these proceedings may request a public hearing on the matter. A written request for a hearing must be submitted to the Trade Adjustment Assistance Division, Room 71030, Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230, no later than ten (10) calendar days following publication of this notice. These petitions are received pursuant to section 251 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended.

    Please follow the requirements set forth in EDA's regulations at 13 CFR 315.9 for procedures to request a public hearing. The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance official number and title for the program under which these petitions are submitted is 11.313, Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms.

    Irette Patterson, Program Analyst.
    [FR Doc. 2018-26946 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-WH-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-475-819] Certain Pasta From Italy: Rescission of 2017 Countervailing Duty Administrative Review AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Commerce) is rescinding the administrative review of the countervailing duty (CVD) order on certain pasta from Italy for the period of review (POR) January 1, 2017, through December 31, 2017.

    DATES:

    Applicable December 13, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ethan Talbott or Mary Kolberg, AD/CVD Operations, Office I, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-1030, or (202) 482-1785, respectively.

    Background

    On July 3, 2018, Commerce published in the Federal Register a notice of opportunity to request an administrative review of the CVD order on certain past from Italy for the POR.1 On July 30, 2018, Commerce received a timely request from Tesa SrL (Tesa), in accordance with section 751(a) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act) and 19 CFR 351.213(b), to conduct an administrative review of this CVD order.2 On July 31, 2018, Commerce received timely requests from Industria Alimentare Colavita, S.p.A (Indalco) and GR.A.M.M. S.r.l., (GRAMM), in accordance with section 751(a) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213(b), to conduct an administrative review of this CVD order.3

    1See Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity to Request Administrative Review, 83 FR 31121 (July 3, 2018).

    2See Tesa's Letter, “Pasta from Italy; Request for Administrative Review,” dated July 30, 2018.

    3See Indalco's Letter, “Certain Pasta from Italy: Request for Administrative Review on Behalf of Industria Alimentare Colavita, S.p.A.,” dated July 31, 2018; see also GR.A.M.M.'s Letter, “Certain Dry Pasta from Italy, C-475-819; Request for Review,” dated July 31, 2018.

    On September 10, 2018, Commerce published in the Federal Register a notice of initiation of the administrative review with respect to Tesa, Indalco, and GRAMM.4 On October 4, 2018, Tesa timely withdrew its request for an administrative review.5 On October 15, 2018, GRAMM timely withdrew its request for an administrative review.6 On November 19, 2018, Indalco timely withdrew its request for an administrative review.7

    4See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 83 FR 45596 (September 10, 2018).

    5See Tesa's Letter, “Pasta from Italy; Withdrawal of Request for Administrative Review,” dated October 4, 2018.

    6See GRAMM's Letter, “Certain Dry Pasta from Italy, C-475-819; Withdrawal Request for Review,” dated October 15, 2018.

    7See Indalco's Letter, “Certain Pasta from Italy: Withdrawal of Request for CVD Administrative Review of Indalco S.p.A.,” dated November 19, 2018.

    Rescission of Review

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1), Commerce will rescind an administrative review, in whole or in part, if the party who requested the review withdraws its request within 90 days of the publication date of the notice of initiation of the requested review. As noted above, Tesa, Indalco, and GRAMM withdrew their requests for review by the 90-day deadline, and no other party requested an administrative review of this order. Therefore, we are rescinding, in its entirety, the administrative review of the CVD order on certain pasta from Italy covering the period January 1, 2017, through December 31, 2017, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1).

    Assessment

    Commerce will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to assess countervailing duties on all appropriate entries of certain pasta from Italy during January 1, 2017, through December 31, 2017. Countervailing duties shall be assessed at rates equal to the cash deposit rate for estimated countervailing duties required at the time of entry, or withdrawal from warehouse, for consumption, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(c)(1)(i). Commerce intends to issue appropriate assessment instructions to CBP 15 days after the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register.

    Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Orders

    This notice serves as the only reminder to parties subject to administrative protective order (APO) of their responsibility concerning the return or destruction of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3). Timely written notification of the return or destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of an APO is a sanctionable violation.

    This notice is issued and published in accordance with section 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213(d)(4).

    Dated: December 7, 2018. James Maeder, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations performing the duties of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2018-27001 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-533-864] Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products From India: Rescission of 2017 Countervailing Duty Administrative Review AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Commerce) is rescinding the administrative review of the countervailing order on certain corrosion-resistant steel from India for the period of review (POR), January 1, 2017, through December 31, 2017, based on the timely withdrawal of the request for review.

    DATES:

    Applicable December 13, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Omar Qureshi, AD/CVD Operations, Office V, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone (202) 482-5307

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On July 3, 2018, Commerce published in the Federal Register a notice of opportunity to request an administrative review of the countervailing duty order on corrosion-resistant steel products from India for the period January 1, 2017, to December 31, 2017 (POR).1 On July 31, 2018, Uttam Galva Steels Limited (Uttam Galva) filed a timely request for review in accordance with 751(a) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act).2 On September 10, 2018, based on this request and in accordance with section 751(a) of the Act, Commerce published in the Federal Register a notice of initiation of an administrative review of the countervailing duty order on certain corrosion-resistant steel products from India, covering the POR.3 On October 26, 2018, Uttam Galva timely withdrew its request for administrative review.4

    1See Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity to Request Administrative Review, 83 FR 31,121 (July 3, 2018).

    2See Letter from Uttam Galva Steels Limited: Request for Administrative Review, dated July 31, 2018.

    3See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 83 FR 45596 (September 10, 2018).

    4See Letter from Uttam Galva: Withdrawal of Request for Review, dated October 26, 2018.

    Rescission of Review

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1), the Secretary will rescind an administrative review, in whole or in part, if the party that requested the review withdraws its request within 90 days of the date of publication of the notice of initiation of the requested review. Uttam Galva was the only interested party that requested a review of itself. Additionally, Uttam Galva is the only respondent party to this review. As noted above, Uttam Galva withdrew its request for review by the 90-day deadline. As a result, Commerce is rescinding the administrative review of the countervailing duty order on certain corrosion-resistant steel products from India covering the period January 1, 2017, to December 31, 2017.

    Assessment

    We will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to assess countervailing duties on all appropriate entries. Because Commerce is rescinding this administrative review in its entirety, the entries to which this administrative review pertained shall be assessed countervailing duties at rates equal to the cash deposit of estimated antidumping duties required at the time of entry, or withdrawal from warehouse, for consumption, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(c)(1)(i). Commerce intends to issue appropriate assessment instructions to CBP 15 days after the publication of this notice in the Federal Register.

    Notifications

    This notice serves as a final reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of countervailing duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in Commerce's presumption that reimbursement of the countervailing duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of doubled antidumping duties.

    This notice also serves as a final reminder to parties subject to administrative protective order (APO) of their responsibility concerning the return or destruction of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3), which continues to govern business proprietary information in this segment of the proceeding. Timely written notification of the return/destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of an APO is a violation which is subject to sanction.

    This notice is issued and published in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act, and 19 CFR 351.213(d)(4).

    Dated: December 7, 2018. James Maeder, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations performing the duties of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2018-26972 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-992] Monosodium Glutamate From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2016-2017 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Commerce) has completed the administrative review of the antidumping duty order on monosodium glutamate (MSG) from the People's Republic of China (China) covering the period of review (POR) November 1, 2016, through October 31, 2017. We continue to find that none of the exporters of subject merchandise demonstrated eligibility for a separate rate; therefore, each is part of the China-wide entity.

    DATES:

    Applicable December 13, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kathryn Wallace, 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) 482-6251.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On August 9, 2018, Commerce published the Preliminary Results and gave interested parties an opportunity to comment.1 Commerce received no comments. These final results cover 27 companies for which an administrative review was requested and not rescinded.2 This review was conducted in accordance with section 751(a)(1)(B) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act).

    1See Monosodium Glutamate from the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results of the Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2016-17, 83 FR 39420 (August 8, 2018) (Preliminary Results).

    2Id.

    Scope of the Order

    The product covered by this order is MSG, whether or not blended or in solution with other products. Specifically, MSG that has been blended or is in solution with other product(s) is included in this scope when the resulting mix contains 15 percent or more of MSG by dry weight. Products with which MSG may be blended include, but are not limited to, salts, sugars, starches, maltodextrins, and various seasonings. Further, MSG is included in this order regardless of physical form (including, but not limited to, in monohydrate or anhydrous form, or as substrates, solutions, dry powders of any particle size, or unfinished forms such as MSG slurry), end-use application, or packaging. MSG in monohydrate form has a molecular formula of C5H8NO4Na-H2O, a Chemical Abstract Service (CAS) registry number of 6106-04-3, and a Unique Ingredient Identifier (UNII) number of W81N5U6R6U. MSG in anhydrous form has a molecular formula of C5H8NO4Na, a CAS registry number of 142-47-2, and a UNII number of C3C196L9FG. Merchandise covered by the scope of this order is currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) at subheading 2922.42.10.00. Merchandise subject to the order may also enter under HTS subheadings 2922.42.50.00, 2103.90.72.00, 2103.90.74.00, 2103.90.78.00, 2103.90.80.00, and 2103.90.90.91. The tariff classifications, CAS registry numbers, and UNII numbers are provided for convenience and customs purposes; however, the written description of the scope is dispositive.3

    3See Monosodium Glutamate from the People's Republic of China: Second Amended Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Amended Antidumping Order, 80 FR 487 (January 6, 2015) (Amended Antidumping Duty Order).

    Final Results of Review

    Commerce preliminarily determined that none of the companies subject to this review demonstrated eligibility for separate rate status and were thus found to be part of the China-wide entity.4 As noted above, Commerce received no comments concerning the Preliminary Results of this segment of the proceeding. As there are no changes from, or comments upon, the Preliminary Results, Commerce finds that there is no reason to modify its analysis. Accordingly, no decision memorandum accompanies this Federal Register notice. For further details of the issues addressed in this proceeding, see the Preliminary Results.5 In these final results of review, we continued to treat all 27 exporters subject to this review as part of the China-wide entity.6 The China-wide entity rate is 40.41 percent.7

    4See Preliminary Results.

    5Id.

    6 In the Preliminary Results, we found all 27 exporters subject to this review to be part of the China-wide entity as each exporter failed to submit an SRA and/or an SRC to establish its eligibility for separate rate status. For further details of the issues addressed in this proceeding, see the Preliminary Results.

    7See Amended Antidumping Duty Order.

    China-Wide Entity

    Commerce's policy regarding the conditional review of the China-wide entity applies to this administrative review.8 Under this policy, the China-wide entity will not be under review unless a party specifically requests, or Commerce self-initiates, a review of the entity. Because no party requested a review of the China-wide entity in this review, the entity is not under review and the entity's rate is not subject to change (i.e., 40.41 percent).9

    8See Antidumping Proceedings: Announcement of Change in Department Practice for Respondent Selection in Antidumping Duty Proceedings and Conditional Review of the Nonmarket Economy Entity in NME Antidumping Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 65963 (November 4, 2013).

    9See Amended Antidumping Duty Order.

    Assessment Rates

    Commerce has determined, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries in this review, in accordance with section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1). Commerce intends to issue assessment instructions directly to CBP 15 days after publication in the Federal Register of these final results of this administrative review.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash deposit requirements will be effective upon publication of the final results of this administrative review for all shipments of the subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication date, as provided for by section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) For previously investigated or reviewed Chinese and non-Chinese exporters not under review in this segment of the proceeding, but who have separate rates, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the exporter-specific rate published for the most recent period; (2) for all Chinese exporters of subject merchandise that have not been found to be entitled to a separate rate, the cash deposit rate will be the China-wide entity rate (i.e., 40.41 percent); and (3) for all non-Chinese exporters of subject merchandise which have not received their own rate, the cash deposit rate will be the rate applicable to Chinese exporter that supplied that non-Chinese exporter. These deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    Reimbursement of Duties

    This notice also serves as a final reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Secretary's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties.

    Administrative Protective Order

    This notice also serves as a reminder to parties subject to administrative protective order (APO) of their responsibility concerning the return or destruction of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3), which continues to govern business proprietary information in this segment of the proceeding. Timely written notification of the return/destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of an APO is a violation, which is subject to sanction.

    We are issuing and publishing this notice in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act, and 19 CFR 351.213(h).

    Dated: December 6, 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. 2018-26974 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-489-816] Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods From Turkey: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2016-2017 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Commerce) finds that oil country tubular goods (OCTG) from Turkey have been sold at less than normal value during the period of review (POR) September 1, 2016, through August 31, 2017.

    DATES:

    Applicable December 13, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dmitry Vladimirov, AD/CVD Operations, Office I, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-0665.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On June 11, 2018, Commerce published the Preliminary Results of the administrative review.1 We invited interested parties to comment on the Preliminary Results and received case and rebuttal briefs from interested parties.2 On August 23, 2018, Commerce held a public hearing. After reviewing comments submitted by interested parties, Commerce determined to conduct a formal inquiry into the bona fides nature of the U.S. sale reported by the mandatory respondent, Çayirova Boru Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş. and Yücel Boru Ithalat-Ihracat ve Pazarlama A.Ş. (collectively, Yücel) in this review.3 On September 24, 2018, Commerce extended the deadline for the final results by 59 days to December 7, 2018.4 On October 30, 2018, Commerce reached a determination that Yücel's U.S. sale subject to this review is a bona fide transaction and invited interested parties to comment on this determination.5 On November 5, 2018, U.S. Steel submitted a case brief, and on November 7, 2018, Yücel submitted its rebuttal brief.6

    1See Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods from Turkey: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2016-2017, 83 FR 26957 (June 11, 2018) (Preliminary Results) and Memorandum, “Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods from Turkey: Decision Memorandum for Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2016-2017,” dated June 5, 2018 (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

    2See case brief from the petitioner, United States Steel Corporation, “Re: Oil Country Tubular Goods from Turkey: U.S. Steel's Case Brief,” dated July 11, 2018, and a rebuttal brief from a mandatory respondent, Çayirova Boru Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş. and Yücel Boru İthalat-İhracat ve Pazarlama A.Ş, “Re: OCTG from Turkey; Yücel rebuttal brief,” dated July 16, 2018.

    3 We previously determined these companies to constitute a single entity (hereinafter, Yücel). See Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods from the Republic of Turkey: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Affirmative Final Determination of Critical Circumstances in Part, 79 FR 41971, 41973 (July 18, 2014).

    4See Memorandum, “Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods from Turkey: Extension of Deadline for Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review,” dated September 24, 2018.

    5See Commerce's memorandum, “2016-2017 Antidumping Duty Administrative Review of Oil Country Tubular Goods from Turkey: Bona Fides Analysis of the U.S. Sale Made by Çayirova Boru Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş. and Yücel Boru İthalat-İhracat ve Pazarlama A.Ş.,” dated October 30, 2018.

    6See Letter from the petitioner, “Re: Oil Country Tubular Goods from Turkey: U.S. Steel's Case Brief Concerning Commerce's Bona Fides Analysis,” dated November 5, 2018 and Letter from Yücel, “Re: OCTG from Turkey; Yücel rebuttal brief regarding bona fides of U.S. sale,” dated November 7, 2018.

    Commerce conducted this review in accordance with section 751(a)(1)(B) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act).

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise covered by the order is certain OCTG. The merchandise subject to the order is currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under item numbers: 7304.29.10.10, 7304.29.10.20, 7304.29.10.30, 7304.29.10.40, 7304.29.10.50, 7304.29.10.60, 7304.29.10.80, 7304.29.20.10, 7304.29.20.20, 7304.29.20.30, 7304.29.20.40, 7304.29.20.50, 7304.29.20.60, 7304.29.20.80, 7304.29.31.10, 7304.29.31.20, 7304.29.31.30, 7304.29.31.40, 7304.29.31.50, 7304.29.31.60, 7304.29.31.80, 7304.29.41.10, 7304.29.41.20, 7304.29.41.30, 7304.29.41.40, 7304.29.41.50, 7304.29.41.60, 7304.29.41.80, 7304.29.50.15, 7304.29.50.30, 7304.29.50.45, 7304.29.50.60, 7304.29.50.75, 7304.29.61.15, 7304.29.61.30, 7304.29.61.45, 7304.29.61.60, 7304.29.61.75, 7305.20.20.00, 7305.20.40.00, 7305.20.60.00, 7305.20.80.00, 7306.29.10.30, 7306.29.10.90, 7306.29.20.00, 7306.29.31.00, 7306.29.41.00, 7306.29.60.10, 7306.29.60.50, 7306.29.81.10, and 7306.29.81.50.

    The merchandise subject to the order may also enter under the following HTSUS item numbers: 7304.39.00.24, 7304.39.00.28, 7304.39.00.32, 7304.39.00.36, 7304.39.00.40, 7304.39.00.44, 7304.39.00.48, 7304.39.00.52, 7304.39.00.56, 7304.39.00.62, 7304.39.00.68, 7304.39.00.72, 7304.39.00.76, 7304.39.00.80, 7304.59.60.00, 7304.59.80.15, 7304.59.80.20, 7304.59.80.25, 7304.59.80.30, 7304.59.80.35, 7304.59.80.40, 7304.59.80.45, 7304.59.80.50, 7304.59.80.55, 7304.59.80.60, 7304.59.80.65, 7304.59.80.70, 7304.59.80.80, 7305.31.40.00, 7305.31.60.90, 7306.30.50.55, 7306.30.50.90, 7306.50.50.50, and 7306.50.50.70.

    While the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description is dispositive. A full description of the scope of the order is contained in the Issues and Decision Memorandum.7

    7See Memorandum, “Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods from Turkey: Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review,” dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by this notice (Issues and Decision Memorandum).

    Finding of No Shipments

    The record evidence in this review indicates that Tosçelik Profil ve Sac Endüstrisi A.Ş. and Tosyali Dis Ticaret A.S. (collectively, Tosçelik) 8 had no exports, sales, or entries of subject merchandise to the United States during the POR. Accordingly, we determine that Tosçelik had no shipments during the POR. For additional information on our preliminary finding of no shipments, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum. Accordingly, consistent with Commerce's practice, we will issue appropriate instructions to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) based on our final results.

    8 We previously determined these companies to constitute a single entity. See Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods from Turkey: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2015-2016, 82 FR 42285 (September 7, 2017) (unchanged in Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods from Turkey: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2015-2016, 83 FR 1240 (January 10, 2018)).

    Analysis of Comments Received

    All issues raised in the case and rebuttal briefs by parties in this review are addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum. A list of the issues raised is attached as an Appendix to this notice. The Issues and Decision Memorandum is a public document and is made available to the public via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov and is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the Enforcement and Compliance website at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. A list of the topics discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum is attached as an Appendix to this notice.

    Changes Since the Preliminary Results

    We did not make any changes for these final results.

    Final Results of Review

    We determine that the following weighted-average dumping margins exist for the period September 1, 2016, through August 31, 2017.

    Producer/exporter Weighted-average dumping margin
  • (percent)
  • Çayirova Boru Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş. and Yücel Boru İthalat-İhracat ve Pazarlama A.Ş 1.59 Çayirova Boru San A.Ş 1.59 HG Tubulars Canada Ltd 1.59 Yücelboru İhracat, Ithalat 1.59
    Assessment

    Pursuant to section 751(a)(2)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1), Commerce will determine, and CBP shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries of subject merchandise in accordance with the final results of this review. For Yücel, we calculated importer-specific assessment rates on the basis of the ratio of the total amount of antidumping duties calculated for each importer's examined sales and the total entered value of the sales in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1).9

    9 In these final results, Commerce applied the assessment rate calculation method adopted in Antidumping Proceedings: Calculation of the Weighted-Average Dumping Margin and Assessment Rate in Certain Antidumping Duty Proceedings; Final Modification, 77 FR 8101 (February 14, 2012).

    For entries of subject merchandise during the POR produced by Yücel for which it did not know that the merchandise was destined for the United States, we will instruct CBP to liquidate un-reviewed entries at the all-others rate if there is no rate for the intermediate company(ies) involved in the transaction. For Tosçelik, which we determined had no shipments of subject merchandise in this review period, we will instruct CBP to liquidate any applicable entries of subject merchandise at the all-others rate.10

    10See, e.g., Certain Circular Welded Carbon Quality Steel Pipes and Tubes from Taiwan: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Final Determination of No Shipments; 2016-2017, 83 FR 52204 (October 16, 2018); Certain Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Products From Taiwan: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2016-2017, 83 FR 30401, 30402 (June 28, 2018).

    We intend to issue instructions to CBP 15 days after publication of the final results of this review.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash deposit requirements will be effective upon publication of the notice of final results of the administrative review for all shipments of OCTG from Turkey entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of publication as provided by section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) The cash deposit rate for companies subject to this review will be the rates established in the final results of the review; (2) for merchandise exported by producers or exporters not covered in this administrative review but covered in a prior completed segment of the proceeding, including those for which Commerce has determined had no shipments during the POR, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the company-specific rate published for the most recent period; (3) if the exporter is not a firm covered in this administrative review, a prior review, or the original investigation, but the producer has been covered in a prior complete segment of this proceeding, the cash deposit rate will be the rate established for the most recent period for the producer of the merchandise; and (4) the cash deposit rate for all other producers or exporters will continue to be 35.86 percent,11 the all-others rate established in the less-than-fair-value investigation, adjusted for the export-subsidy rate established in the companion countervailing duty investigation. These cash deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    11See Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods from India, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, the Republic of Turkey, and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Antidumping Duty Orders; and Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Amended Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, 79 FR 53691, 53693 (September 10, 2014).

    Notification to Importers

    This notice serves as a final reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Secretary's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties.

    Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Orders

    This notice also serves as a reminder to parties subject to administrative protective order (APO) of their responsibility concerning the destruction of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3). Timely written notification of the return or destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of an APO is a violation subject to sanction.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    We are issuing and publishing these results in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: December 7, 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. Appendix List of Topics Discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Scope of the Order IV. Discussion of the Issues Whether the U.S. Sale is Bona Fide Whether the Dumping Margin was Manipulated V. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2018-26973 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XG666 Fisheries of the South Atlantic; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of SEDAR 60 Assessment Scoping webinar for South Atlantic Red Porgy.

    SUMMARY:

    The SEDAR 60 assessment of the South Atlantic stock of Red Porgy will consist of a series of webinars and an in-person workshop. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    DATES:

    A SEDAR 60 Assessment Scoping webinar will be held on Wednesday, January 9, 2019, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    Meeting address: The meeting will be held via webinar. The webinar is open to members of the public. Those interested in participating should contact Julia Byrd at SEDAR (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT) to request an invitation providing webinar access information. Please request webinar invitations at least 24 hours in advance of each webinar.

    SEDAR address: South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, N Charleston, SC 29405; www.sedarweb.org.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Julia Byrd, SEDAR Coordinator, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, North Charleston, SC 29405; phone: (843) 571-4366; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, and Caribbean Fishery Management Councils, in conjunction with NOAA Fisheries and the Atlantic and Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commissions, have implemented the Southeast Data, Assessment and Review (SEDAR) process, a multi-step method for determining the status of fish stocks in the Southeast Region. The product of the SEDAR webinar series will be a report which compiles and evaluates potential datasets and recommends which datasets are appropriate for assessment analyses, and describes the fisheries, evaluates the status of the stock, estimates biological benchmarks, projects future population conditions, and recommends research and monitoring needs. Participants for SEDAR Workshops are appointed by the Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, and Caribbean Fishery Management Councils and NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office, Highly Migratory Species Management Division, and Southeast Fisheries Science Center. Participants include: Data collectors and database managers; stock assessment scientists, biologists, and researchers; constituency representatives including fishermen, environmentalists, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs); international experts; and staff of Councils, Commissions, and state and federal agencies.

    The items of discussion in the Assessment Scoping webinar are as follows:

    Participants will review data and discuss data issues, as necessary, and initial modeling issues.

    Although non-emergency issues not contained in this agenda may come before this group for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Action will be restricted to those issues specifically identified in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, provided the public has been notified of the intent to take final action to address the emergency.

    Special Accommodations

    This meeting is accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for auxiliary aids should be directed to the SAFMC office (see ADDRESSES) at least 5 business days prior to the meeting.

    Note:

    The times and sequence specified in this agenda are subject to change.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: December 10, 2018. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-26979 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XG648 Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Pacific Fishery Management Council's (Pacific Council) Groundfish Management Team (GMT) will hold a week-long work session that is open to the public.

    DATES:

    The GMT meeting will be held Monday, January 14, 2019 through Friday, January 18, 2019. The GMT meeting will begin on Monday, January 14, from 1 p.m. until business for the day is completed. The meeting will reconvene Tuesday, January 15 through Friday, January 18, from 8:30 a.m. until business for each day has been completed.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Pacific Council Office, Large Conference Room, 7700 NE Ambassador Place, Suite 101, Portland, OR 97220-1384.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Todd Phillips, Pacific Council; phone: (503) 820-2426.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The primary purpose of this week-long work session is for the GMT to prepare for 2019 Pacific Council meetings. Specific agenda items will include: A detailed review of 2019/20 harvest specifications and management measure process, planning for the 2021/22 harvest specifications and management measure process, meeting with representatives from the Pacific Council's Ecosystem Workgroup; consideration of the groundfish workload prioritization process and Council Operating Procedure 9, Endangered Species Act salmon mitigation measures, and GMT chair/vice chair elections. The GMT may also address work assigned by the Pacific Council that relates to groundfish management, such as: A methodology overview of Sablefish Management and Trawl Allocation Attainment Committee analysis needs and impact analysis of proposed changes to the directed Pacific halibut fishery on groundfish. A detailed agenda will be available on the Pacific Council's website prior to the meeting.

    Although nonemergency issues not contained in the meeting agenda may be discussed, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during these meetings. Action will be restricted to those issues specifically listed in this document and any issues arising after publication of this document that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, provided the public has been notified of the intent to take final action to address the emergency.

    Special Accommodations

    The meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Mr. Kris Kleinschmidt at (503) 820-2411, at least 10 business days prior to the meeting date.

    Dated: December 10, 2018. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-26982 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XG573 Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plans AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    We, NMFS, announce that the Proposed Endangered Species Act (ESA) Recovery Plan for Puget Sound Steelhead (Proposed Plan) is available for public review and comment. The Proposed Plan addresses the Puget Sound Steelhead (Onchorhynchus mykiss) Distinct Population Segment (DPS), which was listed as threatened under the ESA on May 11, 2007. As required under the ESA, the Proposed Plan contains objective, measurable delisting criteria, site-specific management actions necessary to achieve the Proposed Plan's goals, and estimates of the time and cost required to implement recovery actions. We are soliciting review and comment from the public and all interested parties on the Proposed Plan.

    DATES:

    Comments on the Proposed Plan must be received by February 11, 2019.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on the Proposed Plan, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2018-0125, by either of the following methods:

    Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments on the Proposed Plan via the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D= NOAA-NMFS-2018-0125. Click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Submit written comments on the Proposed Plan to David Price, National Marine Fisheries Service, 510 Desmond Dr. SE, Lacey, WA 98503.

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

    The Proposed Plan is available online at www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D= NOAA-NMFS-2018-0125 or upon request from the NMFS West Coast Region, Protected Resources Division (see ADDRESSES or FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David Price, (360) 753-9598, [email protected]; or Elizabeth Babcock, (206) 526-4505, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    We are responsible for developing and implementing recovery plans for Pacific salmon and steelhead listed under the ESA of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Section 4(f)(1) of the ESA requires that recovery plans include, to the extent practicable: (1) Objective, measurable criteria which, when met, would result in a determination that the species is no longer threatened or endangered; (2) site-specific management actions necessary to achieve the plan's goals; and (3) estimates of the time required and costs to implement recovery actions. The ESA requires the development of recovery plans for each listed species unless such a plan would not promote its recovery.

    We believe it is essential to have local support of recovery plans by those whose activities directly affect the listed species and whose continued commitment and leadership will be needed to implement the necessary recovery actions. We therefore support and participate in collaborative efforts to develop recovery plans that involve state, tribal, and Federal entities, local communities, and other stakeholders. For this Proposed Plan for threatened Puget Sound Steelhead, we worked collaboratively with local, state, tribal, and Federal partners to produce a recovery plan that satisfies the ESA requirements. We have determined that this Proposed ESA Recovery Plan for Puget Sound Steelhead meets the statutory requirements for a recovery plan and are proposing to adopt it as the ESA recovery plan for this threatened species. Section 4(f) of the ESA, as amended in 1988, requires that public notice and an opportunity for public review and comment be provided prior to final approval of a recovery plan. This notice solicits comments on this Proposed Plan.

    Development of the Proposed Plan

    The geographic area covered by the Proposed Plan is the Puget Sound basin, from the Elwha River (inclusive) eastward, including rivers in Hood Canal, South Sound, and North Sound, including steelhead from six artificial propagation programs: The Green River Natural Program; White River Winter Steelhead Supplementation Program; Hood Canal Steelhead Supplementation Off-station Projects in the Dewatto, Skokomish, and Duckabush Rivers; and the Lower Elwha Fish Hatchery Wild Steelhead Recovery Program.

    For the purpose of recovery planning for the ESA-listed species of Pacific salmon and steelhead in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, NMFS designated five geographically based “recovery domains.” The Puget Sound Steelhead DPS spawning range is in the Puget Sound domain. For each domain, NMFS appointed a team of scientists, nominated for their geographic and species expertise, to provide a solid scientific foundation for recovery plans. The Puget Sound Steelhead Technical Recovery Team included biologists from NMFS, other Federal agencies, state agencies, tribes, and academic institutions.

    A primary task for the Puget Sound Steelhead Technical Recovery Team was to recommend criteria for determining when each component population within a DPS or Evolutionarily Significant Unit (ESU) should be considered viable (i.e., when they are have a low risk of extinction over a 100-year period) and when ESUs or DPSs have a risk of extinction consistent with no longer needing the protections of the ESA. All NMFS' Technical Recovery Teams used the same biological principles for developing their recommendations; these principles are described in the NOAA technical memorandum Viable Salmonid Populations and the Recovery of Evolutionarily Significant Units (McElhany et al. 2000). Viable salmonid populations (VSP) are defined in terms of four parameters: Abundance, productivity or growth rate, spatial structure, and diversity.

    We also collaborated with the state of Washington, tribes, other Federal agencies, local governments, representatives of industry and environmental groups, other stakeholders, and the public to develop the Proposed Plan. The Plan for the Puget Sound steelhead DPS was developed by NMFS in cooperation with a Recovery Team made up of experts from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, Nooksack Tribe, Seattle Light, Long Live the Kings, Puget Sound Partnership, and NMFS Northwest Fisheries Science Center. These groups provided vital input during the planning process, and their continued involvement during recovery plan implementation is critical to the success of our joint efforts to recover Puget Sound steelhead.

    Contents of Proposed Plan

    The Proposed Plan contains biological background and contextual information that includes description of the DPS, the planning area, and the context of the plan's development. It presents relevant information on DPS structure and guidelines for assessing salmonid population and DPS status. It provides background on the natural history of steelhead, population status, and threats to their sustainability.

    The Puget Sound steelhead DPS consists of three Major Population Groups (MPGs) and 32 Demographically Independent Populations (DIPs). NMFS based its decision to list the species in 2007 on findings by the Puget Sound Steelhead Biological Review Team (Hard et al. 2007). This team considered the major risk factors facing Puget Sound steelhead to be widespread declines in abundance and productivity for most natural steelhead populations in the DPS, including those in Skagit and Snohomish Rivers, previously considered strongholds for steelhead in the DPS; the low abundance of several summer-run populations; and the sharply diminishing abundance of some steelhead populations, especially in south Puget Sound, Hood Canal, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Continued releases of out-of-DPS hatchery fish from Skamania-derived summer run were a major concern for diversity in the DPS. In 2011, eight years after the ESA-listing decision, a status assessment of the DPS by NMFS' Biological Review Team found that the status of Puget Sound steelhead regarding risk of extinction had not changed (NMFS 2016; 81 FR 33468; May 26, 2016). Scientists on the Biological Review Team identified degradation and fragmentation of freshwater habitat, with consequential effects on connectivity, as the primary limiting factors and threats facing the Puget Sound steelhead DPS. They determined that most of the steelhead populations within the DPS continued to show downward trends in estimated abundance, with a few sharp declines (Ford 2011). Most recently, a NMFS species status review (NMFS 2016) concluded that “The biological risks faced by the Puget Sound steelhead DPS have not substantively changed since the listing in 2007, or since the 2011 status review.” The NMFS review team concluded that the DPS was at very low viability, as were all three of its constituent MPGs, and many of its 32 DIPs (Hard et al. 2015).

    The Proposed Plan presents NMFS' proposed recovery goals and the viability criteria and listing factor criteria for making a delisting decision. The proposed viability criteria for the Puget Sound steelhead DPS are designed to improve the DPS so it “has a negligible risk of extinction due to threats from demographic variation, local environmental variation, and genetic diversity changes over a 100-year time frame” based on the status of the MPGs and DIPs, and supporting ecosystems (McElhany et al. 2000). A self-sustaining viable population has a negligible risk of extinction due to reasonably foreseeable changes in circumstances affecting its abundance, productivity, spatial structure, and diversity characteristics and achieves these characteristics without dependence upon artificial propagation. The proposed viability criteria for Puget Sound steelhead require that all three MPGs be viable because the three MPGs differ substantially in key biological and habitat characteristics that contribute in distinct ways to the overall viability, diversity and spatial structure of the DPS.

    The proposed listing factor criteria are based on the five listing factors found in the ESA section 4(a)(1). Before NMFS can remove the DPS from protection under the ESA, the factors that led to ESA listing need to have been reduced or eliminated to the point where Federal protection under the ESA is no longer needed, and there is reasonable certainty that the relevant regulatory mechanisms are adequate to protect Puget Sound steelhead viability. NMFS listing factor criteria for Puget Sound steelhead address pressures from freshwater habitat degradation, hatcheries, and other factors that led to the species listing and continue to affect its viability.

    The Proposed Plan also describes specific information on the following: Current status of Puget Sound steelhead; pressures (limiting factors) and threats throughout the life cycle that have contributed to the species decline; recovery strategies to address the threats based on the best available science; site-specific actions with timelines; and a proposed adaptive management framework for focusing needed research and evaluations and revising our recovery strategies and actions. The Proposed Plan also summarizes time and costs required to implement recovery actions.

    How NMFS and Others Expect To Use the Plan

    With approval of the final Puget Sound Steelhead recovery plan, we will implement the actions in the plan for which we have authority and funding; encourage other Federal, state and local agencies and tribal governments to implement recovery actions for which they have responsibility, authority, and funding; and work cooperatively with tribes, the public and local stakeholders on implementation of other actions. We expect the recovery plan to guide us and other Federal agencies in evaluating Federal actions under ESA section 7, as well as in implementing other provisions of the ESA and other statutes. For example, the plan will provide greater biological context for evaluating the effects that a proposed action may have on the species by providing delisting criteria, information on priority areas for addressing specific limiting factors, and information on how the DPS can tolerate varying levels of risk.

    When we are considering a species for delisting, the agency will examine whether the section 4(a)(1) listing factors have been addressed. To assist in this examination, we will use the delisting criteria described in Chapter 4 of the Proposed Plan, which include both viability criteria and listing factor criteria addressing each of the ESA section 4(a)(1) listing factors, as well as any other relevant data and policy considerations.

    Public Comments Solicited

    We are soliciting written comments on the Proposed Plan. All substantive comments received by the date specified above will be considered and incorporated, as appropriate, prior to our decision whether to approve the plan. While we invite comments on all aspects of the Proposed Plan, we are particularly interested in comments on the proposed strategies and actions, comments on the cost of recovery actions, and comments on establishing an appropriate implementation forum for the plan. We will issue a news release announcing the adoption and availability of the final plan. We will post on the NMFS West Coast Region website (www.wcr.noaa.gov) a summary of, and responses to, the comments received, along with electronic copies of the final plan and its appendices.

    Literature Cited

    The complete citations for the references used in this document can be obtained by contacting NMFS (see ADDRESSES and FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.

    Dated: December 6, 2018. Donna S. Wieting, Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-27003 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XG668 Fisheries of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of SEDAR 64 Data webinar for Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic yellowtail snapper.

    SUMMARY:

    The SEDAR 64 assessment process of Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic yellowtail snapper will consist of a Data Workshop, and a series of assessment webinars, and a Review Workshop. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    DATES:

    The SEDAR 64 Data webinar will be held January 11, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Eastern Time.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held via webinar. The webinar is open to members of the public. Those interested in participating should contact Julie A. Neer at SEDAR (See Contact Information Below) to request an invitation providing webinar access information. Please request webinar invitations at least 24 hours in advance of each webinar.

    SEDAR address: 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, North Charleston, SC 29405.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Julie A. Neer, SEDAR Coordinator; (843) 571-4366; Email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, and Caribbean Fishery Management Councils, in conjunction with NOAA Fisheries and the Atlantic and Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commissions have implemented the Southeast Data, Assessment and Review (SEDAR) process, a multi-step method for determining the status of fish stocks in the Southeast Region. SEDAR is a multi-step process including: (1) Data Workshop, (2) a series of assessment webinars, and (3) a Review Workshop. The product of the Data Workshop is a report that compiles and evaluates potential datasets and recommends which datasets are appropriate for assessment analyses. The assessment webinars produce a report that describes the fisheries, evaluates the status of the stock, estimates biological benchmarks, projects future population conditions, and recommends research and monitoring needs. The product of the Review Workshop is an Assessment Summary documenting panel opinions regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the stock assessment and input data. Participants for SEDAR Workshops are appointed by the Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, and Caribbean Fishery Management Councils and NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office, HMS Management Division, and Southeast Fisheries Science Center. Participants include data collectors and database managers; stock assessment scientists, biologists, and researchers; constituency representatives including fishermen, environmentalists, and NGO's; International experts; and staff of Councils, Commissions, and state and federal agencies.

    The items of discussion during the Data webinar are as follows:

    Panelists will review the data sets being considered for the assessment.

    Although non-emergency issues not contained in this agenda may come before this group for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Action will be restricted to those issues specifically identified in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, provided the public has been notified of the intent to take final action to address the emergency.

    Special Accommodations

    The meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to the Council office (see ADDRESSES) at least 5 business days prior to each workshop.

    Note: The times and sequence specified in this agenda are subject to change.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: December 10, 2018. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-26981 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Evaluation of State Coastal Management Programs AGENCY:

    Office for Coastal Management (OCM), National Ocean Service (NOS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce (DOC).

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Office for Coastal Management will hold a public meeting to solicit comments on the performance evaluation of the Rhode Island Coastal Management Program.

    DATES:

    Rhode Island Coastal Management Program Evaluation: The public meeting will be held on February 5, 2019, and written comments must be received on or before February 15, 2019.

    For specific dates, times, and locations of the public meetings, see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on the coastal program NOAA intends to evaluate by any of the following methods:

    Public Meeting and Oral Comments: A public meeting will be held in Wakefield, Rhode Island. For the specific location, see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    Written Comments: Please direct written comments to Carrie Hall, Evaluator, Planning and Performance Measurement Program, Office for Coastal Management, NOS/NOAA, 1305 East-West Highway, 11th Floor, N/OCM1, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910, or email comments [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Carrie Hall, Evaluator, Planning and Performance Measurement Program, Office for Coastal Management, NOS/NOAA, 1305 East-West Highway, 11th Floor, N/OCM1, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910, by phone at (240) 533-0730 or email comments [email protected] Copies of the previous evaluation findings and 2016-2020 Assessment and Strategy may be viewed and downloaded on the internet at http://coast.noaa.gov/czm/evaluations. A copy of the evaluation notification letter and most recent progress report may be obtained upon request by contacting the person identified under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Section 312 of the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) requires NOAA to conduct periodic evaluations of federally approved state and territorial coastal programs. The process includes one or more public meetings, consideration of written public comments, and consultations with interested Federal, state, and local agencies and members of the public. During the evaluation, NOAA will consider the extent to which the state has met the national objectives, adhered to the management program approved by the Secretary of Commerce, and adhered to the terms of financial assistance under the CZMA. When the evaluation is completed, NOAA's Office for Coastal Management will place a notice in the Federal Register announcing the availability of the Final Evaluation Findings.

    You may participate or submit oral comments at the public meeting scheduled as follows:

    Date: February 5, 2019.

    Time: 6:00 p.m., local time.

    Location: Stedman Government Center, Conference Room A, 4808 Tower Hill Road, Wakefield, Rhode Island 02879.

    Written public comments must be received on or before February 15, 2018.

    Federal Domestic Assistance Catalog 11.419 Coastal Zone Management Program Administration Dated November 26, 2018. Keelin Kuipers, Deputy Director, Office for Coastal Management, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2018-27046 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-08-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Marine Mammals and Endangered Species AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; issuance of permits and permit amendments.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that permits or permit amendments have been issued to the following entities under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA), as applicable.

    ADDRESSES:

    The permits and related documents are available for review upon written request or by appointment in the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910; phone: (301) 427-8401; fax: (301) 713-0376.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jennifer Skidmore (Permit No. 17429-01), Carrie Hubard (Permit No. 21678), and Sara Young (Permit No. 21425); at (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notices were published in the Federal Register on the dates listed below that requests for a permit or permit amendment had been submitted by the below-named applicants. To locate the Federal Register notice that announced our receipt of the application and a complete description of the research, go to www.federalregister.gov and search on the permit number provided in the table below.

    Permit No. RIN Applicant Previous Federal Register notice Permit or amendment issuance date 17429-01 0648-XC766 Sea Life Park Hawaii, 41-202 Kalanianaole Highway No. 7
  • Waimanalo, HI 96795 (Responsible Party: Valerie King)
  • 79 FR 1834; January 10, 2014 October 3, 2018.
    21425 0648-XG297 Point Blue Conservation Science, 3820 Cypress Drive #11, Petaluma, CA 94954, (Responsible Party: Grant Ballard, Ph.D.) 83 FR 47606; September 20, 2018 November 7, 2018. 21678 0648-XG320 John Calambokidis, Cascadia Research Collective, Waterstreet Building Suite 201, 218 1/2 West Fourth Ave., Olympia, WA 98501 83 FR 35621; July 27, 2018 November 15, 2018.

    In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), a final determination has been made that the activities proposed are categorically excluded from the requirement to prepare an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement.

    As required by the ESA, as applicable, issuance of these permit was based on a finding that such permits: (1) Were applied for in good faith; (2) will not operate to the disadvantage of such endangered species; and (3) are consistent with the purposes and policies set forth in Section 2 of the ESA.

    Authority: The requested permits have been issued under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.), the regulations governing the taking and importing of marine mammals (50 CFR part 216), the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), and the regulations governing the taking, importing, and exporting of endangered and threatened species (50 CFR parts 222-226), as applicable.

    Dated: December 10, 2018. Julia Marie Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-26996 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XG664 Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting (webinar).

    SUMMARY:

    The Pacific Fishery Management Council (Pacific Council) will host a webinar meeting of the Area 2A Pacific halibut governmental management entities. This meeting is open to the public.

    DATES:

    The webinar meeting will be held on Thursday, January 3, 2019, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held via webinar. A public listening station is available at the Pacific Council office (address below). To attend the webinar (1) join the meeting by visiting this link https://www.gotomeeting.com/webinar, (2) enter the Webinar ID: 991-995-667, and (3) enter your name and email address (required). After logging in to the webinar, please (1) dial this TOLL number 1 (562) 247-8321 (not a toll-free number), (2) enter the attendee phone audio access code 906-460-333, and (3) then enter your audio phone pin (shown after joining the webinar). NOTE: We have disabled Mic/Speakers as an option and require all participants to use a telephone or cell phone to participate. Technical Information and system requirements: PC-based attendees are required to use Windows® 7, Vista, or XP; Mac®-based attendees are required to use Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer; Mobile attendees are required to use iPhone®, iPad®, AndroidTM phone or Android tablet (See the https://www.gotomeeting.com/webinar/ipad-iphone-android-webinar-apps). You may send an email to Mr. Kris Kleinschmidt at [email protected] or contact him at (503) 820-2280, extension 411 for technical assistance.

    Council address: Pacific Fishery Management Council, 7700 NE Ambassador Place, Suite 101, Portland, OR 97220.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Robin Ehlke, Pacific Council; telephone: (503) 820-2410.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The primary purpose of the Area 2A Pacific halibut manager's meeting is to prepare and develop recommendations for the 2019 International Pacific Halibut Commission's (IPHC) annual meeting in Victoria, BC from January 28 through February 1. Recommendations generated from the meeting will be communicated to the IPHC by the Pacific Council's representative, Mr. Phil Anderson. Attendees may also address other topics relating to Pacific halibut management. No management actions will be decided by the attendees. The meeting will be open to the public, and the agenda, which will be posted on the Pacific Council website prior to the meeting, will provide for a public comment period.

    Although non-emergency issues not contained in the meeting agenda may be discussed, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Action will be restricted to those issues specifically listed in this document and any issues arising after publication of this document that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, provided the public has been notified of the intent to take final action to address the emergency.

    Special Accommodations

    This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Mr. Kris Kleinschmidt (503) 820-2411 at least 10 business days prior to the meeting date.

    Dated: December 10, 2018. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-26978 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Availability of Final Evaluation Findings of State Coastal Programs and National Estuarine Research Reserves AGENCY:

    Office for Coastal Management (OCM), National Ocean Service (NOS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce (DOC).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    Notice is hereby given of the availability of final evaluation findings of state coastal programs and national estuarine research reserves. The NOAA Office for Coastal Management has completed review of the Coastal Zone Management Program evaluations for the state and territories of New Jersey, Guam, and U.S. Virgin Islands. The state and territories were found to be implementing and enforcing their federally approved Coastal Zone Management Programs, addressing the national coastal management objectives identified in CZMA Section 303(2)(A)-(K), and adhering to the programmatic terms of their financial assistance awards.

    The NOAA Office for Coastal Management has completed review of the National Estuarine Research Reserve evaluations for Grand Bay, Jobos Bay, and Padilla Bay. The reserves were found to be adhering to programmatic requirements of the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. Copies of these final evaluation findings may be downloaded at http://coast.noaa.gov/czm/evaluations/evaluation_findings/index.html or by submitting a written request to the person identified under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Carrie Hall, Evaluator, Planning and Performance Measurement Program, Office for Coastal Management, NOS/NOAA, 1305 East-West Highway, 11th Floor, N/OCM1, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910, or [email protected]

    Federal Domestic Assistance Catalog 11.419 Coastal Zone Management Program Administration

    Dated: November 26, 2018. Keelin Kuipers, Deputy Director, Office for Coastal Management, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2018-27065 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-08-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XG667 Fisheries of the Gulf of Mexico; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of SEDAR 61 Assessment Webinar II for Gulf of Mexico red grouper.

    SUMMARY:

    The SEDAR 61 stock assessment process for Gulf of Mexico red grouper will consist of an In-person Workshop, and a series of data and assessment webinars. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    DATES:

    The SEDAR 61 Assessment Webinar II will be held January 10, 2019, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern Time.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held via webinar. The webinar is open to members of the public. Those interested in participating should contact Julie A. Neer at SEDAR (see FOR FURTHER INFORATION CONTACT) to request an invitation providing webinar access information. Please request webinar invitations at least 24 hours in advance of each webinar.

    SEDAR address: 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, North Charleston, SC 29405.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Julie A. Neer, SEDAR Coordinator; (843) 571-4366; Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, and Caribbean Fishery Management Councils, in conjunction with NOAA Fisheries and the Atlantic and Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commissions have implemented the Southeast Data, Assessment and Review (SEDAR) process, a multi-step method for determining the status of fish stocks in the Southeast Region. SEDAR is a multi-step process including: (1) Data Workshop, (2) a series of assessment webinars, and (3) A Review Workshop. The product of the Data Workshop is a report that compiles and evaluates potential datasets and recommends which datasets are appropriate for assessment analyses. The assessment webinars produce a report that describes the fisheries, evaluates the status of the stock, estimates biological benchmarks, projects future population conditions, and recommends research and monitoring needs. The product of the Review Workshop is an Assessment Summary documenting panel opinions regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the stock assessment and input data. Participants for SEDAR Workshops are appointed by the Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, and Caribbean Fishery Management Councils and NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office, HMS Management Division, and Southeast Fisheries Science Center. Participants include data collectors and database managers; stock assessment scientists, biologists, and researchers; constituency representatives including fishermen, environmentalists, and NGO's; International experts; and staff of Councils, Commissions, and state and federal agencies.

    The items of discussion during the Assessment Webinar are as follows:

    1. Using datasets and initial assessment analysis recommended from the in-person workshop, panelists will employ assessment models to evaluate stock status, estimate population benchmarks and management criteria, and project future conditions.

    2. Participants will recommend the most appropriate methods and configurations for determining stock status and estimating population parameters.

    Although non-emergency issues not contained in this agenda may come before this group for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Action will be restricted to those issues specifically identified in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, provided the public has been notified of the intent to take final action to address the emergency.

    Special Accommodations

    The meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to the Council office (see ADDRESSES) at least 5 business days prior to each workshop.

    Note:

    The times and sequence specified in this agenda are subject to change.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: December 10, 2018. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-26980 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION Fees for Reviews of the Rule Enforcement Programs of Designated Contract Markets and Registered Futures Associations AGENCY:

    Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice of 2018 schedule of fees.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC” or “Commission”) charges fees to designated contract markets and registered futures associations to recover the costs incurred by the Commission in the operation of its program of oversight of self-regulatory organization rule enforcement programs, specifically National Futures Association (“NFA”), a registered futures association, and the designated contract markets. Fees collected from each self-regulatory organization are deposited in the Treasury of the United States as miscellaneous receipts. The calculation of the fee amounts charged for 2018 by this notice is based upon an average of actual program costs incurred during fiscal year (FY) 2015, FY 2016, and FY 2017.

    DATES:

    Each self-regulatory organization is required to remit electronically the applicable fee on or before February 11, 2019.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Anthony C. Thompson, Executive Director, Commodity Futures Trading Commission; (202) 418-5697; Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20581. For information on electronic payment, contact Jennifer Fleming; (202) 418-5034; Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20581.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background Information A. General

    This notice relates to fees for the Commission's review of the rule enforcement programs at the registered futures associations 1 and designated contract markets (“DCM”), each of which is a self-regulatory organization (“SRO”) regulated by the Commission. The Commission recalculates the fees charged each year to cover the costs of operating this Commission program.2 The fees are set each year based on direct program costs, plus an overhead factor. The Commission calculates actual costs, then calculates an alternate fee taking volume into account, and then charges the lower of the two.3

    1 National Futures Association is the only registered futures association.

    2See Section 237 of the Futures Trading Act of 1982, 7 U.S.C. 16a, and 31 U.S.C. 9701. For a broader discussion of the history of Commission fees, see 52 FR 46070, Dec. 4, 1987.

    3 58 FR 42643, Aug. 11, 1993, and 17 CFR part 1, appendix B

    B. Overhead Rate

    The fees charged by the Commission to the SROs are designed to recover program costs, including direct labor costs and overhead. The overhead rate is calculated by dividing total Commission-wide overhead direct program labor costs into the total amount of the Commission-wide overhead pool. For this purpose, direct program labor costs are the salary costs of personnel working in all Commission programs. Overhead costs generally consist of the following Commission-wide costs: Indirect personnel costs (leave and benefits), rent, communications, contract services, utilities, equipment, and supplies. This formula has resulted in the following overhead rates for the most recent three years (rounded to the nearest whole percent): 211 percent for FY 2015, and 190 percent for FY 2016, and 175 precent for FY 2017.

    C. Conduct of SRO Rule Enforcement Reviews

    Under the formula adopted by the Commission in 1993, the Commission calculates the fee to recover the costs of its rule enforcement reviews and examinations, based on the three-year average of the actual cost of performing such reviews and examinations at each SRO. The cost of operation of the Commission's SRO oversight program varies from SRO to SRO, according to the size and complexity of each SRO's program. The three-year averaging computation method is intended to smooth out year-to-year variations in cost. Timing of the Commission's reviews and examinations may affect costs—a review or examination may span two fiscal years and reviews and examinations are not conducted at each SRO each year.

    As noted above, adjustments to actual costs may be made to relieve the burden on an SRO with a disproportionately large share of program costs. The Commission's formula provides for a reduction in the assessed fee if an SRO has a smaller percentage of United States industry contract volume than its percentage of overall Commission oversight program costs. This adjustment reduces the costs so that, as a percentage of total Commission SRO oversight program costs, they are in line with the pro rata percentage for that SRO of United States industry-wide contract volume.

    The calculation is made as follows: The fee required to be paid to the Commission by each DCM is equal to the lesser of actual costs based on the three-year historical average of costs for that DCM or one-half of average costs incurred by the Commission for each DCM for the most recent three years, plus a pro rata share (based on average trading volume for the most recent three years) of the aggregate of average annual costs of all DCMs for the most recent three years.

    The formula for calculating the second factor is: 0.5a + 0.5 vt = current fee. In this formula, “a” equals the average annual costs, “v” equals the percentage of total volume across DCMs over the last three years, and “t” equals the average annual costs for all DCMs. NFA has no contracts traded; hence, its fee is based simply on costs for the most recent three fiscal years. This table summarizes the data used in the calculations of the resulting fee for each entity:

    Table 1—Summary of Data Used in Fee Calculations Actual total costs FY 2015 FY 2016 FY 2017 3-Year
  • average
  • actual costs
  • 3-Year
  • average
  • volume
  • (%)
  • Adjusted
  • volume costs
  • 2017
  • Actual fee
  • 2018
  • Assessed fee
  • CBOE Futures $158,209 $227,059 $31,765 $139,011 1.44 $79,398 $71,004 $79,398 Chicago Board of Trade 17,938 28,720 98,737 48,465 30.14 231,283 34,058 48,465 Chicago Mercantile Exchange 540,151 372,278 483,391 465,273 44.34 537,235 379,377 465,273 ICE Futures U.S. 105,864 386,719 203,826 232,136 8.68 175,696 143,431 175,696 Minneapolis Grain Exchange 147,983 14,314 43,230 68,509 0.06 34,667 35,250 34,667 NADEX North American 81,758 86,680 56,146 0.18 29,309 14,516 29,309 New York Mercantile Exchange 118,701 242,792 217,861 193,118 14.25 194,451 172,990 193,118 OneChicago, LLC 289 282 37,311 12,627 0.31 8,443 6,798 8,443 NASDAQ 257,177 85,726 0.58 46,847 46,847 ERIS Exchange 54,272 18,091 0.01 9,136 9,136 CANTOR 61,474 20,491 10,246 10,246 NODAL 102,993 34,331 17,166 17,166 Subtotal 1,089,134 1,353,921 1,678,716 1,373,924 100 1,373,877 857,423 1,117,763 National Futures Association 401,337 282,405 676,430 453,390 325,281 453,390 Total 1,490,471 1,636,326 2,355,145 1,827,314 $1,182,704 1,571,154 Note to Table 1: The 2018 Fee is the Lessor of the 3-year Average Actual cost or the Adjusted Volume Cost

    An example of how the fee is calculated for one exchange, the Chicago Board of Trade, is set forth here:

    a. Actual three-year average costs = $48,465.

    b. The alternative computation is: (.5) ($48,465) + (.5) (.3014) ($1,373,924) = $231,283.

    c. The fee is the lesser of a or b; in this case $48,465.

    As noted above, the alternative calculation based on contracts traded is not applicable to NFA because it is not a DCM and has no contracts traded. The Commission's average annual cost for conducting oversight review of the NFA rule enforcement program during fiscal years 2015 through 2017 was $453,390. The fee to be paid by the NFA for the current fiscal year is $453,390.

    II. Schedule of Fees

    Fees for the Commission's review of the rule enforcement programs at the registered futures associations and DCMs regulated by the Commission are as follows:

    Table 2—Schedule of Fees 3-Year
  • average
  • actual costs
  • 3-Year
  • average
  • volume
  • %
  • Adjusted
  • volume
  • costs
  • 2018
  • Assessed
  • fee
  • CBOE Futures $139,011 1.44 $79,398 $79,398 Chicago Board of Trade 48,465 30.14 231,283 48,465 Chicago Mercantile Exchange 465,273 44.34 537,235 465,273 ICE Futures U.S. 232,136 8.68 175,696 175,696 Minneapolis Grain Exchange 68,509 0.06 34,667 34,667 NADEX North American 56,146 0.18 29,309 29,309 New York Mercantile Exchange 193,118 14.25 194,451 193,118 OneChicago, LLC 12,627 0.31 8,443 8,443 NASDAQ 85,726 0.58 46,847 46,847 ERIS Exchange 18,091 0.01 9,136 9,136 CANTOR 20,491 10,246 10,246 NODAL 34,331 17,166 17,166 Subtotal 1,373,924 100 1,373,877 1,117,763 National Futures Association 453,390 453,390 Total 1,827,314 1,571,154
    III. Payment Method

    The Debt Collection Improvement Act (DCIA) requires deposits of fees owed to the government by electronic transfer of funds. See 31 U.S.C. 3720. For information about electronic payments, please contact Jennifer Fleming at (202) 418-5034 or [email protected], or see the CFTC website at http://www.cftc.gov, specifically, www.cftc.gov/cftc/cftcelectronicpayments.htm.

    Fees collected from each self-regulatory organization shall be deposited in the Treasury of the United States as miscellaneous receipts. See 7 U.S.C 16a.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on December 10, 2018, by the Commission. Robert Sidman, Deputy Secretary of the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2018-27042 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6351-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID DOD-2018-HA-0098] Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Information collection notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Defense Health Agency announces a proposed public information collection and seeks public comment on the provisions thereof. Comments are invited on: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by February 11, 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 Consortium for Health and Military Performance (CHAMP), Department of Military and Emergency Medicine (MEM), Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, ATTN: Mr. Ian Gutierrez, 6720B Rockledge Drive, Suite 605, Bethesda, MD 20817, at (301) 295-1362.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title; Associated Form; and OMB Number: Preservation of the Force and Family (POTFF) Spiritual Fitness Metrics; OMB Control Number 0720-XXXX.

    Needs and Uses: The information collection requirement is necessary to develop and validate measures of Spiritual Fitness and Performance in line with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Instruction on Total Force Fitness. This measure will be used by US Special Operations Command's (USSOCOM) Preservation of the Force and Family's (POTFF) Spiritual Performance Team to evaluate programs that enhance spiritual performance.

    Affected Public: Individuals and Households.

    Annual Burden Hours: 2,670.67.

    Number of Respondents: 8,012.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 8,012.

    Average Burden per Response: 20 minutes.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondents will be members of the general public recruited through standard internet recruiting techniques. Respondents will complete the online survey once. The responses will help in developing and validating a measure of spiritual fitness. If the information is not collected, the measure cannot be created. This will potential result in faulty evaluations of USSOCOM Chaplaincy services.

    Dated: December 10, 2018. Shelly E. Finke, Alternate OSD Federal Register, Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2018-26986 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

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

    Docket Numbers: ER18-1632-003.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: Compliance filing: Compliance Filing—Major Maintenance Cost Component to Mitigated Offers to be effective 4/18/2019.

    Filed Date: 12/7/18.

    Accession Number: 20181207-5108.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/28/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2398-001.

    Applicants: California Independent System Operator Corporation.

    Description: Compliance filing: 2018-12-07 Response to Deficiency Letter—Compliance with Order No. 844 to be effective 1/1/2019.

    Filed Date: 12/7/18.

    Accession Number: 20181207-5066.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/28/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER19-256-001.

    Applicants: Wisconsin Power and Light Company.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: Amendment to WPL Wholesale Formula Rate Changes to be effective 12/31/2018.

    Filed Date: 12/7/18.

    Accession Number: 20181207-5119.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/28/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER19-257-001.

    Applicants: Interstate Power and Light Company.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: Amendment to IPL Wholesale Formula Rate Changes to be effective 12/31/2018.

    Filed Date: 12/7/18.

    Accession Number: 20181207-5121.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/28/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER19-459-000.

    Applicants: AEP Texas Inc.

    Description: AEP Texas Inc. submits tariff filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): AEPTX-LCRA TSC Chaparrosa Facilities Development Agreement submitted on 12/3/2018 10:14:08 a.m.

    Filed Date: 12/3/18.

    Accession Number: 20181207-5145.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/24/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER19-508-000.

    Applicants: California Independent System Operator Corporation.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2018-12-06 GHG Inputs and Fallback Logic Tariff Clarification to be effective 2/5/2019.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5304.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/27/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER19-509-000.

    Applicants: South Carolina Electric & Gas Company.

    Description: Notice of Cancellation of Wholesale Service Agreement (No. 8) of South Carolina Electric & Gas Company.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5327.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/27/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER19-510-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc., Otter Tail Power Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2018-12-07_SA 3220 Flying Cow Wind-OTP E&P (J493 J510) to be effective 12/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 12/7/18.

    Accession Number: 20181207-5002.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/28/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER19-511-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Revisions to the OATT, OA and RAA re: Peak Shaving Adjustment Enhancements to be effective 2/5/2019.

    Filed Date: 12/7/18.

    Accession Number: 20181207-5024.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/28/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER19-512-000.

    Applicants: San Diego Gas & Electric Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2019 SDGE TACBAA update to Transmission Owner Tariff Filing to be effective 1/1/2019.

    Filed Date: 12/7/18.

    Accession Number: 20181207-5027.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/28/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER19-513-000.

    Applicants: Southern California Edison Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: GIA Portal Ridge Solar A Project SA No. 1048 to be effective 12/8/2018.

    Filed Date: 12/7/18.

    Accession Number: 20181207-5090.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/28/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER19-514-000.

    Applicants: Southern California Edison Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: GIA Windhub Solar B Project SA No. 1050 to be effective 12/8/2018.

    Filed Date: 12/7/18.

    Accession Number: 20181207-5096.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/28/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER19-515-000.

    Applicants: Southern California Edison Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: LGIA Desert Quartzite, LLC—Quartzite Solar 8 to be effective 2/6/2019.

    Filed Date: 12/7/18.

    Accession Number: 20181207-5101.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/28/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER19-516-000.

    Applicants: Southern California Edison Company.

    Description: Tariff Cancellation: Notices of Cancellation IFA & Distrib Serv Agmt AES Placerita Inc. to be effective 2/6/2019.

    Filed Date: 12/7/18.

    Accession Number: 20181207-5140.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/28/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER19-517-000.

    Applicants: Interstate Power and Light Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Interstate Power & Light MBR Tariff to be effective 2/5/2019.

    Filed Date: 12/7/18.

    Accession Number: 20181207-5149.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/28/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER19-518-000.

    Applicants: Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: DEC-City of Kings Mountain, NC NITSA (SA-363) Amendment to be effective 1/1/2019.

    Filed Date: 12/7/18.

    Accession Number: 20181207-5150.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/28/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER19-519-000.

    Applicants: Wisconsin Power and Light Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Wisconsin Power & Light Market-Based Rate Tariff to be effective 2/5/2019.

    Filed Date: 12/7/18.

    Accession Number: 20181207-5162.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/28/18.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: December 7, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-26962 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket Nos. EL19-25-000, QF18-1748-001, QF18-1749-001] Notice of Petition for Enforcement: Great Divide Wind Farm 2, LLC; Great Divide Wind Farm 3, LLC

    Take notice that on December 6, 2018, pursuant to section 210(h)(2)(B) of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA), Great Divide Wind Farm 2 LLC and Great Divide Wind Farm 3 LLC (Project Companies or Petitioner) filed a Petition for Enforcement, requesting that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) initiate an enforcement action against New Mexico Public Regulation Commission to remedy their alleged improper implementation of PURPA, all as more fully explained in their petition.

    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. Such notices, motions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. On or before the comment date, it is not necessary to serve motions to intervene or protests on persons other than the Petitioners.

    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 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: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on December 27, 2018.

    Dated: December 7, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-26961 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 6299-014] Notice of Application Accepted for Filing, Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, Protests: Dakota and Goodhue Counties

    Take notice that the following hydroelectric application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection:

    a. Application Type: Amendment of Exemption.

    b. Project No.: P-6299-014.

    c. Date Filed: October 31, 2018.

    d. Applicant: Dakota County, Minnesota.

    e. Name of Project: Lake Byllesby Hydroelectric Project.

    f. Location of Project: The project is located on the Cannon River, in the City of Cannon Falls, Dakota County, Minnesota.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 791a-825r.

    h. Applicant Contact: Mr. Joshua Petersen, Senior Water Resources Engineer, Dakota County Environmental Resources Department, 14955 Galaxie Avenue, Apple Valley MN 55124, (952) 891-7140, [email protected]

    i. FERC Contact: Ms. Alicia Burtner, (202) 502-8038, [email protected]

    j. Deadline for filing comments, motions to interview, and protects: January 7, 2019. The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file motions to intervene, protests, comments, and recommendations, using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-6299-014.

    k. Description of Request: The exemptee proposes to modify, repair, or replace several project features associated with a proposed upgrade to its turbine generator units. The work would primarily involve construction to the gate structures, intake pier, and buttressing; replacement of the project draft tubes, turbines, and other generation equipment; repair or restoration of several historic features of the project powerhouse; and restoration work in the downstream river channel. The replacement of the turbines and related generation equipment would increase the project's maximum intake design flow from 650 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 1,050 cfs, resulting in an increase in installed generating capacity from 1.9 megawatts (MW) to an estimated 4.0 MW.

    l. This notice is available for review and reproduction at the Commission in the Public Reference Room, Room 2A, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426. The filing may also be viewed on the Commission's website at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp. Enter the Docket number (P-6299-014) excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the notice. 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, call toll-free 1-866-208-3676 or email [email protected] For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    m. Individuals desiring to be included on the Commission's mailing list should so indicate by writing to the Secretary of the Commission.

    n. Comments, Protests, or Motions to Intervene: Anyone may submit comments, a protest, or a motion to intervene in accordance with the requirements of Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.210, .211, and .214. In determining the appropriate action to take, the Commission will consider all protests or other comments filed, but only those who file a motion to intervene in accordance with the Commission's Rules may become a party to the proceeding. Any comments, protests, or motions to intervene must be received on or before the specified comment date for the particular application.

    o. Filing and Service of Responsive Documents: Any filing must (1) bear in all capital letters the title COMMENTS, PROTEST, or MOTION TO INTERVENE as applicable; (2) set forth in the heading the name of the applicant and the project number of the application to which the filing responds; (3) furnish the name, address, and telephone number of the person protesting or intervening; and (4) otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 385.2001 through 385.2005. All comments, motions to intervene, or protests must set forth their evidentiary basis and otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 4.34(b). All comments, motions to intervene, or protests should relate to the request to upgrade the turbine generator units. Agencies may obtain copies of the application directly from the applicant. A copy of any protest or motion to intervene must be served upon each representative of the applicant specified in the particular application. If an intervener files comments or documents with the Commission relating to the merits of an issue that may affect the responsibilities of a particular resource agency, they must also serve a copy of the document on that resource agency. A copy of all other filings in reference to this application must be accompanied by proof of service on all persons listed in the service list prepared by the Commission in this proceeding, in accordance with 18 CFR 4.34(b) and 385.2010.

    Dated: December 7, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-26963 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings

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

    Filings Instituting Proceedings

    Docket Numbers: RP19-390-000.

    Applicants: Kinder Morgan Louisiana Pipeline LLC.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: FERC Form No. 501-G to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5122.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18./18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-392-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Express Pipeline LLC.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: FERC Form No. 501-G Report to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5135.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18./18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-393-000.

    Applicants: Kinder Morgan Illinois Pipeline LLC.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: FERC Form No. 501-G to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5137.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18./18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-394-000.

    Applicants: Sea Robin Pipeline Company, LLC.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: FERC Form No. 501-G Report to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5156.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18./18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-395-000.

    Applicants: Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: FERC Form No. 501-G to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5157.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18./18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-396-000.

    Applicants: MarkWest Pioneer, L.L.C.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: FERC Form No. 501-G Filing to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5162.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18./18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-397-000.

    Applicants: DBM Pipeline, LLC.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: Form 501-G Filing to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5167.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18./18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-398-000.

    Applicants: El Paso Natural Gas Company, L.L.C.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rate Agreement Update (TRMC Redesignation) to be effective 12/7/2018.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5168.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18./18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-399-000.

    Applicants: Great Lakes Gas Transmission Limited Par.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: GLGT Form 501-G Report to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5174.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18./18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-400-000.

    Applicants: Nautilus Pipeline Company, L.L.C.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: Nautilus FERC Form 501-G to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5176.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18./18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-401-000.

    Applicants: Nautilus Pipeline Company, L.L.C.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1440: Nautilus Limited Section 4 Filing to be effective 2/1/2019.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5177.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18./18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-402-000.

    Applicants: Florida Gas Transmission Company, LLC.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: FERC Form No. 501-G Report to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5180.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18./18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-403-000.

    Applicants: ANR Pipeline Company.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: ANR Form No. 501-G Report to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5181.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18./18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-403-000.

    Applicants: ANR Pipeline Company.

    Description: (doc-less) Motion to Intervene of Koch Energy Services, LLC. under RP19-403, et al.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5292.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18./18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-404-000.

    Applicants: Mojave Pipeline Company, L.L.C.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: Mojave Form 501-G Filing to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5182.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18./18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-405-000.

    Applicants: ANR Storage Company.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: ANR Storage Form No. 501-G Report to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5187.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18./18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-405-000.

    Applicants: ANR Storage Company

    Description: (doc-less) Motion to Intervene of Koch Energy Services, LLC. under RP19-403, et al.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5292.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18./18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-406-000.

    Applicants: Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: Columbia Form No. 501-G Report to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5189.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18./18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-407-000.

    Applicants: Transwestern Pipeline Company, LLC.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: FERC Form No. 501-G Report to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5190.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18./18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-408-000.

    Applicants: Columbia Gulf Transmission, LLC.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: Columbia Gulf Form No. 501-G Report to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5191.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18./18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-409-000.

    Applicants: Great Lakes Gas Transmission Limited Par.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1440: GLGT 501-G Limited Section 4 to be effective 2/1/2019.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5192.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-410-000.

    Applicants: Crossroads Pipeline Company.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: Crossroads Form No. 501-G Report to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5193.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-411-000.

    Applicants: Northern Border Pipeline Company.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: Northern Border 501-G Filing to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5194.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-412-000.

    Applicants: Rockies Express Pipeline LLC.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: REX Form No. 501-G Report to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5195.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-413-000.

    Applicants: Colorado Interstate Gas Company, L.L.C.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: Colorado Interstate Gas Form 501-G Filing to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5196.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-414-000.

    Applicants: Northern Border Pipeline Company.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1440: NBPL 501-G Limited Section 4 to be effective 2/1/2019.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5197.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-415-000.

    Applicants: Cimarron River Pipeline, LLC.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: Form 501-G to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5198.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-416-000.

    Applicants: Tuscarora Gas Transmission Company.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: Tuscarora 501-G Filing to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5201.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-417-000.

    Applicants: Cheniere Creole Trail Pipeline, L.P.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: Cheniere Creole Trail Pipeline, LP FERC Form 501-G to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5209.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-418-000.

    Applicants: NGO Transmission, Inc.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: FERC Form No. 501-G Filing to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5231.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-419-000.

    Applicants: Tuscarora Gas Transmission Company.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1440: Tuscarora 501-G Lim Section 4 to be effective 2/1/2019.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5221.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-420-000.

    Applicants: Wyoming Interstate Company, L.L.C.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: Wyoming Interstate Form 501-G Filing to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5224.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-421-000.

    Applicants: National Grid LNG, LLC.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: Form No. 501-G Informational Filing to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5225.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-422-000.

    Applicants: Rover Pipeline LLC.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: FERC Form No. 501-G Report to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5226.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-423-000.

    Applicants: Tallgrass Interstate Gas Transmission, L.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: TIGT Form No. 501-G Report to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5227.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-424-000.

    Applicants: Pine Needle LNG Company, LLC.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: Pine Needle Form No. 501-G Report to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5228.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-425-000.

    Applicants: Sierrita Gas Pipeline LLC.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: Sierrita Form 501-G Filing to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5235.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-426-000.

    Applicants: TransColorado Gas Transmission Company L.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: TransColorado Form 501-G Filing to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5236.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-427-000.

    Applicants: Honeoye Storage Corporation.

    Description: Compliance filing Honeoye Storage Corp Resubmission of Approval of Stipulation and Agreement to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5239.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-428-000.

    Applicants: Ruby Pipeline, L.L.C.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: Ruby Form 501-G Filing to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5248.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-429-000.

    Applicants: National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: NFGSC Form 501-G Filing to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5252.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-430-000.

    Applicants: Cheyenne Plains Gas Pipeline Company, L.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: Cheyenne Plains Form 501-G Filing to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5256.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-431-000.

    Applicants: Gulf South Pipeline Company, LP.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: FERC Form No. 501-G Filing to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5257.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-432-000.

    Applicants: Gulf Crossing Pipeline Company LLC.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: FERC Form No. 501-G Filing to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5258.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-433-000.

    Applicants: KO Transmission Company.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: Order No. 849 Compliance Filing—Form No. 501-G to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5261.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-434-000.

    Applicants: Destin Pipeline Company, L.L.C.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: Destin Form 501-G filing to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5262.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-435-000.

    Applicants: Dauphin Island Gathering Partners.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: Form 501-G to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5263.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-436-000.

    Applicants: Venice Gathering System, L.L.C.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: Form 501-G Filing to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5273.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-437-000.

    Applicants: American Midstream (Midla), LLC.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: Midla Submission of Form 501-G to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5281.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-438-000.

    Applicants: Trans-Union Interstate Pipeline, L.P.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: Trans-Union Form 501-G to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5288.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-439-000.

    Applicants: Stagecoach Pipeline & Storage Company LL.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: Stagecoach Pipeline & Storage Company LLC.—Form No. 501-G to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5289.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-440-000.

    Applicants: Florida Southeast Connection, LLC.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: Form 501-G to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5303.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-441-000.

    Applicants: WTG Hugoton, LP.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: WTG Hugoton FERC Form 501-G Filing to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5305.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-442-000.

    Applicants: West Texas Gas, Inc.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: West Texas Gas FERC Form 501-G Filing to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5306.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-443-000.

    Applicants: Western Gas Interstate Company.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: Western Gas Interstate FERC Form 501-G Filing to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5310.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-444-000.

    Applicants: Sabal Trail Transmission, LLC.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: Sabal Trail Form 501-G to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5321.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-445-000.

    Applicants: Iroquois Gas Transmission System, L.P.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: 120618 Form 501-G Filing to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/6/18.

    Accession Number: 20181206-5326.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/18/18.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: December 7, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-26956 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP19-1-000] Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review of the Palmyra to Ogden A-Line Project; Northern Natural Gas Company

    On October 3, 2018, Northern Natural Gas Company (Northern) filed an application in Docket No. CP19-1-000 requesting a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity pursuant to section 7(b) of the Natural Gas Act to abandon certain natural gas pipeline facilities. The proposed project is known as the Palmyra to Ogden A-Line Project (Project), and would allow Northern to abandon approximately 146.6 miles of 24-inch-diameter pipeline to provide for safer long-term operation of the mainline.

    On October 17, 2018, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) issued its Notice of Application for the Project. Among other things, that notice alerted agencies issuing federal authorizations of the requirement to complete all necessary reviews and to reach a final decision on a request for a federal authorization within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Commission staff's Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Project. This instant notice identifies the FERC staff's planned schedule for the completion of the EA for the Project.

    Schedule for Environmental Review Issuance of EA May 13, 2019 90-day Federal Authorization Decision Deadline August 11, 2019

    If a schedule change becomes necessary, additional notice will be provided so that the relevant agencies are kept informed of the Project's progress.

    Project Description

    Northern proposes to isolate and abandon by sale to DKM Enterprises, LLC (DKM) approximately 146.6 miles of 24-inch-diameter pipeline on Northern's M580A and M530A system (collectively referred to as the A-line) in Otoe and Cass counties in Nebraska, and Mills, Pottawattamie, Cass, Audubon, Guthrie, Greene, and Boone counties in Iowa. Northern indicates that DKM intends to salvage the abandoned pipeline.

    To abandon the pipeline, Northern would disconnect and cap the A-line at five interconnections where it is linked to other system facilities. Ground disturbances would be limited to one location in Otoe County, Nebraska, and four locations in Mills, Guthrie, and Boone (two locations) counties, Iowa, where the A-line would be disconnected from Northern's existing pipeline system.

    Background

    On November 14, 2018 the Commission issued a Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Palmyra to Ogden A-Line Project and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues (NOI). The NOI was sent to affected landowners; federal, state, and local government agencies; elected officials; Native American tribes; other interested parties; and local libraries and newspapers. Comments on the NOI should be received by the Commission in Washington, DC on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on December 14, 2018. All substantive comments filed in the Commission's public record will be addressed in the EA.

    Additional Information

    In order to receive notification of the issuance of the EA and to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription. 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.

    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, select General Search from the eLibrary menu, enter the selected date range and Docket Number excluding the last three digits (i.e., CP19-1), and follow the instructions. For assistance with access to eLibrary, the helpline can be reached at (866) 208-3676, TTY (202) 502-8659, or at [email protected] The eLibrary link on the FERC website also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rule makings.

    Dated: December 7, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-26948 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER19-464-000] Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization: Vermillion Power, L.L.C.

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

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

    Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant's request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability, is December 27, 2018.

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

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

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

    Dated: December 7, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-26955 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. AD19-9-000] Electric Quarterly Report Users Group Meeting; Notice of Electric Quarterly Report Users Group Meeting

    Take notice that on February 14, 2019, staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) will hold the next Electric Quarterly Report (EQR) Users Group meeting. The meeting will take place from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (EST) in the Commission Meeting Room at 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426. All interested persons are invited to attend. For those unable to attend in person, access to the meeting will be available via webcast.

    This meeting provides a forum for dialogue between Commission staff and EQR users to discuss potential improvements to the EQR program and the EQR filing process. Prior to the meeting, staff would like input on discussion topics. Individuals may suggest agenda topics for consideration by emailing [email protected]

    Please note that matters pending before the Commission and subject to ex parte limitations cannot be discussed at this meeting. An agenda of the meeting will be provided in a subsequent notice.

    Due to the nature of the discussion, those interested in participating are encouraged to attend in person. All interested persons (whether attending in person or via webcast) are asked to register online at https://www.ferc.gov/whats-new/registration/02-14-19-form.asp. There is no registration fee. Anyone with internet access can listen to the meeting by navigating to www.ferc.gov's Calendar of Events, locating the EQR Users Group Meeting on the Calendar, and clicking on the link to the webcast. The webcast will allow persons to listen to the technical conference and they can email questions during the meeting to [email protected]

    Commission conferences are accessible under section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. For accessibility accommodations, please send an email to [email protected] or call toll free 1-866-208-3372 (voice) or 202-502-8659 (TTY), or send a FAX to 202-208-2106 with the required accommodations.

    For more information about the EQR Users Group meeting, please contact Jeff Sanders of the Commission's Office of Enforcement at (202) 502-6455, or send an email to [email protected]

    Dated: December 4, 2018. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-26999 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OAR-2006-0407; FRL-9987-93-OAR] Proposed Information Collection Request; Comment Request; EPA's ENERGY STAR Program in the Commercial and Industrial Sectors (Renewal) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency is planning to submit an information collection request (ICR), “EPA's ENERGY STAR Program in the Commercial and Industrial Sectors” (EPA ICR No. 1772.08, OMB Control No. 2060-0347), to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act. Before doing so, EPA is soliciting public comments on specific aspects of the proposed information collection as described below. This is a proposed extension of the ICR, which is currently approved through September 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 February 11, 2019.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2006-0407, 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:

    Cynthia Veit, Climate Protection Partnerships Division, (6202A), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: 202-564-9494; fax number: 202-343-2204; 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, EPA 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: EPA created ENERGY STAR as a voluntary program to help businesses and individuals protect the environment through superior energy efficiency. The program focuses on reducing utility-generated emissions by reducing the demand for energy. In 1991, EPA launched the Green Lights Program to encourage corporations, State and local governments, colleges and universities, and other organizations to adopt energy-efficient lighting as a profitable means of preventing pollution and improving lighting quality. Since then, EPA has rolled Green Lights into ENERGY STAR and expanded ENERGY STAR to encompass organization-wide energy performance improvement, such as building technology upgrades, product purchasing initiatives, and employee training. At the same time, EPA has streamlined the reporting requirements of ENERGY STAR and focused on providing incentives for improvements (e.g., ENERGY STAR awards program). EPA also makes tools and other resources available over the Web to help the public overcome the barriers to evaluating their energy performance and investing in profitable improvements.

    To join ENERGY STAR, organizations are asked to complete a Partnership Application that establishes their commitment to energy efficiency. Partners agree to undertake efforts such as measuring, tracking, and benchmarking their organization's energy performance by using tools such as those offered by ENERGY STAR; developing and implementing a plan to improve energy performance in their facilities and operations by adopting a strategy provided by ENERGY STAR; and educating staff and the public about their Partnership with ENERGY STAR, and highlighting achievements with the ENERGY STAR, where available.

    Partners also may be asked to periodically submit information to EPA as needed to assist in program implementation.

    Partnership in ENERGY STAR is voluntary and can be terminated by Partners or EPA at any time. EPA does not expect organizations to join the program unless they expect participation to be cost effective and otherwise beneficial for them.

    In addition, Partners and other interested parties can seek recognition and help EPA promote energy-efficient technologies by evaluating the efficiency of their buildings using EPA's on-line tools (e.g., Portfolio Manager) and applying for recognition. EPA does not expect any information collected under ENERGY STAR to be Confidential Business Information (CBI).

    Form Numbers: 5900-19, 5900-21, 5900-22, 5900-33, 5900-89, 5900-195, 5900-197, 5900-198, 5900-262, 5900-263, 5900-264, 5900-265, 5900-375, 5900-376, 5900-377, 5900-378, 5900-379, 5900-380, 5900-381, 5900-382, 5900-383, 5900-384, 5900-385, 5900-386, and 5900-387.

    Respondents/affected entities: Participants in EPA's ENERGY STAR Program in the commercial and industrial sectors.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Voluntary.

    Estimated number of respondents: 51,515 (total).

    Frequency of response: One-time, annually, or on occasion.

    Total estimated burden: 254,084 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.03(b).

    Total estimated cost: $21,784,161 (per year), includes $10,827,727 in annualized capital or operation & maintenance costs.

    Changes in Estimates: The burden estimates presented in this notice are from the last approval. EPA is currently evaluating and updating these estimates as part of the ICR renewal process. EPA will discuss its updated estimates, as well as changes from the last approval, in the next Federal Register notice to be issued for this renewal.

    Dated: November 19, 2018. Carolyn Snyder, Director, Climate Protection Partnerships Division.
    [FR Doc. 2018-27048 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL-9987-88-Region 5] Re-Establishment of the Great Lakes Advisory Board AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of re-establishment of Great Lakes Advisory Board.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing the re-establishment of the Great Lakes Advisory Board (GLAB).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Edlynzia Barnes, Designated Federal Officer (DFO), Great Lakes National Program Office, Environmental Protection Agency, 77 W Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, IL; telephone number: 312-886-6249; email address: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The GLAB is being re-established in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act FACA) of 1972 (5 U.S.C., Appendix 2, as amended) and 41 CFR 102-3.50(d). The Advisory Board will provide advice and recommendations on matters related to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The Advisory Board will also advise on domestic matters related to implementation of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement between the U.S. and Canada.

    The major objectives will be to provide advice and recommendations on:

    a. Great Lakes protection and restoration activities.

    b. Long term goals, objectives, and priorities for Great Lakes protection and restoration.

    c. Other issues identified by the Great Lakes Interagency Task Force/Regional Working Group.

    EPA has determined that this federal advisory committee is in the public interest and will assist the EPA in performing its duties and responsibilities. Copies of the GLAB's charter will be filed with the appropriate congressional committees and the Library of Congress.

    The GLAB expects to meet in person or by electronic means (e.g., telephone, videoconference, webcast, etc.) approximately two (2) times per year, or as needed and approved by the Designated Federal Officer (DFO). Meetings will be held in the Great Lakes region.

    Membership: The GLAB will be composed of approximately fifteen (15) members who will generally serve as representative members of non-federal interests. Nominations for membership will be solicited through the Federal Register and other sources. In selecting members, EPA will consider candidates representing a broad range of interests relating to the Great Lakes, including, but not limited to, environmental groups, industry, business groups, agricultural groups, citizen groups, environmental justice groups, foundations, academia and state, local and tribal governments. In selecting members, EPA will consider the differing perspectives and breadth of collective experience needed to address the EPA's charge.

    Dated: December 3, 2018. Cathy Stepp, Regional Administrator, Great Lakes National Program Manager.
    [FR Doc. 2018-27050 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FARM CREDIT SYSTEM INSURANCE CORPORATION Regular Meeting; Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation Board AGENCY:

    Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation.

    ACTION:

    Notice, regular meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given of the regular meeting of the Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation (Board).

    DATES:

    The meeting of the Board will be held at the offices of the Farm Credit Administration in McLean, Virginia, on December 13, 2018, from 11:00 a.m. until such time as the Board concludes its business.

    ADDRESSES:

    Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation, 1501 Farm Credit Drive, McLean, Virginia 22102. Submit attendance requests via email to [email protected] See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for further information about attendance requests.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dale Aultman, Secretary to the Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation Board, (703) 883-4009, TTY (703) 883-4056, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Parts of this meeting of the Board will be open to the public (limited space available), and parts will be closed to the public. Please send an email to [email protected] at least 24 hours before the meeting. In your email include: Name, postal address, entity you are representing (if applicable), and telephone number. You will receive an email confirmation from us. Please be prepared to show a photo identification when you arrive. If you need assistance for accessibility reasons, or if you have any questions, contact Dale Aultman, Secretary to the Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation Board, at (703) 883-4009. The matters to be considered at the meeting are:

    Open Session A. Approval of Minutes • September 19, 2018 B. Business Reports • September 30, 2018 Financial Reports • Reports on Insured and Other Obligations • Quarterly Report on Annual Performance Plan Closed Session • Confidential Report on Insurance Risk Closed Session—Audit Committee • Audit Plan for the Year Ended December 31, 2018 • Executive Session of the Audit Committee with Auditor Dated: December 3, 2018. Dale Aultman, Secretary, Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation.
    [FR Doc. 2018-26993 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6705-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company

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

    The notices are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The notices also will be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing to the Reserve Bank indicated for that notice or to the offices of the Board of Governors. Comments must be received not later than December 28, 2018.

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

    1. Janet Ranniger, Manning, Iowa, individually and as trustee of the Janet Ranniger Trust, Manning, Iowa, and as a group acting in concert with Gaylin R. Ranniger, Alex J. Ranniger, Abbey Stangl, and Jacob Ranniger, all of Manning, Iowa; to retain and acquire shares of Manning Financial Services, Inc. and thereby indirectly retain and acquire The First National Bank of Manning, both of Manning, Iowa.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, December 10, 2018. Yao-Chin Chao, Assistant Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2018-26977 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION [OMB Control No. 9000-0048; Docket No. 2018-0003; Sequence No. 9] Submission for OMB Review; Authorized Negotiators and Integrity of Unit Prices AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Regulatory Secretariat Division will be submitting to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request to review and approve an extension of a previously approved information collection requirement regarding authorized negotiators and integrity of unit prices.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before January 14, 2019.

    ADDRESSES:

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

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: This website provides the ability to type short comments directly into the comment field or attach a file for lengthier comments. Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the instructions on the site.

    Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20405. ATTN: Ms. Mandell/IC 9000-0048, Authorized Negotiators and Integrity of Unit Prices.

    Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite Information Collection 9000-0048, Authorized Negotiators and Integrity of Unit Prices, in all correspondence related to this collection. Comments received generally will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business confidential information provided. To confirm receipt of your comment(s), please check www.regulations.gov, approximately two to three days after submission to verify posting (except allow 30 days for posting of comments submitted by mail).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Michael O. Jackson, Procurement Analyst, Office of Governmentwide Acquisition Policy, GSA, 202-208-4949, or via email to [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Purpose

    This information collection requirement, OMB Control No. 9000-0048, currently titled “Authorized Negotiators,” is proposed to be retitled “Authorized Negotiators and Integrity of Unit Prices,” due to consolidation with currently approved information collection requirement OMB Control No. 9000-0080, Integrity of Unit Prices.

    This information collection requirement pertains to information that offerors and contractors must submit in response to the requirements in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) as follows:

    1. Authorized Negotiators—FAR 52.215-1(c)(2)(iv). Firms offering supplies or services to the Government under negotiated solicitations must provide the names, titles, and telephone and facsimile numbers (and electronic addresses if available) of authorized negotiators to assure that discussions are held with authorized individuals.

    2. Integrity of Unit Prices—FAR 52.215-14. This clause requires offerors and contractors under negotiated solicitations and contracts to identify those supplies which they will not manufacture or to which they will not contribute significant value, if requested by the contracting officer or when contracting without adequate price competition. This requirement does not apply to: Contracts below the simplified acquisition threshold, construction and architect-engineering services, utility services, service contracts where supplies are not required, commercial items, and contracts for petroleum products.

    B. Public Comment

    A 60-day notice published in the Federal Register at 83 FR 45129, on September 5, 2018. No comments were received.

    C. Annual Reporting Burden 1. Authorized Negotiators—FAR 52.215-1(c)(2)(iv)

    Respondents: 708,016.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Total Annual Responses: 708,016.

    Hours per Response: 0.017.

    Total Burden Hours: 12,036.

    2. Integrity of Unit Prices—FAR 52.215-14

    Respondents: 2,808.

    Responses per Respondent: 2.375.

    Total Annual Responses: 6,669.

    Hours per Response: 1.

    Total Burden Hours: 6,669.

    3. Summary

    Respondents: 710,824.

    Total Annual Responses: 714,685.

    Total Burden Hours: 18,705.

    Affected Public: Businesses or other for-profit and not-for-profit institutions.

    Frequency: Annually.

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

    Please cite OMB Control No. 9000-0048, Authorized Negotiators and Integrity of Unit Prices, in all correspondence.

    Dated: December 10, 2018. Janet Fry, Director, Federal Acquisition Policy Division, Office of Governmentwide Acquisition Policy, Office of Acquisition Policy, Office of Governmentwide Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-27020 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-EP-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION [OMB Control No. 9000-0027; Docket No. 2018-0003; Sequence No. 25] Information Collection; Value Engineering Requirements AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    Under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations, the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Council invites the public to comment on a renewal of an approved information collection requirement concerning value engineering requirements.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before February 11, 2019.

    ADDRESSES:

    The FAR Council invites interested persons to submit comments on this information collection by any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: This website provides the ability to type short comments directly into the comment field or attach a file for lengthier comments. Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the instructions on the site.

    Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20405. ATTN: Ms. Mandell/IC 9000-0027, Value Engineering Requirements.

    Instructions: All items submitted must cite “Information Collection 9000-0027, Value Engineering Requirements.” Comments received generally will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business confidential information provided. To confirm receipt of your comment(s), please check www.regulations.gov, approximately two to three days after submission to verify posting (except allow 30 days for posting of comments submitted by mail).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Marilyn E. Chambers, Procurement Analyst, 202-285-7380, or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Purpose

    Per Federal Acquisition Regulation Part 48, value engineering is the technique by which contractors (1) voluntarily suggest methods for performing more economically and share in any resulting savings, or (2) are required to establish a program to identify and submit to the Government methods for performing more economically. These recommendations are submitted to the Government as value engineering change proposals (VECP's) and they must include specific information. This information is needed to enable the Government to evaluate the VECP and, if accepted, to arrange for an equitable sharing plan.

    B. Annual Reporting Burden

    Respondents: 794.

    Responses per Respondent: 2.

    Annual Responses: 1,588.

    Hours per Response: 15.

    Total Burden Hours: 23,820.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit entities.

    Reporting Frequency: On occasion.

    C. Public Comments

    Public comments are particularly invited on: Whether this collection of information is necessary; whether it will have practical utility; whether our estimate of the public burden of this collection of information is accurate, and based on valid assumptions and methodology; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways in which we can minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, through the use of appropriate technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

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

    Please cite OMB Control No. 9000-0027, Value Engineering Requirements, in all correspondence.

    Dated: December 10, 2018. Janet Fry, Director, Federal Acquisition Policy Division, Office of Governmentwide Acquisition Policy, Office of Acquisition Policy, Office of Governmentwide Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-27019 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-EP-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Children and Families Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    Title: Regional Partnership Grant National Cross-Site Evaluation and Evaluation Technical Assistance.

    OMB No.: 0970-NEW.

    Description: The Children's Bureau (CB) within the Administration for Children and Families of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services seeks approval to collect information for the Regional Partnership Grants to Increase the Well-being of and to Improve Permanency Outcomes for Children Affected by Substance Abuse (known as the Regional Partnership Grants Program or “RPG”) Cross-Site Evaluation and Evaluation-Related Technical Assistance project. The Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act (Pub. L. 112-34) includes a targeted grants program (section 437(f) of the Social Security Act) that directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to reserve a specified portion of the appropriation for these Regional Partnership Grants, to be used to improve the well-being of children affected by substance abuse. Under three prior rounds of RPG, the Children's Bureau has issued 74 grants to organizations such as child welfare or substance abuse treatment providers or family court systems to develop interagency collaborations and integration of programs, activities, and services designed to increase well-being, improve permanency, and enhance the safety of children who are in an out-of-home placement or are at risk of being placed in out-of-home care as a result of a parent's or caretaker's substance abuse. In 2017, CB awarded grants to a fourth cohort of 17 grantees and in 2018 they plan to award 10 grants to a fifth cohort.

    The RPG cross-site evaluation will extend our understanding of what types of programs and services grantees provided to participants, how grantees leveraged their partnerships to coordinate services for children and families, and what the outcomes were for children and families enrolled in RPG programs. First, the cross-site evaluation will describe the characteristics of participants served by RPG programs, the types of services provided to families, the dosage of each type of service received by families, and the level of participant engagement with the services provided. Second, the cross-site will assess the coordination of partners' service systems (e.g., shared participant data, joint staff training) to better understand how partners' collaborative effort affects the array of services offered to families. The cross-site evaluation will also focus more deeply on the partnership between the child welfare and substance use disorder (SUD) treatment agencies, to add to the research base about how these agencies can collaborate to address the needs of children and families affected by SUD. Finally, the evaluation will assess the outcomes of children and adults served through the RPG program.

    The evaluation is being undertaken by the Children's Bureau and its contractor Mathematica Policy Research. The evaluation is being implemented by Mathematica Policy Research and its subcontractor, WRMA Inc.

    The RPG Cross-Site Evaluation will include the following data collection activities:

    1. Site visits and key informant interviews. The cross-site evaluation team will visit up to 21 sites to better understand the partnership and coordination between the child welfare and SUD treatment agencies. The remaining six grantees will participate in telephone interviews to gather similar information about their design and implementation. The site visits and phone interviews will focus on the RPG planning process; how and why particular services were selected; the ability of the child welfare, substance use disorder treatment, and other service systems to collaborate and support quality implementation of the RPG services; challenges experienced; and the potential for sustaining the collaborations and services after RPG funding ends.

    2. Partner survey. To describe the interagency collaboration within RPG sites, grantees and their partners will participate in an online survey once during the grant period. One person from each organization knowledgeable about the RPG program will be invited to participate in the survey. The survey will collect information about communication and service coordination among partners. The survey will also collect information on characteristics of strong partnerships (e.g., data sharing agreements, colocation of staff, referral procedures, and cross-staff training).

    3. Semi-annual progress reports. The semi-annual progress reports will be used to obtain updated information from grantee project directors about their program operations and partnerships, including any changes from prior periods. The CB has tailored the semi-annual progress reports to collect information on grantees' programs and other services grantees implement, the target population for the RPG program, and grantees' perceived successes and challenges to implementation.

    4. Enrollment, client, and service data. To document participant characteristics and their enrollment in RPG services, all grantees will provide data on family characteristics, and enrollment of and services provided to RPG families. These data include demographic information on family members, dates of entry into and exit from RPG services, and information on RPG service dosage. These data will be submitted on an ongoing basis by staff at the grantee organizations into an information system developed by the cross-site evaluation team.

    5. Outcome and impact data. To measure participant outcomes, all grantees will collect self-administered standardized instruments from RPG adults. The standardized instruments used in RPG collect information on child well-being, adult and family functioning, and adult substance use. Grantees will share the responses on these self-report instruments with the cross-site evaluation team. Grantees will also obtain administrative data on a common set of child welfare and substance use disorder treatment data elements.

    In addition to conducting local evaluations and participating in the RPG Cross-Site Evaluation, the RPG grantees are legislatively required to report performance indicators aligned with their proposed program strategies and activities. A key strategy of the RPG Cross-Site Evaluation is to minimize burden on the grantees by ensuring that the cross-site evaluation, which includes all grantees in a study that collects data to report on implementation, the partnerships, and participant characteristics and outcomes, fully meets the need for performance reporting. Thus, rather than collecting separate evaluation and performance indicator data, the grantees need only participate in the cross-site evaluation. In addition, using the standardized instruments that the Children's Bureau has specified will ensure that grantees have valid and reliable data on child and family outcomes for their local evaluations. The inclusion of an impact study conducted on a subset of grantees with rigorous designs will also provide the Children's Bureau, Congress, grantees, providers, and researchers with information about the effectiveness of RPG programs.

    A 60-Day Federal Register Notice was published for this study on October 10, 2018. This 30-Day Federal Register Notice covers the following data collection activities: (1) The site visits with grantees; (2) the web-based survey of grantee partners (3) the semi-annual progress reports; (4) enrollment and service data provided by grantees; and (6) outcome and impact data provided by grantees.

    Respondents. Respondents include grantee staff or contractors (such as local evaluators) and partner staff. Specific types of respondents and the expected number per data collection effort are noted in the burden table below.

    Annual burden estimates. The following instruments are proposed for public comment under this 30-Day Federal Register Notice. Burden for all components is annualized over three years.

    RPG Cross-Site Evaluation Annualized Burden Estimates Data collection activity Total number of respondents Number of
  • responses per respondent
  • (each year)
  • Average
  • burden hours
  • per response
  • (in hours)
  • Estimated total burden hours Total annual burden hours
    Site Visit and Key Informant Data Collection Program director in-person interview 21 .33 2 42 14 Program manager/supervisor in-person interview 21 .33 1 21 7 Partner representative interviews 63 .33 1 63 21 Frontline staff interview 42 .33 1 42 14 Program director/manager phone interview 12 .33 1 4.0 12 Partner survey 135 .33 0.42 56.3 18.8 Enrollment, client and service data Semi-annual progress reports 27 2 16.5 2,673 891 Case enrollment data 81 43 0.25 2,612.3 870.8 Case closure 81 43 0.017 174.2 58.1 Case closure—prenatal 81 33 0.017 133.7 44.6 Service log entries 162 2,288 0.03 37,065 12,355 Outcome and impact data Administrative Data: Obtain access to administrative data 27 1 42.6 3,450.6 1150.2 Report administrative data 27 2 144 23,328 7,776 Standardized instruments: Review and adopt reporting templates 27 .33 8 216 72 Data entry for standardized instruments 27 130 1.25 13,162.5 4,387.5 Review records and submit 27 2 25 4,050 1,350 Data entry for comparison study sites (22 grantees) 22 130 1.25 10,725 3,575 Estimated Total Burden Hours 97,827 32,609

    Additional Information: Copies of the proposed collection may be obtained by writing to the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, 330 C Street SW, Washington, DC 20201. Attention Reports Clearance Officer. All requests should be identified by the title of the information collection. Email address: [email protected]

    OMB Comment: OMB is required to make a decision concerning the collection of information between 30 and 60 days after publication of this document in the Federal Register. Therefore, a comment is best assured of having its full effect if OMB receives it within 30 days of publication. Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent directly to the following: Office of Management and Budget, Paperwork Reduction Project, Email: [email protected], Attn: Desk Officer for the Administration for Children and Families.

    Robert Sargis, Reports Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-27041 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4184-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2018-P-1734] Determination That IC-GREEN (Indocyanine Green for Injection), 10 Milligrams/Vial, 40 Milligrams/Vial, and 50 Milligrams/Vial Were Not Withdrawn From Sale for Reasons of Safety or Effectiveness AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or Agency) has determined that IC-GREEN (indocyanine green for injection), 10 milligrams (mg)/vial, 40 mg/vial, and 50 mg/vial, was not withdrawn from sale for reasons of safety or effectiveness. This determination will allow FDA to approve abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs) for indocyanine green for injection, 10 mg/vial, 40 mg/vial, and 50 mg/vial if all other legal and regulatory requirements are met.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Heather A. Dorsey, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 51, Rm. 6219, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-3601.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In 1984, Congress enacted the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984 (Pub. L. 98-417) (the 1984 amendments), which authorized the approval of duplicate versions of drug products under an ANDA procedure. ANDA applicants must, with certain exceptions, show that the drug for which they are seeking approval contains the same active ingredient in the same strength and dosage form as the “listed drug,” which is a version of the drug that was previously approved. ANDA applicants do not have to repeat the extensive clinical testing otherwise necessary to gain approval of a new drug application (NDA).

    The 1984 amendments include what is now section 505(j)(7) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 355(j)(7)), which requires FDA to publish a list of all approved drugs. FDA publishes this list as part of the “Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations,” which is known generally as the “Orange Book.” Under FDA regulations, drugs are removed from the list if the Agency withdraws or suspends approval of the drug's NDA or ANDA for reasons of safety or effectiveness or if FDA determines that the listed drug was withdrawn from sale for reasons of safety or effectiveness (21 CFR 314.162).

    A person may petition the Agency to determine, or the Agency may determine on its own initiative, whether a listed drug was withdrawn from sale for reasons of safety or effectiveness. This determination may be made at any time after the drug has been withdrawn from sale, but must be made prior to approving an ANDA that refers to the listed drug (§ 314.161 (21 CFR 314.161)). FDA may not approve an ANDA that does not refer to a listed drug.

    IC-GREEN (indocyanine green for injection), 10 mg/vial, 25 mg/vial, 40 mg/vial, and 50 mg/vial, is the subject of NDA 011525, held by Akorn, Inc. IC-GREEN (indocyanine green for injection), 25 mg/vial and 50 mg/vial, became conditionally effective on February 2, 1959. IC-GREEN (indocyanine green for injection), 10 mg/vial and 40 mg/vial, became conditionally effective on March 20, 1967. NDA 011525 was included in the Drug Efficacy Study Implementation review, (35 FR 12231 (July 30, 1970); 42 FR 31495 (June 21, 1977)) and the application was approved on August 2, 1989. IC-GREEN (indocyanine green for injection) is indicated for determining cardiac output, hepatic function, and liver blood flow, and for ophthalmic angiography.

    IC-GREEN (indocyanine green for injection), 10 mg/vial, 40 mg/vial, and 50 mg/vial, is currently listed in the “Discontinued Drug Product List” section of the Orange Book.

    Foley & Lardner LLP submitted a citizen petition dated May 3, 2018 (Docket No. FDA-2018-P-1734), under 21 CFR 10.30, requesting that the Agency determine whether IC-GREEN (indocyanine green for injection), 10 mg/vial, 40 mg/vial, and 50 mg/vial, was withdrawn from sale for reasons of safety or effectiveness. In 1987, IC-GREEN (indocyanine green for injection), 10 mg/vial and 40 mg/vial were discontinued from marketing. In 1996, Akorn, Inc. discontinued marketing IC-GREEN (indocyanine green for injection), 50mg/vial.

    After considering the citizen petition and reviewing Agency records, and based on the information we have at this time, FDA has determined under § 314.161 that IC-GREEN (indocyanine green for injection), 10 mg/vial, 40 mg/vial, and 50 mg/vial, was not withdrawn for reasons of safety or effectiveness. The petitioner has identified no data or other information suggesting that IC-GREEN (indocyanine green for injection), 10 mg/vial, 40 mg/vial, and 50 mg/vial, was withdrawn for reasons of safety or effectiveness. We have carefully reviewed our files for records concerning the withdrawal of IC-GREEN (indocyanine green for injection), 10 mg/vial, 40 mg/vial, and 50 mg/vial from sale. We have also independently evaluated relevant literature and data for possible postmarketing adverse events. We have reviewed the available evidence and determined that these drug products were not withdrawn from sale for reasons of safety or effectiveness.

    Accordingly, the Agency will continue to list IC-GREEN (indocyanine green for injection), 10 mg/vial, 40 mg/vial, and 50 mg/vial, in the “Discontinued Drug Product List” section of the Orange Book. The “Discontinued Drug Product List” delineates, among other items, drug products that have been discontinued from marketing for reasons other than safety or effectiveness. ANDAs that refer to IC-GREEN (indocyanine green for injection), 10 mg/vial, 40 mg/vial, and 50 mg/vial, may be approved by the Agency as long as they meet all other legal and regulatory requirements for the approval of ANDAs. If FDA determines that labeling for this drug product should be revised to meet current standards, the Agency will advise ANDA applicants to submit such labeling.

    Dated: December 10, 2018. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-26975 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2018-N-4416] Allied Pharma, Inc., et al.; Withdrawal of Approval of Nine Abbreviated New Drug Applications AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or Agency) is withdrawing approval of nine abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs) from multiple applicants. The applicants notified the Agency in writing that the drug products were no longer marketed and requested that the approval of the applications be withdrawn.

    DATES:

    Approval is withdrawn as of January 14, 2019.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Trang Tran, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 75, Rm. 1671, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 240-402-7945, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The applicants listed in the table have informed FDA that these drug products are no longer marketed and have requested that FDA withdraw approval of the applications under the process described in § 314.150(c) (21 CFR 314.150(c)). The applicants have also, by their requests, waived their opportunity for a hearing. Withdrawal of approval of an application or abbreviated application under § 314.150(c) is without prejudice to refiling.

    Application No. Drug Applicant ANDA 073079 Loperamide Hydrochloride (HCl) Oral Solution, 1 milligram (mg)/5 milliliters Allied Pharma, Inc., 20 Corrielle St., Fords, NJ 08863. ANDA 076741 Ibuprofen Tablets USP, 100 mg LNK International, Inc., 145 Ricefield Ln., Hauppauge, NY 11788. ANDA 080210 Lidocaine Ointment, 5% Belmora, LLC, 2231 Crystal Dr., #1000, Arlington, VA 22202. ANDA 085497 Phendimetrazine Tartrate Tablets, 35 mg Virtus Pharmaceuticals, LLC, 2050 Cabot Blvd. West, 2nd Floor, Langhorne, PA 19047. ANDA 085695 Phendimetrazine Tartrate Capsules, 35 mg Do. ANDA 086365 Phendimetrazine Tartrate Tablets, 35 mg Do. ANDA 086399 Theolair (theophylline) Tablets, 125 mg and 250 mg Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp., c/o Valeant Pharmaceuticals North America, LLC, 400 Somerset Corporate Blvd., Bridgewater, NJ 08807. ANDA 087378 Phendimetrazine Tartrate Extended-Release Capsules, 105 mg Virtus Pharmaceuticals, LLC. ANDA 202030 Bromfenac Sodium Ophthalmic Solution, Equivalent to 0.09% Acid Amring Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 1235 Westlakes Dr., Suite 205, Berwyn, PA 19312.

    Therefore, approval of the applications listed in the table, and all amendments and supplements thereto, is hereby withdrawn as of January 14, 2019. Introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate commerce of products without approved new drug applications violates section 301(a) and (d) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 331(a) and (d)). Drug products that are listed in the table that are in inventory on January 14, 2019, may continue to be dispensed until the inventories have been depleted or the drug products have reached their expiration dates or otherwise become violative, whichever occurs first.

    Dated: December 7, 2018. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-26947 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2018-D-3984] Data Integrity and Compliance With Drug CGMP: Questions and Answers; Guidance for Industry; Availability AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or Agency) is announcing the availability of a final guidance for industry entitled “Data Integrity and Compliance With Drug CGMP: Questions and Answers.” The purpose of the guidance is to clarify the role of data integrity in current good manufacturing practice (CGMP) for drugs. (Unless otherwise noted, the term CGMP refers to CGMPs for drugs, including biologics.) The guidance has been developed in response to an increase in findings of data integrity lapses in recent inspections. FDA expects that all data be reliable and accurate. CGMP regulations and guidance allow for flexible and risk-based strategies to prevent and detect data integrity issues. Firms should implement meaningful and effective strategies to manage their data integrity risks based on their process understanding and knowledge management of technologies and business models.

    DATES:

    The announcement of the guidance is published in the Federal Register on December 13, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit either electronic or written comments on Agency guidances at any time as follows:

    Electronic Submissions

    Submit electronic comments in the following way:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Comments submitted electronically, including attachments, to https://www.regulations.gov will be posted to the docket unchanged. Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for ensuring that your comment does not include any confidential information that you or a third party may not wish to be posted, such as medical information, your or anyone else's Social Security number, or confidential business information, such as a manufacturing process. Please note that if you include your name, contact information, or other information that identifies you in the body of your comments, that information will be posted on https://www.regulations.gov.

    • If you want to submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made available to the public, submit the comment as a written/paper submission and in the manner detailed (see “Written/Paper Submissions” and “Instructions”).

    Written/Paper Submissions

    Submit written/paper submissions as follows:

    Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier (for written/paper submissions): Dockets Management Staff (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    • For written/paper comments submitted to the Dockets Management Staff, FDA will post your comment, as well as any attachments, except for information submitted, marked and identified, as confidential, if submitted as detailed in “Instructions.”

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2018-D-3984 for “Data Integrity and Compliance With Drug CGMP: Questions and Answers.” Received comments will be placed in the docket and, except for those submitted as “Confidential Submissions,” publicly viewable at https://www.regulations.gov or at the Dockets Management Staff between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    • Confidential Submissions—To submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made publicly available, submit your comments only as a written/paper submission. You should submit two copies total. One copy will include the information you claim to be confidential with a heading or cover note that states “THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.” The Agency will review this copy, including the claimed confidential information, in its consideration of comments. The second copy, which will have the claimed confidential information redacted/blacked out, will be available for public viewing and posted on https://www.regulations.gov. Submit both copies to the Dockets Management Staff. If you do not wish your name and contact information to be made publicly available, you can provide this information on the cover sheet and not in the body of your comments and you must identify this information as “confidential.” Any information marked as “confidential” will not be disclosed except in accordance with 21 CFR 10.20 and other applicable disclosure law. For more information about FDA's posting of comments to public dockets, see 80 FR 56469, September 18, 2015, or access the information at: https://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-09-18/pdf/2015-23389.pdf.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or the electronic and written/paper comments received, go to https://www.regulations.gov and insert the docket number, found in brackets in the heading of this document, into the “Search” box and follow the prompts and/or go to the Dockets Management Staff, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    You may submit comments on any guidance at any time (see 21 CFR 10.115(g)(5)).

    Submit written requests for single copies of this guidance to the Division of Drug Information, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10001 New Hampshire Ave., Hillandale Building, 4th Floor, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002; the Office of Communication, Outreach and Development, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 71, Rm. 3128, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002; or the Policy and Regulations Staff (HFV-6), Center for Veterinary Medicine, Food and Drug Administration, 7500 Standish Pl., Rockville, MD 20855. Send one self-addressed adhesive label to assist that office in processing your requests. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for electronic access to the guidance document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Karen Takahashi, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave. Bldg. 75, Rm. 6686, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-3191; Stephen Ripley, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave. Bldg. 71, Rm. 7301, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 240-402-7911; or Jonathan Bray, Center for Veterinary Medicine (HFV-232), Food and Drug Administration, 7519 Standish Pl., Rm. 130, Rockville, MD 20855, 240-402-5623.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    FDA is announcing the availability of a guidance for industry entitled “Data Integrity and Compliance With Drug CGMP: Questions and Answers.” In recent years, FDA has increasingly observed CGMP violations involving data integrity during CGMP inspections. This is troubling because ensuring data integrity is an important component of industry's responsibility to ensure the safety, efficacy, and quality of drugs, and of FDA's ability to protect the public health. These data integrity-related CGMP violations have led to numerous regulatory actions, including warning letters, import alerts, and consent decrees. The underlying premise in 21 CFR 210.1 and 212.2 is that CGMP sets forth minimum requirements to assure that drugs meet the standards of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act regarding safety, identity, strength, quality, and purity.

    The guidance addresses specific questions about how data integrity relates to compliance with CGMP for drugs, as well as more general data integrity concepts, in question and answer format. This guidance was published as a draft guidance in April 2016—“Data Integrity and Compliance With CGMP”—and has been revised in response to comments from the docket for clarity. Other comments to the docket requested additional details on FDA's thinking on current best practices and additional examples. The Agency has used clarifying language and additional examples that also address best practices for ensuring data integrity. A paragraph regarding independent security role assignments for small operations or facilities was removed because the guidance for industry “PET Drugs—Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP)” covering this topic is sufficiently clear.

    This guidance is being issued consistent with FDA's good guidance practices regulation (21 CFR 10.115). The guidance represents the current thinking of FDA on data integrity and compliance with drug CGMP. It does not establish any rights for any person and is not binding on FDA or the public. You can use an alternative approach if it satisfies the requirements of the applicable statutes and regulations. This guidance is not subject to Executive Order 12866.

    II. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This guidance refers to previously approved collections of information that are subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520). The collections of information in 21 CFR parts 210 and 211 (CGMPs), 212 (positron emission tomography CGMPs), and 11 (electronic records and signatures) have been approved under OMB control numbers 0910-0139, 0910-0667, and 0910-0303, respectively.

    III. Electronic Access

    Persons with access to the internet may obtain the guidance at either https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/default.htm, https://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/default.htm, https://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/GuidanceComplianceEnforcement/GuidanceforIndustry/default.htm, or https://www.regulations.gov.

    Dated: December 7, 2018. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-26957 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2018-N-4609] Issuance of Priority Review Voucher; Rare Pediatric Disease Product AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing the issuance of a priority review voucher to the sponsor of a rare pediatric disease product application. 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 award of the priority review voucher. FDA has determined that GAMIFANT (emapalumab-lzsg) Injection, manufactured by Novimmune S.A., meets the criteria for a priority review voucher.

    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: 301-796-9856, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    FDA is announcing the issuance of a priority review voucher to the sponsor of an approved rare pediatric disease product application. Under section 529 of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 360ff), which was added by FDASIA, FDA will award priority review vouchers to sponsors of approved rare pediatric disease product applications that meet certain criteria. FDA has determined that GAMIFANT (emapalumab-lzsg) Injection, manufactured by Novimmune S.A., meets the criteria for a priority review voucher. GAMIFANT (emapalumab-lzsg) Injection is indicated for the treatment of adult and pediatric (newborn and older) patients with primary hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) with refractory, recurrent or progressive disease or intolerance with conventional HLH therapy.

    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 GAMIFANT (emapalumab-lzsg) Injection, go to the “[email protected]” website at https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cder/daf/.

    Dated: December 10, 2018. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-27043 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering; Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, notice is hereby given of a meeting of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering Special Emphasis Panel.

    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 of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering; Special Emphasis Panel BRAIN Initiative: Theories, Models and Methods for Analysis of Complex Data from the Brain (2019/5).

    Date: January 16, 2019.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: The Dupont Circle, 1500 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036.

    Contact Person: Dennis Hlasta, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, National Institutes of Health, 6707 Democracy Blvd., Bethesda, MD 20892, (301) 496-4794, [email protected]@nih.gov.

    Dated: December 7, 2018. Sylvia L. Neal, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-26959 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institute; 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/or contract proposals and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with grant and/or contract proposals applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Cancer Institute Special Emphasis Panel; NCI UG1 and U24 Chemoprevention Clinical Trials Network.

    Date: January 15, 2019.

    Time: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Cancer Institute, Shady Grove, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W102, Rockville, MD 20850, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Shakeel Ahmad, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Research Technology and Contract Review Branch, Division of Extramural Activities, National Cancer Institute, NIH, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W102, Bethesda, MD 20892-9750, 240-276-6349, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: National Cancer Institute Special Emphasis Panel; TEP-2: SBIR Contract Review.

    Date: February 6, 2019.

    Time: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Cancer Institute, Shady Grove, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W102, Rockville, MD 20850, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Shakeel Ahmad, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Research Technology and Contract Review Branch, Division of Extramural Activities, National Cancer Institute, NIH, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W102, Bethesda, MD 20892-9750, 240-276-6349, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: National Cancer Institute Special Emphasis Panel; TEP-5: SBIR Contract Review.

    Date: February 21, 2019.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate contract proposals.

    Place: National Cancer Institute, Shady Grove, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 6E034, Rockville, MD 20850, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Nadeem Khan, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Research Technology and Contract Review Branch, Division of Extramural Activities, National Cancer Institute, NIH, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W260, Bethesda, MD 20892-9750, 240-276-5856, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: National Cancer Institute Initial Review Group; Subcommittee I—Transition to Independence.

    Date: February 21-22, 2019.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate contract proposals.

    Place: Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, 5701 Marinelli Road, Bethesda, MD 20852.

    Contact Person: Delia Tang, M.D., Scientific Review Officer, Research Programs Review Branch, Division of Extramural Activities, National Cancer Institute, NIH, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W602, Bethesda, MD 20892-9750, 240-276-6456, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: National Cancer Institute Special Emphasis Panel; R25 Review.

    Date: March 6, 2019.

    Time: 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Cancer Institute, Shady Grove, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W110, Rockville, MD 20850, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Robert E. Bird, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Research Program Review Branch, Division of Extramural Activities, National Cancer Institute, NIH, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W110, Bethesda, MD 20892-9750, 240-276-6344, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: National Cancer Institute Special Emphasis Panel; UH2/UH3 Review.

    Date: March 7, 2019.

    Time: 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Cancer Institute, Shady Grove, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W110, Rockville, MD 20850, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Robert E. Bird, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Research Program Review Branch, Division of Extramural Activities, National Cancer Institute, NIH, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W110, Bethesda, MD 20892-9750, 240-276-6344, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: National Cancer Institute Special Emphasis Panel; SEP-8: NCI Clinical and Translational R21 and Omnibus R03.

    Date: March 7-8, 2019.

    Time: 6:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, 5701 Marinelli Road, North Bethesda, MD 20852.

    Contact Person: Reed Graves, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Research Technology and Contract Review Branch, Division of Extramural Activities, National Cancer Institute, NIH, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W106, Bethesda, MD 20892-9750, 240-276-6384, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: National Cancer Institute Special Emphasis Panel; Informatics Tools for Cancer Research and Surveillance.

    Date: March 21-22, 2019.

    Time: 5:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, 5701 Marinelli Road, North Bethesda, MD 20852.

    Contact Person: Nadeem Khan, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Research Technology and Contract Review Branch, Division of Extramural Activities, National Cancer Institute, NIH, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W260, Bethesda, MD 20892-9750, 240-276-5856, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: National Cancer Institute Special Emphasis Panel; TEP-6: SBIR Contract Review.

    Date: April 18, 2019.

    Time: 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate contract proposals.

    Place: National Cancer Institute, Shady Grove, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W106, Rockville, MD 20850, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Reed Graves, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Special Review Branch, Division of Extramural Activities, National Cancer Institute, NIH, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W106, Bethesda, MD 20892-9750, 240-276-6384, [email protected].

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.392, Cancer Construction; 93.393, Cancer Cause and Prevention Research; 93.394, Cancer Detection and Diagnosis Research; 93.395, Cancer Treatment Research; 93.396, Cancer Biology Research; 93.397, Cancer Centers Support; 93.398, Cancer Research Manpower; 93.399, Cancer Control, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: December 7, 2018. Melanie J. Pantoja, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-26960 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders; Notice of Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as mentioned, notice is hereby given of a meeting of the National Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Advisory Council.

    The meeting will be open to the public as indicated below, with attendance limited to space available. Individuals who plan to attend and need special assistance, such as sign language interpretation or other reasonable accommodations, should notify the Contact Person listed below in advance of the 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/or 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 grant applications and/or contract proposals, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Advisory Council.

    Date: January 25, 2019.

    Closed: 8:30 a.m. to 9:40 a.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Neuroscience Center, Room C and D, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20852.

    Open: 9:40 a.m. to 1:50 p.m.

    Agenda: Staff reports on divisional, programmatical, and special activities.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Neuroscience Center, Room C and D, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20852.

    Contact Person: Craig A. Jordan, Ph.D., Director, Division of Extramural Activities, NIDCD, NIH, Room 8345, MSC 9670, 6001 Executive Blvd., Bethesda, MD 20892-9670, 301-496-8693, [email protected]

    Any interested person may file written comments with the committee by forwarding the statement to the Contact Person listed on this notice. The statement should include the name, address, telephone number and when applicable, the business or professional affiliation of the interested person.

    In the interest of security, NIH has instituted stringent procedures for entrance onto the NIH campus. All visitor vehicles, including taxicabs, hotel, and airport shuttles will be inspected before being allowed on campus. Visitors will be asked to show one form of identification (for example, a government-issued photo ID, driver's license, or passport) and to state the purpose of their visit.

    Information is also available on the Institute's/Center's home page: https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/about/advisory-council, where an agenda and any additional information for the meeting will be posted when available.

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.173, Biological Research Related to Deafness and Communicative Disorders, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: December 7, 2018. Sylvia L. Neal, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-26958 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Docket ID FEMA-2018-0002; Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-B-1871] 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. Colorado: Adams City of Westminster (18-08-0635P) The Honorable Herb Atchison, Mayor, City of Westminster, 4800 West 92nd Avenue, Westminster, CO 80031 City Hall, 4800 West 92nd Avenue, Westminster, CO 80031 https://msc.fema.gov/portal/advanceSearch Feb. 14, 2019 080008 Adams Unincorporated areas of Adams County (18-08-0635P) The Honorable Mary Hodge, Chair, Adams County Board of Commissioners, 4430 South Adams County Parkway, 5th Floor, Suite C5000A, Brighton, CO 80601 Adams County, Development Engineering Services Department, 4430 South Adams County Parkway, Brighton, CO 80601 https://msc.fema.gov/portal/advanceSearch Feb. 14, 2019 080001 Boulder City of Boulder (18-08-1141P) The Honorable Suzanne Jones, Mayor, City of Boulder, 1777 Broadway Street, Boulder, CO 80306 Central Records Department, 1777 Broadway Street, Boulder, CO 80306 https://msc.fema.gov/portal/advanceSearch Mar. 5, 2019 080024 Garfield City of Rifle (18-08-0695P) Mr. Scott Hahn, Manager, City of Rifle, 202 Railroad Avenue, Rifle, CO 81650 City Hall, 202 Railroad Avenue, Rifle, CO 81650 https://msc.fema.gov/portal/advanceSearch Feb. 8, 2019 085078 Garfield Unincorporated areas of Garfield County (18-08-0695P) The Honorable John Martin, Chairman, Garfield County Board of Commissioners, 108 8th Street, Suite 101, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601 Garfield County Courthouse, 108 8th Street, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601 https://msc.fema.gov/portal/advanceSearch Feb. 8, 2019 080205 Larimer City of Fort Collins (17-08-1354P) The Honorable Wade Troxell, Mayor, City of Fort Collins, 300 LaPorte Avenue, Fort Collins, CO 80521 Stormwater Utilities Department, 700 Wood Street, Fort Collins, CO 80521 https://msc.fema.gov/portal/advanceSearch Feb. 21, 2019 080102 Larimer Town of Timnath (17-08-1354P) The Honorable Jill Grossman-Belisle, Mayor, Town of Timnath, 4800 Goodman Street, Timnath, CO 80547 Town Hall, 4800 Goodman Street, Timnath, CO 80547 https://msc.fema.gov/portal/advanceSearch Feb. 21, 2019 080005 Larimer Unincorporated areas of Larimer County (17-08-1354P) The Honorable Steve Johnson, Chairman, Larimer County Board of Commissioners, P.O. Box 1190, Fort Collins, CO 80522 Larimer County Engineering Department, 200 West Oak Street, Suite 3000, Fort Collins, CO 80521 https://msc.fema.gov/portal/advanceSearch Feb. 21, 2019 080101 Connecticut: Fairfield City of Norwalk (18-01-1147P) The Honorable Harry W. Rilling, Mayor, City of Norwalk, 125 East Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06851 Planning and Zoning Department, 125 East Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06851 https://msc.fema.gov/portal/advanceSearch Feb. 21, 2019 090012 Florida: Broward City of Parkland (18-04-4986P) The Honorable Christine Hunschofsky, Mayor, City of Parkland, 6600 University Drive, Parkland, FL 33067 City Hall, 6600 University Drive, Parkland, FL 33067 https://msc.fema.gov/portal/advanceSearch Mar. 5, 2019 120051 Lee City of Sanibel (18-04-3740P) The Honorable Kevin Ruane, Mayor, City of Sanibel, 800 Dunlop Road, Sanibel, FL 33957 Planning and Code Enforcement Department, 800 Dunlop Road, Sanibel, FL 33957 https://msc.fema.gov/portal/advanceSearch Feb. 19, 2019 120402 Monroe Unincorporated areas of Monroe County (18-04-6042P) The Honorable David Rice, Mayor, Monroe County Board of Commissioners, 9400 Overseas Highway, Suite 210, Marathon, FL 33050 Monroe County Building Department, 9400 Overseas Highway, Suite 300, Marathon, FL 33050 https://msc.fema.gov/portal/advanceSearch Feb. 22, 2019 125129 Monroe Unincorporated areas of Monroe County (18-04-6309P) The Honorable David Rice, Mayor, Monroe County Board of Commissioners, 9400 Overseas Highway, Suite 210, Marathon, FL 33050 Monroe County Building Department, 9400 Overseas Highway, Suite 300, Marathon, FL 33050 https://msc.fema.gov/portal/advanceSearch Mar. 6, 2019 125129 Pasco Unincorporated areas of Pasco County (17-04-7747P) The Honorable Mike L. Wells, Chairman, Pasco County Board of Commissioners, 8731 Citizens Drive, Suite 100, New Port Richey, FL 34654 Pasco County Building and Construction Services Department, 8731 Citizens Drive, New Port Richey, FL 34654 https://msc.fema.gov/portal/advanceSearch Feb. 28, 2019 120230 Polk Unincorporated areas of Polk County (18-04-5171P) The Honorable R. Todd Dantzler, Chairman, Polk County Board of Commissioners, P.O. Box 9005, Bartow, FL 33831 Polk County Administration Building, 330 West Church Street, Bartow, FL 33831 https://msc.fema.gov/portal/advanceSearch Feb. 28, 2019 120261 Sarasota Unincorporated areas of Sarasota County (18-04-6698P) The Honorable Nancy Detert, Chair, Sarasota County Board of Commissioners, 1660 Ringling Boulevard, Sarasota, FL 34236 Sarasota County Planning and Development Services Department, 1001 Sarasota Center Boulevard, Sarasota, FL 34236 https://msc.fema.gov/portal/advanceSearch Mar. 8, 2019 125144 Maryland: Somerset Unincorporated areas of Somerset County (18-03-1921P) The Honorable Randy Laird, President, Somerset County Commission, 11916 Somerset Avenue, Room 111, Princess Anne, MD 21853 Somerset County Department of Technical and Community Services, 11916 Somerset Avenue, Room 211, Princess Anne, MD 21853 https://msc.fema.gov/portal/advanceSearch Feb. 28, 2019 240061 New Hampshire: Hillsborough City of Manchester (18-01-0929P) The Honorable Joyce Craig, Mayor, City of Manchester, One City Hall Plaza, Manchester, NH 03101 Planning Department, One City Hall Plaza, Manchester, NH 03101 https://msc.fema.gov/portal/advanceSearch Feb. 14, 2019 330169 North Carolina: Montgomery Unincorporated areas of Montgomery County (18-04-1965P) The Honorable Jackie Morris, Chairman, Montgomery County Board of Commissioners, 102 East Spring Street, Troy, NC 27371 Montgomery County Inspections and Zoning Department, 219 South Main Street, Troy, NC 27371 https://msc.fema.gov/portal/advanceSearch Nov. 23, 2019 370336 South Dakota: Lawrence City of Spearfish (18-08-0274P) The Honorable Dana Boke, Mayor, City of Spearfish, 625 5th Street, Spearfish, SD 57783 City Hall, 625 5th Street, Spearfish, SD 57783 https://msc.fema.gov/portal/advanceSearch Feb. 25, 2019 460046 Texas: Bexar City of San Antonio (18-06-0893P) The Honorable Ron Nirenberg, Mayor, City of San Antonio, P.O. Box 839966, San Antonio, TX 78283 Transportation and Capital Improvements Department, Stormwater Division, 1901 South Alamo Street, 2nd Floor, San Antonio, TX 78204 https://msc.fema.gov/portal/advanceSearch Feb. 4, 2019 480045 Bexar City of San Antonio (18-06-1813P) The Honorable Ron Nirenberg, Mayor, City of San Antonio, P.O. Box 839966, San Antonio, TX 78283 Transportation and Capital Improvements Department, Stormwater Division, 1901 South Alamo Street, 2nd Floor, San Antonio, TX 78204 https://msc.fema.gov/portal/advanceSearch Mar. 4, 2019 480045 Denton City of Denton (18-06-2351P) The Honorable Chris A. Watts, Mayor, City of Denton, 215 East McKinney Street, Suite 100, Denton, TX 76201 Engineering Services Department, 901-A Texas Street, Denton, TX 76509 https://msc.fema.gov/portal/advanceSearch Feb. 25, 2019 480194 Denton City of The Colony (18-06-1146P) The Honorable Joe McCourry, Mayor, City of The Colony, 6800 Main Street, The Colony, TX 75056 Engineering Department, 6800 Main Street, The Colony, TX 75056 https://msc.fema.gov/portal/advanceSearch Feb. 19, 2019 481581 Denton Town of Flower Mound (18-06-2274P) The Honorable Steve Dixon, Mayor, Town of Flower Mound, 2121 Cross Timbers Road, Flower Mound, TX 75028 Town Hall, 2121 Cross Timbers Road, Flower Mound, TX 75028 https://msc.fema.gov/portal/advanceSearch Feb. 19, 2019 480777 Harris Unincorporated areas of Harris County (18-06-2182P) The Honorable Edward M. Emmett, Harris County Judge, 1001 Preston Street, Suite 911, Houston, TX 77002 Harris County Permit Department, 10555 Northwest Freeway, Suite 120, Houston, TX 77092 https://msc.fema.gov/portal/advanceSearch Feb 4, 2019 480287 Tarrant City of Saginaw (18-06-0438P) The Honorable Todd Flippo, Mayor, City of Saginaw, 333 West McLeroy Boulevard, Saginaw, TX 76179 Department of Public Works, 205 Brenda Lane, Saginaw, TX 76179 https://msc.fema.gov/portal/advanceSearch Mar. 22, 2019 480610 Taylor City of Abilene (18-06-0761P) The Honorable Anthony Williams, Mayor, City of Abilene, P.O. Box 60, Abilene, TX 79604 City Hall, 555 Walnut Street, Abilene, TX 79601 https://msc.fema.gov/portal/advanceSearch Feb. 25, 2019 485450 Travis City of Austin (18-06-1298P) Mr. Spencer Cronk, Manager, City of Austin, P.O. Box 1088, Austin, TX 78767 Watershed Protection Department, 505 Barton Springs Road, 12th Floor, Austin, TX 78704 https://msc.fema.gov/portal/advanceSearch Feb. 25, 2019 480624 Travis Unincorporated areas of Travis County (18-06-1298P) The Honorable Sarah Eckhardt, Travis County Judge, P.O. Box 1748, Austin, TX 78767 Travis County Transportation and Natural Resources Department, 700 Lavaca Street, 5th Floor, Austin, TX 78767 https://msc.fema.gov/portal/advanceSearch Feb. 25, 2019 481026 Virginia: Chesterfield Unincorporated areas of Chesterfield County (18-03-1312P) Mr. Joseph P. Casey, Administrator, Chesterfield County, P.O. Box 40, Chesterfield, VA 23832 Chesterfield County Department of Environmental Engineering, 9800 Government Center Parkway, Chesterfield, VA 23832 https://msc.fema.gov/portal/advanceSearch Feb. 26, 2019 510035 Independent City City of Harrisonburg (18-03-1944P) The Honorable Deanna R. Reed, Mayor, City of Harrisonburg, 409 South Main Street, Harrisonburg, VA 22801 Department of Planning and Community Development, 409 South Main Street, Harrisonburg, VA 22801 https://msc.fema.gov/portal/advanceSearch Feb. 14, 2019 510076
    [FR Doc. 2018-26937 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-12-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-4408-DR; Docket ID FEMA-2018-0001] Pennsylvania; Major Disaster and Related Determinations AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This is a notice of the Presidential declaration of a major disaster for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (FEMA-4408-DR), dated November 27, 2018, and related determinations.

    DATES:

    The declaration was issued November 27, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dean Webster, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street, SW, Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-2833.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is hereby given that, in a letter dated November 27, 2018, the President issued a major disaster declaration under the authority of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq. (the “Stafford Act”), as follows:

    I have determined that the damage in certain areas of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania resulting from severe storms and flooding during the period of August 10-15, 2018, is of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant a major disaster declaration under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq. (the “Stafford Act”). Therefore, I declare that such a major disaster exists in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

    In order to provide Federal assistance, you are hereby authorized to allocate from funds available for these purposes such amounts as you find necessary for Federal disaster assistance and administrative expenses.

    You are authorized to provide Public Assistance in the designated areas and Hazard Mitigation throughout the Commonwealth. Consistent with the requirement that Federal assistance be supplemental, any Federal funds provided under the Stafford Act for Hazard Mitigation will be limited to 75 percent of the total eligible costs. Federal funds provided under the Stafford Act for Public Assistance also will be limited to 75 percent of the total eligible costs, with the exception of projects that meet the eligibility criteria for a higher Federal cost-sharing percentage under the Public Assistance Alternative Procedures Pilot Program for Debris Removal implemented pursuant to section 428 of the Stafford Act.

    Further, you are authorized to make changes to this declaration for the approved assistance to the extent allowable under the Stafford Act.

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hereby gives notice that pursuant to the authority vested in the Administrator, under Executive Order 12148, as amended, Steven S. Ward, of FEMA is appointed to act as the Federal Coordinating Officer for this major disaster.

    The following areas of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have been designated as adversely affected by this major disaster:

    Bradford, Columbia, Lackawanna, Lycoming, Montour, Schuylkill, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, and Wyoming Counties for Public Assistance.

    All areas within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are eligible for assistance under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

    The following Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) are to be used for reporting and drawing funds: 97.030, Community Disaster Loans; 97.031, Cora Brown Fund; 97.032, Crisis Counseling; 97.033, Disaster Legal Services; 97.034, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); 97.046, Fire Management Assistance Grant; 97.048, Disaster Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households In Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas; 97.049, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance—Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households; 97.050, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households—Other Needs; 97.036, Disaster Grants—Public Assistance (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant.
    Brock Long, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2018-26938 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-11-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Docket ID FEMA-2018-0002; Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-B-1870] 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.
  • California: Riverside City of Riverside (18-09-1163P) The Honorable Rusty Bailey, Mayor, City of Riverside, 3900 Main Street, Riverside, CA 92522 Planning and Building Department, 3900 Main Street, Riverside, CA 92501 https://msc.fema.gov/portal/advanceSearch Feb. 6, 2019 060260 Santa Clara City of San Jose (18-09-1360P) The Honorable Sam Liccardo, Mayor, City of San Jose, 200 East Santa Clara Street, 18th Floor, San Jose, CA 95113 Department of Public Works, 200 East Santa Clara Street, 3rd Floor, San Jose, CA 95113 https://msc.fema.gov/portal/advanceSearch Mar. 7, 2019 060349 Florida: Broward City of Hollywood (18-04-1751P) The Honorable Josh Levy, Mayor, City of Hollywood, 2600 Hollywood Boulevard, Room 419, Hollywood, FL 33022 City Hall, 2600 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, FL 33022 https://msc.fema.gov/portal/advanceSearch Feb. 22, 2019 125113 St. Johns Unincorporated Areas of St. Johns County (18-04-3472P) Mr. Henry Dean, Chairman, St. Johns County Board of Commissioners, St. Johns County Administration, 500 San Sebastian View, St. Augustine, FL 32084 St. Johns County Administration Building, 4020 Lewis Speedway, St. Augustine, FL 32084 https://msc.fema.gov/portal/advanceSearch Feb. 28, 2019 125147 St. Johns Unincorporated Areas of St. Johns County (18-04-4670P) Mr. Henry Dean, Chairman, St. Johns County Board of Commissioners, St. Johns County Administration, 500 San Sebastian View, St. Augustine, FL 32084 St. Johns County Administration Building, 4020 Lewis Speedway, St. Augustine, FL 32084 https://msc.fema.gov/portal/advanceSearch Mar. 1, 2019 125147 Indiana: Allen City of Fort Wayne (18-05-2605P) The Honorable Tom Henry, Mayor, City of Fort Wayne, Citizens Square, 200 East Berry Street, Suite 420, Fort Wayne, IN 46802 Department of Planning Services, 200 East Berry Street, Suite 150, Fort Wayne, IN 46802 https://msc.fema.gov/portal/advanceSearch Feb. 22, 2019 180003 Kansas: Johnson City of Lenexa (18-07-1607P) The Honorable Michael Boehm, Mayor, City of Lenexa, 8522 Caenen Lake Court, Lenexa, KS 66215 City Hall, 12350 West 87th Street Parkway, Lenexa, KS 66215 https://msc.fema.gov/portal/advanceSearch Mar. 13, 2019 200168 Minnesota: Washington City of Lake Elmo (18-05-3738P) The Honorable Mike Pearson, Mayor, City of Lake Elmo, 2805 Lisbon Avenue North, Lake Elmo, MN 55042 City Hall 3800 Laverne Avenue Lake Elmo, MN 55042 https://msc.fema.gov/portal/advanceSearch Mar. 7, 2019 270505 Virginia: Fairfax Unincorporated Areas of Fairfax County (18-03-1811P) Mr. Bryan J. Hill, County Executive, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 552, Fairfax, VA 22035 Fairfax County Stormwater Planning, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 449, Fairfax, VA 22035 https://msc.fema.gov/portal/advanceSearch Mar. 6, 2019 515525
    [FR Doc. 2018-26935 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-12-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-3409-EM; Docket ID FEMA-2018-0001] California; Amendment No. 1 to Notice of an Emergency Declaration AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice amends the notice of an emergency declaration for the State of California (FEMA-3409-EM), dated November 9, 2018, and related determinations.

    DATES:

    This amendment was issued November 29, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dean Webster, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW, Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-2833.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is hereby given that the incident period for this emergency is closed effective November 25, 2018.

    The following Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) are to be used for reporting and drawing funds: 97.030, Community Disaster Loans; 97.031, Cora Brown Fund; 97.032, Crisis Counseling; 97.033, Disaster Legal Services; 97.034, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); 97.046, Fire Management Assistance Grant; 97.048, Disaster Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households In Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas; 97.049, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance—Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households; 97.050, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households—Other Needs; 97.036, Disaster Grants—Public Assistance (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant. Brock Long, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2018-26988 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-11-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Docket ID: FEMA-2018-0030; OMB No. 1660-0002] Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Disaster Assistance Registration AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will submit the information collection abstracted below to the Office of Management and Budget for review and clearance in accordance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The submission will describe the nature of the information collection, the categories of respondents, the estimated burden (i.e., the time, effort and resources used by respondents to respond) and cost, and the actual data collection instruments FEMA will use.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before January 14, 2019.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit written comments on the proposed information collection to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget. Comments should be addressed to the Desk Officer for the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and sent via electronic mail to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection should be made to Director, Records Management Division, 500 C Street SW, Washington, DC 20472-3100, or email address [email protected] or Brian Thompson, Supervisory Program Specialist, FEMA, Recovery Directorate, at (540) 686-3602.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This proposed information collection previously published in the Federal Register on September 27, 2018 at 83 FR 48855 with a 60 day public comment period. FEMA received one unrelated comment. The purpose of this notice is to notify the public that FEMA will submit the information collection abstracted below to the Office of Management and Budget for review and clearance.

    Collection of Information

    Title: Disaster Assistance Registration.

    Type of information collection: Extension, without change, of a currently approved information collection.

    OMB Number: 1660-0002.

    Form Titles and Numbers: FEMA Form 009-0-1T (English) Tele-Registration, Disaster Assistance Registration; FEMA Form 009-0-1Int (English) internet, Disaster Assistance Registration; FEMA Form 009-0-2Int (Spanish) internet, Registro Para Asistencia De Desastre; FEMA Form 009-0-1 (English) Paper Application/Disaster Assistance Registration; FEMA Form 009-0-2 (Spanish), Solicitud en Papel/Registro Para Asistencia De Desastre; FEMA Form 009-0-1S (English) Smartphone, Disaster Assistance Registration; FEMA Form 009-0-2S (Spanish) Smartphone, Registro Para Asistencia De Desastre; FEMA Form 009-0-3 (English), Declaration and Release; FEMA Form 009-0-4 (Spanish), Declaración Y Autorización; FEMA Form 009-0-5 (English), Manufactured Housing Unit Revocable License and Receipt for Government Property; FEMA Form 009-0-6 (panish), Las Casas Manufacturadas Unidad Licencia Revocable y Recibo de la Propiedad del Gobierno.

    Abstract: The various forms in this collection are used to collect pertinent information to provide financial assistance, and if necessary, direct assistance to eligible individuals and households who, as a direct result of a major disaster, have necessary expenses and serious needs that are unable to be met through other means.

    Affected Public: Individuals or Households.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 2,221,579.

    Estimated Number of Responses: 2,221,579.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 649,816 hours.

    Estimated Total Annual Respondent Cost: $23,094,460.

    Estimated Respondents' Operation and Maintenance Costs: 0.

    Estimated Respondents' Capital and Start-Up Costs: 0.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to the Federal Government: $28,705,098.

    Comments

    Comments may be submitted as indicated in the ADDRESSES caption above. Comments are solicited to (a) evaluate whether the proposed data collection is necessary for the proper performance of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    Millicent L. Brown, Government Information Specialist, Information Management Division, Mission Support, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Homeland Security.
    [FR Doc. 2018-26936 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-11-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Docket ID FEMA-2018-0002] Changes in Flood Hazard Determinations AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    New or modified Base (1-percent annual chance) Flood Elevations (BFEs), base flood depths, Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) boundaries or zone designations, and/or regulatory floodways (hereinafter referred to as flood hazard determinations) as shown on the indicated Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) for each of the communities listed in the table below are finalized. Each LOMR revises the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs), and in some cases the Flood Insurance Study (FIS) reports, currently in effect for the listed communities. The flood hazard determinations modified by each LOMR will be used to calculate flood insurance premium rates for new buildings and their contents.

    DATES:

    Each LOMR was finalized as in the table below.

    ADDRESSES:

    Each LOMR is available for inspection at both the respective Community Map Repository address listed in the table below and online through the FEMA Map Service Center at https://msc.fema.gov.

    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 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) makes the final flood hazard determinations as shown in the LOMRs for each community listed in the table below. Notice of these modified flood hazard determinations has been published in newspapers of local circulation and 90 days have elapsed since that publication. The Deputy Associate Administrator for Insurance and Mitigation has resolved any appeals resulting from this notification.

    The modified flood hazard determinations are made pursuant to section 206 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.

    For rating purposes, the currently effective community number is shown and must be used for all new policies and renewals.

    The new or modified flood hazard information is the basis for the floodplain management measures that the community is required either to adopt or to show evidence of being already in effect in order to remain qualified for participation in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

    This new or modified flood hazard information, 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.

    This new or modified 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, and for the contents in those buildings. The changes in flood hazard determinations are in accordance with 44 CFR 65.4.

    Interested lessees and owners of real property are encouraged to review the final flood hazard information available at the address cited below for each community or online through the FEMA Map Service Center at https://msc.fema.gov.

    (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
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  • Alabama: Shelby (FEMA Docket No.: B-1848) City of Helena (18-04-2020P) The Honorable Mark R. Hall, Mayor, City of Helena, 816 Highway 52 East, Helena, AL 35080 City Hall, 816 State Route 82, Helena, AL 35080 Nov. 10, 2018 010294 Shelby (FEMA Docket No.: B-1845) City of Montevallo (18-04-1231P) The Honorable Hollie Cost, Mayor, City of Montevallo, 541 Main Street, Montevallo, AL 35115 City Hall, 541 Main Street, Montevallo, AL 35115 Oct. 25, 2018 010349 Shelby (FEMA Docket No.: B-1845) Unincorporated Areas of Shelby County (18-04-1231P) The Honorable Jon Parker, Chairman, Shelby County Board of Commissioners, 200 West College Street, Columbiana, AL 35051 Shelby County Engineering Department, 506 Highway 70, Columbiana, AL 35051 Oct. 25, 2018 010191 Colorado: Boulder (FEMA Docket No.: B-1848) City of Boulder (17-08-1389P) The Honorable Suzanne Jones, Mayor, City of Boulder, P.O. Box 791, Boulder, CO 80306 City Hall, 1777 Broadway Street, Boulder, CO 80302 Nov. 5, 2018 080024 Boulder (FEMA Docket No.: B-1845) City of Boulder (18-08-0256P) The Honorable Suzanne Jones, Mayor, City of Boulder, 1777 Broadway Street, Boulder, CO 80302 City Hall, 1777 Broadway Street, Boulder, CO 80302 Nov. 2, 2018 080024 Boulder (FEMA Docket No.: B-1848) Unincorporated areas of Boulder County (17-08-1389P) The Honorable Cindy Domenico, Chair, Boulder County Board of Commissioners, P.O. Box 471, Boulder, CO 80306 Boulder County Transportation Department, 2525 13th Street, Suite 203, Boulder, CO 80304 Nov. 5, 2018 080023 Douglas (FEMA Docket No.: B-1848) Unincorporated areas of Douglas County (17-08-1321P) The Honorable Lora Thomas, Chair, Douglas County Board of Commissioners, 100 3rd Street, Castle Rock, CO 80104 Douglas County Public Works Department, Engineering Division, 100 3rd Street, Castle Rock, CO 80104 Nov. 9, 2018 080049 Montrose (FEMA Docket No.: B-1852) City of Montrose (17-08-1374P) Mr. William Bell, City Manager, City of Montrose, P.O. Box 790, Montrose, CO 81402 Engineering Department, 1221 6450 Road, Montrose, CO 81401 Nov. 9, 2018 080125 Montrose (FEMA Docket No.: B-1852) Unincorporated areas of Montrose County (17-08-1374P) The Honorable Keith Caddy, Chairman, Montrose County Board of Commissioners, 317 South 2nd Street, Montrose, CO 81401 Montrose County Public Works Department, 949 North 2nd Street, Montrose, CO 81401 Nov. 9, 2018 080124 Connecticut: Fairfield (FEMA Docket No.: B-1848) Town of Darien (18-01-1237P) The Honorable Jayme J. Stevenson, First Selectwoman, Town of Darien Board of Selectmen, 2 Renshaw Road, Darien, CT 06820 Planning and Zoning Department, 2 Renshaw Road, Darien, CT 06820 Nov. 13, 2018 090005 Florida: Collier (FEMA Docket No.: B-1852) City of Naples (18-04-4561P) The Honorable Bill Barnett, Mayor, City of Naples, 735 8th Street South, Naples, FL 34102 Building Department, 295 Riverside Circle, Naples, FL 34102 Nov. 9, 2018 125130 Duval (FEMA Docket No.: B-1845) City of Atlantic Beach (17-04-4155P) The Honorable Ellen E. Glasser, Mayor, City of Atlantic Beach, 800 Seminole Road, Atlantic Beach, FL 32233 City Hall, 800 Seminole Road, Atlantic Beach, FL 32233 Nov. 5, 2018 120075 Duval (FEMA Docket No.: B-1845) City of Jacksonville (17-04-4155P) The Honorable Lenny Curry, Mayor, City of Jacksonville, 117 West Duval Street, Suite 400, Jacksonville, FL 32202 City Hall, 214 North Hogan Street, Suite 2100, Jacksonville, FL 32202 Nov. 5, 2018 120077 Lee (FEMA Docket No.: B-1845) City of Sanibel (18-04-3742P) The Honorable Kevin Ruane, Mayor, City of Sanibel, 800 Dunlop Road, Sanibel, FL 33957 Planning Department, 800 Dunlop Road, Sanibel, FL 33957 Oct. 25, 2018 120402 Lee (FEMA Docket No.: B-1845) City of Sanibel (18-04-3819P) The Honorable Kevin Ruane, Mayor, City of Sanibel, 800 Dunlop Road, Sanibel, FL 33957 Planning Department, 800 Dunlop Road, Sanibel, FL 33957 Oct. 26, 2018 120402 Monroe (FEMA Docket No.: B-1845) Unincorporated areas of Monroe County (18-04-3568P) The Honorable David Rice, Mayor, Monroe County Board of Commissioners, 1100 Simonton Street, Key West, FL 33040 Monroe County Building Department, 2798 Overseas Highway, Suite 300, Marathon, FL 33050 Oct. 22, 2018 125129 Monroe (FEMA Docket No.: B-1848) Unincorporated areas of Monroe County (18-04-4286P) The Honorable David Rice, Mayor, Monroe County Board of Commissioners, 9400 Overseas Highway, Suite 210, Marathon, FL 33050 Monroe County Building Department, 2798 Overseas Highway, Suite 300, Marathon, FL 33050 Oct. 31, 2018 125129 Monroe (FEMA Docket No.: B-1848) Unincorporated areas of Monroe County (18-04-4294P) The Honorable David Rice, Mayor, Monroe County Board of Commissioners, 9400 Overseas Highway, Suite 210, Marathon, FL 33050 Monroe County Building Department, 2798 Overseas Highway, Suite 300, Marathon, FL 33050 Nov. 13, 2018 125129 Monroe (FEMA Docket No.: B-1845) Village of Islamorada (18-04-3795P) The Honorable Chris Sante, Mayor, Village of Islamorada, 86800 Overseas Highway, Islamorada, FL 33036 Planning and Development Department, 86800 Overseas Highway, Islamorada, FL 33036 Oct. 26, 2018 120424 Orange (FEMA Docket No.: B-1848) City of Orlando (17-04-3097P) The Honorable Buddy Dyer, Mayor, City of Orlando, P.O. Box 4990, Orlando, FL 32802 Information Technology Division, 400 South Orange Avenue, 8th Floor, Orlando, FL 32801 Nov. 9, 2018 120186 Kentucky: Jefferson (FEMA Docket No.: B-1848) Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Government (18-04-3582P) The Honorable Greg Fischer, Mayor, Louisville-Jefferson County Metro, Government, 527 West Jefferson Street, Louisville, KY 40202 Louisville-Jefferson County Metropolitan Sewer District, 700 West Liberty Street, Louisville, KY 40203 Nov. 13, 2018 210120 Maryland: Prince George's (FEMA Docket No.: B-1845) Unincorporated areas of Prince George's County (18-03-0330P) The Honorable Rushern L. Baker, III, Prince George's County Executive, 14741 Governor Oden Bowie Drive, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772 Prince George's County Department of Environment, 1801 McCormick Drive, Suite 500, Largo, MD 20774 Nov. 2, 2018 245208 Massachusetts: Norfolk (FEMA Docket No.: B-1848) City of Quincy (18-01-0033P) The Honorable Thomas P. Koch, Mayor, City of Quincy, 1305 Hancock Street, Quincy, MA 02169 City Hall, 1305 Hancock Street, Quincy, MA 02169 Nov. 9, 2018 255219 New Hampshire: Rockingham (FEMA Docket No.: B-1845) Town of Exeter (18-01-0144P) The Honorable Julie Gilman, Chair, Town of Exeter Select Board, 10 Front Street, Exeter, NH 03833 Building Department, 10 Front Street, Exeter, NH 03833 Nov. 5, 2018 330130 New Mexico: Santa Fe (FEMA Docket No.: B-1848) Unincorporated areas of Santa Fe County (18-06-0707P) Ms. Katherine Miller, Manager, Santa Fe County, 102 Grant Avenue, Santa Fe, NM 87501 Santa Fe County Building and Development Services Department, 102 Grant Avenue, Santa Fe, NM 87501 Nov. 13, 2018 350069 North Carolina: Duplin (FEMA Docket, No.: B-1848) Unincorporated areas of Duplin County (18-04-2016P) The Honorable Jesse Dowe, Chairman, Duplin County Board of Commissioners, 224 Seminary Street, Kenansville, NC 28349 Duplin County Planning Department, 117 Beasley Street, Kenansville, NC 28349 Oct. 26, 2018 370083 Pennsylvania: Lebanon (FEMA Docket No.: B-1848) Township of Jackson (18-03-1094P) The Honorable Thomas M. Houtz, Chairman, Township of Jackson Board of Supervisors, 60 North Ramona Road, Myerstown, PA 17067 Township Hall, 60 North Ramona Road, Myerstown, PA 17067 Nov. 2, 2018 421805 Lebanon (FEMA Docket No.: B-1848) Township of Millcreek (18-03-1094P) The Honorable Donald Leibig, Chairman, Township of Millcreek Board of Supervisors, 81 East Alumni Avenue, Newmanstown, PA 17073 Township Hall, 81 East Alumni Avenue, Newmanstown, PA 17073 Nov. 2, 2018 420574 South Dakota: Codington (FEMA Docket No.: B-1845) City of Watertown (17-08-0664P) The Honorable Sarah Caron, Mayor, City of Watertown, 23 2nd Street Northeast, Watertown, SD 57201 Planning and Zoning Department, 23 2nd Street Northeast, Watertown, SD 57201 Nov. 5, 2018 460016 Pennington (FEMA Docket No.: B-1848) City of Rapid City (18-08-0082P) The Honorable Steve Allender, Mayor, City of Rapid City, 300 6th Street, Rapid City, SD 57701 Public Works Department, Engineering Services Division, 300 6th Street, Rapid City, SD 57701 Nov. 2, 2018 465420 Pennington (FEMA Docket No.: B-1848) Unincorporated areas of Pennington County (18-08-0082P) The Honorable Lloyd LaCroix, Chairman, Pennington County Board of Commissioners, 130 Kansas City Street, Suite 100, Rapid City, SD 57701 Pennington County Planning Department, 130 Kansas City Street, Suite 200, Rapid City, SD 57701 Nov. 2, 2018 460064 Texas: Bexar (FEMA Docket No.: B-1848) Unincorporated areas of Bexar County (18-06-2600X) The Honorable Nelson W. Wolff, Bexar County Judge, 101 West Nueva Street, 10th Floor, San Antonio, TX 78205 Bexar County Public Works Department, 233 North Pecas-La Trinidad Street, Suite 420, San Antonio, TX 78207 Nov. 5, 2018 480035 Dallas (FEMA Docket No.: B-1848) City of University Park (18-06-0033P) The Honorable Olin Burnett Lane, Jr., Mayor, City of University Park, 3800 University Boulevard, University Park, TX 75205 Peek Service Center, 4420 Worcola Street, Dallas, TX 75206 Nov. 5, 2018 480189 Dallas (FEMA Docket No.: B-1848) Town of Highland Park (18-06-0033P) The Honorable Margo Goodwin, Mayor, Town of Highland Park, 4700 Drexel Drive, Highland Park, TX 75205 Engineering Department, 4700 Drexel Drive, Highland Park, TX 75205 Nov. 5, 2018 480178 Denton (FEMA Docket No.: B-1848) City of Denton (18-06-0017P) The Honorable Chris A. Watts, Mayor, City of Denton, 215 East McKinney Street, Suite 100, Denton, TX 76201 Engineering Services Department, 901-A Texas Street, Denton, TX 76509 Nov. 7, 2018 480194 Denton (FEMA Docket No.: B-1852) City of Sanger (18-06-0546P) The Honorable Thomas Muir, Mayor, City of Sanger, P.O. Box 1729, Sanger, TX 76266 City Hall, 201 Bolivar Street, Sanger, TX 76266 Nov. 9, 2018 480786 Harris (FEMA Docket No.: B-1848) Unincorporated areas of Harris County (18-06-0774P) The Honorable Edward M. Emmett, Harris County Judge, 1001 Preston Street, Suite 911, Houston, TX 77002 Harris County Permit Department, 10555 Northwest Freeway, Suite 120, Houston, TX 77002 Oct. 29, 2018 480287 Harris (FEMA Docket No.: B-1848) Unincorporated areas of Harris County (18-06-1830P) The Honorable Edward M. Emmett, Harris County Judge, 1001 Preston Street, Suite 911, Houston, TX 77002 Harris County Permit Department, 10555 Northwest Freeway, Suite 120, Houston, TX 77002 Oct. 29, 2018 480287 McLennan (FEMA Docket No.: B-1848) City of Waco (17-06-4092P) Mr. Wiley Stem III, Manager, City of Waco, 300 Austin Avenue, Waco, TX 76702 Public Works Department, 300 Austin Avenue, Waco, TX 76702 Nov. 13, 2018 480461 Midland (FEMA Docket No.: B-1848) City of Midland (18-06-1903P) Mr. Courtney Sharp, Manager, City of Midland, 300 North Loraine Street, Midland, TX 79701 City Hall, 300 North Loraine Street, Midland, TX 79701 Nov. 5, 2018 480477 Midland (FEMA Docket No.: B-1848) Unincorporated areas of Midland County (18-06-1903P) The Honorable Michael R. Bradford, Midland County Judge, 500 North Loraine Street, Suite 1100, Midland, TX 79701 Midland County Department of Emergency Management, 500 North Loraine Street, Suite 1100, Midland, TX 79701 Nov. 5, 2018 481239 Montgomery (FEMA Docket No.: B-1848) Unincorporated areas of Montgomery County (18-06-1830P) The Honorable Craig B. Doyal, Montgomery County Judge, 501 North Thompson Street, Suite 401, Conroe, TX 77301 Montgomery County Commissioners Court Building, 501 North Thompson Street, Suite 103, Conroe, TX 77301 Oct. 29, 2018 480483 Tarrant (FEMA Docket No.: B-1852) City of Fort Worth (18-06-1306P) The Honorable Betsy Price, Mayor, City of Fort Worth, 200 Texas Street, Fort Worth, TX 76102 Transportation and Public Works Engineering Department, 200 Texas Street, Fort Worth, TX 76102 Nov. 13, 2018 480596 Tarrant (FEMA Docket No.: B-1852) Unincorporated areas of Tarrant County (18-06-1306P) The Honorable B. Glen Whitley, Tarrant County Judge, 100 East Weatherford Street, Fort Worth, TX 76196 Tarrant County Engineering Department, 100 East Weatherford Street, Fort Worth, TX 76196 Nov. 13, 2018 480582 Wyoming: Teton (FEMA Docket No.: B-1848) Unincorporated areas of Teton County (18-08-0225P) The Honorable Mark Newcomb, Chairman, Teton County Board of Commissioners, P.O. Box 3594, Jackson, WY 83001 Teton County Public Works Department, 320 South King Street, Jackson, WY 83001 Nov. 1, 2018 560094
    [FR Doc. 2018-26943 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-12-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-4403-DR; Docket ID FEMA-2018-0001] Kansas; Amendment No. 1 to Notice of a Major Disaster Declaration AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice amends the notice of a major disaster declaration for the State of Kansas (FEMA-4403-DR), dated October 19, 2018, and related determinations.

    DATES:

    The amendment was issued on November 21, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dean Webster, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW, Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-2833.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hereby gives notice that pursuant to the authority vested in the Administrator, under Executive Order 12148, as amended, Constance C. Johnson-Cage, of FEMA is appointed to act as the Federal Coordinating Officer for this disaster.

    This action terminates the appointment of Paul Taylor as Federal Coordinating Officer for this disaster.

    The following Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) are to be used for reporting and drawing funds: 97.030, Community Disaster Loans; 97.031, Cora Brown Fund; 97.032, Crisis Counseling; 97.033, Disaster Legal Services; 97.034, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); 97.046, Fire Management Assistance Grant; 97.048, Disaster Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households In Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas; 97.049, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance—Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households; 97.050, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households—Other Needs; 97.036, Disaster Grants—Public Assistance (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant. Brock Long, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2018-26942 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-11-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-3409-EM; Docket ID FEMA-2018-0001] California; Emergency and Related Determinations AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This is a notice of the Presidential declaration of an emergency for the State of California (FEMA-3409-EM), dated November 9, 2018, and related determinations.

    DATES:

    The declaration was issued November 9, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dean Webster, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW, Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-2833.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is hereby given that, in a letter dated November 9, 2018, the President issued an emergency declaration under the authority of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121-5207 (the Stafford Act), as follows:

    I have determined that the emergency conditions in certain areas of the State of California resulting from wildfires beginning on November 8, 2018, and continuing, are of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant an emergency declaration under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq. (“the Stafford Act”). Therefore, I declare that such an emergency exists in the State of California.

    You are authorized to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the designated areas. Specifically, you are authorized to provide assistance for emergency protective measures (Category B), limited to direct Federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program.

    Consistent with the requirement that Federal assistance be supplemental, any Federal funds provided under the Stafford Act for Public Assistance will be limited to 75 percent of the total eligible costs. In order to provide Federal assistance, you are hereby authorized to allocate from funds available for these purposes such amounts as you find necessary for Federal emergency assistance and administrative expenses.

    Further, you are authorized to make changes to this declaration for the approved assistance to the extent allowable under the Stafford Act.

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hereby gives notice that pursuant to the authority vested in the Administrator, Department of Homeland Security, under Executive Order 12148, as amended, David G. Samaniego, of FEMA is appointed to act as the Federal Coordinating Officer for this declared emergency.

    The following areas of the State of California have been designated as adversely affected by this declared emergency:

    Butte, Los Angeles, and Ventura Counties for emergency protective measures (Category B), limited to direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program.

    The following Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) are to be used for reporting and drawing funds: 97.030, Community Disaster Loans; 97.031, Cora Brown Fund; 97.032, Crisis Counseling; 97.033, Disaster Legal Services; 97.034, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); 97.046, Fire Management Assistance Grant; 97.048, Disaster Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households In Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas; 97.049, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance—Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households; 97.050, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households—Other Needs; 97.036, Disaster Grants—Public Assistance (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant.
    Brock Long, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2018-26989 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-11-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Transportation Security Administration Intent To Request Revision From OMB of One Current Public Collection of Information: Aircraft Operator Security, 49 CFR Part 1544 AGENCY:

    Transportation Security Administration, DHS.

    ACTION:

    60-Day notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) invites public comment on one currently approved Information Collection Request (ICR), Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number 1652-0003, abstracted below that we will submit to OMB for a revision in compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). The ICR describes the nature of the information collection and its expected burden. Aircraft operators must provide certain information to TSA and adopt and implement a TSA-approved security program. These programs require aircraft operators to maintain and update records to ensure compliance with security provisions set forth in 49 CFR part 1544.

    DATES:

    Send your comments by February 11, 2019.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be emailed to [email protected] or delivered to the TSA PRA Officer, Information Technology (IT), TSA-11, Transportation Security Administration, 601 South 12th Street, Arlington, VA 20598-6011.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christina A. Walsh at the above address, or by telephone (571) 227-2062.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), an agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a valid OMB control number. The ICR documentation will be available at http://www.reginfo.gov upon its submission to OMB. Therefore, in preparation for OMB review and approval of the following information collection, TSA is soliciting comments to—

    (1) Evaluate whether the proposed information requirement is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    (2) Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden;

    (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including using appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Consistent with the requirements of Executive Order (E.O.) 13771, Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs, and E.O. 13777, Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda, TSA is also requesting comments on the extent to which this request for information could be modified to reduce the burden on respondents.

    Information Collection Requirement

    OMB Control Number 1652-0003; Aircraft Operator Security, 49 CFR part 1544. The information collected is used to determine compliance with 49 CFR part 1544 and to ensure passenger safety by monitoring aircraft operator security procedures. TSA implements aircraft operator security standards at part 1544 to require each aircraft operator, to which this part applies, to adopt and carry out a security program. This TSA-approved security program establishes procedures that aircraft operators must carry out to protect persons and property traveling on flights provided by the aircraft operator against acts of criminal violence, aircraft piracy, and the introduction of explosives, incendiaries, or weapons aboard an aircraft. Aircraft operators must also comply with TSA-issued Security Directives (SDs), which are issued when TSA determines that additional security measures are necessary to respond to a threat assessment or to a specific threat against civil aviation.

    This information collection is mandatory for aircraft operators. As part of their security programs, affected aircraft operators are required to maintain and update, as necessary, records of compliance with the security program provisions set forth in part 1544, including maintaining records of compliance for selected crew and security employees. Part 1544 also requires affected aircraft operators to submit security program amendments and SD compliance plans to TSA, when applicable, and to make their security programs and associated records available for inspection and copying by TSA to ensure transportation security and regulatory compliance.

    In addition, part 1544 requires the affected aircraft operators to submit information on aircraft operators' flight crews and other employees, passengers, and cargo. The information collection includes information regarding security program, amendments, fingerprint-based criminal history records check (CHRC) applications; recordkeeping requirements for security program, CHRCs, and training; watchlist matching for employees and reporting matches to TSA; watchlist matching for passengers in case of Secure Flight outages; and incident and suspicious activity reporting. Aircraft operators may provide the information electronically or manually.

    Aircraft operators must ensure that certain flight crew members and employees (including certain contract employees and authorized representatives) submit to and receive a CHRC. These requirements apply to flight crew members and employees with unescorted access authority to a Security Identification Display Area (SIDA) or who perform screening, checked baggage, or cargo functions. As part of the CHRC process, the individual must provide identifying information, including fingerprints. Additionally, aircraft operators must maintain these records and make them available to TSA for inspection and copying upon request.

    TSA is revising the information collection and will no longer collect information regarding watchlist matching for Secure Flight outages. TSA has assumed from the private sector the responsibility for pre-flight screening of passengers and certain non-traveling individuals against the Federal Government watchlist, as required by sec. 4012(a) of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004,1 and consolidation of the aviation passenger watchlist matching function within one agency of the Federal Government. TSA no longer requires airlines to compare passenger names to watchlists during a Secure Flight outage. TSA estimates that there will be approximately 673 respondents to the information requirements described above, with a total annual burden estimate of approximately 569,686 hours.

    1 Public Law 108-458, 118 Stat. 3638, 3714; Dec. 17, 2004.

    Dated: December 6, 2018. Christina A. Walsh, TSA Paperwork Reduction Act Officer, Information Technology.
    [FR Doc. 2018-26932 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-05-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Transportation Security Administration [Docket No. TSA-2009-0018] Intent To Request Revision From OMB of One Current Public Collection of Information: Certified Cargo Screening Standard Security Program AGENCY:

    Transportation Security Administration, DHS.

    ACTION:

    60-Day notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) invites public comment on one currently approved Information Collection Request (ICR), OMB control number 1652-0053, abstracted below that we will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for a revision in compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act. The ICR describes the nature of the information collection and its expected burden. The collections of information that make up this ICR include: (1) Applications from entities that wish to become Certified Cargo Screening Facilities (CCSFs), Third-Party Canine-Cargo (3PK9-C) Certifiers or Certified Cargo Screening Program-Canine (CCSP-K9) Holders; (2) personally identifiable information to allow TSA to conduct security threat assessments (STA) on certain individuals employed by the CCSFs, 3PK9-C Certifiers, Certified Cargo Screening Facilities-K9 (CCSF-K9) and those authorized to conduct 3PK9-C Program activities; (3) standard security program or submission of a proposed modified security program or amendment to a security program by CCSFs and CCSF-K9s; or standards provided by TSA or submission of a proposed modified standard by 3PK9-C Certifiers; (5) recordkeeping requirements for CCSFs, CCSF-K9s and 3PK9-C Certifiers; (6) designation of a Security Coordinator (SC) by CCSFs and CCSF-K9s; and (7) significant security concerns detailing information of incidents, suspicious activities, and/or threat information by CCSFs, 3PK9-C Certifiers, and CCSP-K9 Holders.

    DATES:

    Send your comments by February 11, 2019.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be emailed to [email protected] or delivered to the TSA PRA Officer, Information Technology (IT), TSA-11, Transportation Security Administration, 601 South 12th Street, Arlington, VA 20598-6011.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christina A. Walsh at the above address, or by telephone (571) 227-2062.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), an agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a valid OMB control number. The ICR documentation will be available at www.reginfo.gov upon its submission to OMB. Therefore, in preparation for OMB review and approval of the following information collection, TSA is soliciting comments to—

    (1) Evaluate whether the proposed information requirement is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    (2) Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden;

    (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including using appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Consistent with the requirements of Executive Order (E.O.) 13771, Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs, and E.O. 13777, Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda, TSA is also requesting comments on the extent to which this request for information could be modified to reduce the burden on respondents.

    Information Collection Requirement

    OMB Control Number 1652-0053, Certified Cargo Screening Standard Security Program, 49 CFR parts 1515, 1540, 1544, 1546, 1548, and 1549. Section 1602 of the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 1 (9/11 Act) required the development of a system to screen 100 percent of such cargo no later than August 2010. This requirement was implemented through TSA's regulations, including amendments to parts 1515, 1520, 1540, 1544, 1546, 1548 and adding part 1549. See 76 FR 51848 (Aug. 18, 2011). As part of these regulatory provisions, TSA certifies qualified facilities as Certified Cargo Screening Facilities (CCSF) to screen cargo as part of the Certified Cargo Screening Standard Security Program (CCSSSP).

    1 Public Law 110-53; 121 Stat. 266 (Aug. 3, 2007).

    Section 1941 of the TSA Modernization Act 2 amended provision in the 9/11 Act to require TSA to develop a program to enhance the screening of air cargo by leveraging the capabilities of third-party explosives detection canine teams. TSA must ensure the program provides for certified canine teams to conduct primary screening of air cargo for “air carriers, foreign air carriers, freight forwarders, and shippers.” Id.

    2 Division K of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, Public Law 115-254; Stat. 132-3186 (Oct. 6, 2018).

    Facilities-based CCSFs may screen cargo off-airport and must implement measures to ensure a secure chain of custody from the point of screening to the point at which the cargo is tendered to the aircraft operator. A CCSF-K9 is an inherently mobile capability that can screen cargo at the facility owned and operated by one of TSA's regulated entities. All CCSFs are required to engage TSA to assess whether a person or entity meets the standards of their security program. The ICR allows TSA to collect several categories of information as explained below.

    In this ICR, TSA currently collects the following information:

    (1) CCSF Applications. Under TSA regulations, an applicant is required to submit an application to become a CCSF at least 90 days before the intended date of operation, the contents of which are contained in 49 CFR 1549.7. In addition, once certified as a CCSF, the CCSF is required to submit any changes to the application information as they occur. CCSFs must renew their certification every 36 months by submitting a new complete application. CCSF applicants are required to provide TSA access to their records, equipment, and facilities necessary for TSA to conduct an eligibility assessment. (49 CFR 1549.7).

    (2) STA Applications. TSA regulations require that CCSF applicants ensure that individuals performing cargo screening and related functions, and their supervisors have completed an STA conducted by TSA. In addition, TSA regulations require CCSF Security Coordinators and their alternates to successfully have completed an STA. TSA regulations further require these individuals to submit personally identifiable information so that TSA can perform STAs. See TSA Form 419F, previously approved under OMB control number 1652-0040 (49 CFR 1549.111, and 1549.103).

    (3) Security Programs. TSA requires CCSFs to accept and operate under a standard security program provided by TSA, or submit a proposed modified security program or amendment(s) to the designated TSA official for approval initially and periodically thereafter as required. (49 CFR 1549.7).

    (4) Recordkeeping. Require CCSFs to maintain records of compliance and make them available for TSA inspection (49 CFR 1549.105).

    TSA is revising the collection in response to changing conditions in the air cargo industry. To meet the demand of the enhanced air cargo screening standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and requirements of the TSA Modernization Act,3 TSA created the 3PK9-C program to provide an additional air cargo screening method under TSA's regulations. Under this program, canine team providers can apply to be CCSF-K9s, regulated under 49 CFR part 1549. As holders of a CCSP-K9 security program, they can contract with air carriers and standard CCSFs to screen air cargo with canine explosives detection teams. The 3PK9-C program allows non-governmental certifiers, operating under the 3PK9-C Certifier Order, to evaluate canine teams to determine whether these teams meet the TSA certification standards.

    3See text accompany n. 2 supra.

    Due to the additional development of the 3PK9-C Program, the current information collection request will be revised to include the following:

    (1a) 3PK9-C Certifier Applications. TSA will require initial applications and changes to information in the application for any 3PK9-C Certifier, intending to operate under the 3PK9-C Certifier Order.

    (1b) CCSF-K9 Applications. Under TSA regulations, an applicant is required to submit an application to become a CCSF at least 90 days before the intended date of operation unless otherwise authorized by TSA. The contents of the initial application are contained in 49 CFR 1549.7. In addition, once certified as a CCSF, the CCSF-K9 will be required to submit an Operational Implementation Plan (OIP), described within the CCSP-K9 and any changes to the application information as they occur. CCSF-K9s must renew their certification every 36 months by submitting a new complete application. CCSF-K9 applicants will be required to provide TSA access to their records, equipment, and facilities necessary for TSA to conduct an eligibility assessment. (49 CFR 1549.7).

    (2) STA Applications. TSA regulations require that individuals performing screening and related functions, their supervisors, those authorized to conduct 3PK9-C Program activities, and people supporting these functions successfully have completed an STA conducted by TSA. In addition, TSA regulations require CCSF Security Coordinators and their alternates to successfully have completed an STA. TSA regulations further require these individuals to submit personally identifiable information so that TSA can perform STAs. See TSA Form 419F, previously approved under OMB control number 1652-0040 (49 CFR 1549.111, and 1549.103).

    (3a) Security Programs. TSA will require CCSF-K9s to accept and operate under a standard security program provided by TSA, or submit a proposed modified security program or amendment(s) to the designated TSA official for approval initially and periodically thereafter as required. (49 CFR 1549.7).

    (3b) The 3PK9-C Certifier Order. TSA will require 3PK9-C Certifiers to accept standards provided by TSA, or submit a proposed modified standard to the designated TSA official for approval initially and periodically thereafter as required.

    (4) Recordkeeping. TSA will require 3PK9-C Certifiers and CCSF-K9s to maintain records of compliance with the Order and the CFR, making them available for TSA inspection (49 CFR 1549.105).

    (5) Significant Security Concerns Information. TSA will require 3PK9-C Certifiers, and CCSP-K9 Holders to report to TSA incidents, suspicious activities, and/or threat information.

    (6) Security Coordinator. TSA will require 3PK9-C Certifiers and CCSF-K9s to provide the name and contact information of the Security Coordinator (SC) and one or more designated alternates at the corporate or ownership level.

    Estimated Burden Hours

    As noted above, TSA has identified several separate information collections under this ICR. The 3PK9-C Certifiers information collections represent an estimated average of 79 respondents annually, including security threat assessment applicants for 3PK9-C, for an average annual hour burden of 2,555 hours. The CCSP-K9 Holder and Certified 3PK9-C Team information collections represent an estimated average of 567 respondents annually, including security threat assessment applicants for CCSP-K9 Holder and Certified 3PK9-C Teams, for an average annual hour burden of 496 hours. The CCSF information collections represent an estimated average of 6,320 respondents annually, for an average annual hour burden of 6,124 hours. Collectively, these information collections represent an estimated average of 6,966 respondents annually, for an average annual hour burden of 9,175 hours.

    Dated: December 6, 2018. Christina A. Walsh, TSA Paperwork Reduction Act Officer, Information Technology.
    [FR Doc. 2018-26931 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-05-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS-R4-NWRS-2018-N132; FXRS1263040000-156-FF04R08000; OMB Control Number 1018-0153] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Check-In Permit and Use Report AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of information collection; request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, are proposing to renew an information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before January 14, 2019.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send written comments on this information collection request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget's Desk Officer for the Department of the Interior by email at [email protected]; or via facsimile to (202) 395-5806. Please provide a copy of your comments to the Service Information Collection Clearance Officer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803 (mail); or by email to [email protected] Please reference OMB Control Number 1018-0153 in the subject line of your comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request additional information about this ICR, contact Madonna L. Baucum, Service Information Collection Clearance Officer, by email at [email protected], or by telephone at (703) 358-2503. You may also view the ICR at http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we provide the general public and other Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on new, proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps us assess the impact of our information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand our information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format.

    On June 11, 2018, we published a Federal Register notice requesting comments on this collection of information (83 FR 27017). In that notice, we invited comments for 60 days, ending on August 10, 2018. We received one comment that did not address the information collection requirements. We made no changes in response to that comment.

    We are again soliciting comments on the proposed ICR that is described below. We are especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is the collection necessary to the proper functions of the Service; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Service enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Service minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology.

    Comments that you submit in response to this notice are a matter of public record. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    Abstract: The National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 (16 U.S.C. 668dd-668ee), as amended by the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, and the Refuge Recreation Act of 1962 (16 U.S.C. 460k-460k-4), govern the administration and uses of national wildlife refuges and wetland management districts. The Administration Act authorizes us to permit public uses, including hunting and fishing, on lands of the Refuge System when we find that the activity is compatible and appropriate with the purpose for which the refuge was established. The Recreation Act allows the use of refuges for public recreation when the use is not inconsistent or does not interfere with the primary purpose(s) of the refuge.

    We use FWS Form 3-2405 (Self-Clearing Check-In Permit) to collect user information on hunting and fishing on refuges. This form offers a self-check-in feature not found on other similar forms, reducing the number of staffed check-in stations. We found this method increases game harvest reporting and provides better estimates of total numbers of game harvested. This form also requests users to report other species observed, data then used by refuge staff and state agencies for managing wildlife populations. Not all refuges will use this form and some refuges may collect the identical information in a nonform format (meaning there is no designated form associated with the collection of information). We collect:

    • Information on the visitor (name, address, and contact information). We use this information to identify the visitor or driver/passengers of a vehicle while on the refuge. Having this information readily available is critical in a search and rescue situation. We do not maintain or record this information.

    • Information on whether or not hunters/anglers were successful (number and type of harvest/caught).

    • Purpose of visit (hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, wildlife photography, auto touring, birding, hiking, boating/canoeing, visitor center, special event, environmental education class, volunteering, other recreation).

    • Species observed.

    • Date of visit.

    The above information is a vital tool in meeting refuge objectives and maintaining quality visitor experiences. It helps us:

    • Administer and monitor the quality of visitor programs and facilities on refuges.

    • Minimize resource disturbance, manage healthy game populations, and ensure the protection of fish and wildlife species through the check-in/out process.

    • Assist in Statewide wildlife management and enforcement and develop reliable estimates of the number of key game fish and wildlife, like the Louisiana black bear (a recently delisted species).

    • Determine facility and program needs and budgets based on user demand for resources.

    Title of Collection: National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Check-In Permit and Use Report.

    OMB Control Number: 1018-0153.

    Form Number: 3-2405.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: Individuals who visit national wildlife refuges.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Respondents: 650,000.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 650,000.

    Estimated Completion Time per Response: 5 minutes.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 54,167.

    Respondent's Obligation: Required to Obtain or Retain a Benefit.

    Frequency of Collection: On occasion.

    Total Estimated Annual Nonhour Burden Cost: None.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    The authority for this action is the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

    Dated: December 10, 2018. Madonna Baucum, Information Collection Clearance Officer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-26991 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Geological Survey [GR18NDOOGQ44100 OMB Control Number 1028—NEW] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Efficacy of Oak Savanna Restoration History Information Request AGENCY:

    U.S. Geological Survey, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of information collection; request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is proposing a new information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before January 14, 2019.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send written comments on this information collection request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget's Desk Officer for the Department of the Interior by email at [email protected]; or via facsimile to (202) 395-5806. Please provide a copy of your comments by mail to USGS, Information Collections Clearance Officer, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, MS 159, Reston, VA 20192; or by email to [email protected]. Please reference OMB Control Number 1028—NEW in the subject line of your comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request additional information about this ICR, contact Noel B. Pavlovic by email at [email protected], or by telephone at (219) 926-8336 X428. You may also view the ICR at http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The USGS, in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, provides the general public and other Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps us assess the impact of our information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand our information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format.

    A Federal Register notice with a 60-day public comment period soliciting comments on this collection of information was published on 4/25/2018 (FR 2018-08678). We received one comment. The comment did not address the issue of requesting information from land managers about multiple oak savanna management techniques.

    We are again soliciting comments on the proposed ICR that is described below. We are especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is the collection necessary to the proper functions of the USGS; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the USGS enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the USGS minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology.

    Comments that you submit in response to this notice are a matter of public record. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you may ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    Abstract: Managers from sites where we will have collected vegetation data will be contacted for information about management activities. The information will be used by the Principal Investigators (PIs) and Co-PIs and research assistant(s) to generate a history of management database for all the sites and treatments sampled. Most sites will include three or four subsites as indicated by these treatment types: Control, burned, thinned, and/or burned and thinned. The data table will include site name and subsite treatment types as identification without any manager's name, title or contact information, since this latter information is irrelevant to the analysis. The data table of management history will be used to relate to the condition and status of the groundlayer vegetation, as expressed in variables such as species richness, species turnover, composition through ordination and other statistical methods including structural equation modeling. Results of analyses may include site names and treatment types, but no specific manager information will be retained or relevant to the results.

    Title of Collection: Efficacy of Oak Savanna Restoration History Information Request.

    OMB Control Number: 1028—NEW.

    Form Number: None.

    Type of Review: New.

    Respondents/Affected Public: State property managers; local property managers; and private land managers.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Respondents: 30.

    Estimated Completion Time per Response: 1 hour.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 30.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

    Frequency of Collection: One time, sometimes twice for clarification.

    Total Estimated Annual Non-hour Burden Cost: $0.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    The authority for this action is the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.).

    Shonnie Fearon, Acting Director, Great Lakes Science Center.
    [FR Doc. 2018-26983 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4338-11-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLIDI00000.L111000000.DF0000 LXSS024D0000 241A 4500129292] Notice of Public Meeting, Idaho Falls District Resource Advisory Council Meeting AGENCY:

    Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Federal Land Policy and Management Act and the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972, the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Idaho Falls District Resource Advisory Council (RAC), will meet as indicated below.

    DATES:

    The RAC will meet in Idaho Falls, Idaho, January 15-16, 2019.

    ADDRESSES:

    The Idaho Falls District RAC will meet January 15-16 at the BLM Idaho Falls District office located at 1405 Hollipark Drive, Idaho Falls, Idaho 83401. On January 15, the new member orientation will begin at 9:00 a.m. The entire RAC will convene at 1:00 p.m. and adjourn around 4:30 p.m. On January 16, the RAC will convene at 8:30 a.m. and adjourn around 2:30 p.m. The public comment period will be from 2:00-2:30 p.m. The BLM welcomes members of the public to attend the RAC meeting.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sarah Wheeler, RAC Coordinator, Idaho Falls District, 1405 Hollipark Dr., Idaho Falls, ID 83401. Telephone: (208) 524-7550. Email: [email protected] Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf may contact Ms. Wheeler by calling the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at (800) 877-8339. The FRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with Ms. Wheeler. You will receive a reply during normal business hours.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The 15-member Council advises the Secretary of the Interior, through the BLM, on a variety of planning and management issues associated with public land management in the BLM Idaho Falls District, which covers eastern Idaho.

    Meeting topics include a recreational fee proposal for the Jensen Cabin on the Caribou-Targhee National Forest, recreation fee increase discussion on the Upper Snake Field Office, possible recreation enhancements to Henry's Lake and a 2018 Fire Update. On Jan. 16, the group will break out into a working session to determine how the Idaho Falls District can better implement Secretary's Orders 3356 and 3366. Other topics, such as management plans for existing wilderness areas, and wild horses may be discussed if time permits.

    All meetings are open to the public. The public may present written comments to the Council. Each Council meeting has time allocated for hearing public comments. Depending on the number of persons wishing to comment and time available, the time for individual oral comments may be limited. Individuals who plan to attend and need special assistance, such as sign language interpretation, tour transportation or other reasonable accommodations, should contact the BLM as provided above.

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

    Authority:

    43 CFR 1784.4-2.

    Sarah Wheeler, RAC Coordinator.
    [FR Doc. 2018-27035 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-GG-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [19X.LLAZ921000.L14400000.BJ0000.LXSSA2250000.241A] Notice of Filing of Plat of Survey; Arizona AGENCY:

    Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of official filing.

    SUMMARY:

    The plat of survey of the following described lands was officially filed in the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Arizona State Office, Phoenix, Arizona, on the date indicated. The survey announced in this notice is necessary for the management of lands administered by the agency indicated.

    ADDRESSES:

    This plat will be available for inspection in the Arizona State Office, Bureau of Land Management, One North Central Avenue, Suite 800, Phoenix, Arizona 85004-4427. Protests of the survey should be sent to the Arizona State Director at the above address.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Gerald Davis, Chief Cadastral Surveyor of Arizona; (602) 417-9558; [email protected] Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to contact the above individual during normal business hours. The FRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Gila and Salt River Meridian, Arizona

    The supplemental plat, in one sheet, showing the amended lotting in section 31, Township 9 North, Range 23 East, accepted November 20, 2018, and officially filed November 21, 2018, for Group 9115, Arizona.

    This plat was prepared at the request of the United States Forest Service.

    A person or party who wishes to protest against any of these surveys must file a written notice of protest within 30 calendar days from the date of this publication with the Arizona State Director, Bureau of Land Management, stating that they wish to protest.

    A statement of reasons for a protest may be filed with the notice of protest to the State Director, or the statement of reasons must be filed with the State Director within 30 days after the protest is filed. Before including your address, or other personal information in your protest, please be aware that your entire protest, including your personal identifying information, may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    Authority:

    43 U.S.C. Chap. 3.

    Gerald T. Davis, Chief Cadastral Surveyor of Arizona.
    [FR Doc. 2018-26929 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-32-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [19X.LLAZP02000.L14400000.EQ0000; AZA-036609] Notice of Realty Action: Recreation and Public Purposes Act Classification; Arizona AGENCY:

    Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of realty action.

    SUMMARY:

    The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has examined certain public lands in Pinal County, Arizona, and has found them suitable for classification for lease or conveyance to the Pinal County Board of Supervisors under the provisions of the Recreation and Public Purpose Act (R&PP), as amended, the Taylor Grazing Act, and Executive Order No. 6910. The lands will be used as a regional park. The lands consist of approximately 498.04 acres, must conform to the official plat of survey, and are legally described below.

    DATES:

    Submit written comments regarding this proposed classification on or before January 28, 2019. In the absence of any adverse comments, the classification will become effective on February 11, 2019.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be mailed or hand delivered to Realty Specialist JoAnn Goodlow at the BLM Lower Sonoran Field Office, 21605 North 7th Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 85027. Comments may also be faxed to 623-580-5580. The BLM will not consider comments received via telephone calls or email. Detailed information including, but not limited to, a proposed development and management plan and documentation relating to compliance with applicable environmental and cultural resource laws, is available for review during business hours, 7:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mountain Time, Monday through Friday, except during Federal holidays, at this same street address.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    JoAnn Goodlow, Realty Specialist, telephone: 623-580-5548, email: [email protected] Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to leave a message or question for the above individual. The FRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You will receive a reply during normal business hours.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Pinal County Board of Supervisors has not applied for more than the 6,400-acre limitation for recreation uses in a year (or 640 acres if a nonprofit corporation or association), nor more than 640 acres for each of the programs involving public resources other than recreation.

    The Pinal County Board of Supervisors has submitted a statement in compliance with the regulations at 43 CFR 2741.4(b). The Pinal County Board of Supervisors proposes to use the land as a regional park. The park would provide recreational opportunities such as hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, tent camping, an equestrian area, and picnic locations.

    The lands examined and identified as suitable for lease or conveyance under the R&PP Act are legally described as:

    Gila and Salt River Meridian, Arizona T. 1 S., R. 10 E., Section 6, lots 6 and 7, and E1/2SW1/4; Section 7, lots 1 and 2, NE1/4 and E1/2NW1/4.

    The areas described aggregate 498.04 acres.

    The lands are not needed for any Federal purposes.

    Lease or conveyance of the lands for recreational or public purposes use is consistent with the BLM Lower Sonoran Resource Management Plan, dated September 2012, and would be in the national interest.

    All interested parties will receive a copy of this notice once it is published in the Federal Register. A copy of the Federal Register notice with information about this proposed realty action will be published in the newspaper of local circulation once a week for 3 consecutive weeks. Under the regulations at 43 CFR subpart 2741 addressing requirements and procedures for conveyances under the R&PP Act, the BLM is not required to hold a public meeting regarding this proposal.

    Upon publication of this notice in the Federal Register, the lands will be segregated from all other forms of appropriation under the public land laws, including locations under the mining laws, except for lease or conveyance under the R&PP Act and leasing under the mineral leasing laws.

    The lease or conveyance of the land, when issued, will be subject to the following terms, conditions, and reservations:

    1. A right-of-way thereon for ditches and canals constructed by the authority of the United States Act of August 30, 1890 (26 Stat. 391; 43 U.S.C. 945).

    2. Provisions of the R&PP Act and all applicable regulations of the Secretary of the Interior.

    3. All mineral deposits in the land so patented, and the right to prospect for, mine, and remove such deposits from the same under applicable law and regulations as established by the Secretary of the Interior are reserved to the United States, together with all necessary access and exit rights.

    4. Lease or conveyance of the parcel is subject to valid existing rights.

    5. An appropriate indemnification clause protecting the United States from claims arising out of the lessee's/patentee's use, occupancy, or occupations on the leased/patented lands.

    6. Any other reservations that the authorized officer determines appropriate to ensure public access and proper management of Federal lands and interests therein.

    Classification Comments: Interested persons may submit comments involving the suitability of the land for development of a regional park. Comments on the classification are restricted to whether the land is physically suited for the proposal, whether the use will maximize the future use or uses of the land, whether the use is consistent with local planning and zoning, or if the use is consistent with State and Federal programs.

    Application Comments: Interested persons may submit comments regarding the specific use proposed in the application and plan of development and management, whether the BLM followed proper administrative procedures in reaching the decision, or any other factor not directly related to the suitability of the lands for a regional park.

    Any adverse comments will be reviewed by the BLM State Director or other authorized official of the Department of the Interior, who may sustain, vacate, or modify this realty action. The lands will not be offered for conveyance until after the classification becomes effective.

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

    Authority:

    43 CFR 2741.5.

    Edward Kender, Field Manager, BLM Lower Sonoran Field Office.
    [FR Doc. 2018-27033 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-32-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service [NPS-NER-ACAD-26527; PPNEACADSO, PPMPSPDIZ.YM0000] Acadia National Park Advisory Commission Notice of Public Meetings AGENCY:

    National Park Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Meeting notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972, the National Park Service (NPS) is hereby giving notice that the Acadia National Park Advisory Commission (Commission) will meet as indicated below.

    DATES:

    The Commission will meet: Monday, February 4, 2019; Monday, June 3, 2019; and Monday, September 9, 2019. All scheduled meetings will begin at 1:00 p.m. and will end by 4:00 p.m. (Eastern).

    ADDRESSES:

    The February 4, 2019, and June 3, 2019, meetings will be held at the headquarters conference room, Acadia National Park, 20 McFarland Hill Drive, Bar Harbor, Maine 04609. The September 9, 2019, meeting will be held at Schoodic Education and Research Center, Winter Harbor, Maine 04693.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michael Madell, Deputy Superintendent, Acadia National Park, P.O. Box 177, Bar Harbor, Maine 04609, telephone (207) 288-8701 or email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Commission was established by section 103 of Public Law 99-420, as amended, (16 U.S.C. 341 note), and in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. Appendix 1-16). The Commission advises the Secretary and the NPS on matters relating to the management and development of Acadia National Park, including but not limited to, the acquisition of lands and interests in lands (including conservation easements on islands) and the termination of rights of use and occupancy.

    The meetings are open to the public. Interested persons may make oral or written presentations to the Commission or file written statements. Such requests should be made to the Superintendent at least seven days prior to the meeting.

    The Commission meeting locations may change based on inclement weather or exceptional circumstances. If a meeting location is changed, the Superintendent will issue a press release and use local newspapers to announce the change.

    Agenda: The Commission meeting will consist of the following proposed agenda items:

    1. Committee Reports: • Land Conservation • Park Use • Science and Education • Historic 2. Old Business 3. Superintendent's Report 4. Chairman's Report 5. Public Comments 6. Adjournment

    Public Disclosure of Information: Before including your address, telephone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comments, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    Authority:

    5 U.S.C. Appendix 2.

    Alma Ripps, Chief, Office of Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-27026 Filed 12-12-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4312-52-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement [S1D1S SS08011000 SX064A000 190S180110; S2D2S SS08011000 SX064A000 19XS501520; OMB Control Number 1029-0117] Agency Information Collection Activities: Permit Applications—Minimum Requirements for Legal, Financial, Compliance, and Related Information AGENCY:

    Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of information collection; request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we, the Office of Surface Min