Federal Register Vol. 83, No.26,

Federal Register Volume 83, Issue 26 (February 7, 2018)

Page Range5297-5519
FR Document

83_FR_26
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
83 FR 5519 - Delegation of Certain Functions and Authorities Under Section 1238 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018PDF
83 FR 5422 - Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2016PDF
83 FR 5504 - Notice of Receipt of an Application From the California Department of Transportation for Issuance of a Presidential Permit Authorizing the Construction, Connection, Operation, and Maintenance of a New Border Crossing at Otay Mesa EastPDF
83 FR 5340 - Identification and Listing of Hazardous WastePDF
83 FR 5514 - Agency Information Collection Activity: Yellow Ribbon AgreementPDF
83 FR 5465 - Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc., Vogtle Electric Generating Station, Units 3 and 4; Addition of a Residual Heat Removal Suction Relief Valve for Low-Temperature Overpressure ProtectionPDF
83 FR 5467 - Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc., Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, Units 3 and 4; Shield Building Roof ChangesPDF
83 FR 5424 - Video Description: Preliminary Nonbroadcast Network RankingsPDF
83 FR 5422 - Information Collections Being Submitted for Review and Approval to the Office of Management and BudgetPDF
83 FR 5457 - Filing of Plats of Survey; NVPDF
83 FR 5408 - Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for F-35 Operational Beddown-Air National GuardPDF
83 FR 5426 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 5425 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 5375 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality State Implementation Plans; California; Interstate Transport Requirements for Ozone, Fine Particulate Matter, and Sulfur DioxidePDF
83 FR 5505 - Commission MeetingPDF
83 FR 5468 - Product Change-Parcel Select Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
83 FR 5468 - Product Change-Priority Mail and First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
83 FR 5454 - Agency Information Collection Activities: EngageDHSPDF
83 FR 5425 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
83 FR 5425 - Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding CompanyPDF
83 FR 5512 - Notice of OFAC Sanctions ActionPDF
83 FR 5455 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Energy Efficient Mortgages (EEMs)PDF
83 FR 5456 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Use Restriction Agreement Monitoring and CompliancePDF
83 FR 5408 - Information Collection Requirement; Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement; DFARS Subpart 249, Termination of Contracts, and a Related Clause at DFARS 252.249-7002PDF
83 FR 5409 - Charter Termination of the Judicial Proceedings Since Fiscal Year 2012 Amendments PanelPDF
83 FR 5402 - Carbon and Alloy Steel Wire Rod From Belarus, the Russian Federation, and the United Arab Emirates: Notice of Correction to Antidumping Duty OrdersPDF
83 FR 5405 - Carbon and Certain Alloy Steel Wire Rod From Mexico: Initiation of Anti-Circumvention Inquiry of Antidumping Duty OrderPDF
83 FR 5401 - Sodium Gluconate, Gluconic Acid and Derivative Products From the People's Republic of China: Postponement of Preliminary Determination in the Countervailing Duty InvestigationPDF
83 FR 5349 - List of Fisheries for 2018PDF
83 FR 5374 - Energy Conservation Program: Procedures, Interpretations, and Policies for Consideration of New or Revised Energy Conservation Standards for Consumer ProductsPDF
83 FR 5508 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Extension of an Approved Information Collection Request; Comment Request; Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service DeliveryPDF
83 FR 5459 - Stainless Steel Flanges From China and India Scheduling of the Final Phase of Countervailing Duty and Antidumping Duty InvestigationsPDF
83 FR 5506 - Crash Preventability Demonstration ProgramPDF
83 FR 5456 - Indian Trust Asset Reform Act, Title II-Indian Trust Asset Management Demonstration ProjectPDF
83 FR 5461 - Request for Letters of Intent To Apply for 2018 Technology Initiative Grant FundingPDF
83 FR 5409 - Board of Visitors National Defense University; Notice of Federal Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
83 FR 5427 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 5429 - Determination of Regulatory Review Period for Purposes of Patent Extension; SEDASYS SYSTEMPDF
83 FR 5510 - Petition for Modification of Single Car Air Brake Test ProceduresPDF
83 FR 5511 - Petition for Waiver of CompliancePDF
83 FR 5510 - Establishment of an Emergency Relief Docket for Calendar Year 2018PDF
83 FR 5306 - Special Local Regulation; Black Warrior River, Tuscaloosa, ALPDF
83 FR 5400 - Census Scientific Advisory CommitteePDF
83 FR 5511 - Proposed Collection of Information: Government Securities Act of 1986PDF
83 FR 5459 - Cancellation of Withdrawal Application and Withdrawal Proposal and Termination of Environmental Impact Statement for California Desert Conservation Area Withdrawal, CaliforniaPDF
83 FR 5411 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Application for Flexibility for Equitable Per-Pupil FundingPDF
83 FR 5505 - Meeting on United States-Oman Free Trade Agreement Environment Chapter Implementation, Joint Forum on Environmental Cooperation, and Public SessionPDF
83 FR 5440 - Determination of Regulatory Review Period for Purposes of Patent Extension; BLINCYTOPDF
83 FR 5436 - Determination of Regulatory Review Period for Purposes of Patent Extension; FARXIGAPDF
83 FR 5438 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; State Enforcement NotificationsPDF
83 FR 5428 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Guidance for Industry on Expedited Programs for Serious Conditions-Drugs and BiologicsPDF
83 FR 5433 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Survey on the Occurrence of Foodborne Illness Risk Factors in Selected Retail and Foodservice Facility TypesPDF
83 FR 5441 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Survey on the Occurrence of Foodborne Illness Risk Factors in Selected Institutional Foodservice and Retail Food Stores Facility TypesPDF
83 FR 5306 - Annual Update to Fee Schedule for the Use of Government Lands by Hydropower Licensees; CorrectionPDF
83 FR 5420 - Commission Information Collection Activities (FERC-725HH); Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 5415 - Brookfield White Pine Hydro, LLC; Notice of Application Accepted for Filing, Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and ProtestsPDF
83 FR 5418 - Commission Information Collection Activities (FERC-716); Comment Request; ExtensionPDF
83 FR 5416 - Commission Information Collection Activities (Ferc-725x); Comment Request; ExtensionPDF
83 FR 5415 - New Mexico Wind, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
83 FR 5413 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
83 FR 5419 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
83 FR 5464 - Records Schedules; Availability and Request for CommentsPDF
83 FR 5431 - Determination of Regulatory Review Period for Purposes of Patent Extension; GENVOYAPDF
83 FR 5373 - Regulatory Improvements for Power Reactors Transitioning to DecommissioningPDF
83 FR 5488 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Provide Users With Access to Two Additional Third Party Systems and Connectivity to One Additional Third Party Data FeedPDF
83 FR 5494 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE American LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Provide Users With Access to Two Additional Third Party Systems and Connectivity to One Additional Third Party Data FeedPDF
83 FR 5500 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Provide Users With Access to Two Additional Third Party Systems and Connectivity to One Additional Third Party Data FeedPDF
83 FR 5474 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board; Notice of Filing of a Proposed Rule Change Consisting of Amendments to Rule G-21, on Advertising, Proposed New Rule G-40, on Advertising by Municipal Advisors, and a Technical Amendment to Rule G-42, on Duties of Non-Solicitor Municipal AdvisorsPDF
83 FR 5493 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Cboe EDGX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change to Rule 21.1, Definitions, To Modify a Time in Force Applicable to the Exchange's Equity Options PlatformPDF
83 FR 5469 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change to Rule 21.1, Definitions, To Adopt a New Time in Force and To Modify an Existing Time in Force Applicable to the Exchange's Equity Options PlatformPDF
83 FR 5499 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on Proceedings To Determine Whether To Approve or Disapprove a Proposed Rule Change To Adopt New Equity Trading Rules for Trading UTP Securities on Pillar, Including Orders and Modifiers, Order Ranking and Display, and Order Execution and RoutingPDF
83 FR 5470 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq ISE, LLC; Order Approving a Proposed Rule Change To Establish a Nonstandard Expirations Pilot ProgramPDF
83 FR 5473 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq PHLX LLC; Order Approving a Proposed Rule Change To Expand the Short Term Option Series Program To Allow Monday Expirations for SPY OptionsPDF
83 FR 5504 - Surrender of License of Small Business Investment CompanyPDF
83 FR 5409 - Publication of Housing Price Inflation AdjustmentPDF
83 FR 5446 - National Institute on Aging; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
83 FR 5400 - Improving Customer ServicePDF
83 FR 5407 - North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
83 FR 5506 - Nineteenth Tactical Operations Committee (TOC) MeetingPDF
83 FR 5417 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
83 FR 5412 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
83 FR 5451 - Changes in Flood Hazard DeterminationsPDF
83 FR 5448 - National Advisory Council; MeetingPDF
83 FR 5449 - Notice of Adjustment of Statewide Per Capita Indicator for Recommending a Cost Share AdjustmentPDF
83 FR 5450 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service DeliveryPDF
83 FR 5465 - Advisory Committee on the Medical Uses of Isotopes; Meeting NoticePDF
83 FR 5447 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; National Flood Insurance Program-Mortgage Portfolio Protection Program (MPPP)PDF
83 FR 5448 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; National Fire Academy Long-Term Evaluation Form for Supervisors and National Fire Academy Long-Term Evaluation Form for Students/TraineesPDF
83 FR 5410 - Notice of Public Hearing and Business Meeting February 14 and March 14, 2018PDF
83 FR 5445 - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
83 FR 5446 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
83 FR 5513 - Agency Information Collection Activity: Report of General Information, Report of First Notice of Death, Report of Nursing Home or Assisted Living Information, Report of Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), Report of Non-Receipt of Payment, Report of Incarceration, Report of Month of DeathPDF
83 FR 5515 - Agency Information Collection Under OMB Review: Approval of Licensing or Certification Test and Organization or EntityPDF
83 FR 5299 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
83 FR 5304 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
83 FR 5297 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
83 FR 5301 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
83 FR 5307 - Isoxaben; Pesticide TolerancesPDF
83 FR 5312 - Fomesafen; Pesticide TolerancesPDF
83 FR 5317 - Additions to List of Categorical Non-Waste Fuels: Other Treated Railroad TiesPDF
83 FR 5402 - Certain Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes From India, Thailand, and Turkey; Certain Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe From Brazil, Mexico, the Republic of Korea, and Taiwan, and Certain Circular Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes From Taiwan: Continuation of Antidumping Duty Orders and Countervailing Duty OrderPDF
83 FR 5340 - Voluntary Consensus Standards Update; Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood ProductsPDF

Issue

83 26 Wednesday, February 7, 2018 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department NOTICES Requests for Information: Improving Customer Service, 5400 2018-02388 AIRFORCE Air Force Department NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: F-35 Operational Beddown—Air National Guard, 5408 2018-02468 Census Bureau Census Bureau NOTICES Meetings: Scientific Advisory Committee, 5400-5401 2018-02424 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 5425-5428 2018-02433 2018-02466 2018-02467 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Special Local Regulations: Black Warrior River, Tuscaloosa, AL, 5306-5307 2018-02425 Commerce Commerce Department See

Census Bureau

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Defense Acquisition Defense Acquisition Regulations System NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 5408-5409 2018-02449 Defense Department Defense Department See

Air Force Department

See

Defense Acquisition Regulations System

NOTICES Charter Terminations: Judicial Proceedings Since Fiscal Year 2012 Amendments Panel, 5409 2018-02447 Housing Price Inflation Adjustment, 5409 2018-02390 Meetings: Board of Visitors National Defense University, 5409-5410 2018-02434
Delaware Delaware River Basin Commission NOTICES Hearings and Meetings, 5410-5411 2018-02369 Education Department Education Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application for Flexibility for Equitable Per-pupil Funding, 5411-5412 2018-02421 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

PROPOSED RULES Energy Conservation Program: Procedures, Interpretations, and Policies for Consideration of New or Revised Energy Conservation Standards for Consumer Products, 5374-5375 2018-02440
Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Identification and Listing of Hazardous Waste; CFR Correction, 5340 2018-02513 2018-02518 List of Categorical Non-Waste Fuels; Additions: Other Treated Railroad Ties, 5317-5340 2018-02337 Pesticide Tolerances: Fomesafen, 5312-5317 2018-02344 Isoxaben, 5307-5312 2018-02346 Voluntary Consensus Standards Update: Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products, 5340-5349 2018-02144 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: California; Interstate Transport Requirements for Ozone, Fine Particulate Matter, and Sulfur Dioxide, 5375-5399 2018-02462 NOTICES Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2016, 5422 2018-02546 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus Airplanes, 5297-5306 2018-02350 2018-02352 2018-02354 2018-02357 NOTICES Meetings: Nineteenth Tactical Operations Committee, 5506 2018-02385 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 5422-5424 2018-02470 Preliminary Nonbroadcast Network Rankings, 5424-5425 2018-02471 Federal Emergency Federal Emergency Management Agency NOTICES Adjustment of Statewide Per Capita Indicator for Recommending a Cost Share Adjustment, 5449-5450 2018-02377 Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery, 5450 2018-02376 National Fire Academy Long-Term Evaluation Form for Supervisors and National Fire Academy Long-Term Evaluation Form for Students/Trainees, 5448 2018-02373 National Flood Insurance Program—Mortgage Portfolio Protection Program, 5447-5448 2018-02374 Flood Hazard Determinations; Changes, 5451-5454 2018-02380 Meetings: National Advisory Council, 5448-5449 2018-02378 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission RULES Annual Update to Fee Schedule for the Use of Government Lands by Hydropower Licensees; Correction, 5306 2018-02412 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 5416-5422 2018-02408 2018-02409 2018-02411 Applications: Brookfield White Pine Hydro, LLC, 5415 2018-02410 Combined Filings, 5412-5414, 5417-5420 2018-02383 2018-02384 2018-02405 2018-02406 Initial Market-Based Rate Filings Including Requests for Blanket Section 204 Authorizations: New Mexico Wind, LLC, 5415-5416 2018-02407 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery, 5508-5510 2018-02439 Crash Preventability Demonstration Program, 5506-5508 2018-02437 Federal Railroad Federal Railroad Administration NOTICES Establishment of an Emergency Relief Docket: Calendar Year 2018, 5510-5511 2018-02426 Petitions for Modifications: Single Car Air Brake Test Procedures, 5510 2018-02428 Petitions for Waivers of Compliance, 5511 2018-02427 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Changes in Bank Control: Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company, 5425 2018-02454 Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 5425 2018-02455 Fiscal Fiscal Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Government Securities Act, 5511-5512 2018-02423 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Expedited Programs for Serious Conditions—Drugs and Biologics, 5428-5429 2018-02415 State Enforcement Notifications, 5438-5439 2018-02417 Survey on the Occurrence of Foodborne Illness Risk Factors in Selected Institutional Foodservice and Retail Food Stores Facility Types, 5441-5445 2018-02413 Survey on the Occurrence of Foodborne Illness Risk Factors in Selected Retail and Foodservice Facility Types, 5433-5436 2018-02414 Determinations of Regulatory Review Periods for Purposes of Patent Extensions: BLINCYTO, 5440-5441 2018-02419 FARXIGA, 5436-5438 2018-02418 GENVOYA, 5431-5433 2018-02403 SEDASYS System, 5429-5431 2018-02432 Foreign Assets Foreign Assets Control Office NOTICES Blocking or Unblocking of Persons and Properties, 5512-5513 2018-02453 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

Federal Emergency Management Agency

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: EngageDHS, 5454-5455 2018-02457
Housing Housing and Urban Development Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Energy Efficient Mortgages, 5455-5456 2018-02452 Use Restriction Agreement Monitoring and Compliance, 5456 2018-02451 Indian Affairs Indian Affairs Bureau NOTICES Indian Trust Asset Reform Act, Title II—Indian Trust Asset Management Demonstration Project, 5456-5457 2018-02436 Interior Interior Department See

Indian Affairs Bureau

See

Land Management Bureau

International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Carbon and Alloy Steel Wire Rod from Belarus, the Russian Federation, and the United Arab Emirates; Correction, 5402 2018-02446 Carbon and Certain Alloy Steel Wire Rod from Mexico, 5405-5407 2018-02445 Certain Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes from India, Thailand, and Turkey; Certain Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe from Brazil, Mexico, the Republic of Korea, and Taiwan, and Certain Circular Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes from Taiwan, 5402-5405 2018-02316 Sodium Gluconate, Gluconic Acid and Derivative Products from the People's Republic of China, 5401 2018-02444 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Stainless Steel Flanges from China and India, 5459-5461 2018-02438 Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Cancellation of Withdrawal Application and Withdrawal Proposal and Termination; California Desert Conservation Area Withdrawal, CA, 5459 2018-02422 Plats of Survey: Nevada, 5457-5459 2018-02469 Legal Legal Services Corporation NOTICES Funding Opportunities: 2018 Technology Initiative Grant, 5461-5464 2018-02435 National Archives National Archives and Records Administration NOTICES Records Schedules, 5464-5465 2018-02404 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: Center for Scientific Review, 5446 2018-02365 National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 5445-5446 2018-02368 National Institute on Aging, 5446-5447 2018-02367 2018-02389 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES List of Fisheries for 2018, 5349-5372 2018-02442 NOTICES Meetings: North Pacific Fishery Management Council, 5407-5408 2018-02372 2018-02387 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Improvements for Power Reactors Transitioning to Decommissioning, 5373-5374 2018-02402 NOTICES Exemptions and Combined Licenses; Amendments: Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc., Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, Units 3 and 4; Shield Building Roof Changes, 5467-5468 2018-02472 Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc., Vogtle Electric Generating Station, Units 3 and 4; Addition of a Residual Heat Removal Suction Relief Valve for Low-Temperature Overpressure Protection, 5465-5467 2018-02473 Meetings: Advisory Committee on the Medical Uses of Isotopes, 5465 2018-02375 Postal Service Postal Service NOTICES Product Changes: Parcel Select Negotiated Service Agreement, 5468 2018-02459 Priority Mail and First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service Agreement, 5468-5469 2018-02458 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents ADMINISTRATIVE ORDERS Defense and National Security: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018; Delegation of Certain Functions and Authorities (Memorandum of February 5, 2018), 5517-5519 2018-02603 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc., 5469-5470 2018-02396 Cboe EDGX Exchange, Inc., 5493-5494 2018-02397 Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, 5474-5488 2018-02398 Nasdaq ISE, LLC, 5470-5473 2018-02394 Nasdaq PHLX, LLC, 5473-5474 2018-02393 New York Stock Exchange, LLC, 5488-5493, 5499 2018-02395 2018-02401 NYSE American, LLC, 5494-5499 2018-02400 NYSE Arca, Inc., 5500-5504 2018-02399 Small Business Small Business Administration NOTICES Surrender of License of Small Business Investment Company, 5504 2018-02391 State Department State Department NOTICES Meetings: United States-Oman Free Trade Agreement Environment Chapter Implementation, Joint Forum on Environmental Cooperation, and Public Session, 5505 2018-02420 Presidential Permits: Application from the California Department of Transportation for Construction, Connection, Operation, and Maintenance of a New Border Crossing at Otay Mesa East, 5504-5505 2018-02539 Susquehanna Susquehanna River Basin Commission NOTICES Meetings: Regular Business, 5505-5506 2018-02460 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

See

Federal Railroad Administration

Treasury Treasury Department See

Fiscal Service

See

Foreign Assets Control Office

Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Approval of Licensing or Certification Test and Organization or Entity, 5515 2018-02362 Report of General Information, Report of First Notice of Death, Report of Nursing Home or Assisted Living Information, Report of Defense Finance and Accounting Service, Report of Non-Receipt of Payment, Report of Incarceration, Report of Month of Death, 5513-5514 2018-02363 Yellow Ribbon Agreement, 5514-5515 2018-02507 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Presidential Documents, 5517-5519 2018-02603 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 26 Wednesday, February 7, 2018 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0069; Product Identifier 2013-NM-090-AD; Amendment 39-19181; AD 2018-03-08] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

We are superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2005-19-28, which applied to certain Airbus Model A330-301, -321, -322, -341, and -342 airplanes; and Model A340-200 and A340-300 series airplanes. AD 2005-19-28 required repetitive inspections for cracks in the aft face of the rear spar at the area adjacent to the bolt holes and the end of the build slot, and repair if necessary. AD 2005-19-28 also provided an optional terminating action for the repetitive inspections. This new AD was prompted by the results of a new fatigue and damage tolerance assessment, which determined that several compliance thresholds and intervals needed to be reduced. This AD requires contacting the FAA to obtain instructions for addressing the unsafe condition on these products, and doing the actions specified in those instructions. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective February 22, 2018.

We must receive comments on this AD by March 26, 2018.

ADDRESSES:

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

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

Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0069; or in person at the Docket Operations office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW, Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone: 425-227-1138; fax: 425-227-1149.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

As described in FAA Advisory Circular 120-104 (http://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Advisory_Circular/120-104.pdf), several programs have been developed to support initiatives that will ensure the continued airworthiness of aging airplane structure. The last element of those initiatives is the requirement to establish a limit of validity (LOV) of the engineering data that support the structural maintenance program under 14 CFR 26.21. This AD is the result of an assessment of the previously established programs by the design approval holder (DAH) during the process of establishing the LOV for the affected airplanes. The actions specified in this AD are necessary to complete certain programs to ensure the continued airworthiness of aging airplane structure and to support an airplane reaching its LOV.

We issued AD 2005-19-28, Amendment 39-14293 (70 FR 57493, October 3, 2005) (“AD 2005-19-28”), which applied to certain Airbus Model A330-301, -321, -322, -341, and -342 airplanes; and Model A340-200 and A340-300 series airplanes. AD 2005-19-28 was prompted by a report that, during fatigue tests of the wing, cracks were found in the vertical web of the rear spar between ribs 1 and 2 having initiated at the build slot. AD 2005-19-28 required repetitive inspections for cracks in the aft face of the rear spar at the area adjacent to the bolt holes and the end of the build slot, and repair if necessary. AD 2005-19-28 also provided an optional terminating action for the repetitive inspections. We issued AD 2005-19-28 to detect and correct fatigue cracking in the vertical web of the wing rear spar, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the wing.

Since we issued AD 2005-19-28, a new fatigue and damage tolerance assessment was done, taking into account airplane utilization and widespread fatigue damage analysis. This analysis led to the determination that several compliance thresholds and intervals needed to be reduced. We have also determined that the unsafe condition is not applicable to Airbus Model A330-341 airplanes.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2013-0101, dated April 30, 2013 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Airbus Model A330-301, -321, -322, and -342 airplanes; and Model A340-200 and A340-300 series airplanes. The MCAI states:

During wing fatigue test, a crack was detected which propagated from the tip of the build slot in the vertical web of the wing inner rear spar between rib 1 and 2.

This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to reduced structural integrity of the wing.

To address this potentially unsafe condition, [Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile] DGAC France issued AD 2001-268(B)R1 and AD 2001-269(B) [which correspond to FAA AD 2005-19-28] to require repetitive High Frequency Eddy Current (HFEC) inspections of the aft face of the inner rear spar web in the area adjacent to the outboard end of the build slot and, depending of findings, repair of the inner rear spar web.

Since these [DGAC France] ADs were issued, in the frame of a new fatigue and damage tolerance evaluation, taking into account aeroplane utilization and Widespread Fatigue Damage (WFD) analysis, the thresholds and intervals of the affected inspections have been reassessed. This reassessment led to the amendment of several thresholds and to the reduction of inspection intervals to allow timely detection of cracks and to the accomplishment of applicable corrective actions. EASA issued AD 2013-0092, which retained the requirements of DGAC France AD 2001-268(B)R1 and AD 2001-269(B), which were superseded, but required those actions within the new thresholds and intervals.

Since issuance of EASA AD 2013-0092, it has been discovered that certain A330 aeroplanes, incorporating another modification in production, must be excluded from the Applicability. In addition, it has been found necessary to clarify that for the initial inspection, the previous thresholds (to be counted from aeroplane first flight) or intervals, as required by [DGAC France] AD 2001-268(B)R1 and [DGAC France] AD 2001-269(B), cannot be exceeded.

For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD partially retains the requirements of EASA AD 2013-0092, which is superseded, and introduces the changes as outlined above.

You may examine the MCAI on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0069.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of This AD

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

FAA's Determination of the Effective Date

Since there are currently no domestic operators of this product, we find good cause that notice and opportunity for prior public comment are unnecessary. In addition, for the reason(s) stated above, we find that good cause exists for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days.

Comments Invited

This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight safety, and we did not precede it by notice and opportunity for public comment. We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2018-0069; Product Identifier 2013-NM-090-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this AD based on those comments.

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

Costs of Compliance

Currently, there are no affected U.S.-registered airplanes. This AD requires contacting the FAA to obtain instructions for addressing the unsafe condition, and doing the actions specified in those instructions. Based on the actions specified in the MCAI AD, we are providing the following cost estimates for an affected airplane that is placed on the U.S. Register in the future:

Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product HFEC inspection [retained action from AD 2005-19-28 with reduced threshold and intervals] 4 work-hours × $85 per hour = $340 per inspection cycle $0 $340 per inspection cycle. Modification [retained action from AD 2005-19-28] 153 work-hours × $85 per hour = $13,005 0 $13,005.

We estimate the following costs to do any necessary on-condition repairs that would be required based on the results of the required actions:

On-Condition Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Repair [retained action from AD 2005-19-28] 85 work-hours × $85 per hour = $7,225 Unavailable $7,225

    We acknowledge that since the above actions are retained from AD 2005-19-28, but with reduced threshold and intervals, operators would essentially revise their maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate the reduced threshold and intervals. We estimate the revision to an operator's maintenance and inspection program would take approximately 1 work-hour × $85 per hour.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing airworthiness directive (AD) 2005-19-28, Amendment 39-14293 (70 FR 57493, October 3, 2005), and adding the following new AD: 2018-03-08 Airbus: Amendment 39-19181; Docket No. FAA-2018-0069; Product Identifier 2013-NM-090-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD becomes effective February 22, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2005-19-28, Amendment 39-14293 (70 FR 57493, October 3, 2005) (“AD 2005-19-28”).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to the Airbus airplanes specified in paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this AD, certificated in any category.

    (1) Model A330-301, -321, -322, and -342 airplanes, all manufacturers serial numbers, except those on which Airbus modification 42547 or 44599 has been embodied in production.

    (2) Model A340-211, -212, -213, -311, -312, and -313 airplanes, all manufacturer serial numbers, except those on which Airbus modification 42547 or 41300 has been embodied in production.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 57, Wings.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a report that, during fatigue tests of the wing, cracks were found in the vertical web of the rear spar between ribs 1 and 2 having initiated at the build slot, and a determination that several compliance thresholds and intervals need to be reduced. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking in the vertical web of the wing rear spar, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the wing.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Required Action(s)

    Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, request instructions from the Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, to address the unsafe condition specified in paragraph (e) of this AD; and accomplish the action(s) at the times specified in, and in accordance with, those instructions. Guidance can be found in Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2013-0101, dated April 30, 2013.

    (h) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

    (i) Related Information

    (1) Refer to MCAI EASA AD 2013-0101, dated April 30, 2013, for related information. You may examine the MCAI on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0069.

    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW, Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1138; fax 425-227-1149.

    (j) Material Incorporated by Reference

    None.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on January 26, 2018. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02352 Filed 2-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0070; Product Identifier 2015-NM-146-AD; Amendment 39-19182; AD 2018-03-09] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Airbus Model A321-211 and -231 airplanes. This AD requires contacting the FAA to obtain instructions for addressing the unsafe condition on these products, and doing the actions specified in those instructions. This AD was prompted by a determination that the flat-headed pin at the upper attachment point of the overhead stowage compartments at a certain frame may not sustain the maximum weight load for each flight phase. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    This AD becomes effective February 22, 2018.

    We must receive comments on this AD by March 26, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0070; or in person at the Docket Operations office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW, Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone: 425-227-1405; fax: 425-227-1149.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Discussion

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2015-0164, dated August 10, 2015 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Airbus Model A321-211 and -231 airplanes. The MCAI states:

    The overhead stowage compartments (OHSC), located at Frame 47.2 left-hand (LH) and right-hand (RH) side of the fuselage in certain aeroplanes, are currently installed with a flat headed pin at the upper attachment point. The pin passes through the OHSC upper attachment hole, then through the upper attachment fitting, and is secured by a split ring through the pin. A design review identified a risk that the OHSC attachment may not sustain the maximal loads for each flight phase, over the aeroplane life.

    This condition, if not corrected, could lead to OHSC detachment during flight, possibly resulting in injury to cabin crew or passengers.

    To address this potential unsafe condition, Airbus defined a new attachment design to secure the OHSC attachment in all the flight phases over the aeroplane life. Airbus issued Service Bulletin (SB) A320-25-1852 to provide modification instructions.

    For the reason described above, this [EASA] AD requires modification of the affected OHSC attachments.

    You may examine the MCAI on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0070.

    FAA's Determination and Requirements of This AD

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

    FAA's Determination of the Effective Date

    Since there are currently no domestic operators of this product, we find good cause that notice and opportunity for prior public comment are unnecessary. In addition, for the reason(s) stated above, we find that good cause exists for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days.

    Comments Invited

    This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight safety, and we did not precede it by notice and opportunity for public comment. We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2018-0070; Product Identifier 2015-NM-146-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this AD based on those comments.

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

    Costs of Compliance

    Currently, there are no affected U.S.-registered airplanes. This AD requires contacting the FAA to obtain instructions for addressing the unsafe condition, and doing the actions specified in those instructions. Based on the actions specified in the MCAI AD, we are providing the following cost estimates for an affected airplane that is placed on the U.S. Register in the future:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Modification 4 work-hours × $85 per hour = $340 $161 $501

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2018-03-09 Airbus: Amendment 39-19182; Docket No. FAA-2018-0070; Product Identifier 2015-NM-146-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD becomes effective February 22, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Model A321-211 and -231 airplanes, certificated in any category, manufacturer serial numbers 3191, 3217, 3241, 3251, 3267, 3334, 3459, 3493, 3507, 3552, 3566, 3587, 3645, 3681, 3764, 3784, 3847, 3867, 3920, 3934, 3938, 3951, 3981, 4058, 4074, 4099, 4103, 4116, 4148, 4184, 4189, 4194, 4217, 4224, 4230, 4266, 4271, 4274, 4292, 4299, 4338, 4341, 4369, 4387, 4416, 4430, 4461, and 4500.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a determination that the flat-headed pin at the upper attachment point of the overhead stowage compartments (OHSCs) at a certain frame may not sustain the maximum weight load for each flight phase. We are issuing this AD to prevent OHSC detachment during flight, which could cause injury to the crew or passengers.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Required Action(s)

    Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, request instructions from the Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, to address the unsafe condition specified in paragraph (e) of this AD; and accomplish the action(s) at the times specified in, and in accordance with, those instructions. Guidance can be found in Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2015-0164, dated August 10, 2015.

    (h) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

    (i) Related Information

    (1) Refer to MCAI EASA AD 2015-0164, dated August 10, 2015, for related information. You may examine the MCAI on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0070.

    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW, Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone: 425-227-1405; fax: 425-227-1149.

    (j) Material Incorporated by Reference

    None.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on January 26, 2018. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02357 Filed 2-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0029; Product Identifier 2015-NM-132-AD; Amendment 39-19179; AD 2018-03-06] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    We are superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2015-02-18, which applied to all Airbus Model A330-201, -202, -203, -301, -302, and -303 airplanes. AD 2015-02-18 required a one-time ultrasonic inspection for fractures of all aft mount-pylon bolts of each engine. This new AD was prompted by the failure of a bolt on the aft engine mount upper beam, which was found to be caused by inappropriate in-production upper beam installation. This AD requires contacting the FAA to obtain instructions for addressing the unsafe condition on these products, and doing the actions specified in those instructions. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    This AD becomes effective February 22, 2018.

    We must receive comments on this AD by March 26, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0029; or in person at the Docket Operations office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW, Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone: 425-227-1138; fax: 425-227-1149.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Discussion

    We issued AD 2015-02-18, Amendment 39-18085 (80 FR 5020, January 30, 2015) (“AD 2015-02-18”), which applied to all Airbus Model A330-201, -202, -203, -301, -302, and -303 airplanes. AD 2015-02-18 was prompted by a report of one bolt on the aft engine mount upper beam found totally broken. AD 2015-02-18 required a one-time ultrasonic inspection for fractures of all aft mount-pylon bolts of each engine. We issued AD 2015-02-18 to detect and correct fracture of the aft mount-pylon bolts, which could result in failure of the engine mount and consequent detachment of the engine.

    Since we issued AD 2015-02-18, further investigation showed that the pylon bolt failure was caused by inappropriate upper beam installation during production. We have determined that repetitive inspections are necessary to address the unsafe condition.

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2015-0126, dated July 1, 2015 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Airbus Model A330-200 and -300 series airplanes. The MCAI states:

    During a scheduled replacement of a CF6-80E1 engine on an A330 aeroplane, a bolt on the aft engine mount upper beam was found sheared. The affected bolt is one out of four bolts that attach the upper beam to the pylon.

    Investigation results revealed an unusual contact with the counter-bore edge of the beam which induced a significant groove on the bolt during its installation in production. It is suspected that the induced groove led to a fatigue crack initiation and subsequent quick propagation leading to the complete fracture of the bolt. In case of multiple bolt fractures, the remaining bolts would be insufficient to sustain the residual fatigue and limit loads.

    This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead, in case of multiple bolt fracture, to loss of an engine mount structural integrity and possible in-flight engine detachment, resulting in reduced control of the aeroplane and/or injury to persons on the ground.

    To address this potential unsafe condition, EASA issued AD 2013-0094 to require a one-time ultrasonic (US) inspection of the four aft mount-pylon bolts of both engines to detect sheared bolts and, depending on findings, accomplishment of applicable corrective actions.

    Since EASA AD 2013-0094 was issued, further investigation results revealed that the pylon bolt failure was caused by inappropriate upper beam installation during production. An abnormal bending load applied on the bolt during installation of the upper beam could have increased the stress close to or beyond the limit strength, high enough to fracture the bolt.

    Prompted by these findings, Airbus issued Service Bulletin (SB) A330-71-3031 providing instructions for repetitive inspections and the applicable corrective actions.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD, which supersedes EASA AD 2013-0094, requires repetitive US inspections of the aft mount-pylons bolts of each engine and, depending on findings, corrective actions.

    You may examine the MCAI on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0029.

    FAA's Determination and Requirements of This AD

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

    FAA's Determination of the Effective Date

    Since there are currently no domestic operators of this product, we find good cause that notice and opportunity for prior public comment are unnecessary. In addition, for the reason(s) stated above, we find that good cause exists for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days.

    Comments Invited

    This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight safety, and we did not precede it by notice and opportunity for public comment. We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2018-0029; Product Identifier 2015-NM-132-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this AD based on those comments.

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

    Costs of Compliance

    Currently, there are no affected U.S.-registered airplanes. This AD requires contacting the FAA to obtain instructions for addressing the unsafe condition, and doing the actions specified in those instructions. Based on the actions specified in the MCAI AD, we are providing the following cost estimates for an affected airplane that is placed on the U.S. Register in the future:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Inspections (new action) 8 work-hours × $85 per hour = $680 per inspection cycle. $0 $680 per inspection cycle.

    We estimate the following costs to do any necessary on-condition repairs that would be required based on the results of the required actions:

    On-Condition Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Repair (new action) Up to 337 work-hours × $85 per hour = $28,645 (1) Up to $28,645. 1We have received no definitive data that would enable us to provide parts cost estimates for the on-condition actions specified in this AD.
    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing airworthiness directive (AD) 2015-02-18, Amendment 39-18085 (80 FR 5020, January 30, 2015), and adding the following new AD: 2018-03-06 Airbus: Amendment 39-19179; Docket No. FAA-2018-0029; Product Identifier 2015-NM-132-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD becomes effective February 22, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2015-02-18, Amendment 39-18085 (80 FR 5020, January 30, 2015) (“AD 2015-02-18”).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Model A330-201, -202, -203, -301, -302, and -303 airplanes, certificated in any category, all manufacturer serial numbers, except those on which Airbus modification 203947 has been embodied in production.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 71, Powerplant.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by the failure of a bolt on the aft engine mount upper beam, which was found to be caused by inappropriate in-production upper beam installation. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fracture of the aft mount-pylon bolts, which could result in loss of engine mount structural integrity, consequent detachment of the engine and reduced control of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Required Action(s)

    Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, request instructions from the Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, to address the unsafe condition specified in paragraph (e) of this AD; and accomplish the action(s) at the times specified in, and in accordance with, those instructions. Guidance can be found in Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2015-0126, dated July 1, 2015.

    (h) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

    (i) Related Information

    (1) Refer to MCAI EASA AD 2015-0126, dated July 1, 2015, for related information. You may examine the MCAI on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0029.

    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW, Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone: 425-227-1138; fax: 425-227-1149.

    (j) Material Incorporated by Reference

    None.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on January 25, 2018. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02350 Filed 2-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0030; Product Identifier 2014-NM-161-AD; Amendment 39-19180; AD 2018-03-07] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Airbus Model A330-202, -203, -223, and -243 airplanes; and Model A340-211, -212, -311, and -313 airplanes. This AD requires contacting the FAA to obtain instructions for addressing the unsafe condition on these products, and doing the actions specified in those instructions. This AD was prompted by a report of a hard contact that was found between the constant speed motor/generator feeder line route 6G/6E and the optional cabin temperature control pipe on the upper shell between certain frames. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    This AD becomes effective February 22, 2018.

    We must receive comments on this AD by March 26, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0030; or in person at the Docket Operations office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW, Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone: 425-227-1138; fax: 425-227-1149.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2014-0161, dated July 10, 2014 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Airbus Model A330-202, -203, -223, and -243 airplanes; and Model A340-211, -212, -311, and -313 airplanes. The MCAI states:

    A hard contact was found on an A330 aeroplane during production between the Constant Speed Motor/Generator (CSM/G) feeder line route 6G/6E (Functional Item Number 1526VB) and the optional cabin temperature control pipe on the upper shell between Frame (FR)37.4 and FR38 on stringer 5, right hand (RH) side.

    This condition, if not corrected, may lead to chafing and, consequently, a short circuit when the emergency generation is activated, resulting in the loss of emergency generation. The loss of normal generation combined with the loss of emergency generation jeopardizes the aeroplane safe flight.

    To address this potential unsafe condition, Airbus developed a modification to provide adequate clearance between harness 1526VB and the affected (optional) air-conditioning temperature control pipe. A340-200/-300 aeroplanes equipped with this optional cabin temperature control pipe are also affected by this issue. The modification can be embodied in service through Airbus Service Bulletin (SB) A330-92-3125, or SB A340-92-4097, as applicable.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires modification of the CSM/G mounting with installation of new stacking and/or longer bracket, depending on aeroplane configuration.

    You may examine the MCAI on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0030.

    FAA's Determination and Requirements of This AD

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

    FAA's Determination of the Effective Date

    Since there are currently no domestic operators of this product, we find good cause that notice and opportunity for prior public comment are unnecessary. In addition, for the reason(s) stated above, we find that good cause exists for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days.

    Comments Invited

    This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight safety, and we did not precede it by notice and opportunity for public comment. We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2018-0030; Product Identifier 2014-NM-161-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this AD based on those comments.

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

    Costs of Compliance

    Currently, there are no affected U.S.-registered airplanes. This AD requires contacting the FAA to obtain instructions for addressing the unsafe condition, and doing the actions specified in those instructions. Based on the actions specified in the MCAI AD, we are providing the following cost estimates for an affected airplane that is placed on the U.S. Register in the future:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Modification Up to 17 work-hours × $85 per hour = $1,445 Up to $256 Up to $1,701.
    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2018-03-07 Airbus: Amendment 39-19180; Docket No. FAA-2018-0030; Product Identifier 2014-NM-161-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD becomes effective February 22, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

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

    (1) Airbus Model A330-202, -203, -223, and -243 airplanes, all manufacturer serial numbers on which Airbus modification 45775, 45790, 45795, 46165, 46779, 48099, 48454, 52131, 52802, 53730, 53819, 54310, 54410, 54420, 54530, 55231, 55630, 56080, 56260, 56620, 57186, 57430, 200774, 201071, 201298, 201888, 202558, or 203045 has been embodied in production, except those on which Airbus modification 203395 has been embodied in production.

    (2) Airbus Model A340-211, -212, -311, and -313 airplanes, all manufacturer serial numbers on which Airbus modification 40413, 40550, 40901, 42021, 43590, or 46487 has been embodied in production, except those on which Airbus modification 203395 has been embodied in production.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 92, Electrical system installation.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a report of a hard contact that was found between the constant speed motor/generator feeder line route 6G/6E and the optional cabin temperature control pipe on the upper shell between certain frames. We are issuing this AD to prevent chafing, which can lead to a short circuit when the emergency generation is activated and a consequent loss of emergency generation. The loss of normal generation combined with the loss of emergency generation could adversely affect the airplane's continued safe flight and landing.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Required Action(s)

    Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, request instructions from the Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, to address the unsafe condition specified in paragraph (e) of this AD; and accomplish the action(s) at the times specified in, and in accordance with, those instructions. Guidance can be found in Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2014-0161, dated July 10, 2014.

    (h) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

    (i) Related Information

    (1) Refer to MCAI EASA AD 2014-0161, dated July 10, 2014, for related information. You may examine the MCAI on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0030.

    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW, Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone: 425-227-1138; fax: 425-227-1149.

    (j) Material Incorporated by Reference

    None.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on January 26, 2018. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02354 Filed 2-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 18 CFR Part 11 [Docket No. RM11-6-000] Annual Update to Fee Schedule for the Use of Government Lands by Hydropower Licensees; Correction AGENCY:

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission,DOE.

    ACTION:

    Correcting amendment.

    SUMMARY:

    This document contains corrections to the final rule (RM11-6-000) which published in the Federal Register on Tuesday, March 7, 2017 (82 FR 12717). The Final Rule provided the annual update to the fee schedule in Appendix A to Part 11, which lists per-acre rental fees by county (or other geographic area) for use of government lands by hydropower licensees and updated Appendix A to Part 11 with the fee schedule of per-acre rental fees by county (or other geographic area) from October 1, 2016, through September 30, 2017 (Fiscal Year 2017).

    DATES:

    Effective February 7, 2018, and is applicable beginning October 1, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Norman Richardson, Financial Management Division, Office of the Executive Director, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-6219, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On February 28, 2017, the Commission issued an Annual Update to Fee Schedule for the Use of Government Lands for Hydropower Licensees in the above-captioned proceeding. Pursuant to Annual Charges for the Use of Government Lands in Alaska, Order No. 838, 83 FR 1 (Jan. 2, 2018), FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 61,281 (2017), this document updates the per-acre rental fees for the State of Alaska, as reflected in the caption below.

    List of Subjects in 18 CFR Part 11

    Public lands.

    Accordingly, 18 CFR part 11 is corrected by making the following correcting amendment:

    PART 11—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 11 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 792-828c; 42 U.S.C. 7101-7352.

    2. Appendix A to Part 11 is amended by: a. Revising the entries under “Alaska”; and b. Removing footnote 1.

    The revisions read as follows:

    Appendix A to Part 11—Fee Schedule for FY 2017 State County Fee/acre/yr *         *         *         *         *         *         * Alaska Aleutian Islands Area $1.02 Statewide per-acre $36.53 *         *         *         *         *         *         *

    Issued: February 1, 2018. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2018-02412 Filed 2-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 100 [Docket No. USCG-2018-0013] Special Local Regulation; Black Warrior River, Tuscaloosa, AL AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of enforcement of regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard will enforce a special local regulation on the Black Warrior River extending the entire width of the channel from mile marker 339.0 to mile marker 341.5 in Tuscaloosa, AL on March 24, 2018, to provide for the safety of life on navigable waterways during the Rowing Competition marine event. Our regulation for Recurring Marine Events in Captain of the Port Sector Mobile Zone identifies the regulated area for this rowing event. During the enforcement period, no vessel may transit this regulated area without approval from the Captain of the Port Sector Mobile or a designated representative.

    DATES:

    The regulation in 33 CFR 100.801, Table 7, line 4, will be enforced from 6 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. on March 24, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions about this notice of enforcement, call or email call or email LT Kyle D. Berry, Sector Mobile, Waterways Management Division, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 251-441-5940, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Coast Guard will enforce a special local regulation for the annual “Rowing Competition/University of South Alabama”, listed in 33 CFR 100.801, Table 7, line 4, from 6 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. on March 24, 2018. This action is being taken to provide for the safety of life on navigable waterways during the rowing event. Our regulation for Recurring Marine Events in Captain of the Port Sector Mobile Zone, § 100.801, specifies the location of the regulated area for this 2-and-1/2-mile-long rowing event. As specified in § 100.801 during the enforcement period, no vessel may transit this regulated area without approval from the Captain of the Port Sector Mobile (COTP) or a COTP designated representative.

    This notice of enforcement is issued under authority of 33 CFR 100.801 and 5 U.S.C. 552(a). In addition to this notice of enforcement in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard plans to provide notification of this enforcement period via the Local Notice to Mariners and Broadcast Notice to Mariners.

    Dated: January 31, 2018. M.R. Mclellan, Captain, U. S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Sector Mobile.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02425 Filed 2-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 180 [EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0650; FRL-9972-75] Isoxaben; Pesticide Tolerances AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This regulation establishes tolerances for residues of isoxaben in or on apple, the bushberry subgroup 13-07B, the tree nut group 14-12, and the small vine climbing fruit (except fuzzy kiwifruit) subgroup 13-07F. Interregional Research Project Number 4 (IR-4) requested these tolerances under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA).

    DATES:

    This regulation is effective February 7, 2018. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before April 9, 2018, and must be filed in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178 (see also Unit I.C. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION).

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0650, is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pesticide Programs Regulatory Public Docket (OPP Docket) in the Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460-0001. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPP Docket is (703) 305-5805. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

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

    • Crop production (NAICS code 111).

    • Animal production (NAICS code 112).

    • Food manufacturing (NAICS code 311).

    • Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS code 32532).

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

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

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

    Under FFDCA section 408(g), 21 U.S.C. 346a, any person may file an objection to any aspect of this regulation and may also request a hearing on those objections. You must file your objection or request a hearing on this regulation in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, you must identify docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0650 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 April 9, 2018. Addresses for mail and hand delivery of objections and hearing requests are provided in 40 CFR 178.25(b).

    In addition to filing an objection or hearing request with the Hearing Clerk as described in 40 CFR part 178, please submit a copy of the filing (excluding any Confidential Business Information (CBI)) for inclusion in the public docket. Information not marked confidential pursuant to 40 CFR part 2 may be disclosed publicly by EPA without prior notice. Submit the non-CBI copy of your objection or hearing request, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0650, by one of the following methods:

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

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

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

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

    II. Summary of Petitioned-For Tolerance

    In the Federal Register of April 10, 2017 (82 FR 17175) (FRL-9959-61), EPA issued a document pursuant to FFDCA section 408(d)(3), 21 U.S.C. 346a(d)(3), announcing the filing of a pesticide petition (PP 6E8516) by Interregional Research Project No. 4 (IR-4) Project Headquarters, Rutgers, The State University of NJ, 500 College Road East, Suite 201, W, Princeton, NJ 08540. The petition requested that 40 CFR 180.650 be amended by establishing tolerances for residues of the herbicide isoxaben, N-[3-(1-ethyl-1-methylpropyl)-5-isoxazolyl]-2, 6-dimethoxybenzamide, in or on the raw agricultural commodities apple at 0.01 parts per million (ppm); the bushberry subgroup 13-07B at 0.01 ppm; the fruit, small, vine climbing, except fuzzy kiwifruit, subgroup 13-07F at 0.01 ppm; and the nut, tree, group 14-12 at 0.02 ppm. The petition also requested to remove the tolerances in 40 CFR 180.650 in or on the raw agricultural commodities grape at 0.01 ppm; nut, tree, group 14 at 0.02 ppm; and pistachio at 0.02 ppm. That document referenced a summary of the petition prepared by Dow AgroSciences, the registrant, which is available in the docket, http://www.regulations.gov. Comments were received on the notice of filing. EPA's response to these comments is discussed in Unit IV.C.

    III. Aggregate Risk Assessment and Determination of Safety

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

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

    A. Toxicological Profile

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

    Isoxaben shows low acute toxicity by all routes. In chronic oral studies, the liver (mouse) and kidney (rat) were target organs, and decreased body weight was observed in the rat, mouse, and dog. There was no indication of neurotoxicity or immunotoxicity. No evidence of increased susceptibility was observed in the rat or rabbit developmental toxicity studies, but was observed in the rat reproductive toxicity study only at the limit dose.

    Isoxaben is currently classified as having “suggestive evidence of carcinogenic potential,” based on the presence of liver tumors in male and female mice. Because the tumors were benign and observed at dose levels exceeding the limit dose of 1,000 mg/kg/day and there was low concern for genotoxicity, the cRfD is considered protective of potential carcinogenicity and a quantitative assessment of cancer risk was not conducted.

    Specific information on the studies received and the nature of the adverse effects caused by isoxaben as well as the no-observed-adverse-effect-level (NOAEL) and the lowest-observed-adverse-effect-level (LOAEL) from the toxicity studies can be found at http://www.regulations.gov in the document title “Isoxaben. Aggregate Human Health Risk Assessment to Support Proposed New Uses on Bushberry Subgroup 13-07B and Apple, Crop Group Conversion (Tree Nut Group 14-12), and Crop Group Expansion (Small Vine Climbing Fruit Except Fuzzy Kiwifruit Subgroup 13-07F)” on pages 26-31 in docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0650.

    B. Toxicological Points of Departure/Levels of Concern

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

    A summary of the toxicological endpoints for isoxaben used for human risk assessment is shown in Table 1 of this unit.

    Table 1—Summary of Toxicological Doses and Endpoints for Isoxaben for Use in Human Health Risk Assessment Exposure/scenario Point of departure and uncertainty/
  • safety factors
  • RfD, PAD, LOC for risk assessment Study and toxicological effects
    Acute dietary (All populations) An appropriate endpoint for a single exposure was not identified Chronic dietary (All populations) NOAEL = 5.0 mg/kg/day
  • UFA = 10x
  • UFH = 10x
  • FQPA SF = 1x
  • Chronic RfD = 0.05 mg/kg/day
  • cPAD = 0.05 mg/kg/day.
  • Chronic combined toxicity/Carcinogenicity (oral)—rat.
  • LOAEL = 50.7 mg/kg/day, based on renal toxicity in males.
  • Incidental oral intermediate-term (1 to 6 months) NOAEL = 200 mg/kg/day
  • UFA = 10x
  • UFH = 10x
  • FQPA SF = 1x
  • LOC for MOE = 100 Reproductive toxicity (oral)—rat.
  • Offspring LOAEL = 1,000 mg/kg/day, based on decreased body weight gain in F1 females on day 70, decreased F2 pup weights, gestation survival, live pups/litter, and increased incidence of malformations.
  • One-year dietary study (co-critical supporting study)—rat.
  • LOAEL = 625 mg/kg/day, based on decreased body weight gain in females during the first six months, with a NOAEL of 62.5 mg/kg/day.
  • Inhalation short-term (1 to 30 days) NOAEL = 200 mg/kg/day (inhalation toxicity assumed to be equivalent to oral toxicity)
  • UFA = 10x
  • UFH = 10x
  • FQPA SF = 1x
  • LOC for MOE = 100 Reproductive toxicity (oral)—rat.
  • Offspring LOAEL = 1,000 mg/kg/day, based on decreased body weight gain in F1 females on day 70, decreased F2 pup weights, gestation survival, live pups/litter, and increased incidence of malformations.
  • Inhalation intermediate-term (1 to 6 months) NOAEL = 200 mg/kg/day (inhalation toxicity assumed to be equivalent to oral toxicity)
  • UFA = 10x
  • UFH = 10x
  • FQPA SF = 1x
  • LOC for MOE = 100 Reproductive toxicity (oral)—rat.
  • Offspring LOAEL = 1,000 mg/kg/day, based on decreased body weight gain in F1 females on day 70, decreased F2 pup weights, gestation survival, live pups/litter, and increased incidence of malformations.
  • One-year dietary study (co-critical supporting study)—rat.
  • LOAEL = 625 mg/kg/day, based on decreased body weight gain in females during the first six months, with a NOAEL of 62.5 mg/kg/day.
  • Cancer (Oral, dermal, inhalation) “Suggestive Evidence of Carcinogenic Potential,” based on increased incidence of hepatocellular adenomas in male and female mice. Quantitative assessment of cancer risk using a cancer potency factor is not required. The chronic RfD is protective of potential cancer risk. FQPA SF = Food Quality Protection Act Safety Factor. LOAEL = lowest-observed-adverse-effect-level. LOC = level of concern. mg/kg/day = milligram/kilogram/day. MOE = margin of exposure. NOAEL = no-observed-adverse-effect-level. PAD = population adjusted dose (a = acute, c = chronic). RfD = reference dose. UF = uncertainty factor. UFA = extrapolation from animal to human (interspecies). UFH = potential variation in sensitivity among members of the human population (intraspecies).
    C. Exposure Assessment

    1. Dietary exposure from food and feed uses. In evaluating dietary exposure to isoxaben, EPA considered exposure under the petitioned-for tolerances as well as all existing isoxaben tolerances in 40 CFR 180.650. EPA assessed dietary exposures from isoxaben in food as follows:

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

    No such effects were identified in the toxicological studies for isoxaben; therefore, a quantitative acute dietary exposure assessment is unnecessary.

    ii. Chronic exposure. In conducting the chronic dietary exposure assessment EPA used 2003-2008 food consumption data from the US Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, What We Eat in America (NHANES/WWEIA). As to residue levels in food, EPA assumed tolerance-level residues and 100 percent crop treated (PCT).

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

    iv. Anticipated residue and PCT information. EPA did not use anticipated residue or PCT information in the dietary assessment for isoxaben. Tolerance-level residues and 100 PCT were assumed for all food commodities.

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

    Based on the Surface Water Concentration Calculator (SWCC v1.106) and Pesticide Root Zone Model Ground Water (PRZM GW), the estimated drinking water concentrations (EDWCs) of isoxaben for chronic exposures are estimated to be 43.6 parts per billion (ppb) for surface water and 909 ppb for ground water.

    Modeled estimates of drinking water concentrations were directly entered into the dietary exposure model. For the chronic dietary risk assessment, the water concentration value of 909 ppb was used to assess the contribution to drinking water.

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

    Isoxaben is currently registered for the following uses that could result in residential exposures: Residential turf. EPA assessed residential exposure using the following assumptions: Isoxaben residential uses constitute short- and intermediate-term exposure scenarios. For residential handlers, since a dermal endpoint was not selected, the only route of exposure quantitatively assessed for adult handlers is through inhalation. For post-application exposures, only intermediate-term incidental oral exposures for children were assessed due to the persistence of isoxaben residues in soil. Neither a short-term dermal nor short-term incidental oral endpoint was selected for children. Although there is potential for post-application inhalation exposure of both adults and children, the estimated exposure is anticipated to be negligible; therefore, a quantitative post-application inhalation assessment was not required.

    For the purpose of performing an aggregate assessment, the Agency selected only the most conservative, or worst-case, residential adult and child scenarios to be included in the aggregate, based on the lowest overall MOE (highest exposure estimates). For adults, handler inhalation exposure resulting from the application of a granular formulation of isoxaben to residential lawns via push-type spreader has been used to estimate adult aggregate exposure. (The inhalation exposure was added to background exposure from food and water, and compared to the short-term inhalation POD.) Post-application risks for adults in residential settings were not assessed due to the lack of a dermal endpoint.

    For children, an intermediate-term aggregate assessment was conducted by adding the incidental soil ingestion exposure, and average food and water exposure (chronic dietary exposure). The incidental oral residential exposure value selected for the aggregate analysis is based on children ingesting soil particles containing pesticide residues while playing on treated turf. Due to the persistence of isoxaben in the soil, the Agency used a conservative approach by using the maximum seasonal application rate for estimating soil ingestion by children rather than the standard maximum single application rate. This scenario resulted in the highest calculated exposure levels; therefore, it is protective for all other oral post-application exposure and risk for children in residential settings.

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

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

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

    D. Safety Factor for Infants and Children

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

    2. Prenatal and postnatal sensitivity. No evidence of increased susceptibility was observed in the rat or rabbit developmental toxicity studies, but was observed in the rat reproductive toxicity study only at the limit dose.

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

    i. The toxicity database for isoxaben is adequately complete to allow the Agency to assess the toxicological profile of isoxaben.

    ii. There is no indication that isoxaben is a neurotoxic chemical and there is no need for a developmental neurotoxicity study or additional UFs to account for neurotoxicity.

    iii. No evidence of increased susceptibility was observed in the rat or rabbit developmental toxicity studies, but was observed in the rat reproductive toxicity study only at the limit dose; however, this risk assessment is protective of the susceptibility observed at the limit dose in the reproductive toxicity study.

    iv. There are no residual uncertainties identified in the exposure databases. The dietary food exposure assessments were performed based on 100 PCT and tolerance-level residues. EPA made conservative (protective) assumptions in the ground and surface water modeling used to assess exposure to isoxaben in drinking water. EPA used similarly conservative assumptions to assess post-application exposure of children as well as incidental oral exposure of toddlers. These assessments will not underestimate the exposure and risks posed by isoxaben.

    E. Aggregate Risks and Determination of Safety

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

    1. Acute risk. An acute aggregate risk assessment takes into account acute exposure estimates from dietary consumption of food and drinking water. No adverse effect resulting from a single oral exposure was identified and no acute dietary endpoint was selected. Therefore, isoxaben is not expected to pose an acute risk.

    2. Chronic risk. Using the exposure assumptions described in this unit for chronic exposure, EPA has concluded that chronic exposure to isoxaben from food and water will utilize 98% of the cPAD for all infants less than 1-year old, the population group receiving the greatest exposure. Based on the explanation in Unit III.C.3., regarding residential use patterns, chronic residential exposure to residues of isoxaben is not expected.

    3. Short-term risk. Short-term aggregate exposure takes into account short-term residential exposure plus chronic exposure to food and water (considered to be a background exposure level).

    Isoxaben is currently registered for uses that could result in short-term residential exposure, and the Agency has determined that it is appropriate to aggregate chronic exposure through food and water with short-term residential exposures to isoxaben.

    Using the exposure assumptions described in this unit for short-term exposures, EPA has concluded the combined short-term food, water, and residential exposures result in an aggregate MOE of 6,700 for females 13-49 years old. Because EPA's level of concern for isoxaben is a MOE of 100 or below, this MOE is not of concern.

    4. Intermediate-term risk. Intermediate-term aggregate exposure takes into account intermediate-term residential exposure plus chronic exposure to food and water (considered to be a background exposure level).

    Isoxaben is currently registered for uses that could result in intermediate-term residential exposure, and the Agency has determined that it is appropriate to aggregate chronic exposure through food and water with intermediate-term residential exposures to isoxaben.

    Using the exposure assumptions described in this unit for intermediate-term exposures, EPA has concluded that the combined intermediate-term food, water, and residential exposures result in an aggregate MOE of 7,200 for children 1-2 years old. Because EPA's level of concern for isoxaben is a MOE of 100 or below, this MOE is not of concern.

    5. Aggregate cancer risk for U.S. population. Based on the discussion in Unit III.A., EPA considers the chronic aggregate risk assessment to be protective of any aggregate cancer risk. As there is no chronic risk of concern, EPA does not expect any cancer risk to the U.S. population from aggregate exposure to isoxaben.

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

    IV. Other Considerations A. Analytical Enforcement Methodology

    An adequate residue analytical method (RAM) utilizing liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometric detection (LC/MS/MS), GRM 02.26.S.1 (a revision of GRM 02.26), is available for enforcement of isoxaben residues in crop commodities.

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

    B. International Residue Limits

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

    The Codex has not established any MRLs for isoxaben.

    C. Response to Comments

    Seven comments were received in response to the notice of filing. All of the comments were general in nature, not specific to the chemical isoxaben. They included statements such as “I am not in favor of relaxing requirements on pesticides,” “I am opposed to this proposal,” and “My body doesn't live well on pesticides.”

    The Agency recognizes that some individuals believe that pesticides should be banned on agricultural crops; however, the existing legal framework provided by section 408 of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) states that tolerances may be set when persons seeking such tolerances or exemptions have demonstrated that the pesticide meets the safety standard imposed by that statute. These citizens' comments appear to be directed at the underlying statute and not EPA's implementation of it; the citizens have made no contention that EPA has acted in violation of the statutory framework nor have they provided any specific information or allegation that would support a finding that these tolerances are unsafe.

    V. Conclusion

    Therefore, tolerances are established for residues of isoxaben including its metabolites and degradates, in or on apple at 0.01 ppm; the bushberry subgroup 13-07B at 0.01 ppm; the fruit, small, vine climbing, except fuzzy kiwifruit, subgroup 13-07F at 0.01 ppm; and the nut, tree, group 14-12 at 0.02 ppm. In addition, the following existing tolerances are removed since they are superseded by the new tolerances: Grape, nut, tree, group 14; and pistachio.

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

    VII. Congressional Review Act

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 180

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

    Dated: January 19, 2018. Donna S. Davis, Acting Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.

    Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I is amended as follows:

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

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

    2. In § 180.650, revise the table in paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 180.650 Isoxaben; tolerances for residues.

    (a) * * *

    Commodity Parts per
  • million
  • Almond, hulls 0.40 Apple 0.01 Bushberry subgroup 13-07B 0.01 Fruit, small, vine climbing, except fuzzy kiwifruit, subgroup 13-07F 0.01 Nut, tree, group 14-12 0.02
    [FR Doc. 2018-02346 Filed 2-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 180 [EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0629; FRL-9972-66] Fomesafen; Pesticide Tolerances AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This regulation establishes tolerances for residues of fomesafen in or on the tuberous and corm vegetable subgroup 1C, the legume vegetable group 6, and the low growing berry subgroup 13-07G (except cranberry). Interregional Research Project Number 4 (IR-4) requested these tolerances under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA).

    DATES:

    This regulation is effective February 7, 2018. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before April 9, 2018, and must be filed in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178 (see also Unit I.C. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION).

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0629, is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pesticide Programs Regulatory Public Docket (OPP Docket) in the Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460-0001. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPP Docket is (703) 305-5805. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

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

    • Crop production (NAICS code 111).

    • Animal production (NAICS code 112).

    • Food manufacturing (NAICS code 311).

    • Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS code 32532).

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

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

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

    Under FFDCA section 408(g), 21 U.S.C. 346a, any person may file an objection to any aspect of this regulation and may also request a hearing on those objections. You must file your objection or request a hearing on this regulation in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, you must identify docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0629 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 April 9, 2018. Addresses for mail and hand delivery of objections and hearing requests are provided in 40 CFR 178.25(b).

    In addition to filing an objection or hearing request with the Hearing Clerk as described in 40 CFR part 178, please submit a copy of the filing (excluding any Confidential Business Information (CBI)) for inclusion in the public docket. Information not marked confidential pursuant to 40 CFR part 2 may be disclosed publicly by EPA without prior notice. Submit the non-CBI copy of your objection or hearing request, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0629, by one of the following methods:

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

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

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

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

    II. Summary of Petitioned-For Tolerance

    In the Federal Register of October 21, 2015 (80 FR 63731) (FRL-9935-29), EPA issued a document pursuant to FFDCA section 408(d)(3), 21 U.S.C. 346a(d)(3), announcing the filing of a pesticide petition (PP 5E8395) by Interregional Research Project Number 4 (IR-4), 500 College Road East, Suite 201 W., Princeton, NJ 08540. The petition requested that 40 CFR 180.433 be amended by establishing tolerances for residues of fomesafen, 5-[2-cloro-4-(trifluoromethyl)phenoxy]-N-(methylsulfonyl)-2-nitrobenzamide in or on the following raw agricultural commodities: Vegetable, tuberous and corm, subgroup 1C at 0.025 parts per million (ppm); berry, low growing subgroup 13-07G except cranberry at 0.02 ppm; and vegetable, legume group 6 at 0.05 ppm. The petition also requested to amend 40 CFR 180.433 by removing the existing tolerances on the raw agricultural commodities bean, dry at 0.05 ppm; bean, snap, succulent at 0.05 ppm; bean Lima, succulent at 0.05 ppm; pea, succulent at 0.025 ppm; potato at 0.025 ppm; soybean at 0.05 ppm; and soybean, vegetable succulent at 0.05 ppm. That document referenced a summary of the petition prepared by Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC, the registrant, which is available in the docket, http://www.regulations.gov. Comments were received on the notice of filing. EPA's response to these comments is discussed in Unit IV.C.

    III. Aggregate Risk Assessment and Determination of Safety

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

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

    A. Toxicological Profile

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

    The primary target organs of fomesafen are the liver and hematological system. Generally, hyalinization of hepatocytes provided the most sensitive toxicological endpoint (intermediate, and long term) in mammals. In the subchronic and chronic toxicity studies in rats and mice, food consumption, food efficiency, body weight, body weight gain, and histopathological changes in the liver were parameters that were most often affected. In addition, dogs, rats, and mice also showed hematological changes (e.g., decreased erythrocyte count, hemoglobin, or hematocrit). No progression of hematological effects was observed beyond 90 days. Neurotoxicity (decreased motor activity) was observed at doses above those causing liver toxicity or impacting hematological parameters. Post-implantation loss was noted in the developmental study, but no quantitative or qualitative evidence of increased susceptibility was seen following in utero exposure to rats or rabbits in developmental studies or in the reproduction study. As the etiology of the post-implantation loss is unknown, it is considered to be both a maternal and fetal endpoint. Fomesafen can result in suppression of anti-SRBC IgM response; however, this immunotoxic potential was noted only at high doses.

    Carcinogenicity was not observed in the rat chronic toxicity/carcinogenicity study. Liver tumors were produced in the mouse carcinogenicity study; however, the Agency determined that fomesafen should be classified as “Not Likely to be Carcinogenic to Humans.” This decision was based on the weight-of-evidence which supports activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARα) as the mode of action for fomesafen-induced hepatocarcinogenesis in mice. Fomesafen was not considered to be mutagenic.

    Specific information on the studies received and the nature of the adverse effects caused by fomesafen as well as the no-observed-adverse-effect-level (NOAEL) and the lowest-observed-adverse-effect-level (LOAEL) from the toxicity studies can be found at http://www.regulations.gov in the document titled “Fomesafen: Draft Human Health Risk Assessment for Registration Review and for the Section 3 Registration Action on Tuberous and Corm Vegetables (Crop Group 1C), Legume Vegetable (Crop Group 6) and Low Growing Berry (Except Cranberry) (Crop Group 13-07G)” on pages 36-45 in docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0629.

    B. Toxicological Points of Departure/Levels of Concern

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

    A summary of the toxicological endpoints for fomesafen used for human risk assessment is shown in the Table of this unit.

    Table—Summary of Toxicological Doses and Endpoints for Fomesafen for Use in Human Health Risk Assessment Exposure/scenario Point of departure and uncertainty/
  • safety factors
  • RfD, PAD, LOC for risk assessment Study and toxicological effects
    Acute dietary (Females 13-49 years of age) No toxic effects of fomesafen attributable to a single dose and specific to females of ages 13-49 were found in the database. Acute dietary (General population including infants and children) NOAEL = 100 mg/kg/day
  • UFA = 10x
  • UFH = 10x
  • FQPA SF = 1x
  • Acute RfD = 1 mg/kg/day
  • aPAD = 1 mg/kg/day
  • Acute neurotoxicity test in rats.
  • LOAEL = 250 mg/kg/day based on decreased motor activity (horizontal and vertical activity and time in central quadrant) in males.
  • Chronic dietary (All populations) NOAEL = 1 mg/kg/day
  • UFA = 10x
  • UFH = 10x
  • FQPA SF = 1x
  • Chronic RfD = 0.01 mg/kg/day
  • cPAD = 0.01 mg/kg/day.
  • Subchronic toxicity in the dog.
  • LOAEL = 25 mg/kg/day based on hematology (decreased hemoglobin and hematocrit concentrations and erythrocyte count and increased platelet count and prothrombin time).
  • Cancer (Oral, dermal, inhalation) Classification: The Agency has classified Fomesafen as “Not Likely to be Carcinogenic to Humans” FQPA SF = Food Quality Protection Act Safety Factor. LOAEL = lowest-observed-adverse-effect-level. LOC = level of concern. mg/kg/day = milligram/kilogram/day. MOE = margin of exposure. NOAEL = no-observed-adverse-effect-level. PAD = population adjusted dose (a = acute, c = chronic). RfD = reference dose. UF = uncertainty factor. UFA = extrapolation from animal to human (interspecies). UFH = potential variation in sensitivity among members of the human population (intraspecies).
    C. Exposure Assessment

    1. Dietary exposure from food and feed uses. In evaluating dietary exposure to fomesafen, EPA considered exposure under the petitioned-for tolerances as well as all existing fomesafen tolerances in 40 CFR 180.433. EPA assessed dietary exposures from fomesafen in food as follows:

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

    Such effects were identified for fomesafen. In estimating acute dietary exposure, EPA used 2003-2008 food consumption data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, What We Eat in America, (NHANES/WWEIA). As to residue levels in food, EPA assumed tolerance level residues and 100 percent crop treated (PCT).

    ii. Chronic exposure. In conducting the chronic dietary exposure assessment EPA used 2003-2008 food consumption data from the USDA's NHANES/WWEIA. As to residue levels in food, EPA assumed tolerance level residues and 100 PCT.

    iii. Cancer. Based on the data summarized in Unit III.A., EPA has concluded that fomesafen does not pose a cancer risk to humans. Therefore, a dietary exposure assessment for the purpose of assessing cancer risk is unnecessary.

    iv. Anticipated residue and PCT information. EPA did not use anticipated residue or PCT information in the dietary assessment for fomesafen. Tolerance level residues and 100 PCT were assumed for all food commodities.

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

    Based on the Pesticide in Water Calculator (PWC) model (Version 1.52) the estimated drinking water concentrations (EDWCs) of fomesafen for acute exposures are estimated to be 168 parts per billion (ppb) and for chronic exposures are estimated to be 125 ppb. These modeled estimates of drinking water concentrations were directly entered into the dietary exposure model.

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

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

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

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

    D. Safety Factor for Infants and Children

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

    2. Prenatal and postnatal sensitivity. There is no evidence of increased susceptibility of rat fetuses to in utero exposure to fomesafen. Post-implantation loss was observed in the rat developmental toxicity study. However, as the etiology of the effect is unknown, it is considered to be a part of both a maternal and fetal effect. The 2-generation reproduction study in rats did not show evidence of increased susceptibility to fomesafen. Although the developmental toxicity study in rabbits was classified as unacceptable due to mortality from bacterial infections, there was adequate information to show that there was no evidence of increased susceptibility of rabbit fetuses due to the treatment with fomesafen.

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

    i. The toxicology database for fomesafen is complete and sufficient for assessing potential susceptibility to infants and children. Although the developmental toxicity study in rabbits was classified unacceptable due to mortality from bacterial infections, there was no evidence of increased susceptibility of rabbit fetuses due to the treatment with fomesafen. Therefore, the lack of an acceptable developmental toxicity study in non-rodents is not considered a data gap.

    ii. There is no need for a developmental neurotoxicity study or a need to retain the FQPA SF to account for the lack of such study. Decreased motor activity (horizontal and vertical activity and time in central quadrant) was observed in male rats in the acute neurotoxicity screening battery. In the subchronic neurotoxicity test, neither general systemic toxicity nor neurotoxicity was observed at the highest dose tested. All points of departure used in the risk assessment are protective of potential neurotoxicity.

    iii. There is no evidence that fomesafen results in increased susceptibility in in utero rats in the prenatal developmental studies or in young rats in the 2-generation reproduction study. Although the developmental toxicity study in rabbits was classified as unacceptable due to mortality from bacterial infections, there was adequate information to show that there was no evidence of increased susceptibility of rabbit fetuses due to the treatment with fomesafen.

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

    E. Aggregate Risks and Determination of Safety

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

    1. Acute risk. Using the exposure assumptions discussed in this unit for acute exposure, the acute dietary exposure from food and water to fomesafen will occupy 2.9% of the aPAD for all infants less than 1-years old, the population group receiving the greatest exposure.

    2. Chronic risk. Using the exposure assumptions described in this unit for chronic exposure, EPA has concluded that chronic exposure to fomesafen from food and water will utilize 70% of the cPAD for all infants less than 1 year old, the population group receiving the greatest exposure. There are no residential uses for fomesafen.

    3. Short- and Intermediate-term risk. Short- and intermediate-term aggregate exposure takes into account short- and intermediate-term residential exposure plus chronic exposure to food and water (considered to be a background exposure level).

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

    4. Aggregate cancer risk for U.S. population. Based on the lack of evidence of carcinogenicity in two adequate rodent carcinogenicity studies, fomesafen is not expected to pose a cancer risk to humans.

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

    IV. Other Considerations A. Analytical Enforcement Methodology

    Adequate residue analytical methods are available for the purpose of fomesafen tolerance enforcement for plant commodities. A high performance liquid chromatography method with tandem mass spectrometry detection (LC/MS/MS) method (GRM045.01A) has previously been submitted as an enforcement method. The method uses extraction procedures similar to previous methods, SPE cleanup procedures, and the final determination step by LC/MS/MS for analysis of fomesafen residues. The validated limit of quantitation (LOQ) of the method is 0.02 ppm.

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

    B. International Residue Limits

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

    The Codex has not established any MRLs for fomesafen.

    C. Response to Comments

    Two comments were received in response to the notice of filing. The first was related to a different chemical, azoxystrobin, and is therefore not relevant to this action. The second was from the Center for Biological Diversity and centered primarily around impacts on endangered and threatened species. This comment is not relevant to the Agency's evaluation of safety of the fomesafen tolerances under section 408 of the FFDCA, which requires the Agency to evaluate the potential harms to human health, not effects on the environment.

    V. Conclusion

    Therefore, tolerances are established for residues of fomesafen, including its metabolites and degradates, in or on the following commodities: Berry, low growing, subgroup 13-07G, except cranberry at 0.02 ppm; vegetable, legume, group 6 at 0.05 ppm; and vegetable, tuberous and corm, subgroup 1C at 0.025 ppm. In addition, the following existing tolerances are removed as unnecessary since they are superseded by the newly established tolerances: Bean, dry at 0.05 ppm; bean, lima, succulent at 0.05 ppm; bean, snap, succulent at 0.05 ppm; pea, succulent at 0.025 ppm; potato at 0.025 ppm; soybean at 0.05 ppm; and soybean, vegetable, succulent at 0.05 ppm.

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    This action establishes tolerances under FFDCA section 408(d) in response to a petition submitted to the Agency. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has exempted these types of actions from review under Executive Order 12866, entitled “Regulatory Planning and Review” (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993). Because this action has been exempted from review under Executive Order 12866, this action is not subject to Executive Order 13211, entitled “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use” (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001); 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 final rule, do not require the issuance of a proposed rule, the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), do not apply.

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

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

    VII. Congressional Review Act

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 180

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

    Dated: January 25, 2018. Michael L. Goodis, Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.

    Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I is amended as follows:

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

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

    2. In § 180.433, amend the table in paragraph (a) by: i. Removing the commodities “Bean, dry”; “Bean, lima, succulent”; and “Bean, snap, succulent”; ii. Adding alphabetically the commodity “Berry, low growing, subgroup 13-07G, except cranberry”; iii. Removing the commodities “Pea, succulent”; “Potato”; “Soybean”; and “Soybean, vegetable, succulent”; and iv. Adding alphabetically the commodities “Vegetable, legume, group 6” and “Vegetable, tuberous and corm, subgroup 1C”.

    The additions read as follows:

    § 180.433 Fomesafen; tolerances for residues.

    (a) * * *

    Commodity Parts per
  • million
  • *    *    *    *    * Berry, low growing, subgroup 13-07G, except cranberry 0.02 *    *    *    *    * Vegetable, legume, group 6 0.05 Vegetable, tuberous and corm, subgroup 1C 0.025 *    *    *    *    *
    [FR Doc. 2018-02344 Filed 2-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 241 [EPA-HQ-OLEM-2016-0248; FRL-9969-80-OLEM] RIN 2050-AG83 Additions to List of Categorical Non-Waste Fuels: Other Treated Railroad Ties AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is issuing amendments to the Non-Hazardous Secondary Materials regulations, which generally established standards and procedures for identifying whether non-hazardous secondary materials are solid wastes when used as fuels or ingredients in combustion units. In February 2013, the EPA listed particular non-hazardous secondary materials as “categorical non-waste fuels” provided certain conditions are met. This final rule adds the following other treated railroad ties (OTRT) to the categorical non-waste fuel list: Processed creosote-borate, copper naphthenate and copper naphthenate-borate treated railroad ties, under certain conditions depending on the chemical treatment.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective February 7, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    The EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OLEM-2016-0248. All documents in the docket are listed on the https://www.regulations.gov website. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically at https://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the RCRA Docket, EPA/DC, EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC. 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 RCRA Docket is (202) 566-0270.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    George Faison, Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery, Materials Recovery and Waste Management Division, MC 5303P, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (703) 305-7652; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The following outline is provided to aid in locating information in this preamble.

    I. General Information A. List of Abbreviations and Acronyms Used in This Final Rule B. What is the statutory authority for this final rule? C. Does this action apply to me? D. What is the purpose of this final rule? E. Effective Date II. Background A. History of the NHSM Rulemakings B. Background to This Final Rule C. How will EPA make categorical non-waste determinations? III. Comments on the Proposed Rule and Rationale for Final Decisions A. Detailed Description of OTRTs B. OTRTs Under Current NHSM Rules C. Scope of the Final Categorical Non-Waste Listing for OTRTs D. Rationale for Final Rule E. Copper and Borates Literature Review and Other EPA Program Summary F. Summary of Comments Requested G. Responses to Comments IV. Effect of This Final Rule on Other Programs V. State Authority A. Relationship to State Programs B. State Adoption of the Rulemaking VI. Costs and Benefits VII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews 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 Risks and Safety Risks I. Executive Order 13211: Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use J. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) K. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations L. Congressional Review Act (CRA) I. General Information A. List of abbreviations and acronyms used in this final rule AWPA American Wood Protection Association Btu British thermal unit C&D Construction and demolition CAA Clean Air Act CBI Confidential business information CFR Code of Federal Regulations CISWI Commercial and Industrial Solid Waste Incinerator CTRT Creosote-treated railroad ties EPA U.S. Environmental Protection Agency FR Federal Register HAP Hazardous air pollutant MACT Maximum achievable control technology MDL Method detection limit NAICS North American Industrial Classification System ND Non-detect NESHAP National emission standards for hazardous air pollutants NHSM Non-hazardous secondary material OMB Office of Management and Budget OTRT Other Treated Railroad Ties PAH Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons ppm Parts per million RCRA Resource Conservation and Recovery Act RIN Regulatory information number RL Reporting Limits SBA Small Business Administration SO2 Sulfur dioxide SVOC Semi-volatile organic compound TCLP Toxicity characteristic leaching procedure UPL Upper prediction limit U.S.C. United States Code VOC Volatile organic compound B. What is the statutory authority for this final rule?

    The EPA is amending 40 CFR 241.4(a) to list additional non-hazardous secondary materials (NHSMs) as categorical non-waste fuels under the authority of sections 2002(a)(1) and 1004(27) of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), as amended, 42 U.S.C. 6912(a)(1) and 6903(27). Section 129(a)(1)(D) of the Clean Air Act (CAA) directs the EPA to establish standards for Commercial and Industrial Solid Waste Incinerators (CISWI), which burn solid waste. Section 129(g)(6) of the CAA provides that the term “solid waste” is to be established by the EPA under RCRA (42 U.S.C. 7429(g)(6)). Section 2002(a)(1) of RCRA authorizes the Agency to promulgate regulations as are necessary to carry out its functions under the Act. The statutory definition of “solid waste” is stated in RCRA section 1004(27).

    C. Does this action apply to me?

    Categories and entities potentially affected by this action, either directly or indirectly, include, but may not be limited to the following:

    Generators and Potential Users a of the New Materials To Be Added to the List of Categorical Non-Waste Fuels Primary Industry Category or Sub Category NAICS b Utilities 221 Site Preparation Contractors 238910 Manufacturing 31, 32, 33 Wood Product Manufacturing 321 Sawmills 321113 Wood Preservation (includes crosstie creosote treating) 321114 Pulp, Paper, and Paper Products 322 Cement manufacturing 32731 Railroads (includes line haul and short line) 482 Scenic and Sightseeing Transportation, Land (Includes: railroad, scenic and sightseeing) 487110 Port and Harbor Operations (Used railroad ties) 488310 Landscaping Services 561730 Solid Waste Collection 562111 Solid Waste Landfill 562212 Solid Waste Combustors and Incinerators 562213 Marinas 713930 a Includes: Major Source Boilers, Area Source Boilers, and Solid Waste Incinerators. b NAICS—North American Industrial Classification System.

    This table is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a guide for readers regarding entities potentially impacted by this action. This table lists examples of the types of entities of which EPA is aware that could potentially be affected by this action. Other types of entities not listed could also be affected. To determine whether your facility, company, business, organization, etc., is affected by this action, you should examine the applicability criteria in this rule. If you have any questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular entity, consult the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

    D. What is the purpose of this final rule?

    The RCRA statute defines “solid waste” as “any garbage, refuse, sludge from a waste treatment plant, water supply treatment plant, or air pollution control facility and other discarded material . . . resulting from industrial, commercial, mining, and agricultural operations, and from community activities.” (RCRA section 1004(27) (emphasis added)). The key concept is that of “discard” and, in fact, this definition turns on the meaning of the phrase, “other discarded material,” since this term encompasses all other examples provided in the definition.

    The meaning of “solid waste,” as defined under RCRA, is of particular importance as it relates to section 129 of the CAA. If material is a solid waste, under RCRA, a combustion unit burning it is required to meet the CAA section 129 emission standards for solid waste incineration units. If the material is not a solid waste, combustion units are required to meet the CAA section 112 emission standards for commercial, industrial, and institutional boilers, or if the combustion unit is a cement kiln, the CAA 112 standards for Portland cement kilns. Under CAA section 129, the term “solid waste incineration unit” is defined, in pertinent part, to mean “a distinct operating unit of any facility which combusts any solid waste material from commercial or industrial establishments.” 42 U.S.C. 7429(g)(1). CAA section 129 further states that the term “solid waste” shall have the meaning “established by the Administrator pursuant to the Solid Waste Disposal Act.” Id at 7429(g)(6). The Solid Waste Disposal Act, as amended, is commonly referred to as the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act or RCRA.

    Regulations concerning NHSMs used as fuels or ingredients in combustion units are codified in 40 CFR part 241.1 This action amends the part 241 regulations by adding three NHSMs, summarized below, to the list of categorical non-waste fuels codified in § 241.4(a):

    1See 40 CFR 241.2 for the definition of non-hazardous secondary material.

    (1) Creosote-borate treated railroad ties, and mixtures of creosote, borate and/or copper naphthenate treated railroad ties that are processed and then combusted in:

    (i) Units designed to burn both biomass and fuel oil as part of normal operations and not solely as part of start-up or shut-down operations, and

    (ii) Units at major source pulp and paper mills or power producers subject to 40 CFR part 63, subpart DDDDD, designed to burn biomass and fuel oil as part of normal operations and not solely as part of start-up or shut-down operations, but are modified in order to use natural gas instead of fuel oil. The creosote-borate and mixed creosote, borate and copper naphthenate treated railroad ties may continue to be combusted as product fuel only if certain conditions are met, which are intended to ensure that such railroad ties are not being discarded.

    (iii) Units meeting requirements in (i) or (ii) that are also designed to burn coal.

    (2) Copper naphthenate treated railroad ties that are processed and then combusted in units designed to burn biomass, biomass and fuel oil, or biomass and coal.

    (3) Copper naphthenate-borate treated railroad ties that are processed and then combusted in units designed to burn biomass, biomass and fuel oil, or biomass and coal.

    E. Effective Date

    The Administrative Procedure Act requires publication of a substantive rule 30 days or more before the effective date unless one of the following conditions in 5 U.S.C. 553(d) are met:

    (1)A substantive rule which grants or recognizes an exemption or relieves a restriction;

    (2) interpretative rules and statements of policy; or

    (3) as otherwise provided by the agency for good cause found and published with the rule.

    This final rule establishing an OTRT non-waste categorical determination satisfies 553(d)(1) in that it relieves a restriction by allowing OTRTs to be combusted as non-waste rather than as waste when certain conditions are met as described below in Section III. OTRTs represent a relatively small percentage of the railroad ties in use with the majority being creosote treated railroad ties (CTRTs). When the railroad ties are taken out of service and used as fuel, there is no way to distinguish between the OTRTs and the CTRTs. In order to ensure that CTRTs mixed with OTRTs are not considered a waste, EPA is making this final rule effective immediately and providing regulatory certainty. II. Background A. History of the NHSM Rulemakings

    The Agency first solicited comments on how the RCRA definition of solid waste should apply to NHSMs when used as fuels or ingredients in combustion units in an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM), which was published in the Federal Register on January 2, 2009 (74 FR 41). We then published an NHSM proposed rule on June 4, 2010 (75 FR 31844), which the EPA made final on March 21, 2011 (76 FR 15456).

    In the March 21, 2011 (76 FR 15456) rule, the EPA finalized standards and procedures to be used to identify whether NHSMs are solid wastes when used as fuels or ingredients in combustion units. “Secondary material” was defined for the purposes of that rulemaking as any material that is not the primary product of a manufacturing or commercial process, and can include post-consumer material, off-specification commercial chemical products or manufacturing chemical intermediates, post-industrial material, and scrap (codified in 40 CFR 241.2). “Non-hazardous secondary material” is a secondary material that, when discarded, would not be identified as a hazardous waste under 40 CFR part 261 (codified in 40 CFR 241.2). Traditional fuels, including historically managed traditional fuels (e.g., coal, oil, natural gas) and “alternative” traditional fuels (e.g., clean cellulosic biomass) are not secondary materials and thus, are not solid wastes under the rule unless discarded (codified in 40 CFR 241.2).

    A key concept under the March 21, 2011 rule is that NHSMs used as non-waste fuels and ingredients in combustion units must meet the legitimacy criteria specified in 40 CFR 241.3(d)(1). Application of the legitimacy criteria helps ensure that the fuel product is being legitimately and beneficially used and not simply being discarded through combustion (i.e., via sham recycling). To meet the legitimacy criteria, the NHSM must be managed as a valuable commodity, have a meaningful heating value and be used as a fuel in a combustion unit that recovers energy, and contain contaminants or groups of contaminants 2 at concentrations comparable to (or lower than) those in traditional fuels which the combustion unit is designed to burn. For NHSMs used as an ingredient, in addition to the other listed criteria, the ingredient must be used to make a valuable product.

    2 For additional information on grouping of contaminants see 78 FR 9146.

    Based on these criteria, the March 21, 2011 rule identified the following NHSMs as not being solid wastes:

    • The NHSM is used as a fuel and remains under the control of the generator (whether at the site of generation or another site the generator has control over) that meets the legitimacy criteria (40 CFR 241.3(b)(1));

    • The NHSM is used as an ingredient in a manufacturing process (whether by the generator or outside the control of the generator) that meets the legitimacy criteria (40 CFR 241.3(b)(3));

    • Discarded NHSM that has been sufficiently processed to produce a fuel or ingredient that meets the legitimacy criteria (40 CFR 241.3(b)(4)); or

    • Through a case-by-case petition process, it has been determined that the NHSM handled outside the control of the generator has not been discarded and is indistinguishable in all relevant aspects from a fuel product, and meets the legitimacy criteria (40 CFR 241.3(c)).

    In October 2011, the Agency announced it would be initiating a new rulemaking proceeding to revise certain aspects of the NHSM rule.3 On February 7, 2013, the EPA published a final rule, which addressed specific targeted amendments and clarifications to the 40 CFR part 241 regulations (78 FR 9112). These revisions and clarifications were limited to certain issues on which the Agency had received new information, as well as targeted revisions that the Agency believed were appropriate in order to allow implementation of the rule as the EPA originally intended. The amendments modified 40 CFR 241.2 and 241.3, added 40 CFR 241.4, and included the following: 4

    3See October 14, 2011, Letter from Administrator Lisa P. Jackson to Senator Olympia Snowe. A copy of this letter is in the docket for the February 7, 2013 final rule (EPA-HQ-RCRA-2008-1873).

    4See 78 FR 9112 (February 7, 2013) for a discussion of the rule and the Agency's basis for its decisions.

    Revised Definitions: The EPA revised three definitions discussed in the proposed rule: (1) “Clean cellulosic biomass,” (2) “contaminants,” and (3) “established tire collection program.” In addition, based on comments received on the proposed rule, the Agency revised the definition of “resinated wood.”

    Contaminant Legitimacy Criterion for NHSMs Used as Fuels: The EPA issued revised contaminant legitimacy criterion for NHSMs used as fuels to provide additional details on how contaminant-specific comparisons between NHSMs and traditional fuels may be made.

    Categorical Non-Waste Determinations for Specific NHSMs Used as Fuels. The EPA codified determinations that certain NHSMs are non-wastes when used as fuels. If a material is categorically listed as a non-waste fuel, persons that generate or burn these NHSMs will not need to make individual determinations, as required under the existing rules, that these NHSMs meet the legitimacy criteria. Except where otherwise noted, combustors of these materials will not be required to provide further information demonstrating their non-waste status. Based on all available information, the EPA determined the following NHSMs are not solid wastes when burned as a fuel in combustion units and categorically listed them in 40 CFR 241.4(a).5

    5 In the March 21, 2011 NHSM rule (76 FR 15456), EPA identified two NHSMs as not being solid wastes, although persons would still need to make individual determinations that these NHSMs meet the legitimacy criteria: (1) Scrap tires used in a combustion unit that are removed from vehicles and managed under the oversight of established tire collection programs and (2) resinated wood used in a combustion unit. However, in the February 2013 NHSM rule, the Agency amended the regulations and listed these NHSMs as categorical non-waste fuels.

    —Scrap tires that are not discarded and are managed under the oversight of established tire collection programs, including tires removed from vehicles and off-specification tires; —Resinated wood; —Coal refuse that has been recovered from legacy piles and processed in the same manner as currently-generated coal that would have been refuse if mined in the past; —Dewatered pulp and paper sludges that are not discarded and are generated and burned on-site by pulp and paper mills that burn a significant portion of such materials where such dewatered residuals are managed in a manner that preserves the meaningful heating value of the materials.

    Rulemaking Petition Process for Other Categorical Non-Waste Determinations: EPA made final a process in 40 CFR 241.4(b) that provides persons an opportunity to submit a rulemaking petition to the Administrator, seeking a determination for additional NHSMs to be categorically listed in 40 CFR 241.4(a) as non-waste fuels, if they can demonstrate that the NHSM meets the legitimacy criteria or, after balancing the legitimacy criteria with other relevant factors, EPA determines that the NHSM is not a solid waste when used as a fuel.

    The February 8, 2016 final rule amendments (81 FR 6688) added the following to the list of categorical non-waste fuels:

    • Construction and demolition (C&D) wood processed from C&D debris according to best management practices. Under this listing, combustors of C&D wood must obtain a written certification from C&D processing facilities that the C&D wood has been processed by trained operators in accordance with best management practices. Best management practices must include sorting by trained operators that excludes or removes the following materials from the final product fuel: non-wood materials (e.g., polyvinyl chloride and other plastics, drywall, concrete, aggregates, dirt, and asbestos), and wood treated with creosote, pentachlorophenol, chromated copper arsenate, or other copper, chromium, or arsenical preservatives. Additional required best management practices address removal of lead-painted wood.

    • Paper recycling residuals generated from the recycling of recovered paper, paperboard and corrugated containers and combusted by paper recycling mills whose boilers are designed to burn solid fuel.

    • Creosote-treated railroad ties (CTRT) that are processed (which includes metal removal and shredding or grinding at a minimum) and then combusted in the following types of units:

    ○ Units designed to burn both biomass and fuel oil as part of normal operations and not solely as part of start-up or shut-down operations, and

    ○ Units at major source pulp and paper mills or power producers subject to 40 CFR part 63, subpart DDDDD, that combust CTRTs and had been designed to burn biomass and fuel oil, but are modified (e.g., oil delivery mechanisms are removed) in order to use natural gas instead of fuel oil, as part of normal operations and not solely as part of start-up or shut-down operations. The CTRTs may continue to be combusted as product fuel only if the following conditions are met, which are intended to ensure that the CTRTs are not being discarded: CTRTs must be burned in existing (i.e., commenced construction prior to April 14, 2014) stoker, bubbling bed, fluidized bed, or hybrid suspension grate boilers; and, CTRTs can comprise no more than 40 percent of the fuel that is used on an annual heat input basis.

    Based on these non-waste categorical determinations, as discussed previously, facilities burning NHSMs that meet the categorical listing description will not need to make individual determinations that the NHSM meets the legitimacy criteria or provide further information demonstrating their non-waste status on a site-by-site basis, provided they meet the conditions of the categorical listing.

    B. Background to This Final Rule

    The Agency received a petition from the Treated Wood Council (TWC) in April 2013 6 requesting that various nonhazardous treated wood (including borate and copper naphthenate) be categorically listed as non-waste fuels in 40 CFR 241.4(a). Under the April 2013 petition, nonhazardous treated wood included: waterborne borate based preservatives; waterborne organic based preservatives; waterborne copper based wood preservatives (ammoniacal/alkaline copper quat, copper azole, copper HDO, alkaline copper betaine, or copper naphthenate); creosote; oil borne copper naphthenate; pentachlorophenol; or dual-treated with any of the above.

    6 Included in the docket for the February 2016 final rule—EPA-HQ-RCRA-2013-0110-0056.

    In the course of EPA's review of the April 2013 petition, additional data was requested and received, and meetings were held between TWC and EPA representatives. Overall, the EPA review determined that there were limited data points available and the analytical techniques for some contaminants were not appropriate to provide information on the entire preserved wood sample as it would be combusted. EPA also questioned the representativeness of the samples being analyzed and the repeatability of the analyses.

    In the subsequent August 21, 2015 letter from TWC to Barnes Johnson,7 TWC requested that the Agency move forward on a subset of materials that were identified in the original April 2013 petition which are creosote borate, copper naphthenate, and copper naphthenate-borate treated railroad ties. In the letter, TWC indicated that these types of ties are increasingly being used as alternatives to CTRT, due, in part, to lower overall contaminant levels and because the ability to reuse these new types of treated ties as fuel is an important consideration in overall rail tie purchasing decisions. Other industry information claimed that these treatments have proven to increase decay resistance for ties in severe decay environments and for species that are difficult to treat with creosote alone.8

    7 Included in the docket for the February 2016 final rule. Follow-up meetings were also held with TWC on September 14, 2015 and December 17, 2015 summaries of which are also included in that docket.

    8 Railway Tie Association “Frequently Asked Questions” available on http://www.rta.org/faqs.

    The Agency reviewed TWC's information on the three types of treated railroad ties, creosote borate, copper naphthenate, and copper naphthenate-borate, submitted on September 11, 2015 and requested additional contaminant data, which was submitted on October 5, 2015 and October 19, 2015.9 Based on that information, EPA stated in the February 2016 final rule that we believe these three treated railroad ties are candidates for categorical non-waste listings and expected to begin development of a proposed rule under 40 CFR 241.4(a) regarding those listings in the near future. That proposed rule was issued November 1, 2016 (81 FR 75781).

    9 These data submissions and the letter from TWC on August 21, 2015 are included in the docket for this rule.

    C. How will EPA make categorical non-waste determinations?

    The February 7, 2013 revisions to the NHSM rule discuss the process and decision criteria whereby the Agency would make additional categorical non-waste determinations (78 FR 9158). These determinations follow the weight-of-evidence criteria set out in 40 CFR 241.4(b)(5), which the Agency established to assess additional categorical non-waste petitions and follow the statutory standards as interpreted by the EPA in the NHSM rule for deciding whether secondary materials qualify as solid wastes. Those criteria include: (1) Whether each NHSM has not been discarded in the first instance (i.e., was not initially abandoned or thrown away) and is legitimately used as a fuel in a combustion unit or, if discarded, has been sufficiently processed into a material that is legitimately used as a fuel; and, (2) if the NHSM does not meet the legitimacy criteria described in 40 CFR 241.3(d)(1), whether the NHSM is integrally tied to the industrial production process, the NHSM is functionally the same as the comparable traditional fuel, or other relevant factors as appropriate.

    Based on the information in the rulemaking record and comments received, the Agency is finalizing amendments to 40 CFR 241.4(a) by listing three other types of treated railroad ties as categorical non-waste fuels, in addition to CTRTs added in February 2016. Specific determinations regarding these other treated railroad ties (OTRTs, i.e., creosote-borate, copper naphthenate, copper naphthenate-borate; and, mixtures of creosote, borate and/or copper naphthenate treated railroad ties) and how the information was assessed by EPA according to the criteria in 40 CFR 241.4(b)(5), are discussed in detail in section III of this preamble.

    The rulemaking record for this rule (i.e., EPA-HQ-RCRA-2016-0248) includes those documents and information submitted specifically to support a determination as to whether certain OTRTs should be listed as a categorical non-waste fuel. However, the principles used to determine categorical listings are based on the NHSM rules promulgated over the past few years. While EPA is not formally including in the record for this rule materials supporting the previous NHSM rulemakings, the Agency is nevertheless issuing this rule consistent with the NHSM regulations and the supporting records for those rules. This rulemaking in no way reopens any issues resolved in previous NHSM rulemakings. It simply responds to a petition in accordance with the standards and procedures outlined in the existing NHSM regulations.

    III. Comments on the Proposed Rule and Rationale for Final Decisions

    The following sections provide the Agency rationale for its determination that OTRTs are appropriate for listing in § 241.4(a) as categorical non-wastes when burned as a fuel in prescribed combustion units. It also addresses major comments the Agency received on the November 1, 2016 NHSM OTRT proposed rule (81 FR 75781). That proposal explained the status of OTRT under current rules, discussed information received during previous rulemakings, as well as the scope of the proposed categorical non-waste fuel listings. The proposed rationale for the listings is found at 81 FR 75788-96 and is incorporated into this final rule, along with all sources referenced in that discussion and cited therein. The final decision in this rule is based on the information in the proposal, comments received on the proposal and supporting materials in the rulemaking record. Any changes from the proposed rule made to the final rule are identified below.

    A. Detailed Description of OTRTs 1. Processing

    As described in the proposed rulemaking (81 FR 75781, November 1, 2016 (page 75785)), industry representatives stated that the removal of OTRTs from service and processing of those ties into a product fuel is similar to processing of CTRTs described in the February 2016 rule.10 OTRTs are typically comprised of North American hardwoods that have been treated with a wood preservative. The removal from service, processing and use as a fuel happens through three parties: the generator of the crossties (railroad or utility); the reclamation company that sorts the crossties, and in some cases processes the material received from the generator; and the combustor as third party energy producers. Typically, ownership of the OTRTs are generally transferred directly from the generator to the reclamation company that sorts materials for highest value secondary uses, and then sells the products to end-users, including those combusting the material as fuel. Some reclamation companies sell OTRTs to processors who remove metal contaminants and grind the ties into chipped wood. Other reclamation companies have their own grinders, do their own contaminant removal, and can sell directly to the combusting facilities. Information submitted to the Agency indicates there are approximately 15 recovery companies in North America with industry-wide revenues of $65-75 million.

    10 81 FR 6688 The OTRTs removed from service are considered discarded because they can be stored for long periods of time without a final determination regarding their final end use. In order for them to be considered a non-waste fuel, they must be processed, thus transforming the OTRTs into a product fuel that meets the legitimacy criteria. (81 FR 75788; November 1, 2016).

    After crossties are removed from service, they are transferred for sorting/processing, but in some cases, they may be temporarily stored in the railroad rights-of-way or at another location selected by the reclamation company. One information source 11 indicated that when the crossties are temporarily stored, they are stored until their value as an alternative fuel can be realized, generally through a contract completed for transferal of ownership to the reclamation contractor or combustor. This means that not all OTRTs originate from crossties removed from service in the same year; some OTRTs are processed from crossties removed from service in prior years and stored by railroads or removal/reclamation companies until their value as a landscaping element or fuel could be realized.

    11 M.A. Energy Resources LLC, Petition submitted to Administrator, EPA, February 2013.

    Typically, reclamation companies receive OTRTs by rail. The processing of the crossties into fuel by the reclamation/processing companies involves several steps. Contaminant metals (spikes, nails, plates, etc.) undergo initial separation and removal by the user organization (railroad company) during inspection. At the reclamation company, the crossties are then ground or shredded to a specified size depending on the particular needs of the end-use combustor, with chip size typically between 1-2 inches. Such grinding and shredding facilitates handling, storage and metering to the combustion chamber. By achieving a uniform particle size, combustion efficiency will be improved due to the uniform and controlled fuel feed rate and the ability to regulate the air supply. Additionally, the size reduction process exposes a greater surface area of the particle prior to combustion, releasing any moisture more rapidly, and thereby enhancing its heating value. This step may occur in several phases, including primary and secondary grinding, or in a single phase. Additional metal removal may also occur after shredding.

    Once the crossties are ground to a specific size, there is further screening based on the particular needs of the end-use combustor. Depending on the configuration of the facility and equipment, screening may occur concurrently with grinding or at a subsequent stage. Once the processing of OTRTs is complete, the OTRTs are sold directly to the end-use combustor for energy recovery. Processed OTRTs are delivered to the buyers by railcar or truck. The processed OTRTs are then stockpiled prior to combustion in a manner consistent with biomass fuels, with a typical storage timeframe ranging from a day to a week. When the OTRTs are to be burned for energy recovery, the material is then transferred from the storage location using a conveyor belt or front-end loader. The OTRTs may be combined with other biomass fuels, including hog fuel and bark. OTRTs are commonly used to provide the high British thermal unit (Btu) fuel to supplement low (and sometimes wet) Btu biomass to ensure proper combustion, often in lieu of coal or other fossil fuels.12 The combined fuel may be further hammered and screened prior to combustion.

    12 American Forest & Paper Association, American Wood Council—Letter to EPA Administrator, December 6, 2012.

    In general, contracts for the purchase and combustion of OTRTs include fuel specifications limiting contaminants, such as metals, and prohibiting the receipt of wood treated with other preservatives such as pentachlorophenol.

    2. Treatment Descriptions i. Copper Naphthenate

    Copper naphthenate's effectiveness as a preservative has been known since the early 1900s, and various formulations have been used commercially since the 1940s. It is an organometallic compound formed as a reaction product of copper salts and naphthenic acids derived from petroleum. Unlike other commercially applied wood preservatives, small quantities of copper naphthenate can be purchased at retail hardware stores and lumberyards. Cuts or holes in treated wood can be treated in the field with copper naphthenate. Wood treated with copper naphthenate has a distinctive bright green color that weathers to light brown. The treated wood also has an odor that dissipates somewhat over time. Oil borne copper naphthenate is used for treatment of railroad ties since that treatment results in the ties being more resistant to cracks and checking. Waterborne copper naphthenate is used only for interior millwork and exterior residential dimensional lumber applications such as decking, fencing, lattice, recreational equipment, and other structures. Thus, this final rule does not address waterborne copper naphthenate.

    Copper naphthenate can be dissolved in a variety of solvents: The heavy oil solvent (specified in American Wood Protection Association (AWPA) Standard P9, Type A) or the lighter solvent (AWPA Standard P9, Type C). The lighter solvent is the most commonly used for railroad ties due to its ability to penetrate the wood. Copper naphthenate is listed in AWPA standards for treatment of major softwood species that are used for a variety of wood products. It is not listed for treatment of any hardwood species, except when the wood is used for railroad ties. The minimum copper naphthenate retentions (the amount of retention of the preservative in the tie after treatment application) range from 0.04 pounds per cubic foot (0.6 kilograms per cubic meter) for wood used aboveground, to 0.06 pounds per cubic foot (1 kilogram per cubic meter) for wood that will contact the ground and 0.075 pounds per cubic foot (1.2 kilograms per cubic meter) for wood used in critical structural applications.13

    13 U.S. Forest Service Preservative Treated Wood and Alternative Products in the Forest Service: https://www.fs.fed.us/t-d/pubs/htmlpubs/htm06772809/page02.htm

    When dissolved in No. 2 fuel oil (Type C under AWPA standards), copper naphthenate can penetrate wood that is difficult to treat. Copper naphthenate loses some of its ability to penetrate wood when it is dissolved in heavier oils. Copper naphthenate treatments do not significantly increase the corrosion of metal fasteners relative to untreated wood.

    Copper naphthenate is commonly used to treat utility poles, although fewer facilities treat utility poles with copper naphthenate than with creosote or pentachlorophenol. Unlike creosote and pentachlorophenol, copper naphthenate is not listed as a Restricted Use Pesticide (RUP) 14 by the EPA. Even though human health concerns do not require copper naphthenate to be listed as an RUP, precautions such as the use of dust masks and gloves are used when working with wood treated with copper naphthenate.

    14 List of Restricted Use Pesticides found at: https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-worker-safety/restricted-use-products-rup-report.

    ii. Borates

    Borates is the name for a large number compounds containing the element boron. Borate compounds are the most commonly used unfixed waterborne preservatives. Unfixed preservatives can leach from treated wood. They are used for pressure treatment of framing lumber used in areas with high termite hazard and as surface treatments for a wide range of wood products, such as cabin logs and the interiors of wood structures. They are also applied as internal treatments using rods or pastes. At higher rates of retention, borates also are used as fire-retardant treatments for wood. Copper naphthenate treated ties are most effective when dual-treated with borate to prevent decay.15

    15 Railroad Tie Association. Frequently Asked Questions http://www.rta.org/faqs-main.

    Performance characteristics of borate treatment include protection of the wood against fungi and insects, with low mammalian toxicity. Another advantage of boron is its ability to diffuse with water into wood that normally resists traditional pressure treatment. Wood treated with borates has no added color, no odor, and can be finished (primed and painted).

    Inorganic boron is listed as a wood preservative in the AWPA standards, which include formulations prepared from sodium octaborate, sodium tetraborate, sodium pentaborate, and boric acid. Inorganic boron is also standardized as a pressure treatment for a variety of species of softwood lumber used out of contact with the ground and continuously protected from water. The minimum borate (B2O3) retention is 0.17 pounds per cubic foot (2.7 kilograms per cubic meter). A retention of 0.28 pounds per cubic foot (4.5 kilograms per cubic meter) is specified for areas with Formosan subterranean termites.16

    16 U.S. Forest Service Preservative Treated Wood and Alternative Products in the Forest Service https://www.fs.fed.us/t-d/pubs/htmlpubs/htm06772809/page02.htm.

    Borate preservatives are available in several forms, but the most common is disodium octaborate tetrahydrate (DOT). DOT has higher water solubility than many other forms of borate, allowing more concentrated solutions to be used and increasing the mobility of the borate through the wood. With the use of heated solutions, extended pressure periods, and diffusion periods after treatment, DOT can penetrate wood species that are relatively difficult to treat, such as spruce. Several pressure treatment facilities in the United States use borate solutions. For refractory wood species destined for high decay areas, it has now become relatively common practice to use borates as a pre-treatment to protect the wood prior to processing with creosote.

    iii. Creosote

    Creosote was introduced as a wood preservative in the late 1800's to prolong the life of railroad ties. CTRTs remain the material of choice by railroads due to their long life, durability, cost effectiveness, and sustainability. As creosote is a by-product of coal tar distillation, and coal tar is a by-product of making coke from coal, creosote is considered a derivative of coal. The creosote component of CTRTs is also governed by the standards established by AWPA. AWPA has established two blends of creosote, P1/13 and P2. Railroad ties are typically manufactured using the P2 blend that is more viscous than other blends.

    B. OTRTs Under Current NHSM Rules 1. March 2011 NHSM Final Rule

    The March 2011 NHSM final rule stated that most creosote-treated wood is non-hazardous. However, the presence of hexachlorobenzene, a CAA section 112 hazardous air pollutant (HAP), as well as other HAPs suggested that creosote-treated wood, including CTRTs, contained contaminants at levels that are not comparable to or lower than those found in wood or coal, the fuel that creosote-treated wood would replace. In making this assessment in 2011, the Agency did not consider fuel oil 17 as a traditional fuel that CTRTs would replace, and concluded at the time that combustion of creosote-treated wood may result in destruction of contaminants contained in those materials. Such destruction is an indication of discard and incineration, a waste activity. Accordingly, creosote-treated wood, including CTRTs when burned, seemed more like a waste than a commodity, and did not meet the contaminant legitimacy criterion. This material, therefore, was considered a solid waste when burned, and units' combusting it would be subject to the CAA section 129 emission standards (40 CFR part 60, subparts CCCC and DDDD).

    17 For the purposes of this rule, fuel oil means oils 1-6, including distillate, residual, kerosene, diesel, and other petroleum based oils. It does not include gasoline or unrefined crude oil.

    Regarding borate-treated wood, after reviewing data from one commenter which showed that the levels of contaminants in this material are comparable to those found in unadulterated wood for the seven contaminants for which data was presented, the Agency stated in the March 2011 final rule that such treated-wood meets the legitimacy criterion on the level of contaminants and comparability to traditional fuels. The rule further stated that borate-treated wood could be classified as a non-waste fuel, provided the other two legitimacy criteria are met and the contaminant levels for any other HAP that may be present in this material are also comparable to or less than those in traditional fuels. The rule noted that such borate-treated wood would need to be burned as a fuel for energy recovery within the control of the generator. Finally, the rule indicated that EPA was aware of some borate-treated wood is subsequently treated with creosote, to provide an insoluble barrier to prevent the borate compounds from leaching out of the wood. The Agency did not receive data on the contaminant levels of the resulting material with both treatments, but data presented on creosote treated lumber when combusted in units designed to burn biomass indicated that this NHSM would likely no longer meet the legitimacy criteria and would be considered a solid waste when burned as a fuel.

    As indicated in the rule, EPA did not have information generally about the transfer of borate-treated wood to other companies to make a broad determination about its use as a fuel outside the control of the generator. Thus, under the March 2011 rule, borate-treated wood would need to be burned as a fuel for energy recovery within the control of the generator (76 FR 15484). Persons could make self-determinations regarding other uses of the material as fuel including use outside the control of the generator.

    With regard to wood treated with copper naphthenate, the March 2011 rule indicated that no additional contaminant data was provided that would reverse the position in the June 2010 proposed rule, which considered wood treated with copper naphthenate a solid waste because of concerns of elevated levels of contaminants (76 FR 15484, March 21, 2011). The March 2011 rule acknowledged, as in the June 2010 proposed rule (75 FR 31862, June 4, 2010), that the Agency did not have sufficient information on the contaminant levels in wood treated with copper naphthenate. The rule further stated that if a person could demonstrate that copper naphthenate treated-wood is burned in a combustion unit as a fuel for energy recovery within the control of the generator and meets the legitimacy criteria, or if discarded, can demonstrate that they have sufficiently processed the material and meet legitimacy criteria, that person can handle its copper naphthenate treated-wood as a non-waste fuel.

    2. February 2013 NHSM Final Rule

    In the February 2013 NHSM final rule (78 FR 9173), EPA noted that the American Forest and Paper Association (AF&PA) and the American Wood Council submitted a letter with supporting information on December 6, 2012, seeking a categorical non-waste listing and clarification letter for CTRTs combusted in any unit.18 The letter included information regarding the amounts of railroad ties combusted each year and the value of the ties as fuel. The letter also discussed how CTRTs satisfy the legitimacy criteria, including its high Btu value.

    18 American Forest & Paper Association, American Wood Council—Letter to EPA Administrator, December 6, 2012. Included in docket for this final rule.

    While this information was useful, it was not sufficient for the EPA to propose that CTRTs be listed categorically as a non-waste fuel at that time. Therefore, EPA requested that additional information be provided, and indicated that if this additional information supported and supplemented the representations made in the December 2012 letter, EPA would expect to propose a categorical non-waste listing for CTRTs. The requested information included:

    • A list of industry sectors, in addition to forest product mills, that burn railroad ties for energy recovery,

    • The types of boilers (e.g., kilns, stoker boilers, circulating fluidized bed, etc.) that burn railroad ties for energy recovery,

    • The traditional fuels and relative amounts (e.g., startup, 30 percent, 100 percent) of these traditional fuels that could otherwise generally be burned in these types of units. The extent to which non-industrial boilers (e.g., commercial or residential boilers) burn CTRTs for energy recover, and

    • Laboratory analyses for contaminants known or reasonably suspected to be present in creosote-treated railroad ties, and contaminants known to be significant components of creosote, specifically polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (i.e., PAH-16), dibenzofuran, cresols, hexachlorobenzene, 2,4-dinitrotoluene, biphenyl, quinoline, and dioxins.19 (78 FR 9173, February 7, 2013.)

    19 The Agency requested these analyses based on the limited information previously available concerning the chemical makeup of CTRTs. That limited information included one sample from 1990 (showing the presence of both PAHs and dibenzofuran), past TCLP results (which showing the presence of cresols, hexachlorobenzene and 2,4-dinitrotoluene), Material Safety Data Sheets for coal tar creosote (which showing the potential presence of biphenyl and quinoline), and the absence of dioxin analyses prior to combustion despite dioxin analyses of post-combustion emissions.

    See 81 FR 6723-24, February 8, 2016, for the detailed responses to the above requested information. 3. February 2016 NHSM Final Rule

    As discussed in section II.B of this preamble, the February 2016 final rule stated that EPA had reviewed the information submitted from stakeholders regarding CTRTs and determined that the information supported a categorical determination for those materials under certain conditions which were promulgated in that rule (see 40 CFR 241.4(a)(7)). The final rule preamble language also referenced an August 21, 2015 letter to Barnes Johnson where TWC requested that the Agency move forward on a subset of materials that were identified in the April 2013 petition (i.e. creosote borate, copper naphthenate, and copper naphthenate-borate) (81 FR 6738, February 8, 2016). EPA stated that based on the information received, the Agency believed these three types of treated railroad ties were candidates for categorical non-waste listings and expected to begin development of a proposed rule under 40 CFR 241.4(a) for the three materials in the near future.

    C. Scope of the Final Categorical Non-Waste Listing for OTRTs

    As discussed in section II.B of this preamble, the November 1, 2016 proposed OTRT rule was based on TWC submitted letters and supporting documents requesting a categorical non-waste fuel listing for OTRTs. The information supporting the proposal and the comments received indicated that these materials have been processed, and meet legitimacy criteria including management as a valuable commodity, meaningful heating value and contaminants at levels comparable to or less than those in the traditional fuels that these combustion units are designed to burn as fuel. In this final rule, the Agency is listing, as categorical non-wastes, processed OTRTs when used as fuels. The rationale for this listing is discussed in detail in the Section D.

    For units combusting copper naphthenate-borate and/or copper naphthenate railroad ties, such materials could be combusted as non-waste fuels in units designed to burn biomass, biomass and fuel oil, or biomass and coal under CAA 112 standards. For units combusting railroad ties containing creosote, including creosote-borate or any mixtures of ties containing creosote, borate and copper naphthenate, such materials must be burned in combustion units that are designed to burn, both, biomass and fuel oil in order for the material to be considered a non-waste fuel. The Agency would consider combustion units to meet this requirement if the unit combusts fuel oil as part of normal operations and not solely as part of start up or shut down operations. Units combusting ties mixed with creosote that are designed to burn biomass and fuel oil may also be designed to burn coal under this categorical non-waste fuel listing.

    Consistent with, and for the same reasons as the approach for CTRTs outlined in the February 2016 final rule (81 FR 6725), units combusting railroad ties treated with creosote-borate (or other combination mixtures of railroad ties containing creosote, borate and copper naphthenate) in units designed to burn biomass and fuel oil, could also combust those materials in units at major pulp and paper mills or units at power production facilities subject to 40 CFR part 63, subpart DDDDD (Boiler MACT), that combust such ties and had been designed to burn biomass and fuel oil, but are modified (e.g., oil delivery mechanisms are removed) in order to use natural gas instead of fuel oil as part of normal operations and not solely as part of start-up or shut-down operations. These ties may continue to be combusted as a product fuel only if certain conditions are met, which are intended to ensure that they are not being discarded:

    • Must be combusted in existing (i.e., commenced construction prior to April 14, 2014) stoker, bubbling bed, fluidized bed or hybrid suspension grate boilers; and

    • Must comprise no more than 40 percent of the fuel that is used on an annual heat input basis.20

    20 As noted in the February 2016 rule, the standards are based on information received after the February 7, 2013 rule specifically with regard to existing stoker, bubbling bed, fluidized bed or hybrid suspension grate boilers in the pulp and paper and power production industries that were switching from fuel oil to natural gas due to lower compliance costs and the ability to use cleaner fuels during operation. The 40% fuel use condition is based on statements from industry indicating that CTRTs generally compromise 40% of the total fuel load. These conditions regarding types of existing units and fuel use were designed to ensure, in this circumstance, that the ties were not discarded. (81 FR 6724).

    These conditions will also apply if an existing unit designed to burn fuel oil and biomass (at a power production facility or pulp and paper mill) is modified to burn natural gas at some point in the future.

    Units combusting ties mixed with creosote that are designed to burn biomass and fuel oil, but have switched from fuel oil to natural gas, may also be designed to burn coal under this categorical non-waste fuel listing.

    The approach for railroad ties treated with creosote-borate (or other mixtures of treated railroad ties containing creosote, borate and copper naphthenate) addresses only the circumstance where contaminants in these railroad ties are comparable to or less than the traditional fuels the combustion unit was originally designed to burn (both fuel oil and biomass) but that design was modified in order to combust natural gas. The approach is not a general means to circumvent the contaminant legitimacy criterion by allowing combustion of any NHSM with elevated contaminant levels, i.e., levels not comparable to the traditional fuel the unit is currently designed to burn. As contaminants in railroad ties treated with creosote are comparable to the contaminant in biomass and fuel oil, units that had switched to natural gas from fuel oil would clearly be in compliance with the legitimacy criteria if they did not switch to the cleaner natural gas fuel. While contaminant levels may in fact be higher when compared to natural gas, boilers at pulp and paper mills and power production facilities have demonstrated the ability to combust these materials should not be penalized for switching to a cleaner fuel. Removal of oil delivery mechanisms from units designed to burn fuel oil does not support a conclusive decision that such ties do not meet legitimacy criteria and are now being discarded.

    Information indicating that these railroad ties alone or in the combination mixtures are an important part of the fuel mix because of the consistently lower moisture content and higher Btu value, benefit the combustion units with significant swings in steam demand, therefore suggesting that discard is not occurring. The Agency believes it appropriate to balance other relevant factors in this categorical non-waste determination and to decide that the switching to the cleaner natural gas would not render these materials a waste fuel.

    This determination is consistent with the February 2016 rule, and is based on the historical usage of CTRT as a product fuel in stoker, bubbling bed, fluidized bed and hybrid suspension grate boilers (i.e., boiler designs used to combust used railroad ties, see 81 FR 6732).

    D. Rationale for Final Rule 1. Discard

    When deciding whether an NHSM should be listed as a categorical non-waste fuel in accordance with 40 CFR 241.4(b)(5), EPA first evaluates whether or not the NHSM has been discarded, and if not discarded, whether or not the material is legitimately used as a product fuel in a combustion unit. If the material has been discarded, EPA evaluates whether the NHSM has been sufficiently processed into a material that is legitimately used as a product fuel.

    Information submitted by petitioners regarding OTRTs removed from service and processed was analogous to that for CTRTs. Specifically, OTRTs removed from service are sometimes temporarily stored in the railroad right-of-way or at another location selected by the removal/reclamation company. This means that not all OTRTs originate from crossties removed from service in the same year; some OTRTs are processed from crossties removed from service in prior years and stored by railroads or removal/reclamation companies until a contract for reclamation is in place.

    EPA reiterates its position from the February 8, 2016 (81 FR 6725) final rule regarding cases where a railroad or reclamation company waits for more than a year to realize the value of OTRTs as a fuel. The Agency again concludes that OTRTs are removed from service and stored in a railroad right-of-way or location for long periods of time, that is, a year or longer without a determination regarding their final end use (e.g., landscaping, as a fuel or landfilled) indicates that the material has been discarded in the first instance and is a solid waste (see also the general discussion of discard at 76 FR 15463, March 11, 2011 rule).21 Regarding any assertion that OTRTs are a valuable commodity in a robust market, the Agency would like to remind persons that NHSMs may have value in the marketplace and still be considered solid wastes.

    2. Processing

    Since the OTRTs removed from service are considered discarded because they can be stored for long periods of time without a final determination regarding their final end use, to be considered a non-waste fuel they must be processed, i.e. transforming the OTRTs into a product fuel that meets the legitimacy criteria.22 The Agency concludes that the processing of OTRTs described previously in section III.A.1 of this preamble meets the definition of processing in 40 CFR 241.2. As discussed in that section, processing includes operations that transform a discarded NHSM into a non-waste fuel or non-waste ingredient, including operations necessary to: Remove or destroy contaminants; significantly improve the fuel characteristics (e.g., sizing or drying of the material, in combination with other operations); chemically improve the as-fired energy content; or improve the ingredient characteristics. Minimal operations that result only in modifying the size of the material by shredding do not constitute processing for the purposes of the definition. The Agency concludes that OTRTs meet the definition of processing in 40 CFR 241.3 because contaminant metals are removed in several steps and the fuel characteristics are significantly improved; specifically:

    22 Persons who concluded that their OTRTs are not discarded and thus are not subject to this categorical determination may submit an application to the EPA Regional Administrator that the material has not been discarded when transferred to a third party and is indistinguishable from a product fuel (76 FR 15551, March 21, 2011). Persons can also make self-determinations for their NHSM.

    • Contaminants (e.g., spikes, plates, transmission wire and insulator bulbs) are removed during initial inspection by the user organization;

    • Removal of contaminant metals occurs again at the reclamation facility using magnets; such removal may occur in multiple stages;

    • The fuel characteristics of the material are improved when the crossties are ground or shredded to a specified size (typically 1-2 inches) due to increased surface area. The final size depends on the particular needs of the end-use combustor. The grinding may occur in one or more phases; and

    • Once the contaminant metals are removed and the OTRTs are ground, there may be additional operations to bring the material to a specified size.

    3. Legitimacy Criteria

    EPA can list a discarded NHSM as a categorical non-waste fuel if it has been “sufficiently processed,” and meets the legitimacy criteria. The three legitimacy criteria to be evaluated are: (1) The NHSM must be managed as a valuable commodity, (2) the NHSM must have a meaningful heating value and be used as a fuel in a combustion unit to recover energy, and (3) the NHSM must have contaminants or groups of contaminants at levels comparable to or less than those in the traditional fuel the unit is designed to burn.23

    23 We note that even if the NHSM does not meet one or more of the legitimacy criteria, the Agency could still propose to list an NHSM categorically by balancing the legitimacy criteria with other relevant factors (see 40 CFR 241.4(b)(5)(ii).

    i. Managed as a Valuable Commodity

    Data submitted 24 indicates that OTRT processing and subsequent management is analogous to that of CTRTs outlined in the February 8, 2016 final rule (81 FR 6725). The processing of OTRTs is correlated to the particular needs of the end-use combustor. The process begins when the railroad or utility company removes the old OTRTs from service. An initial inspection is conducted where non-combustible materials are sorted out. OTRTs are stored in staging areas until shippable quantities are collected. Shippable quantities are transported via truck or rail to a reprocessing center.

    24 See section III.D.4. of this preamble for a description of EPA's review of all data submitted regarding meeting legitimacy criteria.

    At the reprocessing center, pieces are again inspected, sorted, and non-combustible materials are removed. Combustible pieces then undergo size reduction and possible blending with compatible combustibles. Once the OTRTs meet the end use specification, they are then sold directly to the end-use combustor for energy recovery. OTRTs are delivered to the end-use combustors via railcar and/or truck similar to delivery of traditional biomass fuels.

    After receipt, OTRTs are stockpiled similar to analogous biomass fuels (e.g., in fuel silos) to maximize dryness and minimize dust. While awaiting combustion at the end-user, which usually occurs within one day to a week of arrival, the OTRTs are also transferred and/or handled from storage in a manner consistent with the transfer and handling of biomass fuels. Procedures include screening by the end-use combustor, combining with other biomass fuels, and transferring to the combustor via conveyor belt or front-end loader.

    Since the storage of the processed material does not exceed reasonable time frames and the processed ties are handled/treated similar to analogous biomass fuels by end-use combustors, OTRTs meet the criterion for being managed as a valuable commodity.

    ii. Meaningful Heating Value and Used as a Fuel To Recover Energy

    EPA received the following information for the heating values of processed OTRTs: 6,867 Btu/lb for creosote-borate; 7,333 Btu/lb for copper naphthenate; 5,967 Btu/lb for copper naphthenate-borate; 5,232 Btu/lb for mixed railroad ties containing 56% creosote, 41% creosote-borate, 1% copper naphthenate, 2% copper naphthenate-borate; and 7,967 Btu/lb for mixed ties containing 25% creosote, 25% creosote borate, 25% copper naphthenate and 25% copper naphthenate-borate.2526 In the March 2011 NHSM final rule, the Agency indicated that NHSMs with an energy value greater than 5,000 Btu/lb, as fired, are considered to have a meaningful heating value.27 Thus, OTRTs meet the criterion for meaningful heating value and used as a fuel to recover energy.

    25 Letter from Jeff Miller to Barnes Johnson, September 11, 2015; see docket for this rule.

    26 These values reflect averages from 2013 and 2015 data. Relevant lab data on Btu/lb for each types of processed OTRT can be viewed in the September and October 2015 letters from Jeff Miller to Barnes Johnson included in the docket.

    27See 76 FR 15541, March 21, 2011.

    iii. Contaminants Comparable to or Lower Than Traditional Fuels

    For each type of OTRT, EPA has compared the September 2015 data submitted on contaminant levels by petitioners to contaminant data for biomass/untreated wood, and fuel oil. In response to comments on the proposal, EPA has also taken the September 2015 data and compared them to coal. The petitioner's data included samples taken from 15 different used creosote-borate ties, 15 different copper naphthenate-borate ties, 15 creosote ties, and 15 copper naphthenate ties. Each type of tie sample was divided into three groups of five tie samples each. This resulted in 12 total groups corresponding to the four different types ties. Each group was then isolated, mixed together, processed into a fuel-type consistency, and shipped to the laboratory for analysis.

    Use of these types of ties are relatively new compared to creosote, so few of these OTRT have transitioned to fuel use at this time, but we expect more in the future. To simulate that transition over time, three samples of unequally-blended tie material (56% creosote, 41% creosote-borate, 1% copper naphthenate, 2% copper naphthenate-borate) and three samples of equally blended tie material (25% creosote, 25% creosote-borate, 25% copper naphthenate, 25% copper naphthenate-borate) were analyzed. The lab analyzed three samples of each of the processed tie treated with creosote, creosote-borate, copper naphthenate and copper naphthenate-borate. In addition, the lab analyzed three samples of equally-blended tie material, three samples of unevenly-blended tie material, and three samples of untreated wood for a total of 18 samples.

    In addition to September 2015 data, copper naphthenate-borate, and copper naphthenate test data had also been submitted in conjunction with TWC's earlier December 4, 2013 petition and are included in the following tables. As noted in section II.B of this preamble, the 2013 data did not have details on the number of samples collected. In addition, sulfur was measured using leachable anion techniques that do not provide results of the total contaminant content, and heat content was not measured. Therefore, the Agency's decisions are based on the complete data submitted in 2015 supplemented by the 2013 data. The results of the analysis of the 2015 and 2013 data are shown in the following tables.

    Copper Naphthenate Contaminant Copper
  • naphthenate
  • railroad ties
  • contaminant
  • levels af
  • Biomass/
  • untreated
  • wood b
  • Fuel oil b Coal b
    Metal Elements (PPM-dry basis) Antimony ND<1.4 ND-26 ND-15.7 0.5-10 Arsenic 0.53-0.93 ND-298 ND-13 0.5-174 Beryllium ND-0.05 ND-10 ND-19 0.1-206 Cadmium ND-0.20 ND-17 ND-1.4 0.1-19 Chromium 0.22-0.50 ND-340 ND-37 0.5-168 Cobalt ND-0.81 ND-213 ND-8.5 0.5-30 Lead ND-3.5 ND-340 ND-56.8 2-148 Manganese 7.1-166 ND-15,800 ND-3,200 5-512 Mercury ND<0.20 ND-1.1 ND-0.2 0.02-3.1 Nickel 0.79-1.1 ND-540 ND-270 0.5-730 Selenium 0.41-0.84 ND-9.0 ND-4 0.2-74.3 Non-Metal Elements (ppm-dry basis) Chlorine ND<100 ND-5,400 ND-1,260 ND-9,080 Fluorine ND<100 ND-300 ND-14 ND-178 Nitrogen ND<500 200-39,500 42-8,950 13,600-54,000 Sulfur 190-240 ND-8,700 ND-57,000 740-61,300 Semivolatile Hazardous Air Pollutants (ppm-dry basis) Acenaphthene 3.0-95 ND-50 h 111 Acenaphthylene ND<1.3 ND-4 4.1 Anthracene ND-6.3 0.4-87 96 Benzo[a]anthracene ND<1.3 ND-62 41-1,900 Benzo[a]pyrene ND<1.3 ND-28 0.60-960 Benzo[b]fluoranthene ND<1.3 ND-42 11-540 Benzo[ghi]perylene ND<1.3 ND-9 11.4 Benzo[k]fluoranthene ND<1.3 ND-16 0.6 Chrysene ND<1.3 ND-53 2.2-2,700 Dibenz [a, h] anthracene ND<1.3 ND-3 4.0 Fluoranthene ND-6.5 0.6-160 31.6-240 Fluorene 4.5-53 h ND-40 3,600 Indeno[1,2,3-cd] pyrene ND<1.3 ND-12 2.3 Naphthalene 8.2-80 h ND-38 34.3-4,000 Phenanthrene 8.2-77 0.9-190 0-116,000 Pyrene ND-15 0.2-160 23-178 16-PAH 49-298 5-921 3,900-54,700 h 6-253 PAH (52 extractable) e — 14-2,090 Pentachlorophenol g ND<30 ND-1 Biphenyl e — 1,000-1,200 Total SVOC c 77-328 5-922 4,900-54,700 20-2,343 Volatile Organic Compound Hazardous Air Pollutants (ppm-dry basis) Benzene ND<0.69 ND-75 ND-38 Phenol e — ND-7,700 Styrene ND<0.69 ND-320 1.0-26 Toluene ND<0.69 ND-380 8.6-56 Xylenes ND<0.69 ND-3,100 4.0-28 Cumene e — 6,000-8,600 Ethyl benzene ND<0.69 22-1,270 0.7-5.4 Formaldehyde e — 1.6-27 Hexane e — 50-10,000 Total VOC d ND<3.4 1.6-27 6,072-19,810 14.3-125.4 Notes: a Data provided by Treated Wood Council on April 3, 2013, September 11, 2015 and October 19, 2015. b Contaminant Concentrations in Traditional Fuels: Tables for Comparison, November 29, 2011, available at https://www.epa.gov/rcra/contaminant-concentrations-traditional-fuels-tables-comparison. Contaminant data drawn from various literature sources and from data submitted to USEPA, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (OAQPS). SVOC values from 2013 IEc data that will be available in the rule docket. c Total SVOC ranges do not represent a simple sum of the minimum and maximum values for each contaminant. This is because minimum and maximum concentrations for individual VOCs and SVOCs do not always come from the same sample. d Naphthalene was the only analyte detected in Oct 2015 VOC testing, but this analyte is included in the SVOC group, so is not reflected here. e Cells with the “—” indicate analytes not tested for in treated wood, but these are not expected to be present in treated wood formulation being analyzed based on preservative chemistry and results from previous CTRT testing (i.e., not present in CTRT ties). f Non-detects are indicated by “<” preceding the method reporting limit, not the method detection limit. Therefore, there are many cases where the non-detect value may be greater than another test's detected value due to analysis-specific RLs being different between individual tests (i.e., differences in tested amount or analyzer calibration range adjustments). If result is less than the method detection limit (MDL), the method reporting limit (MRL), which is always greater than MDL, was used by the lab. g Not expected in the treated wood formulation being tested based on preservative chemistry. h EPA has generally defined “comparable to or lower than” to mean contaminants can be presented in NHSMs within a small acceptable range or at lower levels, relative to the contaminants found in the traditional fuels. Thus, fuels that are produced from nonhazardous secondary materials can have contaminants that are somewhat higher than the traditional fuel that otherwise would be burned and still qualify as being comparable, and would not be considered a solid waste (76 FR 15481).

    As indicated, railroad ties treated with copper naphthenate have contaminants that are comparable to or less than those in biomass/untreated wood, fuel oil or coal. Given that these railroad ties are a type of wood biomass material, such ties can be combusted in units designed to burn biomass, biomass and fuel oil, or biomass and coal.

    Copper Naphthenate—Borate Contaminant Copper
  • naphthenate-
  • borate
  • railroad ties
  • contaminant
  • levels af
  • Biomass/
  • untreated
  • wood b
  • Fuel oil b Coal b
    Metal Elements (ppm-dry basis) Antimony ND<1.4 ND-26 ND-15.7 0.5-10 Arsenic 0.52-0.72 ND-298 ND-13 0.5-174 Beryllium ND<.67 ND-10 ND-19 0.1-206 Cadmium ND-0.078 ND-17 ND-1.4 0.1-19 Chromium 0.11-0.78 ND-340 ND-37 0.5-168 Cobalt ND-0.74 ND-213 ND-8.5 0.5-30 Lead ND-4.0 ND-340 ND-56.8 2-148 Manganese 14-170 ND-15,800 ND-3,200 5-512 Mercury ND<0.15 ND-1.1 ND-0.2 0.02-3.1 Nickel 0.46-2.0 ND-540 ND-270 0.5-730 Selenium ND-0.52 ND-9.0 ND-4 0.2-74.3 Non-Metal Elements (ppm-dry basis) Chlorine ND<100 ND-5,400 ND-1,260 ND-9,080 Fluorine ND<100 ND-300 ND-14 ND-178 Nitrogen ND<500 200-39,500 42-8,950 13,600-54,000 Sulfur 140-170 ND-8,700 ND-57,000 740-61,300 Semivolatile Hazardous Air Pollutants (ppm-dry basis) Acenaphthene 4.8-17 ND-50 111 Acenaphthylene ND-0.9 ND-4 4.1 Anthracene ND-7.2 0.4-87 96 Benzo[a]anthracene ND-3.7 ND-62 41-1,900 Benzo[a]pyrene ND-1.4 ND-28 0.60-960 Benzo[b]fluoranthene ND-3.9 ND-42 11-540 Benzo[ghi]perylene ND<1.2 ND-9 11.4 Benzo[k]fluoranthene ND-20 h ND-16 0.6 Chrysene ND-6.6 ND-53 2.2-2,700 Dibenz [a, h] anthracene ND<1.2 ND-3 4.0 Fluoranthene ND-20 0.6-160 31.6-240 Fluorene 2.2-16 ND-40 3,600 Indeno[1,2,3-cd] pyrene ND<1.2 ND-12 2.3 Naphthalene 5.2-82 h ND-38 34.3-4,000 Phenanthrene 3.6-43 0.9-190 0-116,000 Pyrene ND-19 0.2-160 23-178 16-PAH 39-145 5-921 3,900-54,700 6-253 PAH (52 extractable) e — 14-2,090 Pentachlorophenol g ND <28 ND-1 Biphenyl e — 1,000-1,200 Total SVOC c 66-173 5-922 4,900-54,700 20-2,343 Volatile Organic Compound Hazardous Air Pollutants (ppm-dry basis) Benzene ND<0.77 ND-75 ND-38 Phenol e — ND-7,700 Styrene ND<0.77 ND-320 1.0-26 Toluene ND<0.77 ND-380 8.6-56 Xylenes ND<0.77 ND-3,100 4.0-28 Cumene e — 6,000-8,600 Ethyl benzene ND<0.77 22-1,270 0.7-5.4 Formaldehyde e — 1.6-27 Hexane e — 50-10,000 Total VOC d ND<3.8 1.6-27 6,072-19,810 14.3-125.4 Notes: a Data provided by Treated Wood Council on April 3, 2013, September 11, 2015 and October 19, 2015. b Contaminant Concentrations in Traditional Fuels: Tables for Comparison, November 29, 2011, available at https://www.epa.gov/rcra/contaminant-concentrations-traditional-fuels-tables-comparison. Contaminant data drawn from various literature sources and from data submitted to USEPA, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (OAQPS). SVOC values from 2013 IEc data that will be available in the rule docket. c Total SVOC ranges do not represent a simple sum of the minimum and maximum values for each contaminant. This is because minimum and maximum concentrations for individual VOCs and SVOCs do not always come from the same sample. d Naphthalene was the only analyte detected in Oct 2015 VOC testing, but this analyte is included in the SVOC group, so is not reflected here. e Cells with the “—” indicate analytes not tested for in treated wood, but these are not expected to be present in treated wood formulation being analyzed based on preservative chemistry and results from previous CTRT testing (i.e., not present in CTRT ties). f Non-detects are indicated by “<” preceding the method reporting limit, not the method detection limit. Therefore, there are many cases where the non-detect value may be greater than another test's detected value due to analysis-specific RLs being different between individual tests (i.e., differences in tested amount or analyzer calibration range adjustments). If result is less than the method detection limit (MDL), the method reporting limit (MRL), which is always greater than MDL, was used by the lab. g Not expected in the treated wood formulation being tested based on preservative chemistry. h EPA has generally defined “comparable to or lower than” to mean contaminants can be presented in NHSMs within a small acceptable range or at lower levels, relative to the contaminants found in the traditional fuels. Thus, fuels that are produced from nonhazardous secondary materials can have contaminants that are somewhat higher than the traditional fuel that otherwise would be burned and still qualify as being comparable, and would not be considered a solid waste (76 FR 15481).

    As indicated, railroad ties treated with copper naphthenate-borate have contaminants that are comparable to or less than those in biomass/untreated wood, fuel oil (see discussion of grouping of SVOCs, 78 FR 9146, February 7, 2013) or coal. Given that these railroad ties are a type of treated wood biomass, such ties can be combusted in units designed to burn biomass, or biomass and fuel oil, or biomass and coal.

    Creosote-Borate Contaminant Creosote-
  • borate
  • railroad ties
  • contaminant
  • levels af
  • Biomass/
  • untreated
  • wood b
  • Fuel oil b Coal b
    Metal Elements (ppm-dry basis) Antimony ND<1.3 ND-26 ND-15.7 0.5-10 Arsenic ND-0.80 ND-298 ND-13 0.5-174 Beryllium ND-0.032 ND-10 ND-19 0.1-206 Cadmium 0.059-0.25 ND-17 ND-1.4 0.1-19 Chromium 0.10-1.1 ND-340 ND-37 0.5-168 Cobalt ND-0.22 ND-213 ND-8.5 0.5-30 Lead ND-1.8 ND-340 ND-56.8 2-148 Manganese 22-140 ND-15,800 ND-3,200 5-512 Mercury ND-0.066 ND-1.1 ND-0.2 0.02-3.1 Nickel 0.71-1.8 ND-540 ND-270 0.5-730 Selenium 0.59-1.4 ND-9.0 ND-4 0.2-74.3 Non-Metal Elements (ppm-dry basis) Chlorine ND<100 ND-5,400 ND-1,260 ND-9,080 Fluorine ND<100 ND-300 ND-14 ND-178 Nitrogen ND<500 200-39,500 42-8,950 13,600-54,000 Sulfur 170-180 ND-8,700 ND-57,000 740-61,300 Semivolatile Hazardous Air Pollutants Acenaphthene 600-2,200 ND-50 111 Acenaphthylene 17-96 ND-4 4.1 Anthracene 350-2,000 0.4-87 96 Benzo[a]anthracene 200-1,500 ND-62 41-1,900 Benzo[a]pyrene 62-500 ND-28 0.60-960 Benzo[b]fluoranthene 110-960 ND-42 11-540 Benzo[ghi]perylene 13-170 ND-9 11.4 Benzo[k]fluoranthene 40-320 ND-16 0.6 Chrysene 210-1,300 ND-53 2.2-2,700 Dibenz [a, h] anthracene ND-58 ND-3 4.0 Fluoranthene 1,100-8,400 0.6-160 31.6-240 Fluorene 500-2,200 ND-40 3,600 Indeno[1,2,3-cd] pyrene 14-170 ND-12 2.3 Naphthalene 660-2,900 ND-38 34.3-4,000 Phenanthrene 2,000-12,000 0.9-190 0-116,000 Pyrene 780-5,200 0.2-160 23-178 16-PAH 6,600-38,000 5-921 3,900-54,700 6-253 PAH (52 extractable) e — 14-2,090 Pentachlorophenol g ND <790 ND-1 Biphenyl h 137-330 1,000-1,200 Total SVOC c 7,200-39,000 5-922 4,900-54,700 20-2,343 Volatile Organic Compound Hazardous Air Pollutants (ppm-dry basis) Benzene ND<3.9 ND-75 ND-38 Phenol e — ND-7,700 Styrene ND<3.9 ND-320 1.0-26 Toluene ND<3.9 ND-380 8.6-56 Xylenes ND<3.9 ND-3,100 4.0-28 Cumene e — 6,000-8,600 Ethyl benzene ND<3.9 22-1,270 0.7-5.4 Formaldehyde e — 1.6-27 Hexane e — 50-10,000 Total VOC d ND<20 1.6-27 6,072-19,810 14.3-125.4 Notes: a Data provided by Treated Wood Council on September 11, 2015 and October 19, 2015. b Contaminant Concentrations in Traditional Fuels: Tables for Comparison, November 29, 2011, available at https://www.epa.gov/rcra/contaminant-concentrations-traditional-fuels-tables-comparison. Contaminant data drawn from various literature sources and from data submitted to USEPA, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (OAQPS). SVOC values from 2013 IEc data that will be available in the rule docket. c For SVOC contaminant analyses, grouping of contaminants is appropriate in this case when making contaminant comparisons for purposes of meeting the legitimacy criterion. Under the grouping concept, individual SVOC levels may be elevated above that of the traditional fuel, but the contaminant legitimacy criterion will be met as long as total SVOCs is comparable to or less than that of the traditional fuel. Such an approach is standard practice employed by the Agency in developing regulations and is consistent with monitoring standards under CAA sections 112 and 129. See 78 FR 9146, February 7, 2013, for further findings that relate to the issue of grouping contaminants. Note also, total SVOC ranges do not represent a simple sum of the minimum and maximum values for each contaminant. This is because minimum and maximum concentrations for individual VOCs and SVOCs do not always come from the same sample. d Naphthalene was the only analyte detected in Oct 2015 VOC testing, but this analyte is included in the SVOC group, so is not reflected here. e Cells with the “—” indicate analytes not tested for in treated wood, but these are not expected to be present in treated wood formulation being analyzed based on preservative chemistry and results from previous CTRT testing (i.e., not present in CTRT ties). f Non-detects are indicated by “<” preceding the method reporting limit, not the method detection limit. Therefore, there are many cases where the non-detect value may be greater than another test's detected value due to analysis-specific RLs being different between individual tests (i.e., differences in tested amount or analyzer calibration range adjustments). If result is less than the method detection limit (MDL), the method reporting limit (MRL), which is always greater than MDL, was used by the lab. g Not expected in the treated wood formulation being tested based on preservative chemistry. h Not tested for, but presumptive worst-case value is presented for treated wood type based on data from previous CTRT testing.

    In the contaminant comparison, EPA considered two scenarios. In the first scenario, where a combustion unit is designed to only burn biomass or coal, EPA compared contaminant levels in creosote-borate treated railroad ties to contaminant levels in biomass/untreated wood and coal. In this scenario, the total SVOC levels can reach 39,000 ppm, driven by high levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).28 As these compounds are at very low levels in biomass/untreated wood and coal, the contaminants are not comparable to the traditional fuel that the unit was designed to burn.

    28 We note that for several SVOCs—cresols, hexachlorobenzene, and 2,4-dinitrotoluene, which were expected to be in creosote, and for which information was specifically requested in the February 7, 2013 NHSM final rule (78 FR 9111), the data demonstrate that they were not detectable, or were present at levels so low to be considered comparable.

    In the second scenario, a combustion unit is designed to burn both, biomass/untreated wood and fuel oil as well as coal. As previously mentioned, SVOCs are present in creosote-borate railroad ties (up to 39,000 ppm) at levels within the range observed in fuel oil (up to 54,700 ppm). Therefore, creosote-borate railroad ties have comparable contaminant levels as compared to other fuels combusted in units designed to burn both biomass/untreated wood and fuel oil, and as such, meet this criterion if used in facilities that are designed to burn both, biomass/untreated wood and fuel oil.29 Such facilities designed to burn both biomass and fuel may also burn coal.

    29 As discussed previously, the March 21, 2011 NHSM final rule (76 FR 15456), noting the presence of hexachlorobenzene and dinitrotoluene, suggested that creosote-treated lumber include contaminants at levels that are not comparable to those found in wood or coal, the fuel that creosote-treated wood would replace, and would thus be considered solid wastes. The February 8, 2016 final rule (81 FR 6688) differs in several respects from the conclusions in the March 2011 rule. The February 2016 final rule concludes that CTRTs are a categorical non-waste when combusted in units designed to burn both fuel oil and biomass. The March 2011 rule, using 1990 data on railroad cross ties, was based on contaminant comparisons to coal and biomass and not fuel oil. As discussed above, when compared to fuel oil, total SVOC contaminant concentrations (which would include dinitrotoluene and hexachlorobenzene) in CTRTs would be less that those found in fuel oil, and in fact, the 2012 data referenced in this final rule showed non-detects for those two contaminants.

    As stated in the preamble to the February 7, 2013, NHSM final rule, combustors may burn NHSMs as a product fuel if the contaminants are comparable to or lower than a traditional fuel the unit is designed to burn (78 FR 9149). Combustion units are often designed to burn multiple traditional fuels, and some units can and do rely on different fuel types at different times based on availability of fuel supplies, market conditions, power demands, and other factors. Under these circumstances, it is arbitrary to restrict the combustion for energy recovery of NHSMs based on contaminant comparison to only one traditional fuel if the unit could burn a second traditional fuel chosen due to such changes in fuel supplies, market conditions, power demands or other factors. If a unit can burn both a solid and liquid fuel, then comparison to either fuel would be appropriate.

    In order to make comparisons to multiple traditional fuels, units must be designed to burn those fuels. If a facility compares contaminants in an NHSM to a traditional fuel a unit is not designed to burn, and that material is highly contaminated, a facility would then be able to burn excessive levels of waste components in the NHSM as a means of discard. Such NHSMs would be considered wastes regardless of any fuel value (78 FR 9149, February 7, 2013).30 Accordingly, the ability to burn a fuel in a combustion unit does have a basic set of requirements, the most basic of which is the ability to feed the material into the combustion unit. The unit must also be able to ensure the material is well-mixed and maintain temperatures within unit specifications.

    30 78 FR 9149 states “If a NHSM does not contain contaminants at levels comparable to or lower than those found in any [emphasis added] traditional fuel that a combustion unit could burn, then it follows that discard could be occurring if the NHSM were combusted. Whether contaminants in these cases would be destroyed or discarded through releases to the air, they could not be considered a normal part of a legitimate fuel and the NHSM would be considered a solid waste when used as a fuel in that combustion unit.”

    Mixed Treatments—Creosote, Borate, Copper Naphthenate Contaminant Mixed railroad ties
  • (25%C-25%CB-
  • 25%CuN-25%CuNB)
  • contaminant levels a f
  • Biomass/
  • untreated
  • wood b
  • Fuel oil b Coal b
    Mixed Elements (ppm-dry basis) Antimony ND<1.4 ND-26 ND-15.7 0.5-10 Arsenic ND-0.81 ND-298 ND-13 0.5-174 Beryllium ND<0.70 ND-10 ND-19 0.1-206 Cadmium 0.15-0.38 ND-17 ND-1.4 0.1-19 Chromium 0.15-0.17 ND-340 ND-37 0.5-168 Cobalt ND-0.07 ND-213 ND-8.5 0.5-30 Lead 0.50-0.81 ND-340 ND-56.8 2-148 Manganese 110-190 ND-15,800 ND-3,200 5-512 Mercury ND-0.06 ND-1.1 ND-0.2 0.02-3.1 Nickel 0.75-1.4 ND-540 ND-270 0.5-730 Selenium ND-0.50 ND-9.0 ND-4 0.2-74.3 Non-Metal Elements (ppm-dry basis) Chlorine ND<100 ND-5,400 ND-1,260 ND-9,080 Fluorine ND<100 ND-300 ND-14 ND-178 Nitrogen ND<500 200-39,500 42-8,950 13,600-54,000 Sulfur 140-210 ND-8,700 ND-57,000 740-61,300 Semivolatile Hazardous Air Pollutants (ppm-dry basis) Acenaphthene 500-1,100 ND-50 111 Acenaphthylene 12-25 ND-4 4.1 Anthracene 290-1,100 0.4-87 96 Benzo[a]anthracene 140-350 ND-62 41-1,900 Benzo[a]pyrene 47-120 ND-28 0.60-960 Benzo[b]fluoranthene 83-210 ND-42 11-540 Benzo[ghi]perylene 9.4-23 ND-9 11.4 Benzo[k]fluoranthene 30-64 ND-16 0.6 Chrysene 160-360 ND-53 2.2-2,700 Dibenz [a, h] anthracene ND-4.7 i ND-3 i 4.0 Fluoranthene 800-2,100 0.6-160 31.6-240 Fluorene 350-1,000 ND-40 3,600 Indeno[1,2,3-cd] pyrene 10-28 ND-12 2.3 Naphthalene 320-580 ND-38 34.3-4,000 Phenanthrene 1,300-3,800 0.9-190 0-116,000 Pyrene 520-1,400 0.2-160 23-178 16-PAH 4,500-12,000 5-921 3,900-54,700 6-253 PAH (52 extractable) e — 14-2,090 Pentachlorophenol g ND ND-1 Biphenyl h 137-330 1,000-1,200 Total SVOC c 4,800-13,000 5-922 4,900-54,700 20-2,343 Volatile Organic Compounds (ppm-dry basis) Benzene ND<1.1 ND-75 ND-38 Phenol e — ND-7,700 Styrene ND<1.1 ND-320 1.0-26 Toluene ND<1.1 ND-380 8.6-56 Xylenes ND<1.1 ND-3,100 4.0-28 Cumene e — 6,000-8,600 Ethyl benzene ND<1.1 22-1,270 0.7-5.4 Formaldehyde e — 1.6-27 Hexane e — 50-10,000 Total VOC d ND<5.3 1.6-27 6,072-19,810 14.3-125.4 Notes: a Data provided by Treated Wood Council on September 11, 2015 and October 19, 2015. b Contaminant Concentrations in Traditional Fuels: Tables for Comparison, November 29, 2011, available at https://www.epa.gov/rcra/contaminant-concentrations-traditional-fuels-tables-comparison. Contaminant data drawn from various literature sources and from data submitted to USEPA, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (OAQPS). SVOC values from 2013 IECP data that will be available in the rule docket. As units must be designed to burn both fuel oil and biomass, contaminant concentrations in mixed creosote ties must be lower than either fuel oil or biomass to be comparable. c For SVOC contaminant analyses, grouping of contaminants is appropriate in this case when making contaminant comparisons for purposes of meeting the legitimacy criterion. Under the grouping concept, individual SVOC levels may be elevated above that of the traditional fuel, but the contaminant legitimacy criterion will be met as long as total SVOCs is comparable to or less than that of the traditional fuel. Such an approach is standard practice employed by the Agency in developing regulations and is consistent with monitoring standards under CAA sections 112 and 129. See 78 FR 9146, February 7, 2013, for further findings that relate to the issue of grouping contaminants. Note also, total SVOC ranges do not represent a simple sum of the minimum and maximum values for each contaminant. This is because minimum and maximum concentrations for individual VOCs and SVOCs do not always come from the same sample. d Naphthalene was the only analyte detected in Oct 2015 VOC testing, but this analyte is included in the SVOC group, so is not reflected here. e Cells with the “—” indicate analytes not tested for in treated wood, but these are not expected to be present in treated wood formulation being analyzed based on preservative chemistry and results from previous CTRT testing (i.e., not present in CTRT ties). f Non-detects are indicated by “<” preceding the method reporting limit, not the method detection limit. Therefore, there are many cases where the non-detect value may be greater than another test's detected value due to analysis-specific RLs being different between individual tests (i.e., differences in tested amount or analyzer calibration range adjustments). If result is less than the method detection limit (MDL), the method reporting limit (MRL), which is always greater than MDL, was used by the lab. g Not expected in the treated wood formulation being tested based on preservative chemistry. h Not tested for, but presumptive worst-case value is presented for treated wood type based on data from previous CTRT testing. i EPA has generally defined “comparable to or lower than” to mean contaminants can be presented in NHSMs within a small acceptable range or at lower levels, relative to the contaminants found in the traditional fuels. Thus, fuels that are produced from nonhazardous secondary materials can have contaminants that are somewhat higher than the traditional fuel that otherwise would be burned and still qualify as being comparable, and would not be considered a solid waste (76 FR 15481).
    Contaminant Mixed railroad ties
  • (56%C-41%CB-
  • 1%CuN-2%CuNB)
  • contaminant levels af
  • Biomass/
  • untreated
  • wood b
  • Fuel oil b Coal b
    Metal Elements (ppm-dry basis) Antimony ND ND-26 ND-15.7 0.5-10 Arsenic ND-0.65 ND-298 ND-13 0.5-174 Beryllium ND ND-10 ND-19 0.1-206 Cadmium 0.08-0.09 ND-17 ND-1.4 0.1-19 Chromium 0.12-0.78 ND-340 ND-37 0.5-168 Cobalt ND-0.18 ND-213 ND-8.5 0.5-30 Lead ND-0.93 ND-340 ND-56.8 2-148 Manganese 47-77 ND-15,800 ND-3,200 5-512 Mercury ND-0.03 ND-1.1 ND-0.2 0.02-3.1 Nickel 0.50-0.99 ND-540 ND-270 0.5-730 Selenium 0.56-0.68 ND-9.0 ND-4 0.2-74.3 Non-Metal Elements (ppm-dry basis) Chlorine ND<100 ND-5,400 ND-1,260 ND-9,080 Fluorine ND<100 ND-300 ND-14 ND-178 Nitrogen ND<500 200-39,500 42-8,950 13,600-54,000 Sulfur 230-280 ND-8,700 ND-57,000 740-61,300 Semivolatile Hazardous Air Pollutants (ppm-dry basis) Acenaphthene 1,500-1,800 ND-50 111 Acenaphthylene 31-40 ND-4 4.1 Anthracene 760-1,100 0.4-87 96 Benzo[a]anthracene 390-490 ND-62 41-1,900 Benzo[a]pyrene 150-200 ND-28 0.60-960 Benzo[b]fluoranthene 230-310 ND-42 11-540 Benzo[ghi]perylene 28-56 ND-9 11.4 Benzo[k]fluoranthene 93-130 ND-16 0.6 Chrysene 390-520 ND-53 2.2-2,700 Dibenz [a, h] anthracene ND<28 ND-3 4.0 Fluoranthene 2,000-2,700 0.6-160 31.6-240 Fluorene 1,100-1,300 ND-40 3,600 Indeno[1,2,3-cd] pyrene 32-52 ND-12 2.3 Naphthalene 890-1,200 ND-38 34.3-4,000 Phenanthrene 3,600-4,500 0.9-190 0-116,000 Pyrene 1,300-1,800 0.2-160 23-178 16-PAH 13,000-16,000 5-921 3,900-54,700 6-253 PAH (52 extractable) 14-2,090 Pentachlorophenol g ND ND-1 Biphenyl h 137-330 1,000-1,200 Total SVOC c 13,000-17,000 5-922 4,900-54,700 20-2,343 Volatile Organic Compounds (ppm-dry basis) Benzene ND<2.3 ND-75 ND-38 Phenol e — ND-7,700 Styrene ND<2.3 ND-320 1.0-26 Toluene ND<2.3 ND-380 8.6-56 Xylenes ND<2.3 ND-3,100 4.0-28 Cumene e — 6,000-8,600 Ethyl benzene ND<2.3 22-1,270 0.7-5.4 Formaldehyde e — 1.6-27 Hexane e — 50-10,000 Total VOC d ND<12 1.6-27 6,072-19,810 14.3-125.4 Notes: a Data provided by Treated Wood Council on September 11, 2015 and October 19, 2015. b Contaminant Concentrations in Traditional Fuels: Tables for Comparison, November 29, 2011, available at (insert link) https://www.epa.gov/rcra/contaminant-concentrations-traditional-fuels-tables-comparison. Contaminant data drawn from various literature sources and from data submitted to USEPA, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (OAQPS). SVOC values from 2013 IEc data that will be available in the rule docket. As units must be designed to burn both fuel oil and biomass, contaminant concentrations in mixed creosote ties must be lower than either fuel oil or biomass to be comparable. c For SVOC contaminant analyses, grouping of contaminants in this case is appropriate when making contaminant comparisons for purposes of meeting the legitimacy criterion. Under the grouping concept, individual SVOC levels may be elevated above that of the traditional fuel, but the contaminant legitimacy criterion will be met as long as total SVOCs is comparable to or less than that of the traditional fuel. Such an approach is standard practice employed by the Agency in developing regulations and is consistent with monitoring standards under CAA sections 112 and 129. See 78 FR 9146, February 7, 2013, for further findings that relate to the issue of grouping contaminants. Note also, total SVOC ranges do not represent a simple sum of the minimum and maximum values for each contaminant. This is because minimum and maximum concentrations for individual VOCs and SVOCs do not always come from the same sample. d Naphthalene was the only analyte detected in Oct 2015 VOC testing, but this analyte is included in the SVOC group, so is not reflected here. e Cells with the “—” indicate analytes not tested for in treated wood, but these are not expected to be present in treated wood formulation being analyzed based on preservative chemistry and results from previous CTRT testing (i.e., not present in CTRT ties). f Non-detects are indicated by “<” preceding the method reporting limit, not the method detection limit. Therefore, there are many cases where the non-detect value may be greater than another test's detected value due to analysis-specific RLs being different between individual tests (i.e., differences in tested amount or analyzer calibration range adjustments). If result is less than the method detection limit (MDL), the method reporting limit (MRL), which is always greater than MDL, was used by the lab. g Not expected in the treated wood formulation being tested based on preservative chemistry. h Not tested for, but presumptive worst-case value is presented for treated wood type based on data from previous CTRT testing. i To be comparable, units must be designed to burn both biomass and fuel oil or have switched from fuel oil to natural gas. Such units may also be designed to burn coal.

    In the mixed railroad ties scenarios above, as previously discussed, SVOCs are present (up to 17,000 ppm) at levels well within the range observed in fuel oil (up to 54,700 ppm). Therefore, railroad ties mixed with creosote, borate and copper naphthenate have comparable contaminant levels to biomass and fuel oil, and as such, meet this criterion if used in combustion units that are designed to burn both of those traditional fuels. Such units may also be designed to burn coal.

    4. OTRT Sampling and Analysis Data History

    The data collection supporting the OTRT categorical non-waste determination has been based on two rounds of data submittals by TWC, followed by EPA questions and TWC responses on the data provided. The process of developing the data set is described below and all materials provided by TWC are available in the docket to this rulemaking.

    The TWC requested a categorical determination that all types of treated wood were non-waste fuels and submitted data on various wood preservative types, specifically, those referred to as OTRTs, in their April 3, 2013 petition letter (see docket EPA-HQ-OLEM-2016-0248-0019). However, the contaminant comparison data presented in the petition were incomplete and not based on established analytical data. The EPA response requested submittal of additional analytical data to determine contaminant concentrations in the OTRT.

    In November 2013, TWC responded to EPA's request, submitting laboratory reports on analyses of various 31 preservative wood types and combinations, including OTRTs. The EPA reviewed the laboratory reports and techniques, and determined that there were limited data points available (i.e., one data point per preservative type) and that the analytical techniques for several contaminants (chlorine, nitrogen, sulfur, and fluorine) were not appropriate to provide information on the entire preserved wood sample as combusted, reflecting only a leachable component. Furthermore, EPA questioned the representativeness of the samples being analyzed and the repeatability of the analyses.

    31 Untreated, copper naphthenate, copper naphthenate and borate, creosote, creosote and borate, combination of C/CB/CuN/CuNB equal mixture C/CB/CuN/CuNB 56/41/1/2 percent mixture FIX.

    In August 2015, TWC performed additional sampling and analyses to address these deficiencies in the data. In response to EPA's concerns, TWC developed a sampling program in which 15 OTRT railroad ties of each preservative type were collected from various geographical areas. These 15 ties were then separated into three 5-tie groups, then processed into a boiler-fuel consistency using commercial processing techniques. A sample of each 5-tie group was then shipped to an independent laboratory for analysis, thereby producing 3 data points for each preservative type. TWC also prepared two blends: One with equal portions of creosote, creosote-borate, copper naphthenate, and copper naphthenate-borate to estimate projected future ratios; and the second a weighted blend of these tie types in proportion to current usage ratios of each preservative chemistry. These blends samples were analyzed in triplicate, for a total of 15 samples being analyzed (i.e., three from each tie sample group). Two laboratories were used by TWC to perform the analysis: One laboratory analyzed metals, mercury, semi-volatiles, and heat of combustion; and the other laboratory analyzed volatiles, chlorine, fluorine, and nitrogen. All methods used were EPA or ASTM methods, and were appropriate for the materials being tested. No specific sampling methodology was employed in taking the samples from the 5-ties group.

    The EPA reviewed the 2015 test data, which was provided by TWC on September 11, 2015, and provided TWC with additional follow-up questions and clarifications, including the specific sources of the railroad ties. TWC's response noted the sources of railroad ties for each chemistry and indicated that the railroad ties generally originated in the southeast, but there are also ties from Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and Kentucky represented within the TWC data set. Chlorine is not part of any of the preservative chemistries, and was not detected in any of the samples analyzed.

    The EPA also noted some exceptions and flags within the analytical report, such as sample coolers upon receipt at the lab were outside the required temperature criterion; surrogate recoveries for semi-volatile samples (which represent extraction efficiency within a sample matrix) were sometimes lower or higher than those for samples containing creosote-treated wood; and dilution factors (dilution is used when the sample is higher in concentration than can be analyzed) for creosote-treated wood samples were high (up to 800). The laboratory noted these issues in the report narrative, but concluded that there were no corrective actions necessary. EPA requested further information on these issues noted in the report narrative, as well as supporting quality assurance documentation from the laboratories.

    With respect to surrogate recoveries and dilutions, the lab indicated that the high dilutions were required for the creosote-containing matrix to avoid saturation of the detector instrument.32 Also, the shipping cooler temperature criterion is 4 degrees Celsius and the lab noted the discrepancy in the report as part of laboratory standard operating procedure (see also section III. G. Responses to Comments of this preamble). However, the ties were used and stored after being taken out of service in ambient atmosphere and were not biologically active, therefore, shipping cooler temperatures are not expected to affect contaminant levels in the ties.

    32 Samples with concentrations exceeding the calibration range must be diluted to fall within the calibration range. The more a sample is diluted, the higher the reporting limit. Sample dilution is required when the concentration of a compound exceeds the amount that produces a full-scale response. At that point the detector becomes saturated and fails to respond to additional target compound(s). Diluting samples to accommodate the high-concentrations can reduce the concentration of the target analytes to levels where they can no longer be detected.

    E. Copper and Borates Literature Review and Other EPA Program Summary

    Neither copper nor borate are currently listed as HAPs under the Clean Air Act, and thus are not defined as contaminants under NHSM regulations section 241.2. or used for contaminant comparison in meeting legitimacy criteria (see 78 FR 9139-9143, February 7, 2013).33 34 To determine whether those compounds pose human health or ecological risk concerns, outside the requirements of the NHSM legitimacy criteria, and how those concerns might be addressed under other Agency programs, we conducted a literature review of copper and borate during development of the proposed rule. We also requested comments or any additional information on this topic during proposal. One comment was received on copper emissions which is discussed in section E of this preamble.

    33 CAA Section 112 requires EPA to promulgate regulations to control emissions of 187 HAPs from sources in source categories listed by EPA under section 112(c), while CAA section 129 CISWI standards include numeric emission limitations for the nine pollutants, plus opacity (as appropriate), that are specified in CAA section 129(a)(4). For the purpose of NHSM standards, the definition of contaminants is limited to HAPs under CAA 112 and CAA 129.

    34 We also note that under the CAA standards for smaller area sources, emission limits are not required for copper, borate (or for HAPs). Standards for area sources focus on tune-ups of the boiler unit (see 40 CFR 40 CFR part 63, subpart JJJJJJ).

    Under the Clean Water Act, EPA's Office of Water developed the Lead and Copper Rule which became effective in 1991 (56 FR 26460, June 7, 1991). This rule set a limit of 1.3 ppm copper concentration in 10% of customer taps sampled as an action level for public water systems. Exceedances of this limit require additional treatment steps in order to reduce drinking water corrosivity and prevent leaching of these metals (including copper) from plumbing and distribution systems. EPA's Office of Water also issued a fact sheet for copper under the Clean Water Act section 304(a) titled the Aquatic Life Ambient Freshwater Quality Criteria.35 This fact sheet explains that copper is an essential nutrient at low concentrations, but is toxic to aquatic organisms at higher concentrations and listed the following industries that contribute to manmade discharges of copper to surface waters: Mining, leather and leather products, fabricated metal products, and electric equipment. There are no National Recommended Aquatic Life Criteria for boron or borates.

    35 Aquatic life criteria for toxic chemicals are the highest concentration of specific pollutants or parameters in water that are not expected to pose a significant risk to the majority of species in a given environment or a narrative description of the desired conditions of a water body being “free from” certain negative conditions. See https://www.epa.gov/wqc/aquatic-life-criteria-copper.

    EPA also investigated whether there were any concerns that copper and borate can react to form polychlorinated dibenzodioxin and dibenzofurans (PCDD/PCDF) during the combustion process. Specific studies evaluating copper involvement in dioxins and furans formation in municipal or medical waste incinerator flue gas have been conducted.36 While the exact mechanism and effects of other combustion parameters on PCDD and PCDF formation are still unknown, increased copper chloride (CuCl) and/or cupric chloride (CuCl2) on fly ash particles has been shown to increase concentrations of PCDD and PCDF in fly ash. Various researchers conclude that CuCl and/or CuCl2 are serving either roles as catalysts in dioxin formation or as chlorine sources for subsequent PCDD/PCDF formation reactions (i.e., the CuCl and/or CuCl2 serve as dechlorination/chlorination catalysts). Overall, results from many studies reviewed indicate that most of the copper ends up in the bottom ash, so fly ash copper content may be minimal. Further, copper entrained on fly ash would be co-controlled or reduced with the use of good particulate matter controls on the combustion device. A high performance fabric filter may be the best control device, although some portion of fine particulate matter may pass through. Cyclone separators and electro-static precipitators have not been shown to be effective in controlling these emissions, and these types of controls may be more prevalent amongst smaller area source boilers.

    36 See memorandum “Literature Review of Copper-related Combustion Emissions Studies” and bibliography available in the docket to this rulemaking for specific studies and further information on the findings from studies of copper compounds in waste incinerators discussed in this section of the preamble.

    Generally, borates have a low toxicity and should not be a concern from a health risk perspective.37 As indicated previously, neither boron nor borates are listed as HAPs under CAA section 112, nor are they considered to be criteria air pollutants subject to any emissions limitations. However, elemental boron has been identified by EPA in the coal combustion residuals (CCR) risk analysis 38 to present some potential risks for ecological receptors. As a result of this risk, and boron's ability to move through the subsurface,39 boron has been included as a constituent in CCR monitoring provisions for coal ash impoundments.

    37https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/tp26-c2.pdf.

    38 Human and Ecological Risk Assessment of Coal Combustion Residuals, EPA, December 2014.

    39 See 80 FR 21302, April 17, 2015.

    Copper has some acute human health effects, but these exposures appear to be the result of direct drinking water or cooking-related intake. We anticipate the only possible routes that copper releases to the environment could result from burning copper naphthenate treated ties would be stormwater runoff from the ties during storage and deposition from boiler emissions. As mentioned earlier, the majority of copper in combusted material appears to remain in the bottom ash, so human health effects from inhalation of fly ash and environmental effects from deposition of copper-containing fly ash are likely very low. Further, the amount of copper remaining in the railroad tie after its useful life may be greatly reduced from the original content due to weathering, and facilities manage the processed shredded railroad tie material in covered areas to prevent significant moisture swings. Therefore, we do not expect impacts from copper in stormwater runoff from the storage of the copper naphthenate treated ties.

    F. Summary of Comments Requested

    The Agency solicited comments in the proposed rule on non-waste fuel categorical determinations as described previously. The Agency also specifically requested comments on the following:

    • Whether railroad ties with de minimis levels of creosote should be allowed to be combusted in biomass only units;

    • Should a particular de minimis level should be designated and on what should this level be based;

    • Whether these OTRTs are combusted in units designed to burn coal in lieu of, or in addition to biomass and fuel oil, and whether the contaminant comparisons to meet legitimacy criteria should include comparisons to coal;

    • In light of the data and sampling history described above, whether the quality of data is adequate to support the proposed determination;

    • Additional data that should be considered in making the comparability determinations for OTRT.

    • Additional information on the copper borate literature review.

    G. Responses to Comments

    Summaries of comments received in response to solicitations listed above are presented below, along with EPA's responses to the comments. All additional comments received are addressed in EPA's Response to Comments document, located in the docket EPA-HQ-OLEM-2016-0248.

    1. De Minimis Levels of Creosote

    For purposes of contaminant comparisons under NHSM, contaminants in railroad ties treated with creosote-borate and mixtures of creosote, copper naphthenate and copper naphthenate-borate treated railroad ties are not comparable to those contaminants found in biomass. Contaminants in such railroad ties would, however, be comparable to contaminants in fuel oil. Accordingly, such ties are categorical non-wastes fuels only when they are processed and then combusted in: (i) Units designed to burn both biomass and fuel oil and (ii) units at major source pulp and paper mills or power producers that had been designed to burn biomass and fuel oil, but are modified in order to use natural gas instead of fuel oil. Mixtures of treated railroad ties containing creosote cannot be combusted in biomass only units. The Agency requested comment as to whether OTRTs used as fuel containing de minimis levels of creosote, should be allowed to be combusted in biomass only units, and if so, what should the level be based on.

    Comments: One commenter supported a de minimis exception, but did not propose any specific levels that the exception would be based on. The commenter stated that there was no practical method for establishing with certainty the minimal amount of creosote that will be present after processing and cited previous determinations discussed above. Another commenter opposed a de minimis exception stating that the Agency has proposed no rationale for such an action and it is unclear what statute or requirements that the Agency was requesting an exception from. The commenter also cited court decisions that emphasized that a unit burning any solid waste was a solid waste incineration unit (see NRDC v. EPA, 489 F. 3d 1250, 1257-60 (D.C. Cir. 2007).

    Response: De minimis contaminant levels have been addressed in previous NHSM rules. The 2011 final rule stated that C&D wood that has been processed to remove contaminants prior to burning (e.g., lead-painted wood, and treated wood containing contaminants such as arsenic and chromium, metals and other non-wood materials), likely meets the processing standard and legitimacy criteria, and can be combusted as a non-waste fuel. The 2011 rule further stated that such C&D wood may contain de minimis amounts of contaminants and other materials after processing provided it meets the legitimacy criteria for contaminant level comparison. The February 2016 final rule specifically codified a de minimis approach for removal of painted wood from C&D wood stating that all painted wood must be excluded to the extent that only de minimis quantities inherent to the processing limitations may remain from the final product fuel (81 FR 6743, February 8, 2016).

    De minimis levels for OTRTs when combusted with creosote treated railroad ties (CTRTs) were also addressed in the February 2016 final NHSM rule (81 FR 6738, February 8, 2016). As discussed in the preamble, TWC had requested that the Agency move forward on a subset of materials (i.e., OTRTs) that were identified in their original April 2013 petition. As these treatments were just coming into use, concern was expressed that the presence of small amounts of OTRTs, which were not categorically listed non-waste fuels, that may have been processed with CTRTs would render all of that material solid wastes since OTRTs are not included in the February 2016 categorical determination. The Agency concluded that, consistent with the determination in the March 2011 rule (76 FR 15486), small (de minimis) amounts of OTRTs would not result in determinations that the CTRTs being combusted are solid wastes.

    The processing of OTRTs is similar to CTRTs (e.g., removal of contaminant metals using magnets, improvement of fuel characteristics through grindings or shredding) and is conducted by the approximately 15 treated wood reclamation companies in North America. These systems that may process mixtures of both CTRT and OTRT may result in the presence of de minimis levels of cresosote in processed railroad ties treated with copper naphthenate and copper-naphthenate borate.

    Regarding a definition for de minimis amounts of contaminants remaining in OTRT, the agency stated in the February 2013 NHSM rule that it was not appropriate to identify specific concentration levels. Rather, the agency interprets de minimis as that term is commonly understood; (i.e., insignificant or negligible amounts of contamination such as small wood sliver containing lead paint 40 ).

    40 See 78 FR 9139, February 7, 2013.

    Based on the factors discussed above, the Agency has concluded, that OTRT containing de minimis levels (i.e., insignificant or negligible amounts) of creosote railroad ties, in mixture combinations with the other ORTS, can be combusted in biomass only units provided it meets the legitimacy criteria for contaminant levels (i.e., concentration levels of contaminants in the processed OTRT are comparable to or less than the levels in biomass.

    2. Inclusion of Coal

    Comment: Regarding whether the OTRTs considered in this rulemaking are combusted in units designed to burn coal (in lieu of or in addition to biomass and fuel oil), one commenter indicated that, although they were unaware of any cement kilns currently combusting OTRTs, cement kilns have burned OTRTs, and cement kilns can burn a range of materials, including biomass and coal. Another commenter requested that EPA include comparisons to the traditional fuel in its analysis. The commenter reported that contaminant comparisons to coal would show that the categorical non-waste fuel definition of OTRTs should be expanded to include OTRTs burned in units designed to burn coal or units designed to burn coal and fuel oil.

    Specifically, the commenter noted the following:

    • For the copper naphthenate treated ties, the maximum contaminant levels in coal are higher for all contaminants except naphthalene and 16-PAHs. However, the semi-volatile organic compound (SVOC) grouping level (which includes naphthalene and 16-PAHs) is higher for coal than copper naphthenate treated ties.

    • For the copper naphthenate-borate treated ties, the contaminant levels in coal are higher for all contaminants except naphthalene. However, the SVOC grouping level (which includes naphthalene) is higher for coal than copper naphthenate-borate treated ties.

    • For the creosote-borate treated ties, the contaminant levels in coal are higher for all contaminants except naphthalene, biphenyl, 16-PAHs, and the SVOC grouping overall. However, the SVOC grouping contaminant level is higher for fuel oil than creosote-borate treated ties.

    The commenter requested that EPA expand the proposed non-waste fuel definition, based on these results, to include copper naphthenate and copper naphthenate-borate treated ties combusted in units designed to burn coal during normal operations. The commenter further requested that EPA include creosote-borate treated ties combusted in units designed to burn coal and fuel oil during normal operations.

    Response: EPA has added coal to the contaminant comparisons of OTRTs to traditional fuels as well as adding specific regulatory language. Specifically, contaminants in OTRTs are presented in comparison to those in coal and other traditional fuels in the tables in section III.D.3.iii of this preamble, and wording has been added to the regulatory language in § 241.4(a)(8)-(10).

    Thus, EPA is listing the following OTRTs as categorical non-waste fuels:

    • Copper naphthenate treated railroad ties combusted in units designed to burn biomass only, biomass and fuel oil, or biomass and coal.

    • Copper naphthenate-borate treated railroad ties combusted in units designed to burn biomass only, biomass and fuel oil or biomass and coal.

    • Creosote-borate treated railroad ties (and mixtures of creosote, borate and copper naphthenate treated railroad ties) combusted only in units designed to burn both biomass and fuel oil, or units that have switched to natural gas from fuel oil; and where such units may also be designed to burn coal.

    3. Sampling and Data Quality Concerns

    Comment: Regarding the data used to support these non-waste determinations, one commenter stated that the data were insufficient. The commenter argued that only three data points were used and that statistical techniques to address variability were not applied.

    Response: EPA disagrees with the commenter that the data were insufficient. A total of 18 grab samples were analyzed, and sample ties were comingled with ties originating from numerous manufacturing locations in multiple states in order to represent actual processing. All data and sampling procedures exceptions were addressed by the company and were within normal operating and analytical parameters (i.e., no corrective actions were deemed necessary to validate the data). Thus, EPA agrees that the sampling results submitted were appropriate for use in comparing contaminant levels with those in comparable traditional fuels.

    To address the commenter's concerns regarding variability, EPA has reviewed the TWC 2015 data presented in the petition and calculated the 90, 95, and 99 percent upper prediction limits (UPLs) for contaminants listed in the comparison charts to see how they compare with the TWC's data. EPA calculated UPLs for metals, sulfur, naphthalene, and 16-PAH.41 The UPL calculation methodology and results are presented in the memo “Contaminant Data UPL Calculations for Other Treated Railroad Ties (OTRTs)” found in the docket for this rulemaking. For copper naphthenate and copper naphthenate-borate treated ties, contaminant levels at the 99 percent UPL fell within the corresponding contaminant ranges for biomass and fuel oil. For creosote-borate treated ties, SVOCs (naphthalene and 16-PAH) are the only contaminants at the 99 percent UPL that does not fall within the range of SVOC concentrations found in biomass or fuel oil. At the 95 percent UPL, all three OTRTs are within the biomass and fuel oil contaminant ranges. EPA therefore believes that variability in the data has been sufficiently accounted for in the contaminant comparisons.

    41 Cl, F and N were not detected in any of the analyses, so with equal detection limits for each data point, no UPL value could be calculated for these three contaminants.

    Comment: One commenter stated that more sensitive testing should have been done to determine if pentachlorophenol was present in the cases where it was tested for but results were below method detection limit (MDL). The commenter noted that if high enough, pentachlorophenol levels could render discarded railroad ties hazardous waste, which would require a facility combusting the material to be regulated as a hazardous waste combustor.

    Response: EPA has evaluated the comment against the data available, and does not agree that more sensitive testing for pentachlorophenol is necessary for the three OTRTs and mixtures analyzed and discussed in the proposal. As noted in the proposal, pentachlorophenol is a distinct preservative type used by the industry; it is not one of the preservatives being presented in the data of the proposal, nor is it expected to be present in any of the preservative types being considered under the OTRT rulemaking. Pentachlorophenol has a distinctly different chemical structure than any of the preservatives being currently considered under the OTRT rulemaking. First, none of the preservatives being considered contain chlorine as part of the chemical structure. Pentachlorophenol, as the name suggests, contains 5 chlorine atoms attached to a phenolic base. In the case of the OTRT samples, chlorine, in addition to pentachlorophenol, was found to be non-detect at a level of 100 ppm (dry basis), which is at the lower range of chlorine content values found in untreated wood.

    Second, as also discussed in the proposed rulemaking preamble, the dilution amounts used for semivolatile (which behave similarly to pentachlorophenol) was necessarily larger for the creosote-containing preservative mixes, which influenced the detection levels for semivolatile analytes. The detection levels for pentachlorophenol follow this trend, where the copper naphthenate and copper naphthenate-borate pentachlorophenol method reporting limits are 30 and 28 ppm, respectively, and the mixtures with creosote being an order of magnitude higher. This increase in the method reporting limit for these creosote-containing samples is not an indication that pentachlorophenol is present in the creosote-containing samples, but more of procedural necessity due to the method and the equipment used for the analysis, as the laboratory pointed out in their results narrative.

    4. Additional Data for Copper and Borates Literature Review

    As discussed in the OTRT proposal, direct stormwater runoff from material storage and deposition from boiler emissions are expected to be the only paths for copper to be released to the environment from burning copper naphthenate treated ties. Additionally, there is evidence that copper in the presence of chlorine could lead to polychlorinated dioxin/furan (PCDD/PCDF) through a reaction pathway involving CuCl and CuCl2. EPA stated in the proposal that copper emissions from units burning these ties would be controlled in the units' air pollution control devices.

    Comment: Area sources may not have any PM control requirements under the area source boilers rule. Emission limits for copper, borate, or HAPs are not required under CAA standards for smaller area sources (standards for area sources focus on tune-ups of the boiler unit).

    Response: EPA stated in the proposal that copper emissions from units burning these ties would be controlled in the units' air pollution control devices. While such controls are required for major sources of HAPs, EPA agrees with the commenter that emission controls for area source are not required. However, as stated previously, copper is not a HAPs and is therefore not subject to regulation under CAA sections 112 (nor is it a pollutant listed under CAA section 129). NHSM rule limits the definition of “contaminant” to the HAPs covered under CAA 112 and 129. CAA 112 lists 187 HAPs from sources in source categories, and CAA section 129 CISWI standards include numeric emission limitations for the nine pollutants, plus opacity (as appropriate), that are specified in CAA section 129(a)(4).

    IV. Effect of This Final Rule on Other Programs

    Beyond expanding the list of NHSMs that categorically qualify as non-waste fuels, this rule does not change the effect of the NHSM regulations on other programs as described in the March 21, 2011 NHSM final rule (76 FR 15456), as amended on February 7, 2013 (78 FR 9138) and February 8, 2016 (81 FR 6688). Refer to section VIII of the preamble to the March 21, 2011 NHSM final rule 42 for the discussion on the effect of the NHSM rule on other programs.

    42 76 FR 15456, March 21, 2011 (page 15545).

    V. State Authority A. Relationship to State Programs

    This final rule does not change the relationship to state programs as described in the March 21, 2011 NHSM final rule. Refer to section IX of the preamble to the March 21, 2011 NHSM final rule 43 for the discussion on state authority including, “Applicability of State Solid Waste Definitions and Beneficial Use Determinations” and “Clarifications on the Relationship to State Programs.” The Agency, however, would like to reiterate that this final rule (like the March 21, 2011 and the February 7, 2013 final rules) is not intended to interfere with a state's program authority over the general management of solid waste.

    43 76 FR 15456, March 21, 2011 (page 15546).

    B. State Adoption of the Rulemaking

    No federal approval procedures for state adoption of this final rule are included in this rulemaking action under RCRA subtitle D. While states are not required to adopt regulations promulgated under RCRA subtitle D, some states incorporate federal regulations by reference or have specific state statutory requirements that their state program can be no more stringent than the federal regulations. In those cases, the EPA anticipates that, if required by state law, the changes being made in this document will be incorporated (or possibly adopted by authorized state air programs) consistent with the state's laws and administrative procedures.

    VI. Costs and Benefits

    As discussed in previous sections, this final rulemaking establishes a categorical non-waste determination for OTRT. The determination allows OTRTs to be combusted as a product fuel in units subject to the CAA section 112 emission standards (provided the conditions of the categorical listing are met) without being subject to a detailed case-by-case analysis of the material by individual combustion facilities. The rule provides additional clarity and direction for generators, potential users and owners or operators of combustion facilities.

    The proposed OTRT rule stated that the action was definitional in nature, and any costs or benefits accrued to the corresponding Clean Air Act rules. In accordance with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-4 requirement that EPA analyze the costs and benefits of regulations, EPA prepared an economic assessment (EA) document 44 for the proposal that examined the scope of indirect impacts for both costs and benefits.

    44 U.S. EPA, Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery, “Assessment of the Potential Costs, Benefits and Other Impacts for the Proposed Rule: Categorical Non-Waste Determination for Selected Non-Hazardous Secondary Materials (NHSMs) Creosote Borate Treated Railroad Ties, Copper Naphthenate Treated Railroad Ties and Copper Naphthenate-Borate Treated Railroad Ties” EPA Docket Number: EPA-HQ-OLEM-2016-0248.

    Based on public comments, information from stakeholders and the Executive Order 13771 signed January 30, 2017, the Agency has expanded the EA for the final rule to take into account additional cost savings. In considering this information, EPA determined that the final OTRT rule EA should consider the potential aggregate cost savings to industry when these materials are regulated as non-waste fuels (because of this rulemaking), rather than as solid waste. In addition, the Agency is ensuring that its cost benefit analysis is consistent with the OMB guidance for E.O. 13771. To do that, we made necessary adjustments to the final OTRT rule EA.45

    45 U.S. EPA, Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery, “Assessment of the Potential Costs, Benefits and Other Impacts for the Final Rule: Categorical Non-Waste Determination for Selected Non-Hazardous Secondary Materials (NHSMs) Creosote Borate Treated Railroad Ties, Copper Naphthenate Treated Railroad Ties and Copper Naphthenate-Borate Treated Railroad Ties” EPA Docket Number: EPA-HQ-OLEM-2016-0248.

    For purposes of the final rule EA, combustion facilities that wish to add OTRT to their fuel mix now or in the future are assumed to operate under CAA 112 standards. OTRTs currently represent a small fraction of treated railroad ties combusted for fuel, but that amount will increase over time. The EA concludes that absent the final categorical rule, OTRT would be considered a solid waste and combustion facilities that wish to add OTRT to their fuel mix would have to incur the costs associated with upgrading to section 129.

    The EA concludes that the categorical rule, which designates OTRT as non-wastes under certain conditions, results in a cost savings from these avoided costs of section 129 upgrades for facilities adding OTRT to the fuel mix. The unit-level cost savings were estimated, on average, to be approximately $266,000 per year. EPA estimates that industry-wide undiscounted costs savings from not having to operate under CAA Section 129 regulations when combusting these OTRTs for energy on the magnitude of between $3.1 million and $24 million annually over the next 20 years. In addition, the assessment indicated that the increased regulatory clarity associated with the action could stimulate increased product fuel use for one or more of these NHSMs, potentially resulting in upstream life cycle benefits associated with reduced extraction of selected virgin materials.

    Another, more likely scenario is also addressed in the EA, where, absent a categorical non-waste fuel determination for OTRTs, combustors decide not to combust OTRTs and do not perform any air pollution control upgrades to meet section 129 standards. In this scenario, OTRTs are instead disposed of in landfills and virgin biomass is purchased by the combustor to make up for the additional heat content that OTRTs would provide. EPA estimates that the undiscounted costs avoided by the final rule of landfilling the OTRT, is between $190,000 and $1.4 million annually over the next 20 years. Looking at these two scenarios and applying a 7% discount rate, EPA estimates that the present value range of cost savings for this rule over 20 years are approximately $6.9 million on the low end (landfilling) and approximately $110 million on the high end (avoided air pollution control upgrades).

    VII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Additional information about these statutes and Executive Orders can be found at https://www.epa.gov/laws-regulations/laws-and-executive-orders.

    A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

    This action is a significant regulatory action that was submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review because it may raise novel policy issues. Any changes made in response to OMB recommendations have been documented in the docket. The EPA prepared an economic analysis of the potential costs and benefits associated with this action. This analysis, “Assessment of the Potential Costs, Benefits, and Other Impacts for the Final Rule—Categorical Non-Waste Determination for Selected Non-Hazardous Secondary Materials (NHSMs): Creosote-Borate Treated Railroad Ties, Copper Naphthenate Treated Railroad Ties, and Copper Naphthenate-Borate Treated Railroad Ties,” is available in the docket. Interested persons were asked to submit comments on this document but none were received.

    B. Executive Order 13771: Reducing Regulations and Controlling Regulatory Costs

    This action is considered an Executive Order 13771 deregulatory action. Details on the estimated cost savings of this final rule can be found in EPA's analysis of the potential costs and benefits associated with this action.

    C. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    This action does not impose any new information collection burden under the PRA as this action only adds three new categorical non-waste fuels to the NHSM regulations. OMB has previously approved the information collection activities contained in the existing regulations and has assigned OMB control number 2050-0205.

    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. In making this determination, the impact of concern is any significant adverse economic impact on small entities. An agency may certify that a rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities if the rule relieves regulatory burden, has no net burden or otherwise has a positive economic effect on the small entities subject to the rule. The addition of three NHSMs to the list of categorical non-waste fuels is expected to indirectly reduce materials management costs. In addition, this action will reduce regulatory uncertainty associated with these materials and help increase management efficiency. We have therefore concluded that this action will relieve regulatory burden for all directly regulated small entities.

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

    This action contains no Federal mandates as described in UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538, and does not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. UMRA generally excludes from the definition of “Federal intergovernmental mandate” duties that arise from participation in a voluntary Federal program. Affected entities are not required to manage the final additional NHSMs as non-waste fuels. As a result, this action may be considered voluntary under UMRA. Therefore, this action is not subject to the requirements of section 202 or 205 of the UMRA

    This action is also not subject to the requirements of section 203 of UMRA because it contains no regulatory requirements that might significantly or uniquely affect small governments. In addition, this proposal will not impose direct compliance costs on small governments.

    F. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    This action does not have federalism implications. It will not have substantial direct effects on the states, on the relationship between the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

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

    This action does not have tribal implications as specified in Executive Order 13175. It will neither impose substantial direct compliance costs on tribal governments, nor preempt Tribal law. Potential aspects associated with the categorical non-waste fuel determinations under this final rule may invoke minor indirect tribal implications to the extent that entities generating or consolidating these NHSMs on tribal lands could be affected. However, any impacts are expected to be negligible. Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this action.

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

    This action is not subject to Executive Order 13045 because it is not economically significant as defined in the Executive Order 12866, and because the EPA does not believe the environmental health or safety risks addressed by this action present a disproportionate risk to children. Based on the following discussion, the Agency found that populations of children near potentially affected boilers are either not significantly greater than national averages, or in the case of landfills, may potentially result in reduced discharges near such populations.

    The final rule, in conjunction with the corresponding CAA rules, may indirectly stimulate the increased fuel use of one or more the three NHSMs by providing enhanced regulatory clarity and certainty. This increased fuel use may result in the diversion of a certain quantity of these NHSMs away from current baseline management practices, which is assumed to be landscape use or being sent to landfills. Some crossties may also go to CISWI units. Any corresponding disproportionate impacts among children would depend upon whether children make up a disproportionate share of the population living near the affected units. Therefore, to assess the potential indirect disproportionate effect on children, we conducted a demographic analysis for this population group surrounding CAA section 112 major source boilers, municipal solid waste landfills, and construction and demolition (C&D) landfills for the Major and Area Source Boilers rules and the CISWI rule.46 We assessed the share of the population under the age of 18 living within a three-mile (approximately five kilometers) radius of these facilities. Three miles has been used often in other demographic analyses focused on areas around industrial sources.47

    46 The extremely large number of area source boilers and a lack of site-specific coordinates prevented us from assessing the demographics of populations located near area sources. In addition, we did not assess child population percentages surrounding cement kilns that may use CTRTs/OTRTs for their thermal value.

    47 The following publications which have provided demographic information using a 3-mile or 5-kilometer circle around a facility:

    * U.S. GAO (Government Accountability Office). Demographics of People Living Near Waste Facilities. Washington DC: Government Printing Office 1995.

    ** Mohai P, Saha R. “Reassessing Racial and Socio-economic Disparities in Environmental Justice Research”. Demography. 2006;43(2): 383-399.

    ** Mennis, Jeremy “Using Geographic Information Systems to Create and Analyze Statistical Surfaces of Population and Risk for Environmental Justice Analysis” Social Science Quarterly, 2002, 83(1):281-297.

    ** Bullard RD, Mohai P, Wright B, Saha R et al., Toxic Wastes and Race at Twenty, 1987-2007, March 2007. 5 CICWI Rule and Major Source Boilers Rule.

    For major source boilers, our findings indicate that the percentage of the population in these areas under age 18 years is generally the same as the national average.48 In addition, while the fuel source and corresponding emission mix for some of these boilers may change as an indirect response to this rule, emissions from these sources would remain subject to the protective CAA section 112 standards. For municipal solid waste and C&D landfills, we do not have demographic results specific to children. However, using the population below the poverty level as a rough surrogate for children, we found that within three miles of landfills that may experience diversions of one or more of these NHSMs, low-income populations, as a percent of the total population, are disproportionately high relative to the national average. Thus, to the extent that these NHSMs are diverted away from municipal solid waste or C&D landfills, any landfill-related emissions, transportation, discharges, or other negative activity potentially affecting low-income (children) populations living near these units are likely to be reduced. Finally, transportation emissions associated with the diversion of some of this material away from landfills to boilers are likely to be generally unchanged.

    48 U.S. EPA, Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery. Summary of Environmental Justice Impacts for the Non-Hazardous Secondary Material (NHSM) Rule, the 2010 Commercial and Industrial Solid Waste Incinerator (CISWI) Standards, the 2010 Major Source Boiler NESHAP and the 2010 Area Source Boiler NESHAP. February 2011.

    I. Executive Order 13211: Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use

    This action is not “significant energy action” because it is not likely to have a significance adverse effect on the supply, distribution or use of energy. The selected NHSMs affected by this final action are not generated in quantities sufficient to significantly (adversely or positively) impact the supply, distribution, or use of energy at the national level.

    J. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA)

    This rulemaking does not involve technical standards.

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

    The EPA believes that this action does not have disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority populations, low-income populations and/or indigenous peoples, as specified in Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994). This is because the overall level of emissions, or the emissions mix from boilers, are not expected to change significantly because the three NHSMs categorically listed as non-waste fuels are generally comparable to the types of fuels that these combustors would otherwise burn. Furthermore, these units remain subject to the protective standards established under CAA section 112.

    Our environmental justice demographics assessment conducted for the prior rulemaking 49 remains relevant to this action. This assessment reviewed the distributions of minority and low-income groups living near potentially affected sources using U.S. Census blocks. A three-mile radius (approximately five kilometers) was examined in order to determine the demographic composition (e.g., race, income, etc.) of these blocks for comparison to the corresponding national compositions. Findings from this analysis indicated that populations living within three miles of major source boilers represent areas with minority and low-income populations that are higher than the national averages. In these areas, the minority share 50 of the population was 33 percent, compared to the national average of 25 percent. For these same areas, the percent of the population below the poverty line (16 percent) was higher than the national average (13 percent).

    49 U.S. EPA, Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery. Summary of Environmental Justice Impacts for the Non-Hazardous Secondary Material (NHSM) Rule, the 2010 Commercial and Industrial Solid Waste Incinerator (CISWI) Standards, the 2010 Major Source Boiler NESHAP and the 2010 Area Source Boiler NESHAP. February 2011.

    50 This figure is for overall population minus white population and does not include the Census group defined as “White Hispanic.”

    In addition to the demographics assessment described previously, we also considered the potential for non-combustion environmental justice concerns related to the potential incremental increase in NHSMs diversions from current baseline management practices. These may include the following:

    Reduced upstream emissions resulting from the reduced production of virgin fuel: Any reduced upstream emissions that may indirectly occur in response to reduced virgin fuel mining or extraction may result in a human health and/or environmental benefit to minority and low-income populations living near these projects.

    Alternative materials transport patterns: Transportation emissions associated with NHSMs diverted from landfills to combustion units are likely to be similar.

    Change in emissions from baseline management units: The diversion of some of these NHSMs away from disposal in landfills may result in a marginal decrease in activity at these facilities. This may include non-adverse impacts, such as marginally reduced emissions, odors, groundwater and surface water impacts, noise pollution, and reduced maintenance cost to local infrastructure. Because municipal solid waste and C&D landfills were found to be located in areas where minority and low-income populations are disproportionately high relative to the national average, any reduction in activity and emissions around these facilities is likely to benefit the citizens living near these facilities.

    Finally, this rule, in conjunction with the corresponding CAA rules, may help accelerate the abatement of any existing stockpiles of the targeted NHSMs. To the extent that these stockpiles may represent negative human health or environmental implications, minority and/or low-income populations that live near such stockpiles may experience marginal health or environmental improvements. Aesthetics may also be improved in such areas.

    L. Congressional Review Act (CRA)

    This action is subject to the CRA, and the EPA will submit a rule report to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the United States. This action is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 241

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Non-hazardous secondary materials, Waste treatment and disposal.

    Dated: January 26, 2018. E. Scott Pruitt, Administrator.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, EPA is amending title 40, chapter I, of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

    PART 241—SOLID WASTES USED AS FUELS OR INGREDIENTS IN COMBUSTION UNITS 1. The authority citation for part 241 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 6903, 6912, 7429.

    2. Section 241.2 is amended by adding in alphabetical order the definitions “Copper naphthenate treated railroad ties”, “Copper naphthenate-borate treated railroad ties”, and “Creosote-borate treated railroad ties” to read as follows:
    § 241.2 Definitions.

    Copper naphthenate treated railroad ties means railroad ties treated with copper naphthenate made from naphthenic acid and copper salt.

    Copper naphthenate-borate treated railroad ties means railroad ties treated with copper naphthenate and borate, including borate made from disodium octaborate tetrahydrate.

    Creosote-borate treated railroad ties means railroad ties treated with a wood preservative containing creosols and phenols and made from coal tar oil and borate, including borate made from disodium octaborate tetrahydrate.

    3. Section 241.4 is amended by adding paragraphs (a)(8) through (10) to read as follows:
    § 241.4 Non-Waste Determinations for Specific Non-Hazardous Secondary Materials When Used as a Fuel.

    (a) * * *

    (8) Creosote-borate treated railroad ties, and mixtures of creosote, borate and/or copper naphthenate treated railroad ties that are processed and then combusted in the following types of units. Processing must include, at a minimum, metal removal and shredding or grinding.

    (i) Units designed to burn both biomass and fuel oil as part of normal operations and not solely as part of start-up or shut-down operations; and

    (ii) Units at major source pulp and paper mills or power producers subject to 40 CFR part 63, subpart DDDDD, designed to burn biomass and fuel oil as part of normal operations and not solely as part of start-up or shut-down operations, but are modified (e.g., oil delivery mechanisms are removed) in order to use natural gas instead of fuel oil, The creosote-borate and mixed creosote, borate and copper naphthenate treated railroad ties may continue to be combusted as product fuel under this subparagraph only if the following conditions are met, which are intended to ensure that such railroad ties are not being discarded:

    (A) Creosote-borate and mixed creosote, borate and copper naphthenate treated railroad ties must be burned in existing (i.e., commenced construction prior to April 14, 2014) stoker, bubbling bed, fluidized bed, or hybrid suspension grate boilers; and

    (B) Creosote-borate and mixed creosote, borate and copper naphthenate treated railroad ties can comprise no more than 40 percent of the fuel that is used on an annual heat input basis.

    (iii) Units meeting requirements in paragraph (a)(8)(i) or (ii) of this section that are also designed to burn coal.

    (9) Copper naphthenate treated railroad ties that are processed and then combusted in units designed to burn biomass, biomass and fuel oil, or biomass and coal. Processing must include at a minimum, metal removal, and shredding or grinding.

    (10) Copper naphthenate-borate treated railroad ties that are processed and then combusted in units designed to burn biomass, biomass and fuel oil, or biomass and coal. Processing must include at a minimum, metal removal, and shredding or grinding.

    [FR Doc. 2018-02337 Filed 2-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 261 Identification and Listing of Hazardous Waste CFR Correction In Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 260 to 265, revised as of July 1, 2017, on page 64, in § 261.6, paragraph (a)(2)(iv) is reinstated to read as follows:
    § 261.6 Requirements for recyclable materials.

    (a)(1) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (iv) Spent lead-acid batteries that are being reclaimed (40 CFR part 266, subpart G).

    [FR Doc. 2018-02518 Filed 2-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1301-00-D
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 261 Identification and Listing of Hazardous Waste CFR Correction In Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 260 to 265, revised as of July 1, 2017, on page 67, in part 261, the heading of subpart C is reinstated to read: “Characteristics of Hazardous Waste”. [FR Doc. 2018-02513 Filed 2-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1301-00-D ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 770 [EPA-HQ-OPPT-2017-0245; FRL-9972-68] RIN 2070-AK36 Voluntary Consensus Standards Update; Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    EPA is publishing this final rule to revise the formaldehyde standards for composite wood products regulations . The revision updates the incorporation by reference of multiple voluntary consensus standards that have been updated, superseded, or withdrawn, and provides a technical correction to allow panel producers to correlate their approved quality control test method to the ASTM E1333-14 test chamber, or, upon showing equivalence, the ASTM D6007-14 test chamber.

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective on February 7, 2018. The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the rule is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of February 7, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2017-0245, is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics Docket (OPPT Docket), Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC. 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 OPPT Docket is (202) 566-0280. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For technical information contact: Erik Winchester, National Program Chemicals Division, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (202) 564-6450; email address: [email protected].

    For general information contact: The TSCA-Hotline, ABVI-Goodwill, 422 South Clinton Ave., Rochester, NY 14620; telephone number: (202) 554-1404; email address: [email protected].

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

    You may be affected by this final rule if you manufacture (including import), sell, supply, offer for sale, test, or work with certification firms that certify hardwood plywood, medium-density fiberboard, particleboard, and/or products containing these composite wood materials in the United States. 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:

    • Veneer, plywood, and engineered wood product manufacturing (NAICS code 3212).

    • Manufactured home (mobile home) manufacturing (NAICS code 321991).

    • Prefabricated wood building manufacturing (NAICS code 321992).

    • Furniture and related product manufacturing (NAICS code 337).

    • Furniture merchant wholesalers (NAICS code 42321).

    • Lumber, plywood, millwork, and wood panel merchant wholesalers (NAICS code 42331).

    • Other construction material merchant wholesalers (NAICS code 423390), e.g., merchant wholesale distributors of manufactured homes (i.e., mobile homes) and/or prefabricated buildings.

    • Furniture stores (NAICS code 4421).

    • Building material and supplies dealers (NAICS code 4441).

    • Manufactured (mobile) home dealers (NAICS code 45393).

    • Motor home manufacturing (NAICS code 336213).

    • Travel trailer and camper manufacturing (NAICS code 336214).

    • Recreational vehicle (RV) dealers (NAICS code 441210).

    • Recreational vehicle merchant wholesalers (NAICS code 423110).

    • Engineering services (NAICS code 541330).

    • Testing laboratories (NAICS code 541380).

    • Administrative management and general management consulting services (NAICS code 541611).

    • All other professional, scientific, and technical services (NAICS code 541990).

    • All other support services (NAICS code 561990).

    • Business associations (NAICS code 813910).

    • Professional organizations (NAICS code 813920).

    If you have any questions regarding the applicability of this action, please consult the technical person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    II. Background A. What action is the Agency taking?

    Following the publication of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (see 78 FR 34796 and 78 FR 34820) and promulgation of EPA's December 12, 2016 final rule addressing formaldehyde emission standards for composite wood products (81 FR 89674), multiple voluntary consensus standards that were incorporated by reference have been updated or withdrawn and superseded. EPA is incorporating by reference into the regulations at 40 CFR part 770 current versions of the voluntary consensus standards assembled by:

    • APA—the Engineered Wood Association,

    • Composite Panel Association (CPA),

    • American National Standards Institute (ANSI),

    • American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM),

    • International Organization for Standardization (ISO),

    • Japanese Standards Association (JIS), and

    • National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

    EPA is taking action to update several voluntary consensus standards in the formaldehyde emission standards for composite wood products final rule to reflect the current editions that are in-use by regulated entities and industry stakeholders. EPA believes that this action is warranted to facilitate regulated entities using the most up-to-date voluntary consensus standards to comply with the final rule.

    1. Direct final rule and notice of proposed rulemaking. The Agency published a direct final rule on October 25, 2017 (82 FR 49287) to update several voluntary consensus standards that since publication of the December 12, 2016 final rule, have been updated, superseded, or withdrawn. Additionally, the action would have updated an existing regulatory provision regarding the correlation of quality control test methods. The Agency solicited public comment on a parallel proposed action by issuing a companion Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (82 FR 49308) with the direct final rule. If EPA received adverse public comment and had to withdraw the direct final rule, this parallel proposed action would continue. EPA received six comments on this action; three comments were not germane to the action, two were supportive, and one of which the Agency considered to be adverse; thus, the direct final rule was withdrawn on December 8, 2017, as published in the Federal Register (82 FR 57874).

    Having withdrawn the direct final rule, EPA is taking action based on the companion Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), which includes consideration of all public comments submitted in response to the provisions discussed in the direct final rule and companion proposal. EPA is issuing this final rule and a Response to Comments document which addresses all of the comments received on this action. The response to comments document can be found in the supporting documents section of the final rule section of the docket for this action.

    2. Final rule. EPA is updating the references for multiple voluntary consensus standards that were incorporated by reference into the formaldehyde emission standards for composite wood products regulations (40 CFR part 770) because they have been updated, superseded, or withdrawn by their respective organization, as proposed in the companion NPRM. Table 1 of this preamble outlines only the voluntary consensus standards being addressed in this rulemaking and their respective updated versions. Under 1 CFR part 51, the Director of the Federal Register indefinitely approves specific versions of individual standards for use in clearly identified sections. The incorporation by reference of any other voluntary consensus standard in part 770 remains unchanged. EPA would need to initiate additional rulemaking to change any material incorporated by reference in the part, including adding, updating, or removing standard.

    Table 1—Voluntary Consensus Standards Comparison Current standard established by final rule
  • 81 (FR 89674)
  • Status Update to be promulgated effective
  • February 7, 2018
  • ANSI/AITC A190.1-2002 American National Standard for Structural Glued Laminated Timber 1 Updated version ANSI A190.1-2017 Standard for Wood Products—Structural Glued Laminated Timber 1. ANSI A208.1-2009 American National Standard for Particleboard Updated version ANSI A208.1-2016 American National Standard for Particleboard. ANSI A208.2-2009 American National Standard for Medium Density Fiberboard for Interior Applications Updated version ANSI A208.2-2016 American National Standard for Medium Density Fiberboard for Interior Applications. ANSI-HPVA HP-1-2009 American National Standard for Hardwood and Decorative Plywood Updated version ANSI-HPVA HP-1-2016 American National Standard for Hardwood and Decorative Plywood. ASTM D5055-05 Standard Specification for Establishing and Monitoring Structural Capacities of Prefabricated Wood I-Joists Updated version ASTM D5055-16 Standard Specification for Establishing and Monitoring Structural Capacities of Prefabricated Wood I-Joists. ASTM D5456-06 Standard Specification for Evaluation of Structural Composite Lumber Products Updated version ASTM D5456-14b Standard Specification for Evaluation of Structural Composite Lumber Products. ASTM D5582-00 Standard Test Method for Determining Formaldehyde Levels from Wood Products Using a Desiccator Updated version ASTM D5582-14 Standard Test Method for Determining Formaldehyde Levels from Wood Products Using a Desiccator. ASTM D6007-02 Standard Test Method for Determining Formaldehyde Concentrations in Air from Wood Products Using a Small-Scale Chamber Updated version ASTM D6007-14 Standard Test Method for Determining Formaldehyde Concentrations in Air from Wood Products Using a Small-Scale Chamber. ASTM E1333-10 Standard Test Method for Determining Formaldehyde Concentration in Air and Emission Rated from Wood Products Using a Large Chamber Updated version ASTM E1333-14 Standard Test Method for Determining Formaldehyde Concentration in Air and Emission Rates from Wood Products Using a Large Chamber. BS EN 717-2: 1995 Wood-based panels—Determination of formaldehyde release—Part 2: Formaldehyde release by the gas analysis method Withdrawn, superseded by BS EN ISO 12460-3:2015 BS EN ISO 12460-3:2015 Wood-based panels—Determination of formaldehyde release. Part 3: Gas analysis method. BS EN 120: 1992 Wood-based panels. Determination of formaldehyde content—Extraction method called the perforator method Withdrawn, superseded by BS EN ISO 12460-5:2015 BS EN ISO 12460-5:2015 Wood-based panels—Determination of formaldehyde release. Part 5: Extraction method (called the perforator method). JIS A1460:2001(E) Building boards-determination of formaldehyde emission—Desiccator method Updated version JIS A1460:2015 Determination of the emission of formaldehyde from building boards—Desiccator method. PS-1-07 Structural Plywood Updated version PS-1-09 Structural Plywood. PS-2-04 Performance Standard for Wood-Based Structural-Use Panels Updated version PS-2-10 Performance Standard for Wood-Based Structural-Use Panels. 1 Note that the ANSI/AITC 190.1-2002 Standard is no longer under the American Institute of Timber Construction purview for the 2017 version, and is now an APA—the Engineered Wood Association managed standard.

    EPA adopts all of the updated versions of the standards referenced in Table 1 in this rule. Any future versions or updates to withdrawn/superseded standards will be announced by EPA through a separate Federal Register document with opportunity for public comment.

    EPA is also taking final action on several technical corrections to references to the ISO/IEC 17020:2012(E) in the testing correlation requirements under § 770.20, as discussed below. The Agency did not receive any adverse comment related specifically to these technical corrections.

    EPA received approval to incorporate ISO/IEC 17020: 2012(E) by reference into part 770, as part of the December 2016 final rule, instead of the 1998 version that was originally proposed. However, that updated version was not reflected everywhere in that published rule. This rule corrects those remaining instances and ensures that all of the references are to the version of the standard that is approved for incorporation by reference.

    EPA is also finalizing a revision at § 770.20(d)(2)(i) to allow the correlation of the tests conducted through the quality control methods listed in § 770.20(b) to either ASTM E1333-14 or, upon a showing of equivalence, ASTM D6007-14 test chamber tests. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) under its Air Toxic Control Measure (ATCM) has approved the use of ASTM D6007-14 test chambers that have previously shown equivalence under § 770.20(d) to an ASTM E1333-14 test chamber to be correlated to other mill quality control method tests listed in § 770.20(b). According to CARB staff, this is the commonly used method for conducting correlation between test methods. Several third-party certifiers, regulated entities and their associations expressed the importance of allowing mill quality control tests to be correlated to ASTM D6007-14 test chambers as they currently operate under the CARB ATCM using this approach and not allowing test chamber correlation in this manner under TSCA Title VI would significantly disrupt product certifications and supply chain processes. EPA agrees that significant disruptions would occur, including problems with completing testing which would lead to significant shortfalls in supply of TSCA Title VI certified product if the correlation of mill quality control tests were allowed only through the use of ASTM E1333-14 test chambers. Additionally, based on consultations with the CARB staff, allowing correlation to be established through the use of ASTM D6007-14 test chambers in addition to the ASTM E1333-14 test chambers does not result in a decrease in testing reliability and yields comparable results if the ASTM D6007-14 test chambers have shown equivalence to the ASTM E1333-14 test chambers. To maintain consistency with this revision, EPA is also updating the definition of quality control limit (QCL) to allow for the use of the ASTM E1333-14 test chamber, or, upon showing equivalence, the ASTM D6007-14 test chamber.

    To aid mills and third-party certifiers in understanding the practical implications of this revision, and to help them implement this revision into the TSCA Title VI program, the Agency is clarifying that data generated beginning December 12, 2016 using an ASTM E1333-10 test chamber, or, upon showing equivalence, an ASTM D6007-02 test chamber, and a panel producer's quality control (QC) test method under § 770.20(b)(1) may be used to establish the required annual correlation. Data generated beginning December 12, 2016 from a panel producer's QC test method under § 770.20(b)(1) that has been correlated to either an ASTM E1333-10 test chamber, or, upon showing equivalence, an ASTM D6007-02 test chamber, may be used to certify compliant composite wood products under the TSCA Title VI program until a new annual correlation is required. Beginning on February 7, 2018, data used to establish correlations must be generated using an ASTM E1333-14 test chamber, or, upon showing equivalence, an ASTM D6007-14 test chamber and the panel producer's QC test method under § 770.20(b)(1).

    B. What is the Agency's authority for taking this action?

    These regulations are established under authority of Section 601 of TSCA, 15 U.S.C. 2697.

    III. Effective Date

    This final rule is not subject to the 30-day delay of effective date generally required by 5 U.S.C. 553(d) because the amendments relieve a restriction. See 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(1). Specifically, the current regulation requires the correlation of the tests conducted through the quality control methods listed in § 770.20(b) to be to ASTM E1333-14 test chamber tests. The amendments allow the correlation of the tests conducted through the quality control methods listed in § 770.20(b) to be to either ASTM E1333-14 or, upon a showing of equivalence, ASTM D6007-14 test chamber tests. This will provide another option for testing and facilitate compliance by the regulated entities. The amendments regarding the voluntary consensus standards reflect the current voluntary consensus standards. To the extent that the regulation required regulated entities to demonstrate compliance according to outdated standards that have been updated, superseded, or withdrawn by their respective organization, this change relieves that restriction. This will avoid confusion over compliance, as the amended versions represent the current voluntary consensus standards in use. Moreover, EPA also finds that there is “good cause” under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) to make the updates to the voluntary consensus standards effective upon publication. The references for the voluntary consensus standards are being updated because the prior versions have been updated, superseded, or withdrawn by their respective organization. If these updates were delayed by 30 days, regulated entities would face uncertainty about whether current standards could be used to comply with the rule. In addition, the regulated entities do not need a 30-day delay in the effective date to prepare for these amendments because they are already familiar with and able to apply the current voluntary consensus standards.

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

    This action is not a significant regulatory action and was therefore not submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review.

    B. Executive Order 13771: Reducing Regulations and Controlling Regulatory Costs

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

    C. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    This action does not impose any new information collection burden under the PRA because it does not create any new reporting or recordkeeping obligations. OMB has previously approved the information collection activities contained in the existing regulations and has assigned OMB control number 2070-0185.

    D. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    The Agency certifies that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the RFA. In making this determination, the impact of concern is any significant adverse economic impact on small entities. An agency may certify that a rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities if the rule relieves regulatory burden, has no net burden or otherwise has a positive economic effect on the small entities subject to the rule. This rule updates the voluntary consensus standards that were incorporated by reference in the final rule to the most current versions. The updated versions of the standards are substantially similar to the previous versions. EPA expects that many small entities are already complying with the updated versions of the standards listed in Table

    This action would relieve these entities of the burden of having to also demonstrate compliance with outdated versions of these standards. This action also provides an amendment to the equivalence and correlation requirements at § 770.20 that would reduce testing burdens without compromising the integrity of the data collected by panel producers and third party certifiers to demonstrate compliance with the emission standards in the final rule. This action will relieve or have no net regulatory burden for directly regulated small entities.

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

    This action does not contain any unfunded mandate as described in UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538, and does not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. The action imposes no enforceable duty on any state, local or tribal governments or the private sector.

    F. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    This action does not have federalism implications. It will not have substantial direct effects on the states, on the relationship between the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

    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 final rule will not impose substantial direct compliance costs on Indian tribal governments. Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this action.

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

    This action is not subject to Executive Order 13045, because it does not concern an environmental health risk or safety risk. This action is not subject to Executive Order 13045 because it is not economically significant as defined in Executive Order 12866, and because EPA does not believe the environmental health or safety risks addressed by this action present a disproportionate risk to children. As addressed in Unit II.A., this action would not materially alter the final rule as published, and will update existing voluntary consensus standards incorporated by reference in the final rule and provide an amendment to the testing requirements at § 770.20.

    I. Executive Order 13211: Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use

    This action is not subject to Executive Order 13211, because it is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866.

    J. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) and 1 CFR Part 51

    This action involves voluntary consensus standards, many of which EPA is directed to use by TSCA Title VI. Voluntary consensus standards identified in the statute have been updated by the voluntary consensus standard management bodies which antiquates the statutorily required versions.

    EPA is updating voluntary consensus standards as issued by ASTM International, ANSI, APA, HPVA, NIST, BSI, and JIS. Copies of the standards referenced in the regulatory text have been placed in the docket for this rule. Additionally, each of these standards is available for inspection at the OPPT Docket in the EPA Docket Center (EPA/DC) at Rm. 3334, EPA, West Bldg., 1301 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC. The EPA/DC Public Reading Room hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number of the EPA/DC Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPPT Docket is (202) 566-0280. EPA has determined that all of these standards are reasonably available to the class of persons affected by this rulemaking. The following voluntary consensus standards are being updated:

    (a) APA, CPA, and HPVA standards. Copies of these standards may be obtained from the specific publisher, as noted below, or from the American National Standards Institute, 1899 L Street NW, 11th Floor, Washington, DC 20036, or by calling (202) 293-8020, or at http://ansi.org. Note that ANSI/APA A190.1-2017 is published by APA—the Engineered Wood Association. ANSI A208.1-2016 and ANSI A208.2-2016 are published by the Composite Panel Association. And ANSI ANSI/HPVA-HP-1-2016 is published by the Hardwood Plywood Veneer Association.

    1. ANSI/APA A190.1-2017, Structural Glued Laminated Timber. This standard describes minimum requirements for the manufacture and production of structural glued laminated timber, including size tolerances, grade combinations, lumber, adhesives, and appearance grades.

    2. ANSI A208.1-2016, American National Standard, Particleboard. This standard describes the requirements and test methods for dimensional tolerances, physical and mechanical properties and formaldehyde emissions for particleboard, along with methods of identifying products conforming to the standard.

    3. ANSI A208.2-2016, American National Standard, Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) for Interior Applications. This standard describes the requirements and test methods for dimensional tolerances, physical and mechanical properties and formaldehyde emissions for MDF, along with methods of identifying products conforming to the standard.

    4. ANSI/HPVA HP-1-2016, American National Standard for Hardwood and Decorative Plywood. This standard details the specific requirements for all face, back, and inner ply grades of hardwood plywood as well as formaldehyde emission limits, moisture content, tolerances, sanding, and grade marking.

    (b) ASTM material. Copies of these materials may be obtained from ASTM International, 100 Barr Harbor Dr., P.O. Box C700, West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2959, or by calling (877) 909-ASTM, or at http://www.astm.org.

    1. ASTM E1333-14, Determining Formaldehyde Concentrations in Air and Emission Rates from Wood Products Using a Large Chamber. This test method measures the formaldehyde concentration in air and emission rate from wood products containing formaldehyde under conditions designed to simulate product use. The concentration in air and emission rate is determined in a large chamber under specific test conditions of temperature and relative humidity. The general procedures are also intended for testing product combinations at product-loading ratios and at air-exchange rates typical of the indoor environment.

    2. ASTM D6007-14, Determining Formaldehyde Concentrations in Air from Wood Products Using a Small-Scale Chamber. This test method measures the formaldehyde concentrations in air from wood products under defined test conditions of temperature and relative humidity. Results obtained from this small-scale chamber test method are intended to be comparable to results obtained testing larger product samples by the large chamber test method for wood products, Test Method E 1333.

    3. ASTM D5582-14, Determining Formaldehyde Levels from Wood Products Using a Dessicator. This test method describes a small scale procedure for measuring formaldehyde emissions potential from wood products. The formaldehyde level is determined by collecting airborne formaldehyde in a small distilled water reservoir within a closed desiccator. The quantity of formaldehyde is determined by a chromotropic acid test procedure.

    4. ASTM D5456-14b, Evaluation of Structural Composite Lumber Products. This specification describes initial qualification sampling, mechanical and physical tests, analysis, and design value assignments. Requirements for a quality-control program and cumulative evaluations are included to ensure maintenance of allowable design values for the product.

    5. ASTM D5055-16, Establishing and Monitoring Structural Capacities of Prefabricated Wood I-Joists. This specification gives procedures for establishing, monitoring, and reevaluating structural capacities of prefabricated wood I-joists, such as shear, moment, and stiffness. The specification also provides procedures for establishing common details and itemizes certain design considerations specific to wood I-joists.

    (c) CEN materials. Copies of these materials are not directly available from the European Committee for Standardization, but from one of CEN's National Members, Affiliates, or Partner Standardization Bodies. To purchase a standard, go to CEN's website, http://www.cen.eu, and select “Products” for more detailed information.

    1. BS EN 12460-3: 2015, Wood-based Panels—Determination of Formaldehyde Release [Part 3: Gas Analysis Method]. This British Version of the European standard describes a procedure for determination of accelerated formaldehyde release from wood-based panels.

    2. BS EN 12460-5: 2015, Wood-based Panels—Determination of Formaldehyde Release [Part 5: Extraction Method (Called the Perforator Method)]. This British Version of the European standard describes an extraction method, known as the perforator method, for determining the formaldehyde content of unlaminated and uncoated wood-based panels.

    (d) Copies of JIS A 1460: 2015, Determination of the Emission of Formaldehyde from Building Boards—Desiccator Method, English Version, may be obtained from Japanese Industrial Standards, 1-24, Akasaka 4, Minatoku, Tokyo 107-8440, Japan, or by calling +81-3-3583-8000, or at http://www.jsa.or.jp. This method describes a method for testing formaldehyde emissions from construction boards by measuring the concentration of formaldehyde absorbed in distilled or deionized water from samples of a specified surface area placed in a glass desiccator for 24 hours.

    (e) NIST material. Copies of these materials may be obtained from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) by calling (800) 553-6847 or from the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO). To purchase a NIST publication you must have the order number. Order numbers may be obtained from the Public Inquiries Unit at (301) 975-NIST. Mailing address: Public Inquiries Unit, NIST, 100 Bureau Dr., Stop 1070, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-1070. If you have a GPO stock number, you can purchase printed copies of NIST publications from GPO. GPO orders may be mailed to: U.S. Government Printing Office, P.O. Box 979050, St. Louis, MO 63197-9000, placed by telephone at (866) 512-1800 (DC Area only: (202) 512-1800), or faxed to (202) 512-2104. Additional information is available online at: http://www.nist.gov.

    1. PS 1-09, Structural Plywood. This standard describes the principal types and grades of structural plywood, covering the wood species, veneer grading, adhesive bonds, panel construction and workmanship, dimensions and tolerances, marking, moisture content and packaging of structural plywood intended for construction and industrial uses. Test methods to determine compliance and a glossary of trade terms and definitions are included, as is a quality certification program involving inspection, sampling, and testing of products identified as complying with this standard by qualified testing agencies.

    2. PS 2-10, Performance Standard for Wood-Based Structural-Use Panels. This standard covers performance requirements, adhesive bond performance, panel construction and workmanship, dimensions and tolerances, marking, and moisture content of structural-use panels, such as plywood, waferboard, oriented strand board, structural particle board, and composite panels. The standard includes test methods, a glossary of trade terms and definitions, and a quality certification program involving inspection, sampling, and testing of products for qualification under the standard.

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

    EPA has determined that 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, as specified in Executive Order 12898. As addressed in Unit II.A., this action would not materially alter the final rule as published, and will update existing voluntary consensus standards incorporated by reference in the final rule and provide an amendment to the testing requirements at § 770.20.

    L. Congressional Review Act (CRA)

    This action is subject to the CRA, and EPA will submit a rule report to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the United States. This action is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2). Section 808 of the CRA allows the issuing agency to make a rule effective sooner than otherwise provided by CRA if the agency makes a good cause finding that notice and public procedure is impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest. As required by 5 U.S.C. 808(2), this determination is supported by a brief statement in Unit III.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 770

    Environmental protection, Formaldehyde, Incorporation by reference, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Third-party certification, Toxic substances, Wood.

    Dated: January 26, 2018. E. Scott Pruitt, Administrator.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, title 40, chapter I, of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

    PART 770—FORMALDEHYDE STANDARDS FOR COMPOSITE WOOD PRODUCTS 1. The authority citation for part 770 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 2697(d).

    2. In § 770.1, paragraphs (c)(3), (4), (5), (7), and (8) are revised to read as follows:
    §  770.1 Scope and applicability.

    (c) * * *

    (3) Structural plywood, as specified in PS 1-09, Structural Plywood (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99).

    (4) Structural panels, as specified in PS 2-10, Performance Standard for Wood-Based Structural-Use Panels (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99).

    (5) Structural composite lumber, as specified in ASTM D5456-14b, Standard Specification for Evaluation of Structural Composite Lumber Products (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99).

    (7) Glued laminated lumber, as specified in ANSI A190.1-2017, Standard for Wood Products—Structural Glued Laminated Timber (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99).

    (8) Prefabricated wood I-joists, as specified in ASTM D5055-16, Standard Specification for Establishing and Monitoring Structural Capacities of Prefabricated Wood I-Joists (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99).

    3. In §  770.3: a. In the terms “EPA TSCA Title VI Product Accreditation Body or EPA TSCA Title VI Product AB” and “TPC laboratory”, remove “17020:1998(E)” and add in its place “17020:2012(E)”; and b. Revise the terms “Hardboard,” “Hardwood plywood,” “Medium-density fiberboard,” “Particleboard,” and “Quality control limit or QCL”.

    The revisions read as follows:

    §  770.3 Definitions.

    Hardboard means a composite panel composed of cellulosic fibers, consolidated under heat and pressure in a hot press by: A wet process; or a dry process that uses a phenolic resin, or a resin system in which there is no formaldehyde as part of the resin cross-linking structure; or a wet formed/dry pressed process; and that is commonly or commercially known, or sold, as hardboard, including any product conforming to one of the following ANSI standards: Basic Hardboard (ANSI A135.4-2012) (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99), Prefinished Hardboard Paneling (ANSI A135.5-2012) (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99), Engineered Wood Siding (ANSI A135.6-2012) (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99), or Engineered Wood Trim (ANSI A135.7-2012) (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99). There is a rebuttable presumption that products emitting more than 0.06 ppm formaldehyde as measured by ASTM E1333-14 (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99) or ASTM D6007-14 (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99) are not hardboard.

    Hardwood plywood means a hardwood or decorative panel that is intended for interior use and composed of (as determined under ANSI/HPVA HP-1-2016 (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99)) an assembly of layers or plies of veneer, joined by an adhesive with a lumber core, a particleboard core, a medium-density fiberboard core, a hardboard core, a veneer core, or any other special core or special back material. Hardwood plywood does not include military-specified plywood, curved plywood, or any plywood specified in PS 1-09, Structural Plywood (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99), or PS 2-10, Performance Standard for Wood-Based Structural-Use Panels (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99). In addition, hardwood plywood includes laminated products except as provided at §  770.4.

    Medium-density fiberboard means a panel composed of cellulosic fibers made by dry forming and pressing a resinated fiber mat (as determined under ANSI A208.2-2016 (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99)).

    Particleboard means a panel composed of cellulosic material in the form of discrete particles (as distinguished from fibers, flakes, or strands) that are pressed together with resin (as determined under ANSI A208.1-2016 (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99)). Particleboard does not include any product specified in PS 2-10 (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99).

    Quality control limit or QCL means the value from the quality control method test that is the correlative equivalent to the applicable emission standard based on the ASTM E1333-14 method (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99) or, upon showing equivalence in accordance with §  770.20(d), the ASTM D6007-14 method (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99).

    4. In §  770.7: a. In paragraphs (a)(5)(i)(A) introductory text, (b)(1)(iv), (c)(1)(iii), (c)(2)(v), and (c)(4)(i)(F), remove “17020:1998(E)” and add in its place “17020:2012(E)”; and b. Revise paragraphs (a)(5)(i)(D) and (F), (b)(5)(i) introductory text, (c)(1)(ii) and (v), (c)(2)(iv) and (viii), (c)(4)(i)(B), and (c)(4)(v)(C).

    The revisions read as follows:

    §  770.7 Third-party certification.

    (a) * * *

    (5) * * *

    (i) * * *

    (D) A review of the approach that the TPC laboratory will use for establishing correlation or equivalence between ASTM E1333-14 and ASTM D6007-14, if used, (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99) or allowable formaldehyde test methods listed under §  770.20.

    (F) A review of the accreditation credentials of the TPC laboratory, including a verification that the laboratory has been accredited to ISO/IEC 17025:2005(E) (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99) with a scope of accreditation to include this part—Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products and the formaldehyde test methods ASTM E1333-14 and ASTM D6007-14, if used, by an EPA TSCA Title VI Laboratory AB (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99).

    (b) * * *

    (5) * * *

    (i) Accreditation. EPA TSCA Title VI Laboratory ABs must determine the accreditation eligibility, and accredit if appropriate, each TPC seeking recognition under the EPA TSCA Title VI Third-Party Certification Program by performing an assessment of each TPC. The assessment must include an on-site assessment by the EPA TSCA Title VI Laboratory AB to determine whether the laboratory meets the requirements of ISO/IEC 17025:2005(E) (incorporated by reference, see § 770.99), is in conformance with ISO/IEC 17020:2012(E) (incorporated by reference, see § 770.99) and the EPA TSCA Title VI TPC requirements under this part including the formaldehyde test methods ASTM E1333-14 and ASTM D6007-14 (incorporated by reference, see § 770.99), if used. In performing the on-site assessment, the EPA TSCA Title VI Laboratory AB must:

    (c) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (ii) Be, or have a contract with a laboratory that is, accredited by an EPA TSCA Title VI Laboratory AB to ISO/IEC 17025:2005(E) (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99) with a scope of accreditation to include this part—Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products—and the formaldehyde test methods ASTM E1333-14 and ASTM D6007-14, if used (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99);

    (v) Have demonstrated experience in performing or verifying formaldehyde emissions testing on composite wood products, including experience with test method ASTM E1333-14 and ASTM D6007-14, if used, (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99), and experience evaluating correlation between test methods. Applicant TPCs that have demonstrated experience with test method ASTM D6007-14 only, must be contracting testing with a laboratory that has a large chamber and demonstrate its experience with ASTM E1333-14.

    (2) * * *

    (iv) A copy of the TPC laboratory's certificate of accreditation from an EPA TSCA Title VI Laboratory AB to ISO/IEC 17025:2005(E) (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99) with a scope of accreditation to include this part—Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products—and the formaldehyde test methods ASTM E1333-14 and ASTM D6007-14 (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99), if used;

    (viii) A description of the TPC's experience with test method ASTM E1333-14 and/or ASTM D6007-14, if used, (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99), and experience evaluating correlation between test methods. Applicant TPCs that have experience with test method ASTM D6007-14 only, must be contracting testing with a laboratory that has a large chamber and describe its experience with ASTM E1333-14; and

    (4) * * *

    (i) * * *

    (B) Verify each panel producer's quality control test results compared with test results from ASTM E1333-14 and ASTM D6007-14, if used, (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99) by having the TPC laboratory conduct quarterly tests and evaluate test method equivalence and correlation as required under §  770.20;

    (v) * * *

    (C) Notification of a panel producer exceeding its established QCL for more than two consecutive quality control tests within 72 hours of the time that the TPC becomes aware of the second exceedance. The notice must include the product type, dates of the quality control tests that exceeded the QCL, quality control test results, ASTM E1333-14 (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99) or ASTM D6007-14 method (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99) correlative equivalent values in accordance with §  770.20(d), the established QCL value(s) and the quality control method used.

    5. In §  770.10, paragraph (b) introductory text is revised to read as follows:
    §  770.10 Formaldehyde emission standards.

    (b) The emission standards are based on test method ASTM E1333-14 (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99), and are as follows:

    6. In §  770.15, paragraphs (c)(1)(v) and (c)(2)(iii) are revised to read as follows:
    §  770.15 Composite wood product certification.

    (c) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (v) At least five tests conducted under the supervision of an EPA TSCA Title VI TPC pursuant to test method ASTM E1333-14 or ASTM D6007-14 (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99). Test results obtained by ASTM D6007-14 must include a showing of equivalence in accordance with §  770.20(d)(1);

    (2) * * *

    (iii) At least five tests conducted under the supervision of an EPA TSCA Title VI TPC pursuant to test method ASTM E1333-14 or ASTM D6007-14 (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99). Test results obtained by ASTM D6007-14 must include a showing of equivalence in accordance with §  770.20(d)(1);

    7. In §  770.17, paragraph (a)(3) is revised to read as follows:
    §  770.17 No-added formaldehyde-based resins.

    (a) * * *

    (3) At least one test conducted under the supervision of an EPA TSCA Title VI TPC pursuant to test method ASTM E1333-14 or ASTM D6007-14 (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99). Test results obtained by ASTM D6007-14 must include a showing of equivalence in accordance with §  770.20(d)(1); and

    8. In §  770.18, paragraph (a)(3) is revised to read as follows:
    §  770.18 Ultra low-emitting formaldehyde resins.

    (a) * * *

    (3) At least two tests conducted under the supervision of an EPA TSCA Title VI TPC pursuant to test method ASTM E1333-14 or ASTM D6007-14 (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99). Test results obtained by ASTM D6007-14 must include a showing of equivalence in accordance with §  770.20(d)(1); and

    9. In §  770.20, paragraphs (b)(1)(i) through (iii), (vi), and (vii), (c)(1), (d) introductory text, (d)(1), (d)(2) introductory text, and (d)(2)(i) are revised to read as follows:
    §  770.20 Testing requirements.

    (b) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (i) ASTM D6007-14 (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99).

    (ii) ASTM D5582-14 (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99).

    (iii) BS EN ISO 12460-3:2015 E (Gas Analysis Method) (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99).

    (vi) BS EN ISO 12460-5:2015 E (Perforator Method) (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99).

    (vii) JIS A 1460:2015(E) (24-hr Desiccator Method) (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99).

    (c) * * *

    (1) Allowable methods. Quarterly testing must be performed using ASTM E1333-14 (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99) or, with a showing of equivalence pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section, ASTM D6007-14 (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99).

    (d) Equivalence or correlation. Equivalence or correlation between ASTM E1333-14 (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99) and any other test method used for quarterly or quality control testing must be demonstrated by EPA TSCA Title VI TPCs or panel producers, respectively, at least once each year for each testing apparatus or whenever there is a significant change in equipment, procedure, or the qualifications of testing personnel. Once equivalence or correlation have been established for three consecutive years, equivalence or correlation must be demonstrated every two years or whenever there is a significant change in equipment, procedure, or the qualifications of testing personnel.

    (1) Equivalence between ASTM E1333-14 and ASTM D6007-14 when used by the TPC for quarterly testing. Equivalence must be demonstrated for at least five comparison sample sets, which compare the results of the two methods. Equivalence must be demonstrated for each small chamber used and for the ranges of emissions of composite wood products tested by the TPC.

    (i) Samples. (A) For the ASTM E1333-14 method (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99), each comparison sample must consist of the result of testing panels, using the applicable loading ratios specified in the ASTM E1333-14 method (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99), from similar panels of the same product type tested by the ASTM D6007-14 method (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99).

    (B) For the ASTM D6007-14 method (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99), each comparison sample shall consist of testing specimens representing portions of panels similar to the panels tested in the ASTM E1333-14 method (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99) and matched to their respective ASTM E1333-14 method (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99) comparison sample result. The ratio of air flow to sample surface area specified in ASTM D6007-14 (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99) must be used.

    (C) The five comparison sample must consist of testing a minimum of five sample sets as measured by the ASTM E1333-14 method (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99).

    (ii) Average and standard deviation. The arithmetic mean, x, and standard deviation, S, of the difference of all comparison sets must be calculated as follows:

    ER07FE18.001 Where x = arithmetic mean; S = standard deviation; n = number of sets; D i = difference between the ASTM E1333-14 and ASTM D6007-14 method (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99) values for the i th set; and i ranges from 1 to n.

    (iii) Equivalence determination. The ASTM D6007-14 method (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99) is considered equivalent to the ASTM E1333-14 method (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99) if the following condition is met:

    ER07FE18.002 Where C is equal to 0.026.

    (2) Correlation between ASTM E1333-14 and any quality control test method. Correlation must be demonstrated by establishing an acceptable correlation coefficient (“r” value).

    (i) Correlation. The correlation must be based on a minimum sample size of five data pairs and a simple linear regression where the dependent variable (Y-axis) is the quality control test value and the independent variable (X-axis) is the ASTM E1333-14 (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99) test value or, upon a showing of equivalence in accordance with paragraph (d) of this section, the equivalent ASTM D6007-14 (incorporated by reference, see §  770.99) test value. Either composite wood products or formaldehyde emissions reference materials can be used to establish the correlation.

    10. In §  770.99, paragraphs (a) introductory text, (a)(5) through (8), (b)(1) through (5), (c)(1) and (2), (f)(1), and (g)(1) and (2) are revised to read as follows:
    §  770.99 Incorporation by reference.

    (a) CPA, APA, and HPVA Materials. Copies of these materials may be obtained from the specific publisher, as noted in this paragraph (a), or from the American National Standards Institute, 1899 L Street NW, 11th Floor, Washington, DC 20036, or by calling (202) 293-8020, or at http://ansi.org/. Note that ANSI A190.1-2017 is published by APA—the Engineered Wood Association. ANSI A135.4-2012, ANSI A135.5-2012, ANSI A135.6-2012, ANSI A135.7-2012, ANSI A208.1-2016 and ANSI A208.2-2016 are published by the Composite Panel Association; and ANSI/HPVA-HP-1-2016 is published by the Hardwood Plywood Veneer Association.

    (5) ANSI A190.1-2017, Standard for Wood Products—Structural Glued Laminated Timber, Approved January 24, 2017, IBR approved for §  770.1(c).

    (6) ANSI A208.1-2016, Particleboard, Approved May 12, 2016, IBR approved for §  770.3.

    (7) ANSI A208.2-2016, Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) for Interior Applications, Approved May 12, 2016, IBR approved for §  770.3.

    (8) ANSI/HPVA HP-1-2016, American National Standard for Hardwood and Decorative Plywood, Approved January 12, 2016, IBR approved for §  770.3.

    (b) * * *

    (1) ASTM D5055-16, Standard Specification for Establishing and Monitoring Structural Capacities of Prefabricated Wood I-Joists, Approved June 1, 2016, IBR approved for §  770.1(c).

    (2) ASTM D5456-14b, Standard Specification for Evaluation of Structural Composite Lumber Products, Approved October 1, 2014, IBR approved for §  770.1(c).

    (3) ASTM D5582-14, Standard Test Method for Determining Formaldehyde Levels from Wood Products Using a Desiccator, Approved-August 1, 2014, IBR approved for §  770.20(b).

    (4) ASTM D6007-14, Standard Test Method for Determining Formaldehyde Concentrations in Air from Wood Products Using a Small-Scale Chamber, Approved October 1, 2014, IBR approved for §§ 770.3, 770.7(a) through (c), 770.15(c), 770.17(a), 770.18(a), and 770.20(b) through (d).

    (5) ASTM E1333-14, Standard Test Method for Determining Formaldehyde Concentrations in Air and Emission Rates from Wood Products Using a Large Chamber, Approved October 1, 2014, IBR approved for §§ 770.3, 770.7(a) through (c), 770.10(b), 770.15(c), 770.17(a), 770.18(a), and 770.20(c) and (d).

    (c) * * *

    (1) BS EN ISO 12460-3:2015 E, Wood-based panels.—Determination of formaldehyde release—Part 3: Gas analysis method, November 2015, IBR approved for § 770.20(b).

    (2) BS EN ISO 12460-5:2015 E, Wood based panels.—Determination of formaldehyde release—Part 5: Extraction method (called the perforator method), December 2015, IBR approved for § 770.20(b).

    (f) * * *

    (1) JIS A 1460:2015(E), Determination of the emission of formaldehyde from building boards—Desiccator method, First English edition, published 2015-10, IBR approved for § 770.20(b).

    (g) * * *

    (1) PS 1-09, Structural Plywood, May 2010, IBR approved for §§ 770.1(c) and 770.3.

    (2) PS 2-10, Performance Standard for Wood-Based Structural-Use Panels, June 2011, IBR approved for §§ 770.1(c) and 770.3.

    [FR Doc. 2018-02144 Filed 2-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 229 [Docket No. 170303230-8047-02] RIN 0648-BG72 List of Fisheries for 2018 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) publishes its final List of Fisheries (LOF) for 2018, as required by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). The LOF for 2018 reflects new information on interactions between commercial fisheries and marine mammals. NMFS must classify each commercial fishery on the LOF into one of three categories under the MMPA based upon the level of mortality and serious injury of marine mammals that occurs incidental to each fishery. The classification of a fishery on the LOF determines whether participants in that fishery are subject to certain provisions of the MMPA, such as registration, observer coverage, and take reduction plan (TRP) requirements.

    DATES:

    The applicability date of this final rule is March 9, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Chief, Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kristy Long, Office of Protected Resources, 301-427-8402; Allison Rosner, Greater Atlantic Region, 978-281-9328; Jessica Powell, Southeast Region, 727-824-5312; Dan Lawson, West Coast Region, 562-980-3209; Suzie Teerlink, Alaska Region, 907-586-7240; Kevin Brindock, Pacific Islands Region, 808-725-5146. Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the hearing impaired may call the Federal Information Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: What is the List of Fisheries?

    Section 118 of the MMPA requires NMFS to place all U.S. commercial fisheries into one of three categories based on the level of incidental mortality and serious injury of marine mammals occurring in each fishery (16 U.S.C. 1387(c)(1)). The classification of a fishery on the LOF determines whether participants in that fishery may be required to comply with certain provisions of the MMPA, such as registration, observer coverage, and take reduction plan requirements. NMFS must reexamine the LOF annually, considering new information in the Marine Mammal Stock Assessment Reports (SARs) and other relevant sources, and publish in the Federal Register any necessary changes to the LOF after notice and opportunity for public comment (16 U.S.C. 1387 (c)(1)(C)).

    How does NMFS determine in which category a fishery is placed?

    The definitions for the fishery classification criteria can be found in the implementing regulations for section 118 of the MMPA (50 CFR 229.2). The criteria are also summarized here.

    Fishery Classification Criteria

    The fishery classification criteria consist of a two-tiered, stock-specific approach that first addresses the total impact of all fisheries on each marine mammal stock and then addresses the impact of individual fisheries on each stock. This approach is based on consideration of the rate, in numbers of animals per year, of incidental mortalities and serious injuries of marine mammals due to commercial fishing operations relative to the potential biological removal (PBR) level for each marine mammal stock. The MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1362 (20)) defines the PBR level 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 (OSP). This definition can also be found in the implementing regulations for section 118 of the MMPA (50 CFR 229.2).

    Tier 1: Tier 1 considers the cumulative fishery mortality and serious injury for a particular stock. If the total annual mortality and serious injury of a marine mammal stock, across all fisheries, is less than or equal to 10 percent of the PBR level of the stock, all fisheries interacting with the stock will be placed in Category III (unless those fisheries interact with other stock(s) for which total annual mortality and serious injury is greater than 10 percent of PBR). Otherwise, these fisheries are subject to the next tier (Tier 2) of analysis to determine their classification.

    Tier 2: Tier 2 considers fishery-specific mortality and serious injury for a particular stock.

    Category I: Annual mortality and serious injury of a stock in a given fishery is greater than or equal to 50 percent of the PBR level (i.e., frequent incidental mortality and serious injury of marine mammals).

    Category II: Annual mortality and serious injury of a stock in a given fishery is greater than 1 percent and less than 50 percent of the PBR level (i.e., occasional incidental mortality and serious injury of marine mammals).

    Category III: Annual mortality and serious injury of a stock in a given fishery is less than or equal to 1 percent of the PBR level (i.e., a remote likelihood of or no known incidental mortality and serious injury of marine mammals).

    Additional details regarding how the categories were determined are provided in the preamble to the final rule implementing section 118 of the MMPA (60 FR 45086; August 30, 1995).

    Because fisheries are classified on a per-stock basis, a fishery may qualify as one category for one marine mammal stock and another category for a different marine mammal stock. A fishery is typically classified on the LOF at its highest level of classification (e.g., a fishery qualifying for Category III for one marine mammal stock and for Category II for another marine mammal stock will be listed under Category II). Stocks driving a fishery's classification are denoted with a superscript “1” in Tables 1 and 2.

    Other Criteria That May Be Considered

    The tier analysis requires a minimum amount of data, and NMFS does not have sufficient data to perform a tier analysis on certain fisheries. Therefore, NMFS has classified certain fisheries by analogy to other Category I or II fisheries that use similar fishing techniques or gear that are known to cause mortality or serious injury of marine mammals, or according to factors discussed in the final LOF for 1996 (60 FR 67063; December 28, 1995) and listed in the regulatory definition of a Category II fishery: In the absence of reliable information indicating the frequency of incidental mortality and serious injury of marine mammals by a commercial fishery, NMFS will determine whether the incidental mortality or serious injury is “frequent,” “occasional,” or “remote” by evaluating other factors such as fishing techniques, gear used, methods used to deter marine mammals, target species, seasons and areas fished, qualitative data from logbooks or fishermen reports, stranding data, and the species and distribution of marine mammals in the area, or at the discretion of the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries (50 CFR 229.2).

    Further, eligible commercial fisheries not specifically identified on the LOF are deemed to be Category II fisheries until the next LOF is published (50 CFR 229.2).

    How does NMFS determine which species or stocks are included as incidentally killed or injured in a fishery?

    The LOF includes a list of marine mammal species and/or stocks incidentally killed or injured in each commercial fishery. The list of species and/or stocks incidentally killed or injured includes “serious” and “non-serious” documented injuries as described later in the List of Species and/or Stocks Incidentally Killed or Injured in the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean sections. To determine which species or stocks are included as incidentally killed or injured in a fishery, NMFS annually reviews the information presented in the current SARs and injury determination reports. The SARs are based upon the best available scientific information and provide the most current and inclusive information on each stock's PBR level and level of interaction with commercial fishing operations. The best available scientific information used in the SARs reviewed for the 2018 LOF generally summarizes data from 2010-2014. NMFS also reviews other sources of new information, including injury determination reports, bycatch estimation reports, observer data, logbook data, stranding data, disentanglement network data, fishermen self-reports (i.e., MMPA mortality/injury reports), and anecdotal reports from that time period. In some cases, more recent information may be available and used in the LOF, but in an effort to be consistent with the most recent SARs and across the LOF, NMFS typically restricts the analysis to data within the five-year time period summarized in the current SAR.

    For fisheries with observer coverage, species or stocks are generally removed from the list of marine mammal species and/or stocks incidentally killed or injured if no interactions are documented in the five-year timeframe summarized in that year's LOF. For fisheries with no observer coverage and for observed fisheries with evidence indicating that undocumented interactions may be occurring (e.g., fishery has low observer coverage and stranding network data include evidence of fisheries interactions that cannot be attributed to a specific fishery) species and stocks may be retained for longer than five years. For these fisheries, NMFS will review the other sources of information listed above and use its discretion to decide when it is appropriate to remove a species or stock.

    Where does NMFS obtain information on the level of observer coverage in a fishery on the LOF?

    The best available information on the level of observer coverage and the spatial and temporal distribution of observed marine mammal interactions is presented in the SARs. Data obtained from the observer program and observer coverage levels are important tools in estimating the level of marine mammal mortality and serious injury in commercial fishing operations. Starting with the 2005 SARs, each Pacific and Alaska SAR includes an appendix with detailed descriptions of each Category I and II fishery on the LOF, including the observer coverage in those fisheries. For Atlantic fisheries, this information can be found in the LOF Fishery Fact Sheets. The SARs generally do not provide detailed information on observer coverage in Category III fisheries because, under the MMPA, Category III fisheries are generally not required to accommodate observers aboard vessels due to the remote likelihood of mortality and serious injury of marine mammals. Fishery information presented in the SARs' appendices and other resources referenced during the tier analysis may include: Level of observer coverage; target species; levels of fishing effort; spatial and temporal distribution of fishing effort; characteristics of fishing gear and operations; management and regulations; and interactions with marine mammals. Copies of the SARs are available on the NMFS Office of Protected Resources website at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/sars/. Information on observer coverage levels in Category I, II, and III fisheries can be found in the fishery fact sheets on the NMFS Office of Protected Resources' website: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/interactions/fisheries/lof.html. Additional information on observer programs in commercial fisheries can be found on the NMFS National Observer Program's website: http://www.st.nmfs.gov/observer-home/.

    How do I find out if a specific fishery is in Category I, II, or III?

    The LOF includes three tables that list all U.S. commercial fisheries by Category. Table 1 lists all of the commercial fisheries in the Pacific Ocean (including Alaska); Table 2 lists all of the commercial fisheries in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean; and Table 3 lists all U.S.-authorized commercial fisheries on the high seas. A fourth table, Table 4, lists all commercial fisheries managed under applicable TRPs or take reduction teams (TRTs).

    Are high seas fisheries included on the LOF?

    Beginning with the 2009 LOF, NMFS includes high seas fisheries in Table 3 of the LOF, along with the number of valid High Seas Fishing Compliance Act (HSFCA) permits in each fishery. As of 2004, NMFS issues HSFCA permits only for high seas fisheries analyzed in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The authorized high seas fisheries are broad in scope and encompass multiple specific fisheries identified by gear type. For the purposes of the LOF, the high seas fisheries are subdivided based on gear type (e.g., trawl, longline, purse seine, gillnet, troll, etc.) to provide more detail on composition of effort within these fisheries. Many fisheries operate in both U.S. waters and on the high seas, creating some overlap between the fisheries listed in Tables 1 and 2 and those in Table 3. In these cases, the high seas component of the fishery is not considered a separate fishery, but an extension of a fishery operating within U.S. waters (listed in Table 1 or 2). NMFS designates those fisheries in Tables 1, 2, and 3 by a “*” after the fishery's name. The number of HSFCA permits listed in Table 3 for the high seas components of these fisheries operating in U.S. waters does not necessarily represent additional effort that is not accounted for in Tables 1 and 2. Many vessels/participants holding HSFCA permits also fish within U.S. waters and are included in the number of vessels and participants operating within those fisheries in Tables 1 and 2.

    HSFCA permits are valid for five years, during which time Fishery Management Plans (FMPs) can change. Therefore, some vessels/participants may possess valid HSFCA permits without the ability to fish under the permit because it was issued for a gear type that is no longer authorized under the most current FMP. For this reason, the number of HSFCA permits displayed in Table 3 is likely higher than the actual U.S. fishing effort on the high seas. For more information on how NMFS classifies high seas fisheries on the LOF, see the preamble text in the final 2009 LOF (73 FR 73032; December 1, 2008). Additional information about HSFCA permits can be found at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/ia/permits/highseas.html.

    Where can I find specific information on fisheries listed on the LOF?

    Starting with the 2010 LOF, NMFS developed summary documents, or fishery fact sheets, for each Category I and II fishery on the LOF. These fishery fact sheets provide the full history of each Category I and II fishery, including: When the fishery was added to the LOF; the basis for the fishery's initial classification; classification changes to the fishery; changes to the list of species and/or stocks incidentally killed or injured in the fishery; fishery gear and methods used; observer coverage levels; fishery management and regulation; and applicable TRPs or TRTs, if any. These fishery fact sheets are updated after each final LOF and can be found under “How Do I Find Out if a Specific Fishery is in Category I, II, or III?” on the NMFS Office of Protected Resources' website: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/interactions/fisheries/lof.html, linked to the “List of Fisheries by Year” table. NMFS is developing similar fishery fact sheets for each Category III fishery on the LOF. However, due to the large number of Category III fisheries on the LOF and the lack of accessible and detailed information on many of these fisheries, the development of these fishery fact sheets is taking significant time to complete. NMFS began posting Category III fishery fact sheets online with the LOF for 2016.

    Am I required to register under the MMPA?

    Owners of vessels or gear engaging in a Category I or II fishery are required under the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1387(c)(2)), as described in 50 CFR 229.4, to register with NMFS and obtain a marine mammal authorization to lawfully take non-endangered and non-threatened marine mammals incidental to commercial fishing operations. Owners of vessels or gear engaged in a Category III fishery are not required to register with NMFS or obtain a marine mammal authorization.

    How do I register and receive my Marine Mammal Authorization Program (MMAP) authorization certificate?

    NMFS has integrated the MMPA registration process, implemented through the Marine Mammal Authorization Program (MMAP), with existing state and Federal fishery license, registration, or permit systems for Category I and II fisheries on the LOF. Participants in these fisheries are automatically registered under the MMAP and are not required to submit registration or renewal materials.

    In the Pacific Islands, West Coast, and Alaska regions, NMFS will issue vessel or gear owners an authorization certificate via U.S. mail or with their state or Federal license or permit at the time of issuance or renewal.

    In the West Coast Region, authorization certificates may be obtained from the website http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/protected_species/marine_mammals/fisheries_interactions.html.

    In the Alaska Region, authorization certificates may be obtained by visiting the Alaska Regional Office website https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/pr/mmapregistration.

    In the Greater Atlantic Region, NMFS will issue vessel or gear owners an authorization certificate via U.S. mail automatically at the beginning of each calendar year. Certificates may also be obtained by visiting the Greater Atlantic Regional Office website http://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/mmap/.

    In the Southeast Region, NMFS will issue vessel or gear owners an authorization certificate via U.S. mail automatically at the beginning of each calendar year. Vessel or gear owners can receive additional authorization certificates by contacting the Southeast Regional Office at 727-209-5952 or by visiting the Southeast Regional Office website http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/protected_resources/marine_mammal_authorization_program/ and following the instructions for printing the certificate.

    The authorization certificate, or a copy, must be on board the vessel while it is operating in a Category I or II fishery, or for non-vessel fisheries, in the possession of the person in charge of the fishing operation (50 CFR 229.4(e)). Although efforts are made to limit the issuance of authorization certificates to only those vessel or gear owners that participate in Category I or II fisheries, not all state and Federal license or permit systems distinguish between fisheries as classified by the LOF. Therefore, some vessel or gear owners in Category III fisheries may receive authorization certificates even though they are not required for Category III fisheries.

    Individuals fishing in Category I and II fisheries for which no state or Federal license or permit is required must register with NMFS by contacting their appropriate Regional Office (see ADDRESSES).

    How do I renew my registration under the MMAP?

    In Alaska regional and Greater Atlantic regional fisheries, registrations of vessel or gear owners are automatically renewed and participants should receive an authorization certificate by January 1 of each new year. Certificates can also be obtained from the region's website. In Pacific Islands regional fisheries, vessel or gear owners receive an authorization certificate by January 1 for state fisheries and with their permit renewal for Federal fisheries. In West Coast regional fisheries, vessel or gear owners receive authorization either with each renewed state fishing license in Washington and Oregon, with their permit renewal for Federal fisheries (the timing of which varies based on target species), or via U.S. mail. Vessel or gear owners who participate in fisheries in these regions and have not received authorization certificates by January 1 or with renewed fishing licenses must contact the appropriate NMFS Regional Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). In Southeast regional fisheries, vessel or gear owners' registrations are automatically renewed and participants will receive an authorization certificate via U.S. mail automatically at the beginning of each calendar year. Additional authorization certificates are available for printing on the Southeast Regional Office website http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/protected_resources/marine_mammal_authorization_program/.

    Am I required to submit reports when I kill or injure a marine mammal during the course of commercial fishing operations?

    In accordance with the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1387(e)) and 50 CFR 229.6, any vessel owner or operator, or gear owner or operator (in the case of non-vessel fisheries), participating in a fishery listed on the LOF must report to NMFS all incidental mortalities and injuries of marine mammals that occur during commercial fishing operations, regardless of the category in which the fishery is placed (I, II, or III) within 48 hours of the end of the fishing trip or, in the case of non-vessel fisheries, fishing activity. “Injury” is defined in 50 CFR 229.2 as a wound or other physical harm. In addition, any animal that ingests fishing gear or any animal that is released with fishing gear entangling, trailing, or perforating any part of the body is considered injured, regardless of the presence of any wound or other evidence of injury, and must be reported.

    Mortality/injury reporting forms and instructions for submitting forms to NMFS can be found at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/interactions/mmap/#form or by contacting the appropriate regional office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). Forms may be submitted via any of the following means: (1) Online using the electronic form; (2) emailed as an attachment to [email protected]; (3) faxed to the NMFS Office of Protected Resources at 301-713-0376; or (4) mailed to the NMFS Office of Protected Resources (mailing address is provided on the postage-paid form that can be printed from the web address listed above). Reporting requirements and procedures can be found in 50 CFR 229.6.

    Am I required to take an observer aboard my vessel?

    Individuals participating in a Category I or II fishery are required to accommodate an observer aboard their vessel(s) upon request from NMFS. MMPA section 118 states that the Secretary is not required to place an observer on a vessel if the facilities for quartering an observer or performing observer functions are so inadequate or unsafe that the health or safety of the observer or the safe operation of the vessel would be jeopardized; thereby authorizing the exemption of vessels too small to safely accommodate an observer from this requirement. However, U.S. Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean, or Gulf of Mexico large pelagics longline vessels operating in special areas designated by the Pelagic Longline Take Reduction Plan implementing regulations (50 CFR 229.36(d)) will not be exempted from observer requirements, regardless of their size. Observer requirements can be found in 50 CFR 229.7.

    Am I required to comply with any marine mammal TRP regulations?

    Table 4 provides a list of fisheries affected by TRPs and TRTs. TRP regulations can be found at 50 CFR 229.30 through 229.37. A description of each TRT and copies of each TRP can be found at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/interactions/trt/teams.html. It is the responsibility of fishery participants to comply with applicable take reduction regulations.

    Where can I find more information about the LOF and the MMAP?

    Information regarding the LOF and the MMAP, including: Registration procedures and forms; current and past LOFs; descriptions of each Category I and II fishery and some Category III fisheries; observer requirements; and marine mammal mortality/injury reporting forms and submittal procedures; may be obtained at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/interactions/fisheries/lof.html, or from any NMFS Regional Office at the addresses listed below:

    NMFS, Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930-2298, Attn: Allison Rosner;

    NMFS, Southeast Region, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701, Attn: Jessica Powell;

    NMFS, West Coast Region, Long Beach Office, 501 W. Ocean Blvd., Suite 4200, Long Beach, CA 90802-4213, Attn: Dan Lawson;

    NMFS, Alaska Region, Protected Resources, P.O. Box 22668, 709 West 9th Street, Juneau, AK 99802, Attn: Suzie Teerlink; or

    NMFS, Pacific Islands Regional Office, Protected Resources Division, 1845 Wasp Blvd., Building 176, Honolulu, HI 96818, Attn: Kevin Brindock.

    Sources of Information Reviewed for the 2018 LOF

    NMFS reviewed the marine mammal incidental mortality and serious injury information presented in the SARs for all fisheries to determine whether changes in fishery classification are warranted. The SARs are based on the best scientific information available at the time of preparation, including the level of mortality and serious injury of marine mammals that occurs incidental to commercial fishery operations and the PBR levels of marine mammal stocks. The information contained in the SARs is reviewed by regional Scientific Review Groups (SRGs) representing Alaska, the Pacific (including Hawaii), and the U.S. Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean. The SRGs were created by the MMPA to review the science that informs the SARs, and to advise NMFS on marine mammal population status, trends, and stock structure, uncertainties in the science, research needs, and other issues.

    NMFS also reviewed other sources of new information, including marine mammal stranding data, observer program data, fishermen self-reports, reports to the SRGs, conference papers, FMPs, and ESA documents.

    The LOF for 2018 was based on, among other things, stranding data; fishermen self-reports; and SARs, primarily the 2016 SARs, which are based on data from 2010-2014. The SARs referenced in this LOF include: 2014 (80 FR 50599; August 20, 2015), 2015 (81 FR 38676; June 14, 2016), 2016 (82 FR 29039; June 27, 2017). The SARs are available at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/sars/.

    Comments and Responses

    NMFS received letters containing comments on the proposed LOF for 2018 (82 FR 47424; October 12, 2017) from the Marine Mammal Commission (Commission); five non-governmental organizations (Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), Hawaii Longline Association (HLA), Southeast Alaska Fishermen's Alliance (SEAFA), Southeast Alaska Sperm Whale Avoidance Project (SEASWAP), and Turtle Island Restoration Network (TIRN); and two individuals. Responses to substantive comments are below; comments on actions not related to the LOF are not included.

    Comments on Commercial Fisheries in the Pacific Ocean

    Comment 1: The Commission believes that NMFS' approach to classifying the Gulf of Alaska sablefish longline (GOA SLL) fishery based on the statutory definitions of fishery categories in the MMPA, in the absence of an estimate of PBR, is appropriate. Further, the Commission states that NMFS has the discretion to classify a fishery as Category I in the absence of the data necessary to calculate mortality and serious injury (M/SI) as a fraction of PBR. The Commission notes that while the current M/SI is almost certainly greater than 10 percent of PBR, exactly where M/SI as a percentage of PBR falls relative to the Category I and II thresholds depends on what proportion of the stock's U.S. range was surveyed, and other factors not taken into account in NMFS' analysis. The Commission recommends that the GOA SLL fishery should be classified as at least a Category II fishery. However, two other commenters, SEASWAP and SEAFA, oppose the proposed change to reclassify the GOA SLL from a Category III to a Category II fishery based on interactions with sperms whales. These commenters disagree that these temporary sperm whale entanglements resulted in serious injuries and assert that prorating these serious injuries to mortalities is not appropriate (see comments 3, 4, and 5 below). They urge NMFS to retain the existing Category III ranking for the fishery.

    Response: NMFS agrees with the Commission and has reclassified the fishery as Category II. Given our analysis of the estimated mean annual M/SI attributed to the GOA SLL fishery, and our best available information regarding the North Pacific sperm whale stock, the AK Gulf of Alaska sablefish pot fishery will be classified as Category II in the 2018 LOF; NMFS will continue to consider all available data in its future classifications of this fishery.

    Comment 2: The Commission recommends that NMFS give high priority to: (1) Surveying enough of the range of sperm whales to provide a reliable estimate of PBR for the portion of the stock that occupies the EEZ in Alaska, (2) increasing observer coverage in the GOA SLL fishery (currently 14-19 percent), and (3) developing a take reduction plan for the North Pacific stock of sperm whales. The Commission comments that these actions will enable NMFS to more definitively classify the GOA SLL fishery and to mitigate the bycatch problem.

    Response: NMFS agrees with the Commission on the need for reliable estimates of abundance and PBR for the North Pacific sperm whale stock; however, the funding necessary for surveying sperm whales in the Gulf of Alaska is currently unavailable. Next, observer coverage is determined through the Annual Deployment Plan (ADP) process, which provides a statistically-based sampling approach for the random deployment of human observers onto longline vessels operating in the Gulf of Alaska. The ADP is part of a larger annual process where NMFS consults with the North Pacific Fishery Management Council and its Scientific and Statistical Committee on to determine the amount of coverage for an upcoming year. This method is described in the 2018 ADP (available at https://www.afsc.noaa.gov/Publications/ProcRpt/PR2017-07.pdf). Regarding take reduction plans, NMFS' available resources for Take Reduction Teams (TRTs) are fully utilized at this time. When NMFS lacks sufficient funding to convene a TRT for all stocks that interact with Category I and II fisheries, NMFS gives highest priority for developing and implementing new take reduction plans to species and stocks whose level of incidental mortality and serious injury exceeds PBR, that have a small population size, and that are declining most rapidly, pursuant to MMPA section 118(f)(3).

    Comment 3: SEASWAP and SEAFA assert that NMFS' assignment of the significant injury and 75 percent mortality rate to temporary sperm whale entanglements is unsubstantiated and inconsistent with the determination criteria used for other cetacean species, such as beluga and humpback whales. SEASWAP and SEAFA request that NMFS lower the pro-rated mortality rate for sperm whales.

    Response: NMFS implemented a policy for distinguishing serious from non-serious injury of marine mammals to increase transparency and consistency nationwide in assessing and quantifying serious injuries of marine mammals in 2012 (NMFS 2012). This policy serves as the basis for evaluating injury reports of marine mammals. The policy involves applying guidelines to determine whether an injury should be considered serious and describes a variety of injuries specific to large cetaceans, small cetaceans, and pinnipeds. The policy and guidelines cover most types of injury and were developed to fit data rich as well as data poor injury events.

    Criteria for evaluating large whale injuries include three types of entanglements. Two of these types are “constricting wrap,” a serious injury (SI), and “loose wrap, bridled or draped gear,” a non-serious injury (NSI). If documentation of a confirmed entanglement is inadequate to assign an entanglement to either of these types a third category is used, “evidence of entanglement.” Events falling in this category are prorated. To prorate, the number of events assigned to this category within the assessment period is multiplied by 0.75. This value was calculated based on 114 documented entanglement events with known outcomes that occurred between 2004 and 2008, of which 85 (75 percent) resulted in the whales' deteriorating health or death. Although more severe or prolonged entanglements may be more likely to be reported, the 0.75 prorating reflects the probability that some confirmed entanglement reports lacking detail will be of minor events.

    SEASWAP and SEAFA are correct that using a prorate value of 0.75 for sperm whale entanglements reflects assumptions about the fate of the entangled animals. We would welcome data analyses or other information from SEASWAP on sperm whale interactions with longline fisheries that would help inform future injury determinations. The 0.75 value is based on the best available information.

    The other injury determinations referenced by SEASWAP are also consistent with NMFS' policy and guidelines for distinguishing serious from non-serious injury. The vessel strike that left a piece of whale skin on a vessel's hull was categorized as a “superficial laceration” and a vessel strike under “vessel any size less than 10 knots,” both of which are considered non-serious injuries. Injuries to small cetaceans, such as beluga whales, are assigned to a category from a list specific to small cetaceans. The beluga entangled in gillnet that was later freed from gear was assigned to the “anchored, immobilized, entangled, or entrapped before being freed without gear attached” category. This category does not have a defined injury value, and instead requires a case-specific assessment. NMFS evaluated the record of the injury and considered it a non-serious injury because the animal was able to surface while entangled and was confirmed to be free of gear when released.

    Comment 4: SEASWAP and SEAFA disagree with the conclusion in the March 2016 NOAA report (NOAA-TM-AFSC-315) that the temporary sperm whale entanglements reported during 2010-2014 resulted in 6.25 dead sperm whales. They further assert that of the five cases described by observers, not one included a documented case of the whales remaining entangled or having visible injury from the entanglement, yet “serious injury” was assigned in four cases (Haul numbers 225, 7, 82, and 116). SEASWAP and SEAFA urge NOAA to reassign these “significant injury” designations to “non-serious injury.”

    Response: When we review entanglement records, we pay close attention to the observer's recorded description of events. When an observer codes an interaction as “entangled in gear (not trailing gear),” we still assess whether gear could have remained on the animal post hoc. Fishery observers are not trained to assess the severity of marine mammal injuries, and we do not use their assessment of injury severity. This explains the differences SEASWAP noted between the observer's assessment on the marine mammal interaction form and the final injury determinations as reported in “Human-Caused Injury and Mortality of NMFS-managed Alaska Marine Mammal Stocks, 2010-2014” (Helker et al., 2016).

    In response to SEASWAP's and SEAFA's comments, we will reevaluate these entanglements and injury determinations; if we determine any changes to the injury determinations due to these entanglements are necessary, they will be reviewed consistent with NMFS policy and reported in the 2018 Marine Mammal Stock Assessment Reports and Human-caused Serious Injury and Mortality Report.

    Comment 5: SEASWAP and SEAFA disagree with NMFS' extrapolation of the observed temporary entanglements to the sperm whale/GOA SLL fishery interactions, including the pro-rating to the unobserved fleet, and assert that NMFS is oversimplifying sperm whale behavior near fishing boats. SEAFA argues that because some sperm whales have been documented as serial longline depredators, the actual M/SI is likely less than NMFS' estimate and it is inappropriate to extrapolate across the fleet. SEAFA comments that NMFS does not provide enough information to verify if the extrapolated data is reasonable and how these data were handled prior to and following the restructuring of the observer program to correct for bias in observer coverage.

    Response: Extrapolating bycatch events that are observed in fisheries with partial observer coverage, such as components of the GOA SLL fishery, is standard practice. Bycatch extrapolation relies on the observed bycatch in a sampled portion of a fishery to estimate the bycatch across that entire fishery. Depredation by sperm whales is a common occurrence in this fishery, and an entanglement preceded by depredation is treated no differently than other bycatch events since it reflects one of the risks posed to marine mammals by the fishery.

    The methodology for estimating bycatch is explained in NOAA Tech. Memo. NMFS-AFSC-260 (Breiwick 2013) and has not changed appreciably since that time. Specifically, the serious injuries are extrapolated only within a stratum defined by the NMFS statistical area, three categories of vessel size (>125, between 60 and 125, <60), and three time periods (January to April, May through August, September through December). The two serious injuries that were extrapolated in 2012 occurred in vessels between 60 and 125 feet, whereas the one serious injury in 2013 that was extrapolated occurred on a vessel <60 feet, so the observer coverage within that stratum is much lower, which is what is actually used to extrapolate the serious injury. We do not extrapolate observed bycatch in one statum to strata where no bycatch was observed. For simplicity, we do not report the observer coverage within the extrapolated strata, but instead report observer coverage for the entire fishery across all strata. Therefore, it is not possible for the reader to extrapolate the observed bycatch to estimate the total bycatch (see Breiwick 2013).

    Comment 6: SEAFA notes that the proposed rule suggests breaking the Category III AK Miscellaneous finfish handline/hand troll and mechanical jig fishery into several fisheries by gear type and geography. In order to maintain consistency with the State of Alaska fishery permits, SEAFA recommends the new names for the groundfish troll fisheries be (2) AK BSAI groundfish hand troll and dinglebar troll and (4) AK Gulf of Alaska groundfish hand troll and dinglebar troll.

    Response: NMFS agrees. We will adopt and use the suggested clarifications to fisheries names (AK Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands groundfish hand troll and dinglebar troll and AK Gulf of Alaska groundfish hand troll and dinglebar troll) in the 2018 LOF.

    Comment 7: SEAFA comments that it is unclear whether the proposed updates in Table 1 for the “estimated number of vessels/persons” participating in a fishery reflects the total number of potential participants or the number of actual participants in a fishery. SEAFA recommends that NMFS consult with the State of Alaska's Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission for the most accurate information about the number of available permits versus the number of permits actively fished, particularly for the AK Southeast shrimp pot fishery and AK Southeast Alaska crab pot fisheries.

    Response: NMFS has been making efforts to report the category “estimated number of vessels/persons” across Table 1 more consistently. As SEAFA points out, this is especially important for fisheries where there is a large discrepancy between the number of valid permits versus the number of active permits. Where possible, Table 1 will report the number of active permits to most accurately depict the relative effort of each fishery. In response to this comment, we have revisited the number of participants for the AK Southeast shrimp pot fishery and AK Southeast Alaska crab pot fishery and identified that the wrong permit count was used for the AK Southeast shrimp pot fishery. To correct this, in the final LOF NMFS changed the estimated number of vessels/persons for this fishery to the number of active permits (99).

    Comment 8: TIRN and CBD comment that before listing the AK Gulf of Alaska sablefish pot fishery as a Category III fishery, NMFS should analyze the data of all Alaska and West Coast sablefish pot fisheries and humpback interactions and compare it to an updated humpback whale stock assessment. They recommend that, as a precautionary measure, the fishery should be listed as Category II. TIRN and CBD assert that, in the absence of statistically-reliable data regarding humpback whale serious injuries and mortalities for Alaska pot fisheries, NMFS must list these fisheries as Category II until: (a) The MMPA humpback stock is revised to be consistent with the ESA stock listings and (b) NMFS uses available fishing effort and humpback abundance data to determine co-occurrence.

    Response: NMFS considers data from several sources for the mean annual M/SI estimates and LOF process, including observer data, self-reports, and stranding data. We acknowledge that reliable data are not always available and that analogous fisheries can provide more insight into the potential for incidental M/SI. However, these situations require a clear justification for which fishery is being considered analogous and why. In the case of the AK Gulf of Alaska sablefish pot fishery, NMFS considers the newly authorized fishery to be most analogous with the other sablefish pot fisheries in the State, which are Category III. Further, the AK Gulf of Alaska sablefish pot fishery has observer coverage, and NMFS will continue to consider any new data collected by the observer program or other sources in future LOF analyses.

    Comment 9: TIRN and CBD recommend that humpback whales be listed as marine mammal species and/or stocks incidentally killed or injured in the AK Aleutian Islands sablefish pot fishery and the Category III AK Bering Sea sablefish pot fishery, based on observer records that humpback whales have been incidentally caught in both these fisheries.

    Response: The species and/or stocks listed as incidentally killed or injured in Table 1 includes the species and/or stocks in which there are recent reports of incidental mortality or injury by a particular fishery consistent with the information reported in the SARs. Typically, species and/or stocks are removed from Table 1 when recent data do not include documented mortality or injury of that species or stock. NMFS has a report of a humpback whale considered seriously injured in the AK Bering Sea sablefish pot fishery in 2002. However, NMFS has observed this fishery since that time and there were no documented injuries or mortalities. Therefore, in 2013, NMFS removed humpback whales from the list of species/stocks killed or injured in this fishery (78 FR 53336, August 29, 2013).

    Comment 10: TIRN and CBD support combining the Category III AK Aleutian Islands sablefish pot fishery in the LOF with the Category III AK Bering Sea sablefish pot fishery for consistency with other regional designations in the LOF, but urge NMFS to analyze humpback whale interactions first before listing this combined fishery as Category III.

    Response: The LOF uses data consistent with the SARs, which is generally from a 5-year rolling window to evaluate a fishery's impacts to marine mammal stocks. For the 2018 LOF, 2010-2014 data are considered in the LOF tier analyses. There are no documented reports of incidental M/SI of humpback whales during this time in either of the fisheries being combined. Given all available data, including recent observer data for the AK Bering Sea sablefish pot fishery, NMFS believes that Category III is most appropriate for this location, target species, and gear type. Thus, we will classify the newly combined AK Bering Sea, Aleutian Island sablefish pot fishery as Category III.

    Comment 11: The Commission concurs with NMFS that the CA thresher shark/swordfish drift gillnet fishery should be reclassified from Category I to Category II based on the most recent estimate of M/SI for the California/Oregon/Washington stock of sperm whales in this fishery.

    Response: NMFS agrees and has reclassified the CA thresher shark/swordfish drift gillnet (≥14 in mesh) fishery from Category I to Category II based on the most recent estimates of marine mammal M/SI in this fishery.

    Comment 12: TIRN and CBD comment that more than a year has passed since the listing of the Central America humpback whale distinct population segment (DPS), and reported entanglements are at record highs in the area off California that is the near-exclusive feeding grounds for this DPS. They assert that NMFS should consider the Central American humpback whale DPS as a relevant stock in its determinations for the 2018 List of Fisheries.

    Response: For the 2018 LOF, NMFS relied upon information on the current status of humpback whale stocks on the U.S. west coast as described in the most recent SAR available (Carretta et al., 2017a). The most recent SAR available does not contain an MMPA stock delineation for humpback whales that corresponds with the recent ESA-listing decision that established several DPSs of humpback whales that may be present in U.S. west coast waters. While NMFS may consider updates to humpback whale stock delineations under the MMPA in light of the recent ESA-listing decision, we will continue to rely upon the most current SAR for the status of humpback whale stocks on the U.S. west coast relative to human-caused M/SI and the classification of fisheries under the MMPA LOF. Currently, there is no Central America DPS stock of marine mammals delineated under the MMPA. NMFS is currently evaluating the humpback whale stock structure under the MMPA with respect to the ESA listing.

    Comment 13: CBD and TIRN urge NMFS to designate the CA Dungeness crab pot fishery as a Category I fishery because it frequently entangles, seriously injures, and kills imperiled humpback whales. CBD and TIRN state that the PBR calculation for the international stock of Central America humpbacks results in an estimated PBR of 0.8 humpback whales per year, and the best estimate of minimum average annual M/SI is 1.35 whales per year, well above the PBR estimate. They further maintain that the average numbers of annual M/SI is an underestimate as it is based on reported entanglements, and does not account for many entanglements that go unobserved, and does not include the 2016 entanglement of 19 humpback whales in the CA Dungeness crab pot fishery. CBD and TIRN suggest that according to the historical rate of serious injury determinations, 84 percent of these entanglements, or 16 whales, resulted in a serious injury or mortality and this is well above the PBR estimate. CBD and TIRN assert that the available information clearly demonstrates that NMFS should reclassify the fishery as Category I.

    Response: The most recent SAR for humpback whales on the U.S. west coast does not establish or provide a PBR for the Central America DPS of humpback whales because it is not a delineated MMPA stock, as explained in Comment 12 above. Until such time that the SAR reports a PBR for an MMPA stock delineation of humpback whales that may more closely reflect the Central America DPS as suggested by the commenter, calculation of hypothetical PBRs by any other sources are considered premature. NMFS will continue to rely upon the most recent SAR for the calculation of PBR for humpback whale stocks on the U.S. west coast for classifying fisheries under the LOF. In addition, commenters reference data sources from 2016 that have not yet been reviewed for M/SI in the SARs; NMFS will use those data for classifying fisheries once they have been incorporated into the SARs.

    Comment 14: CBD and TIRN state that preliminary evidence shows that the CA Dungeness crab pot fishery, and not the Oregon or Washington Dungeness crab pot fishery, primarily impacts the Central America humpback whale DPS. They recommend that without additional information, all interactions of the CA Dungeness crab pot fishery should be assigned to the Central America DPS.

    Response: As described in Comment 12 above, the most current SAR does not delineate a Central America DPS of humpback whales as a stock under the MMPA. Until such time that the humpback whale stock structure under the MMPA with respect to the ESA listing has been completed, assignment of M/SI to humpback stocks in the SAR and under the LOF will continue to reflect the current MMPA stock delineations.

    Comment 15: CBD and TIRN recommend that NMFS add blue whales, ENP, Offshore killer whales, and the western North Pacific gray whale to the list of species incidentally killed or injured in the CA Dungeness crab pot fisheries.

    Response: Entanglement data from the U.S. west coast that has been reviewed for M/SI include recent data through 2015 (Carretta et al., 2017b). We note that through 2015, no blue whale injuries have been documented in the CA Dungeness crab pot fishery. Information on entanglements reported in 2016 and 2017 referenced by commenters will be used to inform the list of marine mammal stocks incidentally killed or injured in any U.S. west coast fisheries once it has been incorporated into the SARs, at which time NMFS will use those data for the LOF.

    We thank the commenter for pointing out that we omitted the identity of the killer whale stock associated with a dead killer whale reported to NMFS in 2015 that was entangled with CA Dungeness crab gear. NMFS is currently reviewing the available information regarding the identification of the stock of killer whales to which this individual belongs. Once this information has been evaluated and reported in a future SAR, NMFS will add the appropriate stock of killer whales to the list of marine mammal stocks incidentally killed or injured by the CA Dungeness crab fishery in the LOF. As stated previously, entanglement information from 2016 has not yet been evaluated for M/SI and will not be used to inform the list of marine mammal stocks incidentally killed or injured in any U.S. west coast fisheries at this time.

    NMFS acknowledges that the most recent SAR suggests that because some Western North Pacific gray whales occur in U.S. waters, there is a possibility these whales could be killed or injured by ship strikes or entangled in fishing gear within U.S. waters. However, while it may be possible that at least one or more Western North Pacific gray whales have been among the many gray whales reported entangled on the U.S. west coast historically, NMFS recognizes that relatively few of those instances are known to have involved gear from the CA Dungeness crab fishery. We also acknowledge that many other U.S. commercial fisheries on the U.S. west coast have been identified as associated with entanglements of gray whales historically, and it is likely other U.S. commercial, tribal, and foreign fisheries from countries surrounding gray whale migration routes that have not been identified have also been involved. In the absence of more specific information from any particular entanglement of gray whales that involved CA Dungeness crab gear to suggest those entanglements involved a Western North Pacific gray whale, NMFS does not have sufficient data to conclude that Western North Pacific gray whales have been entangled in CA Dungeness crab gear versus other fisheries throughout the range of gray whales; thus, we will not include Western North Pacific gray whales on the list of stocks incidentally killed or injured in the CA Dungeness crab fishery at this time. Based on the relative population sizes of the Western North Pacific and Eastern North Pacific stocks of gray whales, and what is known about migrations of the Western North Pacific stock to the eastern North Pacific (Moore and Weller 2013), NMFS has concluded the likelihood that any of the particular gray whales that are known to have interacted with CA Dungeness crab fishery were Western North Pacific stock gray whales is extremely low. NMFS strives to collect photographic or genetic data from entangled gray whales that may allow for stock and will continue to develop and promote this aspect as a key data need surrounding all gray whale strandings and entanglements.

    Comment 16: TIRN and CBD oppose NMFS' proposal to lower the CA thresher shark/swordfish drift gillnet fishery classification from Category I to Category II. They note that NMFS' decreased annual take estimate of sperm whales may not adequately reflect the mortality or serious injury that the fishery causes for sperm whales. In addition, TIRN/CBD comment that the MMPA Section 101(a)(5)(E) authorization to take humpback and sperm whales by this fishery has expired, and a reclassification of the fishery to Category II prior to the completion of the rulemaking process for a new authorization is premature. Based on the uncertainty stemming from low observer coverage and the past observation of sperm whale M/SI, and the pending MMPA authorization rule-making, TIRN/CBD urge NMFS to maintain the CA thresher shark/swordfish drift gillnet fishery's classification as Category I.

    Response: The reclassification of this fishery from Category I to Category II is based upon published scientific information that includes estimates of bycatch and subsequent M/SI in this fishery that are considered robust given annual variance in observer coverage rates. These estimates are based on methodologies that represent an improved approach to estimate relatively rare bycatch events over time compared to methods referenced in previous SARs and classifications under the LOF. NMFS has determined these estimates are appropriate to inform the LOF classification of the CA thresher shark/swordfish drift gillnet (≥14 in mesh) fishery as Category II. Further, classifications made under the LOF are based on the best available science and are not dependent or related to the current status of other regulatory processes including the issuance of authorizations under section 101(a)(5)(E) of the MMPA.

    Comment 17: TIRN and CBD support NMFS' proposal to add the CA/OR/WA stock of Dall's porpoise to the list of stocks incidentally killed or injured in the Category I California thresher shark/swordfish drift gillnet (≥14 in mesh) fishery based on a 2014 observed entanglement.

    Response: NMFS agrees and has added the CA/OR/WA stock of Dall's porpoise to the list of stocks incidentally killed or injured in the Category I CA thresher shark/swordfish drift gillnet (≥14 in mesh) fishery.

    Comment 18: TIRN and CBD recommend, based on interactions between 2010 through 2016, that NMFS add Guadalupe fur seals to the list of species and/or stocks incidentally killed or injured in the California drift gillnet fishery, and the gillnet fisheries that operate from Tillamook County, OR, to Jefferson County, WA, such as the WA Willapa Bay drift gillnet, WA/OR lower Columbia River drift gillnet, and the WA Grays Harbor salmon drift gillnet fishery.

    Response: NMFS has reviewed the available information on Guadalupe fur seal interactions and M/SI associated with gillnet entanglements from 2010-2014. Based on information that is available (Carretta et al., 2017a and Carretta et al., 2017b), we are not able to determine the fishery origin of Guadalupe fur seal strandings that have been associated with gillnet entanglements. Guadalupe fur seals have a wide range that brings them into potential contact with numerous gillnet fisheries that include U.S. commercial fisheries as well as tribal and foreign fisheries from neighboring countries. While we continually aim to improve our ability to evaluate incoming information and identify the origins of fishing gear present on all stranded marine mammals, we will not attribute any Guadalupe fur seal M/SI to any U.S. gillnet fisheries or list Guadalupe fur seals as a marine mammal stock that is killed or injured by any U.S. gillnet fisheries at this time absent more specific information regarding the origins of gillnet interactions.

    Comment 19: TIRN and CBD recommend NMFS add Guadalupe fur seals to the list of species and/or stocks incidentally killed or injured in the Hawaii deep-set and Hawaii shallow-set longline fisheries based on 2015 and 2016 reported interactions.

    Response: The recently observed Guadalupe fur seal interaction from 2015 has not yet been included in a SAR, an injury determination has not been finalized for this interaction, and the interaction has not yet been evaluated as part of the tier analysis for these fisheries. This species will be included in a future LOF, as appropriate.

    Comment 20: HLA opposes including the Hawaii stock of Kogia species (Hawaii) on the list of species injured or killed in the Hawaii-based deep-set longline fishery. HLA requests that NMFS remove Kogia species from the list of stocks that are interacting with the deep-set longline fishery, because the most recent SAR (2013) for Hawaii pygmy whales and dwarf sperm whales identifies no observed interactions between either of these stocks and this fishery. However, two other commenters, TIRN and CBD, support NMFS' proposal to add the Hawaii stock of Kogia spp. to the list of stocks incidentally killed or injured in the Category I HI deep-set longline fishery based upon the serious injury of a pygmy or dwarf sperm whale in 2014 in this fishery.

    Response: Although the 2013 SAR does not include observed interactions with Hawaii pygmy whales and dwarf sperm whales, a Kogia spp. interaction was observed in the Hawaii deep-set longline fishery on February 25, 2014, resulting in a serious injury (Carretta et al., 2017b). This injury determination has been finalized, and the interaction is included in the draft 2017 SAR (82 FR 60181; December 19, 2017).

    Comment 21: The HLA restates a previous comment that the Hawaii-based deep-set longline fishery does not interact with the MHI insular or Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) stocks of false killer whales. HLA notes that (a) the False Killer Whale Take Reduction Plan closed the deep-set longline fishery for almost the entire range of the MHI insular and NWHI stocks, (b) since this change was made in 2013 there have been no interactions between the fishery and an animal from either stock, and (c) there has never been a deep-set longline fishery interaction in the very small area of the stocks' respective ranges that are not closed to longline fishing. HLA requests that NMFS remove these two stocks from the list of marine mammals that interact with the deep-set longline fishery, as the best available information demonstrates the fishery is not interacting with either of these stocks.

    Response: This comment has been addressed previously (see 78 FR 53336, August 29, 2013, comment 11; 79 FR 14418, March 14, 2014, comment 4; 79 FR 77919, December 29, 2014, comment 2; and 81 FR 20550, April 8, 2016, comment 5). NMFS determines which species or stocks are included as incidentally killed or injured in a fishery by annually reviewing the information presented in the current SARs, among other relevant sources. The SARs are based on the best available scientific information and provide information on each stock, including range, abundance, PBR, and level of interaction with commercial fishing operations. Determinations in the LOF are based on the information reported in the SARs.

    The 2018 LOF is based on the 2016 SARs, which report fishery interactions from 2010-2014; this is the best scientific and commercial information available for the time period examined. As reported in the 2016 SAR, 12 false killer whales were taken within the Hawaiian EEZ between 2010 and 2014, ten of those occurred within the range of the pelagic stock, and two occurred within an overlap zone that included the range of more than one false killer whale stock. Applying the proration methods described in detail in the 2016 SAR for takes in overlap zones, NMFS estimates a five-year average mortality and serious injury level of 0.1 MHI insular and 0.4 NWHI false killer whales per year incidental to the Hawaii-based deep-set longline fishery from 2010-2014 (Carretta et al., 2017a). NMFS is retaining the stocks on the list of marine mammal stocks incidentally killed or injured in the Hawaii deep-set longline fishery.

    Comment 22: HLA opposes including the pygmy killer whale (Hawaii stock) on the list of species injured or killed in the Hawaii-based deep-set fishery. HLA requests that NMFS remove the pygmy killer whale from the list of stocks that are interacting with the deep-set fishery, because the most recent SAR (2013) identifies no observed interactions between the stock and the deep-set longline fishery.

    Response: The 2013 SAR reports marine mammal interactions with the deep-set fishery that occurred between 2007 and 2011. Although the 2013 SAR does not include any observed interactions with pygmy killer whales, an interaction was observed between a pygmy killer whale and the Hawaii deep-set longline fishery on January 5, 2013, resulting in a serious injury (Carretta et al., 2017b). This injury determination has been finalized, and the interaction is included in the draft 2017 SAR (82 FR 60181; December 19, 2017).

    Comment 23: TIRN and CBD support NMFS' proposal to add the Central North Pacific stock of humpback whale to the list of stocks incidentally killed or injured in the Category I Hawaii deep-set longline fishery based upon the serious injury of a humpback in 2014 in this fishery.

    Response: NMFS agrees and has added the Central North Pacific stock of humpback whale to the list of stocks incidentally killed or injured in the Hawaii deep-set longline fishery.

    Comment 24: TIRN and CBD recommend that the California/Oregon/Washington (CA/OR/WA) humpback whale stock be added to the list of species or stocks incidentally killed or injured in the Category I Hawaii deep-set longline fishery based upon known M/SI to the Central North Pacific humpback stock from interaction with this fishery in 2014. In addition, they comment that NMFS is currently considering an exempted fishing permit to allow the use of both deep-set and shallow-set longline gear within the West Coast EEZ, which would provide this fishery greater access to this stock and further increase the pressure on the stock.

    Response: The LOF relies on information reported in the SARs to add/remove species/stocks that are killed or injured in a particular fishery. The 2016 SAR reports a humpback whale from the Central North Pacific stock was seriously injured in 2014 in the Category I Hawaii deep-set longline fishery; consequently, this stock is included in the list of stocks incidentally killed or injured in this fishery. The SAR does not list any mortalities or injuries of the CA/OR/WA humpback whale stock in the Hawaii deep-set fishery in 2014; consequently, this stock is not included in the list of stocks incidentally killed or injured in the Category I Hawaii deep-set longline fishery.

    Comment 25: TIRN and CBD request that the CA/OR/WA humpback whale stock be added to the list of stocks incidentally killed or injured in the Category I Hawaii shallow-set longline fishery. They assert that the fishery's potential for interactions with this stock is justified by the inclusion of the Central North Pacific humpback whale stock in the list of species and/or stocks incidentally killed or injured. In addition, TIRN/CBD comment that NMFS currently is considering an exempted fishing permit to allow the use of both deep-set and shallow-set longline gear within the West Coast EEZ, which would provide this fishery greater access to this stock and further increase the pressure on the stock.

    Response: NMFS uses the criteria described in the preamble to classify fisheries and list species or stocks that may be incidentally killed or injured by those fisheries. Under these criteria, NMFS lists species or stocks as incidentally killed or injured based on documented mortalities or injuries using the best scientific information available (i.e., SARs). Because there are no documented mortalities or injuries of CA/OR/WA humpbacks, NMFS is not including this stock as incidentally killed or injured by the Category I Hawaii shallow-set longline fishery. Should NMFS approve an exempted fishing permit for the deep-set and shallow-set longline fishery operating within the U.S. West Coast EEZ, NMFS will continue to use all relevant information to inform future LOFs.

    Comment 26: HLA contends that the best available science does not support a determination that the Hawaii-based shallow-set longline fishery has “occasional” interactions with the pelagic false killer whale stock and should therefore be listed as Category III. They note that the 2016 SAR attributes a 0.3 M/SI rate to the shallow-set fishery for the Pelagic FKW Stock in the U.S. EEZ, which amounts to 1.07 percent of the Pelagic FKW Stock's PBR level. However, the 0.3 M/SI rate derives entirely from an interaction that occurred in 2012 for which NMFS was unable to make an injury determination (i.e. “cannot be determined” or “CBD” determination). Further, the “CBD” interaction was prorated as 0.3 M/SI because, in the previous five years, there had been three EEZ interactions between the shallow-set fishery and the Pelagic FKW Stock, only one of which (in 2009) was “serious” (a one-third M/SI rate). HLA notes that if the 2012 “CBD” interaction is prorated based upon the five-year lookback period used in the 2016 SAR (2010-14) (the best available data), then it would be 0.0 because there were only two other interactions in 2010-14, both of which were determined to be non-serious. HLA argues that the Category II status of the shallow-set fishery hinges on a single interaction in 2012 for which no injury determination was made and that NMFS prorated based upon data that is no longer relevant or accurate. For these reasons, HLA recommends the shallow-set fishery be listed as Category III, as the fishery is more accurately described as having a “remote likelihood” of interaction with the stock.

    Response: NMFS uses the classification criteria described in the preamble to classify fisheries as Category I, Category II, or Category III. A fishery is classified under Category II if the annual mortality and serious injury of a stock in a given fishery is greater than 1 percent and less than 50 percent of the stock's PBR level. Additional details regarding categorization of fisheries is provided in the preamble to the final rule implementing section 118 of the MMPA (60 FR 45086; August 30, 1995). The false killer whale interaction in 2012 that resulted in a “CBD” determination was prorated following the methods described in the 2016 SAR (Carretta et al., 2017a), which prorates serious versus non-serious injuries using the historic rate of serious injury while accounting for changes in gear following implementation of the False Killer Whale Take Reduction Plan in 2013. This proration resulted in a 0.3 M/SI for the Pelagic FKW stock as reported in the 2016 SAR, which is 1.07 percent of PBR and within the range of 1-50 percent of PBR, requiring NMFS to classify the fishery as a Category II fishery consistent with section 118 of the MMPA.

    Comment 27: HLA opposes including the rough-toothed dolphin (Hawaii stock) on the list of species injured or killed in the Hawaii-based shallow-set fishery. HLA requests that NMFS remove the rough-toothed dolphin from the list of stocks that are interacting with the shallow-set fishery, because the most recent SAR (2013) identifies no observed interactions between the stock and the shallow-set longline fishery.

    Response: The 2013 SAR reports marine mammal interactions with the shallow-set fishery that occurred between 2007 and 2011. Although the 2013 SAR does not include observed interactions with rough-toothed dolphins, an interaction was observed between a rough-toothed dolphin and the Hawaii shallow-set longline fishery on April 24, 2013, resulting in a mortality (Carretta et al., 2017b). This interaction has been finalized and is included in the draft 2017 SAR (82 FR 60181, December 19, 2017).

    Comment 28: HLA restates a previous comment that the LOF should distinguish between high seas stocks and U.S. EEZ stocks when listing stocks with which fisheries interact, and requests that NMFS revise the LOF to attribute species interactions in transboundary fisheries to only those geographic regions where interactions are actually observed. HLA recommends that if NMFS does not revise the LOF, then they should include a footnote in the LOF to clarify, for certain stocks and fisheries, that interactions have only been observed on the high seas or in the U.S. EEZ, as appropriate. HLA notes that NMFS readily separates transboundary stocks into high seas and U.S. EEZ components for reporting purposes in its SARs and for the purpose of comparing M/SI rates to PBR levels (a trigger for the take reduction planning process), and asserts that the LOF should make similar distinctions when reporting the stocks with which fisheries interact.

    Response: This comment has been addressed previously (see 79 FR 14418, March 14, 2014, comment 7; 79 FR 77919, December 29, 2014, comment 5; and 81 FR 20550, April 8, 2016, comment 8). As described in the preamble, NMFS has included high seas fisheries in Table 3 of the LOF since 2009. Several fisheries operate in both U.S. waters and on the high seas, creating some overlap between the fisheries listed in Tables 1 and 2 and those in Table 3. In these cases, the high seas component of the fishery is not considered a separate fishery but an extension of a fishery operating within U.S. waters. For these fisheries, the lists of species or stocks injured or killed in Table 3 are identical to their Tables 1 or 2 counterparts, except for those species or stocks with distributions known to occur on only one side of the EEZ boundary. Because the fisheries and the marine mammal lists are the same, takes of these animals are not being attributed to one geographic area or the other, even when that information may be available. This parallel list structure is explained in the footnotes for each table. We are not including additional footnotes to individual stocks and fisheries to indicate whether interactions have only been observed on the high seas or in the U.S. EEZ, but that information may be available in previous LOFs when species and stocks are added or deleted.

    Summary of Changes From the Proposed Rule

    NMFS renames the newly classified fisheries, “AK BSAI groundfish troll” and the “AK Gulf of Alaska groundfish troll,” as listed in the proposed LOF for 2018, to “AK BSAI groundfish hand troll and dinglebar troll” and “AK Gulf of Alaska groundfish hand troll and dinglebar troll,” respectively. This change is the result of public comment on the proposed rule and maintains consistency with the State of Alaska fishery permits.

    NMFS corrects the estimated number of vessels/persons for the AK Southeast shrimp pot fishery (Table 1) from 210, as listed in the proposed LOF for 2018, to 99 in the final LOF based on a reanalysis of permit data.

    NMFS corrects the estimated number of vessels/persons for the Gulf of Maine, U.S. Mid-Atlantic tuna, shark, swordfish hook-and-line/harpoon in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean (Table 2) from 3,084, as listed in the proposed LOF for 2018, to 2,846 in the final LOF based on a review of permit data. Permits for this fishery are based on target species rather than gear type, so these numbers indicate the total number of fishers that have the potential to use the specified gear type.

    Summary of Changes to the LOF for 2018

    The following summarizes changes to the LOF for 2018, including the classification of fisheries, fisheries listed, the estimated number of vessels/persons in a particular fishery, and the species and/or stocks that are incidentally killed or injured in a particular fishery. NMFS re-classifies two fisheries in the LOF for 2018. Additionally, NMFS adds two fisheries to the LOF and removes 12 fisheries from the LOF. NMFS makes changes to the estimated number of vessels/persons and list of species and/or stocks killed or injured in certain fisheries. The classifications and definitions of U.S. commercial fisheries for 2018 are identical to those provided in the LOF for 2017 with the changes discussed below. State and regional abbreviations used in the following paragraphs include: AK (Alaska), BSAI (Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands), CA (California), DE (Delaware), FL (Florida), GOA (Gulf of Alaska), GMX (Gulf of Mexico), HI (Hawaii), MA (Massachusetts), ME (Maine), NC (North Carolina), NY (New York), OR (Oregon), RI (Rhode Island), SC (South Carolina), VA (Virginia), WA (Washington), and WNA (Western North Atlantic).

    Commercial Fisheries in the Pacific Ocean Classification of Fisheries

    NMFS reclassifies the CA thresher shark/swordfish drift gillnet (≥14 inch (in) mesh) fishery from Category I to Category II.

    NMFS reclassifies the Category III AK Gulf of Alaska sablefish longline fishery to Category II based on M/SI of North Pacific sperm whales.

    Addition of Fisheries

    NMFS adds the AK BSAI halibut longline fishery as a Category III fishery.

    NMFS adds the AK Gulf of Alaska sablefish pot fishery as a Category III fishery.

    Removal of Fisheries

    NMFS removes the following Category III fisheries from the LOF:

    • AK miscellaneous finfish set gillnet fishery • AK miscellaneous finfish beach seine fishery • AK miscellaneous finfish purse seine fishery • AK octopus/squid purse seine fishery • AK BSAI rockfish longline fishery • AK Gulf of Alaska rockfish longline fishery • AK halibut longline/set line (state and Federal waters) • AK miscellaneous finfish otter/beam trawl fishery • AK statewide miscellaneous finfish pot fishery • AK snail pot fishery • AK octopus/squid handline fishery • AK abalone fishery Fishery Name and Organizational Changes and Clarification

    NMFS clarifies that the Category II AK BSAI rockfish trawl fishery includes sablefish as a target species.

    NMFS adds a superscript “1” to the CA/OR/WA stock of humpback whale to indicate it is driving the Category II classification of the CA spiny lobster fishery.

    NMFS renames the Category III AK salmon purse seine (excluding salmon purse seine fisheries listed elsewhere) fishery to AK salmon purse seine (Prince William Sound, Chignik, Alaska Peninsula) fishery.

    NMFS clarifies that the Category III AK Gulf of Alaska rockfish trawl fishery includes sablefish as a target species.

    NMFS renames the Category III AK food/bait herring trawl fishery to AK Kodiak food/bait herring otter trawl fishery.

    NMFS renames the Category III AK shrimp otter trawl and beam trawl (statewide and Cook Inlet) fishery to AK shrimp otter trawl and beam trawl fishery.

    NMFS renames the Category III AK State-managed waters of Cook Inlet, Kachemak Bay, Prince William Sound, Southeast AK groundfish trawl fishery to AK State-managed waters of Prince William Sound groundfish trawl fishery.

    NMFS combines the Category III AK Aleutian Islands sablefish pot fishery in the LOF with the Category III AK Bering Sea sablefish pot fishery for consistency with other regional designations in the LOF. The combined fishery is named the AK BSAI sablefish pot fishery.

    NMFS separates the Category III AK miscellaneous finfish handline/hand troll and mechanical jig fishery into several fisheries by gear and geography for improved fishery categorization of potential impacts to marine mammals. The new Category III fishery names are: (1) AK BSAI groundfish jig, (2) AK BSAI groundfish hand troll and dinglebar troll, (3) AK Gulf of Alaska groundfish jig, (4) AK Gulf of Alaska groundfish hand troll and dinglebar troll.

    NMFS renames the Category III AK North Pacific halibut handline/hand troll and mechanical jig fishery to AK halibut jig fishery for clarity and consistency.

    NMFS renames the Category III AK urchin and other fish/shellfish fishery to AK miscellaneous invertebrates hand pick fishery for clarity and consistency.

    NMFS makes an administrative change to the Category III Alaska scallop dredge fishery to be renamed AK scallop dredge for consistency.

    Number of Vessels/Persons

    NMFS updates the estimated number of vessels/persons in the Pacific Ocean (Table 1) as follows:

    Category Fishery Number of
  • vessels/persons
  • (2017 LOF)
  • Number of
  • vessels/persons
  • (2018 LOF)
  • I HI deep-set longline 139 143 II HI shallow-set longline 20 22 II American Samoa longline 20 18 III AK Gulf of Alaska crab pot 381 271 III AK Gulf of Alaska Pacific cod pot 128 116 III AK Southeast Alaska crab pot 41 375 III AK Southeast Alaska shrimp pot 269 99 III AK shrimp pot, except Southeast 236 141 III AK octopus/squid pot 26 15 III AK herring spawn on kelp 339 266 III AK miscellaneous invertebrates handpick 398 214 III American Samoa bottomfish handline 24 17 III AK commercial passenger fishing vessel 2,702 1,006
    List of Species and/or Stocks Incidentally Killed or Injured in the Pacific Ocean

    NMFS adds the Central North Pacific stock of humpback whale to the list of species and/or stocks incidentally killed or injured in the Category I Hawaii deep-set longline fishery.

    NMFS adds the Hawaii stock of Kogia spp. (Pygmy or dwarf sperm whale) to the list of species and/or stocks incidentally killed or injured in the Category I Hawaii deep-set longline fishery.

    NMFS adds the CA/OR/WA stock of Dall's porpoise to the list of species and/or stocks incidentally killed or injured in the Category I CA thresher shark/swordfish drift gillnet (≥14 in mesh) fishery.

    Commercial Fisheries in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean Number of Vessels/Persons

    NMFS updates the estimated number of vessels/persons in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean (Table 2) as follows:

    Category Fishery Number of
  • vessels/persons
  • (2017 LOF)
  • Number of
  • vessels/persons
  • (2018 LOF)
  • I Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico large pelagics longline 420 280 II Southeastern U.S. Atlantic shark gillnet 30 23 III Gulf of Maine, U.S. Mid-Atlantic tuna, shark, swordfish hook-and-line/harpoon 428 2,846 III Southeastern U.S. Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico shark bottom longline/hook-and-line <125 39 III Southeastern U.S. Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean pelagic hook-and-line/harpoon 1,446 680
    List of Species and/or Stocks Incidentally Killed or Injured in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean

    NMFS adds the Northern Gulf of Mexico stock of rough-toothed dolphin to the list of species and/or stocks incidentally killed or injured in the Category I Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico large pelagics longline fishery.

    NMFS removes the WNA stock of white-sided dolphin from the species and/or stocks listed as incidentally killed or injured in the Category II Mid-Atlantic mid-water trawl fishery.

    NMFS adds the WNA stock of white-sided dolphin to the list of species and/or stocks incidentally killed or injured in the Category II Mid-Atlantic bottom trawl fishery.

    NMFS adds the WNA offshore stock of bottlenose dolphin to the list of species and/or stocks incidentally killed or injured in the Category III Gulf of Maine, U.S., Mid-Atlantic tuna, shark, swordfish hook-and-line/harpoon fishery.

    NMFS adds three stocks to the list of species and/or stocks incidentally killed or injured in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean commercial passenger fishing vessel fishery. The three stocks are: (1) WNA stock of short-finned pilot whale and (2) Barataria Bay estuarine system stock and (3) Mississippi Sound, Lake Borgne, Bay Boudreau stock of bottlenose dolphins.

    NMFS corrects three administrative errors in Table 2. Under species and/or stocks listed as incidentally killed or injured in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico large pelagic longline fishery, NMFS updates the stock name for Atlantic spotted dolphin from “GMX continental and oceanic” to “Northern GMX”. Second, in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean commercial passenger fishing vessel fishery, NMFS updates the stock name for bottlenose dolphin from “Southern SC/GA coastal” to “SC/GA coastal”. Lastly, NMFS removes the WNA stocks of Risso's dolphin and white-sided dolphin from the species and/or stocks listed as incidentally injured or killed in the Category I Mid-Atlantic gillnet fishery.

    Commercial Fisheries on the High Seas Removal of Fisheries

    NMFS removes the Category II Atlantic highly migratory species drift gillnet fishery from the LOF as there are currently no participants.

    Fishery Name and Organizational Changes and Clarification

    NMFS designates the list of species and/or stocks incidentally killed or injured in a fishery from “undetermined” to “no information” for clarity that no data are available on mortalities or injuries incidental to a particular fishery.

    Number of Vessels/Persons

    NMFS updates to the estimated number of vessels/persons on the High Seas (Table 3) as follows:

    Category Fishery Number of
  • vessels/persons
  • (2017 LOF)
  • Number of
  • vessels/persons
  • (2018 LOF)
  • I Atlantic highly migratory species longline 86 79 I Western Pacific pelagic longline (HI deep-set component) 139 143 I Pacific highly migratory species drift gillnet 5 4 II Atlantic highly migratory species trawl 1 2 II South Pacific tuna purse seine 38 35 II Western Pacific pelagic purse seine 3 1 II South Pacific albacore troll longline 10 9 II South Pacific tuna longline 2 4 II Western Pacific pelagic longline (HI shallow-set component) 20 22 II Atlantic highly migratory species handline/pole and line 3 2 II Pacific highly migratory species handline/pole and line 46 42 II South Pacific albacore troll handline/pole and line 7 11 II Western Pacific pelagic handline/pole and line 2 5 II Atlantic highly migratory species troll 2 1 II South Pacific albacore troll 30 22 II Western Pacific pelagic troll 17 6 III Pacific highly migratory species longline 114 105 III Pacific highly migratory species purse seine 6 7 III Northwest Atlantic trawl 1 2 III Pacific highly migratory species troll 187 149
    List of Species and/or Stocks Incidentally Killed or Injured on the High Seas

    NMFS adds the Hawaii stock of Kogia spp. (Pygmy or dwarf sperm whale) to the list of species and/or stocks incidentally killed or injured in the Category I Western Pacific Pelagic (HI deep-set component) longline fishery.

    NMFS adds the Central North Pacific stock of humpback whale to the list of species and/or stocks incidentally killed or injured in the Category I Western Pacific Pelagic (HI deep-set component) longline fishery.

    List of Fisheries

    The following tables set forth the list of U.S. commercial fisheries according to their classification under section 118 of the MMPA. Table 1 lists commercial fisheries in the Pacific Ocean (including Alaska), Table 2 lists commercial fisheries in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean, Table 3 lists commercial fisheries on the high seas, and Table 4 lists fisheries affected by TRPs or TRTs.

    In Tables 1 and 2, the estimated number of vessels or persons participating in fisheries operating within U.S. waters is expressed in terms of the number of active participants in the fishery, when possible. If this information is not available, the estimated number of vessels or persons licensed for a particular fishery is provided. If no recent information is available on the number of participants, vessels, or persons licensed in a fishery, then the number from the most recent LOF is used for the estimated number of vessels or persons in the fishery. NMFS acknowledges that, in some cases, these estimates may be inflations of actual effort. For example, the State of Hawaii does not issue fishery-specific licenses, and the number of participants reported in the LOF represents the number of commercial marine license holders who reported using a particular fishing gear type/method at least once in a given year, without considering how many times the gear was used. For these fisheries, effort by a single participant is counted the same whether the fisherman used the gear only once or every day. In the Mid-Atlantic and New England fisheries, the numbers represent the potential effort for each fishery, given the multiple gear types for which several state permits may allow. Changes made to Mid-Atlantic and New England fishery participants will not affect observer coverage or bycatch estimates, as observer coverage and bycatch estimates are based on vessel trip reports and landings data. Tables 1 and 2 serve to provide a description of the fishery's potential effort (state and Federal). If NMFS is able to extract more accurate information on the gear types used by state permit holders in the future, the numbers will be updated to reflect this change. For additional information on fishing effort in fisheries found on Table 1 or 2, contact the relevant regional office (contact information included above in SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION).

    For high seas fisheries, Table 3 lists the number of valid HSFCA permits currently held. Although this likely overestimates the number of active participants in many of these fisheries, the number of valid HSFCA permits is the most reliable data on the potential effort in high seas fisheries at this time. As noted previously in this LOF, the number of HSFCA permits listed in Table 3 for the high seas components of fisheries that also operate within U.S. waters does not necessarily represent additional effort that is not accounted for in Tables 1 and 2. Many vessels holding HSFCA permits also fish within U.S. waters and are included in the number of vessels and participants operating within those fisheries in Tables 1 and 2.

    Tables 1, 2, and 3 also list the marine mammal species and/or stocks incidentally killed or injured (seriously or non-seriously) in each fishery based on SARs, injury determination reports, bycatch estimation reports, observer data, logbook data, stranding data, disentanglement network data, fishermen self-reports (i.e., MMPA reports), and anecdotal reports. The best available scientific information included in these reports is based on data through 2012. This list includes all species and/or stocks known to be killed or injured in a given fishery but also includes species and/or stocks for which there are anecdotal records of a mortality or injury. Additionally, species identified by logbook entries, stranding data, or fishermen self-reports (i.e., MMPA reports) may not be verified. In Tables 1 and 2, NMFS has designated those species/stocks driving a fishery's classification (i.e., the fishery is classified based on mortalities and serious injuries of a marine mammal stock that are greater than or equal to 50 percent (Category I), or greater than 1 percent and less than 50 percent (Category II), of a stock's PBR) by a “1” after the stock's name.

    In Tables 1 and 2, there are several fisheries classified as Category II that have no recent documented mortalities or serious injuries of marine mammals, or fisheries that did not result in a mortality or serious injury rate greater than 1 percent of a stock's PBR level based on known interactions. NMFS has classified these fisheries by analogy to other Category I or II fisheries that use similar fishing techniques or gear that are known to cause mortality or serious injury of marine mammals, as discussed in the final LOF for 1996 (60 FR 67063; December 28, 1995), and according to factors listed in the definition of a “Category II fishery” in 50 CFR 229.2 (i.e., fishing techniques, gear types, methods used to deter marine mammals, target species, seasons and areas fished, qualitative data from logbooks or fishermen reports, stranding data, and the species and distribution of marine mammals in the area). NMFS has designated those fisheries listed by analogy in Tables 1 and 2 by a “2” after the fishery's name.

    There are several fisheries in Tables 1, 2, and 3 in which a portion of the fishing vessels cross the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) boundary and therefore operate both within U.S. waters and on the high seas. These fisheries, though listed separately between Table 1 or 2 and Table 3, are considered the same fisheries on either side of the EEZ boundary. NMFS has designated those fisheries in each table by a “*” after the fishery's name.

    Table 1—List of Fisheries—Commercial Fisheries in the Pacific Ocean Fishery description Estimated
  • number of
  • vessels/
  • persons
  • Marine mammal species and/or stocks incidentally
  • killed or injured
  • CATEGORY I LONGLINE/SET LINE FISHERIES: HI deep-set longline * ⁁ 143 Bottlenose dolphin, HI Pelagic, False killer whale, MHI Insular,1 False killer whale, HI Pelagic,1 False killer whale, NWHI, Humpback whale. Central North Pacific, Kogia spp. (Pygmy or dwarf sperm whale), HI, Pygmy killer whale, HI, Risso's dolphin, HI, Short-finned pilot whale, HI, Sperm whale, HI, Striped dolphin, HI. CATEGORY II GILLNET FISHERIES: CA thresher shark/swordfish drift gillnet (≥14 in mesh) * 18 Bottlenose dolphin, CA/OR/WA offshore, California sea lion, U.S., Dall's porpoise, CA/OR/WA, Humpback whale, CA/OR/WA, Long-beaked common dolphin, CA, Minke whale, CA/OR/WA, Northern elephant seal, CA breeding, Northern right-whale dolphin, CA/OR/WA, Pacific white-sided dolphin, CA/OR/WA, Risso's dolphin, CA/OR/WA, Short-beaked common dolphin, CA/OR/WA, Short-finned pilot whale, CA/OR/WA, Sperm Whale, CA/OR/WA.1 CA halibut/white seabass and other species set gillnet (>3.5 in mesh) 50 California sea lion, U.S., Harbor seal, CA, Humpback whale, CA/OR/WA 1, Long-beaked common dolphin, CA, Northern elephant seal, CA breeding, Sea otter, CA, Short-beaked common dolphin, CA/OR/WA. CA yellowtail, barracuda, and white seabass drift gillnet (mesh size ≥3.5 in and <14 in) 2 30 California sea lion, U.S., Long-beaked common dolphin, CA, Short-beaked common dolphin, CA/OR/WA. AK Bristol Bay salmon drift gillnet 2 1,862 Beluga whale, Bristol Bay, Gray whale, Eastern North Pacific, Harbor seal, Bering Sea, Northern fur seal, Eastern Pacific, Pacific white-sided dolphin, North Pacific, Spotted seal, AK, Steller sea lion, Western U.S. AK Bristol Bay salmon set gillnet 2 979 Beluga whale, Bristol Bay, Gray whale, Eastern North Pacific, Harbor seal, Bering Sea, Northern fur seal, Eastern Pacific, Spotted seal, AK. AK Kodiak salmon set gillnet 188 Harbor porpoise, GOA 1, Harbor seal, GOA, Sea otter, Southwest AK, Steller sea lion, Western U.S. AK Cook Inlet salmon set gillnet 736 Beluga whale, Cook Inlet, Dall's porpoise, AK, Harbor porpoise, GOA, Harbor seal, GOA, Humpback whale, Central North Pacific 1, Sea otter, South central AK, Steller sea lion, Western U.S. AK Cook Inlet salmon drift gillnet 569 Beluga whale, Cook Inlet, Dall's porpoise, AK, Harbor porpoise, GOA 1, Harbor seal, GOA, Steller sea lion, Western U.S. AK Peninsula/Aleutian Islands salmon drift gillnet 2 162 Dall's porpoise, AK, Harbor porpoise, GOA, Harbor seal, GOA, Northern fur seal, Eastern Pacific. AK Peninsula/Aleutian Islands salmon set gillnet 2 113 Harbor porpoise, Bering Sea, Northern sea otter, Southwest AK, Steller sea lion, Western U.S. AK Prince William Sound salmon drift gillnet 537 Dall's porpoise, AK, Harbor porpoise, GOA 1, Harbor seal, GOA, Northern fur seal, Eastern Pacific, Pacific white-sided dolphin, North Pacific, Sea otter, South central AK, Steller sea lion, Western U.S.1 AK Southeast salmon drift gillnet 474 Dall's porpoise, AK, Harbor porpoise, Southeast AK, Harbor seal, Southeast AK, Humpback whale, Central North Pacific 1, Pacific white-sided dolphin, North Pacific, Steller sea lion, Eastern U.S. AK Yakutat salmon set gillnet 2 168 Gray whale, Eastern North Pacific, Harbor Porpoise, Southeastern AK, Harbor seal, Southeast AK, Humpback whale, Central North Pacific (Southeast AK). WA Puget Sound Region salmon drift gillnet (includes all inland waters south of US-Canada border and eastward of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line-Treaty Indian fishing is excluded) 210 Dall's porpoise, CA/OR/WA, Harbor porpoise, inland WA 1, Harbor seal, WA inland. TRAWL FISHERIES: AK Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands flatfish trawl 32 Bearded seal, AK, Gray whale, Eastern North Pacific, Harbor porpoise, Bering Sea, Harbor seal, Bering Sea, Humpback whale, Western North Pacific 1, Killer whale, AK resident,1 Killer whale, GOA, AI, BS transient,1 Northern fur seal, Eastern Pacific, Ringed seal, AK, Ribbon seal, AK, Spotted seal, AK, Steller sea lion, Western U.S. 1, Walrus, AK. AK Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands pollock trawl 102 Bearded Seal, AK, Dall's porpoise, AK, Harbor seal, AK, Humpback whale, Central North Pacific, Humpback whale, Western North Pacific, Northern fur seal, Eastern Pacific, Ribbon seal, AK, Ringed seal, AK, Spotted seal, AK, Steller sea lion, Western U.S. 1 AK Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands rockfish trawl 17 Killer whale, ENP AK resident 1, Killer whale, GOA, AI, BS transient.1 POT, RING NET, AND TRAP FISHERIES: CA spiny lobster 194 Bottlenose dolphin, CA/OR/WA offshore, Humpback whale, CA/OR/WA 1, Gray whale, Eastern North Pacific. CA spot prawn pot 25 Gray whale, Eastern North Pacific, Humpback whale, CA/OR/WA 1. CA Dungeness crab pot 570 Gray whale, Eastern North Pacific, Humpback whale, CA/OR/WA 1. OR Dungeness crab pot 433 Gray whale, Eastern North Pacific, Humpback whale, CA/OR/WA 1. WA/OR/CA sablefish pot 309 Humpback whale, CA/OR/WA 1. WA coastal Dungeness crab pot 228 Gray whale, Eastern North Pacific, Humpback whale, CA/OR/WA 1. LONGLINE/SET LINE FISHERIES: AK Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands Pacific cod longline 45 Dall's Porpoise, AK, Killer whale, GOA, BSAI transient 1. Northern fur seal, Eastern Pacific, Ringed seal, AK. AK Gulf of Alaska sablefish longline 295 Sperm whale, North Pacific. HI shallow-set longline * 22 Blainville's beaked whale, HI, Bottlenose dolphin, HI Pelagic, False killer whale, HI Pelagic 1. Humpback whale, Central North Pacific, Risso's dolphin, HI, Rough-toothed dolphin, HI, Short-finned pilot whale, HI, Striped dolphin, HI. American Samoa longline 2 18 Bottlenose dolphin, unknown, Cuvier's beaked whale, unknown, False killer whale, American Samoa, Rough-toothed dolphin, American Samoa, Short-finned pilot whale, unknown. HI shortline 2 9 None documented. CATEGORY III GILLNET FISHERIES: AK Kuskokwim, Yukon, Norton Sound, Kotzebue salmon gillnet 1,778 Harbor porpoise, Bering Sea. AK Prince William Sound salmon set gillnet 29 Harbor seal, GOA, Sea otter, South central AK, Steller sea lion, Western U.S. AK roe herring and food/bait herring gillnet 920 None documented. CA set gillnet (mesh size <3.5 in) 296 None documented. HI inshore gillnet 36 Bottlenose dolphin, HI, Spinner dolphin, HI. WA Grays Harbor salmon drift gillnet (excluding treaty Tribal fishing) 24 Harbor seal, OR/WA coast. WA/OR Mainstem Columbia River eulachon gillnet 15 None documented. WA/OR lower Columbia River (includes tributaries) drift gillnet 110 California sea lion, U.S., Harbor seal, OR/WA coast. WA Willapa Bay drift gillnet 82 Harbor seal, OR/WA coast, Northern elephant seal, CA breeding. MISCELLANEOUS NET FISHERIES: AK Cook Inlet salmon purse seine 83 Humpback whale, Central North Pacific. AK Kodiak salmon purse seine 376 Humpback whale, Central North Pacific. AK Southeast salmon purse seine 315 None documented in the most recent five years of data. AK Metlakatla salmon purse seine 10 None documented. AK roe herring and food/bait herring beach seine 10 None documented. AK roe herring and food/bait herring purse seine 356 None documented. AK salmon beach seine 31 None documented. AK salmon purse seine (Prince William Sound, Chignik, Alaska Peninsula) 936 Harbor seal, GOA, Harbor seal, Prince William Sound. WA/OR sardine purse seine 42 None documented. CA anchovy, mackerel, sardine purse seine 65 California sea lion, U.S., Harbor seal, CA. CA squid purse seine 80 Long-beaked common dolphin, CA Short-beaked common dolphin, CA/OR/WA. CA tuna purse seine * 10 None documented. WA/OR Lower Columbia River salmon seine 10 None documented. WA/OR herring, smelt, squid purse seine or lampara 130 None documented. WA salmon purse seine 75 None documented. WA salmon reef net 11 None documented. HI lift net 17 None documented. HI inshore purse seine <3 None documented. HI throw net, cast net 23 None documented. HI seine net 24 None documented. DIP NET FISHERIES: CA squid dip net 115 None documented. MARINE AQUACULTURE FISHERIES: CA marine shellfish aquaculture unknown None documented. CA salmon enhancement rearing pen >1 None documented. CA white seabass enhancement net pens 13 California sea lion, U.S. HI offshore pen culture 2 None documented. WA salmon net pens 14 California sea lion, U.S., Harbor seal, WA inland waters. WA/OR shellfish aquaculture 23 None documented. TROLL FISHERIES: WA/OR/CA albacore surface hook and line/troll 705 None documented. CA halibut hook and line/handline unknown None documented. CA white seabass hook and line/handline unknown None documented. AK Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands groundfish hand troll and dinglebar troll unknown None documented. AK Gulf of Alaska groundfish hand troll and dinglebar troll unknown None documented. AK salmon troll 1,908 Steller sea lion, Eastern U.S., Steller sea lion, Western U.S. American Samoa tuna troll 13 None documented. CA/OR/WA salmon troll 4,300 None documented. HI troll 2,117 Pantropical spotted dolphin, HI. HI rod and reel 322 None documented. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands tuna troll 40 None documented. Guam tuna troll 432 None documented. LONGLINE/SET LINE FISHERIES: AK Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands Greenland turbot longline 4 Killer whale, AK resident. AK Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands sablefish longline 22 None documented. AK Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands halibut longline 127 None documented. AK Gulf of Alaska halibut longline 855 None documented. AK Gulf of Alaska Pacific cod longline 92 Steller sea lion, Western U.S. AK octopus/squid longline 3 None documented. AK state-managed waters longline/setline (including sablefish, rockfish, lingcod, and miscellaneous finfish) 464 None documented. WA/OR/CA groundfish, bottomfish longline/set line 367 Bottlenose dolphin, CA/OR/WA offshore. WA/OR Pacific halibut longline 350 None documented. CA pelagic longline 1 None documented in the most recent five years of data. HI kaka line 15 None documented. HI vertical line 3 None documented. TRAWL FISHERIES: AK Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands Atka mackerel trawl 13 Ribbon seal, AK, Steller sea lion, Western U.S. AK Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands Pacific cod trawl 72 Ringed seal, AK, Steller sea lion, Western U.S. AK Gulf of Alaska flatfish trawl 36 Northern elephant seal, North Pacific. AK Gulf of Alaska Pacific cod trawl 55 Steller sea lion, Western U.S. AK Gulf of Alaska pollock trawl 67 Dall's porpoise, AK, Fin whale, Northeast Pacific, Northern elephant seal, North Pacific, Steller sea lion, Western U.S. AK Gulf of Alaska rockfish trawl 43 None documented. AK Kodiak food/bait herring otter trawl 4 None documented. AK shrimp otter trawl and beam trawl 38 None documented. AK state-managed waters of Prince William Sound groundfish trawl 2 None documented. CA halibut bottom trawl 47 California sea lion, U.S., Harbor porpoise, unknown, Harbor seal, unknown, Northern elephant seal, CA breeding, Steller sea lion, unknown. CA sea cucumber trawl 16 None documented. WA/OR/CA shrimp trawl 300 None documented. WA/OR/CA groundfish trawl 160-180 California sea lion, U.S., Dall's porpoise, CA/OR/WA, Harbor seal, OR/WA coast, Northern fur seal, Eastern Pacific, Pacific white-sided dolphin, CA/OR/WA, Steller sea lion, Eastern U.S. POT, RING NET, AND TRAP FISHERIES: AK Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands sablefish pot 6 None documented. AK Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands Pacific cod pot 59 None documented. AK Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands crab pot 540 Gray whale, Eastern North Pacific. AK Gulf of Alaska crab pot 271 None documented. AK Gulf of Alaska Pacific cod pot 116 Harbor seal, GOA. AK Gulf of Alaska sablefish pot 248 None documented. AK Southeast Alaska crab pot 375 Humpback whale, Central North Pacific (Southeast AK). AK Southeast Alaska shrimp pot 99 Humpback whale, Central North Pacific (Southeast AK). AK shrimp pot, except Southeast 141 None documented. AK octopus/squid pot 15 None documented. CA/OR coonstripe shrimp pot 36 Gray whale, Eastern North Pacific, Harbor seal, CA. CA rock crab pot 124 Gray whale, Eastern North Pacific, Harbor seal, CA. WA/OR/CA hagfish pot 54 None documented. WA/OR shrimp pot/trap 254 None documented. WA Puget Sound Dungeness crab pot/trap 249 None documented. HI crab trap 5 Humpback whale, Central North Pacific. HI fish trap 9 None documented. HI lobster trap <3 None documented in recent years. HI shrimp trap 10 None documented. HI crab net 4 None documented. HI Kona crab loop net 33 None documented. HOOK-AND-LINE, HANDLINE, AND JIG FISHERIES: AK Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands groundfish jig 2 None documented. AK Gulf of Alaska groundfish jig 214 Fin whale, Northeast Pacific. AK halibut jig 71 None documented. American Samoa bottomfish 17 None documented. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands bottomfish 28 None documented. Guam bottomfish >300 None documented. HI aku boat, pole, and line <3 None documented. HI bottomfish handline 578 None documented in recent years. HI inshore handline 357 None documented. HI pelagic handline 534 None documented. WA groundfish, bottomfish jig 679 None documented. Western Pacific squid jig 0 None documented. HARPOON FISHERIES: CA swordfish harpoon 6 None documented. POUND NET/WEIR FISHERIES: AK herring spawn on kelp pound net 291 None documented. AK Southeast herring roe/food/bait pound net 2 None documented. HI bullpen trap 3 None documented. BAIT PENS: WA/OR/CA bait pens 13 California sea lion, U.S. DREDGE FISHERIES: AK scallop dredge 108 (5 AK) None documented. DIVE, HAND/MECHANICAL COLLECTION FISHERIES: AK clam 130 None documented. AK Dungeness crab 2 None documented. AK herring spawn on kelp 266 None documented. AK miscellaneous invertebrates handpick 214 None documented. HI black coral diving <3 None documented. HI fish pond 5 None documented. HI handpick 46 None documented. HI lobster diving 19 None documented. HI spearfishing 163 None documented. WA/CA kelp 4 None documented. WA/OR bait shrimp, clam hand, dive, or mechanical collection 201 None documented. OR/CA sea urchin, sea cucumber hand, dive, or mechanical collection 10 None documented. COMMERCIAL PASSENGER FISHING VESSEL (CHARTER BOAT) FISHERIES: AK/WA/OR/CA commercial passenger fishing vessel >7,000 (1,006 AK) Killer whale, unknown, Steller sea lion, Eastern U.S., Steller sea lion, Western U.S. LIVE FINFISH/SHELLFISH FISHERIES: CA nearshore finfish live trap/hook-and-line 93 None documented. HI aquarium collecting 90 None documented. List of Abbreviations and Symbols Used in Table 1: AI—Aleutian Islands; AK—Alaska; BS—Bering Sea; CA—California; ENP—Eastern North Pacific; GOA—Gulf of Alaska; HI—Hawaii; MHI—Main Hawaiian Islands; OR—Oregon; WA—Washington. 1 Fishery classified based on mortalities and serious injuries of this stock, which are greater than or equal to 50 percent (Category I) or greater than 1 percent and less than 50 percent (Category II) of the stock's PBR. 2 Fishery classified by analogy. * Fishery has an associated high seas component listed in Table 3. ⁁ The list of marine mammal species and/or stocks killed or injured in this fishery is identical to the list of species and/or stocks killed or injured in high seas component of the fishery, minus species and/or stocks that have geographic ranges exclusively on the high seas. The species and/or stocks are found, and the fishery remains the same, on both sides of the EEZ boundary. Therefore, the EEZ components of these fisheries pose the same risk to marine mammals as the components operating on the high seas.
    Table 2—List of Fisheries—Commercial Fisheries in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean Fishery description Estimated number of
  • vessels/
  • persons
  • Marine mammal species and/or stocks incidentally
  • killed or injured
  • CATEGORY I GILLNET FISHERIES: Mid-Atlantic gillnet 3,950 Bottlenose dolphin, Northern Migratory coastal 1, Bottlenose dolphin, Southern Migratory coastal 1, Bottlenose dolphin, Northern NC estuarine system 1, Bottlenose dolphin, Southern NC estuarine system 1, Bottlenose dolphin, WNA offshore, Common dolphin, WNA, Gray seal, WNA, Harbor porpoise, GME/BF, Harbor seal, WNA, Harp seal, WNA, Humpback whale, Gulf of Maine, Minke whale, Canadian east coast. Northeast sink gillnet 4,332 Bottlenose dolphin, WNA offshore, Common dolphin, WNA, Fin whale, WNA, Gray seal, WNA, Harbor porpoise, GME/BF 1, Harbor seal, WNA, Harp seal, WNA, Hooded seal, WNA, Humpback whale, Gulf of Maine, Long-finned pilot whale, WNA, Minke whale, Canadian east coast, North Atlantic right whale, WNA, Risso's dolphin, WNA, White-sided dolphin, WNA. TRAP/POT FISHERIES: Northeast/Mid-Atlantic American lobster trap/pot 10,163 Humpback whale, Gulf of Maine, Minke whale, Canadian east coast, North Atlantic right whale, WNA 1. LONGLINE FISHERIES: Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico large pelagics longline * 280 Atlantic spotted dolphin, Northern GMX, Bottlenose dolphin, Northern GMX oceanic, Bottlenose dolphin, WNA offshore, Common dolphin, WNA, Cuvier's beaked whale, WNA, False killer whale, WNA, Harbor porpoise, GME, BF, Kogia spp. (Pygmy or dwarf sperm whale), WNA, Long-finned pilot whale, WNA 1, Mesoplodon beaked whale, WNA, Minke whale, Canadian East coast, Pantropical spotted dolphin, Northern GMX, Pygmy sperm whale, GMX, Risso's dolphin, Northern GMX, Risso's dolphin, WNA, Rough-toothed dolphin, Northern GMX, Short-finned pilot whale, Northern GMX, Short-finned pilot whale, WNA1. CATEGORY II GILLNET FISHERIES: Chesapeake Bay inshore gillnet 2 248 Bottlenose dolphin, unknown (Northern migratory coastal or Southern migratory coastal). Gulf of Mexico gillnet 2 248 Bottlenose dolphin, GMX bay, sound, and estuarine, Bottlenose dolphin, Northern GMX coastal, Bottlenose dolphin, Western GMX coastal. NC inshore gillnet 2,850 Bottlenose dolphin, Northern NC estuarine system 1, Bottlenose dolphin, Southern NC estuarine system 1. Northeast anchored float gillnet 2 852 Harbor seal, WNA, Humpback whale, Gulf of Maine, White-sided dolphin, WNA. Northeast drift gillnet 2 1,036 None documented. Southeast Atlantic gillnet 2 273 Bottlenose dolphin, Central FL coastal, Bottlenose dolphin, Northern FL coastal, Bottlenose dolphin, SC/GA coastal, Bottlenose dolphin, Southern migratory coastal. Southeastern U.S. Atlantic shark gillnet 23 Bottlenose dolphin, unknown (Central FL, Northern FL, SC/GA coastal, or Southern migratory coastal), North Atlantic right whale, WNA. TRAWL FISHERIES: Mid-Atlantic mid-water trawl (including pair trawl) 382 Gray seal, WNA, Harbor seal, WNA. Mid-Atlantic bottom trawl 785 Bottlenose dolphin, WNA offshore, Common dolphin, WNA 1, Gray seal, WNA, Harbor seal, WNA, Risso's dolphin, WNA 1, White-sided dolphin, WNA. Northeast mid-water trawl (including pair trawl) 1,087 Common dolphin, WNA, Gray seal, WNA, Harbor seal, WNA, Long-finned pilot whale, WNA 1, Minke whale, Canadian East Coast. Northeast bottom trawl 2,238 Bottlenose dolphin, WNA offshore, Common dolphin, WNA, Gray seal, WNA, Harbor porpoise, GME/BF, Harbor seal, WNA, Harp seal, WNA, Long-finned pilot whale, WNA, Risso's dolphin, WNA, White-sided dolphin, WNA 1. Southeastern U.S. Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico shrimp trawl 4,950 Atlantic spotted dolphin, GMX continental and oceanic, Bottlenose dolphin, Charleston estuarine system, Bottlenose dolphin, Eastern GMX coastal 1, Bottlenose dolphin, GMX bay, sound, estuarine 1, Bottlenose dolphin, GMX continental shelf, Bottlenose dolphin, Northern GMX coastal, Bottlenose dolphin, SC/GA coastal 1, Bottlenose dolphin, Southern migratory coastal, Bottlenose dolphin, Western GMX coastal1, West Indian manatee, Florida. TRAP/POT FISHERIES: Southeastern U.S. Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico stone crab trap/pot 2 1,384 Bottlenose dolphin, Biscayne Bay estuarine, Bottlenose dolphin, Central FL coastal, Bottlenose dolphin, Eastern GMX coastal, Bottlenose dolphin, FL Bay, Bottlenose dolphin, GMX bay, sound, estuarine (FL west coast portion), Bottlenose dolphin, Indian River Lagoon estuarine system, Bottlenose dolphin, Jacksonville estuarine system, Bottlenose dolphin, Northern GMX coastal. Atlantic mixed species trap/pot 2 3,436 Fin whale, WNA, Humpback whale, Gulf of Maine. Atlantic blue crab trap/pot 7,714 Bottlenose dolphin, Central FL coastal, Bottlenose dolphin, Central GA estuarine system, Bottlenose dolphin, Charleston estuarine system 1, Bottlenose dolphin, Indian River Lagoon estuarine system, Bottlenose dolphin, Jacksonville estuarine system, Bottlenose dolphin, Northern FL coastal 1, Bottlenose dolphin, Northern GA/Southern SC estuarine system, Bottlenose dolphin, Northern Migratory coastal, Bottlenose dolphin, Northern NC estuarine system 1, Bottlenose dolphin, Northern SC estuarine system, Bottlenose dolphin, SC/GA coastal, Bottlenose dolphin, Southern GA estuarine system, Bottlenose dolphin, Southern Migratory coastal, Bottlenose dolphin, Southern NC estuarine system, West Indian manatee, FL. PURSE SEINE FISHERIES: Gulf of Mexico menhaden purse seine 40-42 Bottlenose dolphin, GMX bay, sound, estuarine, Bottlenose dolphin, Mississippi Sound, Lake Borgne, Bay Boudreau, Bottlenose dolphin, Northern GMX coastal 1, Bottlenose dolphin, Western GMX coastal 1. Mid-Atlantic menhaden purse seine 2 19 Bottlenose dolphin, Northern Migratory coastal, Bottlenose dolphin, Southern Migratory coastal. HAUL/BEACH SEINE FISHERIES: Mid-Atlantic haul/beach seine 359 Bottlenose dolphin, Northern Migratory coastal 1, Bottlenose dolphin, Northern NC estuarine system 1, Bottlenose dolphin, Southern Migratory coastal 1. NC long haul seine 30 Bottlenose dolphin, Northern NC estuarine system 1, Bottlenose dolphin, Southern NC estuarine system. STOP NET FISHERIES: NC roe mullet stop net 1 Bottlenose dolphin, Northern NC estuarine system, Bottlenose dolphin, unknown (Southern migratory coastal or Southern NC estuarine system). POUND NET FISHERIES: VA pound net 26 Bottlenose dolphin, Northern migratory coastal, Bottlenose dolphin, Northern NC estuarine system, Bottlenose dolphin, Southern Migratory coastal 1. CATEGORY III GILLNET FISHERIES: Caribbean gillnet >991 None documented in the most recent five years of data. DE River inshore gillnet unknown None documented in the most recent five years of data. Long Island Sound inshore gillnet unknown None documented in the most recent five years of data. RI, southern MA (to Monomoy Island), and NY Bight (Raritan and Lower NY Bays) inshore gillnet unknown None documented in the most recent five years of data. Southeast Atlantic inshore gillnet unknown Bottlenose dolphin, Northern SC estuarine system. TRAWL FISHERIES: Atlantic shellfish bottom trawl >58 None documented. Gulf of Mexico butterfish trawl 2 Bottlenose dolphin, Northern GMX oceanic, Bottlenose dolphin, Northern GMX continental shelf. Gulf of Mexico mixed species trawl 20 None documented. GA cannonball jellyfish trawl 1 Bottlenose dolphin, SC/GA coastal. MARINE AQUACULTURE FISHERIES: Finfish aquaculture 48 Harbor seal, WNA. Shellfish aquaculture unknown None documented. PURSE SEINE FISHERIES: Gulf of Maine Atlantic herring purse seine >7 Harbor seal, WNA, Gray seal, WNA. Gulf of Maine menhaden purse seine >2 None documented. FL West Coast sardine purse seine 10 Bottlenose dolphin, Eastern GMX coastal. U.S. Atlantic tuna purse seine * 5 Long-finned pilot whale, WNA, Short-finned pilot whale, WNA. LONGLINE/HOOK-AND-LINE FISHERIES: Northeast/Mid-Atlantic bottom longline/hook-and-line >1,207 None documented. Gulf of Maine, U.S. Mid-Atlantic tuna, shark, swordfish hook-and-line/harpoon. 2,846 Bottlenose dolphin, WNA offshore, Humpback whale, Gulf of Maine. Southeastern U.S. Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean snapper-grouper and other reef fish bottom longline/hook-and-line >5,000 Bottlenose dolphin, GMX continental shelf. Southeastern U.S. Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico shark bottom longline/hook-and-line 39 Bottlenose dolphin, Eastern GMX coastal, Bottlenose dolphin, Northern GMX continental shelf. Southeastern U.S. Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean pelagic hook-and-line/harpoon 680 None documented. U.S. Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico trotline unknown None documented. TRAP/POT FISHERIES: Caribbean mixed species trap/pot >501 None documented. Caribbean spiny lobster trap/pot >197 None documented. FL spiny lobster trap/pot 1,268 Bottlenose dolphin, Biscayne Bay estuarine Bottlenose dolphin, Central FL coastal, Bottlenose dolphin, Eastern GMX coastal, Bottlenose dolphin, FL Bay estuarine, Bottlenose dolphin, FL Keys. Gulf of Mexico blue crab trap/pot 4,113 Bottlenose dolphin, Barataria Bay, Bottlenose dolphin, Eastern GMX coastal, Bottlenose dolphin, GMX bay, sound, estuarine, Bottlenose dolphin, Mississippi Sound, Lake Borgne, Bay Boudreau, Bottlenose dolphin, Northern GMX coastal, Bottlenose dolphin, Western GMX coastal, West Indian manatee, FL. Gulf of Mexico mixed species trap/pot unknown None documented. Southeastern U.S. Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico golden crab trap/pot 10 None documented. U.S. Mid-Atlantic eel trap/pot unknown None documented. STOP SEINE/WEIR/POUND NET/FLOATING TRAP/FYKE NET FISHERIES: Gulf of Maine herring and Atlantic mackerel stop seine/weir >1 Harbor porpoise, GME/BF, Harbor seal, WNA, Minke whale, Canadian east coast, Atlantic white-sided dolphin, WNA. U.S. Mid-Atlantic crab stop seine/weir 2,600 None documented. U.S. Mid-Atlantic mixed species stop seine/weir/pound net (except the NC roe mullet stop net) unknown Bottlenose dolphin, Northern NC estuarine system. RI floating trap 9 None documented. Northeast and Mid-Atlantic fyke net unknown None documented. DREDGE FISHERIES: Gulf of Maine sea urchin dredge unknown None documented. Gulf of Maine mussel dredge unknown None documented. Gulf of Maine, U.S. Mid-Atlantic sea scallop dredge >403 None documented. Mid-Atlantic blue crab dredge unknown None documented. Mid-Atlantic soft-shell clam dredge unknown None documented. Mid-Atlantic whelk dredge unknown None documented. U.S. Mid-Atlantic/Gulf of Mexico oyster dredge 7,000 None documented. New England and Mid-Atlantic offshore surf clam/quahog dredge unknown None documented. HAUL/BEACH SEINE FISHERIES: Caribbean haul/beach seine 15 None documented in the most recent five years of data. Gulf of Mexico haul/beach seine unknown None documented. Southeastern U.S. Atlantic haul/beach seine 25 None documented. DIVE, HAND/MECHANICAL COLLECTION FISHERIES: Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean shellfish dive, hand/mechanical collection 20,000 None documented. Gulf of Maine urchin dive, hand/mechanical collection unknown None documented. Gulf of Mexico, Southeast Atlantic, Mid-Atlantic, and Caribbean cast net unknown None documented. COMMERCIAL PASSENGER FISHING VESSEL (CHARTER BOAT) FISHERIES: Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean commercial passenger fishing vessel 4,000 Bottlenose dolphin, Barataria Bay estuarine system, Bottlenose dolphin, Biscayne Bay estuarine, Bottlenose dolphin, Central FL coastal, Bottlenose dolphin, Choctawhatchee Bay, Bottlenose dolphin, Eastern GMX coastal, Bottlenose dolphin, FL Bay, Bottlenose dolphin, GMX bay, sound, estuarine, Bottlenose dolphin, Indian River Lagoon estuarine system, Bottlenose dolphin, Jacksonville estuarine system, Bottlenose dolphin, Mississippi Sound, Lake Borgne, Bay Boudreau, Bottlenose dolphin, Northern FL coastal, Bottlenose dolphin, Northern GA/Southern SC estuarine, Bottlenose dolphin, Northern GMX coastal, Bottlenose dolphin, Northern migratory coastal, Bottlenose dolphin, Northern NC estuarine, Bottlenose dolphin, Southern migratory coastal, Bottlenose dolphin, Southern NC estuarine system, Bottlenose dolphin, SC/GA coastal, Bottlenose dolphin, Western GMX coastal, Short-finned pilot whale, WNA. List of Abbreviations and Symbols Used in Table 2: DE—Delaware; FL—Florida; GA—Georgia; GME/BF—Gulf of Maine/Bay of Fundy; GMX—Gulf of Mexico; MA—Massachusetts; NC—North Carolina; NY—New York; RI—Rhode Island; SC—South Carolina; VA—Virginia; WNA—Western North Atlantic. 1 Fishery classified based on mortalities and serious injuries of this stock, which are greater than or equal to 50 percent (Category I) or greater than 1 percent and less than 50 percent (Category II) of the stock's PBR. 2 Fishery classified by analogy. * Fishery has an associated high seas component listed in Table 3.
    Table 3—List of Fisheries—Commercial Fisheries on the High Seas Fishery description Number of HSFCA
  • permits
  • Marine mammal species and/or stocks incidentally
  • killed or injured
  • CATEGORY I LONGLINE FISHERIES: Atlantic Highly Migratory Species * 79 Atlantic spotted dolphin, WNA, Bottlenose dolphin, Northern GMX oceanic, Bottlenose dolphin, WNA offshore, Common dolphin, WNA, Cuvier's beaked whale, WNA, False killer whale, WNA, Killer whale, GMX oceanic, Kogia spp. whale (Pygmy or dwarf sperm whale), WNA, Long-finned pilot whale, WNA, Mesoplodon beaked whale, WNA, Minke whale, Canadian East coast, Pantropical spotted dolphin, WNA, Risso's dolphin, GMX, Risso's dolphin, WNA, Short-finned pilot whale, WNA. Western Pacific Pelagic (HI Deep-set component) * ⁁ 143 Bottlenose dolphin, HI Pelagic, False killer whale, HI Pelagic, Humpback whale, Central North Pacific, Kogia spp. (Pygmy or dwarf sperm whale), HI, Pygmy killer whale, HI, Risso's dolphin, HI, Short-finned pilot whale, HI, Sperm whale, HI, Striped dolphin, HI. CATEGORY II DRIFT GILLNET FISHERIES: Pacific Highly Migratory Species * ⁁ 4 Long-beaked common dolphin, CA, Humpback whale, CA/OR/WA, Northern right-whale dolphin, CA/OR/WA, Pacific white-sided dolphin, CA/OR/WA, Risso's dolphin, CA/OR/WA, Short-beaked common dolphin, CA/OR/WA. TRAWL FISHERIES: Atlantic Highly Migratory Species * * 2 No information. CCAMLR 0 Antarctic fur seal. PURSE SEINE FISHERIES: South Pacific Tuna Fisheries 35 No information. Western Pacific Pelagic 1 No information. LONGLINE FISHERIES: CCAMLR 0 None documented. South Pacific Albacore Troll 9 No information. South Pacific Tuna Fisheries * * 4 No information. Western Pacific Pelagic (HI Shallow-set component) * ⁁ 22 Blainville's beaked whale, HI, Bottlenose dolphin, HI Pelagic, False killer whale, HI Pelagic, Humpback whale, Central North Pacific, Northern elephant seal, CA breeding, Risso's dolphin, HI, Rough-toothed dolphin, HI, Short-beaked common dolphin, CA/OR/WA, Short-finned pilot whale, HI, Striped dolphin, HI. HANDLINE/POLE AND LINE FISHERIES: Atlantic Highly Migratory Species 2 No information. Pacific Highly Migratory Species 42 No information. South Pacific Albacore Troll 11 No information. Western Pacific Pelagic 5 No information. TROLL FISHERIES: Atlantic Highly Migratory Species 1 No information. South Pacific Albacore Troll 22 No information. South Pacific Tuna Fisheries * * 4 No information. Western Pacific Pelagic 6 No information. CATEGORY III LONGLINE FISHERIES: Northwest Atlantic Bottom Longline 1 None documented. Pacific Highly Migratory Species 105 None documented in the most recent 5 years of data. PURSE SEINE FISHERIES: Pacific Highly Migratory Species * ⁁ 7 None documented. TRAWL FISHERIES: Northwest Atlantic 2 None documented. TROLL FISHERIES: Pacific Highly Migratory Species * 149 None documented. List of Terms, Abbreviations, and Symbols Used in Table 3: CA-California; GMX-Gulf of Mexico; HI-Hawaii; OR-Oregon; WA-Washington; WNA-Western North Atlantic. * Fishery is an extension/component of an existing fishery operating within U.S. waters listed in Table 1 or 2. The number of permits listed in Table 3 represents only the number of permits for the high seas component of the fishery. * * These gear types are not authorized under the Pacific HMS FMP (2004), the Atlantic HMS FMP (2006), or without a South Pacific Tuna Treaty license (in the case of the South Pacific Tuna fisheries). Because HSFCA permits are valid for five years, permits obtained in past years exist in the HSFCA permit database for gear types that are now unauthorized. Therefore, while HSFCA permits exist for these gear types, it does not represent effort. In order to land fish species, fishers must be using an authorized gear type. Once these permits for unauthorized gear types expire, the permit-holder will be required to obtain a permit for an authorized gear type. ⁁ The list of marine mammal species and/or stocks killed or injured in this fishery is identical to the list of marine mammal species and/or stocks killed or injured in U.S. waters component of the fishery, minus species and/or stocks that have geographic ranges exclusively in coastal waters, because the marine mammal species and/or stocks are also found on the high seas and the fishery remains the same on both sides of the EEZ boundary. Therefore, the high seas components of these fisheries pose the same risk to marine mammals as the components of these fisheries operating in U.S. waters.
    Table 4—Fisheries Affected by Take Reduction Teams and Plans Take reduction plans Affected fisheries Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan (ALWTRP)—50 CFR 229.32 Category I:
  • Mid-Atlantic gillnet, Northeast/Mid-Atlantic American lobster trap/pot, Northeast sink gillnet.
  • Category II:
  • Atlantic blue crab trap/pot, Atlantic mixed species trap/pot, Northeast anchored float gillnet, Northeast drift gillnet, Southeast Atlantic gillnet, Southeastern U.S. Atlantic shark gillnet *, Southeastern, U.S. Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico stone crab trap/pot. ⁁
  • Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Plan (BDTRP)—50 CFR 229.35 Category I:
  • Mid-Atlantic gillnet.
  • Category II:
  • Atlantic blue crab trap/pot, Chesapeake Bay inshore gillnet fishery, Mid-Atlantic haul/beach seine, Mid-Atlantic menhaden purse seine, NC inshore gillnet, NC long haul seine, NC roe mullet stop net, Southeast Atlantic gillnet, Southeastern U.S. Atlantic shark gillnet, Southeastern U.S. Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico shrimp trawl ⁁, Southeastern, U.S. Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico stone crab trap/pot ⁁, VA pound net.
  • False Killer Whale Take Reduction Plan (FKWTRP)—50 CFR 229.37 Category I:
  • HI deep-set longline.
  • Category II:
  • HI shallow-set longline.
  • Harbor Porpoise Take Reduction Plan (HPTRP)—50 CFR 229.33 (New England) and 229.34 (Mid-Atlantic) Category I:
  • Mid-Atlantic gillnet, Northeast sink gillnet.
  • Pelagic Longline Take Reduction Plan (PLTRP)—50 CFR 229.36 Category I:
  • Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico large pelagics longline.
  • Pacific Offshore Cetacean Take Reduction Plan (POCTRP)—50 CFR 229.31 Category I:
  • CA thresher shark/swordfish drift gillnet (≥14 in mesh).
  • Atlantic Trawl Gear Take Reduction Team (ATGTRT) Category II:
  • Mid-Atlantic bottom trawl, Mid-Atlantic mid-water trawl (including pair trawl), Northeast bottom trawl, Northeast mid-water trawl (including pair trawl).
  • * Only applicable to the portion of the fishery operating in U.S. waters; ⁁Only applicable to the portion of the fishery operating in the Atlantic Ocean.
    Classification

    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA) at the proposed rule stage that this rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. No comments were received on that certification, and no new information has been discovered to change that conclusion. Accordingly, no regulatory flexibility analysis is required, and none has been prepared.

    This rule contains collection-of-information (COI) requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act. The COI for the registration of individuals under the MMPA has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under OMB control number 0648-0293 (0.15 hours per report for new registrants). The requirement for reporting marine mammal mortalities or injuries has been approved by OMB under OMB control number 0648-0292 (0.15 hours per report). These estimates include the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the COI. Send comments regarding these reporting burden estimates or any other aspect of the COI, including suggestions for reducing burden, to NMFS and OMB (see ADDRESSES and SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION).

    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 COI, subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act, unless that COI displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    This rule has been determined to be not significant for the purposes of Executive Orders 12866 and 13563.

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

    In accordance with the Companion Manual for NAO 216-6A, NMFS determined that publishing this LOF qualifies to be categorically excluded from further NEPA review. Issuance of this final rule is consistent with categories of activities identified in Categorical Exclusion G7 of the Companion Manual, and we have not identified any extraordinary circumstances listed in Chapter 4 of the Companion Manual for NAO 216-6A that would preclude application of this categorical exclusion. If NMFS takes a management action, for example, through the development of a TRP, NMFS would first prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) or Environmental Assessment (EA), as required under NEPA, specific to that action.

    This rule would not affect species listed as threatened or endangered under the ESA or their associated critical habitat. The impacts of numerous fisheries have been analyzed in various biological opinions, and this rule will not affect the conclusions of those opinions. The classification of fisheries on the LOF is not considered to be a management action that would adversely affect threatened or endangered species. If NMFS takes a management action, for example, through the development of a TRP, NMFS would consult under ESA section 7 on that action.

    This rule would have no adverse impacts on marine mammals and may have a positive impact on marine mammals by improving knowledge of marine mammals and the fisheries interacting with marine mammals through information collected from observer programs, stranding and sighting data, or take reduction teams.

    This rule would not affect the land or water uses or natural resources of the coastal zone, as specified under section 307 of the Coastal Zone Management Act.

    References Allen, B.M. and R.P. Angliss, editors. 2016. Alaska Marine Mammal Stock Assessments, 2015. NOAA Tech. Memo. NMFS-AFSC-323. 309 p. Breiwick, J.M. 2013. North Pacific Marine Mammal Bycatch Estimation Methodology and Results, 2007-2011. NOAA Tech. Memo. NMFS-AFSC-260. 40 p. Carretta, J.V., E. Oleson, D.W. Weller, A.R. Lang, K.A. Forney, J. Baker, M.M. Muto, B. Hanson, A.J. Orr, H. Huber, M.S. Lowry, J. Barlow, J.E. Moore, D. Lynch, L. Carswell, and R.L. Brownell Jr. 2015. U.S. Pacific Marine Mammal Stock Assessments: 2014. NOAA Technical Memorandum NOAA-TM-NMFS-SWFSC-549. 414 p. Carretta, J.V., K.A. Forney, E. Oleson, D.W. Weller, A.R. Lang, J. Baker, M.M. Muto, B. Hanson, A.J. Orr, H. Huber, M.S. Lowry, J. Barlow, J.E. Moore, D. Lynch, L. Carswell, and R.L. Brownell Jr. 2017a. U.S. Pacific Marine Mammal Stock Assessments: 2016. NOAA Technical Memorandum NOAA-TM-NMFS-SWFSC-577. 414 p. Carretta, J.V., J.E. Moore, and K.A. Forney. 2017. Regression tree and ratio estimates of marine mammal, sea turtle, and seabird bycatch in the California drift gillnet fishery: 1990-2015. NOAA Technical Memorandum, NOAA-TM-NMFS-SWFSC-568. 83 p. doi:10.7289/V5/TM-SWFSC-568. Carretta, J.V., M.M. Muto, S. Wilkin, J. Greenman, K. Wilkinson, D. Lawson, J. Viezbicke, and J. Jannot. 2017b. Sources of human-related injury and mortality for U.S. Pacific west coast marine mammal stocks assessments, 2011-2015. NOAA Technical Memorandum, NOAA-TM-NMFS-SWFSC-579. 126 p. Hayes, S.A., E. Josephson, K. Maze-Foley, and P.E. Rosel, editors. 2017. U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Marine Mammal Stocks Assessments, 2016. NOAA Technical Memorandum, NOAA-TM-NE-241. 274 p. Helker, V.T., M.M. Muto, and L.A. Jemison. 2016. Human-Caused Injury and Mortality of NMFS-managed Alaska Marine Mammal Stocks, 2010-2014. NOAA Technical Memorandum, NOAA-NMFS-AFSC-315. 89 p. Jannot, J.E., V. Tuttle, K. Somers, Y-W. Lee, J. McVeigh. 2016. Marine Mammal, Seabird, and Sea Turtle Summary of Observed Interactions, 2002-2014. Fisheries Observation Science, Fishery Resource Analysis and Monitoring Division, Northwest Fisheries Science Center. McCracken, M.L. 2016. Assessment of Incidental Interactions with Marine Mammals in the Hawaii Deep and Shallow Set Fisheries from 2010 through 2014. NMFS Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, PIFSC Internal Report IR-16-008. 2 p. + Excel spreadsheet. Moore, J.E. and D.W. Weller. 2013. Probability of taking a western North Pacific gray whale during the proposed Makah hunt. NOAA Tech. Memo. NMFS-SWFSC-506. 13 p. Muto, M.M, V.T. Helker, R.P. Angliss, B.A. Allen, P.L. Boveng, J.M. Breiwick, M.F. Cameron, P.J. Clapham, S.P. Dahle, M.E. Dahlheim, B.S. Fadely, M.C. Ferguson, L.W. Fritz, R.C. Hobbs, Y.V. Ivashchenko, A.S. Kennedy, J.M. London, S.A. Mizroch, R.R. Ream, E.L. Richmond, K.E.W. Shelden, R.G. Towell, P.R. Wade, J.M. Waite, and A.N. Zerbini. 2017. Alaska Marine Mammal Stock Assessments, 2016. NOAA Technical Memorandum NOAA-TM-NMFS-AFSC-355. 367 p. National Marine Fisheries Service. 2012. National Marine Fisheries Service Policy Directive 02-238. Process for Distinguishing Serious from Non-Serious Injury of Marine Mammals, 4 p. (Available at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/op/pds/documents/02/02-238.pdf). Rone, B. K., A. N. Zerbini, A.B. Douglas, D.W. Weller, and P.J. Clapham. 2016. Abundance and distribution of cetaceans in the Gulf of Alaska. Marine Biology 164:23. Waring, G.T., E. Josephson, K. Maze-Foley, and P.E. Rosel, editors. 2016. U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Marine Mammal Stocks Assessments, 2015. NOAA Technical Memorandum NOAA-NE-238. 512 p. Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council (WPRFMC). 2015a. Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) Report Pacific Island Pelagic Fisheries. 396 p. Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council (WPRFMC). 2015b. Annual Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation Report: Fishery Ecosystem Plan for the American Samoa Archipelago. 202 p. Dated: February 2, 2018. Samuel D. Rauch, III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02442 Filed 2-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    83 26 Wednesday, February 7, 2018 Proposed Rules NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION 10 CFR Parts 20, 26, 50, 51, 52, 72, 73, and 140 [NRC-2015-0070] RIN 3150-AJ59 Regulatory Improvements for Power Reactors Transitioning to Decommissioning AGENCY:

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Regulatory analysis; availability.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has prepared a regulatory analysis to support the regulatory basis for a rulemaking to amend the NRC's regulations for the decommissioning of nuclear power reactors. This regulatory analysis is based on receipt of public comments for the preliminary draft regulatory analysis, which was issued in the Federal Register on May 9, 2017. The NRC is making the regulatory analysis available for public information.

    DATES:

    The regulatory analysis is available February 7, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2015-0070 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information for this action. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this action by any of the following methods:

    Federal Rulemaking website: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2015-0070. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: [email protected] For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

    NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may obtain publicly-available documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, select “ADAMS Public Documents” and then select “Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.” For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by email to [email protected] The ADAMS accession number for “Regulatory Analysis for Regulatory Basis: Regulatory Improvements for Power Reactors Transitioning to Decommissioning” is ML17332A075.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Chris Howells, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-1381, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Discussion

    The NRC staff has prepared a regulatory analysis for the regulatory basis to support a rulemaking that would amend the NRC's regulations for the decommissioning of nuclear power reactors. The NRC's goals in amending these regulations would be to provide for an efficient decommissioning process; reduce the need for exemptions from existing regulations; address other decommissioning issues deemed relevant by the NRC staff; and support the principles of good regulation, including openness, clarity, and reliability. The NRC is recommending rulemaking in the areas of emergency planning, physical security, cyber security, drug and alcohol testing, training requirements for certified fuel handlers, decommissioning trust funds, applicability of backfitting provisions, and offsite and onsite financial protection requirements and indemnity agreements. These revised requirements would formalize steps to transition a power reactor from operating status to decommissioning while reducing the need for exemptions and license amendments. The NRC staff is also recommending clarifying requirements regarding topics such as spent fuel management and environmental reporting.

    Accompanying this rulemaking are updates to guidance that address aging management, the appropriate role of State and local governments in the decommissioning process, the level of NRC review of a licenee's Post-Shutdown Decommissioning Activities Report, the options for decommissioning, and the timeframe associated with decommissioning.

    The regulatory analysis discusses the economic impact to the nuclear power industry, government, and society that would result from the rulemaking and guidance contemplated by the regulatory basis. The regulatory analysis discusses the cost benefit analysis that was completed for the various alternatives put forth by the staff, and shows that the staff's recommendation for rulemaking and guidance development is overall cost benefical to the nuclear power industry, government, and society.

    II. Cost Benefit Analysis Summary

    The following table provides the quantified and non-quantified costs and benefits for the staff-recommended alternatives discussed in the regulatory basis for each area of decommissioning under specific decommissioning topics and regulatory approaches. The complete analysis discusses at length the NRC staff's process, alternatives considered, and evaluation of costs and benefits for each area of decommissioning.

    EP07FE18.000 Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 1st day of February 2018.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Patricia K. Holahan, Director, Division of Rulemaking, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02402 Filed 2-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY 10 CFR Part 430 [EERE-2017-BT-STD-0062] Energy Conservation Program: Procedures, Interpretations, and Policies for Consideration of New or Revised Energy Conservation Standards for Consumer Products AGENCY:

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of comment period extension.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Energy (DOE) published, on December 18, 2017, a Request for Information (RFI) seeking comments from interested parties to assist DOE in identifying potential modifications to its “Process Rule” for the development of appliance standards. The comment period for the RFI ends on February 16, 2018. Through this notice, DOE extends the comment period until March 2, 2018.

    DATES:

    The comment period for the RFI published in the Federal Register on December 18, 2017 (82 FR 59992) is extended to March 2, 2018. Written comments and information are requested on or before March 2, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are encouraged to submit comments by any of the following methods:

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

    Email: [email protected] Include “Process Rule RFI” in the subject line of the message.

    Postal Mail: U.S. Department of Energy, Office of General Counsel, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Room 6A245, Washington, DC 20585

    Docket: The docket for this activity, which includes Federal Register notices, comments, and other supporting documents/materials, is available for review at http://www.regulations.gov. All documents in the docket are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index. However, some documents listed in the index, such as those containing information that is exempt from public disclosure, may not be publicly available.

    The docket web page can be found at https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=EERE-2017-BT-STD-0062. The docket web page will contain simple instructions on how to access all documents, including public comments, in the docket.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Caitlin Davis, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20585. Email: [email protected] Telephone: 202-586-6803.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    As part of its implementation of, “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs,” (January 30, 2017) and, “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda,” (February 24, 2017), the Department of Energy (DOE) published a Request for Information (RFI), on December 18, 2017 (82 FR 59992), seeking comments from interested parties to assist DOE in identifying potential modifications to its “Process Rule” for the development of appliance standards, in an effort to achieve meaningful burden reduction while continuing to achieve the Department's statutory obligations in the development of appliance standards. DOE also held a public meeting to receive input from interested parties on potential improvements to the “Process Rule”. The comment period for the RFI was previously February 16, 2018. At the public meeting, DOE received several requests to extend the comment period to give interested parties sufficient opportunity to provide comments and information on this topic. In addition, in a joint letter dated January 29, 2018, the Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration Institute, Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, and National Electrical Manufacturers Association together offered DOE support in its efforts to improve the Process Rule and requested that the comment period for the RFI be extended. (EERE-2017-STD-0062-0017)

    The Department intends to move forward expeditiously with further actions to improve the “Process Rule”. Given the importance to DOE of receiving public input on means to make such improvements, however, DOE grants those requests and extends the comment period for an additional two weeks, until March 2, 2018.

    Approval of the Office of the Secretary

    The Secretary of Energy has approved the publication of this document.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on January 31, 2018. Daniel R Simmons, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02440 Filed 2-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R09-OAR-2017-0177; FRL-9974-10-Region 9] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality State Implementation Plans; California; Interstate Transport Requirements for Ozone, Fine Particulate Matter, and Sulfur Dioxide AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve a State Implementation Plan (SIP) submission from the State of California regarding certain interstate transport requirements of the Clean Air Act (CAA or “Act”). This submission addresses the 2008 ozone national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS), the 2006 fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS, and the 2010 sulfur dioxide (SO2) NAAQS. The interstate transport requirements under the CAA consist of several elements; this proposal pertains only to significant contribution to nonattainment and interference with maintenance of the NAAQS in other states. We are taking comments on this proposal and plan to follow with a final action.

    DATES:

    Any comments must arrive by March 9, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R09-OAR-2017-0177 at http://www.regulations.gov, or via email to Rory Mays at [email protected] For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, the EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the Web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact 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://www.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rory Mays, Air Planning Office (AIR-2), EPA Region IX, (415) 972-3227, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    Table of Contents I. Background A. Interstate Transport B. California's Submission II. Interstate Transport Evaluation A. The EPA's General Evaluation Approach B. Evaluation for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone NAAQS C. Evaluation for the 2006 PM2.5 and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS D. Evaluation for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS III. Proposed Action IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Background

    Section 110(a)(1) of the CAA requires states to submit SIPs meeting the applicable requirements of section 110(a)(2) within three years after promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS or within such shorter period as the EPA may prescribe. Section 110(a)(2) requires states to address structural SIP elements such as requirements for monitoring, basic program requirements, and legal authority that are designed to provide for implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of the NAAQS. The EPA refers to the SIP submissions required by these provisions as “infrastructure SIP” submissions. Section 110(a) imposes the obligation upon states to make a SIP submission to the EPA for a new or revised NAAQS, but the contents of individual state submissions may vary depending upon the facts and circumstances. This proposed rule pertains to the infrastructure SIP requirements for interstate transport of air pollution.

    A. Interstate Transport

    Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) of the CAA requires SIPs to include provisions prohibiting any source or other type of emissions activity in one state from emitting any air pollutant in amounts that will contribute significantly to nonattainment, or interfere with maintenance, of the NAAQS, or interfere with measures required to prevent significant deterioration of air quality or to protect visibility in any other state. This proposed rule addresses the two requirements under section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I), which we refer to as prong 1 (significant contribution to nonattainment of the NAAQS in any other state) and prong 2 (interference with maintenance of the NAAQS in any other state).1 The EPA refers to SIP revisions addressing the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) as “good neighbor SIPs” or “interstate transport SIPs.”

    1 The remaining interstate and international transport requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D) for the 2008 ozone, 2006 PM2.5, 2012 PM2.5, and 2010 SO2 NAAQS for California have been addressed in prior State submissions and EPA rulemakings. 81 FR 18766 (April 1, 2016). Specifically, this includes the section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) requirements relating to interference with measures required to be included in the applicable implementation plan for any other state under part C to prevent significant deterioration of air quality (prong 3) or to protect visibility (prong 4), and the section 110(a)(2)(D)(ii) requirements relating to interstate and international pollution abatement.

    Each of the following NAAQS revisions triggered the requirement for states to submit infrastructure SIPs, including provisions to address interstate transport prongs 1 and 2. On September 21, 2006, the EPA revised the primary and secondary 24-hour NAAQS for PM2.5 to 35 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) and retained the primary and secondary annual NAAQS for PM2.5 of 15.0 µg/m3.2 On March 12, 2008, the EPA revised the levels of the primary and secondary 8-hour ozone standards to 0.075 parts per million (ppm).3 On June 2, 2010, the EPA established a new primary 1-hour SO2 standard of 75 ppb.4 Finally, on December 14, 2012, the EPA revised the primary annual PM2.5 standard by lowering the level to 12.0 μg/m3 and retained the secondary annual PM2.5 standard of 15.0 µg/m3 and the primary and secondary 24-hour PM2.5 standards of 35 μg/m3.5

    2 71 FR 61144 (October 17, 2006). Regarding the annual PM2.5 standards, we note that the EPA previously approved a California SIP submission for the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS (and the 1997 ozone NAAQS) for interstate transport prongs 1 and 2. 76 FR 34872 (June 15, 2011).

    3 73 FR 16436 (March 27, 2008).

    4 75 FR 35520 (June 22, 2010).

    5 78 FR 3086 (January 15, 2013).

    The EPA has issued several guidance documents and informational memos that inform the states' development and the EPA's evaluation of interstate transport SIPs for section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I). These include the following memos relating to the NAAQS at issue in this proposed rule:

    • Information on interstate transport SIP requirements for the 2008 ozone NAAQS (“Ozone Transport Memo”),6

    6 Memorandum from Stephen D. Page, Director, OAQPS, EPA, “Information on Interstate Transport “Good Neighbor” Provision for the 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) under Clean Air Act (CAA) Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I),” January 22, 2015.

    • Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) Update ozone transport modeling (“CSAPR Update Modeling”),7

    7 The EPA updated its ozone transport modeling through the CSAPR Update rulemaking. 81 FR 74504 (October 26, 2016). The modeling results are found in the “Ozone Transport Policy Analysis Final Rule TSD,” EPA, August 2016, and an update to the affiliated final CSAPR Update ozone design value and contributions spreadsheet that includes additional analysis by EPA Region IX (“CSAPR Update Modeling Results and EPA Region IX Analysis”).

    • Supplemental information on interstate transport SIP requirements for the 2008 ozone NAAQS (“Supplemental Ozone Transport Memo”),8

    8 Memorandum from Stephen D. Page, Director, OAQPS, EPA, “Supplemental Information on the Interstate Transport State Implementation Plan Submissions for the 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards under Clean Air Act Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I),” October 27, 2017.

    • Guidance on infrastructure SIP requirements for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS (“2006 PM2.5 NAAQS Transport Guidance”),9 and

    9 Memorandum from William T. Harnett, Director, Air Quality Policy Division, OAQPS, EPA, “Guidance on SIP Elements Required Under Sections 110(a)(1) and (2) for the 2006 24-Hour Fine Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards,” September 25, 2009.

    • Information on interstate transport SIP requirements for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS (“2012 PM2.5 NAAQS Transport Memo”).10

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

    For the 2006 PM2.5 and 2008 ozone NAAQS, the EPA previously found that California failed to submit the required SIP revisions addressing interstate transport prongs 1 and 2 by certain dates.11 Those actions triggered the obligation for the EPA to promulgate a federal implementation plan (FIP) for these requirements unless the State submits and the EPA approves a SIP submission that addresses the two prongs. As discussed further in this notice, the EPA proposes that California's interstate transport SIP submission adequately addresses these requirements for the 2006 PM2.5 and 2008 ozone NAAQS, as well as the 2012 PM2.5 and 2010 SO2 NAAQS, for which the EPA has not made a finding of failure to submit.

    11 79 FR 63536 (October 24, 2014) for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS and 80 FR 39961 (July 13, 2015) for the 2008 ozone NAAQS.

    B. California's Submission

    The California Air Resources Board (CARB) submitted the “California Infrastructure State Implementation Plan (SIP) Revision, Clean Air Act Section 110(a)(2)(D)” on January 19, 2016 (“California Transport Plan” or “Plan”).12 We are proposing action on the California Transport Plan, which addresses interstate transport for the 2008 ozone, 2006 PM2.5, 2012 PM2.5, and 2010 SO2 NAAQS. We find that this submission meets the procedural requirements for public participation under CAA section 110(a)(2) and 40 CFR 51.102.

    12 Letter from Richard W. Corey, Executive Officer, CARB to Jared Blumenfeld, Regional Administrator, Region 9, EPA, January 19, 2016.

    The California Transport Plan outlines the CAA interstate transport requirements, describes the State's and, to some degree, the local air districts' emission limits and other control measures, and presents its methodology for analyzing ozone, PM2.5, and SO2 transport and conclusions for each. It includes appendices with CARB's analysis for each of the NAAQS addressed in the SIP submission, PM2.5 data and graphics from selected Interagency Monitoring of Protected Visual Environments (IMPROVE) monitors 13 near areas in other western states with elevated levels of ambient PM2.5, emissions data from the 70 facilities closest to each PM2.5 receptor, and a list of CARB control measures for mobile sources of air pollution.

    13 IMPROVE monitors are located in national parks and wilderness areas to monitor air pollutants that impair visibility.

    II. Interstate Transport Evaluation A. The EPA's General Evaluation Approach

    We review the state's submission to see how it evaluates the transport of air pollution to other states for a given air pollutant, the types of information the state used in its analysis, how that analysis compares with prior EPA rulemaking, modeling, and guidance, and the conclusions drawn by the state. Taking stock of the state's submission, the EPA generally evaluates the interstate transport of a given pollutant through a stepwise process. The following discussion addresses the EPA's approach to evaluating interstate transport for regional pollutants such as ozone and PM2.5. Our evaluation approach for interstate transport of SO2 is described in section II.D.1 of this proposed rule.

    Typically, for assessing interstate transport for regional pollutants, such as PM2.5 or ozone, we first identify the areas that may have problems attaining or maintaining attainment of the NAAQS. We refer to regulatory monitors that are expected to exceed the NAAQS under average conditions as “nonattainment receptors” (i.e., not expected to attain) and those that may have difficulty maintaining the NAAQS as “maintenance receptors.” 14 Such receptors may include regulatory monitors operated by states, tribes, or local air agencies.15

    14 Regulatory monitoring sites are those that meet certain siting and data quality requirements such that they may be used as a basis for regulatory decisions with respect to a given NAAQS.

    15 In California, there are two federally-recognized tribes that operate regulatory monitors for ozone or PM2.5: The Morongo Band of Mission Indians operates a regulatory ozone monitor and the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians operates regulatory monitors for both ozone and PM2.5.

    In some cases, we have identified these receptors by modeling air quality in a future year that is relevant to CAA attainment deadlines for a given NAAQS. This type of modeling has been based on air quality data, emissions inventories, existing and planned air pollution control measures, and other information. For purposes of this proposed rule, such modeling is available for western states 16 for the 2008 ozone and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS; in each case the EPA modeled air quality in the 48 contiguous states of the continental U.S.17 When such modeling is not available, the EPA has considered available relevant information, including recent air quality data. An interstate transport SIP can rely on modeling when an appropriate technical analysis is available, but the EPA does not believe that modeling is necessarily required if other available information is sufficient to evaluate the presence or degree of interstate transport. Further, the EPA believes it is appropriate to identify areas that violate the NAAQS or have the potential to violate the NAAQS within a geographic scope that reflects the potential dispersion of certain air pollutants. In the context of this proposed rule, this concept applies to the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS, where we focused on air quality data in 10 western states outside of California, and the 2010 SO2 NAAQS, where we reviewed air quality data in the California's three neighboring states (i.e., Arizona, Nevada, and Oregon).18 Identifying such receptors or areas helps to focus analytical efforts by the states and the EPA on the areas where transported air pollution is more likely to adversely affect air quality.

    16 For purposes of this proposed rule, “western states” refers to the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

    17 The methodology for the EPA's transport modeling for the 2008 ozone and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS is described in the CSAPR Update Rule (81 FR 74504, October 26, 2016) and the EPA's 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS Transport Memo, respectively. For the 2008 ozone NAAQS, 2017 is the attainment year for Moderate ozone nonattainment areas. For the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS, 2021 is the attainment year for Moderate PM2.5 nonattainment areas. While the EPA's 2016 Transport Modeling projected 24-hour PM2.5 concentrations for 2017 and 2025, such data can be used to inform analyses of interstate transport in 2021. The California Transport Plan (pp. 16-17) also discusses the EPA's regulatory framework with respect to ozone transport.

    18 The transport of SO2 is more analogous to the transport of lead rather than regional pollutants like ozone and PM2.5 because its physical properties result in localized pollutant impacts very near the emissions source. For this reason, we have evaluated SO2 interstate transport for the three, large states that border California, rather than a larger geographic area. For further discussion of the physical properties of SO2 transport, please see the EPA's proposal on Connecticut's SO2 transport SIP. 82 FR 21351 at 21352 and 21354 (May 8, 2017).

    After identifying potential receptors, the EPA's second step for regional pollutants such as PM2.5 or ozone is to assess how much the upwind state of interest (i.e., California) may contribute to air pollution at each of the identified receptors or areas in other states. The EPA has conducted contribution modeling for the 2008 ozone NAAQS to estimate the amount of the projected average ozone design value at each receptor that will result from the emissions of each state within the continental U.S., and we have considered this modeling in this proposed rule. The EPA has typically compared that contribution amount (e.g., from California to Colorado) against an air quality threshold, selected based on the level and nature of the contribution from other states, as discussed in section II.B.2 of this proposed rule. We use this information to determine whether further analysis of the emission sources in a state is warranted (i.e., step 3). When the EPA assesses state-to-state contribution, if we conclude that the upwind state contributes only insignificant amounts to all nonattainment and maintenance receptors or areas in other states, the EPA may approve a submission that concludes that the submitting state does not significantly contribute to nonattainment, or interfere with maintenance, of the NAAQS in any other state.

    Third, if warranted based on step 2, the EPA analyzes emission sources in the upwind state, including emission levels, state and federal measures, and how well such sources are controlled. We also review whether the applicable control measures are included in the SIP, consistent with CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i). For example, for ozone, this analysis has generally focused on the emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOX), given that prior assessments of ozone control approaches concluded that a NOX control strategy would be most effective for reducing regional scale ozone transport,19 and on large stationary sources, such as electricity generating units (EGUs), given their historic potential to produce large, cost-effective emission reductions.20

    19 For discussion of the effectiveness of control strategies for NOX and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are precursors to ozone, to reduce ozone levels in regional versus densely urbanized scales, respectively, please see the EPA's proposal for the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR). 75 FR 45210, 45235-45236 (August 2, 2010).

    20 For background on the EPA's regulatory approach to interstate transport of ozone, beginning with the 1998 NOX SIP Call and the 2005 Clean Air Interstate Rule, please see the EPA's CSAPR proposal. 75 FR 45210 at 45230-45232 (August 2, 2010).

    If contribution modeling is not available, we conduct a weight of evidence analysis. This analysis is based on a review of the state's submission and other available information, including air quality trends; topographical, geographical, and meteorological information; local emissions in downwind states and emissions from the upwind state; and existing and planned emission control measures in the state of interest. In CSAPR and for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS Transport Memo, the EPA did not calculate the portion of any downwind state's predicted PM2.5 concentrations that would result from emissions from individual western states, such as California. Accordingly, the EPA considers prong 1 and 2 submissions for states outside the geographic area analyzed to develop CSAPR and the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS Transport Memo to be appropriately evaluated using a weight of evidence analysis of the best available information, such as the information that EPA has recommended in the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS Transport Guidance and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS Transport Memo. For this proposed rule, we conducted weight of evidence analyses to determine whether the emissions from California significantly contribute to nonattainment, or interfere with maintenance, of the NAAQS at each of the identified receptors (for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS) or identified areas (for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS and 2010 SO2 NAAQS).21 For the 2012 annual PM2.5 NAAQS, we consider both annual and 24-hour PM2.5 data because, in many cases, the annual average PM2.5 levels in the western U.S. are driven by an abundance of high 24-hour average PM2.5 levels in winter.

    21 The California Transport Plan also includes such weight of evidence analyses, though not necessarily to the same set of receptors or areas identified in the EPA's analyses.

    At this point of our analysis, if we conclude that the SIP contains adequate provisions to prohibit sources from emitting air pollutants that significantly contribute to nonattainment, or interfere with maintenance, of a given NAAQS in any other state, the EPA may approve a submission that concludes that the state has sufficient measures to prohibit significant contribution to nonattainment, or interference with maintenance, of the NAAQS in any other state.

    If the EPA concludes that that the SIP does not meet the CAA requirements, then the EPA must disapprove the state's submission with respect to that NAAQS, and the disapproval action triggers the obligation for the EPA to promulgate a FIP to address that deficiency. Following such a disapproval, the state has an opportunity to resolve any underlying deficiency in the SIP. If the state does not address the deficiency, then the CAA requires the EPA to issue a FIP to adequately prohibit such emissions. The EPA has promulgated FIPs via regional interstate transport rules across much of the eastern U.S. for the 1997 ozone, 1997 PM2.5, and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS (CSAPR) 22 and for the 2008 ozone NAAQS (CSAPR Update).23 To date, no such FIP has been promulgated with respect to CAA transport prongs 1 and 2 in the western U.S., and we are not proposing any such FIP in this proposed rule.

    22 76 FR 48208 (August 8, 2011).

    23 81 FR 74504 (October 26, 2016).

    B. Evaluation for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone NAAQS 1. State's Submission

    The California Transport Plan presents a weight of evidence analysis to assess whether emissions within the State contribute significantly to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2008 ozone NAAQS in any other state. This analysis includes a review of the EPA's photochemical modeling data that were available at the time CARB developed its Plan (i.e., in the Ozone Transport Memo),24 air quality data, downwind receptor sites, and the science of interstate transport of air pollution in the western U.S. It focuses on potential contributions to receptors in the Denver, Colorado area (four receptors) and in Phoenix, Arizona (one receptor) based on the air pollution linkages identified in the EPA's modeling.25

    24 80 FR 46271 (August 4, 2015). This notice of data availability (NODA) for the EPA's updated ozone transport modeling data included the projected 2017 ozone design values at each regulatory ozone monitor in the 48 continental U.S. states and Washington, DC and the modeled linkages between upwind and downwind states. Based on input received in response to the NODA and through the EPA's CSAPR Update rulemaking, which was completed after the California Transport Plan submission of January 19, 2016, the EPA further updated the ozone transport modeling data. 81 FR 74504 (October 26, 2016).

    25 California Transport Plan, pp. 15, 18-19.

    CARB states that the EPA's Ozone Transport Memo considered an upwind state to be linked to a downwind state if the upwind state's projected contribution was over one percent of the NAAQS (i.e., one percent is a 0.75 ppb contribution to an 8-hour average ozone concentration).26 CARB also highlights a statement in the EPA's Ozone Transport Memo that ozone transport in western states should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.27 The California Transport Plan contrasts ozone levels and emission sources in the eastern versus the western U.S. For states subject to CSAPR in the East, the Plan asserts that emissions from upwind states overwhelm downwind local emission contributions (i.e., local contributions are smaller than transported contributions by an average ratio of 1:2) and multiple upwind states affect a given downwind receptor. The Plan states that ozone levels in the West are primarily driven by local emissions (i.e., by an average ratio of 8:1), with a much smaller portion being attributed to interstate transport, and that western states have widespread complex terrain and are relatively larger on average than eastern states. The Plan describes this contrast in further detail by discussing modeling uncertainties.

    26Id., p. 18 and App. D, pp. D-3 to D-7.

    27See Ozone Transport Memo, p. 4.

    While acknowledging the possibility of some limited transport of ozone or its precursor pollutants, CARB believes that there are significant uncertainties in photochemical modeling of ozone transport in the western U.S.28 CARB summarizes certain comments it made in response to the EPA's August 2015 notice of data availability (NODA) regarding ozone transport modeling.29 Those comments discuss the challenge of modeling interstate transport of ozone in the western U.S. due to complex terrain, wildfire effects, and the limited monitoring data available to validate the modeling. CARB states that complex terrain can enhance vertical mixing of air, serve as a barrier to transported air pollution, enhance accumulation of local emissions in basins and valleys, and influence air flows up, down, and across valleys.30 Regarding wildfires, the Plan states that the size and number of wildfires in the western U.S. have significantly increased in recent decades and that wildfires can significantly increase ozone levels in adjacent and downwind areas. CARB asserts that the EPA's treatment of wildfire emissions in the Ozone Transport Memo modeling has the potential to overestimate ozone concentrations in 2017 and to underestimate the benefit of controlling anthropogenic emission sources.31 CARB states that further analysis would be required to quantify California's contribution with confidence.32

    28 California Transport Plan, p. 15.

    29Id., pp. 15-16. See also, comment letter from K. Magliano, Chief, Air Quality Planning and Science Division, CARB to the docket of the EPA's NODA. 80 FR 46271 (August 4, 2015).

    30 California Transport Plan, App. D, pp. D-1 to D-2.

    31 California Transport Plan, p. 24.

    32Id.

    Aside from the asserted modeling uncertainties, the Plan provides analyses of California's potential impacts and information regarding the Denver area and Phoenix receptors. For the Denver area nonattainment and maintenance receptors identified in the EPA's Ozone Transport Memo, CARB found it extremely unlikely that California emission sources would affect such receptors on high ozone days.33 CARB describes distance (more than 600 miles, or 1,000 kilometers (km), from California to Denver), topography (Denver is bounded by mountains to the west and south) and meteorology (local wind flow patterns driven by terrain and heat differentials) that would favor local ozone formation and includes trajectory analyses of ozone concentrations at the applicable receptors.34 This includes a description of the location and topography at each nonattainment monitor (Air Quality System (AQS) monitor ID 08-059-0006, Rocky Flats North; and 08-035-0004, Chatfield State Park) and maintenance monitor (08-059-0011, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL); and 08-005-0002, Highland Reservoir). CARB notes that the Chatfield nonattainment receptor and the NREL maintenance receptor are 300-800 feet higher than the elevation of Denver, away from sources whose emissions might scavenge ozone,35 and west-southwest of Denver—an area to which winds push emissions on days when meteorology is conducive to ozone formation.36

    33Id., pp. 23-24 and App. D, p. D-25.

    34Id., App. D, pp. D-19 to D-31.

    35 Ozone scavenging refers to a process where a molecule such as nitric oxide strips an oxygen atom from ozone, thereby reducing the amount of ozone in the atmosphere. For example, ozone concentrations typically fall at night in urban areas due to scavenging of ozone by NOX and other compounds. 73 FR 16436, 16490 (March 27, 2008).

    36Id., p. D-23.

    Regarding its trajectory analysis, CARB examined the potential for ozone or ozone precursor pollutants to travel from California to Colorado using the Hybrid Single Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory model.37 CARB input ozone data from June and July in 2011 and 2012 as the months with the most high-ozone days and identified only 11 of 447 back trajectories where pollution in the mixed layer of air in Colorado went back to the mixed layer in California. CARB then conducted forward trajectories for these 11 cases and found only one where pollution in California's mixed layer reached the mixed layer at a Colorado receptor. CARB concluded that the complex physical environment between California and Colorado limits the reproducibility of modeled transport of air pollution. The Plan also describes a vertical cross-section profile from the back trajectories and states that the air at the surface (in California and/or Colorado) was almost always decoupled from the air higher in the atmosphere, thus limiting the effect of transported air pollution.

    37Id., pp. D-23 to D-25.

    With respect to wildfires, CARB found an overall downward trend in ozone concentrations at the four Colorado receptors from 2003 to 2010 followed by increases in 2011-2013, which coincide with large increases in the acreage of wildland burned per year in Colorado (e.g., about 75,000 acres burned/year in 2009-2010 and about 190,000-255,000 acres burned/year in 2011-2013).38 CARB states that the EPA's Ozone Transport Memo modeling estimated 0.32-0.74 ppb of ozone was due to wildfire at the four Colorado receptors, but that this estimate was attributed only to ozone formed from the interaction of NOX and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by such wildfires, and not additional interactions of NOX and VOCs from wildfires with NOX and VOCs from anthropogenic sources. CARB asserts that this would underestimate the effect of wildfires on ozone levels in 2011-2013, which in turn meant that the EPA's modeling overestimated the predicted ozone concentrations at the Denver area receptors in 2017.39 CARB states that this would affect both the weighted design values (of 2009-2013) used to identify 2017 nonattainment receptors and contributions thereto and the highest design value (e.g., 2011-2013) used to identify 2017 maintenance receptors and contributions thereto.40 CARB suggests that a case-by-case approach may be needed to adjust the weighting of years for base-year design values.

    38Id., pp. D-26 to D-30.

    39Id., pp. D-30 to D-31.

    40 For the primary and secondary ozone NAAQS, the design value at each site is the 3-year average annual fourth-highest daily maximum 8-hour average ozone concentration. 40 CFR part 50 App. I, section 3.

    CARB concludes that physical and chemical processes occurring over the complex terrain and the long distance from California to these receptors would significantly affect any air pollution traveling between the two states.41 Based on its analysis, CARB concludes that California does not significantly contribute to nonattainment, or interfere with maintenance, of the 2008 ozone NAAQS at the Denver area receptors.

    41 California Transport Plan, pp. D-31 to D-32.

    For the Phoenix, Arizona receptor, CARB states that, while the relatively shorter distance makes transport a possibility from southern California, high ozone days in Phoenix are predominantly driven by local contributions. CARB describes topography (e.g., Phoenix is in a large bowl), meteorology (e.g., monsoon rains in July and August reduce ozone levels, and highest ozone levels are observed in June), and a low correspondence between modeled and measured high ozone concentrations to support its assertion that high ozone days are driven by local contributions.42 CARB asserts that California does not interfere with maintenance of the 2008 ozone NAAQS at this maintenance receptor and that CARB's on-going control programs will ensure that California does not interfere with Phoenix maintaining the 2008 ozone NAAQS.

    42Id., pp. D-13 to D-19.

    In addition, the California Transport Plan states that California has responded to each successive ozone NAAQS with increasingly stringent control measures and that CARB and other agencies' aggressive emission control programs will continue to benefit air quality in California and other states.43 The Plan states that CARB and local air districts implement comprehensive rules to address emissions from all source sectors.44 These programs and rules include measures on mobile sources, the State's largest emission source sector, local air district measures on stationary and area sources, and CARB regulations on consumer products. CARB states that the EPA's Ozone Transport Memo modeling takes into account many of California's existing measures and shows that California emission reductions from 2011 to 2017 are 445 tons per day (tpd) of NOX and 277 tpd of reactive organic gases (ROG).45

    43Id., pp. 15, 24-25.

    44Id., pp. D-7 to D-9.

    45 CARB typically refers to reactive organic gases in its ozone-related submissions since VOCs in general can include both reactive and unreactive gases. However, since ROG and VOC inventories pertain to common chemical species (e.g., benzene, xylene, etc.) we refer to this set of gases as VOCs in this proposed rule.

    CARB highlights how its mobile source measures have often served as models for federal mobile source control elements and that California's legacy programs continue to provide current and future emission reductions from vehicles within California and elsewhere. Where California and federal rules have been harmonized, CARB has implemented rules to accelerate deployment of the cleanest available control technologies for heavy-duty trucks, buses, and construction equipment to achieve emission reductions more quickly. Appendix G of the California Transport Plan presents a list of regulatory actions taken since 1985 to reduce mobile source emissions. CARB also describes efforts underway to transition to near-zero vehicle emissions technologies and to review the state's goods movement (e.g., via the State's Sustainable Freight Action Plan, issued in July 2016). With respect to stationary and area emission sources, the California Transport Plan includes a table of 29 measures adopted by local air districts and approved into the California SIP by the EPA.46 CARB claims that these measures were not taken into account in the EPA's Ozone Transport Memo modeling.

    46 California Transport Plan App. D, Table D-2, pp. D-9 to D-12.

    The Plan concludes that neither the EPA's modeling, given CARB's concerns about wildfire and model performance, nor CARB's weight of evidence analysis indicates that California significantly contributes to nonattainment, or interferes with maintenance, of the 2008 ozone NAAQS in any other state. Therefore, CARB concludes that California meets the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) for the 2008 ozone NAAQS.

    2. Introduction to the EPA's Ozone Evaluation

    The EPA agrees with the conclusion that California meets the CAA requirements for interstate transport prongs 1 and 2 for the 2008 ozone NAAQS. However, our rationale differs from that presented in the California Transport Plan, as discussed below. First, we address CARB's assertions regarding ozone transport modeling uncertainties for identifying nonattainment and maintenance receptors in 2017 and linkages to California. We then discuss the EPA's CSAPR Update Modeling,47 which both decreased the number of receptors to which California is linked relative to the EPA's Ozone Transport Memo modeling and adjusted the estimates of California's contribution to each projected 2017 receptor. We also discuss the contrast that CARB draws between ozone transport in the eastern versus western U.S. These components are important to the first two steps of our evaluation: (1) To identify potential nonattainment and maintenance receptors, and (2) to estimate interstate contributions to those receptors. Based on that analysis, we propose to find that California is not linked to any receptor in Arizona and linked only to maintenance receptors in the Denver area in Colorado.

    47 As noted previously, the EPA updated its ozone transport modeling through the CSAPR Update rulemaking. 81 FR 74504 (October 26, 2016). The modeling results are found in the “Ozone Transport Policy Analysis Final Rule TSD,” EPA, August 2016, and an update to the affiliated final CSAPR Update ozone design value and contributions spreadsheet that includes additional analysis by EPA Region IX (“CSAPR Update Modeling Results and EPA Region 9 Analysis”).

    With respect to California's linkage to those maintenance receptors in Denver, we then present a general assessment of the emission sources in California, including mobile and stationary emission sources. We propose to find that control measures in the California SIP for mobile sources, large EGUs, and large non-EGU sources (e.g., cement plants and oil refineries), adequately prohibit the emission of air pollution in amounts that will interfere with maintenance of the 2008 ozone NAAQS at the identified receptors in the Denver area.

    Given the role of regulatory monitoring data in the EPA's analysis of interstate transport, the regulatory monitoring performed by the Morongo Band of Mission Indians (Morongo) and the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians (Pechanga), as well as comments from Morongo and Pechanga during the EPA's rulemaking on California's interstate transport SIP for the 1997 ozone and 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS,48 we have also considered transport to Morongo and Pechanga reservations. Based on our review of the ambient air quality data of Morongo and Pechanga and the emission control regimes of California's South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) for stationary sources and of CARB for mobile sources, as described in the EPA's memo to the docket,49 the EPA proposes to find that California adequately prohibits the emission of air pollutants in amounts that will significantly contribute to nonattainment, or interfere with maintenance, of the 2008 ozone NAAQS in the Morongo or Pechanga reservations.

    48 76 FR 34872 (June 15, 2011). In their comments, Morongo and Pechanga called for an analysis of any potential ozone or PM2.5 transport to their reservations and for consultation with the EPA.

    49 Memorandum from Rory Mays, Air Planning Office, Air Division, Region IX, EPA, “Interstate Transport for the 2008 ozone, 2006 PM2.5, 2012 PM2.5, and 2010 SO2 NAAQS and the Morongo Band of Mission Indians and the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians,” January 2018.

    3. Evaluation of CARB's Modeling Concerns

    The California Transport Plan asserts that uncertainty in the EPA's Ozone Transport Memo modeling derives from issues of complex terrain, wildfires, and model performance, and presents trajectory analyses to supplement these uncertainties. We consider each of these factors because they are important to the adequacy of the EPA's modeling data with respect to ozone transport in the western U.S.

    We agree with CARB that the terrain in the western U.S. is complex and can enhance vertical mixing of air, serve as a barrier to transported air pollution, enhance accumulation of local emissions in basins and valleys, and influence air flows up, down, and across valleys. It is also true that California is a long distance (about 1,000 km) from the receptors identified in Colorado. The EPA used the CSAPR Update Modeling in a relative sense to project measured design values to 2017 and to quantify contributions from statewide 2017 anthropogenic emissions of NOX and VOC on a broad regional basis.50 As such, it was important to use a large regional scale modeling domain to adequately capture multi-day regional transport of ozone and precursor pollutants over long distances. The EPA selected the Comprehensive Air Quality Model with Extensions to perform such modeling given its utility in regional photochemical dispersion modeling and in developing quantitative contributions for evaluation of the magnitude of ozone transport from upwind states. We believe the EPA's CSAPR Update Modeling adequately accounts for the complex terrain and distance.

    50 “Cross State Air Pollution Update Rule—Response to Comments” (CSAPR Update RTC), EPA, October 2016, p. 66.

    The EPA responded to CARB's comments regarding potential wildfire influences on modeling in our response to comments document for the CSAPR Update final rule (“CSAPR Update RTC”).51 We acknowledge that wildfires could influence downwind pollutant concentrations and that it is likely that wildfires would occur in 2017 and future years. However, there is no way to accurately forecast the timing, location, and extent of fires across a future three-year period that would be used to calculate ozone design values. In the EPA's CSAPR Update Modeling, the EPA held the meteorological data and the fire and biogenic emissions constant at base year levels in the future year modeling, as those emissions are highly‐correlated with the meteorological conditions in the base year.

    51 CSAPR Update RTC, pp. 25 and 27.

    Regarding model performance, CARB states that there are limited monitoring data available to validate the EPA's ozone transport modeling. We discuss our ozone transport modeling platform in section V.A of the CSAPR Update, including our model performance assessment using measured ozone concentrations.52 We compared the 8-hour daily maximum ozone concentrations during the May through September “ozone season” to the corresponding measured concentrations, generally following the approach described in the EPA's draft modeling guidance for ozone attainment.53 We found that the predicted 8-hour daily maximum ozone concentrations reflect the corresponding measured concentrations in the modeling domain in terms of magnitude, temporal fluctuations, and spatial differences. The ozone model performance results were within the range found in other recent peer-reviewed and regulatory applications. We note that any problem posed by imperfect model performance on individual days is expected to be reduced when using a relative approach (i.e., using base year data to project relative changes in a future year ozone design value), as was the case in the EPA's CSAPR Update Modeling. In brief, we disagree with CARB's perspective with respect to model performance.

    52 81 FR 74504, 74526-74527 (October 26, 2016).

    53 “Draft Modeling Guidance for Demonstrating Attainment of Air Quality Goals for Ozone, PM2.5, and Regional Haze,” EPA, December 3, 2014.

    CARB states that the complex physical environment between California and Colorado limits the reproducibility of modeled transport of air pollution and that further analysis would be required to quantify California's contribution with confidence. We agree that such research could prove valuable, particularly with respect to implementing the more stringent 2015 ozone NAAQS.54 However, the prospect of future research does not itself undermine the technical adequacy of the EPA's current modeling for the 2008 ozone NAAQS.

    54 The EPA recently issued a NODA with our preliminary interstate transport data for the 2015 ozone NAAQS, which projects that California will have several nonattainment receptors, and California and Colorado will have several maintenance receptors, in 2023. 82 FR 1733 (January 6, 2017).

    Having considered the effects of complex terrain, wildfires, and any model performance in the EPA's ozone transport modeling for ozone levels throughout the continental U.S. (i.e., not just the Denver area receptors), we assert the EPA's approach to forecasting interstate transport for the 2008 ozone NAAQS to be a reasonable means for identifying nonattainment and maintenance receptors and for estimating the state contributions to those receptors. Thus, we turn to summarizing changes between the EPA's Ozone Transport Memo modeling and CSAPR Update Modeling results as they pertain to California's contribution to nonattainment and maintenance receptors in other states.

    4. Identification of Receptors and Estimation of California Contribution

    The EPA noted in the CSAPR Update that there may be specific geographic factors in western states to consider in evaluating interstate transport and, given the near-term 2017 implementation timeframe, the EPA focused the CSAPR Update on eastern states.55 Consistent with our statements in the CSAPR Update and other transport actions in western states,56 the EPA intends to address western states on a case-by-case basis.

    55 81 FR 74504, 74523 (October 26, 2016).

    56See, e.g., the EPA's proposed rule on Arizona's interstate transport for the 2008 ozone NAAQS. 81 FR 15200 (March 22, 2016).

    As described in the California Transport Plan, the EPA's Ozone Transport Memo identified two nonattainment and two maintenance receptors in the Denver area and one maintenance receptor in Phoenix. Based on input received in response to our Ozone Transport Memo NODA and the CSAPR Update proposal, the EPA updated the ozone transport modeling to reflect the latest data and analysis (e.g., emission reductions from additional NOX control measures). In each modeling exercise, we used the same definition for nonattainment receptors: Regulatory ozone monitors where 2017 ozone design values are projected to exceed the 2008 ozone NAAQS based on the average design value of three overlapping periods (2009-2011, 2010-2012, and 2011-2013) and where the monitor indicated nonattainment at the time of the analysis for the CSAPR Update. Similarly, we used the same CSAPR Update definition for maintenance receptors: Regulatory ozone monitors where 2017 ozone design values do not exceed the NAAQS based on the projected average design values, but exceed the 2008 ozone NAAQS based on the projected maximum design value of any period within the three overlapping periods. In addition, monitoring sites that are projected to have average design values above the NAAQS but currently have measured design values below the NAAQS are also considered maintenance receptors.

    The EPA's CSAPR Update Modeling projects that for the western U.S. in 2017 (outside of California), there are no nonattainment receptors and only three maintenance receptors located in the Denver, Colorado area. Notably, that modeling projects that Phoenix, Arizona will not have any receptors.57 California emissions are projected to contribute above one percent of the 2008 ozone NAAQS at each of the three Denver area maintenance receptors, as shown in Table 1.

    57 The EPA's 2016 Ozone Transport Modeling projects that the 2017 maximum base case design value in Maricopa County, Arizona (AQS ID 40-013-1004) will be 75.7 ppb (i.e., 0.0757 ppm), which is attaining the 2008 ozone NAAQS, per the data handling convention for computing 8-hour ozone averages (i.e., truncating digits to the right of the third decimal place of values presented in ppm). 40 CFR part 50, Appendix P, section 2.1.

    Table 1—2017 Ozone Maintenance Receptors in Colorado Based on the EPA's CSAPR Update Modeling AQS monitor ID County 2017 base case
  • maximum
  • design
  • value
  • (ppb)
  • California contribution (ppb) California % of 2008 ozone NAAQS Contribution by other states (ppb) a Other states % of 2017 base case maximum design value Colorado contribution (ppb) All
  • remaining
  • sources
  • (ppb)
  • Number
  • of states
  • contributing
  • over 1% of NAAQS
  • 08-035-0004 Douglas 77.6 1.18 1.6 7.29 9.4 26.10 41.90 3 08-059-0006 Jefferson 78.2 1.96 2.6 7.16 9.2 21.16 47.17 2 08-059-0011 Jefferson 78.0 0.79 1.1 7.29 9.3 29.32 38.13 4 a Contribution by other States includes contribution from states and tribes in the continental U.S., including California, that are outside of Colorado.

    The modeling shows that other states also contribute above one percent of the NAAQS to these maintenance receptors. The EPA found that the average interstate contribution to ozone concentrations from all states upwind of these receptors ranged from 9.2 to 9.4 percent of the projected ozone design values.58 Thus, the collective contribution of emissions from upwind states represent a considerable portion of the ozone concentrations at the maintenance receptors in the Denver area.

    58 CSAPR Update Modeling Results and EPA Region 9 Analysis.

    The EPA has historically found that the one percent threshold is appropriate for identifying interstate transport linkages for states collectively contributing to downwind ozone nonattainment or maintenance problems because that threshold captures a high percentage of the total pollution transport affecting downwind receptors.59 The EPA believes a contribution from an individual state equal to or above one percent of the NAAQS could be considered significant where the collective contribution of emissions from one or more upwind states is responsible for a considerable portion of the downwind air quality problem regardless of where the receptor is geographically located. In this case, combinations of two, three, or four states contribute greater than or equal to one percent of the 2008 ozone NAAQS at each of these three maintenance receptors, as shown in Table 1.

    59See, e.g., 75 FR 45210, 45237 (August 2, 2010) and 76 FR 48208, 48238 (August 8, 2011) (CSAPR proposed and final rules); and 80 FR 75706, 75714 (December 3, 2015) and 81 FR 74504, 74518-74519 (October 26, 2016) (CSAPR Update proposed and final rules). See also, e.g., 81 FR 15200, 15202-15203 (March 22, 2016) (proposed rule on Arizona transport SIP, including prongs 1 and 2 for the 2008 ozone NAAQS); 81 FR 71991, 71992 (October 19, 2016) (final rule on Utah transport SIPs, including prong 2 for the 2008 ozone NAAQS); and 82 FR 9142, 9143 (February 3, 2017) (final rule on Wyoming transport SIPs, including prongs 1 and 2 for the 2008 ozone NAAQS).

    Regarding CARB's comparison of the average ratio of local to transported emissions in the East (1:2) versus the average ratio in the West (8:1), while we did not quantitatively evaluate the ratios presented in the California Transport Plan, we generally agree that there could be substantial differences in such average ratios. However, the value of comparing average ratios is somewhat limited given that states within a particular region could have a wide variation of contributions to other states. For example, the EPA's CSAPR Update Modeling indicates that, excluding Texas, states collectively contribute 9.4 percent to 16.2 percent of the projected 2017 base case maximum ozone design values at each of three maintenance receptors in Denton County (Dallas-Fort Worth area) and Harris County (Houston), Texas.60 For each Texas receptor, two or three states each contribute over one percent of the NAAQS. In comparison, we find that two to four states each contribute over one percent of the NAAQS to each of the Colorado maintenance receptors, which is similar to the Texas scenario.

    60 CSAPR Update Modeling Results and EPA Region IX Analysis.

    Given these data and comparisons, the EPA is proposing that the one percent threshold is also appropriate as an air quality threshold to determine whether California is “linked” to the three maintenance receptors in the Denver area for the 2008 ozone NAAQS.

    The EPA is not necessarily determining that one percent of the NAAQS is always an appropriate threshold for identifying interstate transport linkages for all states in the West. For example, the EPA recently evaluated the impact of emissions from Arizona on two projected nonattainment receptors identified in California and concluded that, even though Arizona's modeled contribution was greater than one percent of the 2008 ozone NAAQS, Arizona did not significantly contribute to nonattainment, or interfere with maintenance, at those receptors.61 Accordingly, where the facts and circumstances support a different conclusion, the EPA has not always applied the one percent threshold to identify states that may significantly contribute to nonattainment, or interfere with maintenance, of the 2008 ozone NAAQS in other states.

    61 Final rule, 81 FR 31513 (May 19, 2016). See also proposed rule, 81 FR 15200, 15203 (March 22, 2016). The EPA evaluated the nature of the ozone nonattainment problem at the California receptors and determined that, unlike the receptors identified in the eastern U.S. and unlike the maintenance receptors in Colorado, only one state (Arizona) contributed above the one percent threshold to the California receptors and that the total contribution from all states linked to the receptors (2.5 to 4.4%) was negligible. Considering this information, along with emissions inventories and emissions projections showing Arizona emissions decreasing over time, the EPA determined that Arizona had satisfied the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) with respect to the 2008 ozone NAAQS.

    Likewise, the EPA is not determining that because California contributes above the one percent threshold, it is necessarily making a significant contribution that warrants further reductions in emissions. As noted above, the one percent threshold identifies a state as “linked,” prompting further inquiry into whether the contributions are significant and whether there are cost-effective controls that can be employed to reduce emissions (i.e., the third step in our evaluation).

    The EPA also notes that recent modeling shows that by the 2023 ozone season the receptors identified in Denver are projected to be “clean,” i.e., both the average and maximum design values are projected to be below the level of the 2008 ozone NAAQS.62

    62 Supplemental Ozone Transport Memo, Attachment A, pp. A-7 to A-8.

    5. Evaluation of California Control Measures

    Based on the 2011 National Emissions Inventory (NEI) and the EPA's CSAPR Update Modeling, California's anthropogenic NOX emissions in 2011 were 1,944 tpd and its VOC emissions were 2,274 tpd. These emissions came from mobile sources (i.e., on-road motor vehicles, such as passenger cars, trucks, buses, and nonroad vehicles, such as construction equipment, locomotives, ships, and aircraft), stationary sources (e.g., EGU, non-EGU point, and oil and gas point and non-point sources), and area sources (e.g., residential wood combustion). Based on the EPA's CSAPR Update Modeling, California's anthropogenic NOX emissions in 2017 were projected to be 1,409 tpd (a decrease of 535 tpd, or 28 percent, from 2011), and its VOC emissions were projected to be 1,972 tpd (a decrease of 302 tpd, or 13 percent, from 2011). Table 2 shows the percentage of California NOX and VOC emissions that came from mobile, stationary, and area sources, based on the 2011 NEI and the 2017 emission projections.63

    63 Summary of 2017 projected California NOX and VOC emissions workbooks, EPA, included in the docket to this proposed rule as “California—2017ek_cb6v2_v6_11g_state_sector_totals.xlsx.” We note that the EPA estimated that California's NOX and VOC emission reductions from 2011 to 2017 would be larger than the 445 tpd of NOX and 227 tpd of VOC emission reductions that the State projected in the California Transport Plan.

    Table 2—California Emissions From the 2011 NEI and 2017 Projected Emissions From the EPA's CSAPR Update Modeling NOX Mobile
  • (%)
  • Stationary
  • (%)
  • Area
  • (%)
  • VOCs Mobile
  • (%)
  • Stationary
  • (%)
  • Area
  • (%)
  • 2011 NEI Emissions (% of annual emissions) 78.4 11.2 10.4 34.8 6.5 58.7 2017 Projected Emissions (% of annual emissions) 69.8 15.1 15.1 25.7 7.4 67.0

    Both NOX and VOCs are precursors to ozone but, as noted above, given that assessments of ozone control approaches concluded that a NOX control strategy would be most effective for reducing regional scale ozone transport, and consistent with the CSAPR Update and prior interstate transport rulemakings, we have focused our control measure review on sources of NOX.

    CARB identified numerous State mobile source measures and examples of local air district stationary measures that control NOX and VOCs emissions and have been approved into the California SIP, and CARB stated that these measures are part of how California addresses the CAA interstate transport requirements for the 2008 ozone NAAQS.64 Below, we discuss our evaluation of California's mobile source measures, for which CARB has unique authority under State law, and stationary source measures, which are adopted and implemented by California's 35 local air districts. For the latter, beyond the measures described in the California Transport Plan, we have also considered stationary source control measures for EGUs, consistent with the controls analysis for CSAPR, and examples of stationary source control measures for the largest non-EGU sources in the State.

    64 California Transport Plan, App. G (state measures) and App. D, pp. D-7 to D-12 (discussion of California emission control programs, including recent local measures).

    As noted above, the mobile source sector is the largest source of NOX in California and accounts for approximately 70 percent of the projected 2017 NOX emissions. As a general matter, the CAA assigns mobile source regulation to the EPA through title II of the Act and, in so doing, preempts various types of state regulation of mobile sources.65 However, for certain types of mobile source emission standards, the State of California may request a waiver (for new motor vehicles and new motor vehicle engines) or authorization (for new and in-use nonroad engines and vehicles) for standards relating to the control of emissions and accompanying enforcement procedures, under CAA sections 209(b) and 209(e)(2), respectively.

    65 For further background on CAA title II authorities, including the waiver and authorization process, particularly as they apply to approval of CARB mobile source measures into the California SIP, please see the EPA's proposed and final rules approving numerous such measures. 80 FR 69915 (November 12, 2015) and 81 FR 39424 (June 16, 2016).

    Pursuant to CAA section 209(b) and (e)(2), CARB has requested, and the EPA has approved, numerous waivers and authorizations over the years, allowing CARB to establish a comprehensive program to control and reduce mobile source emissions within the state. Once the underlying regulations establishing the mobile source emissions standards are waived or authorized by the EPA, CARB submits the regulations to the EPA as revisions to the California SIP. In recent years, the EPA has approved many such mobile source regulations as part of the California SIP, including regulations establishing standards and other requirements relating to emissions from cars, light- and medium-duty trucks, heavy-duty trucks, commercial harbor craft, mobile cargo handling equipment, marine engines and boats, and off-highway recreational vehicles.66 To support and enhance these emissions standards, CARB has also established specific gasoline and diesel fuel requirements, and the California Bureau of Automotive Repair has established a vehicle emissions and inspection (i.e., “smog check”) program.67

    66 81 FR 39424 (June 16, 2016) and 82 FR 1446 (March 21, 2017).

    67 75 FR 26653 (May 12, 2010) (revisions to California on-road reformulated gasoline and diesel fuel regulations), and 75 FR 38023 (July 1, 2010) (revisions to California motor vehicle inspection and maintenance program).

    Originally, CARB's mobile source control program focused on new engines and vehicles. The emissions reductions from increasingly stringent emissions standards for new engines and vehicles occur over time as new, cleaner vehicles replace old, more polluting models in a foreseeable process referred to as “fleet turnover.” In more recent years, CARB has recognized that emissions reductions from the mobile source sector due to fleet turnover would not occur quickly enough to meet attainment deadlines established under the CAA. As a result, CARB has expanded its program to address the emissions from in-use vehicles (referred to as the “legacy” fleet) by establishing, for example, retrofit or replacement requirements for certain types of heavy-duty trucks and certain fleets of nonroad equipment.68

    68 77 FR 20308 (April 4, 2012) (EPA approval of in-use truck and bus regulation) and 81 FR 39424 (June 16, 2016) (EPA approval of in-use off-road diesel-fueled fleets regulation).

    With respect to stationary and area emission sources, the California Transport Plan states that local air districts implement comprehensive rules to address emissions from all sectors.69 The California SIP has hundreds of prohibitory rules that limit the emission of NOX and VOCs.70 Many of these rules were developed by local air districts to reduce ozone concentrations in the numerous areas that were designated nonattainment for the 1979 1-hour ozone and 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS, including Severe (i.e., Coachella Valley, Sacramento Metro, and Western Mojave Desert for both NAAQS, and Ventura County for the 1-hour ozone NAAQS) and Extreme (i.e., Los Angeles-South Coast and San Joaquin Valley) nonattainment areas.71 Generally, the planning requirements associated with the numerous California ozone nonattainment areas, coupled with the increased control requirement stringency for areas classified Severe and above (e.g., lower major source thresholds and increasing permit offset ratios), have served to limit emissions of NOX and VOCs from California that might affect other states.

    69 California Transport Plan, App. D, p. D-7.

    70 For VOCs, these include rules limiting emissions from the largest area, mobile, and stationary source categories such as consumer products, farming operations, architectural coatings/solvents, off-road equipment, light-duty passenger vehicles, recreational boats, petroleum marketing, and coatings/process solvents.

    71 Based on 2010 U.S. Census data, the total population in the nonattainment areas for the 1997 ozone NAAQS was 34.7 million people, including 23.1 million people in areas classified severe or extreme. See https://www3.epa.gov/airquality/urbanair/sipstatus/reports/ca_areabypoll.html#ozone-8hr_1997_.

    The California Transport Plan includes a table of 29 measures recently adopted by local air districts and approved into the California SIP by the EPA. These measures are representative of the wide array of NOX and VOC control measures employed by the local air districts. For example, Ventura County Air Pollution Control District (APCD) adopted rules limiting NOX emissions from boilers, water heaters, and process heaters, and Santa Barbara County APCD and South Coast AQMD adopted rules limiting NOX emissions from certain types of central furnaces and water heaters. San Joaquin Valley APCD adopted a rule to limit VOC emissions from composting operations, and Sacramento Metropolitan AQMD adopted a rule to limit VOC emissions from automotive and related equipment coatings and solvents.

    In addition to the numerous SIP-approved state and local regulations cited in the California Transport Plan, we also considered California's control measures for NOX emissions from EGUs, consistent with our approach for evaluating control measures in the CSAPR Update and other interstate transport rulemakings, and other large stationary sources in the state. For EGUs producing greater than 25 megawatts of electricity, including non-fossil fuel EGUs, the state-wide NOX emissions rate in California is projected to be 0.0097 pounds of NOX per million British thermal units (lb/MMBtu) in 2018.72 Thus, California ranks as the 47th lowest out of the 48 contiguous states and Washington, DC, for which the EPA performed power sector modeling in the context of the CSAPR Update.

    72 Ranking of NOX emission rate by state and related spreadsheets, EPA, included in the docket to this proposed rule as “5.15_OS_NOX_AQM_Base_Case RPE File CA analysis (2018 data).xlsx.”

    Furthermore, considering facility-level emissions and operations, 2016 emissions monitoring data indicate that 242 of the 244 EGUs in California that reported ozone season NOX emissions to EPA emitted NOX at rates less than or equal to 0.061 lb/MMBtu.73 Two EGUs, Greenleaf One unit 1 and Redondo Beach unit 7, emitted at rates higher than 0.061 lb/MMBtu. Greenleaf One unit 1 emitted less than 11 tons of NOX in the 2016 ozone season and is therefore unlikely to have significant cost-effective emission reduction opportunities. Applied Energy Services (AES) plans to retire its Redondo Beach units, including unit 7, no later than December 31, 2019, to comply with California regulations on the use of cooling water in certain power plant operations.74 In aggregate, these assessments indicate that California produces electricity very efficiently in terms of NOX emissions and is therefore unlikely to have significant, further NOX reductions available from the EGU sector at reasonable cost.

    73 2016 ozone season NOX emissions and heat rate data for California EGUs, EPA Air Markets Program Data, included in the docket to this rulemaking and entitled “2016 AMPD Ozone Season NOX Emissions Heat Rate from California EGUs.xlsx.”

    74 “Once-Through Cooling Phase-Out,” California Energy Commission, last updated March 8, 2017, Table 3, p. 6. Available at http://www.energy.ca.gov/renewables/tracking_progress/documents/once_through_cooling.pdf. AES plans to retire Redondo Beach unit 7 by December 31, 2019, and units 5, 6, and 8 by December 31, 2020.

    The largest collection of EGU facilities emitting over 100 tons per year (tpy) of NOX, per the 2011 NEI, are found in the San Joaquin Valley, Bay Area, and South Coast air districts.75 These sources are subject to district rules limiting NOX emissions that have been approved into the California SIP.76 At least two of these facilities in the San Joaquin Valley APCD have shut down since 2011.77 Otherwise, the largest NOX-emitting EGU facility in 2011 was the ACE Cogeneration coal-fired power plant in Trona (Mojave Desert AQMD). It emitted 620 tpy of NOX and was the only EGU facility in California that emitted more than 250 tpy of NOX. However, as discussed in the ACE Cogeneration Company's 2014 petition to the California Energy Commission to decommission this facility, the company had signed an agreement with Southern California Edison (the regional utility) to terminate operation of the facility in December 2014 and, in fact, ceased operation on October 2, 2014.78

    75 2011 NEI California emission inventory spreadsheet of stationary sources emitting over 100 tpy NOX (“2011 NEI CA NOX Spreadsheet”), included in the docket to this rulemaking and entitled “AIR17025—2011 NEI NOX sources by CA air district—RIX Analysis.xlsx.” The total emissions from such sources in 2011 were 686 tpd in San Joaquin Valley APCD (five facilities in Kern County), 474 tpd in Bay Area AQMD (four facilities in Contra Costa County), and 394 tpd in South Coast AQMD (one facility in each of Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties).

    76 For San Joaquin Valley APCD, see, e.g., Rule 4301 (“Fuel Burning Equipment,” amended December 17, 1992), 64 FR 26876 (May 18, 1999); Rule 4352 (“Solid Fuel Fired Boilers,” amended December 15, 2011), 77 FR 66548 (November 6, 2012); Rule 4702 (“Internal Combustion Engines,” amended November 14, 2013), 81 FR 24029 (April 25, 2016); and Rule 4703 (“Stationary Gas Turbines,” amended September 20, 2007) 74 FR 53888 (October 21, 2009). For Bay Area AQMD, see e.g., Regulation 9, Rule 11 (“Nitrogen Oxides and Carbon Monoxide from Electric Power Generating Steam Boilers,” amended May 17, 2000), 67 FR 35435 (May 20, 2002). For South Coast AQMD, see e.g., Regulation 20 series rules for the Regional Clean Air Incentives Market (RECLAIM) program. RECLAIM information is available at: http://www.aqmd.gov/home/programs/business/business-detail?title=reclaim.

    77 The Rio Bravo Jasmin and Rio Bravo Poso biomass plants in Bakersfield have closed and the San Joaquin Valley APCD has issued emission reduction credit certificates for doing so on January 19, 2016. See http://www.valleyair.org/notices/Docs/2016/01-19-16_(S-1153637)/S-1153637.pdf and http://www.valleyair.org/notices/Docs/2016/01-19-16_(S-1154416)/S-1154416.pdf, respectively.

    78 “ACE Decommissioning Plan,” ACE Cogeneration Company, November 25, 2014, p. 1-1.

    To investigate the potential for further NOX emission reductions from EGUs, the EPA assessed the cost effectiveness of reducing NOX emissions from fossil fuel-fired EGUs in each of the 48 contiguous states by estimating the amount of NOX that would be emitted at certain levels of NOX control stringency, represented by uniform regional cost thresholds from $800 per ton of NOX removed up to $6,400 per ton.79 The CSAPR Update finalized EGU emission budgets for 22 eastern states based on a cost threshold of $1,400 per ton since that level of cost-effective control would achieve sufficient reductions to partially address ozone transport in the eastern U.S. The NOX emission level for California is flat at 1,905 tons across the cost threshold scenarios until the $5,000 per ton scenario, where the California ozone season NOX emission level would be reduced to 1,810 tons. In other words, additional NOX reductions from EGUs in California would cost more than three times the amount that the EPA determined to be cost-effective to partially address ozone transport obligations in the eastern U.S. under the CSAPR Update.

    79 “Ozone Transport Policy Analysis Final Rule TSD,” U.S. EPA, August 2016, Table C-1, p. 15.

    Non-EGU stationary sources emitted 6.7 times more NOX (61,074 tpy) than EGUs (9,159 tpy) in California, per the 2011 NEI, and largely fall under the regulatory authority of California's local air districts. Of these non-EGU stationary sources, 19 sources emitted over 500 tpy of NOX, per the 2011 NEI.80 These sources (and the associated air districts) include: Six Portland cement plants (Kern County, Mojave Desert, and Bay Area),81 nine petroleum refineries (Bay Area and South Coast),82 and several other source types, including a mineral processing plant (Mojave Desert), a natural gas compressor station (Mojave Desert), a glass plant (San Joaquin Valley),83 and a calcined pet coke plant (Bay Area).84 These 19 sources represent 67 percent of the NOX emissions from California stationary sources that emitted over 100 tpy in 2011 and represent 5.2 percent of the total 2011 NOX inventory for California. Overall, these sources are subject to rules that limit NOX emissions and have been approved into the California SIP, as cited in the various footnotes of this paragraph. In light of the overall control of such sources, for the small number of large non-EGU sources that are either subject to NOX control measures that have not been submitted for approval into the California SIP, or fall outside the geographic jurisdiction of the applicable district rules, our analysis finds that further emission controls would be unlikely to reduce any potential impact on downwind states' air quality because such sources comprise no more than 0.8 percent of the total NOX emitted in California in 2011.85

    80 2011 NEI CA NOX Spreadsheet. Other sources in California emitting over 500 tpy of NOX include the Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, and other airports and the U.S. Army National Training Center (Fort Irwin) and U.S. Marine Corps Twentynine Palms military bases, whose NOX emissions from aircraft are outside the regulatory authority of the State of California. Separately, we do not count two Southern California Edison substations in Antelope Valley AQMD among the sources listed as emitting more than 500 tpy NOX., as we believe their NOX emissions were recorded in error. They subsequently do not appear in the 2014 NEI California emission inventory spreadsheet of stationary sources emitting over 100 tpy NOX (“2014 NEI CA NOX Spreadsheet”), which is included in the docket to this rulemaking and entitled “AIR17025—2014 NEI NOX sources by CA air district—RIX Analysis.xlsx.”

    81 Kern County APCD Rule 425.3 (“Portland Cement Kilns (Oxides of Nitrogen),” amended October 13, 1994), 64 FR 38832 (July 20, 1999); Mojave Desert AQMD Rule 1161 (“Portland Cement Kilns,” amended March 25, 2002), 68 FR 9015 (February 27, 2003); and Bay Area AQMD Regulation 9, Rule 13 (“Nitrogen Oxides, Particulate Matter, and Toxic Air Contaminants from Portland Cement Manufacturing,” amended October 19, 2016). The latter has not been submitted by the Bay Area AQMD and CARB as a revision to the California SIP.

    82 Bay Area AQMD Regulation 9, Rule 10 (“Nitrogen oxides and Carbon Monoxide from Boilers, Steam Generators and Process Heaters in Petroleum Refineries,” amended July 17, 2002), 73 FR 17897 (April 2, 2008); and South Coast AQMD RECLAIM program, whose rules have been approved into the California SIP, as noted above.

    83 San Joaquin Valley Rule 4354 (“Glass Melting Furnaces,” amended May 19, 2011). Notably, the parent company of the Pilkington North America, Inc. glass plant in Lathrop announced that the plant was to be closed by January 1, 2014. http://www.recordnet.com/article/20131113/A_BIZ/311130312. Consistent with closure, it does not appear in the 2014 NEI CA NOX Spreadsheet.

    84 Bay Area AQMD Regulation 9, Rule 10 (“Nitrogen Oxides and Carbon Monoxide from Boilers, Steam Generators, and Process Heaters in Petroleum Refineries”, amended July 17, 2002), 73 FR 17897 (April 2, 2008). This rule applies to some (e.g., process heaters), but not all (e.g., the plant's coker unit), of the applicable calcined petroleum coke plant's equipment.

    85 2011 NEI CA NOX Spreadsheet.

    On the strength of CARB and the local air districts' emission control programs, especially for mobile and stationary sources of NOX, we propose that the California SIP, as explained in the California Transport Plan and our evaluation above, adequately prohibits the emission of air pollutants in amounts that will significantly contribute to nonattainment, or interfere with maintenance, of the 2008 ozone NAAQS in any other state. We agree with CARB that California meets the requirements of CAA section

    110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) for the 2008 ozone NAAQS, but we differ as to the rationale for that conclusion. California's analysis relies primarily on its conclusion that the ozone transport linkages are uncertain and therefore no significant contribution of interference with maintenance has been demonstrated. The EPA's evaluation finds that the transport linkages are adequately quantified (and uncertainties sufficiently addressed) and that California's emission control programs adequately address the transport requirements. C. Evaluation for the 2006 PM2.5 and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS 1. State's Submission

    The California Transport Plan presents a weight of evidence analysis to assess whether the state contributes significantly to nonattainment or interferes with maintenance of the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 and 2012 annual PM2.5 NAAQS in any other state. This analysis includes a review of air quality data for California and other states, including daily 24-hour PM2.5 concentrations at potential downwind receptors and PM2.5 design value concentrations at IMPROVE monitoring sites; local emissions near, distance to, and changes in population and vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in areas near downwind receptors; California emissions and rules and regulations to reduce such emissions; and other information available from the EPA and other states' technical support documents (TSDs) for various CAA requirements.86

    86 California Transport Plan, pp. 11-12.

    Regarding air quality data, CARB reviewed PM2.5 design values in western states from the EPA's air trends website for three overlapping periods between 2010-2014.87 For the purpose of identifying potential receptors, CARB defined nonattainment receptors as monitors violating the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS (35 µg/m3) or the 2012 annual PM2.5 NAAQS (12.0 µg/m3) in 2012-2014 and maintenance receptors as those that attained the NAAQS in that period, but violated the NAAQS in either of the two preceding periods (2010-2012 or 2011-2013).

    87Id., p. 10. The EPA's air trends website is available at: https://www.epa.gov/air-trends.

    For the 24-hour PM2.5 standard, CARB identified 17 nonattainment receptors, with design values ranging from 36-61 µg/m3, across the following five states listed by the receptors' counties: Arizona (Pinal), Idaho (Lemhi and Shoshone), Montana (Ravalli and Silver Bow), Oregon (Crook, Jackson, Lake, and Lane), and Utah (Box Elder, Cache, Davis, Salt Lake, and Utah).88 CARB also identified four maintenance receptors, with design values ranging from 36-39 µg/m3 in either the 2010-2012 or 2011-2013 periods, across three states listed by the receptors' counties: Montana (Lewis and Clark, and Missoula), Oregon (Klamath), and Utah (Weber).

    88Id., p. 11, Tables III.1 and III.2.

    For the annual PM2.5 standard, CARB identified two nonattainment receptors (i.e., having design values over 12.0 µg/m3), with design values of 12.1 and 13.1 µg/m3, respectively, and no maintenance receptors, in just one state listed by the receptors' counties: Idaho (Lemhi and Shoshone).

    The California Transport Plan discusses California emissions from mobile, stationary, and area sources and applicable regulatory programs. CARB highlights the authority granted by Congress in the 1970 CAA for California to adopt mobile source emission control standards in certain situations. Within the California Health and Safety Code, CARB highlights the authority granted to CARB to adopt and implement controls on mobile sources and their fuels, as well as consumer products, and to the state's 35 local air districts to adopt and implement stationary and area source controls.89 For mobile sources, CARB states that it has adopted and implemented: “fleet rules” for heavy-duty trucks, buses, and construction equipment; light-duty vehicle and fuel regulations, such as the LEV III program and the 2012 Advanced Clean Car regulation; and inspection and maintenance programs for light duty (i.e., smog check) and heavy-duty vehicles; among other measures. For stationary and area sources, CARB states that local air district rules, in combination, are among the most stringent in the U.S. and cover a wide range of sources such as refineries, manufacturing facilities, cement plants, refinishing operations, electricity generation and biomass facilities, boilers, and generators.

    89Id., pp. 5-6. As noted in section II.B.1 of this proposed rule, Appendix G of the California Transport Plan presents a list of CARB regulatory actions taken since 1985 to reduction mobile source emissions.

    The California Transport Plan includes a sample list of State and local air district rules that have been approved into the California SIP and a graph of how California state-wide emissions of PM2.5, and PM2.5 precursor pollutants, such as NOX, VOC, and sulfur oxides (SOX), have decreased significantly from 2001 (~7,000 tpd) to 2011 (~4,300 tpd) and are expected to continue to decrease to 2021 (projected to be ~3,100 tpd).90 For example, the list includes CARB regulations for heavy-duty trucks and buses and light- and medium-duty vehicles, and air district regulations for open burning, agricultural burning, and fugitive dust as example of regulations that limit the emission of particulate matter. CARB states that these state and local programs have reduced and will continue to reduce the potential for California emissions to contribute to violations, or interfere with maintenance, of the federal standards.

    90Id., pp. 7-9, Table II.1 and Figure II.1. CARB's analysis of California SO2 emissions in based on SOX because CARB estimates that SO2 comprises 97% of the state-wide SOX inventory. California Transport Plan, App. C, p. C-10.

    We have further summarized the California Transport Plan in terms of California's emissions and the State and local regulatory programs in sections II.B and II.D of this proposed rule. These sections describe CARB's statements with respect to NOX and VOC emissions (for the 2008 ozone NAAQS) and SOX emissions (for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS) and are relevant, as precursors to PM2.5, to interstate transport for the 2006 PM2.5 and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. For example, CARB states that NOX and VOC emissions have been reduced by 445 tpd and 277 tpd, respectively, from 2011 to 2017 due to California's regulatory programs.91 Similarly, from 2000 to 2015, CARB estimates that CARB and the air districts achieved the following SOX emission reductions: Stationary sources (59 percent), mobile sources (88 percent), and area sources (33 percent).92

    91Id., App. D, p. D-8.

    92Id., App. C, p. C-3.

    Regarding assessment of the causes of the PM2.5 concentrations at each receptor, CARB presents its analysis for each county or PM2.5 nonattainment area (e.g., the Salt Lake City nonattainment area for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS, which includes the receptors in Box Elder, Davis, and Salt Lake Counties). CARB's receptor analyses focus on local emission sources, the distance between California and each receptor, long-term PM2.5 trends and daily PM2.5 data (as opposed to design values), population, and VMT. These analyses appear in Appendix A of the California Transport Plan for the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS and in Appendix B for the 2012 annual PM2.5 NAAQS. CARB includes additional analyses of air quality data at IMPROVE sites that are located between California and the receptor counties in Appendix E and uses these data as an indicator of whether elevated PM2.5 levels are observed regionally. We discuss the State's analysis of each receptor area in greater detail as part of our evaluation for each PM2.5 NAAQS, below.

    For the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS, CARB relies in part on technical documents from applicable states and the EPA (e.g., TSDs for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS nonattainment area designations) in concluding that most exceedances at each nonattainment or maintenance receptor are due to emissions from local sources, especially during winter-time inversions.93 CARB further concludes that California emissions from stationary sources are subject to stringent limits for PM2.5 and its precursors, such as those for NOX and SOX, and that California has a long history of reducing emissions through motor vehicle and fuel standards. CARB also finds that monitors in western states generally have valid design values well below 35 µg/m3, except for the 17 receptors identified in CARB's analysis. Based on these analyses, CARB states that California does not contribute to, or interfere with maintenance of, the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS in neighboring or nearby states.

    93Id., p. 22.

    For the 2012 annual PM2.5 NAAQS, CARB draws similar conclusions as those for its 24-hour PM2.5 analyses: That most of the high, annual PM2.5 concentrations are due to local emissions, especially during winter-time inversions; that California's stationary and mobile sources are well regulated; and that monitors in western states generally have valid design values well below 12.0 µg/m3, except for the two receptors identified in CARB's analysis.94 CARB concludes that California does not contribute to, or interfere with maintenance of, the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS in neighboring or nearby states.

    94Id., p. 22-23.

    2. Introduction to the EPA's PM2.5 Evaluation

    The EPA agrees with CARB's conclusions that California meets the CAA requirements for interstate transport prongs 1 and 2 for the 2006 PM2.5 and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS, as discussed below. First, we discuss our evaluation of CARB's identification of nonattainment and maintenance receptors in western states based on data presented in the California Transport Plan as well as the EPA's analysis of 2009-2013 24-hour and annual PM2.5 design values. Based on this analysis, we present modified lists of such receptors (i.e., step one) that largely follow the lists of receptors in the California Transport Plan, as presented in Table 3 (for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS) and Table 4 (for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS) of this proposed rule. We include data on the most recent, valid design values (e.g., 2014-2016) for each receptor. We then discuss California emissions of PM2.5 and its precursors, California's regulations to limit such emissions, and the emission trends resulting from such regulations.

    Building on the identification of potential nonattainment and maintenance receptors and our discussion of California emissions, we present our own weight of evidence analysis for addressing the CAA requirements. This analysis affirms CARB's weight of evidence analysis for the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 and 2012 annual PM2.5 NAAQS. Like the analytical approach used in the California Transport Plan, for each potential receptor area we summarize our analyses of air quality data at the applicable receptors, daily 24-hour PM2.5 concentrations at the receptors, PM2.5 design value concentrations at IMPROVE monitoring sites,95 local emissions and other local factors, and California's emission control programs. We prepared a TSD containing our more detailed analysis of interstate transport for the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS (“EPA's PM2.5 Transport TSD”), which is also relevant for our evaluation of the 2012 annual PM2.5 NAAQS, and it is included in the docket of this proposed rule.96

    95 Air quality data from IMPROVE monitoring sites may provide an indication of rural background PM2.5 concentrations. Low PM2.5 concentrations at IMPROVE sites that coincide temporally with high PM2.5 concentrations at nearby PM2.5 receptors may indicate a relatively localized pollution impact, whereas high PM2.5 concentrations at IMPROVE sites may indicate a more regional pollution impact.

    96 “EPA Evaluation of the California Interstate Transport Plan (2006 PM2.5 NAAQS), Technical Support Document,” EPA, Region 9, January 2018.

    Given the role of regulatory monitoring data in the EPA's analysis of interstate transport, the PM2.5 regulatory monitoring performed by Pechanga, as well as comments from the Morongo and Pechanga during the EPA's rulemaking on California's interstate transport SIP for the 1997 ozone and 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS,97 we have also considered transport to the Morongo and Pechanga reservations. Based on our review of such ambient air quality data, as described in the EPA's memo to the docket referenced here,98 the EPA proposes to find that the 24-hour and annual PM2.5 design value concentrations at the Pechanga monitor and at monitors nearest to the Morongo reservation fall below the levels of the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS and the 2012 annual PM2.5 NAAQS, and thus do not warrant further analysis with respect to interstate transport under CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) for any potential PM2.5 air quality impacts in the Morongo or Pechanga reservations.

    97 76 FR 34872 (June 15, 2011). In their comments, Morongo and Pechanga called for an analysis of any potential ozone or PM2.5 transport to their reservations and for consultation with the EPA.

    98 Memorandum from Rory Mays, Air Planning Office, Air Division, Region XI, EPA, “Interstate Transport for the 2008 ozone, 2006 PM2.5, 2012 PM2.5, and 2010 SO2 NAAQS and the Morongo Band of Mission Indians and the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians,” January 2018.

    3. Identification of Receptors

    The EPA's 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS Transport Memo was released on March 17, 2016, and presented air quality modeling that identified potential nonattainment and maintenance receptors.99 The EPA's analysis used ambient PM2.5 data from 2009-2013, emissions inventory data from the 2011 NEI, photochemical modeling for a 2011 base year and 2017 and 2025 future years, and other information to project annual PM2.5 design values for 2017 and 2025. As identified in the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS Transport Memo, it may be appropriate to use this information to help evaluate projected air quality in 2021, which is the attainment deadline for 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS nonattainment areas classified as Moderate. Because modeling results are only available for 2017 and 2025, one way to assess potential receptors for 2021 is to assume that receptors projected to have average and/or maximum design values above the NAAQS in both 2017 and 2025 are also likely to be either nonattainment or maintenance receptors in 2021. Similarly, it may be reasonable to assume that receptors that are projected to attain the NAAQS in both 2017 and 2025 are not likely to have nonattainment or maintenance problems in 2021.

    99 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS Transport Memo, Table 1, p. 5.

    Where available, we rely on this kind of modeling for interstate transport because it accounts for the effect of emission reductions from planned federal, state, and local measures, as well as input from state, local, industry, and community entities, to project where violations, or potential violations, of the NAAQS will occur. By aligning the overlapping design value periods (2009-2013) with the 2011 NEI, we can establish an improved understanding of the relationship between emissions of PM2.5 and its precursors to ambient PM2.5 concentrations. We have also considered the recent 2014-2016 design values at the potential nonattainment and maintenance receptors identified in the EPA's 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS Transport Memo.

    We note that CARB's adoption of the California Transport Plan on December 17, 2015, preceded the release of the EPA's 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS Transport Memo. CARB analyzed the overlapping design value periods of 2010-2014, albeit without projecting those values forward. Given the utility of the EPA's modeling for the reasons described above, we have used the list of receptors from the EPA's 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS Transport Memo as the primary basis for our evaluation, while also considering the differences in CARB's list of receptors. In addition, we present the 2014-2016 design value data at each identified receptor to indicate current air quality. The EPA's list of receptors for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS appears in Table 4.

    For the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS we have derived a list of receptors using 2009-2013 design values as the primary basis for our evaluation, while considering the differences in CARB's list of receptors, as well as the most recent, valid design values (2014-2016, where available). We selected this approach to provide a common base of ambient air quality and emissions information for PM2.5 for both the 24-hour and annual standards. Because neither the EPA nor CARB modeled future 24-hour PM2.5 design values, we use the same conceptual definition for 24-hour PM2.5 receptors from the California Transport Plan—nonattainment receptors are those that violate the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS in the last of three overlapping design value periods (2011-2013); and maintenance receptors are those that attain the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS in the latest period, but violate the standard in either of the preceding two design value periods (2009-2011 or 2010-2012). As with the annual standard, we also present the 2014-2016 24-hour PM2.5 design values at each identified receptor. The EPA's list of receptors for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS appears in Table 3.100

    100 Consistent with prior western interstate transport actions, we have excluded from this list the receptors in Ravalli, Montana (AQS ID 30-081-0007), Missoula, Montana (AQS ID 30-063-0024), and Jackson, Oregon (AQS ID 41-029-0133) with design values that may have been affected by wildfires. See, e.g., 80 FR 9423 (February 23, 2015), “Technical Support Document—Idaho [SIP] and Interstate Transport Requirements for the 2006 24-hour [PM2.5 NAAQS],” EPA, Region X, January 22, 2015, p. 12.

    Table 3—EPA List of Potential Nonattainment and Maintenance Receptors for the 2006 24-Hour PM2.5 NAAQS State County Nonattainment area for 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS a AQS ID CARB receptor type (2010-2014 data) EPA receptor type
  • (2009-2013 data)
  • Most recent valid
  • design value
  • (µg/m3)
  • (2014-2016,
  • except as noted)
  • Arizona Pinal West Central Pinal 04-021-3013 Nonattainment (Nonattainment) b 30 Idaho Ada 16-001-0010 Not discussed Nonattainment 19 (2008-2010) Idaho Franklin Logan 16-041-0001 Discussed with Cache County, Utah Nonattainment 46 (2008-2010) Idaho Lemhi 16-059-0004 Nonattainment Nonattainment 41 Idaho Shoshone West Silver Valley (2012 PM2.5 NAAQS) 16-079-0017 Nonattainment Nonattainment 39 Montana Silver Bow 30-093-0005 Nonattainment Nonattainment 33 Oregon Crook 41-013-0100 Nonattainment Nonattainment 38 Oregon Lake 41-037-0001 Nonattainment Nonattainment 56 (2013-2015) Oregon Lane Oakridge 41-039-2013 Nonattainment Nonattainment 31 Oregon Klamath Klamath Falls 41-035-0004 Maintenance Nonattainment 27 Utah Box Elder Salt Lake City 49-003-0003 Nonattainment Nonattainment 31 Utah Cache Logan 49-005-0004 Nonattainment Nonattainment 45 (2013-2015) Utah Salt Lake Salt Lake City 49-035-3006 Nonattainment Nonattainment 38 Utah Salt Lake Salt Lake City 49-035-3010 Nonattainment Nonattainment 42 Utah Utah Provo 49-049-0002 Nonattainment Nonattainment 29 Utah Utah Provo 49-049-4001 Nonattainment Nonattainment 43 (2013-2015) Utah Utah Provo 49-049-5010 Nonattainment Nonattainment 27 Utah Weber Salt Lake City 49-057-0002 Maintenance Nonattainment 37 (2013-2015) Montana Lewis and Clark 30-049-0026 Maintenance Maintenance 37 Utah Davis Salt Lake City 49-011-0004 Nonattainment Maintenance 34 Utah Weber Salt Lake City 49-057-1003 Not discussed Maintenance 35 (2011-2013) a A blank cell in the column for nonattainment area indicates that the monitor is not located in an area currently designated nonattainment for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS. b Although EPA's 2012 PM2.5 Transport Memo did not identify the Pinal County, Arizona monitor as either a nonattainment or maintenance receptor in the 2009-2013 data, we are evaluating it here as a nonattainment receptor because it was identified as such in the California Transport Plan.
    Table 4—EPA List of Potential Maintenance Receptors for the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS State County AQS site ID CARB receptor type (2012-2014 data) EPA receptor type (2017 projection) EPA receptor type (2025 projection) 2014-2016
  • design value
  • (µg/m3)
  • Idaho a Shoshone 16-079-0017 Nonattainment (13.1 µg/m3) Maintenance (Avg. 12.43 µg/m3) Maintenance (Max. 12.22 µg/m3) 11.9 Pennsylvania Allegheny 42-003-0064 Not discussed Maintenance (Max. 12.16 µg/m3) Attainment (Max. 11.65 µg/m3) 12.8 a CARB identified the monitor in Lemhi County, Idaho (AQS ID 16-059-0004) as a nonattainment receptor based on a 2012-2014 design value of 12.1 µg/m3. The EPA's modeling for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS Transport Memo projects this monitor to be attaining and maintaining the NAAQS in both 2017 (maximum design value of 11.79 µg/m3) and 2025 (maximum design value of 11.65 µg/m3). Its 2014-2016 design value is 12.4 µg/m3.
    4. Evaluation of California Control Measures

    We discuss California's control measures before presenting our analysis for transport prongs 1 and 2 for each NAAQS because such discussion provides a common basis for evaluating the California emissions component of CARB's weight of evidence analysis. Also, for three precursors, we incorporate our evaluation of California's emissions and regulatory programs in sections II.B and II.D of this proposed rule for NOX and VOC (for the 2008 ozone NAAQS) and SOX (for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS), respectively, given their roles as precursors to ambient PM2.5.

    We agree with CARB's general conclusions: That California emissions from stationary sources are subject to stringent limits for PM2.5 and its precursors, such as those for NOX and SOX; that California has a long history of reducing emissions through motor vehicle and fuel standards; and that California's State and local measures will continue to reduce the potential for California emissions to contribute significantly to nonattainment, or interfere with maintenance, of the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 or 2012 annual PM2.5 NAAQS in any other state. This is based on our review of the state and local measures cited in the California Transport Plan that limit the emissions of PM2.5 and its precursor pollutants and of the applicable California emission trends, which are generally decreasing.

    For direct PM2.5 emissions, the California Transport Plan cites examples of State and local rules that limit the emission of particulate matter (PM), which includes direct PM2.5, and cites to the EPA actions approving such measures into the SIP.101 These include emission standards and test procedures for heavy-duty engines and vehicles, passenger cars, light duty trucks, and medium duty vehicles; in-use diesel standards for heavy-duty trucks, buses, drayage trucks, and off-road vehicles; and inspection and maintenance programs. We affirm that these measures limit the emission of PM and have been approved into the California SIP.102

    101 California Transport Plan, p. 8.

    102See, for example, 77 FR 20308 (April 4, 2012), approving Title 13 of the California Code of Regulations (CCR) section 2025, commonly referred to as CARB's Truck and Bus Rule, into the California SIP.

    The California Transport Plan also includes examples of air district measures for area sources such as those for open burning in South Coast and Imperial County, agricultural burning in Sacramento Metro and Imperial County, fugitive dust in Mojave Desert, and agricultural sources in San Joaquin Valley. We similarly affirm that these measures limit the emission of PM and have been approved into the California SIP.103 More broadly, the California Transport Plan refers to control measures that apply to a range of pollutants emitted by refineries, manufacturing facilities, cement plants, refinishing operations, electricity generation and biomass facilities, boilers, and generators.104 As a general matter, we affirm that there are many SIP-approved rules for such sources that limit the emission of PM and its precursors.

    103See, for example, 66 FR 36170 (July 11, 2001), approving Imperial County APCD Rule 421 (“Open Burning,” amended September 14, 1999) into the California SIP.

    104 California Transport Plan, p. 6.

    Per our review of the EPA's emissions trends data, from 2000 to 2016, total statewide PM2.5 emissions, excluding wildfires and prescribed fires, decreased by 75 percent, resulting in 2016 emissions of 99,016 tpy.105 As discussed in section II.B.5 of this proposed rule, we estimate that California emissions will be reduced from 2011 to 2017 by 535 tpd of NOX (28 percent decrease from 2011) and 302 tpd of VOC (13 percent decrease from 2011). On a longer timeline, from 2000 to 2016, California NOX and VOC emissions have decreased by 66 percent and 54 percent, respectively. For SO2, total statewide emissions have decreased by 75 percent from 2000 to 2016. Thus, emissions of each of these pollutants has decreased substantially in response to California State and local control measures, as well as federal measures for sources outside California's regulatory authority.

    105 1990-2016 emission inventory spreadsheets of statewide emission trends, included in the docket to this rulemaking and entitled “1990-2016 State Tier 1 Annual Average Emission Trends—RIX Analysis.xls.” Additional emissions trends data are available at: https://www.epa.gov/air-emissions-inventories/air-pollutant-emissions-trends-data.

    5. Evaluation for the 2006 24-Hour PM2.5 NAAQS

    We summarize our evaluation of the areas encompassing the 18 nonattainment receptors identified in Table 3 and group them into three geographic bins (i.e., Arizona, the Northern Rocky Mountains, and Utah) based on the nature of the emission sources affecting the receptors. We then summarize our evaluation of the areas encompassing the three maintenance receptors identified in Table 3 and group them by the two relevant states. The EPA's PM2.5 Transport TSD in the docket for this proposed rule contains our more detailed analyses for interstate transport prongs 1 and 2.

    i. Evaluation for Significant Contribution to Nonattainment (Prong 1)

    CARB discussed the Pinal County, Arizona receptor, which is known as the Cowtown monitor. This receptor is in the West Central Pinal PM2.5 nonattainment area, approximately 240 km east of the California border. The Cowtown area is surrounded by mountain ranges with open-ended valleys that could allow transport of air pollution from the west. The area's population has grown by 40 percent from 2005 to 2014 and the VMT has grown by 10 percent between 2005 and 2011. Most of the exceedances of the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS at the Cowtown monitor did not occur during high wind conditions, indicating that they were likely due to local rather than transported sources, particularly local feedlots and geologic soil, based on speciated ambient PM2.5 data. The 24-hour PM2.5 concentrations at this receptor were the highest in Arizona, yet the PM2.5 monitor in Yuma, Arizona, along the California border, recorded lower concentrations of 15-19 µg/m3—well below 35 µg/m3.

    For the Northern Rocky Mountains, which herein includes nonattainment receptors in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and the Cache County portion of Utah, we evaluated nine nonattainment receptors. The receptors in Idaho and Montana are 360-740 km from California while those in Oregon are 25-255 km from California. All nine are separated from California by various mountain ranges. Locally, the receptors are surrounded by mountains that in some cases rise several thousand feet above the mountain basins, forming a topographical barrier to PM2.5 transport and often trapping PM2.5 pollution near the surface during wintertime temperature inversions. For example, the receptors in Franklin County, Idaho and Cache County, Utah are surrounded by the Wasatch-Cache, Bear River, Monte Cristo, and Wellsville mountain ranges that rise 3,000 to 5,000 feet above the valley floor. These areas tend to have small populations with VMT increases or decreases of 20 percent or less from 2005 to 2011.

    The highest 24-hour PM2.5 concentrations in each area are generally observed in winter, with certain receptors, representing counties in Idaho (Lemhi and Shoshone), Montana (Silver Bow), and Oregon (Lake and Lane), that appear to have been affected by wildfire in summer or fall. The PM2.5 concentrations at IMPROVE monitors nearest each of these receptors, including IMPROVE monitors between California and the receptors, were generally low when elevated PM2.5 concentrations were recorded at the receptors, in winter. Where available, limited chemical speciation and meteorological data during cold PM2.5 episodes indicate that transport of air pollution from the periphery of such areas is limited and that PM2.5 is formed from local emission sources through secondary formation of PM2.5. Residential wood burning, especially during winter inversions, is considered the primary contributor to 24-hour PM2.5 exceedances. Additional sources contributing to such exceedances vary by area and may include mobile sources and agricultural activities (e.g., open burning).

    For Utah, we evaluated seven nonattainment receptors that are either in the Salt Lake City or Provo nonattainment area for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS. Both areas are valleys bordered to the east by the Wasatch Mountains, to the west by the Stansbury and Promontory Mountains and the Great Salt Lake for Salt Lake City, and by the Oquirrh Mountains and Utah Lake for Provo. While they are designated separately, the EPA has determined that the two areas share an airshed. These areas are about 700 km from the California border and separated from California by the Sierra Nevada mountain range and the Great Basin, a large area comprised of depressions and flats scattered between smaller mountain ranges in Nevada and Utah. Approximately 80 percent of the population of Utah resides in the counties with nonattainment receptors identified in CARB's and the EPA's analyses, with county population increases ranging from 11-26 percent from 2005 to 2014 and county VMT changes ranging from a 62 percent decrease in Weber County to a 116 percent increase in Box Elder County from 2005 to 2011.

    The highest 24-hour PM2.5 concentrations in these two nonattainment areas primarily occur during winter, with occasional spikes in other seasons. IMPROVE monitors between California and the Salt Lake City and Provo nonattainment areas, including Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks in Utah and Jarbidge Wilderness Area in Nevada, recorded their highest 24-hour PM2.5 concentrations in summer, and their concentrations were generally low when elevated PM2.5 concentrations were recorded at the Salt Lake City and Provo receptors, in winter.106 Most of the ambient PM2.5 in the urban portions of these nonattainment areas is generated locally and trapped during winter inversions. Transport between the Salt Lake City and Provo areas can occur during these inversions, as there is a gap in the mountains separating these areas below their average inversion heights.

    106 States' contributions to the best and worst visibility days at IMPROVE monitors were modeled to address requirements of the EPA's regional haze rule. 64 FR 35714 (July 1, 1999), and later revised at 82 FR 3078 (January 10, 2017). The California Transport Plan notes that while the percentage of contributions from California are highest for the worst visibility days at these IMPROVE monitors, these days occurred during summer months and would not, therefore, affect winter exceedances at the receptors in Utah. California Transport Plan, p. A-54 and Appendix E.1. The modeling data are available at: http://vista.cira.colostate.edu/TSS/Results/HazePlanning.aspx.

    We have reviewed the information compiled and presented in the California Transport Plan, including distance of relevant receptors from California; intervening terrain; potential wildfire effects; chemical speciation data; local topography; the effect of local emission sources, particularly residential wood burning and, in certain cases, other sources (e.g., mobile sources, agricultural activities), on wintertime exceedances; and regional background levels represented by IMPROVE data. We have reviewed California's emissions and emission control programs for PM2.5 and its precursors, especially for NOX and SOX, and conclude that California has an extensive and effective program for limiting emissions of such pollutants. Thus, we propose that California will not significantly contribute to nonattainment of the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS in any western state.

    The California Transport Plan did not evaluate PM2.5 transport to states farther east than Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. To evaluate the potential for transport of PM2.5 and its precursors to states farther east, we have reviewed modeling data from the CSAPR and recent air quality data to identify the westernmost area in the East 107 with a potential nonattainment receptor. We then compared California's likely contributions to those of states in the East that may significantly contribute to nonattainment at that receptor, considering several pieces of evidence.

    107 For purposes of the PM2.5 evaluation in this notice, “the East” refers to the 37 states and Washington, DC that lie east of the states of Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. The EPA modeled the contribution of states within the East to each receptor for CSAPR, but did not model the contribution of any state further west, such as California.

    CSAPR identified nonattainment receptors for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS in numerous eastern states using a 2012 base case and projected forward to 2014.108 The westernmost of these was in Madison County, Illinois (AQS ID 171191007), which is across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, Missouri. We looked at the westernmost of these states because its relative position with respect to California might help to determine whether the EPA should evaluate PM2.5 transport to any state farther east. In reviewing recent air quality data, including 2014-2016 24-hour PM2.5 design values, very few of those receptors recorded ambient 24-hour PM2.5 concentrations above 35 µg/m3 (e.g., Allegheny County (Pittsburgh), Pennsylvania).109 Notwithstanding, we further examined the Madison receptor as the westernmost potential nonattainment receptor in the East.

    108 76 FR 48208 at 48242-48243 (August 8, 2011), Table V.D-5.

    109 EPA 2016 Design Value Reports, spreadsheet entitled “Table 6, Site DV History,” July 14, 2017, available at: https://www.epa.gov/air-trends/air-quality-design-values#report. We note that data quality issues in Illinois and four counties in Florida prevent the calculation of valid design values for recent years.

    The westernmost states that were linked (i.e., contributing over one percent (0.35 µg/m3) of the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS) to the Madison receptor in CSAPR were Kansas and Texas, which were each projected to contribute 0.37 µg/m3 to this receptor and are about 385 km and 680 km, respectively, from this receptor.110 The other states situated along a similar western longitude, including North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Oklahoma, were not linked to the receptor. Because Kansas and Texas were among the westernmost states analyzed within CSAPR, we compared their emissions with those of California. In the CSAPR 2014 base case, Kansas was projected to emit 248,692 tpy of NOX and 117,050 tpy of SO2, and Texas was projected to emit 1,372,735 tpy of NOX and 704,311 tpy of SO2.111

    110 “Air Quality Modeling Final Rule [TSD]” for the CSAPR final rule, EPA, June 2011, pp. D-11 to D-12.

    111 “Emissions Inventory Final Rule [TSD]” for the CSAPR final rule, EPA, June 28, 2011, Tables 7-1 and 7-2.

    By comparison, California is about 2,215 km from the Madison receptor and is separated from Illinois by the Rocky Mountains and the Great Plains. California's projected 2014 base case emissions were 942,254 tpy of NOX and 119,268 tpy of SO2. Thus, California's NOX emissions were between those of Kansas (26 percent of California's) and Texas (146 percent of California's) and its SO2 emissions were comparable to those of Kansas (98 percent of California's) and much less than those of Texas (591 percent of California's). California is also much farther away (5.7 times the distance from Kansas to the receptor and 3.3 times the distance from Texas to the receptor).

    As summarized in section II.C.5 of this proposed rule, in response to California State and local control measures, as well as federal measures for sources outside California's regulatory authority, from 2000 to 2016 California's total statewide emissions, excluding wildfires and prescribed fires, decreased by 75 percent for PM2.5, 66 percent for NOX, 54 percent for VOCs, and 75 percent for SO2. For NOX and VOCs, these reductions are consistent with the EPA's projection that California emissions will be reduced by 28 percent for NOX and 13 percent for VOCs from 2011 to 2017. We reviewed the 24-hour PM2.5 design value history over the last decade for the Madison receptor and found that it has decreased from 39 µg/m3 for 2005-2007 to 29 µg/m3 for 2008-2010, with subsequent design values being invalid due to data quality issues.112

    112 EPA 2016 Design Value Reports, spreadsheet entitled “Table 6, Site DV History,” July 14, 2017, available at: https://www.epa.gov/air-trends/air-quality-design-values#report.

    We conclude that California emission sources will not significantly contribute to nonattainment of the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS at this site. This is based on the generally improved air quality in the East since the EPA's analysis in 2011 for CSAPR, which reduced the number of potential nonattainment receptors; the distance of the Madison County, Illinois receptor from California; intervening terrain; our analysis of the westernmost states linked to the Madison receptor and comparison of California emissions; the large reductions in emissions of PM2.5 and its precursors in California; and the trend of decreasing 24-hour PM2.5 concentrations at the Madison receptor. As the distance from California to the other potential eastern nonattainment receptors is even greater, the expected contribution from California to 24-hour PM2.5 concentrations at such receptors would be even smaller.

    ii. Evaluation for Interference With Maintenance (Prong 2)

    The Lewis and Clark County maintenance receptor is in the Helena Valley of Montana and is surrounded by mountain ranges, including the Lewis Range to the north, the Absaroka Range to the south, and the Bitterroot Mountains to the west. It is about 800 km from the northeast corner of California, is separated from California by the Sierra Nevada, Blue, and Bitterroot mountain ranges, and its population has increased by 13 percent from 2005 to 2014 while its VMT has decreased by almost 60 percent. The highest 24-hour PM2.5 concentrations generally occur in winter, consistent with the area's wintertime cold pool inversions, with lower concentrations in summer. The site has generally recorded 24-hour PM2.5 concentrations well below 35 µg/m3, except for 2011 and 2012, which appear to have been affected by wildfire and whose corresponding design values (e.g., for 2009-2011, 2010-2012, and 2011-2013) exceeded the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS. During the months when exceedances were recorded at the Helena receptor, PM2.5 concentrations recorded at the IMPROVE monitor at the nearby Gate of the Mountains Wilderness Area were generally low. The EPA has concluded that emissions from residential wood burning were the largest source of PM2.5 emissions in the area.

    The Davis and Weber Counties maintenance receptors are in the northern part of the Salt Lake City nonattainment area for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS. As noted above, this area is bordered to the east by the Wasatch Mountains and to the west by the Stansbury and Promontory Mountains and the Great Salt Lake. These receptors are about 700 km from the California border and are separated from California by the Sierra Nevada mountain range and the Great Basin. The populations for Davis and Weber Counties, which are largely concentrated in the urban areas of the Wasatch Front, have increased by 23 percent and 14 percent, respectively, from 2005 to 2014, while VMT has decreased by 23 percent and 62 percent, respectively, from 2005 to 2011. Over the last decade, 24-hour PM2.5 concentrations have generally remained above the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS and the highest concentrations primarily occur during winter, with occasional spikes in other seasons. Most of the ambient PM2.5 in the urban area is generated locally and trapped during winter inversions, with some transport to and from the adjacent Provo, Utah nonattainment area. IMPROVE monitors between California and Davis and Weber Counties, Utah, including Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks in Utah and Jarbidge Wilderness Area in Nevada, recorded their highest 24-hour PM2.5 concentrations in summer, and were generally low when elevated PM2.5 concentrations were recorded at the Davis and Weber Counties' receptors, in winter.

    We have reviewed the information compiled and presented in the California Transport Plan, including distance of these receptors from California; intervening terrain; potential wildfire effects; local topography; the effect of local emission sources on wintertime exceedances; and rural background levels represented by IMPROVE data. We have reviewed California's emissions and emission control programs for PM2.5, and its precursors, especially for NOX and SOX, and conclude that California has an extensive and effective program for limiting emissions of such pollutants. Thus, we propose that California will not interfere with maintenance of the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS in any western state.

    The California Transport Plan did not evaluate PM2.5 transport to states farther east than Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. As with our evaluation for prong 1, above, to evaluate the potential for transport of PM2.5 and its precursors to eastern states, we have reviewed modeling data from CSAPR and recent air quality data to identify the westernmost area in the east with a potential maintenance receptor.113 We then compared California's likely contributions to those of states in the east that may interfere with maintenance at that receptor, considering several pieces of evidence.

    113 The EPA modeled the contribution of states within the East to each receptor for CSAPR, but did not model the contribution of any state further west, such as California.

    CSAPR identified maintenance receptors for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS in numerous eastern states using a 2012 base case and projected forward to 2014.114 The westernmost of these was in Madison County, Illinois (AQS ID 171190023).115 As with our analysis for prong 1, we looked at the westernmost of these states because its relative position with respect to California might help to determine whether the EPA should evaluate PM2.5 transport to any state farther east. In reviewing recent air quality data, including 2014-2016 24-hour PM2.5 design values, many of those receptors recorded ambient 24-hour PM2.5 concentrations consistently below 35 µg/m3.116 Notwithstanding, we further examined this Madison receptor as the westernmost potential maintenance receptor in the East.

    114 76 FR 48208 at 48243-48244 (August 8, 2011), Table V.D-6.

    115 Note that this monitor is distinct from the monitor discussed for prong 1 (AQS ID 171191007), although both are in Madison County, Illinois.

    116 EPA 2016 Design Value Reports, spreadsheet entitled “Table 6, Site DV History,” July 14, 2017, available at: https://www.epa.gov/air-trends/air-quality-design-values#report. We note that data quality issues in Illinois and four counties in Florida prevent the calculation of valid design values for recent years.

    The westernmost states that were linked to this Madison receptor (i.e., contributing over one percent (0.35 µg/m3) of the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS) were Iowa and Missouri, which each share a border with Illinois. Iowa was projected to contribute 0.40 µg/m3 and is about 220 km from this receptor, while Missouri was projected to contribute 3.71 µg/m3 and is about 5 km from this receptor.117 The six states that were analyzed within CSAPR and are situated west of Iowa and Missouri, including North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, were not linked to the Madison receptor. As discussed in our evaluation for prong 1, above, we compared the 2014 base case NOX and SO2 emissions of Kansas and Texas to those of California. Because these states are not linked to the potential Madison maintenance receptor, and because California is even farther (about 2,215 km) from the receptor and is separated from this receptor by the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains, it would be even less likely for California to interfere with maintenance at this site than Kansas and Texas.

    117 “Air Quality Modeling Final Rule [TSD]” for the CSAPR final rule, EPA, June 2011, pp. D-13 to D-14.

    Furthermore, as summarized in the section II.C.5 of this proposed rule, in response to California and local control measures, as well as federal measures for sources outside California's regulatory authority, from 2000 to 2016 California's total statewide emissions, excluding wildfires and prescribed fires, decreased by 75 percent for PM2.5, 66 percent for NOX, 54 percent for VOCs, and 75 percent for SO2. For NOX and VOCs, these reductions are consistent with the EPA's projection that California emissions will be reduced by 28 percent for NOX and 13% for VOCs from 2011 to 2017.

    We conclude that California emission sources will not interfere with maintenance of the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS at this site. This is based on the generally improved air quality in the East since the EPA's analysis in 2011 for CSAPR, which identified fewer potential maintenance receptors; the distance of the potential Madison County, Illinois maintenance receptor from California; intervening terrain; our analysis of the westernmost states linked, and not linked, to the Madison receptor and comparison of California emissions; and the large reductions in emissions of PM2.5 and its precursors in California. As the distance from California to the other potential eastern maintenance receptors is even greater, the expected contribution from California to 24-hour PM2.5 concentrations at such receptors would be even smaller. Thus, we propose that California will not interfere with maintenance of the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS in any state farther east than Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico.

    6. Evaluation for the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS

    We agree with CARB that California does not significantly contribute to nonattainment, or interfere with maintenance, of the 2012 annual PM2.5 NAAQS in any other state. However, there were some differences between the receptors identified by CARB and those identified by the EPA that affects which areas we evaluated for interstate transport. CARB identified two monitors in Idaho (Lemhi and Shoshone Counties) as nonattainment receptors, i.e., they exceeded the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS (12.0 µg/m3) in the most recent period available at the time the SIP was developed (2012-2014). CARB looked to identify maintenance receptors as monitors that exceeded the standard in either the 2010-2012 or 2011-2013 design value periods, but not in 2012-2014, and found none.118 This method is consistent with past EPA practice for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS in the western U.S. because CARB adopted the California Transport Plan before the EPA released the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS Transport Memo.

    118 California Transport Plan, App. B, p. B-2.

    As discussed above, the EPA's modeling used ambient PM2.5 data from 2009-2013, emissions inventory data from the 2011 NEI, and other information to project annual PM2.5 design values for 2017 and 2025. We rely on this modeling for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS because it accounts for the effect of emission reductions from planned federal, state, and local measures, as well as input from state, local, industry, and community entities, to project where violations, or potential violations, of the NAAQS will occur. In other words, the modeling provides a more accurate accounting of the areas that warrant further analysis for interstate transport. In addition, where projected design values for 2017 and 2025 differ with respect to identification of receptors, we have evaluated what the projected air quality may be in 2021, as noted in section II.C.3 of this proposed rule.

    The EPA's 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS Transport Memo did not identify any potential nonattainment receptors outside of California for the 2012 annual PM2.5 NAAQS, but did identify a potential maintenance receptor in Shoshone County, Idaho and a potential maintenance receptor in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Accordingly, we have evaluated CARB's weight of evidence for Shoshone County as a maintenance receptor rather than a nonattainment receptor.

    For Lemhi County, the receptor was not identified in the EPA's modeling but was identified as a nonattainment receptor by CARB. Thus, while we have not included the Lemhi County monitor as either a nonattainment or maintenance receptor for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS, we include discussion of Lemhi County alongside our discussion of Shoshone County, given their similar characteristics with respect to PM2.5 air pollution and its similar location relative to California. While we have not prepared a separate TSD for our evaluation of interstate transport for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS, we do rely, in part, on the information presented in the EPA's PM2.5 Transport TSD (for the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS) given the importance of generally higher winter PM2.5 concentrations to the annual concentrations, particularly at the Idaho receptors.

    In addition, we include our own weight of evidence analysis with respect to Allegheny County because the California Transport Plan did not evaluate PM2.5 transport to states farther east than Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico.

    i. Evaluation for Interference With Maintenance (Prong 2)

    For Lemhi and Shoshone Counties, as described in our analysis for the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS above, CARB notes that both counties are largely mountainous and the monitors are located in valleys that lie approximately 3,000 feet below surrounding mountain peaks, which limit the transport of air pollution.119 The receptors are about 610 and 685 km, respectively, from the northeast corner of California and are separated from California by the Sierra Nevada, Cascade, and Bitterroot mountain ranges. Both areas are rural with small, decreasing populations and decreasing VMT. The receptor in Shoshone County is within the West Silver Valley nonattainment area for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    119 California Transport Plan, App. B.

    CARB states that the IMPROVE monitors at the Craters of the Moon National Park and Sawtooth National Forest in Idaho recorded single-year annual PM2.5 concentrations that are well below the annual standard (i.e., in the range of 2-7 µg/m3), that the highest 24-hour PM2.5 concentrations at these monitors are directly linked to western wildfires, and that weighted emission potential (WEP) analyses indicate that the worst visibility days are the result of more localized regional influences.120 CARB asserts that the IMPROVE data and WEP analyses indicate that even on the worst days, there are only minor impacts from California and that California's contributions occur most often during the days with the best visibility.

    120Id., App. B, pp. B-4 to B-5.

    CARB notes that highest 24-hour PM2.5 concentrations are observed in winter, that the lowest concentrations are generally observed in summer, and that wildfire impacts occurred in August-September 2012 when such concentrations exceeded 200 µg/m3.121 CARB states that residential wood burning, especially during winter inversions, is the primary contributor to exceedances of both the 24-hour and annual PM2.5 NAAQS at the Lemhi and Shoshone Counties monitors, aside from the 2012 wildfire effects. For the Shoshone receptor, motor vehicles were also identified as a primary contributor, as well as open burning and slash burning.

    121Id., App. B, pp. B-7 to B-8 for Lemhi County and pp. B-10 to B-11 for Shoshone County.

    We have reviewed the information compiled and presented in the California Transport Plan, including distance of these monitors from California; intervening terrain; wildfire effects; local topography; the effect of local emission sources on wintertime exceedances of the 24-hour NAAQS and the effect of those exceedances on annual PM2.5 concentrations; and rural background levels represented by IMPROVE data. We have reviewed California's emissions and emission control programs for PM2.5, and its precursors, especially for NOX and SOX, and conclude that California has an extensive and effective program for limiting emissions of such pollutants. Thus, we propose that California will not interfere with maintenance of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS in Idaho or any other western state.

    To evaluate the potential for transport of PM2.5 and its precursors to Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, we first examined whether this monitor should in fact be a maintenance receptor given that the EPA's 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS Transport Memo indicates that the monitor is projected to exceed the annual PM2.5 standard of 12.0 µg/m3 in 2017, but be below it in 2025.122 Areas initially designated as Moderate nonattainment areas for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS, such as Allegheny County, must attain the NAAQS by December 31, 2021. A simple linear interpolation between the 2017 and 2025 projected design values leads to a projected 2021 average design value of 11.42 μg/m3 and a 2021 maximum design value of 11.91 μg/m3, which are both below the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    122 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS Transport Memo, Table A-3, p. 7. Average design values, which represent nonattainment receptors, are projected to be 11.67 µg/m3 in 2017 and 11.18 µg/m3 in 2025 at the Allegheny County receptor. Maximum design values, which represent maintenance receptors, are projected to be 12.15 µg/m3 in 2017 and 11.65 µg/m3 in 2025.

    The Allegheny receptor is about 3,100 km from the California border and is separated from California by the Rocky Mountains, the Great Plains, and the Ohio Valley. Even with the generally westerly wind direction from California, this large distance and the intervening mountainous terrain serve as barriers to PM2.5 transport to Allegheny County. In EPA modeling for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS in the CSAPR final rule, the receptor in Allegheny County was linked to interference with maintenance from other states.123 While California was not analyzed in that modeling, some conclusions can be drawn from the results. First, Illinois was the most westward and distant state linked to the Allegheny receptor and it is about 650 km from the receptor, or about one-fifth of the distance from California to the receptor. Second, states farther west than Illinois, such as Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas, were all included in the modeling and were not linked to Allegheny County, i.e., the contribution of these states to the Allegheny County receptor was below the one percent contribution threshold used in CSAPR for the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS. These states are each closer to Allegheny County than California and, in the case of Texas, emitted larger amounts of NOX and SO2.124

    123 76 FR 48207, 48241 (August 8, 2011), Table V.D-3.

    124 “Emissions Inventory Final Rule [TSD]” for the CSAPR final rule, EPA, June 28, 2011, Tables 7-1 and 7-2. The 2014 (base case) total annual emissions for California and Texas were as follows: California (942,254 tpy NOX and 199,268 tpy SO2); Texas (1,372,735 tpy NOX and 704,311 tpy SO2).

    Consistent with our guidance, we have also considered additional information about emissions and air quality trends. As summarized in section II.C.5 of this proposed rule, in response to California State and local control measures, as well as federal measures for sources outside California's regulatory authority, from 2000 to 2016 California's total statewide emissions, excluding wildfires and prescribed fires, decreased by 75 percent for PM2.5, 66 percent for NOX, 54 percent for VOCs, and 75 percent for SO2. For NOX and VOCs, these reductions are consistent with the EPA's projection that California emissions will be reduced by 28 percent for NOX and 13 percent for VOCs from 2011 to 2017. We reviewed the annual PM2.5 design value history over the last decade for the Allegheny receptor and found that it has decreased steadily from 19.8 µg/m3 for 2005-2007 to 12.6 µg/m3 for 2013-2015, with a slight increase to 12.8 µg/m3 for 2016.125

    125 EPA 2016 Design Value Reports, spreadsheet entitled “Table 6, Site DV History,” July 14, 2017, available at: https://www.epa.gov/air-trends/air-quality-design-values#report.

    We conclude that California emission sources will not interfere with maintenance of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS at this site. This is based on our interpolated projection that the Allegheny monitor will likely be attaining the annual PM2.5 NAAQS in 2021; the distance of this receptor from California; intervening terrain; the contribution modeling performed for CSAPR; the large reductions in emissions of PM2.5 and its precursors in California; and the general trend of decreasing annual PM2.5 concentrations at the Allegheny receptor.

    Based on our analysis that there are no nonattainment receptors outside of California for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS, and our analysis presented above for the sole maintenance receptors in Idaho and Pennsylvania, we propose that California will not significantly contribute to nonattainment, or interfere with maintenance, of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS in any other state.

    D. Evaluation for the 2010 1-Hour SO2 NAAQS 1. The EPA's SO2 Evaluation Approach

    As noted in section II.A of this proposed rule, the EPA first reviewed the California Transport Plan to assess how the State evaluated the transport of SO2 to other states, the types of information California used in its analysis, how that analysis compares with prior EPA rulemaking, modeling, and guidance, and the conclusions drawn by California. The EPA then conducted a weight of evidence analysis, including review of the State's submission and other available information, including air quality, emission sources, and emission trends in the states bordering California, and California's air quality, emissions sources, control measures, and emission trends.

    Although SO2 is emitted from a similar universe of point and nonpoint sources, interstate transport of SO2 is unlike the transport of PM2.5 or ozone because SO2 is not a regional pollutant and does not commonly contribute to widespread nonattainment over a large (and often multi-state) area. The transport of SO2 is more analogous to the transport of lead (Pb) because its physical properties result in localized pollutant impacts very near the emissions source. However, ambient concentrations of SO2 do not decrease as quickly with distance from the source as Pb because of the physical properties and release height of SO2. Emissions of SO2 travel farther and have wider ranging impacts than emissions of Pb but do not travel far enough to be treated in a manner similar to ozone or PM2.5. The approaches that the EPA has adopted for ozone or PM2.5 transport are too regionally focused and the approach for Pb transport is too tightly circumscribed to the source. SO2 transport is therefore a unique case and requires a different approach. The EPA's evaluation of whether California has met its transport obligations was accomplished in several discrete steps, as described in section II.D.3 of this proposed rule.

    2. State's Submission

    The California Transport Plan presents a weight of evidence analysis to examine whether SO2 emissions from California adversely affect attainment or maintenance of the 2010 SO2 NAAQS in other states. In contrast to its ozone and PM2.5 analyses, CARB states that ambient SO2 is mainly derived from a single source or group of sources, that the highest concentrations are localized, and that the EPA has identified SO2 as a near-source pollutant.126 CARB finds that ambient SO2 monitoring in neighboring states (Arizona, Nevada, and Oregon) is limited and that, except for sites adjacent to large copper smelters in Arizona, 1-hour SO2 concentrations measured in these three states and California are well below the level of the 2010 SO2 NAAQS, i.e., 75 ppb. Therefore, CARB's weight of evidence analysis focused on the location and emissions of facilities in California, Arizona, Nevada, and Oregon; the ambient SO2 levels measured in each of these states; ambient SO2 trends in California; and the distance between facilities in California and the nearest state border.127 CARB concludes that California does not contribute to nonattainment, or interfere with maintenance, of the 2010 SO2 NAAQS in neighboring states.128

    126 California Transport Plan, pp. 1, 12-13. CARB further explains that SO2 is a highly reactive gas and is deposited locally through wet and dry deposition processes. California Transport Plan, App. C, p. C-10.

    127 California Transport Plan, pp. 12-14.

    128Id., p. 23.

    The California Transport Plan identified 31 facilities in California that emit more than 100 tpy of SOX, based on CARB's 2013 Facility Emissions Inventory.129 Of these, CARB explains that those emitting over 300 tpy of SOX are located more than 160 miles (257 km) from the nearest state border—well beyond the one- to two-mile radius within which CARB expects maximum SO2 concentrations to occur.130 These facilities include petroleum refineries in the Bay Area and South Coast air districts, and cement plants in the Bay Area and Kern County air districts. Of these, only two emitted more than 1,000 tpy: Shell Martinez Refinery (1,230 tpy) and Phillips 66 Carbon Plant (1,242 tpy), a calcined petroleum coke plant, which are both located in Contra Costa County in the San Francisco Bay Area. CARB also notes that no facility in California emits more than the 2,000 tpy threshold required for characterization per the EPA's Data Requirements Rule for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS (“SO2 Data Requirements Rule”).131

    129Id., App. C, p. C-6. CARB's Facility Emission Inventory is available at: http://www.arb.ca.gov/app/emsinv/facinfo/facinfo.php.

    130Id., App. C, p. C-10. As noted previously in this proposed rule, CARB's analysis of California SO2 emissions in based on SOX because CARB estimates that SO2 comprises 97% of the state-wide SOX inventory. California Transport Plan, App. C, p. C-1. The EPA notes that the presence of maximum SO2 concentrations within a narrow radius of a source does not automatically preclude the possibility of the source contributing to SO2 concentrations further afield.

    131 80 FR 51052 (August 21, 2015). The EPA's SO2 Data Requirements Rule required states to characterize air quality in areas around sources emitting over 2,000 tpy SO2 since the existing nationwide monitoring network had certain limitations and approximately two-thirds of the monitors were not located to characterize maximum 1-hour SO2 concentration impacts from emission sources. We also note that, while CARB found that no facility in California emitting more than 2,000 tpy SO2, there is a cluster of three sources in Contra Costa County that cumulatively emitted over this threshold and was subsequently characterized using monitoring. We have evaluated this cluster of sources as part of our SO2 interstate transport analysis.

    More broadly, CARB contrasts the larger SO2 emissions in the eastern U.S., which include electric generation facilities that emit in the tens to hundreds of thousands of tons of SO2, with the smaller SO2 emissions from California, where the largest facility emitted 1,242 tpy in 2013.132 CARB further explains that the latter source (the Phillips 66 Carbon Plant) is 587 miles (945 km), 177 miles (285 km), and 361 miles (581 km) from the borders with Arizona, Nevada, and Oregon, respectively.133

    132 California Transport Plan, App. C, pp. C-1 to C-2.

    133Id., App. C, p. C-4.

    Regarding ambient SO2 measurements, CARB found the 1-hour SO2 design value concentrations in Arizona, Nevada, and Oregon to be well below 75 ppb, with two exceptions: Monitoring sites around two copper smelters in eastern Arizona (Gila and Pinal Counties). Overall, CARB states that Arizona operated nine SO2 monitors for the 2012-2014 period and those with complete data had 1-hour SO2 design values ranging from 6 to 282 ppb, with violations of the 75 ppb standard occurring in the nonattainment areas surrounding the two copper smelters.134 CARB references Arizona's designations recommendation letter to the EPA, which noted that these smelters were the primary emission sources likely to contribute to the violations of the 2010 SO2 NAAQS. 135 CARB included 2014 design values of 6 ppb and 8 ppb at the two Nevada monitors 136 and included the 2014 design value of 5 ppb for the Oregon SO2 monitoring site.

    134Id., App. C, p. C-7.

    135Id., App. C, p. C-6.

    136Id., App. C, p. C-7.

    The California Transport Plan states that the 1-hour SO2 design values for 2012-2014 at 34 regulatory monitors in California ranged from 1 to 39 ppb—well below the 2010 SO2 NAAQS.137 Based on data from these monitors and an additional 21 special purpose monitors operated by facilities in the Bay Area AQMD and South Coast AQMD, CARB recommended that California be designated attainment.138 Fifteen of the special purpose monitors are operated by refineries, as required by Bay Area AQMD operating permit regulations, and they recorded 2014 design values of 5 to 50 ppb. The remaining six special purpose monitors are operated by the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, as part of the San Pedro Bay Clean Air Action Plan, and they recorded 2014 design values of 12 to 74 ppb.

    137Id., p. 23.

    138Id., App. C, pp. C-6 to C-7.

    CARB studied the trend of SO2 design values at regulatory SO2 monitors in California with a data record spanning 15 years, which included six sites each in the Bay Area and South Coast air districts.139 In 1990, 1-hour SO2 concentrations ranged from 20 to 47 ppb and 13 to 47 ppb, respectively, for the Bay Area and South Coast air districts. By 2014, 1-hour SO2 concentrations ranged from 3 to 12 ppb and 5 to 14 ppb, respectively, and the design value at each district's highest concentration site had decreased by more than 1 ppb per year.

    139Id., App. C, p. C-9.

    CARB asserts that the decline in SO2 concentrations at the highest sites in the State were the result of emission reductions achieved by California's control programs.140 From 2000 to 2015, CARB estimates that the following emission reductions were achieved: Stationary sources (59 percent), mobile sources (88 percent), and area sources (33 percent). CARB states that these reductions were achieved by improving emission controls and applying increasingly stringent permit requirements for stationary sources; lowering sulfur content requirements for diesel fuel for mobile sources, including on- and off-road vehicles, railroad locomotives, and marine vessels; and reducing area source emissions through rules for residential fuel combustion and managed burning and disposal.141 CARB projected that in 2015, SO2 will be emitted in the following amounts: Stationary sources (54 tpd: 68 percent of statewide total), mobile sources (19 tpd: 24 percent of total), and area sources (6 tpd: 8 percent of total). CARB states that California SOX emissions continue to decline and SO2 concentrations measured at regulatory monitoring site remain well below the 2010 SO2 NAAQS.142

    140Id., App. C, p. C-3.

    141 For mobile sources, CARB gives examples of state regulations that have reduced SOX emissions in California, including the state's regulations for reformulated gasoline (13 CCR 2250-2297) and for the sulfur content of diesel fuel (13 CCR 2281). These have been approved into the California SIP. 60 FR 43379 (August 21, 1995) and 75 FR 26653 (May 12, 2010).

    142 California Transport Plan, App. C, p. C-4.

    3. The EPA's SO2 Evaluation

    The EPA proposes to find that California meets the interstate transport requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS, as discussed below. First, we address the air quality, emission sources, and emission trends in the states bordering California, i.e., Arizona, Nevada, and Oregon. Then we discuss California's air quality, emissions sources, control measures, and emission trends with respect to interstate transport prong 1, followed by discussion of additional California air quality trends and emission trends with respect to interstate transport prong 2. Based on that analysis, we propose to find that California will not significantly contribute to nonattainment, or interfere with maintenance, of the 2010 SO2 NAAQS in any other state.

    For the first step of our SO2 transport evaluation, we assessed the areas of Arizona, Nevada, and Oregon that may exceed or have the potential to exceed the 2010 SO2 NAAQS. Consistent with CARB's approach in the California Transport Plan, we focused on these three states given that the physical properties of SO2 result in relatively localized pollutant impacts very near the emissions source. We selected the “urban scale”—a spatial scale with dimensions from 4 to 50 kilometers (km) from point sources—given the usefulness of that range in assessing trends in both area-wide air quality and the effectiveness of large-scale pollution control strategies at such point sources.143 We reviewed the location of sources emitting more than 2,000 tpy (i.e., SO2 Data Requirements Rule sources) in these states and assessed whether there is any source in these states emitting more than 100 tpy of SO2 and located within 50 km of the California state border, because elevated levels of SO2, to which SO2 emitted in California may have a downwind impact, are most likely to be found near such sources.

    143 For the definition of spatial scales for SO2, please see 40 CFR part 58, Appendix D, section 4.4 (“Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) Design Criteria”). For further discussion on how the EPA is applying these definitions with respect to interstate transport of SO2, see the EPA's proposal on Connecticut's SO2 transport SIP. 82 FR 21351, 21352, 21354 (May 8, 2017).

    We reviewed the 2014 design value concentrations for Arizona, Nevada, and Oregon that were presented in the California Transport Plan and find them to be accurate. In addition, to assess how air quality has changed over time we also reviewed AQS data for the design value periods ending in years 2011 through 2016. We present the range of SO2 design values in Table 5 and specific SO2 design values at selected monitoring sites in Table 6.144 We include California data for purposes of subsequent discussion in this proposed rule.

    144 2011-2016 AQS Design Value Report, AMP480, June 12, 2017. The EPA's Air Quality System (AQS) contains ambient air pollution data collected by federal, state, local, and tribal air pollution control agencies from thousands of monitors. More information is available at: https://www.epa.gov/aqs. For a map of SO2 monitors and emission sources in California and its bordering states, we have included a map in the docket of this rulemaking entitled “DRR Sources, Monitoring Sites and 2014 NEI Facilities Emitting SO2 Within 50km of Region 9 States,” September 11, 2017.

    Table 5—Range of SO2 1-Hour Design Value Concentrations at Regulatory Monitors in Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, and California State/area Number of monitors with valid design
  • values
  • 2009-2011 Design
  • values (ppb)
  • 2010-2012 Design
  • values (ppb)
  • 2011-2013 Design
  • values (ppb)
  • 2012-2014 Design
  • values (ppb)
  • 2013-2015 Design
  • values (ppb)
  • 2014-2016 Design
  • values (ppb)
  • Arizona (Hayden, Miami areas only) 2-4 111-259 107-285 105-266 122-282 145-246 146-280 Arizona (excluding Hayden, Miami areas) 1-4 9 9 6-9 6-9 5-9 4-8 Nevada 0-2 a (Invalid) a (Invalid) 6-8 6-8 6-7 5-7 Oregon 1 9 7 6 5 4 3 California 19-28 2-17 2-25 2-36 1-39 1-20 1-18 a SO2 design values are valid only when they meet the data completeness and/or data substitution test criteria codified at 40 CFR part 50, Appendix T, section 3.
    Table 6—SO2 1-Hour Design Value Concentrations at Selected Regulatory Monitors in Arizona, Nevada, and California  a State/area AQS ID 2009-2011
  • Design
  • values (ppb)
  • 2010-2012
  • Design
  • values (ppb)
  • 2011-2013
  • Design
  • values (ppb)
  • 2012-2014
  • Design
  • values (ppb)
  • 2013-2015
  • Design
  • values (ppb)
  • 2014-2016
  • Design
  • values (ppb)
  • Arizona/Phoenix 04-013-9812 9 9 9 8 Nevada/Reno 32-031-0016 6 6 6 5 Nevada/Las Vegas 32-003-0540 8 8 7 7 California/Sacramento 06-067-0006 2 2 2 3 5 7 California/Fresno 06-019-0011 6 5 6 California/Trona (San Bernardino Co.) 06-071-1234 9 8 6 California/Victorville (San Bernardino Co.) 06-071-0306 8 8 5 4 15 18 California/Rubidoux (Riverside Co.) 06-065-8001 7 5 3 3 3 2 California/Calexico (Imperial Co.) 06-025-0005 8 7 8 a These monitors were selected as being the westernmost monitors in Arizona and Nevada (i.e., nearest to California), and easternmost monitors in northern, central, and southern California (i.e., nearest to Arizona or Nevada), with at least three valid 1-hour design values in the last six years. A blank cell in this table indicates that the data were invalid for the applicable design value period.

    These data were consistent with the assertion in the California Transport Plan that, except for Arizona's Hayden and Miami nonattainment areas, the 1-hour SO2 levels measured in Arizona, Nevada, and Oregon are 89-96 percent below 75 ppb. Thus, at the areas represented by these monitors, there were no violations of the 2010 SO2 NAAQS that indicate potential concern for interstate transport. Indeed, there have been slight decreases in 1-hour SO2 levels at these monitors from already low concentrations.

    To date, the only areas that have been designated nonattainment in the states bordering California are the Hayden and Miami nonattainment areas in Arizona, respectively, based on 2009-2011 monitoring data.145 These nonattainment areas are approximately 325 km and 320 km, respectively, from the California border, which is a large distance relative to the localized range of potential 1-hour SO2 impacts from SO2 sources in California.

    145 78 FR 47191 (August 5, 2013) and 83 FR 1098 (January 9, 2018).

    Additional sources that were evaluated under the SO2 Data Requirements Rule include six sources across Arizona (including the portion of the Navajo Nation geographically located in Arizona), Nevada, and Oregon, listed in Table 7. These sources range from 240-460 km from California—a similarly large distance relative to the localized range of potential 1-hour SO2 impacts from SO2 sources in California.146

    146 For further discussion of the localized nature of 1-hour SO2 impacts, and the selection of air quality models to estimate SO2 concentrations around such sources, please see the draft “SO2 NAAQS Designations Modeling Technical Assistance Document,” EPA, August 2016, pp. 5-6, available at https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-06/documents/so2modelingtad.pdf. We also note that the EPA recently designated areas surrounding these sources as Attainment/Unclassifiable or, in the case of the area near Navajo Generating Station, as Unclassifiable. 83 FR 1098 (January 9, 2018).

    Table 7—SO2 Data Requirements Rule Sources in States Bordering California State/tribe Facility Approximate distance to California (km) 2014 NEI
  • annual
  • emissions (tpy)
  • Arizona Tucson Electric Power—Springerville Generating Station 460 6,221.0 Arizona Arizona Electric Power Cooperative—Apache Generating Station 450 4,811.9 Arizona Arizona Public Service—Cholla Power Plant 365 3,806.6 Navajo Nation Navajo Generating Station 360 5,665.6 Nevada North Valmy Generating Station 240 7,429.9 Oregon Portland General Electric Company—Boardman Power Plant 400 7,438.6

    Based on the SO2 emissions data of the 2014 NEI, we did not find any source in Arizona, Nevada, or Oregon that emitted more than 100 tpy of SO2 and was located within 50 km of the California border.147 The closest source of this type is McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Nevada, which emitted 265.3 tpy of SO2 in 2014 and is located just over 50 km from the California border. More broadly, the statewide SO2 emissions from these three states have decreased substantially, per our review of the EPA's emissions trends data.148 From 2000 to 2016, total statewide SO2 emissions decreased by the following proportions, resulting in the total 2016 emissions listed for each state: Arizona (38 percent decrease to 8,298 tpy); Nevada (86 percent decrease to 8,729 tpy); and Oregon (90 percent decrease to 5,469 tpy).

    147 For a map of SO2 emission sources in states bordering California, and within California, please see “DRR Sources, Monitoring Sites and 2014 NEI Facilities Emitting SO2 Within 50 km of Region 9 States,” September 11, 2017, in the docket for this rulemaking. The EPA also sought to assess more recent data for California sources emitting over 100 tpy of SO2 in the EPA's Emission Inventory System Gateway, available at: https://www.epa.gov/air-emissions-inventories/emissions-inventory-system-eis-gateway. Since data for all such sources were not available for years after 2014, we have relied on the data of the 2014 NEI.

    148 1990-2016 emission inventory spreadsheets of statewide emission trends, included in the docket to this rulemaking and entitled “1990-2016 State Tier 1 Annual Average Emission Trends—RIX Analysis.xls.” Additional emissions trends data are available at: https://www.epa.gov/air-emissions-inventories/air-pollutant-emissions-trends-data.

    In summary, we find that monitored 1-hour SO2 levels are generally well below 75 ppb; that sources emitting over 2,000 tpy of SO2 are located at a distance well beyond a 50-km buffer from California's borders where emissions from California sources might be expected to have downwind impacts on air quality; and that the downward SO2 emission trends in each state reduce the likelihood of SO2 nonattainment or maintenance issues appearing in the future.149 We now turn to our analyses of California's air quality and trends, emissions sources and trends, and control measures to assess whether California significantly contributes to nonattainment, or interferes with maintenance, of the 2010 SO2 NAAQS in other states.

    149 This proposed approval of the California Transport Plan for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS under CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) is based on the information contained in the administrative record for this action, and does not prejudge any other future EPA action that may make other determinations regarding California's air quality status. Any such future actions, such as area designations under any NAAQS, will be based on their own administrative records and the EPA's analyses of information that becomes available at those times. Future available information may include, and is not limited to, monitoring data and modeling analyses conducted pursuant to the SO2 EPAs Data Requirements Rule (80 FR 51052, August 21, 2015) and information submitted to the EPA by states, air agencies, and third party stakeholders such as citizen groups and industry representatives.

    i. Evaluation for Significant Contribution to Nonattainment (Prong 1)

    The EPA reviewed ambient air quality data in California to see whether there were any monitoring sites, particularly near the California border, with elevated SO2 concentrations that might warrant further investigation with respect to interstate transport of SO2 from emission sources near any given monitor. Over the period of 2011 through 2016, CARB and local air districts operated 34-40 regulatory SO2 monitors, of which 20-28 have data sufficient to produce valid 1-hour SO2 design values.150 As described in the California Transport Plan, in 2014 the monitors operating in California produced valid design values ranging from 1-39 ppb. As in our data review for Arizona, Nevada, and Oregon, we also reviewed AQS data for the design value periods ending in years 2011 through 2016 to assess how air quality has changed over time. Based on the data presented in Tables 5 and 6, above, we find that California's more extensive network of SO2 monitors indicate that 1-hour SO2 levels in California are 76-99 percent below 75 ppb. The high design value of 39 ppb presented in the California Transport Plan for 2014 is the highest among the series of six design value periods, and the highest 2015 and 2016 design values were lower at 20 ppb and 18 ppb, respectively. Thus, these air quality data do not, by themselves, indicate any particular location that would warrant further investigation with respect to SO2 emission sources that might significantly contribute to nonattainment in the bordering states.

    150 2011-2016 AQS Design Value Report, AMP480, June 12, 2017.

    While the 21 special purpose monitors operated by facilities in the Bay Area and South Coast air districts measured 1-hour SO2 design values up to 50 ppb and 74 ppb, respectively, for 2012-2014, these concentrations are below the 2010 SO2 NAAQS of 75 ppb and represent air quality at locations that are over 200 km from the California border with other states. Based on SO2 air quality in California, we have not found any area that would warrant further investigation with respect to interstate transport of SO2. However, because the monitoring network is not necessarily designed to find all locations of high SO2 concentrations, this observation indicates an absence of evidence of impact but is not sufficient evidence by itself of an absence of impact. We have therefore also conducted a source-oriented analysis.

    Regarding the largest sources of SO2 emissions in California, we agree with CARB that no individual facility emitted more than 2,000 tpy of SO2 in 2014. However, a cluster of three sources in or near Martinez, California, including the Shell petroleum refinery (1,369.0 tpy), the Tesoro petroleum refinery (647.8 tpy), and the Rhodia USA, Inc. chemical plant (382.7 tpy, now operated by Eco Services Operations Corp.), collectively emitted 2,399.5 tpy of SO2 in 2014.151 The air quality around this cluster of sources was characterized according to the monitoring pathway, under the requirements of the SO2 Data Requirements Rule.152

    151 2014 NEI California emission inventory spreadsheet of stationary sources emitting over 100 tpy SO2 (“2014 NEI CA SO2 Spreadsheet”), included in the docket to this rulemaking and entitled “AIR17025—2014 NEI SO2 sources by CA air district—RIX analysis.xlsx.” We note that the emissions amounts differ slightly from CARB's 2013 Facility Emissions Inventory, though both underscore a similar magnitude of emissions (e.g., hundreds or thousands of tpy).

    152 Letter from Deborah Jordan, Acting Regional Administrator, Region IX, EPA to Governor Brown of California and affiliated TSD, Chapter 6 (California), section 3 (“Technical Analysis for the San Francisco Bay Area”). The SO2 Data Requirements Rule notes that clusters of multiple smaller sources in close proximity can cause as much impact as a single larger source and should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, as was done for the cluster of sources in or near Martinez, California. 80 FR 51052, 51060-51062 (August 21, 2015).

    The regulatory SO2 monitor near these sources is located at 521 Jones St. in Martinez (AQS ID 06-013-2001). The 1-hour SO2 design values at this monitor were 14 ppb for 2015 and 13 ppb for 2016—below the 2010 SO2 NAAQS. As noted in the California Transport Plan, we find that these sources are a large distance from California's borders—approximately 700 km from Arizona, 220 km from Nevada, and 440 km from Oregon, which is a large distance to these other states' borders relative to the localized range of potential 1-hour SO2 impacts from SO2 sources in California. Furthermore, these sources are subject to SO2 emission limits under Bay Area AQMD Regulation 9, Rule 1, which has been approved into the California SIP.153

    153 Bay Area AQMD Regulation 9, Rule 1 (“Sulfur Dioxide,” amended May 20, 1992), 64 FR 30396 (June 8, 1999). With respect to petroleum refineries, this rule includes limitations on ground level SO2 concentrations and a general emissions limitation, as well as specific emission limits for certain types of equipment.

    As further support of our proposal that California SO2 emissions are sufficiently low to avoid an ambient impact at downwind areas in violation of the good neighbor provision, California has reduced SO2 emissions from mobile and stationary sources, as described in the California Transport Plan, by adopting and implementing rules to limit the sulfur content of fuels. CARB mobile source rules have reduced SO2 emissions by limiting the sulfur content of Phase 2 and Phase 3 reformulated gasoline and of diesel fuel used statewide.154 Also, SO2 emission reductions from industrial sources in South Coast AQMD have been reduced by air district rules for fuels used at industrial sources such as power plants, refineries, landfills, and sewage digesters.155 Such measures will continue to limit the sulfur content of fuels that are combusted in California, thereby limiting SO2 emissions from mobile sources statewide and stationary sources in South Coast AQMD, where a large proportion of the biggest SO2 sources operate.

    154 13 CCR 2262 (“The California Reformulated Gasoline Phase 2 and Phase 3 Standards,” amended December 24, 2002), 13 CCR 2262.3 (“Compliance with the CaRFG Phase 2 and CaRFG Phase 3 Standards for Sulfur, Benzene, Aromatic Hydrocarbons, Olefins, T50 and T90,” amended August 20, 2001), and 13 CCR 2281 (“Sulfur Content of Diesel,” amended June 4, 1997), 75 FR 26653 (May 12, 2010).

    155 South Coast AQMD Regulation 4, Rule 431.1 (“Sulfur Content of Gaseous Fuels,” amended June 12, 1998), 64 FR 67787 (December 3, 1999) and Rule 431.2 (“Sulfur Content of Liquid Fuels,” amended May 4, 1990), 64 FR 30396 (June 8, 1999).

    We agree with CARB that sources that emit more than 300 tpy are far from the California borders with Arizona, Nevada, and Oregon. CARB identified 10 stationary sources that emitted over 300 tpy of SO2 based on its 2013 Facility Emissions Inventory, and we identified 12 such stationary sources based on the 2014 NEI, most of which are located near the California coast in the Bay Area and South Coast air districts.156 As with the cluster of SO2 sources in the area of Martinez, California, most of these sources are subject to SO2 emission limits under air district rules of the Bay Area (petroleum refineries, calcined petroleum coke plant), Kern County (cement plant), and South Coast (petroleum refineries, calcined petroleum coke plant) that have been approved into the California SIP.157 One of these sources, the Lehigh Southwest Cement Company plant in Cupertino, is about 260 km from the nearest bordering state, Nevada, and emitted 854 tpy of SO2 in 2014, which is about 3.5 percent of the total SO2 emitted in California in 2014. This source is subject to a Bay Area AQMD rule that limits NOX emissions but does not appear to be subject to rules limiting SO2 emissions. However, the facility's distance from Nevada and other states limit the potential for interstate 1-hour SO2 impacts from this source.

    156 2014 NEI CA SO2 Spreadsheet. Other non-stationary sources in California emitting over 300 tpy of SO2 include the Los Angeles and San Francisco airports, whose SO2 emissions from aircraft are outside the regulatory authority of the State of California.

    157 Bay Area AQMD Regulation 9, Rule 1 (“Sulfur Dioxide,” amended May 20, 1992), 64 FR 30396 (June 8, 1999); Kern County APCD Rule 407 (“Sulfur Compounds,” adopted April 18, 1972), 37 FR 19812 (September 22, 1972); and South Coast AQMD, see e.g., Regulation 20 series rules for the RECLAIM program. While the Kern County rule applicable to the California Portland Cement Company plant in Mojave, California is old, the facility is about 220 km from the nearest bordering state, Nevada.

    More broadly, there were no sources in 2014 that emitted over 100 tpy of SO2 and were within 50 km of the state's border.158 Additionally, the statewide SO2 emissions from all sources in California have decreased substantially, as described in the California Transport Plan and per our review of the EPA's emissions trends data.159 From 2000 to 2016, total statewide SO2 emissions, excluding wildfires and prescribed fires, decreased by 75 percent resulting in 2016 statewide emissions of 21,422 tpy.

    158 Please see the map included in the docket of this rulemaking entitled “DRR Sources, Monitoring Sites and 2014 NEI Facilities Emitting SO2 Within 50 km of Region 9 States,” September 11, 2017.

    159 1990-2016 emission inventory spreadsheets of statewide emission trends, included in the docket to this rulemaking and entitled “1990-2016 State Tier 1 Annual Average Emission Trends—RIX Analysis.xls.” Additional emissions trends data are available at: https://www.epa.gov/air-emissions-inventories/air-pollutant-emissions-trends-data.

    In conclusion, for interstate transport prong 1, we reviewed ambient SO2 monitoring data, SO2 emission sources and controls, including CARB measures for mobile sources and air district measures for large stationary sources, and emission trends in California. As for Arizona, Nevada, and Oregon, monitored 1-hour SO2 levels in California are low (most often below half the level of the 2010 SO2 NAAQS); the 29 SO2 sources in California that emit over 100 tpy of SO2 are located at a distance well beyond 50 km from California's borders, the distance where emissions from California sources might be expected to have downwind impacts on air quality in bordering states; and California's decreasing SO2 emission trend each reduce the likelihood of California emitting SO2 in amounts that would adversely affect other states in the future.

    Therefore, based on our analysis of SO2 air quality and emission sources in Arizona, Nevada, and Oregon and our analysis of SO2 air quality and emissions in California, we propose that California will not significantly contribute to nonattainment of the 2010 SO2 NAAQS in any other state, per the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I).

    ii. Evaluation for Interference With Maintenance (Prong 2)

    The EPA has reviewed the analysis presented in the California Transport Plan and has considered additional information on California air quality trends and emission trends to evaluate CARB's conclusion that California does not interfere with maintenance of the 2010 SO2 NAAQS in other states. This evaluation builds on our evaluation of air quality and SO2 emission sources in Arizona, Nevada, and Oregon, and our evaluation for significant contribution to nonattainment (prong 1) based on the evidence that we reviewed (i.e., low ambient concentrations of SO2, large distance of SO2 sources from the California border, decreasing SO2 emissions, and the existence of SIP-approved California control measures).

    Complementing the 75 percent reduction in California SO2 emissions from 2000 to 2015, we reviewed regional trends in the 99th percentile of the daily maximum 1-hour average SO2 measurements, which are used to calculate 1-hour SO2 design values.160 For the western U.S. region, which includes California and Nevada, the mean of the 99th percentile ambient SO2 concentrations decreased 46 percent from 2000 to 2015. For sources emitting over 300 tpy of SO2 based on a combination of the 2014 NEI and the facilities identified in the California Transport Plan, we have also reviewed the trend of emissions from each such source at five year increments from 2000 thru 2015, as shown in Table 8.161 Because the total SO2 emissions from these facilities have decreased substantially from 2000 to 2015, coupled with their distance from the California border and the generally low SO2 concentrations in bordering states, this trend further reduces the likelihood of California emitting SO2 in amounts that would interfere with maintenance of the 2010 SO2 NAAQS in other states.

    160 2000-2015 1-hour daily maximum SO2 air quality trend spreadsheet for California and Nevada, included in the docket to this rulemaking and entitled “2000-2015 SO2 Trend in Western US (CA-NV).xlsx.” These and other regional air quality data trends are available at: https://www.epa.gov/air-trends/sulfur-dioxide-trends.

    161 This table includes stationary sources that emitted more than 300 tpy of SO2 as identified in the 2014 NEI CA SO2 Spreadsheet plus two additional sources cited in the California Transport Plan, App. C, p. C-10 (i.e., California Portland Cement Co. and Solvay USA Inc, listed as Eco Services Operations Corp in the 2015 inventory). These data are from CARB's 2013 Facility Emissions Inventory, available at: https://www.arb.ca.gov/app/emsinv/facinfo/facinfo.php.

    Table 8—Emissions Trends for California Sources That Emitted Over 300 tpy of SO2 in 2014 CARB
  • facility
  • ID (2015)
  • Facility name (2015) Air district (county) 2000 (tpy) 2005 (tpy) 2010 (tpy) 2015 (tpy)
    21360 Phillips 66 Carbon Plant (petroleum coke calciner) Bay Area (Contra Costa) 1,728 1,212 1,151 1,519 11 Shell Martinez Refinery Bay Area (Contra Costa) 2,556 1,670 1,208 1,093 17 Lehigh Southwest Cement Company Bay Area (Santa Clara) 473 310 492 1,058 14628 Tesoro Refining and Marketing Co. LLC Bay Area (Contra Costa) 5,423 2,646 470 962 174655 Tesoro Refining and Marketing Co. LLC South Coast (Los Angeles) 1,705 1,221 594 503 9 California Portland Cement Co Kern County 1,168 1,136 1,089 472 10 Chevron Products Company Bay Area (Contra Costa) 1,247 1,566 367 381 21359 Phillips 66 Company—San Francisco Refinery Bay Area (Contra Costa) 705 407 414 365 171109 Phillips 66 Company/Los Angeles Refinery South Coast (Los Angeles) 587 245 295 340 800089 ExxonMobil Oil Corporation South Coast (Los Angeles) 725 574 353 333 174591 Tesoro Refining & Marketing Co LLC, (petroleum coke calciner) South Coast (Los Angeles) 408 178 240 329 800030 Chevron Products Co South Coast (El Segundo) 1,006 396 425 300 22789 Eco Services Operations Corp Bay Area (Contra Costa) 276 240 308 186 178639 Eco Services Operations LLC South Coast (Los Angeles) 242 390 390 19 Total 18,250 12,193 7,793 7,861

    Beyond this important subset of stationary sources, as discussed in our evaluation for significant contribution to maintenance herein, California has reduced SO2 emissions from mobile and stationary sources, as described in the California Transport Plan, by adopting and implementing rules to limit the sulfur content of fuels. These include CARB mobile source rules limiting the sulfur content of Phase 2 and Phase 3 reformulated gasoline and of diesel fuel used statewide, as well as air district rules limiting SO2 emissions from industrial sources such as power plants, refineries, landfills, and sewage digesters.

    In conclusion, for interstate transport prong 2, we reviewed additional information on California air quality trends and emission trends, as well as the evidence considered for interstate transport prong 1. We find that from 2000 to 2015 both ambient SO2 concentrations and SO2 emissions from California's largest stationary sources have decreased substantially; and that state and local measures to limit the sulfur content of fuels and limit SO2 emissions will continue to limit SO2 emissions that might adversely affect other states. Accordingly, we propose that California SO2 emission sources will not interfere with maintenance of the 2010 SO2 NAAQS in any other state, per the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I).

    III. Proposed Action

    We have reviewed the California Transport Plan for the 2008 ozone, 2006 PM2.5, 2012 PM2.5, and 2010 SO2 NAAQS using step-wise processes. Based on this review and additional analyses conducted by the EPA to verify and supplement the California Transport Plan, and consistent with CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and EPA guidance with respect to interstate transport for these NAAQS, we propose that California will not significantly contribute to nonattainment, or interfere with maintenance, of the 2008 ozone, 2006 PM2.5, 2012 PM2.5, and 2010 SO2 NAAQS in any other state. Accordingly, we propose to approve California's Transport SIP as satisfying the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) for these NAAQS.

    We will accept comments from the public on these proposals for the next 30 days and plan to follow with a final action. The deadline and instructions for submission of comments are provided in the “Date” and “Addresses” sections at the beginning of this proposed rule.

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

    • Is not a “significant regulatory action” subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive 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 disproportionate human health or environmental effects with practical, appropriate, 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).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: January 26, 2018. Alexis Strauss, Acting Regional Administrator, Region IX.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02462 Filed 2-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    83 26 Wednesday, February 7, 2018 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Office of the Secretary Improving Customer Service AGENCY:

    Office of the Secretary, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Request for information.

    SUMMARY:

    Consistent with Executive Order 13781, “Comprehensive Plan for Reorganizing the Executive Branch,” and using the authority of the Secretary to reorganize the Department under section 4(a) of Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1953, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is soliciting public comment on a proposed realignment of the Departmental Administration organization that will improve customer service, better align functions within the organization, and ensure improved strategic decision-making.

    DATES:

    Comments and information are requested on or before March 2, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments regarding this notice. All submissions must refer to “Improving Customer Service” to ensure proper delivery.

    Electronic Submission of Comments. Interested persons may submit comments electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. USDA strongly encourages commenters to submit comments electronically. Electronic submission of comments allows the commenter maximum time to prepare and submit a comment, and ensures timely receipt by USDA. Commenters should follow the instructions provided on that site to submit comments electronically.

    Submission of Comments by Mail, Hand delivery, or Courier. Paper, disk, or CD-ROM submissions should be submitted to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration, USDA, Jamie L. Whitten Building, Room 240-W, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20250.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Johanna Briscoe, 202-720-291, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    USDA is committed to operating efficiently, effectively, and with integrity, and minimizing the burdens on individuals, businesses, and communities for participation in and compliance with USDA programs. USDA works to support the American agricultural economy to strengthen rural communities; to protect and conserve our natural resources; and to provide a safe, sufficient, and nutritious food supply for the American people. The Department's wide range of programs and responsibilities touches the lives of every American every day.

    I. Executive Orders 13781

    Executive Order 13781, “Comprehensive Plan for Reorganizing the Executive Branch”, is intended to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability of the executive branch. The principles in the Executive Order provide the basis for taking actions to enhance and strengthen the delivery of USDA programs.

    II. Reorganization Actions

    Secretary Perdue intends to take actions to strengthen customer service and improve efficiencies at USDA by taking the following actions:

    • Establishing a Customer Experience Office within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration to coordinate agency actions that will improve customer service across the Department;

    • Establishing the Office of Property and Fleet Management, and realigning the property, fleet, and hazardous materials management functions of the Office of Procurement and Property Management (OPPM) into the new office;

    • Realigning the workers' compensation and safety program out of OPPM into the Office of Human Resources Management (OHRM);

    • Transferring the directives program and records management function from the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) to the Office of the Executive Secretariat (OES);

    • Realigning the classified network management and the controlled unclassified information functions from OCIO to the Office of Homeland Security (OHS); and

    • Renaming OPPM the Office of Contracting and Procurement.

    III. Request for Information

    USDA is seeking public comment on these actions and notes that this notice is issued solely for information and program-planning purposes. While responses to this notice do not bind USDA to any further actions, all submissions will be reviewed by the appropriate program office, and made publicly available on http://www.regulations.gov.

    Dated: January 31, 2018. Donald Bice, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02388 Filed 2-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-90-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of the Census Census Scientific Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Bureau of the Census, Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Bureau of the Census (Census Bureau) is giving notice of a meeting of the Census Scientific Advisory Committee (C-SAC). The Committee will address policy, research, and technical issues relating to a full range of Census Bureau programs and activities, including communications, decennial, demographic, economic, field operations, geographic, information technology, and statistics. The C-SAC will meet in a plenary session on March 29-30, 2018. Last minute changes to the schedule are possible, which could prevent giving advance public notice of schedule adjustments. Please visit the Census Advisory Committees website for the most current meeting agenda at: http://www.census.gov/cac/. The meeting will be available via webcast at: https://www.census.gov/newsroom/census-live.html. Topics of discussion will include the following items:

    • 2020 Census Systems and Operations • Updates on Formal and Informal 2017 Outreach Activities • Internet Self-Response Updates • Administrative Records Updates • New Annual Business Survey • C-SAC Working Groups Progress Reports
    DATES:

    March 29-30, 2018. On Thursday, March 29, the meeting will begin at approximately 8:30 a.m. and end at approximately 5:00 p.m. On Friday, March 30, the meeting will begin at approximately 8:30 a.m. and end at approximately 3:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the U.S. Census Bureau Auditorium, 4600 Silver Hill Road, Suitland, Maryland 20746.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tara Dunlop Jackson, Branch Chief for Advisory Committees, Customer Liaison and Marketing Services Office, [email protected], Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau, Room 8H177, 4600 Silver Hill Road, Washington, DC 20233, telephone 301-763-5222. For TTY callers, please use the Federal Relay Service 1-800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The members of the C-SAC are appointed by the Director, U.S. Census Bureau. The Committee provides scientific and technical expertise, as appropriate, to address Census Bureau program needs and objectives. The Committee has been established in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Title 5, United States Code, Appendix 2, Section 10).

    All meetings are open to the public. A brief period will be set aside at the meeting for public comment on March 31. However, individuals with extensive questions or statements must submit them in writing to: [email protected] (subject line “March 2018 C-SAC Meeting Public Comment”), or by letter submission to Tara Dunlop Jackson, Committee Liaison Officer, Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau, Room 8H177, 4600 Silver Hill Road, Washington, DC 20233.

    If you plan to attend the meeting, please register by Monday, March 26, 2018. You may access the online registration from the following link: https://www.regonline.com/csac_meeting_mar2018. Seating is available to the public on a first-come, first-served basis.

    This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to the Committee Liaison Officer as soon as known, and preferably two weeks prior to the meeting.

    Due to increased security for access to the meeting, please call 301-763-9906 upon arrival at the Census Bureau on the day of the meeting. A photo ID must be presented in order to receive your visitor's badge. Visitors are not allowed beyond the first floor.

    Dated: January 31, 2018. Ron S. Jarmin, Associate Director for Economic Programs, Performing the Non-Exclusive Functions and Duties of the Director, Bureau of the Census.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02424 Filed 2-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-07-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-570-072] Sodium Gluconate, Gluconic Acid and Derivative Products From the People's Republic of China: Postponement of Preliminary Determination in the Countervailing Duty Investigation AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    DATES:

    Applicable February 7, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert Galantucci at (202) 482-2923 or Jonathan Hill at (202) 482-3518, AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On December 20, 2017, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) initiated the countervailing duty (CVD) investigation of sodium gluconate, gluconic acid and derivative products from the People's Republic of China.1 Currently, the preliminary determination is due no later than February 26, 2018.2

    1See Sodium Gluconate, Gluconic Acid, and Derivative Products from the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigation, 83 FR 499 (January 4, 2018).

    2 Commerce has exercised its discretion to toll deadlines for the duration of the closure of the Federal Government from January 20 through 22, 2018. See Memorandum, “Deadlines Affected by the Shutdown of the Federal Government,” dated January 23, 2018 (Tolling Memorandum). Accordingly, all deadlines in this segment of the proceeding have been extended by 3 days.

    Postponement of the Preliminary Determination

    Section 703(b)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), requires Commerce to issue the preliminary determination in a CVD investigation within 65 days after the date on which Commerce initiated the investigation. However, section 703(c)(1)(A) of the Act permits Commerce to postpone the preliminary determination until no later than 130 days after the date on which Commerce initiated the investigation if a petitioner makes a timely request for a postponement. Under 19 CFR 351.205(e), a petitioner must submit a request for postponement 25 days or more before the scheduled date of the preliminary determination and must state the reason for the request. Commerce will grant the request unless it finds compelling reasons to deny the request.3

    3See 19 CFR 351.205(e).

    On January 23, 2018, PMP Fermentation Products, Inc. (the petitioner) submitted a timely request pursuant to section 703(c)(1)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(e) to postpone the preliminary determination. The petitioner stated that the purpose of its request was to provide Commerce with adequate time to solicit information from the respondents and to allow Commerce and interested parties sufficient time to analyze respondents' questionnaire responses.4

    4See Letter from the petitioner to Commerce, “Countervailing Duty Investigation of Sodium Gluconate, Gluconic Acid and Derivative Products (GNA Products) from the People's Republic of China: Petitioner's Request to Postpone the Preliminary Determination,” dated January 23, 2018.

    In accordance with 19 CFR 351.205(e), the petitioner has stated the reason for requesting a postponement of the preliminary determination and the record does not present any compelling reasons to deny the request. Therefore, in accordance with section 703(c)(1)(A) of the Act, and in light of the closure of the Federal Government from January 20 through 22, 2018, Commerce is postponing the deadline for the preliminary determination to May 2, 2018.5 Pursuant to section 705(a)(l) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(b)(1), the deadline for the final determination will continue to be 75 days after the date of the preliminary determination, unless postponed at a later date.

    5 Note that the revised deadline incorporates a 65-day postponement, i.e., to 130 days after the date on which this investigation was initiated, in addition to a 3-day extension due to closure of the Federal Government.

    This notice is issued and published pursuant to section 703(c)(2) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(f)(l).

    Dated: February 2, 2018. Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Operations, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02444 Filed 2-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-822-806, A-821-824, A-520-808] Carbon and Alloy Steel Wire Rod From Belarus, the Russian Federation, and the United Arab Emirates: Notice of Correction to Antidumping Duty Orders AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rebecca Janz at (202) 482-2972 (Belarus), Kaitlin Wojnar at (202) 482-3857 (Russia), or Carrie Bethea at (202) 482-1491 (the UAE), AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On January 24, 2018, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) published the antidumping duty orders on carbon and alloy steel wire rod from Belarus, the Russian Federation, and the United Arab Emirates.1 Commerce made a typographical error in the Appendix to the Orders. Specifically, in the scope description, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheading 7213.91.3015 was incorrectly published as HTSUS subheading 213.91.3015.2

    1See Carbon and Alloy Steel Wire Rod from Belarus, the Russian Federation, and the United Arab Emirates: Antidumping Duty Orders, 83 FR 3297 (January 24, 2018) (the Orders).

    2Id. at Appendix.

    Correction

    Commerce is correcting the Orders to clarify that subject merchandise is currently classifiable under, inter alia, HTSUS subheading 7213.91.3015. The complete scope of the Orders, as it should have appeared in the Orders, is included as an Appendix to this notice.

    This correction to the Orders is published in accordance with section 736(a) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended.

    Dated: February 2, 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 Scope of the Orders

    The merchandise covered by these orders is certain hot-rolled products of carbon steel and alloy steel, in coils, of approximately round cross section, less than 19.00 mm in actual solid cross-sectional diameter. Specifically excluded are steel products possessing the above-noted physical characteristics and meeting the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) definitions for (a) stainless steel; (b) tool steel; (c) high-nickel steel; (d) ball bearing steel; or (e) concrete reinforcing bars and rods. Also excluded are free cutting steel (also known as free machining steel) products (i.e., products that contain by weight one or more of the following elements: 0.1 percent or more of lead, 0.05 percent or more of bismuth, 0.08 percent or more of sulfur, more than 0.04 percent of phosphorous, more than 0.05 percent of selenium, or more than 0.01 percent of tellurium). All products meeting the physical description of subject merchandise that are not specifically excluded are included in this scope.

    The products subject to these orders are currently classifiable under subheadings 7213.91.3011, 7213.91.3015, 7213.91.3020, 7213.91.3093; 7213.91.4500, 7213.91.6000, 7213.99.0030, 7227.20.0030, 7227.20.0080, 7227.90.6010, 7227.90.6020, 7227.90.6030, and 7227.90.6035 of the HTSUS. Products entered under subheadings 7213.99.0090 and 7227.90.6090 of the HTSUS also may be included in this scope if they meet the physical description of subject merchandise above. Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of this proceeding is dispositive.

    [FR Doc. 2018-02446 Filed 2-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-533-502, A-549-502, A-489-501, C-489-502, A-351-809, A-201-805, A-580-809, A-583-814, and A-583-008] Certain Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes From India, Thailand, and Turkey; Certain Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe From Brazil, Mexico, the Republic of Korea, and Taiwan, and Certain Circular Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes From Taiwan: Continuation of Antidumping Duty Orders and Countervailing Duty Order AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    As a result of the determinations by the Department of Commerce (Commerce) and the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) that revocation of the antidumping duty (AD) orders on certain welded carbon steel pipes and tubes (pipes and tubes) from India, Thailand, and Turkey; certain circular welded non-alloy steel pipe (non-alloy steel pipe) from Brazil, Mexico, the Republic of Korea (Korea), and Taiwan; and certain circular welded carbon steel pipes and tubes (circular pipes and tubes) from Taiwan would likely lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping and material injury to an industry in the United States, Commerce is publishing a notice of continuation of these AD orders. Additionally, as a result of the determination by Commerce and the ITC that revocation of the countervailing duty (CVD) order on certain welded carbon steel pipes and tubes from Turkey would likely lead to continuation or recurrence of countervailable subsidies and material injury to an industry in the United States, Commerce is publishing a notice of continuation of this CVD order.

    DATES:

    Applicable February 7, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joshua Poole at (202) 482-1293 or Jacqueline Arrowsmith at (202) 482-5255, AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On June 2, 2017, Commerce published the notice of initiation of the fourth sunset review of the AD orders on pipes and tubes from India, Thailand and Turkey; non-alloy steel pipe from Brazil, Mexico, Korea and Taiwan; and circular pipes and tubes from Taiwan (collectively, AD Orders), and the CVD order on pipes and tubes from Turkey (CVD Order) pursuant to section 751(c) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act).1 On June 01, 2017, the ITC instituted its reviews of the AD Orders and the CVD Order.2 Commerce conducted expedited sunset reviews of the AD Orders and the CVD Order.

    1See Initiation of Five-Year (“Sunset”) Reviews, 82 FR 25599 (June 2, 2017) (Initiation).

    2See Initiation of Five-Year Reviews, 82 FR 25328 (June 1, 2017).

    Commerce determined that revocation of the AD orders on pipes and tubes from India, Thailand, and Turkey would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping and notified the ITC of the magnitude of the margins of dumping likely to prevail should the orders be revoked.3 Commerce also determined that revocation of the AD orders on non-alloy steel pipe from Brazil, Mexico, Korea, and Taiwan as well as the AD order on circular pipes and tubes from Taiwan would likely lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping and notified the ITC of the magnitude of margins of dumping likely to prevail should the orders be revoked.4 Additionally, Commerce determined that revocation of the CVD order on pipes and tubes from Turkey would likely lead to continuation or recurrence of countervailable subsidies and notified the ITC of the net countervailable subsidy rates likely to prevail should the CVD order be revoked.5

    3See Certain Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes from India, Thailand, and Turkey: Final Results of the Expedited Fourth Sunset Review of the Antidumping Duty Order, 82 FR 46485 (October 5, 2017).

    4See Certain Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe from Brazil, Mexico, the Republic of Korea, and Taiwan and Certain Circular Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes from Taiwan: Final Results of Expedited Fourth Sunset Reviews of the Antidumping Duty Order, 82 FR 46761 (October 6, 2017).

    5See Circular Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes from Turkey: Final Results of Expedited Fourth Sunset Review of Countervailing Duty Order, 82 FR 46768 (October 6, 2017).

    On January 24, 2018, the ITC published its determination, pursuant to sections 751(c) and 752(a) of the Act, that revocation of the AD orders on pipes and tubes from India, Thailand, and Turkey; the CVD order on pipes and tubes from Turkey; the AD orders on non-alloy steel pipe from Brazil, Mexico, Korea, and Taiwan; and the AD order on circular pipes and tubes from Taiwan would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury to an industry in the United States within a reasonably foreseeable time.6

    6See Certain Circular Welded Pipe and Tube from Brazil, India, Korea, Mexico, Taiwan, Thailand, and Turkey; Determination 83 FR 3366 (January 24, 2018), and ITC Publication titled Certain Circular Welded Pipe and Tube from Brazil, India, Korea, Mexico, Taiwan, Thailand, and Turkey: Investigation No. 731-TA-253 and 731-TA-132, 252, 271, 273, 532-534, and 536 (Fourth Review) (January 2018).

    Scope of the Orders

    See the Appendix to this notice.

    Continuation of the Orders

    As a result of the determinations by Commerce and the ITC that revocation of the AD Orders and the CVD Order would likely lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping and countervailable subsidies and material injury to an industry in the United States, pursuant to section 751(d)(2) of the Act, Commerce hereby orders the continuation of the AD orders on: (1) Pipes and tubes from India, Thailand, and Turkey; (2) non-alloy steel pipe from Brazil, Mexico, Korea, and Taiwan; (3) circular pipes and tubes from Taiwan; and (4) the CVD order on pipes and tubes from Turkey.

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection will continue to collect AD and CVD cash deposits at the rates in effect at the time of entry for all imports of subject merchandise. The effective date of continuation of these orders will be the date of publication in the Federal Register of this notice of continuation. Pursuant to section 751(c)(2) of the Act, Commerce intends to initiate the next five-year review of the orders not later than 30 days prior to the fifth anniversary of the effective date of continuation.

    These five-year sunset reviews and this notice are in accordance with section 751(c) of the Act and published pursuant to section 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: January 31, 2018. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix Scope of the Antidumping Duty Orders and Countervailing Duty Order India—Certain Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes (A-533-502)

    The products covered by the order include certain welded carbon steel standard pipes and tubes with an outside diameter of 0.375 inch or more but not over 16 inches. These products are commonly referred to in the industry as standard pipes and tubes produced to various American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM) specifications, most notably A-53, A-120, or A-135.

    The antidumping duty order on certain welded carbon steel standard pipes and tubes from India, published on May 12, 1986, included standard scope language which used the import classification system as defined by Tariff Schedules of the United States, Annotated (TSUSA). The United States developed a system of tariff classification based on the international harmonized system of customs nomenclature. On January 1, 1989, the U.S. tariff schedules were fully converted from the TSUSA to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS). See, e.g., Certain Welded Carbon Steel Standard Pipes and Tubes from India; Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Reviews, 56 FR 26650, 26651 (June 10, 1991). As a result of this transition, the scope language we used in the 1991 Federal Register notice is slightly different from the scope language of the original final determination and antidumping duty order.

    Until January 1, 1989, such merchandise was classifiable under item numbers 610.3231, 610.3234, 610.3241, 610.3242, 610.3243, 610.3252, 610.3254, 610.3256, 610.3258, and 610.4925 of the TSUSA. This merchandise is currently classifiable under HTS item numbers 7306.30.1000, 7306.30.5025, 7306.30.5032, 7306.30.5040, 7306.30.5055, 7306.30.5085, 7306.30.5090. As with the TSUSA numbers, the HTS numbers are provided for convenience and customs purposes. The written product description remains dispositive.7

    7Certain Welded Carbon Steel Standard Pipes and Tubes from India: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 75 FR 69626, 69627 (November 15, 2010).

    Thailand—Certain Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes (A-549-502)

    The products covered by this order are certain circular welded carbon steel pipes and tubes from Thailand. The subject merchandise has an outside diameter of 0.375 inches or more, but not exceeding 16 inches. These products, which are commonly referred to in the industry as “standard pipe” or “structural tubing” are hereinafter designated as “pipes and tubes.” The merchandise is classifiable under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) item numbers 7306.30.1000, 7306.30.5025, 7306.30.5032, 7306.30.5040, 7306.30.5055, 7306.30.5085 and 7306.30.5090. Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and purposes of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the written description of the merchandise subject to the order is dispositive.89

    8 There was one scope ruling in which British Standard light pipe 387/67, Class A-1 was found to be within the scope of the order per remand. See Scope Rulings, 58 FR 27542, (May 10, 1993).

    9Circular Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes from Thailand: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Final Determination of No Shipments; 2015-2016 82 FR 46961 (October 10, 2017).

    Turkey—Certain Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes (A-489-501)

    The products covered by this order are welded carbon steel standard pipe and tube products with an outside diameter of 0.375 inch or more but not over 16 inches of any wall thickness, and are currently classified under the following Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheadings: 7306.30.1000, 7306.30.5025, 7306.30.5032, 7306.30.5040, 7306.30.5055, 7306.30.5085, and 7306.30.5090.10 Although the HTSUS subheading is provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the merchandise under investigation is dispositive. These products, commonly referred to in the industry as standard pipe or tube, are produced to various ASTM specifications, most notably A-120, A-53 or A-135.

    10See Antidumping Duty Order; Welded Carbon Steel Standard Pipe and Tube Products from Turkey, 51 FR 17784 (May 15, 1986). Note that the HTSUS did not exist at the time the order went into effect, so the references to the HTSUS numbers did not appear in the scope contained in the order.

    Turkey—Certain Circular Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes (C-489-502)

    The products covered by this order are certain welded carbon steel pipe and tube with an outside diameter of 0.375 inch or more, but not over 16 inches, of any wall thickness (pipe and tube) from Turkey. These products are currently provided for under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) as item numbers 7306.30.10, 7306.30.50, and 7306.90.10. Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the merchandise is dispositive.

    Brazil—Certain Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe (A-351-809)

    The products covered by this order are circular welded non-alloy steel pipes and tubes, of circular cross-section, not more than 406.4 mm (16 inches) in outside diameter, regardless of wall thickness, surface finish (black, galvanized, or painted), or end finish (plain end, beveled end, threaded, or threaded and coupled). These pipes and tubes are generally known as standard pipes and tubes are intended for the low pressure conveyance of water, steam, natural gas, and other liquids and gases in plumbing and heating systems, air conditioning units, automatic sprinkler systems, and other related uses, and generally meet ASTM A-53 specifications. Standard pipe may also be used for light load-bearing applications, such as for fence tubing, and as structural pipe tubing used for framing and support members for reconstruction or load-bearing purposes in the construction, shipbuilding, trucking, farm equipment, and related industries. Unfinished conduit pipe is also included in this order. All carbon steel pipes and tubes within the physical description outlined above are included within the scope of this order, except line pipe, oil country tubular goods, boiler tubing, mechanical tubing, pipe and tube hollows for redraws, finished scaffolding, and finished conduit. Standard pipe that is dual or triple certified/stenciled that enters the U.S. as line pipe of a kind used for oil or gas pipelines is also not included in this order. Imports of the products covered by this order are currently classifiable under the following Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) subheadings: 7306.30.10.00, 7306.30.50.25, 7306.30.50.32, 7306.30.50.40, 7306.30.50.55, 7306.30.50.85, and 7306.30.50.90. Although the HTS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, our written description of the scope of this proceeding is dispositive.

    Mexico—Certain Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe (A-351-809)

    The products covered by this order are circular welded non-alloy steel pipes and tubes, of circular cross-section, not more than 406.4 millimeters (16 inches) in outside diameter, regardless of wall thickness, surface finish (black, galvanized, or painted), or end finish (plain end, beveled end, threaded, or threaded and coupled). These pipes and tubes are generally known as standard pipes and tubes and are intended for the low pressure conveyance of water, steam, natural gas, and other liquids and gases in plumbing and heating systems, air conditioning units, automatic sprinkler systems, and other related uses, and generally meet ASTM A-53 specifications. Standard pipe may also be used for light load-bearing applications, such as for fence tubing, and as structural pipe tubing used for framing and support members for reconstruction or load-bearing purposes in the construction, shipbuilding, trucking, farm equipment, and related industries. Unfinished conduit pipe is also included in these orders. All carbon steel pipes and tubes within the physical description outlined above are included within the scope of this order, except line pipe, oil country tubular goods, boiler tubing, mechanical tubing, pipe and tube hollows for redraws, finished scaffolding, and finished conduit. Standard pipe that is dual or triple certified/stenciled that enters the U.S. as line pipe of a kind used for oil or gas pipelines is also not included in this order. Imports of the products covered by this order are currently classifiable under the following Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) subheadings: 7306.30.10.00, 7306.30.50.25, 7306.30.50.32, 7306.30.50.40, 7306.30.50.55, 7306.30.50.85, and 7306.30.50.90. Although the HTS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, our written description of the scope of these proceedings is dispositive.

    Korea—Certain Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe (A-580-809)

    The merchandise subject to this order is circular welded non-alloy steel pipe and tube, of circular cross-section, not more than 406.4mm (16 inches) in outside diameter, regardless of wall thickness, surface finish (black, galvanized, or painted), or end finish (plain end, beveled end, threaded, or threaded and coupled). These pipes and tubes are generally known as standard pipes and tubes and are intended for the low-pressure conveyance of water, steam, natural gas, air, and other liquids and gases in plumbing and heating systems, air-conditioning units, automatic sprinkler systems, and other related uses. Standard pipe may also be used for light load-bearing applications, such as for fence tubing, and as structural pipe tubing used for framing and as support members for reconstruction or load-bearing purposes in the construction, shipbuilding, trucking, farm equipment, and other related industries. unfinished conduit pipe is also included in this order. All carbon-steel pipes and tubes within the physical description outlined above are included within the scope of this review except line pipe, oil-country tubular goods, boiler tubing, mechanical tubing, pipe and tube hollows for redraws, finished scaffolding, and finished conduit. In accordance with the Department's Final Negative Determination of Scope Inquiry on Certain Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe and Tube from Brazil, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, and Venezuela (61 FR 11608, March 21, 1996), pipe certified to the API 5L line-pipe specification and pipe certified to both the API 5L line-pipe specifications and the less-stringent ASTM A-53 standard-pipe specifications, which falls within the physical parameters as outlined above, and entered as line pipe of a kind used for oil and gas pipelines is outside of the scope of the antidumping duty order. Imports of these products are currently classifiable under the following Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) subheadings: 7306.30.10.00, 7306.30.50.25, 7306.30.50.32, 7306.30.50.40, 7306.30.50.55, 7306.30.50.85, and 7306.30.50.90.

    Taiwan—Certain Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe (A-583-814)

    The products covered by this order are (1) circular welded non-alloy steel pipes and tubes, of circular cross section over 114.3 millimeters (4.5 inches), but not over 406.4 millimeters (16 inches) in outside diameter, with a wall thickness of 1.65 millimeters (0.065 inches) or more, regardless of surface finish (black, galvanized, or painted), or end-finish (plain end, beveled end, threaded, or threaded and coupled); and (2) circular welded non-alloy steel pipes and tubes, of circular cross-section less than 406.4 millimeters (16 inches), with a wall thickness of less than 1.65 millimeters (0.065 inches), regardless of surface finish (black, galvanized, or painted) or end-finish (plain end, beveled end, threaded, or threaded and coupled). These pipes and tubes are generally known as standard pipes and tubes and are intended for the low pressure conveyance of water, steam, natural gas, air, and other liquids and gases in plumbing and heating systems, air conditioning units, automatic sprinkling systems, and other related uses, and generally meet ASTM A-53 specifications. Standard pipe may also be used for light load-bearing applications, such as for fence-tubing and as structural pipe tubing used for framing and support members for construction, or load-bearing purposes in the construction, shipbuilding, trucking, farm-equipment, and related industries. Unfinished conduit pipe is also included in this order.

    All carbon steel pipes and tubes within the physical description outlined above are included within the scope of this order, except line pipe, oil country tubular goods, boiler tubing, mechanical tubing, pipe and tube hollows for redraws, finished scaffolding, and finished conduit. Standard pipe that is dual or triple certified/stenciled that enters the U.S. as line pipe of a kind or used for oil and gas pipelines is also not included in this investigation.

    Imports of products covered by this order are currently classifiable under the following Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) subheadings, 7306.30.10.00, 7306.30.50.25, 7306.30.50.32, 7306.30.50.40, 7306.30.50.55, 7306.30.50.85, 7306.30.50.90. Although the HTS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, our written description of the scope of this order is dispositive.

    Imports of the products covered by this order are currently classifiable under the following Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) subheadings, 7306.30.10.00, 7306.30.50.25, 7306.30.50.32, 7306.30.50.40, 7306.30.50.55, 7306.30.50.85, 7306.30.50.90. Although the HTS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, our written description of the scope of this order is dispositive.

    Taiwan—Certain Circular Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes (A-583-008)

    The merchandise covered by this order is certain circular welded carbon steel pipes and tubes from Taiwan, which are defined as: Welded carbon steel pipes and tubes, of circular cross section, with walls not thinner than 0.065 inch, and 0.375 inch or more but not over 4.5 inches in outside diameter, currently classified under Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) item numbers 7306.30.5025, 7306.30.5032, 7306.30.5040, and 7306.30.5055. Although the HTSUS subheading is provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the merchandise under investigation is dispositive.11

    11 The original order predated the HTSUS, and was accompanied by the following TSUSA numbers: 610.3231, 610.3232, 610.3241, and 610.3244.

    [FR Doc. 2018-02316 Filed 2-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-201-830] Carbon and Certain Alloy Steel Wire Rod From Mexico: Initiation of Anti-Circumvention Inquiry of Antidumping Duty Order AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    In response to a request from Nucor Corporation (Nucor), the Department of Commerce (Commerce) is initiating an anti-circumvention inquiry to determine whether certain imports of carbon and certain alloy steel wire rod from Mexico with actual diameters that are less than 4.75 millimeters (mm) produced and/or exported to the United States by Deacero S.A.P.I. de C.V. (Deacero) is circumventing the antidumping duty (AD) order on carbon and certain alloy steel wire rod from Mexico.

    DATES:

    Applicable February 7, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jolanta Lawska or Eric B. Greynolds, AD/CVD Operations, Office III, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-8362 and (202) 482-6071, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On October 27, 2017, Nucor, a domestic interested party, requested that Commerce initiate an anti-circumvention inquiry with regard to carbon and certain alloy steel wire rod from Mexico with actual diameters that are less than 4.75 mm (hereinafter referred to as narrow-gauge wire rod) that are produced and/or exported to the United States by Deacero.1 Nucor alleges that such narrow-gauge wire rod constitutes merchandise altered in form or appearance in such minor respects that it should be included within the scope of the order on wire rod from Mexico pursuant to 781(c) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, (the Act) and 19 CFR 351.225(i) and, thus, falls within the scope of the Order. 2 In its November 30, 2017, submission, Deacero opposed Nucor's request for an initiation of an anti-circumvention proceeding.3 On December 6, 2017, Nucor submitted a surrebuttal to Deacero's Rebuttal Comments.4 On December 13, 2017, Commerce determined that it required additional time beyond the regulatory 45-day time limit to initiate a circumvention inquiry and, therefore, Commerce extended the time-period for issuing the initiation decision until January 29, 2018.5 On December 15, 2017, Commerce officials discussed via telephone Nucor's request that the Department initiate a minor alteration anti-circumvention inquiry on wire rod produced and/or exported by Deacero regardless of minimum diameter. During the conversation, counsel indicated that Nucor would consider supplementing its allegation with a discussion of how wire rod with diameters that are less than 4.4 mm constitute circumvention via minor alteration.6 On January 23, 2018, Nucor submitted supplemental information regarding the Circumvention Allegation.7 Also, on January 23, 2018, Commerce uniformly tolled all Enforcement and Compliance deadlines to account for the three-day closure of the Federal Government that occurred from January 20 through January 22, 2018.8 As a result, the deadline for Commerce to determine whether to initiate on Nucor's circumvention allegation was extended to January 31, 2018. On January 30, 2018, Deacero objected to Nucor's request for Commerce to include wire rod produced and/or exported by Deacero with actual diameters less than 4.4 mm in the parameters of its circumvention inquiry and requested that Commerce exercise its discretion to extend the deadline to determine whether to initiate a circumvention inquiry to afford interested parties sufficient time to file comments regarding Nucor's allegations of circumvention.9

    1See Nucor's Letter, “Carbon and Certain Alloy Steel Wire Rod from Mexico: Request for Circumvention Ruling,” dated October 27, 2017 (Circumvention Allegation). The request was not filed in its entirety until after close of business on October 27, 2017. Thus, the date of acceptance of this request was October 30, 2017.

    2See Notice of Antidumping Duty Orders: Carbon and Certain Alloy Steel Wire Rod from Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Moldova, Trinidad and Tobago, and Ukraine, 67 FR 65945 (October 29, 2002) (Order).

    3See Deacero's Letter, “Carbon and Certain Wire Rod from Mexico—Opposition to Circumvention Inquiry,” dated November 30, 2017 (Deacero's Rebuttal Comments).

    4See Nucor's Letter, “Carbon and Certain Alloy Steel Wire Rod from Mexico: Response to Deacero's Opposition to Circumvention Inquiry,” dated December 6, 2017 (Nucor's Surrebuttal Comments).

    5See Memorandum to the File, “Extension of Time to Determine Whether to Initiate,” dated December 13, 2017.

    6See Memorandum to the File, “Telephone Discussion with Counsel to Nucor Corporation (Nucor),” dated December 18, 2017.

    7See Nucor's Letter, “Carbon and Certain Alloy Steel Wire Rod from Mexico: Supplemental Information for Anti-Circumvention Ruling Request,” dated January 23, 2018 (Supplemental Circumvention Allegation).

    8See Memorandum to the File, “Deadlines Affected by the Shutdown of the Federal Government,” dated January 23, 2018.

    9See Deacero's Letter, “Carbon and Certain Wire Rod from Mexico—Request Regarding Nucor's Request for Anti-Circumvention Inquiry,” dated January 30, 2018.

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise subject to this order is certain hot-rolled products of carbon steel and alloy steel, in coils, of approximately round cross section, 5.00 mm or more, but less than 19.00 mm, in solid cross-sectional diameter.

    Specifically excluded are steel products possessing the above-noted physical characteristics and meeting the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) definitions for (a) stainless steel; (b) tool steel; (c) high nickel steel; (d) ball bearing steel; and (e) concrete reinforcing bars and rods. Also excluded are (f) free machining steel products (i.e., products that contain by weight one or more of the following elements: 0.03 percent or more of lead, 0.05 percent or more of bismuth, 0.08 percent or more of sulfur, more than 0.04 percent of phosphorus, more than 0.05 percent of selenium, or more than 0.01 percent of tellurium).

    Also excluded from the scope are 1080 grade tire cord quality wire rod and 1080 grade tire bead quality wire rod. This grade 1080 tire cord quality rod is defined as: (i) Grade 1080 tire cord quality wire rod measuring 5.0 mm or more but not more than 6.0 mm in cross-sectional diameter; (ii) with an average partial decarburization of no more than 70 microns in depth (maximum individual 200 microns); (iii) having no inclusions greater than 20 microns; (iv) having a carbon segregation per heat average of 3.0 or better using European Method NFA 04-114; (v) having a surface quality with no surface defects of a length greater than 0.15 mm; (vi) capable of being drawn to a diameter of 0.30 mm or less with 3 or fewer breaks per ton, and (vii) containing by weight the following elements in the proportions shown: (1) 0.78 percent or more of carbon, (2) less than 0.01 percent of aluminum, (3) 0.040 percent or less, in the aggregate, of phosphorus and sulfur, (4) 0.006 percent or less of nitrogen, and (5) not more than 0.15 percent, in the aggregate, of copper, nickel and chromium.

    This grade 1080 tire bead quality rod is defined as: (i) Grade 1080 tire bead quality wire rod measuring 5.5 mm or more but not more than 7.0 mm in cross-sectional diameter; (ii) with an average partial decarburization of no more than 70 microns in depth (maximum individual 200 microns); (iii) having no inclusions greater than 20 microns; (iv) having a carbon segregation per heat average of 3.0 or better using European Method NFA 04-114; (v) having a surface quality with no surface defects of a length greater than 0.2 mm; (vi) capable of being drawn to a diameter of 0.78 mm or larger with 0.5 or fewer breaks per ton; and (vii) containing by weight the following elements in the proportions shown: (1) 0.78 percent or more of carbon, (2) less than 0.01 percent of soluble aluminum, (3) 0.040 percent or less, in the aggregate, of phosphorus and sulfur, (4) 0.008 percent or less of nitrogen, and (5) either not more than 0.15 percent, in the aggregate, of copper, nickel and chromium (if chromium is not specified), or not more than 0.10 percent in the aggregate of copper and nickel and a chromium content of 0.24 to 0.30 percent (if chromium is specified).

    The designation of the products as “tire cord quality” or “tire bead quality” indicates the acceptability of the product for use in the production of tire cord, tire bead, or wire for use in other rubber reinforcement applications such as hose wire. These quality designations are presumed to indicate that these products are being used in tire cord, tire bead, and other rubber reinforcement applications, and such merchandise intended for the tire cord, tire bead, or other rubber reinforcement applications is not included in the scope. However, should petitioners or other interested parties provide a reasonable basis to believe or suspect that there exists a pattern of importation of such products for other than those applications, end-use certification for the importation of such products may be required. Under such circumstances, only the importers of record would normally be required to certify the end use of the imported merchandise.

    All products meeting the physical description of subject merchandise that are not specifically excluded are included in this scope.

    The products within the scope of this order are currently classifiable under subheadings 7213.91.3010, 7213.91.3090, 7213.91.4510, 7213.91.4590, 7213.91.6010, 7213.91.6090, 7213.99.0031, 7213.99.0038, 7213.99.0090, 7227.20.0010, 7227.20.0020, 7227.20.0090, 7227.20.0095, 7227.90.6051, 7227.90.6053, 7227.90.6058, and 7227.90.6059 of the HTSUS. Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of this proceeding is dispositive.

    Prior Anti-Circumvention Determination

    On September 24, 2012, Commerce issued an affirmative final circumvention determination in which it determined that, pursuant to section 781(c) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.225(i), wire rod with an actual diameter of 4.75 mm to 5.0 mm produced and/or exported by Deacero constituted a circumventing minor alteration of the Order and, as such, was covered by the scope of the Order. 10 Commerce's finding was subsequently affirmed by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.11

    10See Carbon and Certain Alloy Steel Wire Rod from Mexico: Affirmative Final Determination of Circumvention of the Antidumping Duty Order, 77 FR 59892 (October 1, 2012) (4.75 Wire Rod from Mexico) and accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum (IDM) at 18.

    11See Deacero S.A. de C.V. v. United States, 817 F.3d 1332 (Fed. Cir. 2016) (Deacero).

    Initiation of Minor Alteration Anti-Circumvention Proceeding

    Section 781(c) of the Act provides that Commerce may find circumvention of an AD order when products which are of the class or kind of merchandise subject to an AD order have been “altered in form or appearance in minor respects * * * whether or not included in the same tariff classification.” Section 781(c)(2) of the Act provides an exception that “{p}aragraph 1 shall not apply with respect to altered merchandise if the administering authority determines that it would be unnecessary to consider the altered merchandise within the scope of the AD order.”

    While the statute is silent as to what factors to consider in determining whether alterations are properly considered “minor,” the legislative history of this provision indicates that there are certain factors which should be considered before reaching a circumvention determination. In conducting a circumvention inquiry under section 781(c) of the Act, Commerce has generally relied upon “such criteria as the overall physical characteristics of the merchandise, the expectations of the ultimate users, the use of the merchandise, the channels of marketing and the cost of any modification relative to the total value of the imported products.” 12 Concerning the allegation of minor alteration under section 781(c) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.225(i), Commerce examines such factors as: (1) Overall physical characteristics; (2) expectations of ultimate users; (3) use of merchandise; (4) channels of marketing; and (5) cost of any modification relative to the value of the imported products.13

    12See S. Rep. No. 71, 100th Cong., 1st Sess. 100 (1987) (“In applying this provision, the Commerce Department should apply practical measurements regarding minor alterations, so that circumvention can be dealt with effectively, even where such alterations to an article technically transform it into a differently designated article.”).

    13See, e.g., Affirmative Preliminary Determination of Circumvention of the Antidumping Duty Order on Certain Cut-to-Length Steel Plate from the People's Republic of China, 74 FR 33991, 33992 (July 14, 2009) (CTL Plate from China Preliminary Scope Ruling), unchanged in Affirmative Final Determination of Circumvention of the Antidumping Duty Order on Certain Cut-to-Length Carbon Steel Plate from the People's Republic of China, 74 FR 40565 (August 12, 2009) (CTL Plate from China Final Scope Ruling); see also 4.75 mm Wire Rod from Mexico IDM at Comment 1; see also Deacero, 817 F.3d at 1337.

    Analysis

    After analyzing the information in the Circumvention Allegation and Supplemental Circumvention Allegation, we determine that Nucor has satisfied the criteria listed above to warrant an initiation of a formal anti-circumvention inquiry, pursuant to section 781(c) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.225(i), to determine whether wire rod with actual diameters that are less than 4.75 mm produced and/or exported to the United States by Deacero constitutes merchandise altered in form or appearance in such minor respects that should be included within the scope of the Order. For a summary of the proprietary comments received from interested parties and further discussion of Commerce's basis for initiating this minor alteration inquiry, see the Initiation Decision Memorandum, dated concurrently with this notice and hereby adopted by this notice.14 The Initiation Decision Memorandum is a business proprietary document, of which a public version is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at https://access.trade.gov and is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. The signed Initiation Decision Memorandum and the electronic version of the Initiation Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    14See Memorandum, “Initiation of Minor Alteration Circumvention Inquiry on Wire Rod With Actual Diameters That Are Less Than 4.75 Millimeters,” dated concurrently with this notice (Initiation Decision Memorandum).

    Merchandise Subject to the Anti-Circumvention Inquiry

    This minor alternation anti-circumvention inquiry covers wire rod with actual diameters that are less than 4.75 mm produced and/or exported to the United States by Deacero.

    Commerce will not order the suspension of liquidation of entries of any additional merchandise at this time. However, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.225(l)(2), if Commerce issues a preliminary affirmative determination, we will then instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to suspend liquidation and require a cash deposit of estimated duties on the merchandise.

    Following consultation with interested parties, Commerce will establish a schedule for questionnaires and comments on the issues related to the Order. In accordance with section 781(f) of the Act, Commerce intends to issue its final determinations within 300 days of the date of publication of this initiation.

    This notice is published in accordance with sections 781(c) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.225(i).

    Dated: January 31, 2018. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02445 Filed 2-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XG005 North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of telephonic meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The North Pacific Fishery Management Council's Pacific Northwest Crab Industry Advisory Committee (PNCIAC) will meet in February, in Anchorage, AK.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Wednesday February 21, 2018, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held telephonically. Telephone number is 1-800-920-7487, passcode is 7941749#.

    Council address: North Pacific Fishery Management Council, 605 W. 4th Ave., Suite 306, Anchorage, AK 99501-2252; telephone: (907) 271-2809.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sarah Marrinan, Council staff; telephone: (907) 271-2809, or Lance Farr, Committee Chair; telephone: (206) 669-7163.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Agenda Wednesday February 21, 2018

    The Committee will discuss harvest strategies for BSS of harvesting dark shell crab, cost recovery of the observer program and Tanner Crab harvest strategy. The Agenda is subject to change, and the latest version will be posted at http://www.npfmc.org/.

    Special Accommodations

    The meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Shannon Gleason at (907) 271-2809 at least 7 working days prior to the meeting date.

    Dated: February 1, 2018. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02372 Filed 2-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XG006 North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) Scallop Plan Team will meet on February 21, 2018, in Kodiak, AK.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 21, 2018, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Alaska Time.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game Office, 351 Research Ct., Kodiak, AK 99615.

    Council address: North Pacific Fishery Management Council, 605 W 4th Ave., Suite 306, Anchorage, AK 99501-2252; telephone: (907) 271-2809.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jim Armstrong, Council staff; telephone: (907) 271-2809.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Agenda Wednesday, February 21, 2018

    The Council's Scallop Plan Team will update the status of the Statewide Scallop Stocks and Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) report, including catch specification recommendations for the 2018 fishing year. Additionally, there will be discussion of a scallop age-structured model, scallop fishery economics and the federal license limitation program, the scallop assessment program, survey plans for 2018, potential State regulatory changes for the scallop fishery, and a review and update of scallop research priorities. The agenda is subject to change and will be posted at http://www.npfmc.org/.

    Special Accommodations

    The meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Shannon Gleason at (907) 271-2809 at least 7 working days prior to the meeting date.

    Dated: February 1, 2018. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02387 Filed 2-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for F-35 Operational Beddown—Air National Guard AGENCY:

    Department of Defense, Department of the Air Force, National Guard Bureau.

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent.

    SUMMARY:

    The Air Force is issuing this notice to advise the public of its intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the beddown of two F-35A Air National Guard squadrons at two of five alternative installations. The Environmental Impact Statement will assess the potential environmental consequences of each alternative in support of the operational beddown.

    Each squadron would consist of 18 Primary Aircraft Authorized and 2 Backup Aircraft Inventory. The proposed basing alternatives include: Truax Field in Madison, Wisconsin, Gowen Field in Boise, Idaho, Jacksonville International Airport in Jacksonville, Florida, Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Harrison Township, Michigan, and Dannelly Field in Montgomery, Alabama.

    DATES:

    The Air National Guard will hold scoping meetings from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the following communities on the following dates in February and March, 2018:

    1. Wednesday, February 21, L'Anse Creuse Public Schools Wheeler Community Center, 24076 Frederick V. Pankow Blvd., Clinton Township, Michigan.

    2. Tuesday, February 27, Wyndham Garden Boise Airport Hotel Convention Center, 3300 S. Vista Ave., Boise, Idaho.

    3. Thursday, March 1, Montgomery Regional Airport First Floor Rotunda and Conference Room, 4445 Selma Highway, Montgomery, Alabama.

    4. Thursday, March 8, Crowne Plaza Madison Hotel, 4402 E Washington Ave., Madison, Wisconsin.

    5. Tuesday, March 13, DoubleTree Hotel, Jacksonville Airport Aviation Ballroom, 2101 Dixie Clipper Dr., Jacksonville, Florida.

    ADDRESSES:

    Scoping Comments may also be submitted to: Ms. Christel Johnson, National Guard Bureau, NGB/A4AM, Shepperd Hall, 3501 Fetchet Avenue, Joint Base Andrews, MD 20762-5157. You may also submit comments via the project website at www.ANGF35EIS.com.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The F-35A is being acquired in support of the Air National Guard mission. The F-35A would replace the legacy fighter aircraft at the selected installations (A-10, F-15, F-16). The project website provides more information on the Environmental Impact Analysis Process and can also be used to submit scoping comments. Though the Air National Guard will continue to accept comments until publication of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, scoping comments should be submitted no later than April 6, 2018 to ensure the Air National Guard has sufficient time to consider comments submitted.

    Scoping: The Air National Guard will hold scoping meetings to solicit comments and concerns about the proposal and to effectively define the full range of issues and concerns to be evaluated in the Environmental Impact Statement. Scoping meetings will be held in the local communities near the alternative installations. The scheduled dates, times, locations, and addresses for the meetings are concurrently being published in local media.

    Henry Williams, Acting Air Force Federal Register Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02468 Filed 2-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-10-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Defense Acquisition Regulations System [Docket DARS-2018-0003; OMB Control Number 0704-0533] Information Collection Requirement; Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement; DFARS Subpart 249, Termination of Contracts, and a Related Clause at DFARS 252.249-7002 AGENCY:

    Defense Acquisition Regulations System, Department of Defense (DoD).

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments regarding a proposed extension of an approved information collection requirement.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, DoD announces the proposed extension of a public information collection requirement and seeks public comment on the provisions thereof. DoD invites comments on: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of DoD, including whether the information will have practical utility; the accuracy of the 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 the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved this information collection requirement for use through July 31, 2018. DoD proposes that OMB extend its approval for use for three additional years beyond the current expiration date.

    DATES:

    DoD will consider all comments received by April 9, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by OMB Control Number 0704-0533, using any of the following methods:

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

    Email: [email protected] Include OMB Control Number 0704-0533 in the subject line of the message.

    Fax: 571-372-6094.

    Mail: Defense Acquisition Regulations System, Attn: Ms. Amy Williams, OUSD(AT&L)DPAP/DARS, Room 3B941, 3060 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-3060.

    Comments received generally will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided.

    Instructions: Search for “Docket Number: DARS-2018-0003.” Select “Comment Now” and follow the instructions provided to submit a comment. All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number for this notice. Comments received generally will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal 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. Amy Williams, 571-372-6106.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title and OMB Number: Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) Part 249, Termination of Contracts, and a Related Clause at DFARS 252.249-7002, Notification of Anticipated Contract termination or Reduction; OMB Control Number 0704-0533.

    Needs and Uses: Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) clause 252.249-7002, Notification of Anticipated Contract termination or Reduction, is used in all contracts under a major defense program. The purpose of this requirement is to help establish benefit eligibility under the Job Training Partnership Act (29 U.S.C. 1661 and 1662) for employees of DoD contractors and subcontractors adversely affected by contract termination or substantial reductions under major defense programs.

    Type of Collection: Renewal of a currently approved collection.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits.

    Affected Public: Businesses or other for-profit and not-for-profit institutions.

    Number of Respondents: 42.

    Responses per Respondent: 6.19, approximately.

    Annual Responses: 260.

    Average Burden per Response: .74 hours.

    Annual Burden Hours: 193.

    Frequency: On Occasion.

    Summary of Information Collection

    DFARS Clause 252.249-7002, Notification of Anticipated Contract termination or Reduction, is used in all contracts under a major defense program. This clause requires contractors, within 60 days after receipt of notice from the contracting officer of anticipated termination or substantial reduction, to provide notice of the anticipated termination or substantial reduction to first-tier subcontractors with a subcontract of $700,000 or more and requires flowdown to lower-tier subcontractors with a subcontract of $150,000 or more.

    Jennifer L. Hawes, Regulatory Control Officer, Defense Acquisition Regulations System.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02449 Filed 2-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary Publication of Housing Price Inflation Adjustment AGENCY:

    Office of the Under Secretary (Personnel and Readiness), DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice of housing price inflation adjustment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense is announcing the 2018 rent threshold under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.

    DATES:

    This notice is valid January 1, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lt. Col. Reggie D. Yager, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, (703) 571-9301.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, as codified at 50 U.S.C. App. 3951, prohibits a landlord from evicting a Service member (or the Service member's family) from a residence during a period of military service except by court order. The law as originally passed by Congress applied to dwellings with monthly rents of $2,400 or less. The law requires the Department of Defense to adjust this amount annually to reflect inflation and to publish the new amount in the Federal Register. Applying the inflation adjustment for 2017, the maximum monthly rental amount for 50 U.S.C. App. 3951 (a)(1)(A)(ii) as of January 1, 2018, will be $3,716.73.

    Dated: February 1, 2018. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02390 Filed 2-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary Charter Termination of the Judicial Proceedings Since Fiscal Year 2012 Amendments Panel AGENCY:

    Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Termination of Federal Advisory Committee.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense is publishing this notice to announce that it is terminating the Judicial Proceedings Since Fiscal Year 2012 Amendments Panel, effective January 26, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jim Freeman, Advisory Committee Management Officer for the Department of Defense, 703-692-5952.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This committee is being terminated under the provisions of Section 576(c)(2)(C) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972, (5 U.S.C. Appendix), 41 CFR 102-3.55, and the Government in the Sunshine Act of 1976 (5 U.S.C. 552b), effective January 26, 2018.

    Dated: February 2, 2018. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02447 Filed 2-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary Board of Visitors National Defense University; Notice of Federal Advisory Committee Meeting AGENCY:

    Office of the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff, Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Federal Advisory Committee meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense (DoD) is publishing this notice to announce that the following Federal Advisory Committee meeting of the Board of Visitors National Defense University will take place. This meeting will be open to the public.

    DATES:

    Wednesday, February 21, 2018 from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Thursday, February 22, 2018 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    Marshall Hall, Building 62, Room 155B, the National Defense University, 300 5th Avenue SW, Fort McNair, Washington, DC 20319-5066.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Richard Cabrey, (202) 685-0821 (Voice), (202) 685-3920 (Facsimile), [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected] (Email). Mailing address is National Defense University, Fort McNair Washington, DC 20319-5066. Website: http://www.ndu.edu/About/Board-of-Visitors/. The most up-to-date changes to the meeting agenda can be found on the website.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This meeting is being held under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) of 1972 (5 U.S.C., Appendix, as amended), the Government in the Sunshine Act of 1976 (5 U.S.C. 552b, as amended), and 41 CFR 102-3.140 and 102-3.150.

    Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552b and 41 CFR 102-3.140 through 102-3.165, and the availability of space, this meeting is open to the public.

    Purpose of the Meeting: The purpose of the meeting will include discussion on accreditation compliance, organizational management, strategic planning, resource management, and other matters of interest to the National Defense University.

    Agenda: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.: Welcome and Administrative Notes; State of the University Address; Middles States Commission on Higher Education Update; NDU Strategic Plan-Progress Update on the Current Plan (AY 2012-2013 to AY 2017-2018) and an Overview of the Planning Process for the New Plan (AY 2018-2019 to AY 2023-2024); New NDU Strategic Plan Line of Effort 1-Student Experience; New NDU Strategic Plan Line of Effort 2-Quality Workforce; New NDU Strategic Plan Line of Effort 3-Stable Foundation.

    Thursday, February 22, 2018 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.: Information Technology Update; New Initiatives at the Eisenhower School; Board Member Feedback; Wrap-up and Closing Remarks.

    Meeting Accessibility: Limited space made available for observers will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Meeting location is handicap accessible.

    Written Statements: Pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.105(j) and 102-3.140, and section 10(a)(3) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972, written statements to the committee may be submitted to the committee at any time or in response to a stated planned meeting agenda by FAX or email to Ms. Joycelyn Stevens at (202) 685-0079, Fax (202) 685-3920 or [email protected]

    Dated: February 2, 2018. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02434 Filed 2-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DELAWARE RIVER BASIN COMMISSION Notice of Public Hearing and Business Meeting February 14 and March 14, 2018

    Notice is hereby given that the Delaware River Basin Commission will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, February 14, 2018. A business meeting will be held the following month on Wednesday, March 14, 2018. The hearing and meeting are open to the public and will be held at the Washington Crossing Historic Park Visitor Center, 1112 River Road, Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania.

    Public Hearing. The public hearing on February 14, 2018 will begin at 1:30 p.m. Hearing items subject to the Commission's review will include draft dockets for withdrawals, discharges, and other water-related projects, as well as resolutions: (a) To adopt the fiscal year 2018-2020 Water Resources Program; (b) to clarify and restate the Commission's policy for the replacement of water consumptively used by electric generating or cogenerating facilities during critical hydrologic conditions; and (c) to reauthorize the Regulated Flow Advisory Committee's (RFAC) Subcommittee on Ecological Flows (SEF).

    The list of projects scheduled for hearing, including project descriptions, and the text of the proposed resolutions will be posted on the Commission's website, www.drbc.net, in a long form of this notice at least ten days before the hearing date.

    Written comments on matters scheduled for hearing on February 14 will be accepted through 5:00 p.m. on February 20.

    The public is advised to check the Commission's website periodically prior to the hearing date, as items scheduled for hearing may be postponed if additional time is deemed necessary to complete the Commission's review, and items may be added up to ten days prior to the hearing date. In reviewing docket descriptions, the public is also asked to be aware that project details commonly change in the course of the Commission's review, which is ongoing.

    Public Meeting. The public business meeting on March 14, 2018 will begin at 10:30 a.m. and will include: adoption of the Minutes of the Commission's December 13, 2017 Business Meeting, announcements of upcoming meetings and events, a report on hydrologic conditions, reports by the Executive Director and the Commission's General Counsel, and consideration of any items for which a hearing has been completed or is not required. The latter are expected to include a resolution authorizing the Commission to procure janitorial services based on a competitive bidding process.

    After all scheduled business has been completed and as time allows, the Business Meeting will be followed by up to one hour of Open Public Comment, an opportunity to address the Commission on any topic concerning management of the basin's water resources, outside the context of a duly noticed, on-the-record public hearing.

    There will be no opportunity for additional public comment for the record at the March 14 Business Meeting on items for which a hearing was completed on February 14 or a previous date. Commission consideration on March 14 of items for which the public hearing is closed may result in approval of the item (by docket or resolution) as proposed, approval with changes, denial, or deferral. When the Commissioners defer an action, they may announce an additional period for written comment on the item, with or without an additional hearing date, or they may take additional time to consider the input they have already received without requesting further public input. Any deferred items will be considered for action at a public meeting of the Commission on a future date.

    Advance Sign-Up for Oral Comment. Individuals who wish to comment on the record during the public hearing on February 14 or to address the Commissioners informally during the Open Public Comment portion of the meeting on March 14 as time allows, are asked to sign-up in advance through EventBrite, the online registration process recently introduced by the Commission. Links to EventBrite for the Public Hearing and the Business Meeting are available at drbc.net. For assistance, please contact Ms. Paula Schmitt of the Commission staff, at [email protected]

    Addresses for Written Comment. Written comment on items scheduled for hearing may be made through SmartComment, the web-based comment system recently introduced by the Commission, a link to which is posted at drbc.net. Although use of SmartComment is strongly preferred, comments may also be delivered by hand at the public hearing; or by hand, U.S. Mail or private carrier to Commission Secretary, P.O. Box 7360, 25 Cosey Road, West Trenton, NJ 08628. For assistance, please contact Paula Schmitt at [email protected]

    Accommodations for Special Needs. Individuals in need of an accommodation as provided for in the Americans with Disabilities Act who wish to attend the informational meeting, conference session or hearings should contact the Commission Secretary directly at 609-883-9500 ext. 203 or through the Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) at 711, to discuss how we can accommodate your needs.

    Additional Information, Contacts. Additional public records relating to hearing items may be examined at the Commission's offices by appointment by contacting Carol Adamovic, 609-883-9500, ext. 249. For other questions concerning hearing items, please contact Judith Scharite, Project Review Section assistant at 609-883-9500, ext. 216.

    Dated: January 30, 2018. Pamela M. Bush, Commission Secretary and Assistant General Counsel.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02369 Filed 2-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6360-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No. ED-2018-ICCD-0010] Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Application for Flexibility for Equitable Per-Pupil Funding AGENCY:

    Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE), Department of Education (ED).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction of 1995, ED is requesting the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to conduct an emergency review of a new information collection.

    DATES:

    Approval by the OMB has been requested by 2/7/2018. A regular clearance process is also hereby being initiated. Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before April 9, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    To access and review all the documents related to the information collection listed in this notice, please use http://www.regulations.gov by searching the Docket ID number ED-2018-ICCD-0010. Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov by selecting the Docket ID number or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, LBJ, Room 216-44, Washington, DC 20202-4537.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Jessica McKinney, 202-401-1960.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department's information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. ED is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. The Department of Education is especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records.

    Title of Collection: Application for Flexibility for Equitable Per-pupil Funding.

    OMB Control Number: 1810-NEW.

    Type of Review: New collection (Request for a new OMB Control Number).

    Respondents/Affected Public: State, Local and Tribal Governments.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 20.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 1,120.

    Abstract: This is a request for emergency clearance to collect critical information for the Application for Flexibility for Equitable Per-pupil Funding, the instrument through which local educational agencies (LEAs) apply for flexibility to consolidate eligible Federal funds and State and local education funding based on weighted per-pupil allocations for low-income and otherwise disadvantaged students. This program allows LEAs to consolidate funds under the Elementary and Secondary Education of 1965 Federal education programs.

    These Federal education programs were reauthorized by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The ESSA added a new program to the ESEA, the Flexibility for Equitable Per-pupil Funding under section 1501. This discretionary flexibility allows the U.S. Department of Education (Department) to offer an LEA the opportunity to consolidate funds under the above-listed programs to support the LEA in creating a single school funding system based on weighted per-pupil allocations for low-income and otherwise disadvantaged students, with attendant flexibility in using those funds. For the initial three-year period, the Department may approve this flexibility for up to 50 LEAs.

    Given the priority of an orderly transition, the earliest available time to award flexibility related to the use of federal funding was School Year 2018-2019, which mostly takes place during FY 2019. This aligns with States' transition to “full” compliance, as all provisions of the law will be effective by FY 2019, including those that were otherwise delayed under orderly transition authority. This timeframe also aligns with the implementation of the other pilot program provided in ESSA, the Innovative Assessment Demonstration Authority (IADA).

    Although an approximate timeframe was established, by necessity, the planning for a new and potentially far-reaching program could not begin in earnest until new political leadership had been appointed. This planning began in mid-2017 following the appointment of Secretary DeVos and other political leadership.

    The scope of work for the development of the application was significant. The program is entirely new and involves broad authority for the Secretary to waive provisions of the ESEA, although only after a successful applicant meets several dozen precise and technical requirements related to the allocation, use and reporting of funds. Given that the program is new and highly technical, affects the use of federal funds, waives other federal requirements, and involves a potential applicant pool of thousands of school districts, the development of an application required significant legal and policy analysis, which lasted several months.

    Lastly, between enactment of ESSA and the present date, there were also several major anticipated and unanticipated events, including a change in Presidential and Secretarial administration, Congressional action that eliminated certain implementing regulations of the law, and significant turnover in staff related to both the change in administration and natural attrition over a period of multiple years. These events impact the capacity, decision-making structure, and institutional knowledge of the Department, causing it to be less agile and to move at a slower velocity for some period. Fortunately in recent months that has changed. However, due to these events, including some that were unforeseen, as well as the other conditions described in the paragraphs above, the development of the application was affected.

    The end result remains that a traditional paperwork clearance would have resulted in applicants being unable to use the awarded flexibility until the 2019-2020 school year, which would delay a program that Congress intended to equitably allocate resources to educationally disadvantaged students. Therefore, the Department is seeking emergency clearance.

    Dated: February 2, 2018. Tomakie Washington, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer (OCPO), Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02421 Filed 2-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER10-2881-031; ER10-2882-033; ER10-2883-031; ER10-2884-031; ER10-2885-031; ER10-2641-030; ER10-2663-031; ER10-1874-005; EL18-21-000.

    Applicants: Alabama Power Company, Southern Power Company, Mississippi Power Company, Georgia Power Company, Gulf Power Company, Oleander Power Project, LP, Southern Company-Florida LLC, Mankato Energy Center, LLC.

    Description: Sensitivity Analysis for Simultaneous Import Limit Study of Southern Company Services, Inc.

    Filed Date: 1/16/18.

    Accession Number: 20180116-5147.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/6/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-748-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Cost Recovery Filing on Behalf of American Electric Power Service Corp. to be effective 4/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180130-5230.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/20/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-749-000.

    Applicants: NSTAR Electric Company.

    Description: Compliance filing: Succeeded Documents Refiled to be effective 3/31/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180130-5286.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/20/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-750-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Tariff Revisions re: Transmission Service Planning Studies to be effective 4/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180130-5296.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/20/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-751-000.

    Applicants: Western Massachusetts Electric Company.

    Description: Tariff Cancellation: Cancellation of WMECO Tariff Database to be effective 3/31/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180130-5297.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/20/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-752-000.

    Applicants: Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Amendments to SCPSA and CEPCI NITSA and Metering Agreements to be effective 1/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180130-5304.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/20/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-753-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 1148R23 American Electric Power NITSA NOA to be effective 1/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5044.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/21/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-754-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 3391 Kansas City Board of Public Utilities PTP Agreement to be effective 1/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5046.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/21/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-755-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Original WMPA SA No. 4911; Queue No. AC2-071 to be effective 1/26/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5053.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/21/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-756-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Original WMPA SA No. 4913; Queue No. AC2-113 to be effective 1/26/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5061.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/21/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-757-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Revisions to Close Gaming Issue Related to Regulation Deployment Adjustment to be effective 5/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5078.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/21/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-758-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: Tariff Cancellation: Notice of Cancellation of WMPA SA No. 2975; Queue No. W1-082 to be effective 1/30/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5080.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/21/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-759-000.

    Applicants: Imperial Valley Solar 1, LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: COC LGIA Co-Tenancy to be effective 2/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5124.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/21/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-760-000.

    Applicants: Arizona Public Service Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Service Agreement No. 362, City of Williams NITS to be effective 1/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5127.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/21/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-761-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 4th Quarter 2017 Revisions to OA, Sch. 12 and RAA, Sch. 17 Member Lists to be effective 12/31/2017.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5132.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/21/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-762-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 3396 Otter Tail Power Company NITSA and NOA to be effective 1/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5139.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/21/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-763-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 3397 Otter Tail Power Company NITSA and NOA to be effective 1/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5171.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/21/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-764-000.

    Applicants: Alabama Power Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: O'Neal Solar LGIA Filing to be effective 1/17/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5188.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/21/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-765-000.

    Applicants: Michigan Electric Transmission Company, LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Filing of A&R Letter Agreement re O&M with Holland BPW to be effective 2/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5198.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/21/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-766-000.

    Applicants: Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

    Description: Notice of Termination of Small Generator Interconnection Agreement No. 364 of Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5200.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/21/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-767-000.

    Applicants: New England Power Pool Participants Committee.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Feb 2018 Membership Filing to be effective 1/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5209.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/21/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-768-000.

    Applicants: Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Q4 2017 Quarterly Filing of City and County of San Francisco's WDT SA (SA 275) to be effective 12/31/2017.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5229.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/21/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-769-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Charges in NITS for Deliveries of Federal Power-Southwestern in Pricing Zone 10 to be effective 4/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5246.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/21/18.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric securities filings:

    Docket Numbers: ES18-23-000.

    Applicants: AEP Appalachian Transmission Company, Inc., AEP Kentucky Transmission Company, Inc., AEP Southwestern Transmission Company, Inc., AEP West Virginia Transmission Company, Inc.

    Description: Application under Section 204 of the Federal Power Act for Authorization to Issue Securities of AEP Appalachian Transmission Company, Inc., et al.

    Filed Date: 1/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180130-5335.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/20/18.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: January 31, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02383 Filed 2-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings

    Take notice that the Commission has received the following Natural Gas Pipeline Rate and Refund Report filings:

    Filings Instituting Proceedings

    Docket Numbers: RP17-972-000.

    Applicants: Wyoming Interstate Company, L.L.C.

    Description: Report Filing: Refund Report under Docket Nos. RP17-972 and RP17-302.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5043.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/12/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-383-000.

    Applicants: Nautilus Pipeline Company, L.L.C.

    Description: Tariff Cancellation: Nautilus Cancellation of Sheet-Based Tariff to be effective 3/15/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5018.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/12/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-384-000.

    Applicants: Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rate—Norwich to Direct Energy—795741 to be effective 2/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5020.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/12/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-385-000.

    Applicants: KPC Pipeline, LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Proposed Revision to Rate Schedule PAL to be effective 3/4/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5021.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/12/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-386-000.

    Applicants: Texas Eastern Transmission, LP.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rate—BP Energy k911483 to be effective 2/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5030.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/12/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-387-000.

    Applicants: Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rates—Falcon Release to Twin Eagle to be effective 2/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5031.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/12/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-388-000.

    Applicants: Transwestern Pipeline Company, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing Penalty Refund Report on 1-31-18.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5045.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/12/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-389-000.

    Applicants: Sierrita Gas Pipeline LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing Sierrita Cost and Revenue Study under Docket No. CP13-73-000.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5052.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/12/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-390-000.

    Applicants: Rockies Express Pipeline LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Neg Rate 2018-01-31 BP(2),CP, Encana to be effective 2/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5079.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/12/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-391-000.

    Applicants: Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rates—Plymouth Rock to Twin Eagle releases to be effective 2/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5081.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/12/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-392-000.

    Applicants: El Paso Natural Gas Company, L.L.C.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rate Agreement Update Filing (TGS Feb 2018) to be effective 2/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5082.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/12/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-393-000.

    Applicants: Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, L.L.C.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Clean Up Tariff Sheet Effective Dates—2017 to be effective 11/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5108.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/12/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-394-000.

    Applicants: Texas Gas Transmission, LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Cap Rel Neg Rate Agmts (RE Gas 35433,34955 to BP 36880,36881) to be effective 2/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5141.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/12/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-395-000.

    Applicants: Gulf Crossing Pipeline Company LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Cap Rel Neg Rate Agmt (Newfield 18 to Tenaska 1943) to be effective 2/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5144.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/12/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-396-000.

    Applicants: Iroquois Gas Transmission System, L.P.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: 013118 Negotiated Rates—ENI Trading & Shipping Inc. R-7825-03 to be effective 2/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5157.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/12/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-397-000.

    Applicants: Gulf South Pipeline Company, LP.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Cap Rel Neg Rate Agmts (Atlanta 8438 to various eff 2-1-2018) to be effective 2/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5160.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/12/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-398-000.

    Applicants: Gulf South Pipeline Company, LP.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Cap Rel Neg Rate Agmt (PH 41455 to BP 48966) to be effective 2/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5165.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/12/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-399-000.

    Applicants: Gulf South Pipeline Company, LP.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Cap Rel Neg Rate Agmt (PH 41455 to Sequent 48967) to be effective 2/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5167.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/12/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-400-000.

    Applicants: Gulf South Pipeline Company, LP.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rate Agmts (Coastal Bend Interim Agmts) to be effective 2/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5168.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/12/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-401-000.

    Applicants: Gulf South Pipeline Company, LP.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Cap Rel Neg Rate Agmt (PH 41455 to Texla 48954) to be effective 2/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5169.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/12/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-402-000.

    Applicants: Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, L.L.C.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Volume No. 2—Neg Rate Agmt—Centerpoint Energy Entex SP45306 to be effective 2/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5202.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/12/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-403-000.

    Applicants: Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Amended Negotiated Rate Agreement-La Frontera Holdings, LLC to be effective 2/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5204.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/12/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-404-000.

    Applicants: Rockies Express Pipeline LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Neg Rate 2018-01-31 Triad Hunter (2) to be effective 1/31/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5282.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/12/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-197-000.

    Applicants: Dominion Cove Point LNG, LP.

    Description: Report Filing: DECP—RP17-197 Refund Report.

    Filed Date: 2/1/18.

    Accession Number: 20180201-5021.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-405-000.

    Applicants: Rockies Express Pipeline LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Neg Rate 2018-1-31 EQT, Freepoint, JAron to be effective 2/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/1/18.

    Accession Number: 20180201-5000.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-406-000.

    Applicants: Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Amended Negotiated Rate Agreement-Tenaska Marketing Ventures to be effective 2/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/1/18.

    Accession Number: 20180201-5001.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-407-000.

    Applicants: Equitrans, L.P.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Capacity Release Agreements—2/1/2018 to be effective 2/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/1/18.

    Accession Number: 20180201-5002.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/13/18.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and § 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified 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: February 1, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02406 Filed 2-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 11834-066] Brookfield White Pine Hydro, LLC; Notice of Application Accepted for Filing, Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Protests

    Take notice that the following hydroelectric application has been filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and is available for public inspection:

    a. Type of Application: Amendment of Project License.

    b. Project No: 11834-066.

    c. Date Filed: September 18, 2017 and January 31, 2018.

    d. Applicant: Brookfield White Pine Hydro, LLC (licensee).

    e. Name of Project: Upper and Middle Dams Storage Hydroelectric Project.

    f. Location: The project is located on the Rapid River in Oxford and Franklin counties, Maine.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 791(a)-825(r).

    h. Applicant Contact: Kelly Maloney, License Compliance Manager, Brookfield White Pine Hydro, LLC, 150 Main Street Lewiston, ME 04240. [email protected]

    i. FERC Contact: Michael Calloway at 202-502-8041, or [email protected]

    j. Deadline for filing comments, motions to intervene, and protests is 30 days from the issuance of this notice by the Commission. The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file motions to intervene, protests, and comments using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support 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-11834-066.

    k. Description of Request: The licensee requests that the Commission amend the project license to change the Angler Use Survey schedule and include a new Water Quality Certificate issued by the State of Maine on the January 31, 2018. The Water Quality Certificate was amended to reflect the change in the Angler Use Survey schedule. Under the proposal, Lake Angler Surveys at Richardson and Mooselookmeguntic Lakes will be conducted in 2019, then next in 2024 and every five years thereafter. The River Surveys at Upper Dam Pool, Rapid River, and Magalloway River will be conducted in 2021, and again in 2026, and every five years thereafter.

    l. Locations of the Application: A copy of the application is available for inspection and reproduction at the Commission's Public Reference Room, located at 888 First Street NE, Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426, or by calling 202-502-8371. This filing may also be viewed on the Commission's website at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. 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 866-208-3676 or email [email protected], for TTY, call 202-502-8659. A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in item (h) above.

    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, .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 amendment application. 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: February 1, 2018. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02410 Filed 2-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER18-772-000] New Mexico Wind, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization

    This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced proceeding New Mexico Wind, LLC`s application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate tariff, noting that such application includes a request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest should file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant.

    Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant's request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability, is February 21, 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: February 1, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02407 Filed 2-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. IC18-9-000] Commission Information Collection Activities (Ferc-725x); Comment Request; Extension AGENCY:

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice of information collection and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) is soliciting public comment on the currently approved information collection, FERC-725X (Mandatory Reliability Standards: Voltage and Reactive (VAR) Standards).

    DATES:

    Comments on the collection of information are due April 9, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments (identified by Docket No. IC18-9-000) by either of the following methods:

    eFiling at Commission's website: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp.

    Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426.

    Instructions: All submissions must be formatted and filed in accordance with submission guidelines at: http://www.ferc.gov/help/submission-guide.asp. For user assistance contact FERC Online Support by email at [email protected], or by phone at: (866) 208-3676 (toll-free), or (202) 502-8659 for TTY.

    Docket: Users interested in receiving automatic notification of activity in this docket or in viewing/downloading comments and issuances in this docket may do so at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/docs-filing.asp.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ellen Brown may be reached by email at [email protected], telephone at (202) 502-8663, and fax at (202) 273-0873.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: FERC-725X, Mandatory Reliability Standards: Voltage and Reactive (VAR) Standards.

    OMB Control No.: 1902-0278.

    Type of Request: Three-year extension of the FERC-725X information collection requirements with no changes to the current reporting requirements.

    Abstract: Pursuant to Section 215 of the Federal Power Act (FPA), NERC established the Voltage and Reactive (“VAR”) group of Reliability Standards, which consists of two continent-wide Reliability Standards, VAR-001-4 and VAR-002-3. These two standards were designed to maintain voltage stability on the Bulk-Power System, protect transmission, generation, distribution, and customer equipment, and support the reliable operation of the Bulk-Power System. Voltage stability is the ability of a power system to maintain acceptable voltage levels throughout the system under normal operating conditions and following a disturbance. Failure to maintain acceptable voltage levels (i.e., voltage levels become too high or too low) may cause violations of System Operating Limits (“SOLs”) and Interconnection Reliability Operating Limits (“IROLs”), result in damage to Bulk-Power System equipment, and thereby threaten the reliable operation of the Bulk-Power System.

    Reliability Standard VAR-001-4 1

    1 Applies to transmission operators only.

    • Specify a system-wide voltage schedule (which is either a range or a target value with an associated tolerance band) as part of its plan to operate within SOLs and IROLs, and to provide the voltage schedule to its Reliability Coordinator and adjacent Transmission Operators upon request (Requirement R1);

    • Schedule sufficient reactive resources to regulate voltage levels (Requirement R2);

    • Operate or direct the operation of devices to regulate transmission voltage and reactive flows (Requirement R3);

    • Develop a set of criteria to exempt generators from certain requirements under Reliability Standard VAR-002-3 related to voltage or Reactive Power schedules, automatic voltage regulations, and notification (Requirement R4);

    • Specify a voltage or Reactive Power schedule (which is either a range or a target value with an associated tolerance band) for generators at either the high or low voltage side of the generator step-up transformer, provide the schedule to the associated Generator Operator, direct the Generator Operator to comply with that schedule in automatic voltage control mode, provide the Generator Operator the notification requirements for deviating from the schedule, and, if requested, provide the Generator Operator the criteria used to develop the schedule (Requirement R5); and

    • Communicate step-up transformer tap changes, the time frame for completion, and the justification for these changes to Generator Owners (Requirement R6).

    Reliability Standard VAR-002-3 2

    2 Applies to transmission operators only.

    • Operate each of its generators connected to the interconnected transmission system in automatic voltage control mode or in a different control mode as instructed by the Transmission Operator, unless the Generator Operator (1) is exempted pursuant to the criteria developed under VAR-001-4, Requirement R4, or (2) makes certain notifications to the Transmission Operator specifying the reasons it cannot so operate (Requirement R1);

    • Maintain the Transmission Operator's generator voltage or Reactive Power schedule, unless the Generator Operator (1) is exempted pursuant to the criteria developed under VAR-001-4, Requirement R4, or (2) complies with the notification requirements for deviations as established by the Transmission Owner pursuant to VAR-001-4, Requirement R5 (Requirement R2);

    • Notify the Transmission Operator of a change in status of its voltage controlling device within 30 minutes, unless the status is restored within that time period (Requirement R3); and

    • Notify the Transmission Operator of a change in reactive capability due to factors other than those described in VAR-002-3, Requirement R3 within 30 minutes unless the capability has been restored during that time period (Requirement R4).

    • Provide information on its step-up transformers and auxiliary transformers within 30 days of a request from the Transmission Operator or Transmission Planner (Requirement R5); and

    • Comply with the Transmission Operator's step-up transformer tap change directives unless compliance would violate safety, an equipment rating, or applicable laws, rules or regulations (Requirement R6).

    Type of Respondents: Generator owners and transmission operators.

    Estimate of Annual Burden3 : The Commission estimates the annual public reporting burden for the information collection as:

    3 The Commission defines burden as the total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, or disclose or provide information to or for a Federal agency. For further explanation of what is included in the information collection burden, reference 5 Code of Federal Regulations 1320.3.

    FERC-725X, Mandatory Reliability Standards: Voltage and Reactive (VAR) Standards Number of
  • respondents 4
  • Annual
  • number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total number
  • of responses
  • Average
  • burden and cost
  • per response 5
  • Total annual burden hours and total annual cost Cost per
  • respondent ($)
  • (1) (2) (1) * (2) = (3) (4) (3) * (4) = (5) (5) ÷ (1) VAR-001-4
  • (Requirement R1)
  • 181 (TOP) 1 181 160 hrs.;
  • $10,899.20
  • 28,960 hrs.;
  • $1,972,755
  • $10,899.20
    VAR-002-3
  • (Requirement R1)
  • 944 (GOP) 1 944 80 hrs.;
  • 5,449.60
  • 75,520 hrs.;
  • 5,144,422
  • 5,449.60
    VAR-002-3
  • (Requirement R2)
  • 944 (GOP) 1 944 120 hrs.;
  • 8,174.40
  • 113,280 hrs.;
  • 7,716,634
  • 8,174.40
    Total 1,932 217,760 hrs.;
  • 14,833,811
  • Comments: Comments are invited on: (1) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden and cost of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information collection; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    4 TOP = transmission operator; GOP = generator operators.

    5 The estimate for hourly cost is $68.12/hour. This figure is the average salary plus benefits for an electrical engineer (Occupation Code: 17-2071) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics at https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/naics2_22.htm.

    Dated: February 1, 2018. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02408 Filed 2-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings

    Take notice that the Commission has received the following Natural Gas Pipeline Rate and Refund Report filings:

    Filings Instituting Proceedings

    Docket Number: PR18-26-000.

    Applicants: Southern California Gas Company.

    Description: Tariff filing per 284.123(b),(e)+(g): OSHD Rate Revision Filing to be effective 1/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/30/18.

    Accession Number: 201801305012.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/20/18.

    284.123(g) Protests Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/2/18.

    Docket Number: PR17-60-001.

    Applicants: Atmos Pipeline-Texas.

    Description: Tariff filing per 284.123(b),(e)/: Amendment to Non Statutory Filing Jan 2018.

    Filed Date: 1/25/18.

    Accession Number: 201801255005.

    Comments/Protests Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/15/18.

    Docket Number: PR17-60-002.

    Applicants: Atmos Pipeline-Texas.

    Description: Tariff filing per 284.123(b),(e)/: Amendment to Non Statutory Filing Jan 2018 to be effective 9/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 1/25/18.

    Accession Number: 201801255165.

    Comments/Protests Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/15/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-374-000.

    Applicants: Gulf South Pipeline Company, LP.

    Description: Compliance filing Second Compliance Filing in Docket No. CP15-517-000 to be effective 2/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180130-5009.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/12/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-375-000.

    Applicants: Rockies Express Pipeline LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Neg Rate 2018-01-30 Antero to be effective 2/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180130-5155.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/12/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-376-000.

    Applicants: Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Amended Negotiated Rate Agreement-DTE Energy Trading, Inc. to be effective 2/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180130-5220.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/12/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-377-000.

    Applicants: Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Amended Negotiated Rate Agreement-Oklahoma Natural Gas Company to be effective 2/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180130-5221.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/12/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-378-000.

    Applicants: Dominion Energy Carolina Gas Transmission.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: DECG—Transco to Charleston Project (CP16-98) Transport Service & Neg Rates to be effective 3/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180130-5238.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/12/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-379-000.

    Applicants: Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rates—Cherokee AGL—Replacement Shippers—Feb 2018 to be effective 2/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180130-5274.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/12/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-380-000.

    Applicants: Columbia Gulf Transmission, LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: CAP Neg Rate/NC Agmt Filing to be effective 3/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180130-5282.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/12/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-381-000.

    Applicants: Viking Gas Transmission Company.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rate PAL Agreement—Twin Eagle Resource Management to be effective 1/31/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180130-5295.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/12/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-382-000.

    Applicants: Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Removal of Negotiated Rate Agreements City of Salem, IL to be effective 3/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180130-5298.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/12/18.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified date(s). Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: January 31, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02384 Filed 2-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. IC18-8-000] Commission Information Collection Activities (FERC-716); Comment Request; Extension AGENCY:

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice of information collection and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) is soliciting public comment on the currently approved information collection, [FERC-716, Good Faith Requests for Transmission Service and Good Faith Responses by Transmitting Utilities Under Sections 211(a) and 213(a) of the Federal Power Act (FPA)].

    DATES:

    Comments on the collection of information are due April 9, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments (identified by Docket No. IC18-8-000) by either of the following methods:

    eFiling at Commission's website: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp.

    Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426.

    Instructions: All submissions must be formatted and filed in accordance with submission guidelines at: http://www.ferc.gov/help/submission-guide.asp. For user assistance contact FERC Online Support by email at [email protected], or by phone at: (866) 208-3676 (toll-free), or (202) 502-8659 for TTY.

    Docket: Users interested in receiving automatic notification of activity in this docket or in viewing/downloading comments and issuances in this docket may do so at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/docs-filing.asp.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:

    Ellen Brown may be reached by email at [email protected], telephone at (202) 502-8663, and fax at (202) 273-0873.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: FERC-716, Good Faith Requests for Transmission Service and Good Faith Responses by Transmitting Utilities Under Sections 211(a) and 213(a) of the Federal Power Act (FPA).

    OMB Control No.: 1902-0170.

    Type of Request: Three-year extension of the FERC-716 information collection requirements with no changes to the current reporting requirements.

    Abstract: The Commission uses the information collected under the requirements of FERC-716 to implement the statutory provisions of Sections 211 and Section 213 of the Federal Power Act as amended and added by the Energy Policy Act 1992. FERC-716 also includes the requirement to file a Section 211 request if the negotiations between the transmission requestor and the transmitting utility are unsuccessful. For the initial process, the information is not filed with the Commission. However, the request and response may be analyzed as a part of a Section 211 action. The Commission may order transmission services under the authority of FPA 211.

    The Commission's regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), 18 CFR 2.20, provide standards by which the Commission determines if and when a valid good faith request for transmission has been made under section 211 of the FPA. By developing the standards, the Commission sought to encourage an open exchange of data with a reasonable degree of specificity and completeness between the party requesting transmission services and the transmitting utility. As a result, 18 CFR 2.20 identifies 12 components of a good faith estimate and 5 components of a reply to a good faith request.

    Type of Respondents: Transmission Requestors and Transmitting Utilities.

    Estimate of Annual Burden1 : The Commission estimates the annual public reporting burden for the information collection as:

    1 The Commission defines burden as the total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, or disclose or provide information to or for a Federal agency. For further explanation of what is included in the information collection burden, reference 5 Code of Federal Regulations 1320.3.

    2 The estimates for cost per response are derived using the following formula: Average Burden Hours per Response * $76.50 per Hour = Average Cost per Response. The cost per hour figure is the FERC average salary plus benefits. Subject matter experts found that industry employment costs closely resemble FERC's regarding the FERC-716 information collection.

    FERC-716 (Good Faith Requests for Transmission Service and Good Faith Responses by Transmitting Utilities Under Sections 211(a) and 213(a) of the Federal Power Act (FPA)) Number of
  • respondents
  • Annual
  • number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total number
  • of responses
  • Average
  • burden and
  • cost per
  • response 2
  • Total annual
  • burden
  • hours and
  • total annual
  • cost
  • Cost per
  • respondent
  • ($)
  • (1) (2) (1) * (2) = (3) (4) (3) * (4) = (5) (5) ÷ (1) Information exchange between parties 3 1 3 100 hrs.; $7650 300 hrs.; $22,950 7,650 Application submitted to FERC if parties' negotiations are unsuccessful 3 1 3 2.5 hrs.; $191.25 7.5 hrs.; $573.75 191.25 Total 6 307.5 hrs.; $23,523.75 7,841.25

    Comments: Comments are invited on: (1) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden and cost of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information collection; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Dated: February 1, 2018. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02409 Filed 2-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER10-2432-014.

    Applicants: Bayonne Plant Holding, L.L.C.

    Description: Report Filing: TEM, et al. Refund Report (EL16-116) to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5258.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/21/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER10-2435-014.

    Applicants: Camden Plant Holding, L.L.C.

    Description: Report Filing: TEM, et al. Refund Report (EL16-116) to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5262.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/21/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER10-2442-012.

    Applicants: Elmwood Park Power, LLC.

    Description: Report Filing: TEM, et al. Refund Report (EL16-116) to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5266.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/21/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER10-2444-014.

    Applicants: Newark Bay Cogeneration Partnership, L.P.

    Description: Report Filing: TEM, et al. Refund Report (EL16-116) to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5267.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/21/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER10-2449-012.

    Applicants: York Generation Company LLC.

    Description: Report Filing: TEM, et al. Refund Report (EL16-116) to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5274.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/21/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER10-3272-004.

    Applicants: Lower Mount Bethel Energy, LLC.

    Description: Report Filing: TEM, et al. Refund Report (EL16-116) to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5268.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/21/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-506-002.

    Applicants: DeSoto County Generating Company, LLC.

    Description: Report Filing: Refund Report—Informational Filing to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5250.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/21/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-277-008.

    Applicants: Talen Energy Marketing, LLC.

    Description: Report Filing: TEM, et al. Refund Report (EL16-116) to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5249.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/21/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-1456-009.

    Applicants: Talen Energy Marketing, LLC.

    Description: Report Filing: TEM Refund Report (EL16-116) to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5256.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/21/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2438-002.

    Applicants: Pedricktown Cogeneration Company LP.

    Description: Report Filing: TEM, et al. Refund Report (EL16-116) to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5280.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/21/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2439-002.

    Applicants: H.A. Wagner LLC.

    Description: Report Filing: TEM, et al. Refund Report (EL16-116) to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5277.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/21/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2440-002.

    Applicants: Brandon Shores LLC.

    Description: Report Filing: TEM, et al. Refund Report (EL16-116) to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5281.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/21/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-754-001.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: 3391 Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska PTP Agreement to be effective 1/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5241.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/21/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-770-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 3334R1 Associated Electric Cooperative NITSA and NOA to be effective 1/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5265.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/21/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-771-000.

    Applicants: DeSoto County Generating Company, LLC.

    Description: Tariff Cancellation: Notice of Termination for Rate Schedule FERC No. 1 to be effective 2/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5278.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/21/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-772-000.

    Applicants: New Mexico Wind, LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: New Mexico Wind, LLC Application for Market-Based Rates to be effective 3/15/2018.

    Filed Date: 1/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180131-5279.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/21/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-773-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc., Ameren Illinois Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2018-02-01_SA 3028 Ameren IL-Prairie Power Project#10 Velma to be effective 1/23/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/1/18.

    Accession Number: 20180201-5033.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/22/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-774-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc., Ameren Illinois Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2018-02-01_SA 3028 Ameren IL-Prairie Power Project#11 Woodland to be effective 1/23/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/1/18.

    Accession Number: 20180201-5038.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/22/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-775-000.

    Applicants: All American Power and Gas, LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Market-Based Rate Tariff Application to be effective 2/2/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/1/18.

    Accession Number: 20180201-5072.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/22/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-776-000.

    Applicants: United Energy Trading, LLC.

    Description: Tariff Cancellation: Notice of Cancellation of Market-Based Rate Tariff to be effective 2/2/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/1/18.

    Accession Number: 20180201-5073.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/22/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-777-000.

    Applicants: Iridium Energy, LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Market-Based Rate Tariff Application to be effective 2/2/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/1/18.

    Accession Number: 20180201-5075.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/22/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-778-000.

    Applicants: NorthWestern Corporation.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: SA 810—Agreement with Powder River Energy Corporation to be effective 2/2/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/1/18.

    Accession Number: 20180201-5087.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/22/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-779-000.

    Applicants: Northern States Power Company, a Minnesota corporation.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2018-02-01 MKPC Fac Const Agrmt-Lake Park SS-0.0.0 to be effective 2/2/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/1/18.

    Accession Number: 20180201-5100.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/22/18.

    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: February 1, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02405 Filed 2-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. RD17-8-000] Commission Information Collection Activities (FERC-725HH); Comment Request AGENCY:

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, DOE.

    ACTION:

    Comment request.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3507(a)(1)(D), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) is submitting its information collection FERC-725HH (RF Reliability Standards) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review of the information collection requirements. Any interested person may file comments directly with OMB and should address a copy of those comments to the Commission as explained below. The Commission previously issued a Notice in the Federal Register (82 FR 53489, 11/16/2017) requesting public comments. The Commission received no comments on the FERC-725HH information collection and is making this notation in its submittal to OMB.

    DATES:

    Comments on the collection of information are due by March 9, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments filed with OMB, identified by the OMB Control No. 1902-0256, should be sent via email to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs: [email protected] Attention: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Desk Officer. The Desk Officer may also be reached via telephone at 202-395-0710.

    A copy of the comments should also be sent to the Commission, in Docket No. RD17-8-000, by either of the following methods:

    eFiling at Commission's Website: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp.

    Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426.

    Instructions: All submissions must be formatted and filed in accordance with submission guidelines at: http://www.ferc.gov/help/submission-guide.asp. For user assistance contact FERC Online Support by email at [email protected], or by phone at: (866) 208-3676 (toll-free), or (202) 502-8659 for TTY.

    Docket: Users interested in receiving automatic notification of activity in this docket or in viewing/downloading comments and issuances in this docket may do so at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/docs-filing.asp.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:

    Ellen Brown may be reached by email at [email protected], by telephone at (202) 502-8663, and by fax at (202) 273-0873.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: FERC-725HH, RF Reliability Standards.

    OMB Control No.: 1902-0256.

    Type of Request: Three-year approval of the FERC-725HH information collection requirements, as modified by Docket No. RD17-8-000.

    Abstract: The information collected by the FERC-725HH is required to implement the statutory provisions of section 215 of the Federal Power Act (FPA) (16 U.S.C. 824o). Section 215 of the FPA buttresses the Commission's efforts to strengthen the reliability of the interstate grid through the grant of new authority by providing for a system of mandatory Reliability Standards developed by the Electric Reliability Organization (ERO). In July 2006, the Commission certified the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) as the ERO.1 Reliability Standards that the ERO proposes to the Commission may include Reliability Standards that are proposed to the ERO by a Regional Entity.2 A Regional Entity is an entity that has been approved by the Commission to enforce Reliability Standards under delegated authority from the ERO.3 On March 17, 2011, the Commission approved a regional Reliability Standard submitted by the ERO that was developed by the ReliabilityFirst Corporation (RF).4

    1North American Electric Reliability Corp., 116 FERC ¶ 61,062 (ERO Certification Order), order on reh'g & compliance, 117 FERC ¶ 61,126 (2006), aff'd sub nom. Alcoa, Inc. v. FERC, 564 F.3d 1342 (DC Cir. 2009).

    2 16 U.S.C. 824o(e)(4).

    3 16 U.S.C. 824o(a)(7) and (e)(4).

    4Planning Resource Adequacy Assessment Reliability Standard, Order No. 747, 134 FERC ¶ 61,212 (2011).

    RF promotes bulk electric system reliability in the Eastern Interconnection. RF is the Regional Entity responsible for compliance monitoring and enforcement in the RF region. In addition, RF provides an environment for the development of Reliability Standards and the coordination of the operating and planning activities of its members as set forth in the RF bylaws.

    There is one regional Reliability Standard in the RF region. The regional Reliability Standard requires planning coordinators within the RF geographical footprint to analyze, assess and document resource adequacy for load in the RF footprint annually, to utilize a “one day in ten years” loss of load criterion, and to document and post load and resource capability in each area or transmission-constrained sub-area identified.

    • BAL-502-RFC-02 (Planning Resource Adequacy Analysis, Assessment and Documentation) 5 establishes common criteria, based on “one day in ten year” loss of load expectation principles, for the analysis, assessment, and documentation of resource adequacy for load in the RF region.

    5 BAL-50-RFC-02 is included in the OMB-approved inventory for FERC-725H.

    The Commission's request to OMB reflects the following:

    • Implementing the regional Reliability Standard BAL-502-RF-03 and the retirement of regional Reliability Standard BAL-502-RFC-02 6 which is discussed below.

    6 Burden associated with BAL-502-RF-02 Reliability Standard was once contained in FERC-725H information collection (OMB Control No. 1902-0256). FERC-725H was discontinued on 3/6/2014. However, the requirements of BAL-502-RF-02 were still imposed on NERC entities. Those requirements are now being retired with no removal of burden (any associated burden was removed concurrent with the discontinuance).

    On September 7, 2017, NERC and RF filed a joint petition in Docket No. RD17-8-000 7 requesting Commission approval of: (a) Regional Reliability Standard BAL-502-RF-03 (Planning Resource Adequacy Analysis, Assessment and Documentation), and (b) the retirement of regional Reliability Standard BAL-502-RFC-02.6 The petition states: “Proposed regional Reliability Standard BAL-502-RF-03 establishes common criteria, based on “one day in ten year” loss of Load expectation principles, for the analysis, assessment, and documentation of Resource Adequacy for Load in the ReliabilityFirst region.” NERC's and RF's joint filing was noticed on September 8, 2017, with interventions, comments and protests due on or before October 10, 2017. In this document, we provide estimates of the burden and cost related to those revisions to FERC-725HH.

    7 The joint petition and exhibits are posted in the Commission's eLibrary system in Docket No. RD17-8-000.

    Type of Respondents: Planning coordinators.

    Estimate of Annual Burden:8 Details follow on the changes related to Docket No. RD17-8-000.

    8 Burden is defined as the total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, or disclose or provide information to or for a Federal agency. For further explanation of what is included in the information collection burden, refer to 5 Code of Federal Regulations 1320.3.

    Estimate of Changes to Burden Due to Docket No. RD17-8: The joint petition requested Commission approval of regional Reliability Standard BAL-502-RF-03 and retirement of regional Reliability Standard BAL-502-RFC-02. The estimated effects on burden and cost 9 are as follows:

    9 For BAL-502-RF-03, the hourly cost (for salary plus benefits) uses the figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for three positions involved in the reporting and recordkeeping requirements. These figures include salary (http://bls.gov/oes/current/naics2_22.htm) and benefits (http://www.bls.gov/news.release/ecec.nr0.htm) and are:

    • Manager (Occupation Code 11-0000): $81.52/hour

    • Engineer (Occupation Code 17-2071): $68.12/hour

    • File Clerk (Occupation Code 43-4071): $32.74/hour

    The hourly cost for the reporting requirements ($60.79) is an average of the cost of a manager, an engineer, and a file clerk.

    FERC-725HH, RF Reliability Standards, Changes in Docket No. RD17-8-000 Entity Number of
  • respondents 10
  • Annual
  • number of
  • responses
  • per
  • respondent
  • Annual
  • number of
  • responses
  • Average
  • burden hrs. &
  • cost per
  • response
  • ($)
  • Total annual
  • burden hours &
  • total annual cost
  • ($)
  • Cost per
  • respondent
  • ($)
  • (1) (2) (1) * (2) = (3) (4) (3) * (4) = (5) (5) ÷ (1) = (6) Proposed Regional Reliability Standard BAL-502-RF-03 Planning Coordinators 2 1 2 16 hrs.; $973 32 hrs.; $1,945 $973

    Comments: Comments are invited on: (1) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden and cost of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information collection; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    10 The number of respondents is derived from the NERC Compliance Registry as of October 2, 2017 for the burden associated with the proposed regional Reliability Standard BAL-502-RF-03.

    Dated: February 1, 2018. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02411 Filed 2-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL-9974-04-OAR] Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2016 AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of document availability and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Draft Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2016 is available for public review. EPA requests recommendations for improving the overall quality of the inventory report to be finalized in April 2018, as well as subsequent inventory reports.

    DATES:

    To ensure your comments are considered for the final version of the document, please submit your comments by March 9, 2018. However, comments received after that date will still be welcomed and considered for the next edition of this report.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0729, to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or withdrawn. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI). Comments can also be submitted in hardcopy to GHG Inventory at: Environmental Protection Agency, Climate Change Division (6207A), 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460, Fax: (202) 343-2338. You are welcome and encouraged to send an email with your comments to [email protected] EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket, submitted in hardcopy or sent via email. For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Mausami Desai, Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Air and Radiation, Office of Atmospheric Programs, Climate Change Division, (202) 343-9381, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Annual U.S. emissions for the period of time from 1990 through 2016 are summarized and presented by source category and sector. The inventory contains estimates of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFC), perfluorocarbons (PFC), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), and nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) emissions. The technical approach used in this report to estimate emissions and sinks for greenhouse gases is consistent with the methodologies recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and reported in a format consistent with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) reporting guidelines.

    The Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2016 is the latest in a series of annual, policy-neutral U.S. submissions to the Secretariat of the UNFCCC. EPA requests recommendations for improving the overall quality of the inventory report to be finalized in April 2018, as well as subsequent inventory reports.

    The draft report is available at: https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/inventory-us-greenhouse-gas-emissions-and-sinks.

    Sarah Dunham, Director, Office of Atmospheric Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02546 Filed 2-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-0120, 3060-0716, 3060-0754 and 3060-1053] Information Collections Being Submitted for Review and Approval to the Office of Management and Budget AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995, the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collection. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

    The Commission may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number.

    DATES:

    Written PRA comments should be submitted on or before March 9, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Nicholas A. Fraser, OMB, via email [email protected]; and to Cathy Williams, FCC, via email [email protected] and to [email protected] Include in the comments the Title as shown in the Supplementary Information section below.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information about the information collection, contact Cathy Williams at (202) 418-2918.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    To view a copy of this information collection request (ICR) submitted to OMB: (1) Go to the web page http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain, (2) look for the section of the web page called “Currently Under Review,” (3) click on the downward-pointing arrow in the “Select Agency” box below the “Currently Under Review” heading, (4) select “Federal Communications Commission” from the list of agencies presented in the “Select Agency” box, (5) click the “Submit” button to the right of the “Select Agency” box, (6) when the list of Commission ICRs currently under review appears, look for the Title of this ICR and then click on the ICR Reference Number. A copy of the Commission's submission to OMB will be displayed.

    OMB Control Number: 3060-0120.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Title: Broadcast EEO Program Model Report, FCC Form 396-A.

    Form Number: FCC Form 396-A.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities; not-for-profit institutions.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 5,000 respondents; 5,000 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 1 hour.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion reporting requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain benefits. The statutory authority for this collection of information is contained in Sections 154(i) and 303 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for confidentiality with this collection of information.

    Total Annual Burden: 5,000 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: None.

    Privacy Impact Assessment(s): No impact(s).

    Needs and Uses: The Broadcast Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Model Program Report, FCC Form 396-A, is filed in conjunction with applicants seeking authority to construct a new broadcast station, to obtain assignment of construction permit or license and/or seeking authority to acquire control of an entity holding construction permit or license. This program is designed to assist the applicant in establishing an effective EEO program for its station.

    OMB Control Number: 3060-0716.

    Title: Sections 73.88, 73.318 and 73.685, Blanketing Interference.

    Form Number: N/A.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities; and Not-for-profit institutions.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 21,000 respondents; 21,000 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 1 to 2 hours.

    Frequency of Response: Third party disclosure requirement.

    Total Annual Burden: 41,000 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: None.

    Obligation To Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority for this collection of information is contained in Section 154(i) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for confidentiality with this collection of information.

    Privacy Impact Assessment(s): No impact(s).

    Needs and Uses: The information collection requirements approved under this collection are contained under the following rule sections:

    47 CFR 73.88 states that the licensee of each broadcast station is required to satisfy all reasonable complaints of blanketing interference within the 1V/m contour.

    47 CFR 73.318(b) states that after January 1, 1985, permittees or licensees who either (1) commence program tests, (2) replace the antennas, or (3) request facilities modifications and are issued a new construction permit must satisfy all complaints of blanketing interference which are received by the station during a one year period.

    47 CFR 73.318(c) states that a permittee collocating with one or more existing stations and beginning program tests on or after January 1, 1985, must assume full financial responsibility for remedying new complaints of blanketing interference for a period of one year.

    Under 47 CFR 73.88, and 73.685(d), the license is financially responsible for resolving complaints of interference within one year of program test authority when certain conditions are met. After the first year, a license is only required to provide technical assistance to determine the cause of interference.

    OMB Control Number: 3060-0754.

    Title: Form Number: FCC Form 2100, Schedule H.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Businesses or other for-profit entities.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 2,176 respondents; 8,704 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 12 hours.

    Frequency of Response: Recordkeeping requirement; Quarterly reporting requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority for this collection is contained in Sections 154(i) and 303 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

    Total Annual Burden: 104,448 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: $5,222,400.

    Privacy Act Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for confidentiality with this collection of information.

    Needs and Uses: Commercial full-power and Class A television broadcast stations are required to file FCC Form 2100, Schedule H (Formerly FCC Form 398) (Children's Television Programming Report) each calendar quarter. FCC Form 2100, Schedule H is a standardized form that:

    (a) Provides a consistent format for reporting the children's educational television programming aired by licensees to meet their obligation under the Children's Television Act of 1990 (CTA), and

    (b) facilitates efforts by the public and the FCC to monitor compliance with the CTA. Commercial full-power and Class A television stations are required to complete FCC Form 2100, Schedule H each calendar quarter and file the form with the Commission. The Commission places the form in the station's online public inspection file maintained on the Commission's database (www.fcc.gov). Stations use FCC Form 2100, Schedule H to report, among other things, the core children's educational and informational programs the station aired the previous calendar quarter and the core programs they plan to air in the upcoming calendar quarter. FCC Form 2100, Schedule H also includes a “Preemption Report” that must be completed for each core program that was preempted during the quarter. This “Preemption Report” requests information on the date of each preemption, the reason for the preemption and, if the program was rescheduled, the date and time the program was re-aired.

    OMB Control Number: 3060-1053.

    Title: Captioned Telephone Declaratory Ruling; Two-Line Captioned Telephone Order; IP CTS Declaratory Ruling; and IP CTS Reform Order, CG Docket Nos. 13-24 and 03-123.

    Form Number: N/A.

    Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 60,010 respondents; 180,012 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 0.25 hours (15 minutes) to 8 hours.

    Frequency of Response: Annual, every five years, monthly, and ongoing reporting requirements; Recordkeeping requirement; Third party disclosure requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority for the information collection requirements is found at Sec. 225 [47 U.S.C. 225] Telecommunications Services for Hearing-Impaired Individuals; The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, (ADA), Public Law 101-336, 104 Stat. 327, 366-69, was enacted on July 26, 1990.

    Total Annual Burden: 105,088 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: None.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: An assurance of confidentiality is not offered because this information collection does not require the collection of personally identifiable information by the FCC from individuals.

    Privacy Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Needs and Uses: On August 1, 2003, the Commission released Telecommunication Relay Services and Speech-to-Speech Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech Disabilities, CC Docket No. 98-67, Declaratory Ruling, 68 FR 55898, September 28, 2003, clarifying that one-line captioned telephone voice carry over (VCO) service is a type of telecommunications relay service (TRS) and that eligible providers of such services are eligible to recover their costs from the Interstate TRS Fund (Fund) in accordance with section 225 of the Communications Act.

    On July 19, 2005, the Commission released Telecommunication Relay Services and Speech-to-Speech Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech Disabilities, CC Docket No. 98-67 and CG Docket No. 03-123, Order, 70 FR 54294, September 14, 2005, clarifying that two-line captioned telephone VCO service, like one-line captioned telephone VCO service, is a type of TRS eligible for compensation from the Fund.

    On January 11, 2007, the Commission released Telecommunications Relay Services and Speech-to-Speech Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech Disabilities, CG Docket No. 03-123, Declaratory Ruling, 72 FR 6960, February 14, 2007, granting a request for clarification that internet Protocol (IP) captioned telephone relay service (IP CTS) is a type of TRS eligible for compensation from the Fund.

    On August 26, 2013, the Commission issued Misuse of internet Protocol (IP) Captioned Telephone Service; Telecommunications Relay Services and Speech-to-Speech Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech Disabilities, CG Docket Nos. 13-24 and 03-123, Report and Order, 78 FR 53684, August 30, 2013, to regulate practices relating to the marketing of IP CTS, impose certain requirements for the provision of this service, and mandate registration and certification of IP CTS users. This notice and request for comments pertains to the extension of the currently approved information collection requirements for one-line and two-line captioned telephone service (CTS) and internet Protocol captioned telephone service (IP CTS) rules and update the estimates of existing burdens that were included in the January 2015 Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02470 Filed 2-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [MB Docket No. 11-43; DA 18-42] Video Description: Preliminary Nonbroadcast Network Rankings AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    FCC announces the top national nonbroadcast network rankings from the 2016-2017 ratings year, and gives networks the opportunity to seek exemption from the July 1, 2018 update to the Commission's video description requirements.

    DATES:

    Published January 12, 2018. Exemption requests are due March 9, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Filings should be submitted electronically in MB Docket No. 11-43 by accessing the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) at https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/. Filers should follow the instructions provided on the website for submitting filings. The full text of this public notice is available for public inspection and copying during regular business hours in the FCC Reference Center, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street SW, CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554. These documents will also be available via ECFS (http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs/). (Documents will be available electronically in ASCII, Word 97, and/or Adobe Acrobat.) The complete text may be purchased from the Commission's copy contractor, 445 12th Street SW, Room CY-B402, Washington, DC 20554. To request these documents in accessible formats (computer diskettes, large print, audio recording, and Braille), send an email to [email protected] or call the Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (202) 418-0432 (TTY).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For further information, contact Lyle Elder (202-418-2120; [email protected]).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Video description makes video programming accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired through “[t]he insertion of audio narrated descriptions of a television program's key visual elements into natural pauses between the program's dialogue.” As of July 1, 2018, the Commission's video description rules will require multichannel video programming distributor (“MVPD”) systems that serve 50,000 or more subscribers to provide 87.5 hours of video description per calendar quarter on channels carrying each of the top five national nonbroadcast networks. The rule requires that 50 hours per calendar quarter be provided in prime-time or during children's programming, while the additional 37.5 hours may be provided at any time between 6 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. local time. The top five national nonbroadcast networks are defined by an average of the national audience share during prime time of nonbroadcast networks that reach 50 percent or more of MVPD households and have at least 50 hours per quarter of prime time programming that is not live or near-live or otherwise exempt under the video description rules. The nonbroadcast networks currently subject to the video description requirements are USA, TNT, TBS, History, and the Disney Channel.

    In accordance with the Commission's rules, the list of top five nonbroadcast networks will update at three year intervals to account for changes in ratings, and the second triennial update will occur on July 1, 2018, based on the 2016 to 2017 ratings year. According to data provided by the Nielsen Company, the top ten nonbroadcast networks for the 2016 to 2017 ratings year are: Fox News, ESPN, USA, MSNBC, HGTV, TBS, Discovery, History, Hallmark, and TNT.

    If a program network believes it should be excluded from the list of top five networks covered by the video description requirements because it does not air at least 50 hours of prime time programming that is not live or near-live or is otherwise exempt, it must seek an exemption no later than 30 days after publication of this Public Notice in the Federal Register. The Media Bureau will promptly evaluate requests for exemption and will provide notice of any resulting revisions to the list.

    Federal Communications Commission. Thomas Horan, Chief of Staff, Media Bureau.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02471 Filed 2-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-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 February 27, 2018.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta (Kathryn Haney, Director of Applications) 1000 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30309. Comments can also be sent electronically to [email protected]:

    1. Julie Watkins Pourciau and Wayne Michael Pourciau both of New Iberia, Louisiana; to retain voting shares of Community First Bancshares, Inc., and thereby retain shares of Community First Bank, both of New Iberia, Louisiana.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, February 2, 2018. Ann E. Misback, Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02454 Filed 2-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies

    The companies listed in this notice have applied to the Board for approval, pursuant to the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (12 U.S.C. 1841 et seq.) (BHC Act), Regulation Y (12 CFR part 225), and all other applicable statutes and regulations to become a bank holding company and/or to acquire the assets or the ownership of, control of, or the power to vote shares of a bank or bank holding company and all of the banks and nonbanking companies owned by the bank holding company, including the companies listed below.

    The applications listed below, as well as other related filings required by the Board, are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The applications will also be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing on the standards enumerated in the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1842(c)). If the proposal also involves the acquisition of a nonbanking company, the review also includes whether the acquisition of the nonbanking company complies with the standards in section 4 of the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1843). Unless otherwise noted, nonbanking activities will be conducted throughout the United States.

    Unless otherwise noted, comments regarding each of these applications must be received at the Reserve Bank indicated or the offices of the Board of Governors not later than March 5, 2018.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (Gerald C. Tsai, Director, Applications and Enforcement) 101 Market Street, San Francisco, California 94105-1579:

    1. Allegiant United Holdings, LLC, and Nano Financial Holdings, Inc. both of Irvine, California; to become bank holding companies by acquiring 100 percent of the voting shares of Commerce Bank of Temecula Valley, Murrieta, California.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, February 2, 2018. Ann E. Misback, Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02455 Filed 2-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [Document Identifier CMS-10417] Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is announcing an opportunity for the public to comment on CMS' intention to collect information from the public. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (the PRA), federal agencies are required to publish notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information (including each proposed extension or reinstatement of an existing collection of information) and to allow 60 days for public comment on the proposed action. Interested persons are invited to send comments regarding our burden estimates or any other aspect of this collection of information, including the necessity and utility of the proposed information collection for the proper performance of the agency's functions, the accuracy of the estimated burden, ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected, and the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology to minimize the information collection burden.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by April 9, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    When commenting, please reference the document identifier or OMB control number. To be assured consideration, comments and recommendations must be submitted in any one of the following ways:

    1. Electronically. You may send your comments electronically to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for “Comment or Submission” or “More Search Options” to find the information collection document(s) that are accepting comments.

    2. By regular mail. You may mail written comments to the following address: CMS, Office of Strategic Operations and Regulatory Affairs, Division of Regulations Development, Attention: Document Identifier/OMB Control Number ___, Room C4-26-05, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21244-1850.

    To obtain copies of a supporting statement and any related forms for the proposed collection(s) summarized in this notice, you may make your request using one of following:

    1. Access CMS' website address at http://www.cms.hhs.gov/PaperworkReductionActof1995.

    2. Email your request, including your address, phone number, OMB number, and CMS document identifier, to [email protected]

    3. Call the Reports Clearance Office at (410) 786-1326.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    William Parham at (410) 786-4669.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Contents

    This notice sets out a summary of the use and burden associated with the following information collections. More detailed information can be found in each collection's supporting statement and associated materials (see ADDRESSES).

    CMS-10417 Medicare Fee-for-Service Early Review of Medical Records

    Under the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. The term “collection of information” is defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c) and includes agency requests or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA requires federal agencies to publish a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension or reinstatement of an existing collection of information, before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, CMS is publishing this notice.

    Information Collection

    1. Type of Information Collection Request: Extension without change of a currently approved collection; Title of Information Collection: Medicare Fee-for-Service Early Review of Medical Records; Use: The Medical Review program is designed to prevent improper payments in the Medicare FFS program. Whenever possible, MACs are encouraged to automate this process; however it may require the evaluation of medical records and related documents to determine whether Medicare claims were billed in compliance with coverage, coding, payment, and billing policies.

    The information required under this collection is requested by Medicare contractors to determine proper payment, or if there is a suspicion of fraud. Medicare contractors request the information from providers/suppliers submitting claims for payment when data analysis indicates aberrant billing patterns or other information which may present a vulnerability to the Medicare program. Extensive instructions to CMS contractors on medical review processes and procedures are contained in CMS' Program Integrity Manual, 100-08 which can be found at https://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Guidance/Manuals/internet-Only-Manuals-IOMs-Items/CMS019033.html. Form Number: CMS-10417 (OMB control number: 0938-0969); Frequency: Occasionally; Affected Public: Private Sector (Business or other for-profits; Not-for-profit institutions; Number of Respondents: 2,410,278; Total Annual Responses: 2,410,278; Total Annual Hours: 1,197,189. (For policy questions regarding this collection contact Daniel Schwartz at 410-786-4197.)

    Dated: February 2, 2018. William N. Parham, III, Director, Paperwork Reduction Staff, Office of Strategic Operations and Regulatory Affairs.
    [FR Doc. 2018-02466 Filed 2-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4120-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [Document Identifier: CMS-10421] Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is announcing an opportunity for the public to comment on CMS' intention to collect information from the public. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), federal agencies are required to publish notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension or reinstatement of an existing collection of information, and to allow a second opportunity for public comment on the notice. Interested persons are invited to send comments regarding the burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including the necessity and utility of the proposed information collection for the proper performance of the agency's functions, the accuracy of the estimated burden, ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology to minimize the information collection burden.

    DATES:

    Comments on the collection(s) of information must be received by the OMB desk officer by March 9, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    When commenting on the proposed information collections, please reference the document identifier or OMB control number. To be assured consideration, comments and recommendations must be received by the OMB desk officer via one of the following transmissions: OMB, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attention: CMS Desk Officer, Fax Number: (202) 395-5806 OR, Email: [email protected].

    To obtain copies of a supporting statement and any related forms for the proposed collection(s) summarized in this notice, you may make your request using one of following:

    1. Access CMS' website address at website address at https://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Legislation/PaperworkReductionActof1995/PRA-Listing.html.

    2. Email your request, including your address, phone number, OMB number, and CMS document identifier, to [email protected]

    3. Call the Reports Clearance Office at (410) 786-1326.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    William Parham at (410) 786-4669.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. The term “collection of information” is defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c) and includes agency requests or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)) requires federal agencies to publish a 30-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension or reinstatement of an existing collection of information, before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, CMS is publis