Federal Register Vol. 83, No.34,

Federal Register Volume 83, Issue 34 (February 20, 2018)

Page Range7107-7355
FR Document

83_FR_34
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
83 FR 7183 - Sunshine Act; Notice of Board Member MeetingPDF
83 FR 7239 - Sunshine Act Meetings NoticePDF
83 FR 7278 - Sunshine Act MeetingsPDF
83 FR 7178 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Extension Without Change of an Existing Collection; Comments RequestPDF
83 FR 7179 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request (3064-0082)PDF
83 FR 7284 - FAA Approval of Noise Compatibility Program for Hawthorne Municipal Airport, Hawthorne, CaliforniaPDF
83 FR 7169 - Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Work-Study, and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant Programs; 2018-2019 Award Year Deadline Dates; CorrectionPDF
83 FR 7286 - Public Notice for Waiver of Aeronautical Land-Use Assurance; Stevens Point Municipal Airport Stevens Point, WIPDF
83 FR 7143 - Materials Technical Advisory Committee; Notice of Partially Closed MeetingPDF
83 FR 7145 - Transportation and Related Equipment Technical Advisory Committee; Notice of Partially Closed MeetingPDF
83 FR 7170 - Application Deadline for Fiscal Year 2018; Small, Rural School Achievement ProgramPDF
83 FR 7124 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Maryland; Emissions Statement Requirement for the 2008 Ozone StandardPDF
83 FR 7161 - Fisheries of the South Atlantic; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Public MeetingPDF
83 FR 7162 - Western Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingsPDF
83 FR 7111 - Quizalofop ethyl; Pesticide TolerancesPDF
83 FR 7183 - Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Board Oral Argument Before the CommissionPDF
83 FR 7126 - Clean Water Act Coverage of “Discharges of Pollutants” via a Direct Hydrologic Connection to Surface WaterPDF
83 FR 7145 - Cast Iron Soil Pipe Fittings From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances, in Part, Postponement of Final Determination and Extension of Provisional MeasuresPDF
83 FR 7194 - Statement of Organization, Functions, and Delegations of AuthorityPDF
83 FR 7287 - Office of Commercial Space Transportation: Millennium Engineering and Integration Company Safety Approval Performance CriteriaPDF
83 FR 7205 - Fair Market Rents for the Housing Choice Voucher Program and Moderate Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy Program Fiscal Year 2018; RevisedPDF
83 FR 7143 - Materials Processing Equipment Technical Advisory Committee; Notice of Partially Closed MeetingPDF
83 FR 7226 - Technical Corrections to Exemptions From Certain Prohibited Transaction RestrictionsPDF
83 FR 7120 - Regulatory Review SchedulePDF
83 FR 7208 - Privacy Act of 1974, System of Records; Notice: Comprehensive Servicing and Management SystemPDF
83 FR 7166 - Marine Mammals; File No. 21158-01PDF
83 FR 7183 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
83 FR 7189 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Redesign of Existing Data Collection; National Longitudinal Survey of Older Americans Act Participants (NLSOAAP)PDF
83 FR 7241 - New Postal ProductsPDF
83 FR 7115 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pollock in Statistical Area 630 in the Gulf of AlaskaPDF
83 FR 7185 - Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and RecommendationsPDF
83 FR 7186 - Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act ReviewPDF
83 FR 7188 - Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act ReviewPDF
83 FR 7177 - City of Radford; Notice of Ready for Environmental Analysis and Soliciting Comments, Recommendations, Terms and Conditions, and PrescriptionsPDF
83 FR 7178 - Energia Sierra Juarez U.S. 2, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
83 FR 7176 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
83 FR 7174 - Combined Notice of Filings #2PDF
83 FR 7174 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
83 FR 7176 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
83 FR 7175 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
83 FR 7239 - 60-Day Notice for the “NEA Applicant Survey”PDF
83 FR 7139 - Food Crediting in Child Nutrition Programs: Request for Information; Extension of Comment PeriodPDF
83 FR 7153 - Certain Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe From Mexico: Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony With Final Scope Ruling and Notice of Amended Final Scope Ruling Pursuant to Court DecisionPDF
83 FR 7284 - Sixth Drone Advisory Committee (DAC) MeetingPDF
83 FR 7142 - Estimates of the Voting Age Population for 2017PDF
83 FR 7235 - Vehicle-Mounted Elevating and Rotating Work Platforms (Aerial Lifts); Extension of the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Approval of Information Collection (Paperwork) RequirementsPDF
83 FR 7136 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Revision and Extension of Approved Collection; Comment Request; Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service DeliveryPDF
83 FR 7138 - Notice of Availability of an Evaluation of the Classical Swine Fever and Swine Vesicular Disease Status of JapanPDF
83 FR 7291 - Commercial Driver's License Standards: Recreation Vehicle Industry Association Application for ExemptionPDF
83 FR 7165 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 7166 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 7161 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 7288 - Commercial Driver's License Standards; Commercial Vehicle Training Association's Exemption Application for States To Facilitate the Issuance of Licensing Documents to Citizens of Puerto RicoPDF
83 FR 7289 - Commercial Driver's License Standards; Waiver for States To Facilitate the Issuance of Licensing Documents to Former Residents of Puerto RicoPDF
83 FR 7293 - Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 7292 - Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 7217 - Seamless Carbon and Alloy Steel Standard, Line, and Pressure Pipe From GermanyPDF
83 FR 7166 - Request for Information Regarding the Bureau's Supervision ProgramPDF
83 FR 7299 - Notice of OFAC Sanctions Actions.PDF
83 FR 7294 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel HOKULE'A; Invitation for Public CommentsPDF
83 FR 7296 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel PENINGO; Invitation for Public CommentsPDF
83 FR 7295 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel NO LIMITS; Invitation for Public CommentsPDF
83 FR 7294 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel MY WAY; Invitation for Public CommentsPDF
83 FR 7297 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel ECLIPSE; Invitation for Public CommentsPDF
83 FR 7296 - Request for Comments on the Renewal of a Previously Approved Information Collection: Shipbuilding Orderbook and Shipyard EmploymentPDF
83 FR 7237 - Public Availability of Fiscal Year 2016 Agency Inventories Under the Federal Activities Inventory Reform ActPDF
83 FR 7136 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 7110 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Banana River, Indian Harbour Beach, FLPDF
83 FR 7195 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Export of Food and Drug Administration-Regulated Products: Export CertificatesPDF
83 FR 7191 - Determination of Regulatory Review Period for Purposes of Patent Extension; PORTRAZZAPDF
83 FR 7297 - Reports, Forms, and Recordkeeping RequirementsPDF
83 FR 7196 - Determination of Regulatory Review Period for Purposes of Patent Extension; MAESTRO RECHARGEABLE SYSTEMPDF
83 FR 7192 - Determination of Regulatory Review Period for Purposes of Patent Extension; DARZALEXPDF
83 FR 7123 - Nicotine Steering Committee; Establishment of a Public Docket; Request for CommentsPDF
83 FR 7239 - Draft Flood Penetration Seal Performance at Nuclear Power Plants; Literature Review (Task 1.1) and Test Methodology (Task 1.2)PDF
83 FR 7198 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Animal Food Labeling; Declaration of Certifiable Color AdditivesPDF
83 FR 7284 - Presidential Declaration Amendment of a Major Disaster for Public Assistance Only for the State of New HampshirePDF
83 FR 7184 - Submission for OMB Review; Past Performance InformationPDF
83 FR 7137 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 7298 - Hazardous Materials: Information Collection ActivitiesPDF
83 FR 7170 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Assurance of Compliance-Civil Rights CertificatePDF
83 FR 7301 - Agency Information Collection Activity: Application Request To Add and/or Remove DependentsPDF
83 FR 7300 - Agency Information Collection Activity: Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Post-Separation Transition Assistance Program (PSTAP) Assessment SurveyPDF
83 FR 7301 - Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB Review: Request for Approval of School Attendance and School Attendance ReportPDF
83 FR 7217 - Notice of Receipt of Complaint; Solicitation of Comments Relating to the Public InterestPDF
83 FR 7107 - Airworthiness Directives; Viking Air Limited AirplanesPDF
83 FR 7203 - National Institute of Mental Health; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
83 FR 7204 - National Institute of Mental Health; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
83 FR 7202 - National Institute of General Medical Sciences; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
83 FR 7204 - National Institute of General Medical Sciences; Amended Notice of MeetingPDF
83 FR 7200 - National Institute on Drug Abuse; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
83 FR 7203 - National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
83 FR 7201 - National Cancer Institute; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
83 FR 7199 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
83 FR 7204 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
83 FR 7129 - Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northern Gulf of Maine Measures in Framework Adjustment 29 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management PlanPDF
83 FR 7144 - Order Denying Export PrivilegesPDF
83 FR 7218 - 100- to 150-Seat Large Civil Aircraft From Canada; DeterminationsPDF
83 FR 7215 - Notice of Availability; City of San Diego Vernal Pool Habitat Conservation Plan and Final Environmental Impact Report/Statement; San Diego County, CaliforniaPDF
83 FR 7282 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend Its Price List for Equity Transactions in Stocks With a Per Share Stock Price of $1.00 or More To Introduce a New Market at-the-Close and Limit at-the-Close Tier 3PDF
83 FR 7256 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing of a Proposed Rule Change To Adopt BZX Rule 14.11(k) To Permit the Listing and Trading of Managed Portfolio Shares and To List and Trade Shares of the ClearBridge Appreciation ETF, ClearBridge Large Cap ETF, ClearBridge MidCap Growth ETF, ClearBridge Select ETF, and ClearBridge All Cap Value ETFPDF
83 FR 7245 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq BX, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Expand the Short Term Option Series ProgramPDF
83 FR 7269 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change To Modify the Listing Requirements Contained in Listing Rule 5635(d) To Change the Definition of Market Value for Purposes of the Shareholder Approval Rules and Eliminate the Requirement for Shareholder Approval of Issuances at a Price Less Than Book Value but Greater Than Market ValuePDF
83 FR 7274 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq MRX, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Memorialize Functionality Designed To Assist Members in the Event That They Lose CommunicationPDF
83 FR 7248 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq ISE, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Expand the Short Term Option Series ProgramPDF
83 FR 7252 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq ISE, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Memorialize Functionality Designed To Assist Members in the Event that They Lose CommunicationPDF
83 FR 7241 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq GEMX, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Memorialize Functionality Which Is Designed To Assist Members in the Event That They Lose CommunicationPDF
83 FR 7279 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BOX Options Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Expand the Short Term Option Series ProgramPDF
83 FR 7154 - Large Diameter Welded Pipe From Canada, Greece, India, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, and the Republic of Turkey: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value InvestigationsPDF
83 FR 7148 - Large Diameter Welded Pipe From India, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, and the Republic of Turkey: Initiation of Countervailing Duty InvestigationsPDF
83 FR 7218 - Robert C. Vidaver, M.D.; Decision and OrderPDF
83 FR 7212 - Endangered Species Recovery Permit ApplicationsPDF
83 FR 7221 - James E. Ranochak, M.D.; Decision and OrderPDF
83 FR 7168 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 7223 - Kenneth N. Woliner, M.D.; Decision and OrderPDF
83 FR 7221 - Taylor Animal Shelter; OrderPDF
83 FR 7220 - Trinity Pharmacy I; Order Terminating RegistrationPDF
83 FR 7109 - Delegation of Limited AuthorityPDF
83 FR 7216 - National Geospatial Advisory CommitteePDF
83 FR 7304 - Trinity Pharmacy II; Decision and OrderPDF
83 FR 7221 - Bulk Manufacturer of Controlled Substances Application: Johnson Matthey Inc.PDF
83 FR 7184 - Information Collection; General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation; Contractor's Qualifications and Financial Information (GSA Form 527)PDF
83 FR 7202 - Submission for OMB Review; 30-Day Comment Request; CareerTrac (Fogarty International Center (FIC), National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), National Institute of General Medical Science (NIGMS), National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health (NIH))PDF
83 FR 7169 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 7300 - Cooperative Studies Scientific Evaluation Committee; Notice of MeetingPDF
83 FR 7338 - Non-Public InformationPDF
83 FR 7216 - Notice of Public Meeting of Scientific Earthquake Studies Advisory CommitteePDF
83 FR 7142 - Notice of Public Meeting of the Alabama Advisory Committee for a Meeting To Hear Public Testimony Regarding Civil Rights and Voter Accessibility in the StatePDF
83 FR 7129 - Oklahoma: Approval of Coal Combustion Residuals State Permit Program; Extension of Comment PeriodPDF
83 FR 7122 - Petition for Rulemaking of Airlines for America and the National Propane Gas Association; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 7117 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF

Issue

83 34 Tuesday, February 20, 2018 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

See

Food and Nutrition Service

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 7136-7138 2018-03336 2018-03348 Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Generic Clearance for Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery, 7136-7137 2018-03370
AIRFORCE Air Force Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 7168-7169 2018-03300 Animal Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service NOTICES Evaluations of Disease Status: Classical Swine Fever and Swine Vesicular in Japan, 7138 2018-03369 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection NOTICES Requests for Information: Supervision Program, 7166-7168 2018-03358 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 7185-7189 2018-03385 2018-03386 2018-03387 Civil Rights Civil Rights Commission NOTICES Meetings: Alabama Advisory Committee; Public Testimony Regarding Civil Rights and Voter Accessibility, 7142 2018-03282 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: Banana River, Indian Harbour Beach, FL, 7110-7111 2018-03347 Commerce Commerce Department See

Industry and Security Bureau

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

NOTICES Estimates of Voting Age Population for 2017, 7142-7143 2018-03372
Community Living Administration Community Living Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: National Longitudinal Survey of Older Americans Act Participants, 7189-7191 2018-03390 Defense Department Defense Department See

Air Force Department

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 7169 2018-03290 Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Past Performance Information, 7184-7185 2018-03337
Drug Drug Enforcement Administration NOTICES Decisions and Orders: James E. Ranochak, M.D., 7221-7223 2018-03301 Kenneth N. Woliner, M.D., 7223-7226 2018-03299 Robert C. Vidaver, M.D., 7218-7220 2018-03303 Trinity Pharmacy II, 7304-7336 2018-03294 Manufacturers of Controlled Substances; Applications: Johnson Matthey, Inc., 7221 2018-03293 Orders: Taylor Animal Shelter, 7221 2018-03298 Terminating Registration Orders: Trinity Pharmacy I, 7220 2018-03297 Education Department Education Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Assurance of Compliance—Civil Rights Certificate, 7170 2018-03334 Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Work-Study, and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant Programs: 2018-2019 Award Year Deadline Dates; Correction, 7169-7170 2018-03424 Small, Rural School Achievement Program: Application Deadline for Fiscal Year 2018, 7170-7174 2018-03419 Employee Benefits Employee Benefits Security Administration NOTICES Prohibited Transaction Exemptions; Technical Corrections, 7226-7235 2018-03396 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Pesticide Tolerances: Quizalofop ethyl, 7111-7115 2018-03412 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Maryland; Emissions Statement Requirement for 2008 Ozone Standard, 7124-7125 2018-03416 Approval of Coal Combustion Residuals State Permit Programs: Oklahoma, 7129 2018-03274 Clean Water Act Coverage of Discharges of Pollutants via Direct Hydrologic Connection to Surface Water, 7126-7128 2018-03407 Equal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 7178-7179 2018-03427 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: Viking Air Limited Airplanes, 7107-7109 2018-03329 PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus Airplanes, 7117-7120 2018-03212 NOTICES Meetings: Drone Advisory Committee, 7284 2018-03373 Noise Compatibility Program: Hawthorne Municipal Airport, Hawthorne, CA, 7284-7285 2018-03425 Safety Approval Performance Criteria: Office of Commercial Space Transportation: Millennium Engineering and Integration Co., 7287 2018-03399 Waivers of Aeronautical Land Use Assurances: Stevens Point Municipal Airport Stevens Point, WI, 7286-7287 2018-03423 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 7179-7183 2018-03426 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission PROPOSED RULES Petitions for Rulemaking: Airlines for America and National Propane Gas Assn., 7122 2018-03249 NOTICES Applications: City of Radford, 7177-7178 2018-03384 Combined Filings, 7174-7177 2018-03378 2018-03379 2018-03380 2018-03381 2018-03382 Initial Market-Based Rate Filings Including Requests for Blanket Section 204 Authorizations: Energia Sierra Juarez U.S. 2, LLC, 7178 2018-03383 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration NOTICES Commercial Drivers License Standards: Commercial Vehicle Training Associations Exemption Application for States To Facilitate Issuance of Licensing Documents to Citizens of Puerto Rico, 7288-7289 2018-03363 Waiver for States To Facilitate Issuance of Licensing Documents to Former Residents of Puerto Rico, 7289-7290 2018-03362 Commercial Drivers License Standards; Exemptions: Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, 7291-7292 2018-03367 Federal Railroad Federal Railroad Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 7292-7294 2018-03360 2018-03361 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 7183 2018-03391 Federal Retirement Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 7183 2018-03554 Federal Trade Federal Trade Commission RULES Delegations of Limited Authority, 7109-7110 2018-03296 PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Review Schedule, 7120-7122 2018-03395 NOTICES Meetings: Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Board Oral Argument, 7183 2018-03410 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Endangered Species Recovery Permit Applications, 7212-7215 2018-03302 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: San Diego County, CA, 7215-7216 2018-03315 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration PROPOSED RULES Requests for Information: Nicotine Steering Committee, 7123-7124 2018-03341 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Animal Food Labeling; Declaration of Certifiable Color Additives, 7198-7199 2018-03339 Export of Food and Drug Administration-Regulated Products: Export Certificates, 7195-7196 2018-03346 Determinations of Regulatory Review Periods for Purposes of Patent Extensions: DARZALEX, 7192-7194 2018-03342 MAESTRO RECHARGEABLE SYSTEM, 7196-7198 2018-03343 PORTRAZZA, 7191-7192 2018-03345 Statements of Organization, Functions, and Delegations of Authority, 7194-7195 2018-03402 Food and Nutrition Food and Nutrition Service NOTICES Requests for Information: Food Crediting in Child Nutrition Programs, 7139-7142 2018-03376 Foreign Assets Foreign Assets Control Office NOTICES Blocking or Unblocking of Persons and Properties, 7299-7300 2018-03357 General Services General Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Contractor's Qualifications and Financial Information, 7184 2018-03292 Past Performance Information, 7184-7185 2018-03337 Geological Geological Survey NOTICES Committee Renewals: National Geospatial Advisory Committee, 7216-7217 2018-03295 Meetings: Scientific Earthquake Studies Advisory Committee, 7216 2018-03286 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Community Living Administration

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

Housing Housing and Urban Development Department NOTICES Fair Market Rents: Housing Choice Voucher Program and Moderate Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy Program Fiscal Year 2018; Revised, 7205-7208 2018-03398 Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 7208-7212 2018-03393 Industry Industry and Security Bureau NOTICES Meetings: Materials Processing Equipment Technical Advisory Committee, 7143 2018-03397 Materials Technical Advisory Committee, 7143-7144 2018-03421 Transportation and Related Equipment Technical Advisory Committee, 7145 2018-03420 Order Denying Export Privileges: Irina Cvetkovic, 7144-7145 2018-03318 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Geological Survey

International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Large Diameter Welded Pipe From India, People's Republic of China, Republic of Korea, and Republic of Turkey, 7148-7153 2018-03304 Determinations of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Cast Iron Soil Pipe Fittings From the People's Republic of China, 7145-7148 2018-03404 Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations: Large Diameter Welded Pipe From Canada, Greece, India, People's Republic of China, Republic of Korea, and Republic of Turkey, 7154-7161 2018-03305 Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe From Mexico, 7153-7154 2018-03375 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Complaints: Certain Jump Rope Systems Products, 7217-7218 2018-03330 Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: 100- to 150-Seat Large Civil Aircraft From Canada, 7218 2018-03317 Seamless Carbon and Alloy Steel Standard, Line, and Pressure Pipe From Germany, 7217 2018-03359 Justice Department Justice Department See

Drug Enforcement Administration

Labor Department Labor Department See

Employee Benefits Security Administration

See

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Management Management and Budget Office NOTICES Fiscal Year 2016 Agency Inventories, 7237-7239 2018-03349 Maritime Maritime Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Shipbuilding Orderbook and Shipyard Employment, 7296 2018-03351 Requests for Administrative Waivers of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel ECLIPSE, 7297 2018-03352 Vessel HOKULEA, 7294-7295 2018-03356 Vessel MY WAY, 7294 2018-03353 Vessel NO LIMITS, 7295 2018-03354 Vessel PENINGO, 7296-7297 2018-03355 NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Past Performance Information, 7184-7185 2018-03337 National Endowment for the Arts National Endowment for the Arts NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Applicant Survey, 7239 2018-03377 National Foundation National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities See

National Endowment for the Arts

National Highway National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 7297-7298 2018-03344 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: CareerTrac, 7202-7203 2018-03291 Meetings: Center for Scientific Review, 7199-7200, 7204-7205 2018-03320 2018-03321 National Cancer Institute, 7201 2018-03322 National Institute of General Medical Sciences, 7202, 7204 2018-03326 2018-03325 National Institute of Mental Health, 7203-7204 2018-03327 2018-03328 National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 7203 2018-03323 National Institute on Drug Abuse, 7200-7201 2018-03324 National Labor National Labor Relations Board NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 7239 2018-03531 2018-03533 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska: Pollock in Statistical Area 630 in Gulf of Alaska, 7115-7116 2018-03388 PROPOSED RULES Fisheries of the Northeastern United States: Northern Gulf of Maine Measures in Framework Adjustment 29 to Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan, 7129-7135 2018-03319 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 7161, 7165-7166 2018-03364 2018-03365 2018-03366 Meetings: Fisheries of South Atlantic Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review, 7161-7162 2018-03414 Western Pacific Fishery Management Council, 7162-7165 2018-03413 Permits: Marine Mammals; File No. 21158-01, 7166 2018-03392 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Draft Flood Penetration Seal Performance at Nuclear Power Plants Literature Review and Test Methodology, 7239-7241 2018-03340 Occupational Safety Health Adm Occupational Safety and Health Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Vehicle-Mounted Elevating and Rotating Work Platforms (Aerial Lifts), 7235-7236 2018-03371 Pipeline Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 7298-7299 2018-03335 Postal Regulatory Postal Regulatory Commission PROPOSED RULES Non-Public Information, 7338-7355 2018-03287 NOTICES New Postal Products, 7241 2018-03389 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 7278-7279 2018-03467 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: BOX Options Exchange, LLC, 7279-7282 2018-03306 Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc., 7256-7269 2018-03313 Nasdaq BX, Inc., 7245-7248 2018-03312 Nasdaq GEMX, LLC, 7241-7245 2018-03307 Nasdaq ISE, LLC, 7248-7255 2018-03308 2018-03309 Nasdaq MRX, LLC, 7274-7278 2018-03310 Nasdaq Stock Market, LLC, 7269-7274 2018-03311 New York Stock Exchange, LLC, 7282-7284 2018-03314 Small Business Small Business Administration NOTICES Disaster Declarations: New Hampshire, 7284 2018-03338 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

See

Federal Railroad Administration

See

Maritime Administration

See

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

See

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

Treasury Treasury Department See

Foreign Assets Control Office

Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application Request To Add and/or Remove Dependents, 7301-7302 2018-03333 Post-Separation Transition Assistance Program Assessment Survey, 7300 2018-03332 Request for Approval of School Attendance and School Attendance Report, 7301 2018-03331 Meetings: Cooperative Studies Scientific Evaluation Committee, 7300-7301 2018-03288 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Justice Department, Drug Enforcement Administration, 7304-7336 2018-03294 Part III Postal Regulatory Commission, 7338-7355 2018-03287 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 34 Tuesday, February 20, 2018 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2017-1038; Product Identifier 2017-CE-024-AD; Amendment 39-19197; AD 2018-04-02] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Viking Air Limited Airplanes AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Viking Air Limited Models DHC-6-1, DHC-6-100, DHC-6-200, DHC-6-300, and DHC-6-400 airplanes. This AD results from mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) issued by an aviation authority of another country to identify and address an unsafe condition on an aviation product. The MCAI describes the unsafe condition as aileron cable wear; fouling at the wing root rib, fuselage skin, and wing root rib fairlead; and/or fraying of the cable from the root rib fairlead. We are issuing this AD to require actions to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

This AD is effective March 27, 2018.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in the AD as of March 27, 2018.

ADDRESSES:

You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-1038; or in person at Docket Operations, U.S. Department of Transportation, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.

For service information identified in this AD, contact Viking Air Limited Technical Support, 1959 De Havilland Way, Sidney, British Columbia, Canada, V8L 5V5; telephone: (North America) (866) 492-8527; fax: (250) 656-0673; email: [email protected]; internet: http://www.vikingair.com/support/service-bulletins. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Policy and Innovation Division, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (816) 329-4148. It is also available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for Docket No. FAA-2017-1038.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

James Delisio, Program Manager, Continued Operational Safety, FAA, New York ACO Branch, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Westbury, New York 11590; telephone: (516) 228-7300; fax: (516) 794-5531; email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to Viking Air Limited Models DHC-6-1, DHC-6-100, DHC-6-200, DHC-6-300, and DHC-6-400 airplanes. The NPRM was published in the Federal Register on November 6, 2017 (82 FR 51367). The NPRM proposed to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products and was based on mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) originated by an aviation authority of another country.

The MCAI states:

There have been reports of accelerated aileron cable wear because of contact with the fuselage skin cut-out or the wing root rib. Wear that is not detected can lead to failure of the aileron cable and loss of control of the aeroplane.

The root cause of this problem has not yet been identified. This [Transport Canada] AD requires inspection of the aeroplane and reporting of the inspection results to Viking Air Ltd. This [Transport Canada] AD is considered an interim action and further AD action may follow.

Aileron cables are typically replaced at intervals of 60 months in accordance with the DHC-6 maintenance schedule.

The MCAI can be found in the AD docket on the internet at: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FAA-2017-1038-0002. Comments

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

Request a Change to the Corrective Actions

Mathew Carlson stated the proposed actions are not necessary. Although the root cause has not yet been determined, the cause appears obvious and the appropriate actions to take are obvious as well. The commenter stated they believe the corrective actions proposed are unnecessary, and the root cause is an alignment issue between pulleys and the fuselage cutout. The commenter believes the corrective action should be to trim the fuselage cutout for better clearance and to not require the repetitive inspections.

We do not agree with the commenter. While it is possible the commenter's root cause/solution is correct, we disagree that the cable inspection and/or replacement has no benefit. Until enough information is gathered and analyzed to accurately determine the root cause of the issue, the repetitive inspection (and replacement if necessary) is the action necessary to address the unsafe condition and provide a safe method to continue airplane operation.

We have not changed this AD based on this comment.

Conclusion

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

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

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

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

Viking Air Limited issued DHC-6 Twin Otter Service Bulletin Number: V6/0022, Revision B, dated June 13, 2014. The service information describes procedures for initial and repetitive inspections of the aileron cable for aileron cable wear; fouling at the wing root rib, fuselage skin, and wing root rib fairlead; and/or fraying of the cable from the root rib fairlead; and replacement of the aileron cables as necessary. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of the AD.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD will affect 141 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take about 20 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour.

Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $239,700, or $1,700 per product.

In addition, the following is an estimate of possible necessary follow-on replacement actions. We have no way of determining the number of products that may need these actions.

Action Work-hours * Labor cost
  • ($85/hour)
  • Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Replace 1 cable 6 $510 $244 $754 Replace 2 cables (on the same wing) 8 680 458 1,138 Replace 2 cables (one on each wing) 12 1,020 488 1,508 Replace all 4 cables (2 per wing) 16 1,360 916 2,336 * Work-hours includes access, testing, and close-up.
    Paperwork Reduction Act

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed above, I certify this AD:

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

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

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

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

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-1038; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains the NPRM, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for Docket Operations (telephone (800) 647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    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 AD: 2018-04-02 Viking Air Limited: Amendment 39-19197; Docket No. FAA-2017-1038; Product Identifier 2017-CE-024-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This airworthiness directive (AD) becomes effective March 27, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Viking Air Limited Models DHC-6-1, DHC-6-100, DHC-6-200, DHC-6-300, and DHC-6-400 airplanes, all serial numbers, certificated in any category.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association of America (ATA) Code 27: Flight Controls.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) originated by an aviation authority of another country to identify and address an unsafe condition on an aviation product. The MCAI describes the unsafe condition as aileron cable wear; fouling at the wing root rib, fuselage skin, and wing root rib fairlead; and/or fraying of the cable from the root rib fairlead. We are issuing this AD to identify and address wear on the aileron cable fuselage skin cut-out and on the wing root rib fairlead, and any fraying of the cable from the root rib fairlead, which could lead to failure of the aileron cable and loss of control.

    (f) Actions and Compliance

    Unless already done, do the following actions in paragraphs (f)(1) through (5) of this AD:

    (1) Within the next 50 hours time-in-service (TIS) after March 27, 2018 (the effective date of this AD) or before the aileron cables have accumulated 300 hours TIS, whichever occurs later, inspect the aileron cables following the Accomplishment Instructions in Viking Air Limited Service Bulletin V6/0022, Revision B, dated June 13, 2014 (SB V6/0022, Revision B). Inspect repetitively thereafter at intervals not to exceed 500 hours TIS, but not to exceed five inspections (the initial and four repetitives).

    (2) If any discrepancies are found during any of the inspections required in paragraph (f)(1) of this AD, before further flight, replace the aileron cable(s) following the Accomplishment Instructions in SB V6/0022, Revision B.

    (3) Upon completion of the initial and four repetitive inspections detailed in paragraph (f)(1) of this AD, resume the inspections specified in the maintenance program.

    (4) Within 30 days after completion of each inspection detailed in paragraph (f)(1) of this AD, report the results of each inspection to Viking Air Limited in accordance with the reporting instructions in SB V6/0022, Revision B.

    (5) Installation of new aileron cables or re-installation of existing cables that have been removed for any reason re-starts the inspections required in paragraph (f)(1) of this AD.

    (g) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, New York ACO Branch, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. Send information to ATTN: James Delisio, Program Manager, Continued Operational Safety, FAA, New York ACO Branch, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Westbury, New York 11590; telephone: (516) 228-7300; fax: (516) 794-5531; email: [email protected]. Before using any approved AMOC on any airplane to which the AMOC applies, notify your appropriate principal inspector (PI) in the FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), or lacking a PI, your local FSDO.

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

    (3) Reporting Requirements: For any reporting requirement in this AD, a federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of information displays a current valid OMB Control Number. The OMB Control Number for this information collection is 2120-0056. Public reporting for this collection of information is estimated to be approximately 5 minutes per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, completing and reviewing the collection of information. All responses to this collection of information are mandatory. Comments concerning the accuracy of this burden and suggestions for reducing the burden should be directed to the FAA at: 800 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20591, Attn: Information Collection Clearance Officer, AES-200.

    (h) Related Information

    Refer to MCAI Transport Canada AD Number CF-2017-20, dated June 7, 2017, for related information. The MCAI can be found in the AD docket on the internet at: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FAA-2017-1038-0002.

    (i) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Viking Air Limited Service Bulletin V6/0022, Revision B, dated June 13, 2014.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (3) For Viking Air Limited service information identified in this AD, contact Viking Air Limited Technical Support, 1959 De Havilland Way, Sidney, British Columbia, Canada, V8L 5V5; telephone: (North America) (866) 492-8527; fax: (250) 656-0673; email: [email protected]; internet: http://www.vikingair.com/support/service-bulletins.

    (4) You may view this service information at the FAA, Policy and Innovation Division, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call [(816) 329-4148. In addition, you can access this service information on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-1038.

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

    Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on February 12, 2018. Melvin J. Johnson, Deputy Director, Policy & Innovation Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03329 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION 16 CFR Part 0 Delegation of Limited Authority AGENCY:

    Federal Trade Commission (“FTC” or “Commission”).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Trade Commission is publishing a rule that delegates certain limited functions where the Commission is unable to act because it lacks a quorum. The functions delegated are those in which no party or intervenor has a right to petition the agency for discretionary review or in which a party or intervenor has waived such a right. In matters in which at least one Commissioner determines to participate, the delegation is made to the participating Commissioner or to the body of Commissioners who are participating. In matters in which no Commissioner is participating, the General Counsel has authority to carry out the delegated functions. This delegation is not intended to alter or affect existing delegations to Commission staff.

    DATES:

    These amendments are effective February 20, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David C. Shonka, Acting General Counsel, (202) 326-2222, Office of the General Counsel, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20580.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Commission Rule 0.7, 16 CFR 0.7, provides that the Commission, pursuant to Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1961 (“Plan No. 4”) (75 Stat. 837, 26 FR 6191), may delegate, by published order or rule, certain of its functions to a division of the Commission, an individual Commissioner, or others within the Commission. As noted in section 1(a) of Plan No. 4, this authority supplements the Commission's inherent authority to delegate its functions.

    The Commission has determined that there may be instances in which it would be unable to resolve or act in certain matters in the absence of a quorum for the transaction of business. See Commission Rule 4.14(b), 16 CFR 4.14(b) (Commission quorum). Under these circumstances, the Commission believes that a delegation of its authority to act to resolve or advance matters in which no party or intervenor has a right to petition the agency for discretionary review or in which any such party or intervenor has waived such a right, serves the public interest. This delegation is not intended to alter or affect existing delegations to Commission staff.

    The delegate or delegates are authorized to act (1) in instances in which no party or intervenor would be adversely affected by the action and entitled to seek discretionary review by the full Commission, and (2) in matters where a party or intervenor would be adversely affected and entitled to seek such review, but the affected party or intervenor has waived such right, as provided by section 1(b) of Plan No. 4. In either instance, the delegation would not adversely affect the procedural rights of the relevant party or intervenor.

    In matters in which at least one Commissioner is participating, the delegation is made to the participating Commissioner or to the body of Commissioners who are participating. In matters in which no Commissioner is available or no Commissioner is participating, the General Counsel in consultation, where appropriate, with the Directors of the Bureaus of Consumer Protection, Competition, and Economics has authority to carry out these limited delegated actions without power of redelegation.

    The instant delegation is only authorized for those matters in which the Commission lacks a quorum as set forth in Commission Rule 4.14(b), 16 CFR 4.14(b) (Commission quorum). The delegation is not in effect in instances in which the Commission has a quorum.

    This delegation does not extend to the authority to act as an Administrative Law Judge in a formal administrative adjudication or impact any statutory requirements specifically requiring action by a quorum of Commissioners.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Commission certifies that these new regulations, which deal solely with internal policies governing FTC personnel, do not require an initial or final regulatory analysis under the Regulatory Flexibility Act because they will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. See 5 U.S.C. 605(b).

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    The regulations adopted herein do not contain information collection requirements within the meaning of the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501-3520.

    Administrative Procedure Act

    The amended rule is published in final form without the opportunity for public notice and comment because it is a rule of “agency organization, procedure, or practice.” See 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(A).

    List of Subjects in 16 CFR Part 0

    Administrative practice and procedure, Organization, Delegation of functions.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Federal Trade Commission amends Title 16, Chapter I, Subchapter A, of the Code of Federal Regulations, as follows:

    PART 0—ORGANIZATION 1. The authority citation for part 0 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 552(a)(1); 15 U.S.C. 46(g).

    2. Revise § 0.7 to read as follows:
    § 0.7 Delegation of functions.

    (a) The Commission, under the authority provided by Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1961, may delegate, by published order or rule, certain of its functions to a division of the Commission, an individual Commissioner, an administrative law judge, or an employee or employee board, and retains a discretionary right to review such delegated action upon its own initiative or upon petition of a party to or an intervenor in such action.

    (b) The Commission delegates its functions, subject to certain limitations, when no quorum is available for the transaction of business. The delegate or delegates are authorized to act in instances in which no party or intervenor would be adversely affected by the delegated action and entitled to seek review by the Commission, as provided by section 1(b) of Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1961, or in instances in which all such adversely affected parties or intervenors have waived such a right. In actions in which at least one Commissioner is participating, this delegation is to the participating Commissioner or to the body of Commissioners who are participating. In actions in which no Commissioner is available or no Commissioner is participating, the General Counsel in consultation, where appropriate, with the Directors of the Bureaus of Consumer Protection, Competition, and Economics shall exercise this delegated authority without power of redelegation. This delegation does not alter or affect other delegations to Commission staff. This delegation is only authorized for those instances in which the Commission lacks a quorum as set forth in Commission Rule 4.14(b), 16 CFR 4.14(b) (Commission quorum).

    By direction of the Commission.

    Donald S. Clark, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03296 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2017-0060] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Banana River, Indian Harbour Beach, FL AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of temporary deviation from regulations; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the Mathers Bridge across the Banana River, mile 0.5, at Indian Harbour Beach, FL. This deviation will test a change to the drawbridge operation schedule to determine whether a permanent change to the schedule is needed. This deviation will allow the bridge to open for vessels at specific times.

    DATES:

    This deviation is effective without actual notice from February 20, 2018 through 6 a.m. on August 4, 2018. For the purposes of enforcement, actual notice will be used from 6 a.m. on February 5, 2018 until February 20, 2018. Comments and relate material must reach the Coast Guard on or before August 4, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG- 2017-0060 using Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov.

    See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below for instructions on submitting comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this test deviation, call or email LT Allan Storm, Sector Jacksonville, Waterways Management Division, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 904-714-7616, email [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background, Purpose and Legal Basis

    Mathers Bridge across the Banana River, mile 0.5, at Indian Harbour Beach, FL is a swing bridge. It has a vertical clearance of 7 feet at mean high water in the closed position and a horizontal clearance of 74 feet and 81 feet. Presently, the bridge operates in accordance with 33 CFR 117.263.

    On January 12, 2017, the Brevard County Public Works Department, the bridge owner, requested the Coast Guard consider allowing the bridge to not open for vessels except every 30 minutes on the hour and half hour. The county requested this action in order to reduce traffic delays caused by the numerous openings of the bridge.

    On April 24, 2017, we published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Banana River, Indian Harbour Beach, FL in the Federal Register (82 FR 18877) and received minimul comments. The City of Indian Harbour Beach, FL requested to have the comment period re-opened as they believed their constituency did not have awareness of the initial notice and comment period. On October 23, 2017, we published a notice of proposed rulemaking; reopening comment period entitled Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Banana River, Indian Harbour Beach, FL in the Federal Register (82 FR 48939).

    Due to the numerous comments received both for and against the proposed rule, the Coast Guard is publishing this temporary deviation to test the proposed schedule change to determine whether a permanent change is appropriate to better balance the needs of maritime and vehicle traffic.

    Under this test deviation, in effect from 6 a.m. on February 5, 2018 to 6 a.m. on August 4, 2018, the bridge shall open for vessels requesting passage on the hour and half hour, from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday through Thursday. On Friday, Saturday and all Federal holidays, 24 hours a day, the bridge shall open for vessels on the hour and half hour. At all other times, the bridge shall open on signal if at least two hours notice is given. Vessels able to pass through the bridge in the closed position may do so at anytime. The bridge will be able to open for emergencies and there is no immediate alternate route for vessels to pass through the bridge in closed position.

    The Coast Guard will also inform the users of the waterways through our Local and Broadcast Notices to Mariners of the change in operating schedule for the bridge so that vessel operators can arrange their transits to minimize any impact caused by the temporary deviation.

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

    II. Public Participation and Request for Comments

    We view public participation as essential to effective rulemaking, and will consider all comments and material received during the comment period. Your comment can help shape the outcome of this rulemaking. If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this rulemaking, indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation.

    We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be submitted using http://www.regulations.gov, contact the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate instructions.

    We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and the docket, visit http://www.regulations.gov/privacynotice.

    Documents mentioned in this notice as being available in this docket and all public comments, will be in our online docket at http://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following that website's instructions. Additionally, if you go to the online docket and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified when comments are posted or a final rule is published.

    Dated: February 6, 2018. Barry L. Dragon, Director, Bridge Branch, Seventh Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03347 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 180 [EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0152; FRL-9972-24] Quizalofop ethyl; Pesticide Tolerances AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This regulation establishes tolerances for residues of quizalofop ethyl in or on field corn forage, grain, and stover. E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company requested these tolerances under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA).

    DATES:

    This regulation is effective February 20, 2018. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before April 23, 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-2011-0152, 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. To access the OCSPP test guidelines referenced in this document electronically, please go to http://www.epa.gov/test-guidelines-pesticides-and-toxic-substances.

    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-2011-0152 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 23, 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-2011-0152, 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/where-send-comments-epa-dockets.

    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 Tolerances

    In the Federal Register of March 29, 2011 (76 FR 17374) (FRL-8867-4), 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 1F7822) by E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, 1007 Market Street, Wilmington, DE 19898. The petition requested that 40 CFR 180.441 be amended by establishing tolerances for residues of the herbicide quizalofop-P-ethyl, ethyl-2-[4-(6-chloroquinoxalin-2-yl-oxy)phenoxy]propanoate, in or on corn, forage at 0.01 parts per million (ppm); corn, grain at 0.01 ppm; and corn, stover at 0.03 ppm. That document referenced a summary of the petition prepared by E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, the registrant, which is available in the docket, http://www.regulations.gov. A comment was received on the notice of filing. EPA's response to this comment is discussed in Unit IV.C.

    Based upon review of the data supporting the petition, EPA is establishing higher tolerance levels for corn forage and corn grain than the petition requested. In addition, the names of the commodities for which tolerances are being established in this action differ slightly from what the petition requested. The reasons for these changes are explained in Unit IV.D.

    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 quizalofop ethyl, including exposure resulting from the tolerances established by this action. EPA's assessment of exposures and risks associated with quizalofop ethyl 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.

    Quizalofop ethyl is a 50/50 racemic mixture of R- and S-enantiomers. Quizalofop-P-ethyl, the purified R-enantiomer, is the pesticidally-active isomer. Since the toxicological profiles of quizalofop ethyl and quizalofop-P-ethyl are similar, the available toxicity studies are adequate to support both compounds. For the purposes of this final rule, both quizalofop ethyl and quizalofop-P-ethyl are collectively referred to as “quizalofop ethyl.”

    Quizalofop ethyl has very low acute toxicity via the oral, dermal, and inhalation routes of exposure, is not an eye or skin irritant, and is not a skin sensitizer. There were no adverse effects observed in the oral toxicity studies that could be attributable to a single-dose exposure.

    Repeated-dose toxicity studies indicate the liver as the target organ, as evidenced by increased liver weights and histopathological changes. Following oral administration, quizalofop ethyl is rapidly excreted via urine and feces. In the subchronic oral toxicity rat study, effects of decreased body weight gains, increased liver weight, and centrilobular liver cell enlargement were observed. In the subchronic oral toxicity dog study, an increased incidence of testicular atrophy was observed. In the combined chronic toxicity/carcinogenicity study in rats, an increased incidence of centrilobular liver cell enlargement was observed in both sexes and mild anemia in males.

    No dermal toxicity effects were observed in the subchronic dermal toxicity rabbit study at up to the limit dose. Subchronic inhalation toxicity is assumed to be equivalent to oral toxicity. In the chronic oral toxicity dog study, no toxicity effects were observed at the highest dose tested.

    In the rat and rabbit developmental toxicity studies, maternal effects including decreased body weight gains and food consumption were observed; no developmental effects were observed up to the highest dose tested. In the two-generation reproduction toxicity study in rats, maternal effects including decreased body weight and decreased body weight gains were observed at the same dose level that resulted in prenatal and postnatal effects (decreased percentage of pups born alive and decreased pup weights); no evidence of adverse effects on the functional development of pups was observed.

    Although tumors were observed in male and female mice after exposure to quizalofop ethyl, the overall evidence for carcinogenicity is weak, as discussed in supporting documents. Additionally, the point of departure used for establishing the chronic reference dose for quizalofop ethyl is significantly lower (30X) than the dose that induced tumors in male and female mice. EPA has determined that quantification of cancer risk using a non-linear approach would adequately account for all chronic toxicity, including carcinogenicity, which could result from exposure to quizalofop ethyl.

    Based on the results of acceptable toxicity studies, quizalofop ethyl does not show evidence of neurotoxicity or neuropathology. Quizalofop ethyl showed no evidence of immunotoxicity.

    Specific information on the studies received and the nature of the adverse effects caused by quizalofop ethyl 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 document Quizalofop-P-ethyl. Human Health Risk assessment in Support of the Proposed New Use on Rice in docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0412.

    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://www.epa.gov/pesticide-science-and-assessing-pesticide-risks/assessing-human-health-risk-pesticides.

    A summary of the toxicological endpoints for quizalofop ethyl used for human risk assessment is discussed in Unit II.B. of the final rule published in the Federal Register of December 1, 2016 (81 FR 86581) (FRL-9950-89).

    C. Exposure Assessment

    1. Dietary exposure from food and feed uses. In evaluating dietary exposure to quizalofop ethyl, EPA considered exposure under the petitioned-for tolerances as well as all existing quizalofop ethyl tolerances in 40 CFR 180.441. EPA assessed dietary exposures from quizalofop ethyl 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 one-day or single exposure. No such effects were identified in the toxicological studies for quizalofop ethyl; therefore, a quantitative acute dietary exposure assessment is unnecessary.

    ii. Chronic exposure. In conducting the chronic dietary exposure assessment EPA used the food consumption data from the USDA 2003-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, What We Eat in America (NHANES/WWEIA). As to residue levels in food, EPA incorporated tolerance-level residues, 100 percent crop treated (PCT) for all commodities, and default processing factors for all processed commodities except sunflower oil.

    iii. Cancer. Based on the data summarized in Unit III.A., EPA has concluded that the chronic reference dose will be protective of any potential carcinogenicity; therefore, a separate dietary exposure assessment for the purpose of assessing cancer risk is unnecessary.

    iv. Anticipated residue and percent crop treated (PCT) information. EPA did not use anticipated residue and/or PCT information in the dietary assessment for quizalofop ethyl. Tolerance-level residues and/or 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 quizalofop ethyl in drinking water. These simulation models take into account data on the physical, chemical, and fate/transport characteristics of quizalofop ethyl. Further information regarding EPA drinking water models used in pesticide exposure assessment can be found at http://www.epa.gov/pesticide-science-and-assessing-pesticide-risks/about-water-exposure-models-used-pesticide.

    Based on the Modified Tier 1 Rice Model and Pesticide Root Zone Model Ground Water (PRZM GW), the estimated drinking water concentrations (EDWCs) of quizalofop ethyl for chronic exposures for non-cancer assessments are estimated to be 127 parts per billion (ppb) for surface water and 89 ppb for ground water.

    Modeled estimates of drinking water concentrations were directly entered into the dietary exposure model. For chronic dietary risk assessment, the water concentration value of 127 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). Quizalofop ethyl 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 quizalofop ethyl to share a common mechanism of toxicity with any other substances, and quizalofop ethyl does not appear to produce a toxic metabolite produced by other substances. For the purposes of this tolerance action, therefore, EPA has assumed that quizalofop ethyl 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://www.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. As summarized in Unit III.A., results from the rat and rabbit developmental toxicity and the two-generation rat reproduction toxicity studies indicated no qualitative or quantitative evidence of increased susceptibility in developing fetuses or in the offspring following prenatal and/or postnatal exposure to quizalofop ethyl.

    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 quizalofop ethyl is complete.

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

    iii. There is no qualitative or quantitative evidence that quizalofop ethyl results in increased susceptibility in in utero rats or rabbits in the prenatal developmental studies or in young rats in the 2-generation reproduction 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 quizalofop ethyl in drinking water. These assessments will not underestimate the exposure and risks posed by quizalofop ethyl.

    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. Since there are no residential uses for quizalofop ethyl, the aggregate risk assessment only includes exposure estimates from dietary consumption of food and drinking water.

    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-dose exposure was identified and no acute dietary endpoint was selected. Therefore, quizalofop ethyl 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 quizalofop ethyl from food and water will utilize 97% of the cPAD for all infants less than 1 year old, the population group receiving the greatest exposure.

    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). Because there are no residential uses, quizalofop ethyl is not expected to pose short- or intermediate-term risk.

    4. Aggregate cancer risk for U.S. population. As discussed in Unit III.A., EPA has concluded that regulating on the chronic reference dose will be protective of potential carcinogenicity. Based on the results of the chronic risk assessment, EPA concludes that quizalofop ethyl 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 quizalofop ethyl residues.

    IV. Other Considerations A. Analytical Enforcement Methodology

    Adequate enforcement methodologies (Morse Meth-147, a high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method using fluorescence detection for plant commodities including corn; and AMR-515-86, AMR-623-86, AMR-627-86, AMR-845-87, and AMR-846-87, HPLC methods using ultraviolet detection for livestock commodities) are available to enforce the tolerance expression.

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

    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 a MRL for quizalofop ethyl.

    C. Response to Comments

    EPA received one comment in response to the Notice of Filing that stated, in part, “. . . only zero residue.” (The remainder of the comment related to the other petitions that were discussed in that Notice.) Although this commenter is encouraging EPA to deny this petition, the commenter provides no information for EPA to take into consideration in making the safety finding under the FFDCA. Upon review of the available information, EPA concludes that these tolerances would be safe.

    D. Revisions to Petitioned-for Tolerances

    EPA changed the proposed commodity names to the correct commodity definitions as follows: From “corn, forage” to “corn, field, forage;” “corn, grain” to “corn, field, grain;” and “corn, stover” to “corn, field, stover.” Also, EPA is establishing higher tolerance levels for corn, field, forage and corn, field, grain than what was requested based on results from use of the Organisation for the Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) MRL calculation procedures.

    V. Conclusion

    Therefore, tolerances are established for residues of quizalofop ethyl, in or on corn, field, forage at 0.02 ppm; corn, field, grain at 0.02 ppm; and corn, field, stover at 0.03 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); 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: February 2, 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 § 180.441, add alphabetically the commodities “Corn, field, forage”, “Corn, field, grain”, and “Corn, field, stover” to the table in paragraph (a)(1) to read as follows:
    § 180.441 Quizalofop ethyl; tolerances for residues.

    (a) * * * (1) * * *

    Commodity Parts per million *    *    *    *    * Corn, field, forage 0.02 Corn, field, grain 0.02 Corn, field, stover 0.03 *    *    *    *    *
    [FR Doc. 2018-03412 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 160920866-7167-02] RIN 0648-XF902 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pollock in Statistical Area 630 in the Gulf of Alaska AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; closure.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 630 in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the A season allowance of the 2018 total allowable catch of pollock for Statistical Area 630 in the GOA.

    DATES:

    Effective 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), February 14, 2018, through 1200 hours, A.l.t., March 10, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Josh Keaton, 907-586-7228.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    The A season allowance of the 2018 total allowable catch (TAC) of pollock in Statistical Area 630 of the GOA is 9,025 metric tons (mt) as established by the final 2017 and 2018 harvest specifications for groundfish in the GOA (82 FR 12032, February 27, 2017) and inseason adjustment (82 FR 60327, December 20, 2017).

    In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(i), the Regional Administrator has determined that the A season allowance of the 2018 TAC of pollock in Statistical Area 630 of the GOA will soon be reached. Therefore, the Regional Administrator is establishing a directed fishing allowance of 8,875 mt and is setting aside the remaining 150 mt as bycatch to support other anticipated groundfish fisheries. In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(iii), the Regional Administrator finds that this directed fishing allowance has been reached. Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 630 of the GOA.

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

    Classification

    This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would delay the closure of directed fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 630 of the GOA. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of February 13, 2018.

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

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

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: February 14, 2018. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03388 Filed 2-14-18; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    83 34 Tuesday, February 20, 2018 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0111; Product Identifier 2017-NM-059-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2017-07-07, for certain Airbus Model A330-200, A330-300, A340-200, and A340-300 series airplanes. AD 2017-07-07 requires repetitive inspections of certain fastener holes, and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. Since we issued AD 2017-07-07, we have determined that certain other airplanes could also be affected by the unsafe condition specified in AD 2017-07-07. This proposed AD would retain the requirements of AD 2017-07-07 and expand the applicability. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by April 6, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    For service information identified in this NPRM, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAL, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone: +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax: +33 5 61 93 45 80; email: [email protected]; internet: http://www.airbus.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 1601 Lind Avenue SW, Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    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-2018-0111; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed 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: Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2018-0111; Product Identifier 2017-NM-059-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed 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 proposed AD.

    Discussion

    We issued AD 2017-07-07, Amendment 39-18845 (82 FR 18547, April 20, 2017) (“AD 2017-07-07”), for certain Airbus Model A330-200, A330-300, A340-200, and A340-300 series airplanes with manufacturer serial numbers (MSN) 0176 through 0915 inclusive. These airplanes have Airbus modification 44360 embodied in production. AD 2017-07-07 was prompted by a report of cracking at fastener holes located at frame (FR) 40 on the lower shell panel junction. AD 2017-07-07 requires repetitive inspections of certain fastener holes, and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. Airbus then introduced the modification 55792 to reinforce the fuselage at FR40. We issued AD 2017-07-07 to detect and correct cracking at FR40 on the lower shell panel junction; such cracking could lead to reduced structural integrity of the fuselage.

    Since we issued AD 2017-07-07, we have determined that airplanes in the post-modification 55792 configuration could be also affected by crack initiation and propagation at fastener holes located at FR40 on the lower shell panel junction.

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2017-0063, dated April 12, 2017 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Airbus Model A330-200, A330-300, and A340-200 series airplanes, and Model A340-312 and -313 airplanes. The MCAI states:

    During full scale fatigue test of the Frame (FR) 40 to fuselage skin panel junction, fatigue damage was found. Corrective actions consisted of in-service installation of an internal reinforcing strap on the related junction, as currently required by DGAC [Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile] France AD 1999-448-126(B), which refers to Airbus Service Bulletin (SB) A340-53-4104 Revision 02, and [DGAC] AD 2001-070(B), which refers to Airbus SB A330-53-3093 Revision 04; retrofit improvement of internal reinforcing strap fatigue life through recommended Airbus SB A330-53-3145; and introducing a design improvement in production through Airbus mod 44360.

    After those actions were implemented, cracks were found on both left-hand (LH) and right-hand (RH) sides on internal strap, butt strap, keel beam fitting, or forward fitting FR40 flange. These findings were made during embodiment of a FR40 web repair on an A330 aeroplane, and during keel beam replacement on an A340 aeroplane, where the internal strap was removed and a special detailed inspection (SDI) was performed on several holes.

    This condition, if not detected and corrected, could affect the structural integrity of the centre fuselage of the aeroplane.

    Prompted by these findings, Airbus issued SB A330-53-3215 and SB A340-53-4215, providing inspection instructions. Consequently, EASA issued AD 2014-0136 [which corresponds to FAA AD 2017-07-07] to require repetitive SDI (rototest) of 10 fastener holes located at the FR40 lower shell panel junction on both LH and RH sides and, depending on findings, accomplishment of applicable corrective action(s).

    Since that [EASA] AD was issued, prompted by the results of complementary fatigue analyses, it was determined that post-mod 55792 aeroplanes could be also affected by crack initiation and propagation at this area of the fuselage. These analyses demonstrated that post-mod 55792 aeroplanes must follow the same maintenance program as aeroplanes in post-mod 55306 and pre-mod 55792 configuration. Consequently, Airbus published SB A330-53-3215 Revision 02 and SB A340-53-4215 Revision 02 to expand the Effectivity accordingly.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD retains the requirements of EASA AD 2014-0136, which is superseded, which now also apply to aeroplanes in post-mod 55792 configuration [the applicability identifies airplanes in post-mod 44360 configuration].

    AD 2017-07-07 includes Model A340-311 airplanes in its applicability. Airbus Model A340-311 airplanes are not identified in the applicability of this proposed AD because those airplanes are not affected by the identified unsafe condition. All of those airplanes are in the pre-Airbus modification 44360 configuration. The MCAI does not include Model A340-311 airplanes in its applicability.

    The compliance time ranges between 20,000 flight cycles or 65,400 flight hours and 20,800 flight cycles or 68,300 flight hours, depending on airplane utilization and configuration. The repetitive inspection interval ranges between 14,000 flight cycles or 95,200 flight hours and 24,600 flight cycles or 98,700 flight hours, depending on airplane utilization and configuration. You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0111.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus has issued Airbus Service Bulletin A330-53-3215, Revision 02, dated November 23, 2016 (“A330-53-3215, R2”); and Airbus Service Bulletin A340-53-4215, Revision 02, dated November 23, 2016. This service information describes procedures for repetitive rototest inspections of certain fastener holes, and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. These documents are distinct since they apply to different airplane models. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    FAA's Determination and Requirements of This Proposed 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 and service information referenced above. We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all pertinent information and determined an unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of these same type designs.

    Differences Between This Proposed AD and the MCAI or Service Information

    The MCAI includes Model A340-211 airplanes in its applicability. Airbus Model A340-211 airplanes are not identified in the applicability of this proposed AD because those airplanes are not affected by the identified unsafe condition. All of those airplanes are in the pre-Airbus modification 44360 configuration. We have coordinated this difference with EASA.

    Paragraph 1.E. “Compliance,” of A330-53-3215, R2, specifies weight variant (WV) 050 in the condition column of table 1, configuration 003. We have determined that for the purposes of this AD, WV060 and WV080 are also affected.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 99 airplanes of U.S. registry.

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

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Cost on U.S. operators Inspection 42 work-hours × $85 per hour = $3,570 per inspection cycle $0 $3,570 per inspection cycle $353,430 per inspection cycle.

    We estimate the following costs to do any necessary repairs that are required based on the results of the required inspection. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need these repairs:

    On-Condition Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Repair 46 work-hours × $85 per hour = $3,910 $2,358 $6,268
    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 proposed AD would not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD would not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2017-07-07, Amendment 39-18845 (82 FR 18547, April 20, 2017), and adding the following new AD: Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2018-0111; Product Identifier 2017-NM-059-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by April 6, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2017-07-07, Amendment 39-18845 (82 FR 18547, April 20, 2017) (“AD 2017-07-07”).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to the airplanes, certificated in any category, identified in paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this AD, all manufacturer serial numbers on which Airbus Modification 44360 has been embodied in production.

    (1) Airbus Model A330-201, -202, -203, -223, -243, -301, -302, -303, -321, -322, -323, -341, -342, and -343 airplanes.

    (2) Airbus Model A340-212, -213, -312, and -313 airplanes.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 53, Fuselage.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a report of cracking at fastener holes located at frame (FR) 40 on the lower shell panel junction. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracking at FR40 on the lower shell panel junction; such cracking could lead to reduced structural integrity of the fuselage.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Compliance Times for the Actions Required by Paragraph (h) of This AD

    Accomplish the actions required by paragraph (h) of this AD at the times specified in paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD, as applicable.

    (1) For airplanes having serial numbers 0176 through 0915 inclusive: Within the compliance times defined in table 1 to paragraph (g)(1) of this AD, and, thereafter, at intervals not to exceed the compliance times defined in Airbus Service Bulletin A330-53-3215, Revision 02, dated November 23, 2016 (“A330-53-3215, R2”); or Airbus Service Bulletin A340-53-4215, Revision 02, dated November 23, 2016 (“A340-53-4215, R2”); as applicable, depending on airplane utilization and configuration. As of the effective date of this AD, where paragraph 1.E. “Compliance,” of A330-53-3215, R2 specifies weight variant (WV) 050 in the condition column of table 1, configuration 003, for the purposes of this AD, WV060 and WV080 are also included.

    EP20FE18.000

    (2) For all airplanes except those identified in paragraph (g)(1) of this AD: Before exceeding the applicable compliance time “threshold” defined in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of A330-53-3215, R2; or A340-53-4215, R2; as applicable, depending on airplane utilization and configuration and to be counted from airplane first flight, and, thereafter, at intervals not to exceed the compliance times specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance” of A330-53-3215, R2; or A340-53-4215, R2; as applicable, depending on airplane utilization and configuration. Where paragraph 1.E. “Compliance,” of A330-53-3215, R2 specifies weight variant WV050 in the condition column of table 1, configuration 003, for the purposes of this AD, WV060 and WV080 are also included.

    (h) Repetitive Inspections and Related Investigative and Corrective Actions

    At the applicable compliance times specified in paragraph (g) of this AD: Accomplish a special detailed inspection of the 10 fastener holes located at FR40 lower shell panel junction on both left-hand and right-hand sides, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of A330-53-3215, R2; or A340-53-4215, R2; as applicable.

    (1) If, during any inspection required by the introductory text of paragraph (h) of this AD, any crack is detected, before further flight, accomplish all applicable related investigative and corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of A330-53-3215, R2; or A340-53-4215, R2; as applicable, except where A330-53-3215, R2; or A340-53-4215, R2; specifies to contact Airbus for repair instructions, and specifies that action as “RC,” this AD requires repair before further flight using a method approved by the Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA; or European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Airbus's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

    (2) If, during any inspection required by the introductory text of paragraph (h) of this AD, the diameter of a fastener hole is found to be outside the tolerances of the transition fit as specified in A330-53-3215, R2; or A340-53-4215, R2; as applicable; and A330-53-3215, R2; or A340-53-4215, R2; specifies to contact Airbus for repair instructions, and specifies that action as “RC,” before further flight, repair using a method approved by the Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA; or EASA; or Airbus's EASA DOA. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

    (3) Accomplishment of corrective actions, as required by paragraph (h)(1) of this AD, does not constitute terminating action for the repetitive inspections required by the introductory text of paragraph (h) of this AD.

    (4) Accomplishment of a repair on an airplane, as required by paragraph (h)(2) of this AD, does not constitute terminating action for the repetitive inspections required by the introductory text of paragraph (h) of this AD for that airplane, unless the method approved by the Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA; or EASA; or Airbus's EASA DOA indicates otherwise.

    (i) No Reporting Requirement

    Although A330-53-3215, R2 and A340-53-4215, R2, specify to submit certain information to the manufacturer, and specify that action as “RC,” this AD does not include that requirement.

    (j) Credit for Previous Actions

    This paragraph provides credit for the inspections required by the introductory text of (h) of this AD and the related investigative and corrective actions required by paragraph (h)(1) of this AD, if those actions were performed before May 25, 2017 (the effective date of AD 2017-07-07), using Airbus Service Bulletin A330-53-3215, dated June 21, 2013; or Revision 01, dated April 17, 2014; or Airbus Service Bulletin A340-53-4215, dated June 21, 2013; or Revision 01, dated April 17, 2014; as applicable.

    (k) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

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

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

    (3) Required for Compliance (RC): Except as required by paragraphs (g)(1), (g)(2), (h)(1), (h)(2), and (i) of this AD: If any service information contains procedures or tests that are identified as RC, those procedures and tests must be done to comply with this AD; any procedures or tests that are not identified as RC are recommended. Those procedures and tests that are not identified as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an AMOC, provided the procedures and tests identified as RC can be done and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy condition. Any substitutions or changes to procedures or tests identified as RC require approval of an AMOC.

    (l) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA AD 2017-0063, dated April 12, 2017, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0111.

    (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.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAL, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone: +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax: +33 5 61 93 45 80; email: [email protected]; internet: http://www.airbus.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 1601 Lind Avenue SW, Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on February 9, 2018. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03212 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION 16 CFR Chapter I Regulatory Review Schedule AGENCY:

    Federal Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Intent to request public comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its ongoing, systematic review of all Federal Trade Commission rules and guides, the Commission announces a modified ten-year regulatory review schedule. No Commission determination on the need for, or the substance of, the rules and guides listed below should be inferred from this notice.

    DATES:

    February 20, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Further details about particular rules or guides may be obtained from the contact person listed below for the rule or guide.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    To ensure that its rules and industry guides remain relevant and are not unduly burdensome, the Commission reviews them on a ten-year schedule. Each year the Commission publishes its review schedule, with adjustments made in response to public input, changes in the marketplace, and resource demands.

    When the Commission reviews a rule or guide, it publishes a document in the Federal Register seeking public comment on the continuing need for the rule or guide, as well as the rule's or guide's costs and benefits to consumers and businesses. Based on this feedback, the Commission may modify or repeal the rule or guide to address public concerns or changed conditions, or to reduce undue regulatory burden.

    The Commission posts information about its review schedule on its website 1 to facilitate comment. This website contains an updated review schedule, a list of rules and guides previously eliminated in the regulatory review process, and the Commission's regulatory review plan.

    1http://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/rules/regulatory-review.

    Modified Ten-Year Schedule for Review of FTC Rules and Guides

    For 2018, the Commission intends to initiate reviews of, and solicit public comments on, the following rules and guides:

    (1) Guides for the Nursery Industry, 16 CFR part 18. Agency Contact: Megan Gray, (202) 326-3408, Federal Trade Commission, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Division of Enforcement, 600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20580.

    (2) Test Procedures and Labeling Standards for Recycled Oil, 16 CFR part 311. Agency Contact: Hampton Newsome, (202) 326-2889, Federal Trade Commission, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Division of Enforcement, 600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20580.

    (3) Disclosure Requirements and Prohibitions Concerning Franchising, 16 CFR part 436. Agency Contact: Craig Tregillus, (202) 326-2970, Federal Trade Commission, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Division of Marketing Practices, 600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20580.

    (4) Identity Theft [Red Flag] Rules, 16 CFR part 681. Agency Contact: Tiffany George, (202) 326-3040, Federal Trade Commission, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Division of Privacy and Identity Protection, 600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20580.

    The Commission is currently reviewing 11 of the 65 rules and guides within its jurisdiction. During 2017, it completed a review of 16 CFR 259, Guide Concerning Fuel Economy Advertising for New Automobiles; and 16 CFR 682, Disposal of Consumer Report Information and Records. A copy of the Commission's modified regulatory review schedule, indicating initiation dates for reviews through 2028, is appended. The Commission, in its discretion, may modify or reorder the schedule in the future to incorporate new rules, or to respond to external factors (such as changes in the law) or other considerations.

    Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 41-58.

    By direction of the Commission.

    Donald S. Clark, Secretary.
    Appendix Regulatory Review Modified Ten-Year Schedule 16 CFR part Topic Year to initiate review 23 Guides for the Jewelry, Precious Metals, and Pewter Industries Currently Under Review. 308 Trade Regulation Rule Pursuant to the Telephone Disclosure and Dispute Resolution Act of 1992 [Pay Per Call Rule] Currently Under Review. 310 Telemarketing Sales Rule Currently Under Review. 314 Standards for Safeguarding Customer Information Currently Under Review. 315 Contact Lens Rule Currently Under Review. 316 CAN-SPAM Rule Currently Under Review. 410 Deceptive Advertising as to Sizes of Viewable Pictures Shown by Television Receiving Sets Currently Under Review. 423 Care Labeling of Textile Wearing Apparel and Certain Piece Goods Currently Under Review. 433 Preservation of Consumers' Claims and Defenses [Holder in Due Course Rule] Currently Under Review. 456 Ophthalmic Practice Rules (Eyeglass Rule) Currently Under Review. 460 Labeling and Advertising of Home Insulation Currently Under Review. 18 Guides for the Nursery Industry 2018. 311 Test Procedures and Labeling Standards for Recycled Oil 2018. 436 Disclosure Requirements and Prohibitions Concerning Franchising 2018. 681 Identity Theft [Red Flag] Rules 2018. 24 Guides for Select Leather and Imitation Leather Products 2019. 453 Funeral Industry Practices 2019. 14 Administrative Interpretations, General Policy Statements, and Enforcement Policy Statements 2020. 255 Guides Concerning Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising 2020. 313 Privacy of Consumer Financial Information 2020. 317 Prohibition of Energy Market Manipulation Rule 2020. 318 Health Breach Notification Rule 2020. 432 Power Output Claims for Amplifiers Utilized in Home Entertainment Products 2020. 444 Credit Practices 2020. 640 Duties of Creditors Regarding Risk-Based Pricing 2020. 641 Duties of Users of Consumer Reports Regarding Address Discrepancies 2020. 642 Prescreen Opt-Out Notice 2020. 660 Duties of Furnishers of Information to Consumer Reporting Agencies 2020. 680 Affiliate Marketing 2020. 698 Model Forms and Disclosures 2020. 801 [Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act] Coverage Rules 2020. 802 [Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act] Exemption Rules 2020. 803 [Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act] Transmittal Rules 2020. 437 Business Opportunity Rule 2021. 233 Guides Against Deceptive Pricing 2022. 238 Guides Against Bait Advertising 2022. 251 Guide Concerning Use of the Word “Free” and Similar Representations 2022. 260 Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims 2022. 312 Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule 2022. 254 Guides for Private Vocational and Distance Education Schools 2023. 309 Labeling Requirements for Alternative Fuels and Alternative Fueled Vehicles 2023. 429 Rule Concerning Cooling-Off Period for Sales Made at Homes or at Certain Other Locations 2023. 20 Guides for the Rebuilt, Reconditioned, and Other Used Automobile Parts Industry 2024. 240 Guides for Advertising Allowances and Other Merchandising Payments and Services [Fred Meyer Guides] 2024. 300 Rules and Regulations under the Wool Products Labeling Act of 1939 2024. 301 Rules and Regulations under Fur Products Labeling Act 2024. 303 Rules and Regulations under the Textile Fiber Products Identification Act 2024. 425 Use of Prenotification Negative Option Plans 2024. 435 Mail, Internet, or Telephone Order Merchandise 2024. 424 Retail Food Store Advertising and Marketing Practices [Unavailability Rule] 2024. 239 Guides for the Advertising of Warranties and Guarantees 2025. 306 Automotive Fuel Ratings, Certification and Posting 2025. 305 Energy Labeling Rule 2025. 500 Regulations under Section 4 of the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act 2025. 501 Exemptions from Requirements and Prohibitions under Part 500 2025. 502 Regulations under Section 5(c) of the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act 2025. 503 Statements of General Policy or Interpretation [under the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act] 2025. 700 Interpretations of Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act 2025. 701 Disclosure of Written Consumer Product Warranty Terms and Conditions 2025. 702 Pre-Sale Availability of Written Warranty Terms 2025. 703 Informal Dispute Settlement Procedures 2025. 304 Rules and Regulations under the Hobby Protection Act 2026. 455 Used Motor Vehicle Trade Regulation Rule 2026. 259 Guide Concerning Fuel Economy Advertising for New Automobiles 2027. 682 Disposal of Consumer Report Information and Records 2027.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03395 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 18 CFR Part 358 [Docket No. RM18-10-000] Petition for Rulemaking of Airlines for America and the National Propane Gas Association; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, DOE.

    ACTION:

    Petition for rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    Take notice that on February 1, 2018, pursuant to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) Rules of Practice and Procedure, Airlines for America and the National Propane Gas Association submit this Petition for Rulemaking (Petition), and respectfully request that the Commission issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking expanding its affiliate Standards of Conduct for Transmission Providers regulations to the crude oil, natural gas liquid, and petroleum product pipeline industry, as more fully explained in the petition.

    DATES:

    Comments due 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on March 14, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Derek L. Anderson, Office of the General Counsel, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-6266, [email protected].

    For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected], or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest this filing must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211, 385.214). Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. Such notices, motions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Petitioner.

    This filing is accessible on-line at http://www.ferc.gov, using the “eLibrary” link and is available for review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an “eSubscription” link on the website that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s).

    Dated: February 12, 2018. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03249 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Chapter I [Docket No. FDA-2018-N-0128] Nicotine Steering Committee; Establishment of a Public Docket; Request for Comments AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notification; establishment of a public docket; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or Agency) is establishing a public docket to receive suggestions, recommendations, and comments on topics or policy issues for consideration by FDA's Nicotine Steering Committee (NSC). FDA would like to receive feedback from interested parties, including academic institutions, regulated industries, patient representatives, and other interested organizations. These comments will help the Agency identify and address priorities related to the use of therapeutic nicotine for combustible tobacco product cessation.

    DATES:

    Submit either electronic or written comments by April 16, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments as follows:

    Electronic Submissions

    Submit electronic comments in the following way:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Comments submitted electronically, including attachments, to https://www.regulations.gov will be posted to the docket unchanged. Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for ensuring that your comment does not include any confidential information that you or a third party may not wish to be posted, such as medical information, your or anyone else's Social Security number, or confidential business information, such as a manufacturing process. Please note that if you include your name, contact information, or other information that identifies you in the body of your comments, that information will be posted on https://www.regulations.gov.

    • If you want to submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made available to the public, submit the comment as a written/paper submission and in the manner detailed (see “Written/Paper Submissions” and “Instructions”).

    Written/Paper Submissions

    Submit written/paper submissions as follows:

    Mail/Hand delivery/Courier (for written/paper submissions): Dockets Management Staff (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    • For written/paper comments submitted to the Dockets Management Staff, FDA will post your comment, as well as any attachments, except for information submitted, marked and identified, as confidential, if submitted as detailed in “Instructions.”

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2018-N-0128 for “Recommendations and Comments for the Food and Drug Administration Nicotine Steering Committee.” Received comments will be placed in the docket and, except for those submitted as “Confidential Submissions,” publicly viewable at https://www.regulations.gov or at the Dockets Management Staff between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    • Confidential Submissions—To submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made publicly available, submit your comments only as a written/paper submission. You should submit two copies total. One copy will include the information you claim to be confidential with a heading or cover note that states “THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.” FDA will review this copy, including the claimed confidential information, in its consideration of comments. The second copy, which will have the claimed confidential information redacted/blacked out, will be available for public viewing and posted on https://www.regulations.gov. Submit both copies to the Dockets Management Staff. If you do not wish your name and contact information to be made publicly available, you can provide this information on the cover sheet and not in the body of your comments and you must identify this information as “confidential.” Any information marked as “confidential” will not be disclosed except in accordance with 21 CFR 10.20 and other applicable disclosure law. For more information about FDA's posting of comments to public dockets, see 80 FR 56469, September 18, 2015, or access the information at: https://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-09-18/pdf/2015-23389.pdf.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Allison Hoffman, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 1, Rm. 1314, Silver Spring, MD 20993, 301-796-9203, [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    The NSC was established in November 2017 to help develop and implement nicotine policy and regulation. The primary focus of the NSC is on the use of therapeutic nicotine for combustible tobacco product cessation. The NSC is comprised of senior leaders from the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, the Center for Tobacco Products, and the Office of the Commissioner. The NSC will ensure alignment of FDA's Centers and facilitate consensus and development of unified FDA positions on cross-cutting issues related to nicotine policy and regulation. Additional staff from the Centers and other FDA offices provide expertise as needed for specific policy topics under consideration. While there are various other mechanisms available to raise issues for Agency consideration, by establishing this public docket FDA seeks to provide a mechanism for the public to recommend specific topics for direct, collective engagement and consideration by the NSC. The Agency believes that this process will also further enhance transparency in FDA's approach to policy development and implementation.

    II. Establishment of a Public Docket and Request for Comments

    The docket is being established to solicit suggestions, recommendations, and comments relating to the use of therapeutic nicotine for combustible tobacco product cessation that may warrant consideration by the NSC (see Staff Manual Guide 2010.20, FDA Nicotine Steering Committee 1 ). Topic suggestion submissions should describe the following: (1) The nicotine policy issue recommended for discussion (e.g., clarifying previous advice or precedents on a specified therapeutic nicotine product policy topic, reconciling seemingly differing perspectives within FDA or between FDA and regulated industry on a specified therapeutic nicotine product policy topic); (2) the rationale for doing so, including why direct engagement by the NSC would be appropriate/helpful; (3) recommendations on how the nicotine policy issue could be addressed; and (4) existing policy documents (e.g., final guidance) relevant to the nicotine product policy issue. Note that policy issues concerning any draft guidance or proposed rule should be submitted to the docket for that draft guidance or rulemaking.

    1https://www.fda.gov/downloads/AboutFDA/ReportsManualsForms/StaffManualGuides/UCM594385.pdf.

    The Agency will carefully consider all comments submitted. FDA generally will not respond directly to the person or organization submitting the comment. In general, policy decisions reached by the NSC are communicated and implemented in accordance with FDA's good guidance practices regulation (21 CFR 10.115) or notice and comment procedures.

    Dated: February 13, 2018. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03341 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R03-OAR-2017-0637; FRL-9974-62—Region 3] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Maryland; Emissions Statement Requirement for the 2008 Ozone Standard AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve a state implementation plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of Maryland. This revision fulfills Maryland's emissions statement requirement for the 2008 ozone national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS). This action is being taken under the Clean Air Act (CAA).

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before March 22, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R03-OAR-2017-0637 at http://www.regulations.gov, or via email to [email protected]. For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be confidential business information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Gavin Huang, (215) 814-2042, or by email at [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    On March 27, 2008, EPA strengthened the ozone standard from 0.08 to 0.075 parts per million (ppm). 73 FR 16436. On May 21, 2012, EPA designated areas as nonattainment for the 2008 ozone NAAQS, including the Baltimore and Washington, DC-MD-VA areas, which include the following counties in Maryland: Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Baltimore City, Carroll, Harford, Howard, Cecil, Calvert, Charles, Frederick, Montgomery, and Prince George's Counties. See 40 CFR 81.321.

    Additionally, Maryland is located in the ozone transport region (OTR) established by Congress in section 184 of the CAA. Pursuant to section 184(b)(2), any stationary source that emits or has the potential to emit at least 50 tons per year (tpy) of volatile organic compounds (VOC) shall be considered a major stationary source and subject to the requirements which would be applicable to major stationary sources if the area were classified as a moderate nonattainment area. See CAA section 184. Thus, states within the OTR are subject to plan (or SIP) requirements in CAA section 182(b) applicable to moderate nonattainment areas. Also, section 182(f)(1) of the CAA requires that the plan provisions required for major stationary sources of VOC also apply to major stationary sources of oxides of nitrogen (NOX) for states with moderate (or worse) ozone nonattainment areas. A major stationary source of NOX is defined as stationary facility or source of air pollutants which directly emits, or has the potential to emit 100 tpy or more of NOX. See CAA section 302(j).

    Section 182 of the CAA identifies additional plan submissions and requirements for ozone nonattainment areas. Specifically, section 182(a)(3)(B) of the CAA requires that states develop and submit rules which establish annual reporting requirements for certain stationary sources. Sources that are within marginal (or worse) ozone nonattainment areas must annually report the actual emissions of NOX and VOC to the state. However, states may waive sources that emit under 25 tpy of NOX and VOC if the state provides an inventory of emissions from such class or category of sources. See CAA section 182(a)(3)(B)(ii).

    In summary, because Maryland is located in the OTR, sources that are located in ozone attainment areas and emit above 50 tpy of VOC or 100 tpy of NOX are considered major sources and subject to the requirements of major stationary sources in moderate (or worse) nonattainment area, such as an emissions statement submission as required by CAA section 182(a)(3)(B). See CAA sections 182(f) and 184(b)(2). Sources that are located in designated marginal (or worse) nonattainment areas must submit an emissions statement as required by CAA section 182(a)(3)(B). As stated previously, states may waive sources under that emit 25 tpy of NOX and 25 tpy of VOC threshold if the state provides an inventory of emissions from such class or category of sources as required by CAA sections 172 and 182.1 See section 182(a)(3)(B)(ii).

    1 For further information on the emissions statement reporting requirements, see “Guidance on the Implementation of an Emission Statement Program (July 1992)” https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-09/documents/emission_statement_program_zypdf.pdf, pp. 5-9.

    On September 25, 2017, the State of Maryland, through the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), submitted a SIP revision to satisfy the emissions statement requirement of section 182(a)(3)(B) of the CAA for the 2008 ozone NAAQS.

    II. Summary of SIP Revision and EPA Analysis

    On October 12, 1994 (59 FR 51517), EPA approved Maryland's SIP submittal that satisfies CAA section 182(a)(3)(B). Maryland's emissions reporting requirements are codified in Maryland regulation COMAR 26.11.01.05-1 “Emissions Statements.” COMAR 26.11.01.05-1 requires installations or sources that emit above a particular threshold of NOX or VOC and are within certain geographic areas to submit an emissions statement to the State. The statement must be submitted by a certified individual who can verify the source's actual emissions.

    COMAR 26.11.01.05-1 requires that sources that emit 25 tons or more of NOX or VOC during a calendar year in the following counties (which include nonattainment areas for the 2008 ozone NAAQS) submit an emissions statement: Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Baltimore City, Calvert, Carroll, Cecil, Charles, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Kent, Montgomery, Prince George's, and Queen Anne's counties. As previously mentioned, per CAA section 182(a)(3)(B)(ii), states may waive sources under 25 tpy of NOX and VOC if the state provides an inventory of emissions from such class or category of sources as required by CAA sections 172 and 182. Maryland does provide emissions inventories for nonattainment areas as required by CAA section 172(c)(3). See e.g. 82 FR 44544 (September 25, 2017).

    Finally, COMAR 26.11.01.05-1 also requires that sources that emit 50 tons or more of VOC or 100 tons or more of NOX during a calendar year in the following counties (which are in ozone attainment for the 2008 ozone NAAQS but still located within the OTR) submit an emissions statement: Allegany, Caroline, Dorchester, Garrett, St. Mary's, Somerset, Talbot, Washington, Wicomico, and Worcester counties. Because Maryland is located in the OTR, sources that are located in attainment areas for the 2008 ozone NAAQS and emit above 50 tpy of VOC and 100 tpy of NOX are considered major sources and subject to the requirements of major stationary sources in moderate (or worse) nonattainment area, such as an emissions statement submission as required by CAA section 182(a)(3)(B). See CAA sections 182(f) and 184(b)(2).

    In Maryland's September 25, 2017 SIP submittal, Maryland states that the existing COMAR 26.11.01.05-1 “Emissions Statements” continues to satisfy section 182(a)(3)(B) for the 2008 ozone NAAQS because Maryland has not made any changes since EPA's prior approval and COMAR 26.11.01.05-1 meets the CAA requirements for emission statements. See 59 FR 51517 (October 12, 1994). EPA finds that COMAR 26.11.01.05-1 continues to satisfy section 182(a)(3)(B) because the existing rule is applicable to the entire State of Maryland and requires stationary sources that emit NOX or VOC to submit an emissions statement to the State detailing the sources' emissions. EPA finds Maryland's emissions' thresholds for sources that are required to submit an emissions statement meet CAA requirements in sections 182 (plan submissions and requirements for ozone nonattainment areas) and 184 (OTR requirements). See also “Guidance on the Implementation of an Emission Statement Program (July 1992).” Therefore, EPA has determined that COMAR 26.11.01.05-1, which is currently in the Maryland SIP, is appropriate to address the emissions statement requirement in section 182(a)(3)(B) and is proposing to approve this SIP revision. EPA is soliciting public comments on the issues discussed in this document. These comments will be considered before taking final action.

    III. Proposed Action

    EPA is proposing to approve the September 25, 2017 Maryland SIP revision certifying that Maryland's existing SIP-approved emissions statement regulation meets the emissions statement requirement of section 182(a)(3)(B) of the CAA for the 2008 ozone NAAQS.

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the CAA, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the CAA and applicable federal regulations. 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 52.02(a). Thus, in reviewing SIP submissions, EPA's role is to approve state choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the CAA. Accordingly, this action merely approves state law as meeting federal requirements and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For that reason, this 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 (Public Law 104-4);

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

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

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

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

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

    In addition, this proposed rule, which proposes to approve Maryland's certification that Maryland's SIP-approved emissions statement regulation meets the emissions statement requirement of section 182(a)(3)(B) of the CAA, does not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), because the SIP is not approved to apply in Indian country located in the state, and EPA notes that it will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: February 9, 2018. Cosmo Servidio, Regional Administrator, Region III.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03416 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 122 [EPA-HQ-OW-2018-0063; FRL-9973-41-OW] Clean Water Act Coverage of “Discharges of Pollutants” via a Direct Hydrologic Connection to Surface Water AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is requesting comment on the Agency's previous statements regarding the Clean Water Act (CWA) and whether pollutant discharges from point sources that reach jurisdictional surface waters via groundwater or other subsurface flow that has a direct hydrologic connection to the jurisdictional surface water may be subject to CWA regulation. EPA is requesting comment on whether the Agency should consider clarification or revision of those statements and if so, comment on how clarification or revision should be provided.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before May 21, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ- OW-2018-0063, at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Scott Wilson, Office of Wastewater Management, Water Permits Division (MC4203M), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 564-6087; email address: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. General Information A. Does this action apply to me? B. What should I consider as I prepare my comments for EPA? II. Background A. The Clean Water Act's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Program B. EPA's Previous Statements Regarding the Clean Water Act's “Discharge of a Pollutant” Provision Where There Is a Direct Hydrologic Connection C. Direct Hydrologic Connection III. Request for Comment I. General Information A. Does this action apply to me?

    Tribes, states, local governments, the regulated community, and citizens interested in federal jurisdiction over activities that may release pollutants to groundwater may wish to provide input. Entities releasing pollutants to groundwater or other subsurface flow that has a direct hydrologic connection to jurisdictional surface waters may be affected by whether and how EPA clarifies when or if direct hydrologically connected releases are subject to regulation under the CWA. Potentially affected entities include:

    Category Examples of potentially affected entities States, Tribes, and Territories State, Tribal, and Territorial water quality agencies and NPDES permitting authorities that may need to determine whether sources of pollutants should be addressed by standards or permitting actions. Federal Agencies Federal agencies with projects or other activities near surface waters. Industry Industries that may have releases that affect groundwater with connections to surface waters.

    This table is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a guide for readers regarding entities likely to be affected by a potential clarification of EPA's previous statements in response to comments received on this notice. Other types of entities not listed in the table could also be affected. If you have questions regarding the effect of this action on a particular entity, please consult the person listed in the preceding FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

    B. What should I consider as I prepare my comments for EPA?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    II. Background A. The Clean Water Act's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Program

    The CWA—initially enacted as the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972 (Pub. L. 92-500) and subsequent amendments—establishes the basic structure in place today for regulating discharges of pollutants to the waters of the United States. In the CWA, Congress established the national objective to “restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation's waters.” CWA Section 1251(a). Congress also expressly intended that states retain their traditional role in preventing, reducing and eliminating pollution: “It is the policy of the Congress to recognize, preserve, and protect the primary responsibilities and rights of States to prevent, reduce, and eliminate pollution, to plan the development and use (including restoration, preservation, and enhancement) of land and water resources . . . .” CWA Section 1251(b).

    The CWA National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting authority, whether implemented by EPA or an authorized State, is limited to regulating the discharge of pollutants from point sources to navigable waters. Congress prohibited any “discharge of any pollutant” to “navigable waters” unless it is authorized by statute, generally by a permit. CWA Sections 1311, 1342, 1344, 1362. The CWA defines “discharge of a pollutant” as “any addition of any pollutant to navigable waters from any point source.” CWA Section 1362(12)(A). Pollutant means “dredged spoil, solid waste, incinerator, sewage, garbage, sewage sludge, munitions, chemical wastes, biological materials, radioactive materials, heat, wrecked or discarded equipment, rock, sand, cellar dirt and industrial, municipal, and agricultural waste discharged into water.” CWA Section 1362(6). The CWA defines “navigable waters” as “the waters of the United States, including the territorial seas”; and a “point source” as “any discernible, confined and discrete conveyance, including but not limited to any pipe, ditch, channel, tunnel, conduit, well, discrete fissure, container, rolling stock, concentrated animal feeding operation, or vessel or other floating craft, from which pollutants are or may be discharged.” CWA Sections 1362(7), (14).

    The CWA authorizes EPA to issue NPDES permits under Section 402(a), but EPA may authorize a state to administer its own NPDES program if EPA determines that the program meets the statutory criteria. CWA Sections 1342(a), (b). When a state receives such authorization, EPA retains oversight and enforcement authorities. CWA Sections 1319, 1342(d).

    B. EPA's Previous Statements Regarding the Clean Water Act's “Discharge of a Pollutant” Provision Where There Is a Direct Hydrologic Connection

    EPA has previously stated that pollutants discharged from point sources that reach jurisdictional surface waters via groundwater or other subsurface flow that has a direct hydrologic connection to the jurisdictional water may be subject to CWA permitting requirements. EPA has not stated that CWA permits are required for pollutant discharges to groundwater in all cases, but rather that pollutants discharged from point sources to jurisdictional surface waters that occur via groundwater or other subsurface flow that has a direct hydrologic connection to the surface water may require such permits. The Agency has made these statements in previous rulemaking, permitting, and guidance documents, although most of these statements were collateral to the central focus of a rulemaking or adjudication. See Final NPDES Permit Application Regulations for Storm Water Discharges, 55 FR 47,990, 47,997 (Dec. 2, 1990) (“[T]his rulemaking only addresses discharges to water of the United States, consequently discharges to ground waters are not covered by this rulemaking (unless there is a hydrological connection between the ground water and a nearby surface water body).”); 1991 Final Rule Addressing Water Quality Standards on Indian Lands, 56 FR 64,876, 64,892 (Dec 12, 1991) (“Notwithstanding the strong language in the legislative history of the Clean Water Act to the effect that the Act does not grant EPA authority to regulate pollution of groundwaters, EPA and most courts addressing the issues have recognized that . . . the Act requires NPDES permits for discharges to groundwater where there is a direct hydrological connection between groundwaters and surface waters. In these situations, the affected groundwaters are not considered `waters of the United States' but discharges to them are regulated because such discharges are effectively discharges to the directly connected surface waters.”); Final General NPDES Permit for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) in Idaho ID-G-01-0000, 62 FR 20,178 (1997) (“the Clean Water Act does not give EPA the authority to regulate groundwater quality through NPDES permits. The only situation in which groundwater may be affected by the NPDES program is when a discharge of pollutants to surface waters can be proven to be via groundwater. . . . [T]he permit requirements . . . are intended to protect surface waters which are contaminated via a groundwater (subsurface) connection.”). See also Proposed NPDES Permit Regulation and Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), 66 FR 2,960, 3,017 (Jan. 12, 2001) (“As a legal and factual matter, EPA has made a determination that, in general, collected or channeled pollutants conveyed to surface waters via ground water can constitute a discharge subject to the Clean Water Act. The determination of whether a particular discharge to surface waters via ground water which has a direct hydrologic connection is a discharge which is prohibited without an NPDES permit is a factual inquiry . . . .”).

    When taking final action on the proposed regulation of discharges from CAFOs, EPA rejected establishing nationally applicable effluent limitation requirements related to releases to groundwater with a direct hydrologic connection to jurisdictional water and recognized that “there are scientific uncertainties and site-specific considerations with respect to regulating discharges to surface water via groundwater with a direct hydrologic connection to surface water [and] conflicting legal precedents on this issue.” Final NPDES Permit Regulation and Effluent Limitation Guidelines and Standards for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, 68 FR 7,175, 7,216 (Feb. 12, 2003). EPA stated in the preamble to the final rule, in the context of ensuring proper closure of CAFOs, that the permitting authority may impose special permit terms and conditions addressing such circumstances on a case-by-case basis as appropriate. 68 FR at 7,229. The Agency further noted that “[n]othing in this rule shall be construed to expand, diminish, or otherwise affect the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act over discharges to surface water via groundwater that has a direct hydrologic connection to surface water.” Id. at 7,216-17.

    In CWA citizen suits against regulated entities, courts have faced the question of whether regulation under the CWA of point source discharges of pollutants includes regulation of releases to groundwater with a direct hydrologic connection to jurisdictional surface waters. Some courts have determined that the statute does not explicitly answer this question, while others have held that the statute does not extend to releases to groundwater. Other courts have interpreted the CWA as covering not only discharges of pollutants to navigable waters, but also releases of pollutants that travel from a point source to navigable waters over the surface of the ground. E.g., Sierra Club v. Abston Constr. Co., 620 F.2d 41, 44-45 (5th Cir. 1980). As one court noted, “the inclusion of groundwater with a hydrological connection to surface waters has troubled courts and generated a torrent of conflicting commentary.” Potter v. ASARCO, Civ. No. S:56-cv-555, slip op. at 19 (D. Neb. Mar. 3, 1998).

    Certain courts have concluded that a hydrological connection between groundwater and surface waters is insufficient to justify CWA regulation. In Village of Oconomowoc Lake v. Dayton Hudson Corporation, the Seventh Circuit concluded that “[n]either the Clean Water Act nor the EPA's definition [of waters of the United States] asserts authority over ground waters, just because these may be hydrologically connected with surface waters.” 24 F.3d 962, 965 (7th Cir. 1994), cert. denied, 513 U.S. 930 (1994). The court cited EPA's statement in the preamble to the 1990 Final NPDES Permit Application Regulations for Storm Water Discharges noting the potential for a hydrologic connection between groundwater and jurisdictional surface water, but concluded that the reference was “collateral” and “not a satisfactory substitute for focused attention in rulemaking or adjudication.” Id. at 966. In Rice v. Harken Exploration Co., the Fifth Circuit held that “a generalized assertion that covered surface waters will eventually be affected by remote, gradual, natural seepage from the contaminated groundwater” was outside the scope of the Oil Pollution Act in order “to respect Congress's decision to leave the regulation of groundwater to the States.” 250 F.3d 264, 272 (5th Cir. 2001). In Cape Fear River Watch v. Duke Energy Progress, the district court held that “Congress did not intend for the CWA to extend federal regulatory authority over groundwater, regardless of whether that groundwater is eventually or somehow `hydrologically connected' to navigable surface waters.” 25 F. Supp. 3d 798, 810 (E.D.N.C. 2014).

    A number of other district courts have taken the view that Congress intended to regulate the release of pollutants that reach waters of the United States, whether the pollutants reach the surface water directly, or through groundwater with a direct hydrologic connection. E.g., Idaho Rural Council v. Bosma, 143 F. Supp. 2d 1169, 1179-80 (D. Idaho 2001). Because these courts interpreted the term “discharge of a pollutant” to cover discharges that reach jurisdictional water over the ground and through other means, they concluded that exempting discharges through groundwater could lead to confusion and unintended results. One court noted that “it would hardly make sense for the CWA to encompass a polluter who discharges pollutants via a pipe running from the factory directly to the riverbank, but not a polluter who dumps the same pollutants into a man-made settling basin some distance short of the river and then allows the pollutants to seep into the river via the groundwater.” N. Cal. River Watch v. Mercer Fraser Co., No. 04-4620, 2005 WL 2122052, at *2 (N.D. Cal. Sept. 1, 2005). And the Ninth Circuit recently held that a point source discharge to groundwater of “more than [a] de minimis” amount of pollutants that is “fairly traceable from the point source . . . such that the discharge is the functional equivalent of a discharge into a navigable water” is regulated under the Act. Haw. Wildlife Fund v. Cty. of Maui, No. 15-17447, slip. op. at 19 (9th Cir. Feb. 1, 2018).

    C. Direct Hydrologic Connection

    In addition to the mixed case law on whether certain releases of pollutants to groundwater are within the jurisdictional reach of the CWA, ascertaining whether there is a direct hydrologic connection such that a particular release to groundwater could be considered a “discharge of a pollutant” to a “water of the United States” and therefore subject to the CWA has been characterized previously by EPA as a fact-specific determination. See 66 FR at 3,017. EPA has stated that relevant evidence includes the time it takes for a pollutant to move to surface waters, the distance it travels, and its traceability to the point source. Id. These factors are affected by other site specific factors, such as geology, flow, and slope. Id.

    III. Request for Comment

    EPA is requesting comment from tribes, states, members of the public, and other interested stakeholders regarding whether EPA should review and potentially revise its previous statements concerning the applicability of the CWA NPDES permit program to pollutant discharges from point sources that reach jurisdictional surface waters via groundwater or other subsurface flow that has a direct hydrologic connection to a jurisdictional surface water. Specifically, EPA seeks comment on whether subjecting such releases to CWA permitting is consistent with the text, structure, and purposes of the CWA. If EPA has the authority to permit such releases, EPA seeks comment on whether those releases would be better addressed through other federal authorities as opposed to the NPDES permit program. Furthermore, EPA seeks comment on whether some or all such releases are addressed adequately through existing state statutory or regulatory programs or through other existing federal regulations and permit programs, such as, for example, state programs that implement EPA's underground injection control regulations promulgated pursuant to the Safe Drinking Water Act.

    EPA also seeks comment on whether EPA should clarify its previous statements concerning pollutant discharges to groundwater with a direct hydrologic connection to jurisdictional water in order to provide additional certainty for the public and the regulated community. Such a clarification could address the applicability of the CWA to groundwater with a direct hydrologic connection to jurisdictional water, or could define what activities would be regulated if not a discharge to a jurisdictional surface water (i.e., placement on the land), or which connections are considered “direct” in order to reduce regulatory uncertainties associated with that term. EPA also seeks suggestions on what issues should be considered if further clarification is undertaken, including, for example, the consequences of asserting CWA jurisdiction over certain releases to groundwater or determining that no such jurisdiction exists. Finally, EPA seeks comment on what format or process EPA should use to revise or clarify its previous statements (e.g., through memoranda, guidance, or in the form of rulemaking) if the Agency pursues further action in response to this request for comment.

    Dated: February 12, 2018. David P. Ross, Assistant Administrator, Office of Water.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03407 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 257 [EPA-HQ-OLEM-2017-0613; FRL-9974-49-OLEM] Oklahoma: Approval of Coal Combustion Residuals State Permit Program; Extension of Comment Period AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability; extension of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or the Agency) is extending the comment period on EPA's proposal to approve Oklahoma's Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) State Permit Program. The notice announcing this proposed approval was published on January 16, 2018, and the public comment period was scheduled to end on March 2, 2018. However, a number of public interest groups have requested additional time to review Oklahoma's application for a CCR State Permit Program and to develop and submit comments. Therefore, in response to the request for additional time, EPA is extending the comment period, so that comments are now due on or before March 19, 2018.

    DATES:

    Comments on the notice of availability published January 16, 2018 (83 FR 2100) must be received on or before March 19, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OLEM-2017-0613; Title: Oklahoma: Approval of Coal Combustion Residuals State Permit Program at https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the web, cloud or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit https://www.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mary Jackson, Materials Recovery and Waste Management Division, Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery, Mail code 5304P, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (703) 308-8453; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    EPA is proposing to approve Oklahoma's CCR state permit program application, pursuant to RCRA 4005(d)(1)(B). If approved, the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ)'s permit program would operate “in lieu of” the federal CCR program, codified at 40 CFR part 257, subpart D.

    On July 31, 2017 Oklahoma submitted to EPA its initial application. The State supplemented its original application on October 18, 2017. EPA determined that the application was complete and notified Oklahoma of its determination by letter dated December 21, 2017.

    The statute requires EPA to evaluate two components of a state program to determine whether it meets the standard for approval. First, EPA is to evaluate the adequacy of the permit program (or other system of prior approval and conditions) itself. See 42 U.S.C. 6945(d)(1)(A). Second, EPA is to evaluate the adequacy of the technical criteria that will be included in each permit, to determine whether they are the same as the federal criteria, or to the extent they differ, whether the modified criteria are “at least as protective as” the federal requirements. See 42 U.S.C. 6945(d)(1)(B). Only if both components meet the statutory requirements may EPA approve the program. See 42 U.S.C. 6945(d)(1).

    On that basis, EPA conducted an analysis of ODEQ's application, including a thorough analysis of OAC 252:517 and its adoption of 40 CFR part 257, subpart D. Based on this analysis, EPA has preliminarily determined that ODEQ's submitted CCR permit program meets the standard for approval in section 4005(d)(1)(A) and (B). EPA is therefore proposing to approve Oklahoma's application. Oklahoma's program contains all the elements of the federal rule, including requirements for location restrictions, design and operating criteria, groundwater monitoring and corrective action, closure requirements and post-closure care, recordkeeping, notification and internet posting requirements. It also contains state-specific language, references and state-specific requirements that differ from the federal rule, which EPA has preliminarily determined to be at least as protective as the federal criteria. EPA's analysis and preliminary findings are available in the docket supporting this proposed action.

    The notice announcing the proposed approval of Oklahoma's application was published on January 16, 2018, and the comment period was scheduled to end on March 2, 2018. See 83 FR 2100. Since publication of the notice, a number of stakeholders have requested additional time to review Oklahoma's application and to develop and submit comments. Therefore, after considering this request for additional time, EPA has decided to extend the comment period until March 19, 2018.

    Dated: February 8, 2018. Barry N. Breen, Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Land and Emergency Management.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03274 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No.: 180110025-8025-01] RIN 0648-BH51 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northern Gulf of Maine Measures in Framework Adjustment 29 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS proposes some of the measures included in Framework Adjustment 29 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan that establish scallop specifications and other measures for the Northern Gulf of Maine scallop management area for fishing years 2018 and 2019. This action is necessary to prevent overfishing and improve both yield-per-recruit and the overall management of the Atlantic sea scallop resource in the Northern Gulf of Maine. The intended effect of this rule is to notify the public of these proposed measures and to solicit comment on the potential scallop fishery management changes.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by March 7, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    The New England Fishery Management Council has prepared a draft environmental assessment (EA) for this action that describes the proposed measures, other considered alternatives, and analyzes the impacts of the proposed measures and alternatives. The Council submitted a decision draft of the framework to NMFS that includes the draft EA, a description of the Council's preferred alternatives, the Council's rationale for selecting each alternative, and an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA). Copies of the decision draft of Framework Adjustment 29, the draft EA, and the IRFA, are available upon request from Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Newburyport, MA 01950.

    You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2018-0007, by either of the following methods:

    Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2018-0007, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Regional Administrator, NMFS, Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Mark the outside of the envelope, “Comments on Northern Gulf of Maine Measures in Framework Adjustment 29.”

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Travis Ford, Fishery Policy Analyst, 978-281-9233.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The scallop fishery's management unit ranges from the shorelines of Maine through North Carolina to the outer boundary of the Exclusive Economic Zone. The Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan (FMP), established in 1982, includes a number of amendments and framework adjustments that have revised and refined the fishery's management. The New England Fishery Management Council sets scallop fishery catch limits and other management measures through specification or framework adjustments that occur annually or biennially. The Council adopted Framework Adjustment 29 (Framework 29) to the Atlantic Sea Scallop FMP in its entirety on December 7, 2017, and submitted a decision draft of the framework, including a draft EA, to NMFS on December 21, 2017, for review and approval. Framework 29 includes catch, effort, and quota allocations and adjustments to the rotational area management program for fishing year 2018 and default specifications for fishing year 2019.

    This action proposes the portion of Framework 29 that establishes scallop specifications and other measures for the Northern Gulf of Maine (NGOM) scallop management area for fishing years 2018 and 2019. These measures were developed to address harvesting activities by the limited access fleet in the past two years. In fishing years 2016 and 2017, the limited access fleet harvested substantially more scallops from the NGOM than they had since the beginning of the NGOM management program. Because the limited access fleet accessed the NGOM through the days-at-sea (DAS) program, there was no hard limit on its landings from the area. This resulted in total landings from the NGOM by the limited access fleet that far exceeded the total allowable catch (TAC) for the limited access general category (LAGC) fleet. The Council felt that this was inconsistent with the goals of the NGOM management program. Accordingly, the Council developed Framework 29, in part, to put measures in place to temporarily divide the catch more equitably between the two fleets and limit the total catch by the limited access fleet from the NGOM to a level consistent with its specified TAC for the NGOM.

    Prior to its approval of Framework 29 at its December meeting, the Council raised concerns regarding the complexity of Framework 29 and the timeline for implementation. Specifically, the Council was concerned that if the NGOM measures in Framework 29 are not in place by April 1, 2018, the limited access fleet could exceed its portion of the total allowable catch (TAC) proposed in the framework, potentially undermining the sustainability of the NGOM fishery in at least the short term. We informed the Council at the December meeting that we would consider separating out the NGOM measures in Framework 29 to ensure that they were in place prior to April 1, 2018. To help prevent excessive fishing in the NGOM, we are separating out the NGOM measures in Framework 29 to expedite their implementation. As a result, this action addresses only the portions of Framework 29 that affect fishing in the NGOM. We will address the remaining specifications and other management measure in Framework 29 in a follow-up action.

    This action would set new management measures in the NGOM for the scallop fishery for the 2018 and 2019 fishing years, including prohibiting the limited access fleet from accessing the NGOM while participating in the DAS program. In addition, this action would divide the annual NGOM TAC between the limited access fleet while on a research set-aside (RSA) trip and LAGC fleets for the 2018 and 2019 (default) fishing years as follows:

    Table 1—NGOM TAC for Fishing Years 2018 and 2019 [Default] Fleet 2018 lb kg 2019 (default) lb kg LAGC 135,000 61,235 102,500 46,493 Limited access 65,000 29,484 32,500 14,742 Total 200,000 90,718 135,000 61,235 Setting the NGOM TAC

    The NGOM TAC would be set by applying a fishing mortality rate (F) of F = 0.18 using only the projected exploitable biomass on Jeffreys Ledge and Stellwagen Bank for fishing years 2018 and 2019. The Council chose to base the F rate only on these two areas because the Council projects that this is where the bulk of the fishing in the NGOM will take place. The 2017 survey of Stellwagen Bank did not see any signs of recruitment to the NGOM resource. Therefore, the Council chose to set a more conservative TAC for fishing years 2018 and 2019 that may lead to more consistent harvests in the NGOM. The overall TAC for the entire NGOM management area would be set at 200,000 lbs (90,718 kg) for fishing year 2018, and 135,000 lbs (61,235 kg) for fishing year 2019 (Table 1).

    Dividing the NGOM TAC

    If current measures remain in place for the NGOM, limited access scallop vessels will be able to fish in the NGOM while on DAS until the LAGC fleet reaches the TAC. Since this could result in extremely high catch and fishing mortality in the NGOM, this action would divide the TAC between the LAGC fleet and the limited access fleet while on a RSA trip at a level consistent with the biomass in the area. The NGOM TAC for the LAGC component was set at 70,000 lb (31,751 kg) from fishing year 2008 through fishing year 2016. Using this as a basis, the Council recommended that the first 70,000 lb (31,751 kg) of the NGOM TAC should be allocated to the LAGC fleet, and that any remaining pounds should be split equally between the LAGC and limited access fleets (Table 1). Each fleet would operate independently under its own portion of the TAC. The NGOM management area would remain open for each component until their TAC is projected to be harvested, even if the other component has reached its TAC. For example, if the LAGC component harvests its TAC before the limited access fleet harvests all of its allocation, the area would remain open for limited access fishing. The Council considered several options for temporarily dividing the TAC between the two fleets. This TAC division is intended to be a short-term solution to allow controlled fishing in the NGOM management area until the Council and NMFS can develop a future action to address NGOM issues more holistically.

    Managing Limited Access Removals

    This action would not change how the LAGC component currently operates in the NGOM. However, the limited access fleet would be prohibited from accessing the NGOM while participating in the DAS program. The limited access share of the NGOM TAC would be available through RSA compensation fishing only. Each year the Scallop FMP sets aside 1.25 million lb (566,990 kg) of scallops to fund research relevant to the FMP. RSA projects are selected through a competitive grants process, with priorities established by the Council. NMFS allocates award recipients a portion of the RSA quota and recipients use the money generated by the sale of the awarded RSA quota, to fund the proposed research. This action would allow NMFS to allocate the limited access portion of the NGOM TAC (65,000 lb (29,484 kg)) to be harvested as RSA compensation quota. This allocation would not be in addition to the 1.25 million lb (566,990 kg) RSA quota. When allocating this quota to specific projects, NMFS would give priority to projects that are relevant to the NGOM. Any limited access or LAGC vessels that NMFS awards NGOM RSA compensation pounds would be required to declare into the area and fish exclusively within the NGOM management area. Any NGOM RSA harvest overages would be deducted from the following year's limited access NGOM TAC.

    Capping removals for all fishery components at the specified portion of the NGOM TAC and requiring that all NGOM trips take place exclusively in the NGOM would allow the Council and NMFS to fully understand total removals from the area. Making the limited access share of the NGOM TAC available for RSA compensation fishing would be a short-term solution to utilize a small limited access portion of the NGOM TAC with the expectation that a more formal allocation and harvest strategy would be developed in a future amendment.

    The Council has reviewed the NGOM portions of the Framework 29 proposed rule regulations as drafted by NMFS and deemed them to be necessary and appropriate as specified in section 303(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act).

    Classification

    Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Assistant Administrator has determined that this proposed rule is consistent with the Atlantic Sea Scallop FMP, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law, subject to further consideration after public comment.

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

    An IRFA has been prepared, as required by section 603 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA). The IRFA describes the economic impact this proposed rule, if adopted, would have on small entities. The IRFA consists of Framework 29 analyses of the NGOM measures, the draft IRFA, and the preamble to this proposed rule.

    Description of the Reasons Why Action by the Agency Is Being Considered and Statement of the Objectives of, and Legal Basis for, This Proposed Rule

    This action proposes the management measures and specifications for the Atlantic sea scallop fishery in the NGOM for 2018, with 2019 default measures. A description of the action, why it is being considered, and the legal basis for this action are contained in the Council's Framework 29 document and the preamble of this proposed rule and are not repeated here.

    Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance Requirements of the Proposed Rule

    This action contains no new collection-of-information, reporting, or recordkeeping requirements. Accordingly, this proposed rule does not implicate the Paperwork Reduction Act.

    Federal Rules Which May Duplicate, Overlap or Conflict With This Proposed Rule

    The proposed regulations do not create overlapping regulations with any state regulations or other federal laws.

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

    The proposed regulations would affect all vessels with limited access and LAGC scallop permits, but there is no differential effect based on whether the affected entities are small or large. Framework 29 provides extensive information on the number and size of vessels and small businesses that would be affected by the proposed regulations, by port and state (see ADDRESSES). Fishing year 2016 data were used for this analysis because these data are the most recent complete data set for a fishing year. There were 313 vessels that obtained full-time limited access permits in 2016, including 250 dredge, 52 small-dredge, and 11 scallop trawl permits. In the same year, there were also 34 part-time limited access permits in the sea scallop fishery. No vessels were issued occasional scallop permits. NMFS issued 225 LAGC IFQ permits in 2016, and 125 of these vessels actively fished for scallops that year. The remaining permit holders likely leased out scallop IFQ allocations with their permits in Confirmation of Permit History. In 2016, there were 27 NGOM vessels that actively fished.

    For RFA purposes, NMFS defines a small business in shellfish fishery as a firm that is independently owned and operated with receipts of less than $11 million annually (see 50 CFR 200.2). Individually-permitted vessels may hold permits for several fisheries, harvesting species of fish that are regulated by several different fishery management plans, even beyond those impacted by this proposed rule. Furthermore, multiple permitted vessels and/or permits may be owned by entities with various personal and business affiliations. For the purposes of this analysis, “ownership entities” are defined as those entities with common ownership as listed on the permit application. Only permits with identical ownership are categorized as an “ownership entity.” For example, if five permits have the same seven persons listed as co-owners on their permit applications, those seven persons would form one “ownership entity,” that holds those five permits. If two of those seven owners also co-own additional vessels, that ownership arrangement would be considered a separate “ownership entity” for the purpose of this analysis.

    On June 1 of each year, ownership entities are identified based on a list of all permits for the most recent complete calendar year. The current ownership dataset is based on the calendar year 2016 permits and contains average gross sales associated with those permits for calendar years 2014 through 2016. Matching the potentially impacted 2016 fishing year permits described above (limited access permits and LAGC IFQ permits) to calendar year 2016 ownership data results in 161 distinct ownership entities for the limited access fleet and 115 distinct ownership entities for the LAGC IFQ fleet. Of these, and based on the Small Business Administration guidelines, 154 of the limited access distinct ownership entities and 113 of the LAGC IFQ entities are categorized as small. The remaining seven of the limited access and two of the LAGC IFQ entities are categorized as large entities. The number of distinct small business entities with NGOM permits and active NGOM vessels were 27 in 2016 permits.

    Description of Significant Alternatives to the Proposed Action Which Accomplish the Stated Objectives of Applicable Statutes and Which Minimize any Significant Economic Impact on Small Entities

    The Council considered three alternatives for setting a TAC in the NGOM: Alternative 1 (No Action, 95,000 lb (43,091 kg) TAC and no changes to management), Alternative 2 (Set NGOM TAC using exploitable biomass projections for 2018 and 2019, cap removals for all fishery components, and apply limited access share of TAC toward RSA compensation fishing), and Alternative 3 (Set NGOM TAC at 0 lb (0 kg)). Under the Council's preferred alternative, Alternative 2, there were two options for setting the TAC and each of these options had two sub-options for splitting the TAC between the limited access and the LAGC fleets. Option 1 (setting that TAC based on F = 0.15) included these two sub-options to split the TAC: Sub-option 1 (allocating the first 70,000 lb (31,751 kg) to LAGC fleet and the remaining TAC is split equally), and sub-option 2 (first 95,000 lb (43,091 kg) to LAGC fleet and the remaining TAC is split 25(LAGC)/75(limited access)). These two sub-options are described in Table 2. Under these sub-options scallop revenues and net revenues of the small business entities for the NGOM vessels would increase relative to No Action levels ranging from 19 percent to 27 percent. However, the preferred alternative (Alternative 2, Option 2, Sub-Option 1) would result in the highest economic benefits for this fishery with an estimated increase in net revenues by 42 percent compared to both Alternative 1 (No Action) and Alternative 3 (Set NGOM TAC at 0 lb (0 kg)).

    Table 2—Impacts of the Preferred Alternative 2 for NGOM Scallop Fishery [2018 Fishing Year] Option 1 (F = 0.15) Option 2 (F = 0.18)—Preferred Split Sub-Option 1 (70,000 lb (31,751 kg) then 50/50) Preferred LA scallop pounds 47500 lb (21546 kg) 65000 lb (29,484 kg) LAGC scallop pounds 117500 lb (53297 kg) 135000 lb (61,235 kg) Total Pounds 165000 lb (74843 kg) 200000 lb (90,718 kg) Net revenue (in 2017 Mill. $) 1.13 1.29 Net Revenue under No Action (Alternative 1, in 2017 Mill. $) 0.91 0.91 Percent Change in net revenue per vessel and per business entity 24 percent 42 percent Split Sub-Option 2 (95,000 lb (43,091 kg) then 25/75) LA scallop pounds 52,500 lb (23,814 kg) 78,750 lb (35,720 kg) LAGC scallop pounds 112,500 lb (51,029 kg) 121,250 lb (54,998 kg) Total Pounds 16,5000 lb (74,843 kg) 200,000 lb (90,718 kg) Estimated LA RSA value $643,125 $964,687.5 Estimated LAGC scallop revenue $1,378,125 $1,485,313 net revenue ( 2017 Mill. $) 1.08 1.16 Net Revenue under No Action (Alternative 1, in 2017 Mill. $)) 0.91 0.91 Percent Change in net revenue 19 percent 27 percent

    The economic impacts of the preferred NGOM alternative on the limited access vessels could range, however, from low negative to neutral. In both 2016 and 2017, limited access vessels were active in the NGOM management area until it closed when the LAGC component was projected to have reached its TAC. Approximately 67 limited access vessels operated within the NGOM management area in 2017 while operating under DAS. Depending on the scallop resource productivity in the open areas, the cap on limited access landings from the NGOM and the requirement that limited access share would be harvested as RSA compensation fishing could have some marginally low negative impacts on the limited access fishery due to effort displacement to other areas which may not be as productive as the NGOM scallop fishery.

    List of Subjects 50 CFR Part 648

    Fisheries, Fishing, Recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

    Dated: February 13, 2018. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 648 is proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 648—FISHERIES OF THE NORTHEAST UNITED STATES 1. The authority citation for part 648 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Subpart A—General Provisions 2. In § 648.10, revise paragraphs (f) introductory text, (f)(2) introductory text, and (f)(4)(i) to read as follows:
    § 648.10 VMS and DAS requirements for vessel owners/operators.

    (f) Atlantic sea scallop vessel VMS notification requirements. Less than 1 hour prior to leaving port, the owner or authorized representative of a scallop vessel that is required to use VMS as specified in paragraph (b)(1) of this section must notify the Regional Administrator by transmitting the appropriate VMS code that the vessel will be participating in the scallop DAS program, Area Access Program, LAGC scallop fishery, fishing in the Northern Gulf of Maine management area, or will be fishing outside of the scallop fishery under the requirements of its other Federal permits, or that the vessel will be steaming to another location prior to commencing its fishing trip by transmitting a “declared out of fishery” VMS code. If the owner or authorized representative of a scallop vessel declares out of the fishery for the steaming portion of the trip, the vessel cannot possess, retain, or land scallops, or fish for any other fish. Prior to commencing the fishing trip following a “declared out of fishery” trip, the owner or authorized representative must notify the Regional Administrator by transmitting the appropriate VMS code, before first crossing the VMS Demarcation Line, that the vessel will be participating in the scallop DAS program, Area Access Program, or LAGC scallop fishery. VMS codes and instructions are available from the Regional Administrator upon request.

    (2) NGOM scallop fishery. A NGOM scallop vessel is deemed to be fishing in Federal waters of the NGOM management area and will have its landings applied against the LAGC portion of the NGOM management area TAC, specified in § 648.62(b)(1), unless:

    (4) Catch reports. (i) The owner or operator of a limited access or LAGC scallop vessel with an IFQ permit that fishes for, possesses, or retains scallops, and is not fishing under a NE Multispecies DAS or sector allocation, must submit reports through the VMS, in accordance with instructions to be provided by the Regional Administrator, for each day fished, including open area trips, access area trips as described in § 648.59(b)(9), Northern Gulf of Maine RSA trips, and trips accompanied by a NMFS-approved observer. The reports must be submitted for each day (beginning at 0000 hr and ending at 2400 hr) and not later than 0900 hr of the following day. Such reports must include the following information:

    (A) VTR serial number;

    (B) Date fish were caught;

    (C) Total pounds of scallop meats kept;

    (D) Total pounds of all fish kept.

    3. In § 648.14: a. Revise paragraphs (i)(1)(iii)(A)(1)(ii) and (iv), and (i)(1)(viii)(A) and (B); b. Add paragraph (i)(2)(iii)(E); and c. Revise paragraphs (i)(3)(iii)(C) and(D).

    The revisions and additions read as follows:

    § 648.14 Prohibitions.

    (i) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (iii) * * *

    (A) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (ii) The scallops were harvested by a vessel that has been issued and carries on board a limited access scallop permit and is properly declared into the scallop DAS, Area Access program, or the NGOM management area.

    (iv) The scallops were harvested by a vessel that has been issued and carries on board an NGOM or IFQ scallop permit, and is properly declared into the NGOM scallop management area, and the LAGC portion of the NGOM TAC specified in § 648.62 has not been harvested.

    (viii) Scallop research. (A) Fail to comply with any of the provisions specified in § 648.56 or the conditions of a letter of authorization issued under § 648.56.

    (B) Fish for scallops in, or possess or land scallops from the NGOM, unless allocated NGOM RSA allocation as described in § 648.56(d) and fishing on a scallop research set aside compensation trip.

    (2) * * *

    (iii) * * *

    (E) Fish for, possess, or land scallops from the NGOM, unless on a scallop RSA compensation trip and allocated NGOM RSA allocation as described in § 648.56(d).

    (3) * * *

    (iii) * * *

    (C) Declare into the NGOM scallop management area after the effective date of a notification published in the Federal Register stating that the LAGC portion of the NGOM scallop management area TAC has been harvested as specified in § 648.62, unless the vessel is fishing exclusively in state waters, declared a state-waters only NGOM trip, and is participating in an approved state waters exemption program as specified in § 648.54, or unless the vessel is participating in the scallop RSA program as specified in § 648.56.

    (D) Fish for, possess, or land scallops in or from the NGOM scallop management area after the effective date of a notification published in the Federal Register that the LAGC portion of the NGOM scallop management area TAC has been harvested, as specified in § 648.62, unless the vessel possesses or lands scallops that were harvested south of 42°20′ N lat., the vessel is transiting the NGOM scallop management area, and the vessel's fishing gear is properly stowed and not available for immediate use in accordance with § 648.2 or unless the vessel is fishing exclusively in state waters, declared a state-waters only NGOM trip, and is participating in an approved state waters exemption program as specified in § 648.54, or unless the vessel is participating in the scallop RSA program as specified in § 648.56.

    Subpart D—Management Measures for the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery 4. In § 648.56 revise paragraphs (c) and (d) to read as follows:
    § 648.56 Scallop research.

    (c) NOAA shall make the final determination as to what proposals are approved and which vessels are authorized to take scallops in excess of possession limits, or take additional trips into Open, Access Areas, or the NGOM management area. NMFS shall provide authorization of such activities to specific vessels by letter of acknowledgement, letter of authorization, or Exempted Fishing Permit issued by the Regional Administrator, which must be kept on board the vessel.

    (d) Available RSA allocation shall be 1.25 million lb (567 mt) annually, which shall be deducted from the ABC/ACL specified in § 648.53(a) prior to setting ACLs for the limited access and LAGC fleets, as specified in § 648.53(a)(3) and (4), respectively. Approved RSA projects shall be allocated an amount of scallop pounds that can be harvested in open areas, available access areas, and the NGOM. The specific access areas that are open to RSA harvest and the amount of NGOM allocation to be landed through RSA harvest shall be specified through the framework process as identified in § 648.59(e)(1). In a year in which a framework adjustment is under review by the Council and/or NMFS, NMFS shall make RSA awards prior to approval of the framework, if practicable, based on total scallop pounds needed to fund each research project. Recipients may begin compensation fishing in open areas prior to approval of the framework, or wait until NMFS approval of the framework to begin compensation fishing within approved access areas.

    5. In § 648.62: a. Revise paragraphs (a)(2) through (a)(4), (b), (c), and (d); and b. Add paragraph (a)(5).

    The addition and revisions to read as follows:

    § 648.62 Northern Gulf of Maine (NGOM) Management Program.

    (a) * * *

    (2) Scallop landings by vessels issued NGOM permits shall be deducted from the LAGC portion of the NGOM scallop total allowable catch when vessels fished all or part of a trip in the Federal waters portion of the NGOM. If a vessel with a NGOM scallop permit fishes exclusively in state waters within the NGOM, scallop landings from those trips will not be deducted from the Federal NGOM quota.

    (3) Scallop landings by all vessels issued LAGC IFQ scallop permits and fishing in the NGOM scallop management area shall be deducted from the LAGC portion of the NGOM scallop total allowable catch specified in the specifications or framework adjustment processes defined in § 648.55. Scallop landings by LAGC IFQ scallop vessels fishing in the NGOM scallop management area shall be deducted from their respective scallop IFQs. Landings by incidental catch scallop vessels shall not be deducted from the NGOM total allowable catch specified in paragraph (b) of this section.

    (4) A vessel issued a NGOM or LAGC IFQ scallop permit that fishes in the NGOM may fish for, possess, or retain up to 200 lb (90.7 kg) of shucked or 25 bu (8.81 hL) of in-shell scallops, and may possess up to 50 bu (17.6 hL) of in-shell scallops seaward of the VMS Demarcation Line. A vessel issued an incidental catch general category scallop permit that fishes in the NGOM may fish for, possess, or retain only up to 40 lb of shucked or 5 U.S. bu (1.76 hL) of in-shell scallops, and may possess up to 10 bu (3.52 hL) of in-shell scallops seaward of the VMS Demarcation Line.

    (5) Scallop landings by all vessels issued scallop permits and fishing in the NGOM under the scallop RSA program (as specified in § 648.56) shall be deducted from the limited access portion of the NGOM scallop total allowable catch.

    (b) Total allowable catch. The total allowable catch for the NGOM scallop management area shall be specified through the framework adjustment process. The total allowable catch for the NGOM scallop management area shall be based on the Federal portion of the scallop resource in the NGOM. The total allowable catch shall be determined by historical landings until additional information on the NGOM scallop resource is available, for example through an NGOM resource survey and assessment. The ABC/ACL as defined in § 648.53(a) shall not include the total allowable catch for the NGOM scallop management area, and landings from the NGOM scallop management area shall not be counted against the ABC/ACL defined in § 648.53(a). The total allowable catch shall be divided between the limited access and the LAGC fleets.

    (1) NGOM annual hard TACs. The LAGC and the limited access portions of the annual hard TAC for the NGOM 2018 and 2019 fishing years are as follows:

    Fleet 2018 lb kg 2019
  • (default)
  • lb kg
    LAGC 135,000 61,235 102,500 46,493 Limited access 65,000 29,484 32,500 14,742 Total 200,000 90,718 135,000 61,235

    (2) Unless a vessel has fished for scallops outside of the NGOM scallop management area and is transiting the NGOM scallop management area with all fishing gear stowed and not available for immediate use as defined in § 648.2, no vessel issued an LAGC or limited access scallop permit pursuant to § 648.4(a)(2) may possess, retain, or land scallops in the NGOM scallop management area once the Regional Administrator has provided notification in the Federal Register that the vessel's respective portion(s) of the NGOM scallop total allowable catch in accordance with paragraph (b)(1) has been reached, unless the vessel is participating in the scallop RSA program as specified in § 648.56, has been allocated NGOM RSA pounds, and the limited access portion of the NGOM TAC has not been reached. Once the NGOM hard TAC is reached, a vessel issued a NGOM permit may no longer declare a state-only NGOM scallop trip and fish for scallops exclusively in state waters within the NGOM, unless participating in the state waters exemption program as specified in § 648.54. A vessel that has not been issued a Federal scallop permit that fishes exclusively in state waters is not subject to the closure of the NGOM scallop management area.

    (3) If either the LAGC or the limited access portion of the annual NGOM TAC is exceeded, the amount of NGOM scallop landings in excess of the portion of the TAC specified in paragraph (b)(1) of this section shall be deducted from the respective portion(s) of the NGOM TAC which has been exceeded for the subsequent fishing year, as soon as practicable, once scallop landings data for the NGOM management area is available.

    (c) VMS requirements. Except scallop vessels issued a limited access scallop permit pursuant to § 648.4(a)(2)(i) that have declared a NGOM trip under the scallop RSA program, a vessel issued a scallop permit pursuant to § 648.4(a)(2) that intends to fish for scallops in the NGOM scallop management area or fishes for, possesses, or lands scallops in or from the NGOM scallop management area, must declare a NGOM scallop management area trip and report scallop catch through the vessel's VMS unit, as required in § 648.10. If the vessel has a NGOM permit, the vessel must declare either a Federal NGOM trip or a state-waters NGOM trip. If a vessel intends to fish any part of a NGOM trip in Federal NGOM waters, it may not declare into the state water NGOM fishery.

    (d) Gear restrictions. Except scallop vessels issued a limited access scallop permit pursuant to § 648.4(a)(2)(i) that have properly declared a NGOM trip under the scallop RSA program, the combined dredge width in use by, or in possession on board, LAGC scallop vessels fishing in the NGOM scallop management area may not exceed 10.5 ft (3.2 m), measured at the widest point in the bail of the dredge.

    [FR Doc. 2018-03319 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    83 34 Tuesday, February 20, 2018 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request February 14, 2018.

    The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments are requested regarding (1) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques and other forms of information technology.

    Comments regarding this information collection received by March 22, 2018 will be considered. Written comments should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), New Executive Office Building, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC, 20503. Commentors are encouraged to submit their comments to OMB via email to: [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8681.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Forest Service

    Title: Federal and Non-Federal Financial Assistance Instruments.

    OMB Control Number: 0596-0217.

    Summary of Collection: In order to carry out specific Forest Service (FS) activities, Congress created several authorities to assist the Agency in carrying out its mission. Authorized by the Federal Grants and Cooperative Agreements Act (FGCAA), the FS issues Federal Financial Assistance awards, (i.e., grants and cooperative agreements). Agency specific authorities and appropriations also support use of Federal Financial Assistance awards. In addition to FFA, Congress created specific authorizations for acts outside the scope of the FGCAA. Appropriations language was developed to convey authority for the Forest Service to enter into relationships that are outside the scope of the FGCAA. Information in this request is collected from individuals; non-profit and for-profit institutions; institutions of higher education and state, local, and Native American tribal governments etc. Multiple options are available for respondents to respond including forms, non-forms, electronically, face-to-face, by telephone and over the internet.

    Need and Use of the Information: From the pre-award to the close-out stage, FS will collect information from respondents on forms, via emails, meetings, and telephone calls. Using various forms respondents will describe the type of project, project scope, financial plan and other factors. To reach management decision on several Office of the Inspector General (OIG) Recommendations from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act—Forest Service Hazardous Fuels Reduction and Ecosystem Restoration Projects on Non-Federal Lands Audit (Report No. 08703-0005-SF, Issued March 2013), several new forms were created. In addition, mandatory post-award meetings must be held for each new Federal financial assistance award. Without this information the FS would not be able to develop, implement, monitor and administer these agreements and comply with the OIG audit recommendations.

    Description of Respondents: Business or other for-profit; Not-for-profit Institutions; State, Local or Tribal Government; Individuals.

    Number of Respondents: 4,874.

    Frequency of Responses: Recordkeeping; Reporting: Quarterly; On occasion.

    Total Burden Hours: 49,751.

    Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03348 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agency Information Collection Activities: Revision and Extension of Approved Collection; Comment Request; Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery February 14, 2018. AGENCY:

    The Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO), Department of Agriculture.

    ACTION:

    30-Day notice of submission of information collection approval from the Office of Management and Budget and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of a Federal Government-wide effort to streamline the process to seek feedback from the public on service delivery, the Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) has submitted a Generic Information Collection Request (Generic ICR): “Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery” to OMB for approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted by March 22, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments may be submitted to the Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503; [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request additional information, please contact Ruth Brown (202) 720-8958.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery.

    Abstract: The information collection activity will garner qualitative customer and stakeholder feedback in an efficient, timely manner, in accordance with the Administration's commitment to improving service delivery. By qualitative feedback we mean information that provides useful insights on perceptions and opinions, but are not statistical surveys that yield quantitative results that can be generalized to the population of study. This feedback will provide insights into customer or stakeholder perceptions, experiences and expectations, provide an early warning of issues with service, or focus attention on areas where communication, training or changes in operations might improve delivery of products or services. These collections will allow for ongoing, collaborative and actionable communications between the Agency and its customers and stakeholders. It will also allow feedback to contribute directly to the improvement of program management.

    Feedback collected under this generic clearance will provide useful information, but it will not yield data that can be generalized to the overall population. This type of generic clearance for qualitative information will not be used for quantitative information collections that are designed to yield reliably actionable results, such as monitoring trends over time or documenting program performance. Such data uses require more rigorous designs that address: The target population to which generalizations will be made, the sampling frame, the sample design (including stratification and clustering), the precision requirements or power calculations that justify the proposed sample size, the expected response rate, methods for assessing potential non-response bias, the protocols for data collection, and any testing procedures that were or will be undertaken prior fielding the study. Depending on the degree of influence the results are likely to have, such collections may still be eligible for submission for other generic mechanisms that are designed to yield quantitative results.

    The Agency received seven comments in response to the 60-day notice published in the Federal Register on December 5, 2017 (82 FR 57423). The comments were not related to the collection package or to USDA.

    The Office of the Chief Information Officer—0503-0021

    Current Actions: Revision and Extension of Currently Approved Collection.

    Type of Review: Revision and Extension.

    Affected Public: Individuals and Households, Businesses and Organizations, State, Local or Tribal Government.

    Average Expected Annual Number of activities: 20.

    Respondents: 30,000.

    Annual responses: 30,000.

    Frequency of Response: Once per request.

    Average minutes per response: 30.

    Burden hours: 15,000.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget control number.

    Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03370 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-KR-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request February 14, 2018.

    The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments are requested regarding (1) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments regarding this information collection received by March 22, 2018 will be considered. Written comments should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), New Executive Office Building, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20502. Commenters are encouraged to submit their comments to OMB via email to: [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8958.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Office of Procurement and Property Management

    Title: Guidelines for the Transfer of Excess Computer or Other Technical Equipment Pursuant to Section 14220 of the 2008 Farm Bill.

    OMB Control Number: 0505-0023.

    Summary of Collection: In accordance with procedures in the Federal Management regulation, Subpart 102-36.295, each agency is responsible for submitting an annual report to the General Services Administration of all personal property furnished to non-Federal recipients. Respondents will be authorized representatives of a city, town, or local government entity located in a rural area as defined in 7 U.S.C. 1991(a)(13)(A).

    Need and Use of the Information: USDA requires information to: verify eligibility of requestors; determine availability of excess property; have contact information of the requestor available; and to ensure an organization is designated to receive property on behalf of an eligible recipient. Information is collected via letters from requestors. The request must include: (1) Type of excess computers or other technical equipment requested; (2) Justification for eligibility; (3) Contact information of the requestor; (4) Logistical information such as when and how the property will be picked up; and (5) Information on the recipient's designated organization that will receive and refurbish the property for the recipient. Information will be used to coordinate the transfer of excess property to eligible recipients and as input for the required annual report, of all personal property furnished to non-Federal recipients, to the General Service Administration.

    Description of Respondents: State, Local or Tribal Government.

    Number of Respondents: 10.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion.

    Total Burden Hours: 2.

    Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03336 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-TX-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS-2017-0098] Notice of Availability of an Evaluation of the Classical Swine Fever and Swine Vesicular Disease Status of Japan AGENCY:

    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    We are advising the public that we are proposing to recognize Japan as being free of classical swine fever and swine vesicular disease. This proposed recognition is based on a risk evaluation we have prepared in connection with this action, which we are making available for review and comment.

    DATES:

    We will consider all comments that we receive on or before March 22, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2017-0098.

    Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2017-0098, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.

    Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2017-0098 or in our reading room, which is located in room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 799-7039 before coming.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Kelly Rhodes, Senior Staff Veterinarian, Regionalization Evaluation Services, National Import Export Services, VS, APHIS, USDA, 4700 River Road Unit 38, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; email: [email protected]; (301) 851-3315.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The regulations in 9 CFR part 94 (referred to below as the regulations) govern the importation of certain animals and animal products into the United States in order to prevent the introduction of various animal diseases, including classical swine fever (CSF) and swine vesicular disease (SVD). These are dangerous and communicable diseases of swine.

    Within part 94, § 94.9 contains requirements governing the importation of pork and pork products from regions where CSF exists. Section 94.10 contains importation requirements for swine from regions where CSF is considered to exist. Section 94.12 contains requirements governing the importation of pork or pork products from regions where SVD exists. Section 94.14 prohibits the importation of domestic swine which are moved from or transit any region in which SVD is known to exist.

    In accordance with §§ 94.9(a)(1) and 94.10(a)(1), the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) maintains a web-based list of regions which the Agency considers free of CSF. Sections 94.9(a)(2) and 94.10(a)(2) state that APHIS will add a region to this list after it conducts an evaluation of the region and finds that CSF is not present.

    Similarly, in accordance with § 94.12(a)(1), APHIS maintains a web-based list of regions which the Agency considers free of SVD. Paragraph (a)(2) of this section states that APHIS will add a region to this list after it conducts an evaluation of the region and finds that SVD is not present.

    The regulations in § 92.2 contain requirements for requesting the recognition of the animal health status of a region (as well as for the approval of the export of a particular type of animal or animal product to the United States from a foreign region). If, after review and evaluation of the information submitted in support of the request, APHIS believes the request can be safely granted, APHIS will make its evaluation available for public comment through a document published in the Federal Register. Following the close of the comment period, APHIS will review all comments received and will make a final determination regarding the request that will be detailed in another document published in the Federal Register.

    The Government of Japan has requested that APHIS evaluate the CSF and SVD disease status of the country. In response to Japan's request, we have prepared an evaluation, titled “APHIS Evaluation of the Classical Swine Fever and Swine Vesicular Disease Status of Japan” (September 2017). Based on the evaluation, we have determined that Japan is free of both CSF and SVD. APHIS has also determined that the surveillance, prevention, and control measures implemented by Japan are sufficient to minimize the likelihood of introducing CSF and SVD into the United States via imports of species or products susceptible to these diseases. Our determination supports adding Japan to the web-based lists of regions which APHIS considers free of CSF and SVD.

    Therefore, in accordance with § 92.2(e), we are announcing the availability of our evaluation of the CSF and SVD status of Japan for public review and comment. We are also announcing the availability of an environmental assessment (EA), which has been prepared in accordance with: (1) The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), (2) regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality for implementing the procedural provision of NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), (3) USDA regulations implementing NEPA (7 CFR part 1b), and (4) APHIS' NEPA Implementing Procedures (7 CFR part 372). The evaluation and EA may be viewed on the Regulations.gov website or in our reading room. (Instructions for accessing Regulations.gov and information on the location and hours of the reading room are provided under the heading ADDRESSES at the beginning of this notice.) The documents are also available by contacting the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Information submitted in support of Japan's request is available by contacting the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    After reviewing any comments we receive, we will announce our decision regarding the disease status of Japan with respect to CSF and SVD in a subsequent notice.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 450, 7701-7772, 7781-7786, and 8301-8317; 21 U.S.C. 136 and 136a; 31 U.S.C. 9701; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.4.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 14th day of February 2018. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03369 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food and Nutrition Service [FNS-2017-0044] Food Crediting in Child Nutrition Programs: Request for Information; Extension of Comment Period AGENCY:

    Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice; Extension of Comment Period.

    SUMMARY:

    The National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program, and Summer Food Service Program (Child Nutrition Programs), which are administered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), play a critical role in ensuring that America's children have access to the nutritious food they need to learn and succeed in the classroom, afterschool, and during the summer. It is FNS' responsibility to establish and support the meal patterns and nutrition standards (collectively referred to as meal patterns) in the Child Nutrition Programs that advance the goals of providing nutritious and satisfying meals to a broad population of children. At the same time, FNS works to simplify the menu planning process for Program operators to promote the efficient use of Program funds and provide a wide variety of food choices to menu planners and children.

    In order to claim Federal reimbursement, Child Nutrition Program operators must serve meals and snacks that meet the minimum meal pattern requirements of the respective Program. Crediting is the process designed by FNS to specify how individual food items contribute to the Child Nutrition Programs' meal patterns. Several factors impact how food products can credit toward reimbursable meals, such as volume, weight, and overall nutrient profile.

    The purpose of this Request for Information is to help FNS gather feedback from a wide variety of stakeholders on how FNS' crediting system can best address today's evolving food and nutrition environment, as well as to offer first-rate customer service to those operating and benefitting from the Child Nutrition Programs. FNS welcomes comments from all interested stakeholders. While FNS is interested in your general comments about the crediting process, FNS also invites comments on the crediting of several specific food products. FNS is especially interested in understanding both the possible benefits and any negative impacts associated with potential changes to how certain foods may or may not credit.

    FNS is extending the comment period to provide additional time for interested parties to review this Request for Information.

    DATES:

    The comment period for the Request for Information that was published on December 14, 2017 (82 FR 58792) has been extended from February 12, 2018 to April 23, 2018. To be assured of consideration, comments must be received on or before April 23, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Preferred method: Submit information through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submissions.

    Mail: Submissions should be addressed to School Programs Branch, Policy and Program Development Division, Food and Nutrition Service, 3101 Park Center Drive, 12th floor, Alexandria, Virginia 22302.

    All comments submitted in response to this notice will be included in the record and will be made available to the public at http://www.regulations.gov. Please be advised that the substance of the comments and the identity of the individuals or entities commenting will be subject to public disclosure.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tina Namian, Branch Chief, Policy and Program Development, Child Nutrition Programs, Food and Nutrition Service at (703) 305-2590.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background Child Nutrition Programs' Nutrition Standards

    One of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service's (FNS) highest priorities is to ensure that participants in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP), Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), and Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) (collectively referred to as the Child Nutrition Programs) receive wholesome, nutritious, and tasty meals. The Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (NSLA) and the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (CNA) authorize FNS to establish meal patterns and nutrition standards (collectively referred to as meal patterns) for the Child Nutrition Programs. The NSLA requires FNS to develop meal patterns that are consistent with the recommendations of the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans (Dietary Guidelines) and current nutrition research.

    The Child Nutrition Programs' meal patterns establish the foods and minimum serving sizes that must be served for a meal or snack to be reimbursable. The meal patterns are currently based on food groups (components), not individual nutrients. A reimbursable meal or snack includes a certain amount (or combination) of vegetables, fruits, fluid milk, grains, and meats or meat alternates (e.g., protein foods, such as chicken, and dairy foods, such as yogurt). Each Child Nutrition Program has individualized meal patterns for the various age and grade groups that participate in the Program. The meal patterns were created to enable children to be self-sufficient by providing the adequate and consistent levels of foods and nutrients children need to learn and grow, as well as help children build healthy habits that can last a lifetime.

    Crediting Methodology

    Crediting is the process established by FNS to determine how individual foods contribute to the Child Nutrition Programs' meal patterns. A food is considered creditable when it meets the minimum standards that count toward a reimbursable meal or snack. Generally, this means foods are grouped into categories of similar foods which are credited in a similar way.

    The main focus of FNS' crediting system is to provide simple information that allows Child Nutrition Program operators to (1) easily plan menus with foods and quantities that meet the meal patterns, and (2) offer foods in a way that encourages healthy habits and teaches children how to build balanced meals. Crediting information is conveyed through resources such as FNS' Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs and other technical assistance materials.

    A number of factors impact how foods credit toward a reimbursable meal. It is critical that crediting decisions be made on the fullest range of factors possible to ensure transparency and consistency in the crediting process. The overall nutrient profile of a food is a primary consideration. Foods in each food component are based on a range of nutrients instead of an individual food's nutrient profile. For example, foods in the meats/meat alternates component are grouped based on a collection of nutrients that include protein, B vitamins, selenium, choline, phosphorus, zinc, and copper. Therefore, different varieties of meat (e.g., lean beef versus turkey) are not currently evaluated separately based on their protein content. The volume or weight of the food is also an important factor in making crediting determinations. All meats/meat alternates and grains are credited in ounces equivalencies. Fruits, vegetables, and fluid milk are credited based on volume served.

    In addition, foods that credit toward a reimbursable meal in the Child Nutrition Programs sometimes have a Federal standard of identity. Standards of identity are established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). They are mandatory requirements that determine what a food must contain to be marketed under a certain name. For example, for a product to be labeled peanut butter, it must meet the standard of identity requirements that specify the amount and type of ingredients that may be included. Standards of identity assist FNS in crediting because they provide a common standard under which specific foods are made. This allows FNS to set crediting policy with confidence that products from all manufacturers will have the same characteristics and, thus, make a consistent contribution to the meal patterns. There are some products on the commercial market that do not have an FDA or FSIS standard of identity, but have industry-defined standards. FNS first considers Federal standards of identity when making crediting decisions. When a Federal standard of identity does not exist, then FNS may use industry standards for production to better understand the manufacturing process.

    FNS also considers the customary use of a product. For example, some foods are typically consumed as a snack food and have not been considered appropriate for including as part of a meal in the Child Nutrition Programs. Therefore, they are currently not creditable. This is discussed more in section II. Questions and Answers. Finally, FNS considers the role of the Child Nutrition Program in teaching children healthy eating habits when making crediting decisions.

    Purpose and Scope

    FNS' objective in issuing this Request for Information is to receive input from a broad spectrum of stakeholders to assist FNS in making informed decisions on how FNS' crediting system can best address today's evolving food and nutrition environment, ensure children have access to the nutrition they need, and offer excellent customer service to those operating and benefitting from the Child Nutrition Programs. It is important that FNS' crediting system balances the nutritional needs of the Child Nutrition Programs' participants, as recommended by the Dietary Guidelines, and the need to offer flexibility and a wide range of choices. FNS recognizes that new or reformulated food products are regularly entering the food market. These new or reformulated food products can offer more choices to menu planners and children.

    FNS is especially interested in understanding both the possible benefits and any negative impacts associated with potential changes to how certain foods may or may not credit. As such, FNS is seeking feedback from all interested stakeholders on the questions listed below. Some questions address specific foods due to a high volume of interest in those products. However, FNS is open to feedback about the creditability of other food products as well (see Questions 20-25) and crediting process in general. Additionally, while all comments are welcome, FNS is particularly interested in comments that are consistent with the current statutory framework for the Child Nutrition Programs.

    II. Questions Factors To Determine Crediting

    FNS currently considers the following factors when making crediting decisions:

    Volume or weight of the food. All meats/meat alternates and grains are credited in ounces. Fruits, vegetables, and fluid milk are credited based on volume served. However, dried fruit credits at twice the volume served and raw, leafy greens credit as half the volume served. Additionally, tomato puree and tomato paste credit as if they were reconstituted, instead of as volume served.

    1. Is it appropriate to continue to credit foods based on the volume or weight served, with the few exceptions discussed above? Why or why not?

    2. What are the benefits and negative impacts of having different crediting values for different forms of vegetables and fruits?

    Overall nutrient profile. Foods in each component are based on a range of nutrients instead of an individual food's nutrient profile. For example, foods in the meats/meat alternates component are grouped based on a collection of nutrients that include protein, B vitamins, selenium, choline, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and vitamins D and E. Generally, FNS has not considered fortification in the creditability of foods.

    3. Should fortification play a role in determining if and how a food is credited in the Child Nutrition Programs? Why or why not?

    4. Is the presence of certain nutrients more important than other nutrients when determining if and how a food credits in the Child Nutrition Programs? Why or why not?

    Federal standards of identity and industry standards of production. Many creditable food products in the Child Nutrition Programs have Federal standards of identity or industry standards for production. Standards of identity assist FNS in crediting because they ensure food products with the same name have the same characteristics and, therefore, make a consistent contribution to the meal patterns.

    5. If a food product does not have a Federal standard of identity or industry standards for production, how could these food products credit in the Child Nutrition Programs? Please be as specific as possible.

    Customary use of the food product. Some foods are generally consumed as snacks and, therefore, have not been considered appropriate for service in the Child Nutrition Programs. In other cases, the volume of food required to meet the minimum serving size would be unreasonably large. In other cases, such products do credit. For example, tortillas and tortilla products, such as taco shells, may credit as a grain item in the Child Nutrition Programs because in certain cultures they are served as the grain component of a meal. (Please see below for more information about snack-type foods.)

    6. Is it appropriate to continue to consider the customary use of a product when determining how a food credits in the Child Nutrition Programs? Why or why not?

    The role of the Child Nutrition Program in teaching children healthy eating habits. Meals and snacks served in the Child Nutrition Programs act as a teaching tool for children by visually demonstrating how to build a healthy, balanced meal with the key food groups and amounts recommended by the Dietary Guidelines. For example, although pasta made from lentils has a standard of identity and may be used in all Child Nutrition Programs, in order for the pasta to credit as a vegetable, it must be served with another vegetable, such as broccoli or tomato sauce, to help children recognize the vegetable component. Likewise, lentil pasta can credit as a meat alternate if it is served with another meat/meat alternate, such as chicken or black beans.

    7. What role should such educational considerations play in determining the creditability of a food in the Child Nutrition Programs?

    8. Are there other factors FNS should consider in determining how foods credit in the Child Nutrition Programs? Why or why not?

    9. Are there additional ways FNS can make the crediting process more simple, fair, or transparent? Please be as specific as possible.

    Foods From the Meat/Meat Alternate Component

    Shelf-stable, Dried or Semi-dried Meat, Poultry, and Seafood Snacks, and Surimi: Currently, shelf stable, dried and semi-dried meat, poultry, and seafood products, such as beef jerky or summer sausage, (collectively referred to as dried meat/poultry/seafood snacks) currently do not credit towards the Child Nutrition Programs' meal patterns. These foods have a Federal standard of identity that varies widely, there is a wide variety of industry standards for production, and they are typically seen as snack-type foods. However, FNS understands these products may be appealing to some Child Nutrition Program operators because dried meat/poultry/seafood snacks are shelf stable, work well with alternative meal delivery methods, such as breakfast in the classroom and lunches for field trips, and provide more choices to menu planners and children. Similarly, surimi, which is whitefish that is processed to resemble more expensive seafood and labeled as “imitation,” such as imitation crab, does not credit towards the Child Nutrition Programs' meal patterns. Surimi lacks an FDA standard of identity and there is a wide variety of industry standards for production. Additionally, foods labeled as “imitation” may have significantly different nutrition profiles than the foods they are meant to replace. To assist reviewers in adequately compiling public feedback, please provide separate comments on dried meat/poultry/seafood snacks, and imitation crab.

    10. Are Child Nutrition Program operators currently offering any of these foods as an extra item that does not contribute to the Child Nutrition Programs' meal patterns? If so, which ones?

    10a. If yes, how are they being served (e.g., as an extra component at snack) and how often?

    11. Should FNS allow any of these foods to contribute to the Child Nutrition Programs' meal patterns? Why or why not?

    12. If any of these foods are allowed to contribute to the Child Nutrition Programs' meal patterns, how should they be credited? Be as specific as possible, such as the volume or weight needed, or a specific nutrient content.

    12a. Is there an ingredient or processing method that would qualify or disqualify these products?

    13. If any of these foods are allowed to contribute to the Child Nutrition Programs' meal patterns, would Child Nutrition Program operators incorporate these foods into menus to meet the meats/meat alternates requirement? Why or why not?

    13a. If yes, how would they be served (e.g., at snack, as part of a reimbursable lunch)?

    14. If any of these foods are allowed to contribute to the Child Nutrition Programs' meal patterns, how would this impact the Child Nutrition Programs, including its participants and operators? What are the potential benefits and negative impacts?

    Yogurt: Yogurt may be used to meet all or part of the meats/meat alternates component. It may be plain or flavored, unsweetened or sweetened, traditional (non-strained or non-thickened) or Greek or Greek-style (high protein, strained or thickened). Four ounces (weight) or 1/2 cup (volume) of traditional or high protein yogurt is credited as one ounce equivalent of meat alternate. This crediting was based on public comment (62 FR 10187, April 1997) and acknowledges the relatively low levels of iron and niacin in yogurt compared to other foods from the meats/meat alternates component. Since then, high protein yogurt has increased in popularity and availability. As such, FNS was asked to consider whether it would be beneficial to allow a lesser volume of high protein yogurt to credit toward the meat/meat alternate component compared to traditional yogurt. The rationale for this request was that high protein yogurt contains a higher level of protein per ounce versus traditional yogurt. Currently, crediting has not been based on an individual food's nutrient profile, or any one nutrient. That is, the contribution of a food towards the meat/meat alternate requirement is not based solely on the grams of protein. For example, different varieties of meat (e.g., lean beef versus turkey) are not evaluated separately based on their protein content.

    15. Are Child Nutrition Program operators currently offering high protein yogurt as part of a reimbursable meal?

    16. Should FNS create a separate crediting standard for high protein yogurt that is different than the crediting standard for traditional yogurt for the Child Nutrition Programs? Why or why not?

    17. If high protein yogurt is allowed to contribute differently to the Child Nutrition Programs' meal patterns than traditional yogurt, how should high protein yogurt be credited? Be as specific as possible, such as the volume or weight needed.

    17a. Is there an ingredient or processing method that could qualify or disqualify a particular yogurt from crediting in the Child Nutrition Programs (e.g., a particular thickening agent could disqualify a high protein yogurt)?

    18. If high protein yogurt is allowed to contribute differently to the Child Nutrition Programs' meal patterns than traditional yogurt, would Child Nutrition Program operators take advantage of using it to meet the meats/meat alternates requirement? Why or why not?

    18a. If yes, how would Child Nutrition Program operators serve it (e.g., at snack, as part of a reimbursable lunch)?

    19. If high protein yogurt is allowed to contribute differently to the Child Nutrition Programs' meal patterns than traditional yogurt, how would this impact the Child Nutrition Programs, including its participants and operators, as well as food manufacturers? What are the potential benefits and negative impacts?

    Other Foods Not Currently Creditable

    In the past, FNS has chosen not to credit a small number of other foods in the Child Nutrition Programs because these foods do not meet the requirement for any food component in the Child Nutrition Programs' meal patterns. For various reasons this has occurred, including being considered snack-type foods, lacking a standard of identity, or because the volume of food required to meet the minimum serving size would be unreasonably large. For example, foods such as popcorn, vegetable chips (does not include chips made from grain such as tortilla chips), bacon, and tempeh are currently not creditable for the aforementioned reasons. A list of various foods that do not currently credit in the Child Nutrition Programs is available in FNS' Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs under “Other Foods” (see https://fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/tn/fbg-section5-other.pdf). Comments on any foods currently not creditable in the Child Nutrition Programs are welcome, using the following questions as a guide.

    20. Are Child Nutrition Program operators currently offering any of these foods as an extra item that does not contribute to the Child Nutrition Programs' meal patterns? If so, which ones?

    21. Should FNS allow any of these foods to contribute to the Child Nutrition Programs' meal patterns? Why or why not? If so, which ones?

    22. If any of these foods are allowed to contribute to the Child Nutrition Programs' meal patterns, how should they be credited? Be as specific as possible, such as the volume or weight needed, or a specific nutrient content.

    22a. Is there an ingredient, processing method, or nutrient standard (e.g., sodium content) that should qualify or disqualify any of these foods?

    23. If any of these foods are allowed to contribute to the Child Nutrition Programs' meal patterns, would Child Nutrition Program operators incorporate them into menus to meet the Child Nutrition Programs' meal patterns? Why or why not?

    23a. If yes, how would they be served (e.g., as part of a reimbursable snack)?

    24. If any of these foods are allowed to contribute to the Child Nutrition Programs' meal patterns, how would this impact the Child Nutrition Programs, including its participants and operators, as well as food manufacturers? What are the potential benefits and negative impacts?

    25. Are there additional products not mentioned in this request for information that are currently not creditable, but you would wish to provide comments on? Please be as specific as possible.

    FNS appreciates your thoughtful and responsive comments. FNS welcomes comments from all interested stakeholders and will consider all of them carefully. Your comments are essential to enabling FNS to provide first rate customer service to those we serve.

    Dated: February 13, 2018. Brandon Lipps, Administrator, Food and Nutrition Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03376 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-30-P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Alabama Advisory Committee for a Meeting To Hear Public Testimony Regarding Civil Rights and Voter Accessibility in the State AGENCY:

    U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act that the Alabama Advisory Committee (Committee) will hold a meeting on Thursday, February 22, 2018, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CST, for the purpose of hearing public testimony regarding civil rights and voter access in the state.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Thursday, February 22, 2018, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CST.

    ADDRESSES:

    Connecting Life Center (Old Bellingham Center), 70 W Edmont Avenue, Montgomery, AL 36105.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David Barreras, DFO, at [email protected] or 312-353-8311.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This meeting is free and open to the public. Persons with disabilities requiring reasonable accommodations should contact the Midwest Regional Office prior to the meeting to make appropriate arrangements. Members of the public are invited to make statements during an open comment period. In addition, members of the public may submit written comments; the comments must be received in the regional office no later than March 31, 2017. Written comments may be mailed to the Midwestern Regional Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 55 W. Monroe St., Suite 410, Chicago, IL 60615. They may also be faxed to the Commission at (312) 353-8324, or emailed to David Barreras at [email protected]. Persons who desire additional information may contact the Midwestern Regional Office at (312) 353-8311.

    Records generated from this meeting may be inspected and reproduced at the Midwestern Regional Office, as they become available, both before and after the meeting. Records of the meeting will be available via www.facadatabase.gov under the Commission on Civil Rights, Alabama Advisory Committee link (https://www.facadatabase.gov/committee/committee.aspx?cid=233&aid=17) Select “meeting details” and then “documents” to download. Persons interested in the work of this Committee are directed to the Commission's website, http://www.usccr.gov, or may contact the Midwestern Regional Office at the above email or street address.

    Agenda Opening Remarks and Introductions (9:00 a.m.-9:05 a.m.) Panel 1: Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill (9:05 a.m.-9:30 a.m.) Panel 2: U.S. Representative Terri Sewell (9:35 a.m.-10:15 a.m.) Break (10:15 a.m.-10:30 a.m.) Panel 3: Voter Access Panel 4: Community Organizations Open Comment Period: (4:00-5:00 p.m.) Closing Remarks (5:00 p.m.) Dated: February 13, 2018. David Mussatt, Supervisory Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03282 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Office of the Secretary Estimates of the Voting Age Population for 2017 AGENCY:

    Office of the Secretary, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    General notice announcing population estimates.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces the voting age population estimates as of July 1, 2017 for each state and the District of Columbia. We are providing this notice in accordance with the 1976 amendment to the Federal Election Campaign Act.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Karen Battle, Chief, Population Division, U.S. Census Bureau, Room HQ-6H174, 4600 Silver Hill Road, Washington, DC 20233. Phone: 301-763-2071.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the requirements of the 1976 amendment to the Federal Election Campaign Act, Title 52, United States Code, Section 30116(e), I hereby give notice that the estimates of the voting age population for July 1, 2017 for each state and the District of Columbia are as shown in the following table.

    Estimates of the Voting Age Population for Each State and the District of Columbia: July 1, 2017 Area Population 18 and over United States 252,063,800 Alabama 3,779,274 Alaska 554,867 Arizona 5,382,780 Arkansas 2,298,739 California 30,476,517 Colorado 4,345,321 Connecticut 2,844,358 Delaware 757,455 District of Columbia 569,480 Florida 16,782,417 Georgia 7,914,681 Hawaii 1,121,794 Idaho 1,273,151 Illinois 9,904,838 Indiana 5,093,409 Iowa 2,413,764 Kansas 2,200,585 Kentucky 3,443,650 Louisiana 3,575,930 Maine 1,083,273 Maryland 4,704,671 Massachusetts 5,489,864 Michigan 7,785,662 Minnesota 4,277,949 Mississippi 2,270,533 Missouri 4,730,561 Montana 821,604 Nebraska 1,444,343 Nevada 2,312,576 New Hampshire 1,084,022 New Jersey 7,026,626 New Mexico 1,599,980 New York 15,694,902 North Carolina 7,971,073 North Dakota 579,621 Ohio 9,053,374 Oklahoma 2,971,579 Oregon 3,269,157 Pennsylvania 10,141,022 Rhode Island 852,307 South Carolina 3,919,695 South Dakota 654,810 Tennessee 5,208,482 Texas 20,938,557 Utah 2,175,134 Vermont 506,832 Virginia 6,600,844 Washington 5,759,927 West Virginia 1,446,139 Wisconsin 4,512,839 Wyoming 442,832 Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division, Vintage 2017 Population Estimates.

    I have certified these estimates for the Federal Election Commission.

    Dated: February 1, 2018. Wilbur Ross, Secretary, U.S. Department of Commerce.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03372 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-07-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Industry and Security Materials Processing Equipment Technical Advisory Committee; Notice of Partially Closed Meeting

    The Materials Processing Equipment Technical Advisory Committee (MPETAC) will meet on March 6, 2018, 9:00 a.m., Room 3884, in the Herbert C. Hoover Building, 14th Street between Pennsylvania and Constitution Avenues NW, Washington, DC. The Committee advises the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Export Administration with respect to technical questions that affect the level of export controls applicable to materials processing equipment and related technology.

    Agenda Open Session: 1. Opening remarks and introductions. 2. Presentation of papers and comments by the Public. 3. Discussions on results from last, and proposals from last Wassenaar meeting. 4. Report on proposed and recently issued changes to the Export Administration Regulations. 5. Other business. Closed Session: 6. Discussion of matters determined to be exempt from the provisions relating to public meetings found in 5 U.S.C. app. 2 §§ 10(a)(1) and 10(a)(3).

    The open session will be accessible via teleconference to 20 participants on a first come, first serve basis. To join the conference, submit inquiries to Ms. Yvette Springer at [email protected], no later than February 27, 2018.

    A limited number of seats will be available for the public session. Reservations are not accepted. To the extent that time permits, members of the public may present oral statements to the Committee. The public may submit written statements at any time before or after the meeting. However, to facilitate the distribution of public presentation materials to the Committee members, the Committee suggests that presenters forward the public presentation materials prior to the meeting to Ms. Springer via email.

    The Assistant Secretary for Administration, with the concurrence of the delegate of the General Counsel, formally determined on February 13, 2018, pursuant to Section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. app. 2 § 10(d)), that the portion of the meeting dealing with matters the premature disclosure of which would be likely to frustrate significantly implementation of a proposed agency action as described in 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(9)(B) shall be exempt from the provisions relating to public meetings found in 5 U.S.C. app. 2 §§ 10(a)(1) and 10(a)(3). The remaining portions of the meeting will be open to the public.

    For more information, call Yvette Springer at (202) 482-2813.

    Yvette Springer, Committee Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03397 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-JT-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Industry and Security Materials Technical Advisory Committee; Notice of Partially Closed Meeting

    The Materials Technical Advisory Committee will meet on March 8, 2018, 10:00 a.m., Herbert C. Hoover Building, Room 3884, 14th Street between Constitution & Pennsylvania Avenues NW, Washington, DC. The Committee advises the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Export Administration with respect to technical questions that affect the level of export controls applicable to materials and related technology.

    Agenda Open Session

    1. Introductions and opening remarks by senior management.

    2. Presentation on “Streamlining Licensing.”

    3. Presentation on “Safeguarding the Bioeconomy: Challenges to Data Security, Health, and National Security.”

    4. Open session report by regime representatives.

    Closed Session

    5. Discussion of matters determined to be exempt from the provisions relating to public meetings found in 5 U.S.C. app. 2, 10(a)(1) and 10(a)(3).

    The open session will be accessible via teleconference to 20 participants on a first come, first serve basis. To join the conference, submit inquiries to Ms. Yvette Springer at [email protected], no later than March 1, 2018.

    A limited number of seats will be available during the public session of the meeting. Reservations are not accepted. To the extent time permits, members of the public may present oral statements to the Committee. Written statements may be submitted at any time before or after the meeting. However, to facilitate distribution of public presentation materials to Committee members, the materials should be forwarded prior to the meeting to Ms. Springer via email.

    The Assistant Secretary for Administration, with the concurrence of the delegate of the General Counsel, formally determined on February 13, 2018, pursuant to Section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. app. 2, 10(d)), that the portion of the meeting dealing with pre-decisional changes to the Commerce Control List and the U.S. export control policies shall be exempt from the provisions relating to public meetings found in 5 U.S.C. app. 2, 10(a)(1) and 10(a)(3). The remaining portions of the meeting will be open to the public.

    For more information, call Yvette Springer at (202) 482-2813.

    Yvette Springer, Committee Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03421 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-JT-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Industry and Security Order Denying Export Privileges

    In the Matter of: Irina Cvetkovic, Inmate Number: 28515-408, FCI Marianna, P.O. Box 7007, Marianna, FL 32447.

    On April 26, 2017, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, Irina Cvetkovic (“Cvetkovic”) was convicted of violating Section 38 of the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2778 (2012)) (“AECA”). Specifically, Cvetkovic was convicted of knowingly and willfully exporting and causing to be exported from the United States to Hong Kong two Ruger model SR22 semi-automatic pistols, two silencers, and 1,000 rounds of ammunition, which are items designated as defense articles on the United States Munitions List, without the required U.S. Department of State licenses. Cvetkovic was sentenced to 10 months in prison, with credit for time served, one year of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment.

    Section 766.25 of the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR” or “Regulations”) 1 provides, in pertinent part, that “[t]he Director of the Office of Exporter Services, in consultation with the Director of the Office of Export Enforcement, may deny the export privileges of any person who has been convicted of a violation of the EAA [Export Administration Act], the EAR, or any order, license, or authorization issued thereunder; any regulation, license or order issued under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701-1706); 18 U.S.C. 793, 794 or 798; section 4(b) of the Internal Security Act of 1950 (50 U.S.C. 783(b)); or section 38 of the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2778).” 15 CFR 766.25(a); see also Section 11(h) of the Export Administration Act (“EAA” or “the Act”), 50 U.S.C. 4610(h). The denial of export privileges under this provision may be for a period of up to 10 years from the date of the conviction. 15 CFR 766.25(d); see also 50 U.S.C. 4610(h). In addition, Section 750.8 of the Regulations states that the Bureau of Industry and Security's Office of Exporter Services may revoke any Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) licenses previously issued pursuant to the Act or the Regulations in which the person had an interest at the time of his/her conviction.

    1 The Regulations are currently codified in the Code of Federal Regulations at 15 CFR parts 730-774 (2017). The Regulations issued pursuant to the Export Administration Act (50 U.S.C. 4601-4623 (Supp. III 2015) (available at http://uscode.house.gov)) (“EAA” or “the Act”). Since August 21, 2001, the Act has been in lapse and the President, through Executive Order 13222 of August 17, 2001 (3 CFR, 2001 Comp. 783 (2002)), which has been extended by successive Presidential Notices, the most recent being that of August 15, 2017 (82 FR 39005 (Aug. 16, 2017)), has continued the Regulations in effect under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701, et seq. (2012)).

    BIS has received notice of Cvetkovic's conviction for violating Section 38 of the AECA, and has provided notice and an opportunity for Cvetkovic to make a written submission to BIS, as provided in Section 766.25 of the Regulations. BIS has not received a submission from Cvetkovic.

    Based upon my review and consultations with BIS's Office of Export Enforcement, including its Director, and the facts available to BIS, I have decided to deny Cvetkovic's export privileges under the Regulations for a period of 10 years from the date of Cvetkovic's conviction. I have also decided to revoke all licenses issued pursuant to the Act or Regulations in which Cvetkovic had an interest at the time of her conviction.

    Accordingly, it is hereby ordered:

    First, from the date of this Order until April 26, 2027, Irina Cvetkovic, with a last known address of Inmate Number: 28515-408, FCI Marianna, P.O. Box 7007, Marianna, FL 32447, and when acting for or on her behalf, her successors, assigns, employees, agents or representatives (“the Denied Person”), may not, directly or indirectly, participate in any way in any transaction involving any commodity, software or technology (hereinafter collectively referred to as “item”) exported or to be exported from the United States that is subject to the Regulations, including, but not limited to:

    A. Applying for, obtaining, or using any license, license exception, or export control document;

    B. Carrying on negotiations concerning, or ordering, buying, receiving, using, selling, delivering, storing, disposing of, forwarding, transporting, financing, or otherwise servicing in any way, any transaction involving any item exported or to be exported from the United States that is subject to the Regulations, or engaging in any other activity subject to the Regulations; or

    C. Benefitting in any way from any transaction involving any item exported or to be exported from the United States that is subject to the Regulations, or from any other activity subject to the Regulations.

    Second, no person may, directly or indirectly, do any of the following:

    A. Export or reexport to or on behalf of the Denied Person any item subject to the Regulations;

    B. Take any action that facilitates the acquisition or attempted acquisition by the Denied Person of the ownership, possession, or control of any item subject to the Regulations that has been or will be exported from the United States, including financing or other support activities related to a transaction whereby the Denied Person acquires or attempts to acquire such ownership, possession or control;

    C. Take any action to acquire from or to facilitate the acquisition or attempted acquisition from the Denied Person of any item subject to the Regulations that has been exported from the United States;

    D. Obtain from the Denied Person in the United States any item subject to the Regulations with knowledge or reason to know that the item will be, or is intended to be, exported from the United States; or

    E. Engage in any transaction to service any item subject to the Regulations that has been or will be exported from the United States and which is owned, possessed or controlled by the Denied Person, or service any item, of whatever origin, that is owned, possessed or controlled by the Denied Person if such service involves the use of any item subject to the Regulations that has been or will be exported from the United States. For purposes of this paragraph, servicing means installation, maintenance, repair, modification or testing.

    Third, after notice and opportunity for comment as provided in Section 766.23 of the Regulations, any other person, firm, corporation, or business organization related to Cvetkovic by ownership, control, position of responsibility, affiliation, or other connection in the conduct of trade or business may also be made subject to the provisions of this Order in order to prevent evasion of this Order.

    Fourth, in accordance with Part 756 of the Regulations, Cvetkovic may file an appeal of this Order with the Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security. The appeal must be filed within 45 days from the date of this Order and must comply with the provisions of Part 756 of the Regulations.

    Fifth, a copy of this Order shall be delivered to Cvetkovic and shall be published in the Federal Register.

    Sixth, this Order is effective immediately and shall remain in effect until April 26, 2027.

    Issued this 9th day of February 2018. Karen H. Nies-Vogel, Director, Office of Exporter Services.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03318 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Industry and Security Transportation and Related Equipment Technical Advisory Committee; Notice of Partially Closed Meeting

    The Transportation and Related Equipment Technical Advisory Committee will meet on March 7, 2018, 9:30 a.m., in the Herbert C. Hoover Building, Room 3884, 14th Street between Constitution & Pennsylvania Avenues NW, Washington, DC. The Committee advises the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Export Administration with respect to technical questions that affect the level of export controls applicable to transportation and related equipment or technology.

    Agenda Public Session

    1. Welcome and Introductions.

    2. Status reports by working group chairs.

    3. Public comments and Proposals.

    Closed Session

    4. Discussion of matters determined to be exempt from the provisions relating to public meetings found in 5 U.S.C. app. 2, 10(a)(1) and 10(a)(3).

    The open session will be accessible via teleconference to 20 participants on a first come, first serve basis. To join the conference, submit inquiries to Ms. Yvette Springer at [email protected] no later than February 28, 2018.

    A limited number of seats will be available during the public session of the meeting. Reservations are not accepted. To the extent time permits, members of the public may present oral statements to the Committee. The public may submit written statements at any time before or after the meeting. However, to facilitate distribution of public presentation materials to Committee members, the Committee suggests that presenters forward the public presentation materials prior to the meeting to Ms. Springer via email.

    The Assistant Secretary for Administration, with the concurrence of the delegate of the General Counsel, formally determined on February 13, 2018, pursuant to Section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. app. 2, (10)(d)), that the portion of the meeting dealing with pre-decisional changes to the Commerce Control List and U.S. export control policies shall be exempt from the provisions relating to public meetings found in 5 U.S.C. app. 2, 10(a)(1) and 10(a)(3). The remaining portions of the meeting will be open to the public.

    For more information, call Yvette Springer at (202) 482·2813.

    Yvette Springer, Committee Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03420 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-062] Cast Iron Soil Pipe Fittings From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances, in Part, Postponement of Final Determination and Extension of Provisional Measures AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Commerce) preliminarily determines that cast iron soil pipe fittings from the People's Republic of China (China) were sold in the United States at less than fair value (LTFV) during the period of investigation (POI), January 1, 2017, through June 30, 2017.

    DATES:

    Applicable February 20, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sergio Balbontin or Michael Bowen, AD/CVD Operations, Office VIII, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-6478 or (202) 482-0768, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    This preliminary determination is made in accordance with section 733(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). Commerce published the notice of initiation of this investigation on August 8, 2017.1 On November 27, 2017, Commerce postponed the preliminary determination of this investigation.2 Commerce exercised its discretion to toll all deadlines affected by the closure of the Federal Government from January 20 through 22, 2018. If the new deadline falls on a non-business day, in accordance with Commerce's practice, the deadline will become the next business day. The revised deadline for the preliminary determination of this investigation is now February 12, 2018.3

    1See Cast Iron Soil Pipe Fittings from the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair Value Investigation, 82 FR 37053 (August 8, 2017) (Initiation Notice).

    2See Cast Iron Soil Pipe Fittings from People's Republic of China: Postponement of Preliminary Determination in the Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation, 82 FR 55989 (November 27, 2017).

    3See Memorandum for the Record from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, “Deadlines Affected by the Shutdown of the Federal Government” (Tolling Memorandum), dated January 23, 2018. All deadlines in this segment of the proceeding have been extended by 3 days.

    For a complete description of the events that followed the initiation of this investigation, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.4 A list of topics included in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is included as Appendix II to this notice. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at https://access.trade.gov, and to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed and the electronic versions of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    4See Memorandum, “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Determination in the Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation of Cast Iron Soil Pipe Fittings from the People's Republic of China,” dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by, this notice (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

    Scope of the Investigation

    The products covered by this investigation are cast iron soil pipe fittings from China. For a complete description of the scope of this investigation, see Appendix I.

    Scope Comments

    In accordance with the preamble to Commerce's regulations,5 the Initiation Notice set aside a period of time for parties to raise issues regarding product coverage (scope).6 The petitioner commented on the scope of the investigation as it appeared in the Initiation Notice, proposing the addition of certain Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) codes.7 We are not preliminarily modifying the scope language as it appeared in the Initiation Notice, but we invite parties to comment on whether to add the proposed HTS codes to the scope language.8

    5See Antidumping Duties; Countervailing Duties, Final Rule, 62 FR 27296, 27323 (May 19, 1997).

    6See Initiation Notice, 82 FR at 37053.

    7See Letter from the petitioner, “Cast Iron Soil Pipe Fittings from the People's Republic of China: Pre-Preliminary Comments,” dated January 18, 2018.

    8See the Preliminary Decision Memorandum for further discussion.

    Methodology

    Commerce is conducting this investigation in accordance with section 731 of the Act. Commerce calculated export prices and constructed export prices in accordance with sections 772(a) and (b) of the Act, respectively. Because China is a non-market economy within the meaning of section 771(18) of the Act, Commerce has calculated normal value in accordance with section 773(c) of the Act. Furthermore, pursuant to section 776(a) and (b) of the Act, Commerce preliminarily has relied upon facts otherwise available, with adverse inferences, for the China-wide entity. For a full description of the methodology underlying Commerce's preliminary determination, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances, in Part

    In accordance with section 733(e) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.206, Commerce preliminarily determines that critical circumstances exist with respect to imports of cast iron soil pipe fittings from China for mandatory respondent Sibo International Limited (Sibo), the non-individually examined respondents found to be eligible for a separate rate, and the China-wide entity, but do not exist for mandatory respondents Shanxi Xuanshi Industrial Group Co., Ltd. (Shanxi Xuanshi) and Wor-Biz International Trading Co., Ltd. (Anhui) (Wor-Biz). For a full description of the methodology and results of Commerce's analysis, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    Combination Rates

    In the Initiation Notice, 9 Commerce stated that it would calculate producer/exporter combination rates for the respondents that are eligible for a separate rate in this investigation. Policy Bulletin 05.1 describes this practice.10

    9See Initiation Notice, 82 FR at 37057.

    10See Enforcement and Compliance's Policy Bulletin No. 05.1, regarding, “Separate-Rates Practice and Application of Combination Rates in Antidumping Investigations involving Non-Market Economy Countries,” (April 5, 2005) (Policy Bulletin 05.1), available on Commerce's website at http://enforcement.trade.gov/policy/bull05-1.pdf.

    Preliminary Determination

    Commerce preliminarily determines that the following estimated weighted-average dumping margins exist:

    Producer Exporter Estimated
  • weighted-
  • average
  • dumping margin
  • (percent)
  • Cash deposit rate
  • (adjusted for
  • subsidy offsets)
  • (percent)
  • Shanxi Xuanshi Industrial Group Co., Ltd Shanxi Xuanshi Industrial Group Co., Ltd 68.37 68.28 Qinshui Shunshida Casting Co., Ltd Sibo International Limited 109.95 109.79 Guang Zhou Premier & Pinan Foundry Co., Ltd./Botou Chenyuan Foundry Co., Ltd./Wuhu Best Machines Co., Ltd Wor-Biz Trading Co., Ltd. (Anhui) 78.86 78.63 Shijiazhuang Asia Casting Co., Ltd Shijiazhuang Asia Casting Co., Ltd 88.47 88.31 Qinshui Shunshida Casting Co., Ltd./Xinle Xinye Metal Products Co., Ltd Shanxi Zhongrui Tianyue Trading Co., Ltd 88.47 88.31 Qinshui Shunshida Casting Co., Ltd./Xinle Rishuo Casting Factory/Shijiazhuang Shunjinguangao Trade Co., Ltd./Xinle Tang Rong Fa Lan Pan Co., Ltd Dalian Lino F.T.Z. Co., Ltd 88.47 88.31 Xinle City Zhile Pipeline Industry Co., Ltd./Qinshui Shunshida Casting Co., Ltd./Foshan City Deying Metal Products Co., Ltd Dinggin Hardware (Dalian) Co., Ltd 88.47 88.31 Xinle Rishuo Casting Factory/Qinshui Shunshida Casting Co., Ltd Dalian Metal I/E Co., Ltd 88.47 88.31 Qinshui County Xinwei Precision Co., Ltd Qinshui Shunshida Casting Co., Ltd 88.47 88.31 Shanxi Guruiwei Casting Co., Ltd Richang Qiaoshan Trade Co., Ltd 88.47 88.31 Shijiazhuang Jingruisheng Metal Products Co., Ltd./Qinshui Shunshida Casting Co., Ltd./Xinle City Zhile Pipe Co., Ltd Hebei Metals & Engineering Products Trading Co., Ltd 88.47 88.31 China-wide Entity 109.95 109.86
    Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 733(d)(2) of the Act, Commerce will direct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to suspend liquidation of subject merchandise as described in the scope of the investigation section entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register, as discussed below. Further, pursuant to section 733(d)(1)(B) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(d), Commerce will instruct CBP to require a cash deposit equal to the weighted-average amount by which normal value exceeds U.S. price, as indicated in the chart above as follows: (1) For the producer/exporter combinations listed in the table above, the cash deposit rate is equal to the estimated weighted-average dumping margin listed for that combination in the table; (2) for all combinations of Chinese producers/exporters of merchandise under consideration that have not established eligibility for their own separate rates, the cash deposit rate will be equal to the estimated weighted-average dumping margin established for the China-wide entity; and (3) for all third-county exporters of merchandise under consideration not listed in the table above, the cash deposit rate is the cash deposit rate applicable to the Chinese producer/exporter combination (or the China-wide entity) that supplied that third-country exporter.

    Section 733(e)(2) of the Act provides that, given an affirmative determination of critical circumstances, any suspension of liquidation shall apply to unliquidated entries of merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the later of (a) the date which is 90 days before the date on which the suspension of liquidation was first ordered, or (b) the date on which notice of initiation of the investigation was published. Commerce preliminarily finds that critical circumstances exist for imports of cast iron soil pipe fittings from China from the producer/exporter Sibo International Limited/Qinshui Shunshida Casting Co., Ltd., the non-individually examined respondents found to be eligible for a separate rate, and the China-wide entity. In accordance with section 733(e)(2)(A) of the Act, the suspension of liquidation shall apply to unliquidated entries of merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date which is 90 days before the publication of this notice.

    To determine the cash deposit rate, Commerce normally adjusts the estimated weighted-average dumping margin by the amount of domestic subsidy pass-through and export subsidies determined in a companion countervailing duty (CVD) proceeding when CVD provisional measures are in effect. Accordingly, where Commerce has made a preliminary affirmative determination for domestic subsidy pass-through or export subsidies,11 Commerce has offset the calculated estimated weighted-average dumping margin by the appropriate rate(s). Any such adjusted rates may be found in the Preliminary Determination Section's chart of estimated weighted-average dumping margins above.

    11See the Preliminary Decision Memorandum for further discussion.

    Should provisional measures in the companion CVD investigation expire prior to the expiration of provisional measures in this LTFV investigation, Commerce will direct CBP to begin collecting cash deposits at a rate equal to the estimated weighted-average dumping margins calculated in this preliminary determination unadjusted for the passed-through domestic subsidies or for export subsidies at the time the CVD provisional measures expire.

    These suspension of liquidation instructions will remain in effect until further notice.

    Disclosure

    Commerce intends to disclose to interested parties the calculations performed in connection with this preliminary determination within five days of its public announcement or, if there is no public announcement, within five days of the date of publication of this notice in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    Verification

    As provided in section 782(i)(1) of the Act, Commerce intends to verify information relied upon in making its final determination.

    Public Comment

    Case briefs or other written comments may be submitted to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance no later than seven days after the date on which the last final verification report is issued in this investigation. Rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in case briefs, may be submitted no later than five days after the deadline date for case briefs.12 Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and (d)(2), parties who submit case briefs or rebuttal briefs in this investigation are encouraged to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.

    12See 19 CFR 351.309; see also 19 CFR 351.303 (for general filing requirements).

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310(c), interested parties who wish to request a hearing, limited to issues raised in the case and rebuttal briefs, must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce, within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. Requests should contain the party's name, address, and telephone number, the number of participants, whether any participant is a foreign national, and a list of the issues to be discussed. If a request for a hearing is made, Commerce intends to hold the hearing at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230, at a time and date to be determined. Parties should confirm by telephone the date, time, and location of the hearing two days before the scheduled date.

    Postponement of Final Determination and Extension of Provisional Measures

    Section 735(a)(2) of the Act provides that a final determination may be postponed until not later than 135 days after the date of the publication of the preliminary determination if, in the event of an affirmative preliminary determination, a request for such postponement is made by exporters who account for a significant proportion of exports of the subject merchandise, or in the event of a negative preliminary determination, a request for such postponement is made by the petitioner. 19 CFR 351.210(e)(2) requires that requests by respondents for postponement of a final antidumping determination be accompanied by a request for extension of provisional measures from a four-month period to a period not more than six months in duration.

    Between January 15, 2018, and January 25, 2018, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.210(b) and (e), Wor-Biz, Sibo, and Shanxi Xuanshi requested that Commerce postpone the final determination and that provisional measures be extended to a period not to exceed six months.13 In accordance with section 735(a)(2)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(b)(2)(ii) and (e)(2), because (1) the preliminary determination is affirmative; (2) the requesting exporters account for a significant proportion of exports of the subject merchandise; and (3) no compelling reasons for denial exist, Commerce is postponing the final determination and extending the provisional measures from a four-month period to a period not greater than six months. Accordingly, Commerce's final determination will publish no later than 135 days after the publication of the preliminary determination notice.

    13See Letters from Wor-Biz, “Cast Iron Soil Pipe Fittings from the People's Republic of China: Request to Fully Extend the Final Results,” dated January 18, 2018; Sibo, “Cast Iron Soil Pipe Fittings from the People's Republic of China—Submission Seeking Extension of Final Determination and Provisional Measures,” dated January 19, 2018; and Shanxi Xuanshi, “Cast Iron Soil Pipe Fittings from the People's Republic of China (“Soil Pipe Fittings”); A-570-062; Request for Extension of Final Determination and Provisional Measures,” dated January 25, 2018. The petitioner does not oppose postponement of the final determination. See Letter from the petitioner, “Cast Iron Soil Pipe Fittings from the People's Republic of China: Request to Extend Final Determination,” dated January 16, 2018.

    International Trade Commission Notification

    In accordance with section 733(f) of the Act, Commerce will notify the International Trade Commission (ITC) of its preliminary determination. If the final determination is affirmative, the ITC will determine before the later of 120 days after the date of this preliminary determination or 45 days after the final determination whether these imports are materially injuring, or threaten material injury to, the U.S. industry.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    This determination is issued and published in accordance with sections 733(f) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(c).

    Dated: February 12, 2018. Christian Marsh, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I Scope of the Investigation

    The merchandise covered by this investigation is cast iron soil pipe fittings, finished and unfinished, regardless of industry or proprietary specifications, and regardless of size. Cast iron soil pipe fittings are nonmalleable iron castings of various designs and sizes, including, but not limited to, bends, tees, wyes, traps, drains, and other common or special fittings, with or without side inlets.

    Cast iron soil pipe fittings are classified into two major types—hubless and hub and spigot. Hubless cast iron soil pipe fittings are manufactured without a hub, generally in compliance with Cast Iron Soil Pipe Institute (CISPI) specification 301 and/or American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) specification A888. Hub and spigot pipe fittings have hubs into which the spigot (plain end) of the pipe or fitting is inserted. Cast iron soil pipe fittings are generally distinguished from other types of nonmalleable cast iron fittings by the manner in which they are connected to cast iron soil pipe and other fittings.

    The subject imports are normally classified in subheading 7307.11.0045 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS): Cast fittings of nonmalleable cast iron for cast iron soil pipe. The HTSUS subheading and specifications are provided for convenience and customs purposes only; the written description of the scope of this investigation is dispositive.

    Appendix II List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Period of Investigation IV. Postponement of Final Determination and Extension of Provisional Measures V. Scope Comments VI. Scope of the Investigation VII. Discussion of the Methodology A. Non-Market Economy Country B. Surrogate Country and Surrogate Value Comments C. Separate Rates D. Affiliation E. China-Wide Entity F. Application of Facts Available and Adverse Inferences G. Date of Sale H. Comparisons to Fair Value I. U.S. Price J. Value-Added Tax (VAT) K. Normal Value L. Factor Valuation Methodology VIII. Currency Conversion IX. Adjustment Under Section 777(A)(F) of the Act X. Critical Circumstances XI. Adjustment for Countervailable Export Subsidies XII. Verification XIII. Conclusion
    [FR Doc. 2018-03404 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-533-882, C-570-078, C-580-898, C-489-834] Large Diameter Welded Pipe From India, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, and the Republic of Turkey: Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigations AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    DATES:

    Applicable February 9, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert Palmer at (202) 482-9068 (India), Jerry Huang at (202) 482-4047 (the People's Republic of China (China)), George Ayache at (202) 482-2623 (the Republic of Korea (Korea)), and Ajay Menon at (202) 482-1993 (the Republic of Turkey (Turkey)), AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Petitions

    On January 17, 2018, the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) received countervailing duty (CVD) Petitions concerning imports of large diameter welded pipe (welded pipe) from China, India, Korea, and Turkey, filed in proper form on behalf of Berg Steel Pipe Corp., Dura-Bond Industries, Stupp Corporation, American Cast Iron Pipe Company, and Skyline Steel (collectively, the petitioners).1 The CVD Petitions were accompanied by antidumping duty (AD) Petitions concerning imports of welded pipe from Canada, China, Greece, India, Korea, and Turkey. The petitioners are domestic producers of welded pipe.2

    1See Petitioners' letter, “Large Diameter Welded Pipe from Canada, Greece, India, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, and the Republic of Turkey: Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties,” dated January 17, 2018 (the Petitions).

    2Id. at Volume I of the Petition at 2.

    Commerce exercised its discretion to toll all deadlines affected by the closure of the Federal Government from January 20 through 22, 2018. If the new deadline falls on a non-business day, in accordance with Commerce's practice, the deadline will become the next business day. The revised deadline for the initiation of these investigations is now February 9, 2018.3

    3See Memorandum for The Record from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, “Deadlines Affected by the Shutdown of the Federal Government” (Tolling Memorandum), dated January 23, 2018. All deadlines in this segment of the proceeding have been extended by three days.

    On January 23 and 26, 2018, Commerce requested supplemental information pertaining to certain aspects of the Petitions.4 The petitioners filed responses to these requests on January 25, 26, and 29, 2018.5 On February 5, 2018, the petitioners submitted certain revisions to the scope.6

    4See Commerce's Letters, “Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties on Imports of Large Diameter Welded Pipe from Canada, Greece, India, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, and the Republic of Turkey and Countervailing Duties on Imports from India, the Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, and the Republic of Turkey: Supplemental Questions,” (General Issues Supplemental Questionnaire); “Petition for the Imposition of Countervailing Duties on Imports of Large Diameter Welded Pipe from India: Supplemental Questions;” “Petition for the Imposition of Countervailing Duties on Imports of Large Diameter Welded Pipe from the People's Republic of China: Supplemental Questions;” “Petition for the Imposition of Countervailing Duties on Imports of Large Diameter Welded Pipe from the Republic of Korea: Supplemental Questions;” and “Petition for the Imposition of Countervailing Duties on Imports of Large Diameter Welded Pipe from the Republic of Turkey: Supplemental Questions.” All of these documents are dated January 23, 2018. See also Commerce's Letter, “Petition for the Imposition of Countervailing Duties on Imports of Large Diameter Welded Pipe from the Republic of Turkey: Supplemental Questions,” dated January 26, 2018.

    5See Petitioners' Letters, “Large Diameter Welded Pipe from Canada, Greece, India, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Turkey: Response to the Department's January 23, 2018 Supplemental Questions Regarding Volume IX of the Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties;” “Large Diameter Welded Pipe from Canada, Greece, India, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Turkey: Response to the Department's January 23, 2018 Supplemental Questions Regarding Volume V of the Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties;” “Large Diameter Welded Pipe from Canada, Greece, India, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Turkey: Response to the Department's January 23, 2018 Supplemental Questions Regarding Volume VII of the Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties;” and “Large Diameter Welded Pipe from Canada, Greece, India, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Turkey: Response to the Department's January 23, 2018 Supplemental Questions Regarding Volume XI of the Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties.” All of these documents are dated January 25, 2018. See also Petitioners' Letter, “Large Diameter Welded Pipe from Canada, Greece, India, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Turkey: Response to the Department's January 23, 2018 Supplemental Questions Regarding Volume I of the Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties,” dated January 26, 2018 (General Issues Supplement). See also Petitioners' Letter, “Large Diameter Welded Pipe from Canada, Greece, India, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Turkey: Response to the Department's January 26, 2018 Supplemental Questions Regarding Volume XI of the Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties,” dated January 29, 2018.

    6See Memorandum, “Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties on Large Diameter Welded Pipe from Canada, Greece, India, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, and the Republic of Turkey: Phone Call with Counsel to the Petitioners,” dated February 1, 2018; see also Petitioners' Letter, “Large Diameter Welded Pipe from Canada, Greece, India, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Turkey: Petition Supplement on Scope and Industry Support,” dated February 5, 2018 (Scope and Industry Support Supplement).

    In accordance with section 702(b)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), the petitioners allege that the Governments of China, India, Korea, and Turkey (GOC, GOI, GOK, and GOT, respectively) are providing countervailable subsidies, within the meaning of sections 701 and 771(5) of the Act, to producers of welded pipe in China, India, Korea, and Turkey, and imports of such products are materially injuring, or threatening material injury to, the domestic welded pipe industry in the United States. Consistent with section 702(b)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.202(b), for those alleged programs on which we are initiating a CVD investigation, the Petitions are accompanied by information reasonably available to the petitioners supporting their allegations.

    Commerce finds that the petitioners filed the Petitions on behalf of the domestic industry because the petitioners are interested parties as defined in section 771(9)(C) of the Act. Commerce also finds that the petitioners demonstrated sufficient industry support necessary for the initiation of the requested CVD investigations.7

    7See “Determination of Industry Support for the Petition” section, infra.

    Period of Investigation

    Because the Petitions were filed on January 17, 2018, the period of investigation for each of the investigations is January 1, 2017, through December 31, 2017.

    Scope of the Investigations

    The product covered by these investigations is large diameter welded pipe from China, India, Korea, and Turkey. For a full description of the scope of these investigations, see the Appendix to this notice.

    Comments on Scope of the Investigations

    During our review of the Petitions, Commerce issued questions to, and received responses from, the petitioners pertaining to the proposed scope to ensure that the scope language in the Petitions is an accurate reflection of the products for which the domestic industry is seeking relief.8 As a result of these exchanges, the scope of the Petitions was modified to clarify the description of merchandise covered by the Petitions. The description of the merchandise covered by this initiation, as described in the Appendix to this notice, reflects these clarifications.

    8See General Issues Supplemental Questionnaire, at 4-5.

    As discussed in the Preamble to Commerce's regulations, we are setting aside a period for interested parties to raise issues regarding product coverage (scope).9 Commerce will consider all comments received from interested parties and, if necessary, will consult with interested parties prior to the issuance of the preliminary determinations. If scope comments include factual information,10 all such factual information should be limited to public information. To facilitate preparation of its questionnaires, Commerce requests that all interested parties submit such comments by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on March 1, 2018, which is 20 calendar days from the signature date of this notice. Any rebuttal comments, which may include factual information, must be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on March 12, 2018, which is the next business day after 10 calendar days from the initial comments deadline.11

    9See Antidumping Duties; Countervailing Duties, Final Rule, 62 FR 27296, 27323 (May 19, 1997) (Preamble).

    10See 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) (defining “factual information”).

    11See 19 CFR 351.303(b).

    Commerce requests that any factual information parties consider relevant to the scope of the investigations be submitted during this period. However, if a party subsequently finds that additional factual information pertaining to the scope of the investigations may be relevant, the party may contact Commerce and request permission to submit the additional information. All such submissions must be filed on the records of each of the concurrent AD and CVD investigations.

    Filing Requirements

    All submissions to Commerce must be filed electronically using Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping Duty and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS).12 An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by the time and date it is due. Documents exempted from the electronic submission requirements must be filed manually (i.e., in paper form) with Enforcement and Compliance's APO/Dockets Unit, Room 18022, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230, and stamped with the date and time of receipt by the applicable deadlines.

    12See Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011). See also Enforcement and Compliance: Change of Electronic Filing System Name, 79 FR 69046 (November 20, 2014) for details of Commerce's electronic filing requirements, which went into effect on August 5, 2011. Information on help using ACCESS can be found at https://access.trade.gov/help.aspx, and a handbook can be found at https://access.trade.gov/help/Handbook%20on%20Electronic%20Filling%20Procedures.pdf.

    Consultations

    Pursuant to sections 702(b)(4)(A)(i) and (ii) of the Act, Commerce notified representatives of the GOC, GOI, GOK, and GOT of the receipt of the Petitions, and provided them the opportunity for consultations with respect to the CVD Petitions. 13 Consultations were held with the GOI on February 2, 2018; with the GOK on January 26, 2018; and with the GOT on January 30, 2018.14 The GOC did not request consultations.

    13See Letter from Paul Walker, Program Manager, Office V, to the Embassy of China “Countervailing Duty Petition on Large Diameter Welded Pipe from the People's Republic of China: Invitation for Consultations to Discuss the Countervailing Duty Petition,” dated January 29, 2018; Letter from Kathleen Marksberry, Program Manager, Office VIII, to the Embassy of India “Countervailing Duty Petition on Large Diameter Welded Pipe from India: Invitation for Consultations to Discuss the Countervailing Duty Petition,” dated January 17, 2018; Letter from Kathleen Marksberry, Program Manager, Office VIII, to the Embassy of the Republic of Korea “Countervailing Duty Petition on Large Diameter Welded Pipe from the Republic of Korea,” dated January 17, 2018; and Letter from Melissa Skinner, Director, Office II to the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey “Large Diameter Welded Pipe from the Republic of Turkey: Invitation for Consultations to Discuss the Countervailing Duty Petition,” dated January 18, 2018.

    14See Memorandum, “Consultations with Officials from the Government of India Regarding the Countervailing Duty Petition on Large Diameter Welded Pipe from India,” dated February 7, 2018; Memorandum, “Consultations with Government Officials from the Republic of Korea on the Countervailing Duty Petition Regarding Large Diameter Welded Pipe from the Republic of Korea,” dated February 1, 2018; and Memorandum, “Countervailing Duty Petition Regarding Large Diameter Welded Pipe from the Republic of Turkey: Consultations with Government of Turkey,” dated January 30, 2018.

    Determination of Industry Support for the Petitions

    Section 702(b)(1) of the Act requires that a petition be filed on behalf of the domestic industry. Section 702(c)(4)(A) of the Act provides that a petition meets this requirement if the domestic producers or workers who support the petition account for: (i) At least 25 percent of the total production of the domestic like product; and (ii) more than 50 percent of the production of the domestic like product produced by that portion of the industry expressing support for, or opposition to, the petition. Moreover, section 702(c)(4)(D) of the Act provides that, if the petition does not establish support of domestic producers or workers accounting for more than 50 percent of the total production of the domestic like product, Commerce shall: (i) Poll the industry or rely on other information in order to determine if there is support for the petition, as required by subparagraph (A); or (ii) determine industry support using a statistically valid sampling method to poll the “industry.”

    Section 771(4)(A) of the Act defines the “industry” as the producers as a whole of a domestic like product. Thus, to determine whether a petition has the requisite industry support, the statute directs Commerce to look to producers and workers who produce the domestic like product. The International Trade Commission (ITC), which is responsible for determining whether “the domestic industry” has been injured, must also determine what constitutes a domestic like product in order to define the industry. While both Commerce and the ITC must apply the same statutory definition regarding the domestic like product,15 they do so for different purposes and pursuant to a separate and distinct authority. In addition, Commerce's determination is subject to limitations of time and information. Although this may result in different definitions of the like product, such differences do not render the decision of either agency contrary to law.16

    15See section 771(10) of the Act.

    16See USEC, Inc. v. United States, 132 F. Supp. 2d 1, 8 (CIT 2001) (citing Algoma Steel Corp., Ltd. v. United States, 688 F. Supp. 639, 644 (CIT 1988), aff'd 865 F.2d 240 (Fed. Cir. 1989)).

    Section 771(10) of the Act defines the domestic like product as “a product which is like, or in the absence of like, most similar in characteristics and uses with, the article subject to an investigation under this title.” Thus, the reference point from which the domestic like product analysis begins is “the article subject to an investigation” (i.e., the class or kind of merchandise to be investigated, which normally will be the scope as defined in the petition).

    With regard to the domestic like product, the petitioners do not offer a definition of the domestic like product distinct from the scope of the investigations.17 Based on our analysis of the information submitted on the record, we have determined that welded pipe, as defined in the scope, constitutes a single domestic like product, and we have analyzed industry support in terms of that domestic like product.18

    17See Volume I of the Petitions, at 15; see also General Issues Supplement, at 7-10.

    18 For a discussion of the domestic like product analysis as applied to these cases and information regarding industry support, see Countervailing Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Large Diameter Welded Pipe from India (India CVD Initiation Checklist), at Attachment II; Countervailing Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Large Diameter Welded Pipe from the People's Republic of China (China CVD Initiation Checklist), at Attachment II; Countervailing Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Large Diameter Welded Pipe from the Republic of Korea (Korea CVD Initiation Checklist), at Attachment II; and Countervailing Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Large Diameter Welded Pipe from the Republic of Turkey (Turkey CVD Initiation Checklist), at Attachment II. These checklists are dated concurrently with this notice and on file electronically via ACCESS. Access to documents filed via ACCESS is also available in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building.

    In determining whether the petitioners have standing under section 702(c)(4)(A) of the Act, we considered the industry support data contained in the Petitions with reference to the domestic like product as defined in the “Scope of the Investigations,” in the Appendix to this notice. The petitioners provided their own 2017 shipments of the domestic like product and 2017 shipments by supporters of the petitions.19 The petitioners compared the total quantity of these shipments to the estimated total shipments of the domestic like product for the entire domestic industry.20 The petitioners explained that they relied on shipment data because production data for the entire domestic industry are not available.21 In addition, the petitioners provided a comparison of their own production and shipment data to demonstrate that shipments are a reasonable proxy for data on production of welded pipe.22 We relied on data the petitioners provided for purposes of measuring industry support.23

    19See Volume I of the Petitions, at 4 and Exhibit I-4; see also letter from the petitioners to Commerce dated January 31, 2018, “Supplement to the Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties: Industry Support” (Industry Support Supplement), at 2-3 and Exhibit I-Supp2-1; see also Scope and Industry Support Supplement, at Exhibit I-Supp. 3-3.

    20Id.

    21See Industry Support Supplement, at 3.

    22Id., at 3 and Exhibits I-Supp-2-1 and I-Supp2-2.

    23Id. For further discussion, see Attachment II of the China CVD Initiation Checklist, India CVD Initiation Checklist, Korea CVD Initiation Checklist, and Turkey CVD Initiation Checklist.

    Our review of the data provided in the Petitions, General Issues Supplement, Industry Support Supplement, Scope and Industry Support Supplement, and other information readily available to Commerce indicates that the petitioners have established industry support for the Petitions.24 First, the Petitions established support from domestic producers (or workers) accounting for more than 50 percent of the total production of the domestic like product and, as such, Commerce is not required to take further action in order to evaluate industry support (e.g., polling).25 Second, the domestic producers (or workers) have met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 702(c)(4)(A)(i) of the Act because the domestic producers (or workers) who support the Petitions account for at least 25 percent of the total production of the domestic like product.26 Finally, the domestic producers (or workers) have met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 702(c)(4)(A)(ii) of the Act because the domestic producers (or workers) who support the Petitions account for more than 50 percent of the production of the domestic like product produced by that portion of the industry expressing support for, or opposition to, the Petitions.27 Accordingly, Commerce determines that the Petitions were filed on behalf of the domestic industry within the meaning of section 702(b)(1) of the Act.

    24Id.

    25Id.; see also section 702(c)(4)(D) of the Act.

    26See Attachment II of the China CVD Initiation Checklist, India CVD Initiation Checklist, Korea CVD Initiation Checklist, and Turkey CVD Initiation Checklist.

    27Id.

    Commerce finds that the petitioners filed the Petitions on behalf of the domestic industry because they are interested parties as defined in section 771(9)(C) of the Act, and they have demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the CVD investigations that they are requesting that Commerce initiate.28

    28Id.

    In letters dated January 25, January 29, and February 5, 2018, Borusan Mannesmann Boru Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S. and Borusan Istikbal Ticaret T.A.S. (collectively, Borusan), a Turkish producer and exporter, submitted comments on industry support. The petitioners responded to these comments in the Scope and Industry Support Supplement, dated February 5, 2018. For further discussion of these comments, see Attachment II of the China CVD Initiation Checklist, India CVD Initiation Checklist, Korea CVD Initiation Checklist, and Turkey CVD Initiation Checklist.

    Injury Test

    Because India, China, Korea, and Turkey are “Subsidies Agreement Countries” within the meaning of section 701(b) of the Act, section 701(a)(2) of the Act applies to this investigation. Accordingly, the ITC must determine whether imports of the subject merchandise from India, China, Korea, and Turkey materially injure, or threaten material injury to, a U.S. industry.

    Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation

    The petitioners allege that imports of the subject merchandise are benefitting from countervailable subsidies and that such imports are causing, or threaten to cause, material injury to the U.S. industry producing the domestic like product. In addition, the petitioners allege that subject imports exceed the negligibility threshold provided for under section 771(24)(A) of the Act.29 In CVD petitions, section 771(24)(B) of the Act provides that imports of subject merchandise from developing and least developed countries must exceed the negligibility threshold of four percent. The petitioners have adequately demonstrated that subject imports from India, which has been designated as a least developed country under section 771(36)(B) of the Act, exceeded the negligibility threshold of four percent during the period of investigation.30

    29See Volume I of the Petitions, at 26-27 and Exhibit I-11; see also General Issues Supplement, at 15-18 and Exhibits I-Supp-10 and I-Supp-11.

    30Id.

    The petitioners contend that the industry's injured condition is illustrated by a significant volume of subject imports; reduced market share; underselling and price depression or suppression; lost sales and revenues; and a negative impact on the domestic industry's U.S. shipments, capacity utilization, production, and financial performance.31 We have assessed the allegations and supporting evidence regarding material injury, threat of material injury, and causation, and we have determined that these allegations are properly supported by adequate evidence, and meet the statutory requirements for initiation.32

    31Id., at 13-15, 18-43 and Exhibits I-5 and I-8 through I-18; see also General Issues Supplement, at 1, 15-18 and Exhibits I-Supp-1, I-Supp-2, I-Supp-10 and I-Supp-11.

    32See China CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment III, Analysis of Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation for the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions Covering Large Diameter Welded Pipe from Canada, Greece, India, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, and the Republic of Turkey (Attachment III); see also India CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment III; see also Korea CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment III; see also Turkey CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment III.

    Initiation of CVD Investigations

    Based on the examination of the Petitions, we find that the Petitions meet the requirements of section 702 of the Act. Therefore, we are initiating CVD investigations to determine whether imports of welded pipe from China, India, Korea, and Turkey benefit from countervailable subsidies conferred by the GOC, GOI, GOK, and GOT, respectively. In accordance with section 703(b)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(b)(1), unless postponed, we will make our preliminary determinations no later than 65 days after the date of this initiation.

    Numerous amendments to the AD and CVD laws were made pursuant to the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015.33 The amendments to sections 776 and 782 of the Act are applicable to all determinations made on or after August 6, 2015, and, therefore, apply to these CVD investigations.34

    33See Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, Public Law 114-27, 129 Stat. 362 (2015). See also Dates of Application of Amendments to the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Laws Made by the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, 80 FR 46793 (August 6, 2015) (Applicability Notice). The 2015 amendments may be found at https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/1295/text/pl.

    34See Applicability Notice, 80 FR at 46794-95.

    China

    Based on our review of the Petition, we find that there is sufficient information to initiate a CVD investigation on 27 of the 28 alleged programs, and to partially initiate on the 28th program. For a full discussion of the basis for our decision to initiate on each program, see China CVD Initiation Checklist. A public version of the initiation checklist for this investigation is available on ACCESS.

    India

    Based on our review of the Petition, we find that there is sufficient information to initiate a CVD investigation on 70 of the 72 alleged programs. For a full discussion of the basis for our decision to initiate on each program, see India CVD Initiation Checklist. A public version of the initiation checklist for this investigation is available on ACCESS.

    Korea

    Based on our review of the Petition, we find that there is sufficient information to initiate a CVD investigation on 20 of the 21 alleged programs. For a full discussion of the basis for our decision to initiate on each program, see Korea CVD Initiation Checklist. A public version of the initiation checklist for this investigation is available on ACCESS.

    Turkey

    Based on our review of the Petition, we find that there is sufficient information to initiate a CVD investigation on all 15 alleged programs. For a full discussion of the basis for our decision to initiate on each program, see Turkey CVD Initiation Checklist. A public version of the initiation checklist for this investigation is available on ACCESS.

    Respondent Selection

    The petitioners named 157 companies in China,35 26 companies in India,36 28 companies in Korea,37 and 13 companies in Turkey,38 as producers/exporters of welded pipe. Commerce intends to follow its standard practice in CVD investigations and calculate company-specific subsidy rates in these investigations. In the event Commerce determines that the number of companies is large and it cannot individually examine each company based upon Commerce's resources, where appropriate, Commerce intends to select mandatory respondents based on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data for U.S. imports of welded pipe from China, India, Korea, and Turkey during the POI under the appropriate Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States numbers listed in the “Scope of the Investigation,” in the Appendix.

    35See General Issues and China AD Supplement, at Exhibit I-Supp-4.

    36See the Petitions at Exhibit I-3.

    37Id.

    38Id.

    On February 1, 2018 (for India and Korea), February 2, 2018 (for China), and February 6, 2018 (for Turkey), Commerce released CBP data under Administrative Protective Order (APO) to all parties with access to information protected by APO and indicated that interested parties wishing to comment regarding the CBP data and respondent selection must do so within three business days of the publication date of the notice of initiation of these CVD investigations.39 Commerce will not accept rebuttal comments regarding the CBP data or respondent selection.

    39See Memorandum, “Large Diameter Welded Pipe from India Countervailing Duty Petition: Release of Customs Data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection,” dated February 1, 2018; Memorandum, “Large Diameter Welded Pipe from the Republic of Korea Countervailing Duty Petition: Release of Customs Data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection,” dated February 1, 2018; Memorandum, “Large Diameter Welded Pipe from the People's Republic of China Releasing U.S. Customs and Border Protection Data,” dated February 2, 2018; and Memorandum, “Large Diameter Welded Pipe from the Republic of Turkey Countervailing Duty Petition: Release of Customs Data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection,” dated February 6, 2018.

    Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(b). Instructions for filing such applications may be found on the Commerce's website at http://enforcement.trade.gov/apo.

    Comments must be filed electronically using ACCESS. An electronically filed document must be received successfully, in its entirety, by ACCESS no later than 5:00 p.m. ET on the date noted above. We intend to finalize our decisions regarding respondent selection within 20 days of publication of this notice.

    Distribution of Copies of the Petitions

    In accordance with section 702(b)(4)(A)(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.202(f), copies of the public versions of the Petitions have been provided to the GOC, GOI, GOK, and GOT via ACCESS. To the extent practicable, we will attempt to provide a copy of the public version of the Petitions to each exporter named in the Petitions, as provided under 19 CFR 351.203(c)(2).

    ITC Notification

    We will notify the ITC of our initiation, as required by section 702(d) of the Act.

    Preliminary Determinations by the ITC

    The ITC will preliminarily determine, within 45 days after the date on which the Petitions were filed, whether there is a reasonable indication that imports of welded pipe from China, India, Korea, and Turkey are materially injuring, or threatening material injury to, a U.S. industry.40 A negative ITC determination for any country will result in the investigation being terminated with respect to that country.41 Otherwise, these investigations will proceed according to statutory and regulatory time limits.

    40See section 703(a)(2) of the Act.

    41See section 703(a)(1) of the Act.

    Submission of Factual Information

    Factual information is defined in 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) as: (i) Evidence submitted in response to questionnaires; (ii) evidence submitted in support of allegations; (iii) publicly available information to value factors under 19 CFR 351.408(c) or to measure the adequacy of remuneration under 19 CFR 351.511(a)(2); (iv) evidence placed on the record by Commerce; and (v) evidence other than factual information described in (i)-(iv). 19 CFR 351.301(b) requires any party, when submitting factual information, to specify under which subsection of 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) the information is being submitted 42 and, if the information is submitted to rebut, clarify, or correct factual information already on the record, to provide an explanation identifying the information already on the record that the factual information seeks to rebut, clarify, or correct.43 Time limits for the submission of factual information are addressed in 19 CFR 351.301, which provides specific time limits based on the type of factual information being submitted. Interested parties should review the regulations prior to submitting factual information in these investigations.

    42See 19 CFR 351.301(b).

    43See 19 CFR 351.301(b)(2).

    Extensions of Time Limits

    Parties may request an extension of time limits before the expiration of a time limit established under 19 CFR 351.301, or as otherwise specified by the Secretary. In general, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after the expiration of the time limit established under 19 CFR 351.301. For submissions that are due from multiple parties simultaneously, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after 10:00 a.m. ET on the due date. Under certain circumstances, we may elect to specify a different time limit by which extension requests will be considered untimely for submissions which are due from multiple parties simultaneously. In such a case, we will inform parties in the letter or memorandum setting forth the deadline (including a specified time) by which extension requests must be filed to be considered timely. An extension request must be made in a separate, stand-alone submission; under limited circumstances we will grant untimely-filed requests for the extension of time limits. Parties should review Extension of Time Limits; Final Rule, 78 FR 57790 (September 20, 2013), available at http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-20/html/2013-22853.htm, prior to submitting factual information in these investigations.

    Certification Requirements

    Any party submitting factual information in an AD or CVD proceeding must certify to the accuracy and completeness of that information.44 Parties must use the certification formats provided in 19 CFR 351.303(g).45 Commerce intends to reject factual submissions if the submitting party does not comply with the applicable revised certification requirements.

    44See section 782(b) of the Act.

    45See Certification of Factual Information to Import Administration During Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 42678 (July 17, 2013) (“Final Rule”); see also frequently asked questions regarding the Final Rule, available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/tlei/notices/factual_info_final_rule_FAQ_07172013.pdf.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305. On January 22, 2008, Commerce published Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Documents Submission Procedures; APO Procedures, 73 FR 3634 (January 22, 2008). Parties wishing to participate in this investigation should ensure that they meet the requirements of these procedures (e.g., the filing of letters of appearance as discussed at 19 CFR 351.103(d)).

    This notice is issued and published pursuant to sections 702 and 777(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.203(c).

    Dated: February 9, 2018. James Maeder, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, performing the duties of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations. Appendix Scope of the Investigations

    The merchandise covered by these investigations is welded carbon and alloy steel pipe, more than 406.4 mm (16 inches) in nominal outside diameter (large diameter welded pipe), regardless of wall thickness, length, surface finish, grade, end finish, or stenciling. Large diameter welded pipe may be used to transport oil, gas, slurry, steam, or other fluids, liquids, or gases. It may also be used for structural purposes, including, but not limited to, piling. Specifically, not included is large diameter welded pipe produced only to specifications of the American Water Works Association (AWWA) for water and sewage pipe.

    Large diameter welded pipe used to transport oil, gas, or natural gas liquids is normally produced to the American Petroleum Institute (API) specification 5L. Large diameter welded pipe may also be produced to American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards A500, A252, or A53, or other relevant domestic specifications, grades and/or standards. Large diameter welded pipe can be produced to comparable foreign specifications, grades and/or standards or to proprietary specifications, grades and/or standards, or can be non-graded material. All pipe meeting the physical description set forth above is covered by the scope of these investigations, whether or not produced according to a particular standard.

    Subject merchandise also includes large diameter welded pipe that has been further processed in a third country, including but not limited to coating, painting, notching, beveling, cutting, punching, welding, or any other processing that would not otherwise remove the merchandise from the scope of the investigations if performed in the country of manufacture of the in-scope large diameter welded pipe.

    Excluded from the scope are any products covered by the existing antidumping duty orders on welded line pipe from the Republic of Korea, welded line pipe from the Republic of Turkey, and welded ASTM A-312 stainless steel pipe from Korea, as well as any products covered by the existing countervailing duty order on welded line pipe from Turkey. See Welded Line Pipe from the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Turkey: Antidumping Duty Orders, 80 FR 75056 (December 1, 2015); Welded ASTM A-312 Stainless Steel Pipe from South Korea: Antidumping Duty Order, 57 FR 62300 (December 30, 1992); and Welded Line Pipe from the Republic of Turkey: Countervailing Duty Order, 80 FR 75054 (December 1, 2015).

    The large diameter welded pipe that is subject to these investigations is currently classifiable in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under subheadings 7305.11.1030, 7305.11.1060, 7305.11.5000, 7305.12.1030, 7305.12.1060, 7305.12.5000, 7305.19.1030, 7305.19.1060, 7305.19.5000, 7305.31.4000, 7305.31.6010, 7305.31.6090, 7305.39.1000 and 7305.39.5000. While the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of these investigations is dispositive.

    [FR Doc. 2018-03304 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-201-805] Certain Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe From Mexico: Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony With Final Scope Ruling and Notice of Amended Final Scope Ruling Pursuant to Court Decision AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Commerce) is notifying the public that the Court of International Trade's (CIT or the Court) final judgment in this case is not in harmony with Commerce's final scope ruling and is, therefore, finding that certain black, circular tubing produced to ASTM A-513 specifications by Maquilacero S.A. de C.V. (Maquilacero) is not within the scope of the antidumping duty order on circular welded non-alloy steel pipe from Mexico.

    DATES:

    Applicable Date: February 19, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mark Flessner, AD/CVD Operations, Office VI, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-6312.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On July 27, 2015, Commerce issued the Maquilacero Scope Ruling,1 in which it determined, under 19 CFR 351.225(k)(1), that 46 products produced by Maquilacero to specification A-513 did not meet the exclusion for “mechanical tubing” in the scope of the Order, 2 and were, therefore, within the scope of the Order. In particular, Commerce relied upon a prior scope ruling pertaining to certain mechanical tubing products produced by Productos Laminados de Monterrey, S.A. de C.V., and Prolamsa, Inc. (Prolamsa), which was conducted under 19 CFR 351.225(k)(2), and which defined “mechanical tubing” as tubing that met a variety of physical, chemical, and mechanical characteristics, and was stenciled.3 Commerce found that Maquilacero's tubing was not stenciled, and, thus, was not “mechanical tubing.” 4 Maquilacero challenged Commerce's final scope ruling before the CIT.

    1See Memorandum, “Final Scope Ruling on Certain Black, Circular Tubing Produced to ASTM A-513 Specifications by Maquilacero S.A. de C.V.,” dated July 27, 2015 (Maquilacero Scope Ruling).

    2See Notice of Antidumping Duty Orders: Certain Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe from Brazil, the Republic of Korea (Korea), Mexico, and Venezuela and Amendment to Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Certain Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe from Korea, 57 FR 49453 (November 2, 1992) (the Order).

    3See Memorandum, “Final Scope Ruling on Certain Black, Circular Tubing Produced to ASTM A-513 Specifications by Productos Laminados de Monterrey, S.A. de C.V., and Prolamsa, Inc.,” dated January 12, 2015 (Prolamsa Final Scope Ruling).

    4See Maquilacero Scope Ruling.

    On August 30, 2017, the Court remanded the Maquilacero Scope Ruling to Commerce.5 Specifically, the Court held that Commerce did not “properly consider how the mention of stenciling came to be found in the ruling excluding Prolamsa's pipe from the Order,” particularly given that stenciling “does not change the inherent quality or the intended use of the product.” 6 As such, the Court concluded that “the imposition of a requirement {(i.e., stenciling)} having nothing to do with the physical characteristics of mechanical tubing and that appeared in the Prolamsa Final Scope Ruling by chance { } was unreasonable.” 7 Thus, the Court found “that Commerce's ruling unlawfully expanded the scope of the Order to include {Maquilacero}'s merchandise,” 8 and remanded the Final Scope Ruling to Commerce to “(1) not impose a stenciling requirement, and (2) find that Maquilacero's tubing is excluded from the Order based on its analysis found on pages 6-9 of the Final Scope Ruling.” 9 In particular, the Court instructed Commerce to “find plaintiff's products are excluded from the Order using the same analysis in the Final Scope Ruling and that is found in this opinion.” 10

    5See Maquilacero S.A. de C.V. v. United States, Slip Op. 17-117, Court No. 15-00287 (CIT 2017).

    6See Maquilacero, Slip Op. 17-117, at 29.

    7See Maquilacero, Slip Op. 17-117, at 32.

    8Id., at 26.

    9See Maquilacero, Slip Op. 17-117, at 32-33.

    10Id., at 33.

    Pursuant to the Court's instructions, Commerce issued the Final Remand Results.11 Consistent with the Court's instructions, Commerce found that the 46 products included in Maquilacero's scope ruling request are excluded from the Order, because those products meet all physical, chemical, and mechanical properties of mechanical tubing, notwithstanding that the products are not stenciled. On February 9, 2018, the Court sustained Commerce's Final Remand Results in their entirety.12

    11See Final Results of Redetermination Pursuant to Remand in Maquilacero S.A. de C.V. v. United States, Ct. No. 15-00287, November 27, 2017 (Final Remand Results).

    12See Maquilacero S.A. de C.V. v. United States, Slip Op. 18-8, Court No. 15-00287 (CIT 2018).

    Timken Notice

    In its decision in Timken, 13 as clarified by Diamond Sawblades, 14 the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) held that, pursuant to sections 516A(c) and (e) of the Act, Commerce must publish a notice of a court decision that is not “in harmony” with a Department determination and must suspend liquidation of entries pending a “conclusive” court decision. The CIT's February 9, 2018, judgment in Maquilacero, sustaining Commerce's decision in the Final Remand Results that the 46 products included in Maquilacero's scope ruling request are excluded from the Order constitutes a final decision of the court that is not in harmony with the Maquilacero Scope Ruling. This notice is published in fulfillment of the publication requirements of Timken. Accordingly, Commerce will continue the suspension of liquidation of the 46 products at issue pending expiration of the period to appeal or, if appealed, pending a final and conclusive court decision.

    13See Timken Co. v. United States, 893 F.2d 337 (Fed. Cir. 1990) (Timken), at 341.

    14See Diamond Sawblades Mfrs. Coalition v. United States, 626 F.3d 1374 (Fed. Cir. 20 10) (Diamond Sawblades).

    Amended Final Scope Ruling

    Because there is now a final court decision with respect to the Maquilacero Scope Ruling, Commerce is amending its final scope ruling. Commerce finds that the scope of the Order does not cover the products addressed in the Maquilacero Scope Ruling. Commerce will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that the cash deposit rate will be zero percent for the 46 products subject to Maquilacero's scope ruling request. In the event that the CIT's ruling is not appealed, or if appealed, upheld by the CAFC, Commerce will instruct CBP to liquidate entries of the 46 products at issue without regard to antidumping and/or countervailing duties, and to lift suspension of liquidation of such entries.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    This notice is issued and published in accordance with sections 516A(e)(1), 751(a)(1), and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: February 13, 2018. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03375 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-122-863, A-484-803, A-533-881, A-570-077, A-580-897, A-489-833] Large Diameter Welded Pipe From Canada, Greece, India, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, and the Republic of Turkey: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    DATES:

    Applicable February 9, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Susan Pulongbarit at (202) 482-4031 (Canada); Brittany Bauer at (202) 482-3860 (Greece); Jaron Moore at (202) 482-3640 (India); Kabir Archuletta at (202) 482-8024 (the People's Republic of China (China)); Jesus Saenz at (202) 482-8184 (the Republic of Korea (Korea)); and Rebecca Janz at (202) 482-2972 (the Republic of Turkey (Turkey)); AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Petitions

    On January 17, 2018, the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) received antidumping duty (AD) Petitions concerning imports of large diameter welded pipe (welded pipe) from Canada, China, Greece, India, Korea, and Turkey, filed in proper form on behalf of American Cast Iron Pipe Company, Berg Steel Pipe Corp., Dura-Bond Industries, Skyline Steel, and Stupp Corporation (collectively, the petitioners).1 The AD Petitions were accompanied by countervailing duty (CVD) Petitions concerning imports of welded pipe from China, India, Korea, and Turkey. The petitioners are domestic producers of welded pipe.2

    1See Petitioners' Letter, “Large Diameter Welded Pipe from Canada, Greece, India, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, and the Republic of Turkey: Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties,” dated January 17, 2018 (the Petitions).

    2See Volume I of the Petitions, at 2.

    Commerce exercised its discretion to toll all deadlines affected by the closure of the Federal Government from January 20 through 22, 2018. If the new deadline falls on a non-business day, in accordance with Commerce's practice, the deadline will become the next business day. The revised deadline for the initiation of these investigations is now February 9, 2018.3

    3See Memorandum for The Record from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, “Deadlines Affected by the Shutdown of the Federal Government” (Tolling Memorandum), dated January 23, 2018. All deadlines in this segment of the proceeding have been extended by 3 days.

    On January 23, 24, 29, 30, and February 6, 2018, Commerce requested supplemental information pertaining to certain areas of the Petitions.4 The petitioners filed responses to these requests on January 25, 26, 29, and 30, and February 1, 5, and 6, 2018.5 Also on February 5, 2018, the petitioners submitted certain revisions to the scope.6

    4See Commerce's Letters, “Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties on Imports of Large Diameter Welded Pipe from Canada, Greece, India, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, and the Republic of Turkey and Countervailing Duties on Imports from India, the Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, and the Republic of Turkey: Supplemental Questions,” (General Issues Supplemental Questionnaire); “Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties on Imports of Large Diameter Welded Pipe from {Canada}{sic}: Supplemental Questions;” “Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties on Imports of Large Diameter Welded Pipe from the People's Republic of China: Supplemental Questions;” “Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties on Imports of Large Diameter Welded Pipe from Greece: Supplemental Questions;” and “Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties on Imports of Large Diameter Welded Pipe from Turkey: Supplemental Questions.” All of these documents are dated January 23, 2018. See also Commerce's Letters, “Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties on Imports of Large Diameter Welded Pipe from India: Supplemental Questions;” and “Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties on Imports of Large Diameter Welded Pipe from the Republic of Korea: Supplemental Questions,” both dated January 24, 2018. See also Commerce's Letter, “Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties on Imports of Large Diameter Welded Pipe from the People's Republic of China: Supplemental Questions,” dated January 29, 2018. See also “Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties on Imports of Large Diameter Welded Pipe from Greece: Additional Questions;” “Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties on Imports of Large Diameter Welded Pipe from India: Additional Questions;” “Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties on Imports of Large Diameter Welded Pipe from Korea: Additional Questions;” and “Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties on Imports of Large Diameter Welded Pipe from Turkey: Additional Questions.” These documents are all dated January 30, 2018. See also Commerce's Memorandum to the File, “Telephone Call with Petitioner's Counsel Regarding U.S. Price Calculation,” dated February 6, 2018.

    5See Petitioners' Letters, “Large Diameter Welded Pipe from Canada, Greece, India, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Turkey: Response to the Department's January 23, 2018 Supplemental Questions Regarding Volume VIII of the Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties,” dated January 25, 2018 (China AD Supplement). See also Petitioners' Letters, “Large Diameter Welded Pipe from Canada, Greece, India, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Turkey: Response to the Department's January 23, 2018 Supplemental Questions Regarding Volume I of the Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties” (General Issues Supplement); “Large Diameter Welded Pipe from Canada, Greece, India, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Turkey: Response to the Department's January 23, 2018 Supplemental Questions Regarding Volume II of the Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties” (Canada AD Supplement); “Large Diameter Welded Pipe from Canada, Greece, India, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Turkey: Response to the Department's January 23, 2018 Supplemental Questions Regarding Volume III of the Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties” (Greece AD Supplement); and “Large Diameter Welded Pipe from Canada, Greece, India, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Turkey: Response to the Department's January 23, 2018 Supplemental Questions Regarding Volume X of the Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties” (Turkey AD Supplement). All of these documents are dated January 26, 2018. See also Petitioners' Letters, “Large Diameter Welded Pipe from Canada, Greece, India, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Turkey: Response to the Department's January 24, 2018 Supplemental Questions Regarding Volume IV of the Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties” (India AD Supplement); and “Large Diameter Welded Pipe from Canada, Greece, India, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Turkey: Response to the Department's January 24, 2018 Supplemental Questions Regarding Volume VI of the Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties” (Korea AD Supplement), both dated January 29, 2018. See also Petitioners' Letter, “Large Diameter Welded Pipe from Canada, Greece, India, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Turkey: Response to the Department's January 29, 2018 Supplemental Questions Regarding Volume VIII of the Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties,” dated January 29, 2018 (Second China AD Supplement). See also Petitioners' Letters, “Large Diameter Welded Pipe from Canada, Greece, India, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Turkey: Response to the Department's January 30, 2018 Supplemental Questions Regarding Volume III of the Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties;” “Large Diameter Welded Pipe from Canada, Greece, India, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Turkey: Response to the Department's January 30, 2018 Additional Questions Regarding Volume IV of the Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties” (Second India AD Supplement); “Large Diameter Welded Pipe from Canada, Greece, India, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Turkey: Response to the Department's January 30, 2018 Additional Questions Regarding Volume VI of the Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties” (Second Korea AD Supplement); and “Large Diameter Welded Pipe from Canada, Greece, India, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Turkey: Response to the Department's January 30, 2018 Supplemental Questions Regarding Volume X of the Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties” (Second Turkey AD Supplement). All of these documents are dated February 1, 2018. See also Petitioners' Letter, “Large Diameter Welded Pipe from Greece: Supplement to the Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties” (Second Greece AD Supplement), dated February 5, 2018. See also Petitioners' Letters, “Large Diameter Welded Pipe from Canada, Greece, India, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Turkey: Submission of Declaration regarding Vol. III of the Petition on Antidumping and Countervailing Duties;” and “Large Diameter Welded Pipe from Canada, Greece, India, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Turkey: Clarification of Vol. IV India Dumping Margin,” (Third India AD Supplement). Both of these documents are dated February 6, 2018.

    6See Memorandum, “Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties on Large Diameter Welded Pipe from Canada, Greece, India, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, and the Republic of Turkey: Phone Call with Counsel to the Petitioners,” dated February 1, 2018; see also Petitioners' Letter, “Large Diameter Welded Pipe from Canada, Greece, India, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Turkey: Petition Supplement on Scope and Industry Support,” dated February 5, 2018 (Scope and Industry Support Supplement).

    In accordance with section 732(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), the petitioners allege that imports of welded pipe from Canada, China, Greece, India, Korea, and Turkey are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value within the meaning of section 731 of the Act, and that such imports are materially injuring, or threatening material injury to, the domestic industry producing welded pipe in the United States. Consistent with section 732(b)(1) of the Act, the Petitions are accompanied by information reasonably available to the petitioners supporting their allegations.

    Commerce finds that the petitioners filed the Petitions on behalf of the domestic industry because the petitioners are interested parties as defined in section 771(9)(C) of the Act. Commerce also finds that the petitioners demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the initiation of the AD investigations that the petitioners are requesting.7

    7See the “Determination of Industry Support for the Petitions” section, infra.

    Periods of Investigation

    Because the Petitions were filed on January 17, 2018, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.204(b)(1), the period of investigation (POI) for the Canada, Greece, India, Korea, and Turkey investigations is January 1, 2017, through December 31, 2017. Because China is a non-market economy (NME) country, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.204(b)(1), the POI for the China investigation is July 1, 2017, through December 31, 2017.

    Scope of the Investigations

    The product covered by these investigations is welded pipe from Canada, China, Greece, India, Korea, and Turkey. For a full description of the scope of these investigations, see the Appendix to this notice.

    Scope Comments

    During our review of the Petitions, Commerce issued questions to, and received responses from, the petitioners pertaining to the proposed scope to ensure that the scope language in the Petitions is an accurate reflection of the products for which the domestic industry is seeking relief.8 As a result of these exchanges, the scope of the Petitions was modified to clarify the description of merchandise covered by the Petitions. The description of the merchandise covered by this initiation, as described in the Appendix to this notice, reflects these clarifications.

    8See General Issues Supplemental Questionnaire, at 4-5.

    As discussed in the preamble to Commerce's regulations, we are setting aside a period for interested parties to raise issues regarding product coverage (scope).9 Commerce will consider all comments received from interested parties and, if necessary, will consult with interested parties prior to the issuance of the preliminary determinations. If scope comments include factual information,10 all such factual information should be limited to public information. To facilitate preparation of its questionnaires, Commerce requests that all interested parties submit such comments by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on March 1, 2018, which is 20 calendar days from the signature date of this notice. Any rebuttal comments, which may include factual information, must be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on March 12, 2018, which is the next business day after 10 calendar days from the initial comments deadline.11

    9See Antidumping Duties; Countervailing Duties, Final Rule, 62 FR 27296, 27323 (May 19, 1997).

    10See 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) (defining “factual information”).

    11See 19 CFR 351.303(b).

    Commerce requests that any factual information parties consider relevant to the scope of the investigations be submitted during this period. However, if a party subsequently finds that additional factual information pertaining to the scope of the investigations may be relevant, the party may contact Commerce and request permission to submit the additional information. All such submissions must be filed on the records of each of the concurrent AD and CVD investigations.

    Filing Requirements

    All submissions to Commerce must be filed electronically using Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping Duty and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS).12 An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by the time and date it is due. Documents exempted from the electronic submission requirements must be filed manually (i.e., in paper form) with Enforcement and Compliance's APO/Dockets Unit, Room 18022, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230, and stamped with the date and time of receipt by the applicable deadlines.

    12See Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011); see also Enforcement and Compliance; Change of Electronic Filing System Name, 79 FR 69046 (November 20, 2014) for details of Commerce's electronic filing requirements, effective August 5, 2011. Information on help using ACCESS can be found at https://access.trade.gov/help.aspx and a handbook can be found at https://access.trade.gov/help/Handbook%20on%20Electronic%20Filling%20Procedures.pdf.

    Comments on Product Characteristics for AD Questionnaires

    Commerce will provide interested parties an opportunity to comment on the appropriate physical characteristics of welded pipe to be reported in response to Commerce's AD questionnaires. This information will be used to identify the key physical characteristics of the merchandise under consideration in order to report the relevant costs of production accurately as well as to develop appropriate product-comparison criteria.

    Interested parties may provide any information or comments that they feel are relevant to the development of an accurate list of physical characteristics. Specifically, they may provide comments as to which characteristics are appropriate to use as: (1) General product characteristics, and (2) product-comparison criteria. We note that it is not always appropriate to use all product characteristics as product-comparison criteria. We base product-comparison criteria on meaningful commercial differences among products. In other words, although there may be some physical product characteristics utilized by manufacturers to describe welded pipe, it may be that only a select few product characteristics take into account commercially meaningful physical characteristics. In addition, interested parties may comment on the order in which the physical characteristics should be used in matching products. Generally, Commerce attempts to list the most important physical characteristics first and the least important characteristics last.

    In order to consider the suggestions of interested parties in developing and issuing the AD questionnaires, all product characteristics comments must be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on March 1, 2018. Any rebuttal comments must be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on March 12, 2018. All comments and submissions to Commerce must be filed electronically using ACCESS, as explained above, on the records of the Canada, China, Greece, India, Korea, and Turkey less-than-fair-value investigations.

    Determination of Industry Support for the Petitions

    Section 732(b)(1) of the Act requires that a petition be filed on behalf of the domestic industry. Section 732(c)(4)(A) of the Act provides that a petition meets this requirement if the domestic producers or workers who support the petition account for: (i) At least 25 percent of the total production of the domestic like product; and (ii) more than 50 percent of the production of the domestic like product produced by that portion of the industry expressing support for, or opposition to, the petition. Moreover, section 732(c)(4)(D) of the Act provides that, if the petition does not establish support of domestic producers or workers accounting for more than 50 percent of the total production of the domestic like product, Commerce shall: (i) Poll the industry or rely on other information in order to determine if there is support for the petition, as required by subparagraph (A); or (ii) determine industry support using a statistically valid sampling method to poll the “industry.”

    Section 771(4)(A) of the Act defines the “industry” as the producers as a whole of a domestic like product. Thus, to determine whether a petition has the requisite industry support, the statute directs Commerce to look to producers and workers who produce the domestic like product. The International Trade Commission (ITC), which is responsible for determining whether “the domestic industry” has been injured, must also determine what constitutes a domestic like product in order to define the industry. While both Commerce and the ITC must apply the same statutory definition regarding the domestic like product,13 they do so for different purposes and pursuant to a separate and distinct authority. In addition, Commerce's determination is subject to limitations of time and information. Although this may result in different definitions of the like product, such differences do not render the decision of either agency contrary to law.14

    13See section 771(10) of the Act.

    14See USEC, Inc. v. United States, 132 F. Supp. 2d 1, 8 (CIT 2001) (citing Algoma Steel Corp., Ltd. v. United States, 688 F. Supp. 639, 644 (CIT 1988), aff'd 865 F.2d 240 (Fed. Cir. 1989)).

    Section 771(10) of the Act defines the domestic like product as “a product which is like, or in the absence of like, most similar in characteristics and uses with, the article subject to an investigation under this title.” Thus, the reference point from which the domestic like product analysis begins is “the article subject to an investigation” (i.e., the class or kind of merchandise to be investigated, which normally will be the scope as defined in the petition).

    With regard to the domestic like product, the petitioners do not offer a definition of the domestic like product distinct from the scope of the Petitions.15 Based on our analysis of the information submitted on the record, we have determined that welded pipe, as defined in the scope, constitutes a single domestic like product, and we have analyzed industry support in terms of that domestic like product.16

    15See Volume I of the Petitions, at 15; see also General Issues Supplement, at 7-10.

    16 For a discussion of the domestic like product analysis as applied to these cases and information regarding industry support, see Antidumping Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Large Diameter Welded Pipe from Canada (Canada AD Initiation Checklist), at Attachment II; Antidumping Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Large Diameter Welded Pipe from Greece (Greece AD Initiation Checklist), at Attachment II; Antidumping Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Large Diameter Welded Pipe from India (India AD Initiation Checklist), at Attachment II; Antidumping Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Large Diameter Welded Pipe from the People's Republic of China (China AD Initiation Checklist), at Attachment II; Antidumping Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Large Diameter Welded Pipe from the Republic of Korea (Korea AD Initiation Checklist), at Attachment II; and Antidumping Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Large Diameter Welded Pipe from the Republic of Turkey (Turkey AD Initiation Checklist), at Attachment II. These checklists are dated concurrently with this notice and on file electronically via ACCESS. Access to documents filed via ACCESS is also available in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building.

    In determining whether the petitioners have standing under section 732(c)(4)(A) of the Act, we considered the industry support data contained in the Petitions with reference to the domestic like product as defined in the “Scope of the Investigations,” in the Appendix to this notice. The petitioners provided their own 2017 shipments of the domestic like product and 2017 shipments by supporters of the petitions.17 The petitioners compared the total quantity of these shipments to the estimated total shipments of the domestic like product for the entire domestic industry.18 The petitioners explained that they relied on shipment data because production data for the entire domestic industry are not available.19 In addition, the petitioners provided a comparison of their own production and shipment data to demonstrate that shipments are a reasonable proxy for data on production of welded pipe.20 We relied on data the petitioners provided for purposes of measuring industry support.21

    17See Volume I of the Petitions, at 4 and Exhibit I-4; see also letter from the petitioners to Commerce dated January 31, 2018, “Supplement to the Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties: Industry Support” (Industry Support Supplement), at 2-3 and Exhibit I-Supp2-1; see also Scope and Industry Support Supplement, at Exhibit I-Supp3-3.

    18Id.

    19See Industry Support Supplement, at 3.

    20Id. at 3 and Exhibits I-Supp-2-1 and I-Supp2-2.

    21Id. For further discussion, see Attachment II of the Canada AD Initiation Checklist, China AD Initiation Checklist, Greece AD Initiation Checklist, India AD Initiation Checklist, Korea AD Initiation Checklist, and Turkey AD Initiation Checklist.

    Our review of the data provided in the Petitions, General Issues Supplement, Industry Support Supplement, Scope and Industry Support Supplement, and other information readily available to Commerce indicates that the petitioners have established industry support for the Petitions.22 First, the Petitions established support from domestic producers (or workers) accounting for more than 50 percent of the total production of the domestic like product and, as such, Commerce is not required to take further action in order to evaluate industry support (e.g., polling).23 Second, the domestic producers (or workers) have met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 732(c)(4)(A)(i) of the Act because the domestic producers (or workers) who support the Petitions account for at least 25 percent of the total production of the domestic like product.24 Finally, the domestic producers (or workers) have met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 732(c)(4)(A)(ii) of the Act because the domestic producers (or workers) who support the Petitions account for more than 50 percent of the production of the domestic like product produced by that portion of the industry expressing support for, or opposition to, the Petitions.25 Accordingly, Commerce determines that the Petitions were filed on behalf of the domestic industry within the meaning of section 732(b)(1) of the Act.

    22Id.

    23Id.; see also section 732(c)(4)(D) of the Act.

    24See Attachment II of the Canada AD Initiation Checklist, China AD Initiation Checklist, Greece AD Initiation Checklist, India AD Initiation Checklist, Korea AD Initiation Checklist, and Turkey AD Initiation Checklist.

    25Id.

    Commerce finds that the petitioners filed the Petitions on behalf of the domestic industry because they are interested parties as defined in section 771(9)(C) of the Act, and they have demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the AD investigations that they are requesting that Commerce initiate.26

    26Id.

    In letters dated January 25, January 29, and February 5, 2018, Borusan Mannesmann Boru Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S. and Borusan Istikbal Ticaret T.A.S. (collectively, Borusan), a Turkish producer and exporter, submitted comments on industry support.27 The petitioners responded to these comments in the Scope and Industry Support Supplement, dated February 5, 2018. For further discussion of these comments, see Attachment II of the Canada AD Initiation Checklist, China AD Initiation Checklist, Greece AD Initiation Checklist, India AD Initiation Checklist, Korea AD Initiation Checklist, and Turkey AD Initiation Checklist.

    27See letter from Borusan to Commerce dated January 25, 2018, “Comments on Industry Support,” letter from Borusan to Commerce dated January 29, 2018, “Additional Comments on Industry Support,” and letter from Borusan to Commerce dated February 5, 2018, “Additional Comments on Industry Support.”

    Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation

    The petitioners allege that the U.S. industry producing the domestic like product is being materially injured, or is threatened with material injury, by reason of the imports of the subject merchandise sold at less than normal value (NV). In addition, the petitioners allege that subject imports exceed the negligibility threshold provided for under section 771(24)(A) of the Act.28

    28See Volume I of the Petitions, at 26-27 and Exhibit I-11; see also General Issues Supplement, at 15-18 and Exhibits I-Supp-10 and I-Supp-11.

    The petitioners contend that the industry's injured condition is illustrated by a significant volume of subject imports; reduced market share; underselling and price depression or suppression; lost sales and revenues; and a negative impact on the domestic industry's U.S. shipments, capacity utilization, production, and financial performance.29 We have assessed the allegations and supporting evidence regarding material injury, threat of material injury, and causation, and we have determined that these allegations are properly supported by adequate evidence, and meet the statutory requirements for initiation.30

    29Id., at 13-15, 18-43 and Exhibits I-5 and I-8 through I-18; see also General Issues Supplement, at 1, 15-18 and Exhibits I-Supp-1, I-Supp-2, I-Supp-10 and I-Supp-11.

    30See Canada AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment III, Analysis of Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation for the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions Covering Large Diameter Welded Pipe from Canada, Greece, India, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, and the Republic of Turkey (Attachment III); see also China AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment III; see also Greece AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment III; see also India AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment III; see also Korea AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment III; see also Turkey AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment III.

    Allegations of Sales at Less Than Fair Value

    The following is a description of the allegations of sales at less than fair value upon which Commerce based its decision to initiate AD investigations of imports of welded pipe from Canada, China, Greece, India, Korea, and Turkey. The sources of data for the deductions and adjustments relating to U.S. price and NV are discussed in greater detail in the country-specific initiation checklists.

    Export Price

    For Korea and Turkey, the petitioners based export price (EP) on price quotes for sales of welded pipe produced in, and exported from, those countries and offered for sale in the United States.31 For China, the petitioners based EP on the average unit values (AUVs) of publicly available import data.32 For China, the petitioners also used data regarding sales exported by a Chinese producer of welded pipe to support EP.33 For Canada and India, the petitioners based EP on sales offers for welded pipe produced in, and exported from, those countries, valued using AUVs of publicly available import data.34 Where applicable, the petitioners made deductions from U.S. price for movement and other expenses, consistent with the terms of sale.35

    31See Korea and Turkey AD Initiation Checklists.

    32See China AD Initiation Checklist.

    33Id.

    34See Canada and India AD Initiation Checklists.

    35See Canada, China, India, Korea, and Turkey Initiation Checklists.

    Constructed Export Price

    For Greece, because the petitioners had reason to believe the sale was made through a U.S. affiliate, petitioners based constructed export price (CEP) on an offer for sale of welded pipe produced in, and exported from, Greece and offered for sale in the United States.36 The petitioners made deductions from U.S. price for movement expenses consistent with the delivery terms.37 Where applicable, the petitioners also deducted CEP selling expenses from U.S. price.38

    36See Greece Initiation Checklist.

    37Id.

    38Id.

    Normal Value

    For Canada, Greece, India, Korea, and Turkey, the petitioners were unable to obtain reliable information relating to the prices charged for welded pipe in Canada, Greece, India, Korea, and Turkey, or any third country market.39 Because home market and third country prices were not reasonably available, the petitioners calculated NV based on constructed value (CV). For further discussion of CV, see the section “Normal Value Based on Constructed Value” below.40

    39See Canada, Greece, India, Korea, and Turkey AD Initiation Checklists.

    40 In accordance with section 505(a) of the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, amending section 773(b)(2) of the Act, for this investigation, Commerce will request information necessary to calculate the CV and cost of production (COP) to determine whether there are reasonable grounds to believe or suspect that sales of the foreign like product have been made at prices that represent less than the COP of the product. Commerce no longer requires a COP allegation to conduct this analysis.

    With respect to China, Commerce considers China to be an NME country.41 In accordance with section 771(18)(C)(i) of the Act, any determination that a foreign country is an NME country shall remain in effect until revoked by Commerce. Therefore, we continue to treat China as an NME country for purposes of the initiation of this investigation. Accordingly, NV in China is appropriately based on factors of production (FOPs) valued in a surrogate market economy country, in accordance with section 773(c) of the Act.42 In the course of this investigation, all parties, and the public, will have the opportunity to provide relevant information related to the granting of separate rates to individual exporters.

    41See Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Aluminum Foil from the People's Republic of China: Affirmative Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less-Than-Fair Value and Postponement of Final Determination, 82 FR 50858, 50861 (November 2, 2017), and accompanying decision memorandum, China's Status as a Non-Market Economy.

    42See China AD Initiation Checklist.

    The petitioners claim that Thailand is an appropriate surrogate country for China because it is a market economy country that is at a level of economic development comparable to that of China and it is a significant producer of comparable merchandise that is home to several producers of welded pipe.43 The petitioners provided publicly-available information from Thailand to value all FOPs.44 However, the petitioners relied upon the financial statements of Ternium, S.A., a Mexican producer of welded pipe, to value financial ratios because: (1) Mexico is also a country found by Commerce to be economically comparable to China; and (2) all of the Thai producers of welded pipe that the petitioners identified are either privately held and do not publish publicly-available financial statements or do publish financial statements but those statements indicate that the companies operated at a loss during the POI.45 Therefore, based on the information provided by the petitioners, we determine that it is appropriate to use Thailand as the primary surrogate country, but rely on the financial statements of a Mexican producer of welded pipe to value financial ratios, for initiation purposes.

    43See Volume VIII of the Petitions, at 10-11.

    44See Volume VIII of the Petitions, at 14-18 and Exhibit AD-CN-16; see also the petitioners January 25, 2018, Response to the Supplemental Questions Regarding Volume VIII of the Petition (China Supplemental Response).

    45See Volume VIII of the Petitions at 18-19 and Exhibit AD-CN-21.

    Interested parties will have the opportunity to submit comments regarding surrogate country selection and, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.301(c)(3)(i), will be provided an opportunity to submit publicly available information to value FOPs within 30 days before the scheduled date of the preliminary determination.

    Factors of Production

    Because information regarding the volume of inputs consumed by Chinese producers/exporters was not reasonably available, the petitioners used the product-specific consumption rates of a U.S. welded pipe producer to estimate the Chinese manufacturers' FOPs.46 The petitioners valued the estimated FOPs using surrogate values from Thailand, as noted above.47 The petitioners used the average POI exchange rate to convert the data to U.S. dollars.48

    46See Volume VIII of the Petitions at 11-12; China AD Supplement at Exhibit AD-CN-Supp-4.

    47See Volume VIII of the Petitions at 18-19 and Exhibit AD-CN-21.

    48See Volume VIII of the Petitions at 15-16 and Exhibit AD-CN-14; China AD Supplement at Exhibit AD-CN-Supp-3.

    Normal Value Based on Constructed Value

    As noted above, the petitioners were unable to obtain information relating to the prices charged for welded pipe in Canada, Greece, India, Korea, and Turkey, or any third country market; accordingly, the petitioner based NV on CV.49 Pursuant to section 773(e) of the Act, CV consists of the cost of manufacturing (COM), selling, general, and administrative (SG&A) expenses, financial expenses, packing expenses, and profit. For Canada, Greece, India, Korea, and Turkey, the petitioners calculated the COM based on the input factors of production and usage rates from a U.S. producer of welded pipe. The input factors of production were valued using publicly available data on costs specific to Canada, Greece, India, Korea, and Turkey, during the proposed POI.50 Specifically, the prices for raw materials, reclaimed steel scrap, and packing inputs were valued using publicly available import and domestic price data for Canada, Greece, India, Korea, and Turkey.51 Labor and energy costs were valued using publicly available sources for Canada, Greece, India, Korea, and Turkey.52 The petitioners calculated factory overhead, SG&A, and profit for Canada, Greece, India, and Turkey based on the average ratios found in the experience of a producer of welded pipe products or of comparable merchandise from each of these countries.53 Because the petitioners were not able to ascertain the fixed overhead rate of a Korean producer of welded pipe, the petitioners, conservatively, omitted fixed overhead costs in the calculation of COM for Korea.54 The petitioners calculated SG&A and profit for Korea based on the average ratios found in the experience of a Korean producer of welded pipe products.55

    49See Canada AD Initiation Checklist; Greece AD Initiation Checklist; India AD Initiation Checklist; Korea AD Initiation Checklist; and Turkey AD Initiation Checklist.

    50Id.

    51Id.

    52Id.

    53Id.

    54See Korea AD Initiation Checklist.

    55Id.

    Fair Value Comparisons

    Based on the data provided by the petitioners, there is reason to believe that imports of welded pipe from Canada, China, Greece, India, Korea, and Turkey are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value. Based on comparisons of EP, or CEP, to NV in accordance with sections 772 and 773 of the Act, the estimated dumping margins for welded pipe for each of the countries covered by this initiation are as follows: (1) Canada—50.89 percent; 56 (2) China—120.84—132.63 percent; 57 (3) Greece—41.04 percent;  58 (4) India—37.94 percent; 59 (5) Korea—16.18 and 20.39 percent; 60 and (6) Turkey—66.09 percent.61

    56See Canada AD Initiation Checklist.

    57See China AD Initiation Checklist.

    58See Greece AD Initiation Checklist.

    59See India AD Initiation Checklist.

    60See Korea AD Initiation Checklist.

    61See Turkey AD Initiation Checklist.

    Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations

    Based upon the examination of the AD Petitions, we find that the Petitions meet the requirements of section 732 of the Act. Therefore, we are initiating AD investigations to determine whether imports of welded pipe from Canada, China, Greece, India, Korea, and Turkey are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value. In accordance with section 733(b)(1)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(b)(1), unless postponed, we will make our preliminary determinations no later than 140 days after the date of this initiation.

    Under the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, numerous amendments to the AD and CVD laws were made.62 The 2015 law does not specify dates of application for those amendments. On August 6, 2015, Commerce published an interpretative rule, in which it announced the applicability dates for each amendment to the Act, except for amendments contained in section 771(7) of the Act, which relate to determinations of material injury by the ITC.63 The amendments to sections 771(15), 773, 776, and 782 of the Act are applicable to all determinations made on or after August 6, 2015, and, therefore, apply to these AD investigations.64

    62See Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, Public Law 114-27, 129 Stat. 362 (2015).

    63See Dates of Application of Amendments to the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Laws Made by the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, 80 FR 46793 (August 6, 2015).

    64Id. at 46794-95. The 2015 amendments may be found at https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/1295/text/pl.

    Respondent Selection

    The petitioners named six companies in Canada,65 26 companies in India,66 28 companies in Korea,67 and 13 companies in Turkey,68 as producers/exporters of welded pipe. Following standard practice in AD investigations involving market economy countries, in the event Commerce determines that the number of companies is large and it cannot individually examine each company based upon Commerce's resources, where appropriate, Commerce intends to select respondents based on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data for U.S. imports under the appropriate Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States numbers listed with the scope in the Appendix, below.

    65See Volume I of the Petitions at Exhibit I-3.

    66Id.

    67Id.

    68Id.

    On February 1, 2018 (for Canada), February 2, 2018 (for India), February 5, 2018 (for Korea), and February 6 (for Turkey), Commerce released CBP data under Administrative Protective Order (APO) to all parties with access to information protected by APO and indicated that interested parties wishing to comment regarding the CBP data and respondent selection must do so within three business days of the publication date of the notice of initiation of these AD investigations.69 Commerce will not accept rebuttal comments regarding the CBP data or respondent selection.

    69See Commerce's Letters, “Large Diameter Welded Line Pipe Antidumping Duty Petition: Release of Customs Data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection;” “Large Diameter Welded Pipe from India Antidumping Duty Petition: Release of Customs Data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection;” “Large Diameter Welded Pipe from the Republic of Korea Antidumping Duty Petition: Release of Customs Data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection;” and “Large Diameter Welded Pipe from Turkey Antidumping Duty Petition: Release of Customs Data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.” These documents are dated February 1, 2, 5, and 6, 2018, respectively.

    Although Commerce normally relies on the number of producers/exporters identified in the petition and/or import data from CBP to determine whether to select a limited number of producers/exporters for individual examination in AD investigations, the petitioners identified only one company as a producer/exporter of welded pipe in Greece: Corinth Pipeworks S.A. (Corinth).70 We currently know of no additional producers/exporters of merchandise under consideration from Greece, and the petitioners provided information from an independent third-party source as support.71 Accordingly, Commerce intends to examine Corinth, the only known producer/exporter in the investigation for Greece.

    70See Volume I of the Petitions, at Exhibit I-3; Volume III of the Petitions, at 3; and Greece AD Supplement, at 2-3.

    71See Volume III of the Petitions, at Exhibit AD-GR-3; and Greece AD Supplement, at Exhibit AD-GR-Supp-2.

    With respect to China, the petitioners named 157 producers/exporters as accounting for the majority of exports of welded pipe to the United States from China.72 After considering the large number of producers and exporters identified in the Petition, and considering the resources that must be utilized by Commerce to mail quantity and value (Q&V) questionnaires to all of these companies, Commerce has determined that we do not have sufficient administrative resources to mail Q&V questionnaires to all 157 identified producers and exporters. Therefore, Commerce has determined to limit the number of Q&V questionnaires it will send out to exporters and producers based on CBP data for imports meeting the description of the scope of the investigation. Accordingly, Commerce will send Q&V questionnaires based on the producers and exporters that are identified in the Petition and that also appear in the CBP data. On February 1, 2018, Commerce released CBP data under APO to all parties with access to information protected by APO and indicated that interested parties wishing to comment on the CBP data must do so within three business days of the publication date of the notice of initiation of this investigation.73 We further stated that we will not accept rebuttal comments.74

    72See General Issues Supplement, at Exhibit I-Supp-4.

    73See Commerce's Memorandum to the File, “Releasing U.S. Customs and Border Protection Data,” dated February 1, 2018.

    74Id.

    In addition, Commerce will post the Q&V questionnaire along with filing instructions on the Enforcement and Compliance website at http://www.trade.gov/enforcement/news.asp. In accordance with our standard practice for respondent selection in AD cases involving NME countries, we intend to base respondent selection on the responses to the Q&V questionnaire that we receive.

    Producers/exporters of welded pipe from China that do not receive Q&V questionnaires by mail may still submit a response to the Q&V questionnaire and can obtain a copy of the Q&V questionnaire from Enforcement & Compliance's website. The Q&V response must be submitted by the relevant Chinese exporters/producers no later than 5:00 p.m. ET on February 23, 2018. All Q&V responses must be filed electronically via ACCESS.

    Separate Rates

    In order to obtain separate-rate status in an NME investigation, exporters and producers must submit a separate-rate application.75 The specific requirements for submitting a separate-rate application in the China investigation are outlined in detail in the application itself, which is available on Commerce's website at http://enforcement.trade.gov/nme/nme-sep-rate.html. The separate-rate application will be due 30 days after publication of this initiation notice.76 Exporters and producers who submit a separate-rate application and have been selected as mandatory respondents will be eligible for consideration for separate-rate status only if they respond to all parts of Commerce's AD questionnaire as mandatory respondents. Commerce requires that companies from China submit a response to both the Q&V questionnaire and the separate-rate application by the respective deadlines in order to receive consideration for separate-rate status. Companies not filing a timely Q&V response will not receive separate-rate consideration.

    75See Policy Bulletin 05.1: Separate-Rates Practice and Application of Combination Rates in Antidumping Investigation involving Non-Market Economy Countries (April 5, 2005), available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/policy/bull05-1.pdf (Policy Bulletin 05.1).

    76 Although in past investigations this deadline was 60 days, consistent with 19 CFR 351.301(a), which states that “the Secretary may request any person to submit factual information at any time during a proceeding,” this deadline is now 30 days.

    Use of Combination Rates

    Commerce will calculate combination rates for certain respondents that are eligible for a separate rate in an NME investigation. The Separate Rates and Combination Rates Bulletin states:

    {w}hile continuing the practice of assigning separate rates only to exporters, all separate rates that the Department will now assign in its NME Investigation will be specific to those producers that supplied the exporter during the period of investigation. Note, however, that one rate is calculated for the exporter and all of the producers which supplied subject merchandise to it during the period of investigation. This practice applies both to mandatory respondents receiving an individually calculated separate rate as well as the pool of non-investigated firms receiving the weighted-average of the individually calculated rates. This practice is referred to as the application of “combination rates” because such rates apply to specific combinations of exporters and one or more producers. The cash-deposit rate assigned to an exporter will apply only to merchandise both exported by the firm in question and produced by a firm that supplied the exporter during the period of investigation.77

    77See Policy Bulletin 05.1 at 6 (emphasis added).

    Distribution of Copies of the Petitions

    In accordance with section 732(b)(3)(A)(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.202(f), copies of the public version of the Petitions have been provided to the governments of Canada, China, Greece, India, Korea, and Turkey via ACCESS. To the extent practicable, we will attempt to provide a copy of the public version of the Petitions to each exporter named in the Petitions, as provided under 19 CFR 351.203(c)(2).

    ITC Notification

    We will notify the ITC of our initiation, as required by section 732(d) of the Act.

    Preliminary Determinations by the ITC

    The ITC will preliminarily determine, within 45 days after the date on which the Petitions were filed, whether there is a reasonable indication that imports of welded pipe from Canada, China, Greece, India, Korea, and/or Turkey are materially injuring or threatening material injury to a U.S. industry. A negative ITC determination for any country will result in the investigation being terminated with respect to that country.78 Otherwise, the investigations will proceed according to statutory and regulatory time limits.

    78Id.

    Submission of Factual Information

    Factual information is defined in 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) as: (i) Evidence submitted in response to questionnaires; (ii) evidence submitted in support of allegations; (iii) publicly available information to value factors under 19 CFR 351.408(c) or to measure the adequacy of remuneration under 19 CFR 351.511(a)(2); (iv) evidence placed on the record by Commerce; and (v) evidence other than factual information described in (i)-(iv). 19 CFR 351.301(b) requires any party, when submitting factual information, to specify under which subsection of 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) the information is being submitted 79 and, if the information is submitted to rebut, clarify, or correct factual information already on the record, to provide an explanation identifying the information already on the record that the factual information seeks to rebut, clarify, or correct.80 Time limits for the submission of factual information are addressed in 19 CFR 351.301, which provides specific time limits based on the type of factual information being submitted. Interested parties should review the regulations prior to submitting factual information in these investigations.

    79See 19 CFR 351.301(b).

    80See 19 CFR 351.301(b)(2).

    Extensions of Time Limits

    Parties may request an extension of time limits before the expiration of a time limit established under 19 CFR 351.301, or as otherwise specified by the Secretary. In general, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after the expiration of the time limit established under 19 CFR 351.301. For submissions that are due from multiple parties simultaneously, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after 10:00 a.m. ET on the due date. Under certain circumstances, we may elect to specify a different time limit by which extension requests will be considered untimely for submissions which are due from multiple parties simultaneously. In such a case, we will inform parties in the letter or memorandum setting forth the deadline (including a specified time) by which extension requests must be filed to be considered timely. An extension request must be made in a separate, stand-alone submission; under limited circumstances we will grant untimely-filed requests for the extension of time limits. Parties should review Extension of Time Limits; Final Rule, 78 FR 57790 (September 20, 2013), available at http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-20/html/2013-22853.htm, prior to submitting factual information in these investigations.

    Certification Requirements

    Any party submitting factual information in an AD or CVD proceeding must certify to the accuracy and completeness of that information.81 Parties must use the certification formats provided in 19 CFR 351.303(g).82 Commerce intends to reject factual submissions if the submitting party does not comply with the applicable revised certification requirements.

    81See section 782(b) of the Act.

    82See also Certification of Factual Information to Import Administration During Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 42678 (July 17, 2013) (Final Rule). Answers to frequently asked questions regarding the Final Rule are available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/tlei/notices/factual_info_final_rule_FAQ_07172013.pdf.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305. On January 22, 2008, Commerce published Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Documents Submission Procedures; APO Procedures, 73 FR 3634 (January 22, 2008). Parties wishing to participate in these investigations should ensure that they meet the requirements of these procedures (e.g., the filing of letters of appearance as discussed at 19 CFR 351.103(d)).

    This notice is issued and published pursuant to sections 732(c)(2) and 777(i) of the Act, and 19 CFR 351.203(c).

    Dated: February 9, 2018. James Maeder, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, performing the duties of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations. Appendix—Scope of the Investigations

    The merchandise covered by these investigations is welded carbon and alloy steel pipe, more than 406.4 mm (16 inches) in nominal outside diameter (large diameter welded pipe), regardless of wall thickness, length, surface finish, grade, end finish, or stenciling. Large diameter welded pipe may be used to transport oil, gas, slurry, steam, or other fluids, liquids, or gases. It may also be used for structural purposes, including, but not limited to, piling. Specifically, not included is large diameter welded pipe produced only to specifications of the American Water Works Association (AWWA) for water and sewage pipe.

    Large diameter welded pipe used to transport oil, gas, or natural gas liquids is normally produced to the American Petroleum Institute (API) specification 5L. Large diameter welded pipe may also be produced to American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards A500, A252, or A53, or other relevant domestic specifications, grades and/or standards. Large diameter welded pipe can be produced to comparable foreign specifications, grades and/or standards or to proprietary specifications, grades and/or standards, or can be non-graded material. All pipe meeting the physical description set forth above is covered by the scope of these investigations, whether or not produced according to a particular standard.

    Subject merchandise also includes large diameter welded pipe that has been further processed in a third country, including but not limited to coating, painting, notching, beveling, cutting, punching, welding, or any other processing that would not otherwise remove the merchandise from the scope of the investigations if performed in the country of manufacture of the in-scope large diameter welded pipe.

    Excluded from the scope are any products covered by the existing antidumping duty orders on welded line pipe from the Republic of Korea, welded line pipe from the Republic of Turkey, and welded ASTM A-312 stainless steel pipe from Korea, as well as any products covered by the existing countervailing duty order on welded line pipe from Turkey. See Welded Line Pipe from the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Turkey: Antidumping Duty Orders, 80 FR 75056 (December 1, 2015); Welded ASTM A-312 Stainless Steel Pipe from South Korea: Antidumping Duty Order, 57 FR 62300 (December 30, 1992); and Welded Line Pipe from the Republic of Turkey: Countervailing Duty Order, 80 FR 75054 (December 1, 2015).

    The large diameter welded pipe that is subject to these investigations is currently classifiable in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under subheadings 7305.11.1030, 7305.11.1060, 7305.11.5000, 7305.12.1030, 7305.12.1060, 7305.12.5000, 7305.19.1030, 7305.19.1060, 7305.19.5000, 7305.31.4000, 7305.31.6010, 7305.31.6090, 7305.39.1000 and 7305.39.5000. While the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of these investigations is dispositive.

    [FR Doc. 2018-03305 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35).

    Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

    Title: North Pacific Observer Safety and Security Survey.

    OMB Control Number: 0648-xxxx.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Request: Regular (request for a new information collection).

    Number of Respondents: 300.

    Average Hours per Response: 10 minutes.

    Burden Hours: 50.

    Needs and Uses: The Office of Law Enforcement, Alaska Division, is conducting a survey of North Pacific Observers to determine the number of observers who experienced victimizing behavior during deployments in 2016 and 2017. The survey will also investigate the reasons that prevented observers from reporting these violations. The results of the survey will provide the Office of Law Enforcement a better understanding of how often observers are victimized, which will enable them to reallocate resources as needed, conduct more training for observers to ensure they know how to report, conduct training to ensure people understand what constitutes a victim crime, and to increase awareness of potential victimizations. Additionally, the survey results will help law enforcement understand the barriers to disclosure, so enforcement may begin to address these impediments so they no longer prevent observers from disclosure.

    Affected Public: Individuals or households.

    Frequency: Annually.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

    This information collection request may be viewed at reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB.

    Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to [email protected] or fax to (202) 395-5806.

    Dated: February 14, 2018. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03364 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XG036 Fisheries of the South Atlantic; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of SEDAR 55 Assessment webinar.

    SUMMARY:

    The SEDAR 55 assessment of the South Atlantic stock of Vermilion Snapper will consist of a series webinars. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    DATES:

    A SEDAR 55 Assessment webinar will be held on Monday, March 5, 2018, from 12:30 p.m. until 2 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    Meeting address: The meeting will be held via webinar. The webinar is open to members of the public. Those interested in participating should contact Julia Byrd at SEDAR (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT) to request an invitation providing webinar access information. Please request webinar invitations at least 24 hours in advance of each webinar.

    SEDAR address: South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, North Charleston, SC 29405; www.sedarweb.org.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Julia Byrd, SEDAR Coordinator, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, North Charleston, SC 29405; phone: (843) 571-4366; email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, and Caribbean Fishery Management Councils, in conjunction with NOAA Fisheries and the Atlantic and Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commissions, have implemented the Southeast Data, Assessment and Review (SEDAR) process, a multi-step method for determining the status of fish stocks in the Southeast Region. The product of the SEDAR webinar series will be a report which compiles and evaluates potential datasets and recommends which datasets are appropriate for assessment analyses, and describes the fisheries, evaluates the status of the stock, estimates biological benchmarks, projects future population conditions, and recommends research and monitoring needs. Participants for SEDAR Workshops are appointed by the Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, and Caribbean Fishery Management Councils and NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office, Highly Migratory Species Management Division, and Southeast Fisheries Science Center. Participants include: data collectors and database managers; stock assessment scientists, biologists, and researchers; constituency representatives including fishermen, environmentalists, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs); international experts; and staff of Councils, Commissions, and state and federal agencies.

    The items of discussion in the Assessment webinar are as follows:

    1. Participants will continue discussions to develop population models to evaluate stock status, estimate population benchmarks, and project future conditions, as specified in the Terms of Reference.

    2. Participants will recommend the most appropriate methods and configurations for determining stock status and estimating population parameters.

    3. Participants will prepare a workshop report and determine whether the assessment(s) are adequate for submission for review.

    Although non-emergency issues not contained in this agenda may come before this group for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Action will be restricted to those issues specifically identified in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, provided the public has been notified of the intent to take final action to address the emergency.

    Special Accommodations

    This meeting is accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for auxiliary aids should be directed to the SAFMC office (see ADDRESSES) at least 5 business days prior to the meeting.

    Note:

    The times and sequence specified in this agenda are subject to change.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: February 14, 2018. Jeffrey N. Lonergan, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03414 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XG035 Western Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meetings, hearings, and a partially closed meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold its Social Science Planning Committee (SSPC) meeting, 128th Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) meeting, 172nd Council meeting and its associated meetings to take actions on fishery management issues in the Western Pacific Region. A portion of the Council's Executive, Budget and Legislative Standing Committee meeting will be closed to the public.

    DATES:

    The meetings will be held between March 5 and March 16, 2018. For specific times and agendas, see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    ADDRESSES:

    The SSPC; 128th SSC; the Council's Pelagic and International Standing Committee and Executive, Budget and Legislative Standing Committee meetings will be held at the Council office, 1164 Bishop Street, Suite 1400, Honolulu, HI 96813, phone: (808) 522-8220. The 172nd Council meeting will be held at the Laniakea YWCA, Fuller Hall, 1040 Richards Street, Honolulu, HI 96813, phone: (808) 538-7061. The Fishers Forum will be held at the Pomaika`i Ballrooms at Dole Cannery Iwilei, 735 Iwilei Rd., Honolulu, HI 96817, phone: (808) 369-8600.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:

    Contact Kitty M. Simonds, Executive Director, Western Pacific Fishery Management Council; phone: (808) 522-8220.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The SSPC meeting will be held between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. on March 5, 2018. The 128th SSC meeting will be held between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. on March 6-8, 2018. The Executive, Budget and Legislative Standing Committee meeting will be held on March 13, 2018, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. The portion of the Executive, Budget and Legislative Standing Committee meeting from 9:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. will be closed to the public in accordance with Section 302(i)(3) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA). The Pelagic and International Standing Committee will be held on March 13, 2018, between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. The 172nd Council meeting will be held between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. on March 14-16, 2018. On March 14, 2018, the Council will host a Fishers Forum between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. All times listed are local island times.

    Agenda items noted as “Final Action Items” refer to actions that result in Council transmittal of a proposed fishery management plan, proposed plan amendment, or proposed regulations to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, under Sections 304 or 305 of the MSA. In addition to the agenda items listed here, the Council and its advisory bodies will hear recommendations from Council advisors. An opportunity to submit public comment will be provided throughout the agendas. The order in which agenda items are addressed may change and will be announced in advance at the Council meeting. The meetings will run as late as necessary to complete scheduled business. Background documents will be available from, and written comments should be sent to, Kitty M. Simonds, Executive Director; Western Pacific Fishery Management Council, 1164 Bishop Street, Suite 1400, Honolulu, HI 96813, phone: (808) 522-8220 or fax: (808) 522-8226.

    Agenda for the SSPC Meeting Monday, March 5, 2018, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. 1. Welcome and Introductions 2. New Emerging Issues by Region A. American Samoa B. CNMI C. Guam D. Hawaii 3. Review of the Draft 2017 Socioeconomic Module of the Annual Stock Assessment and Fisheries Evaluation (SAFE) Report 4. Report on PIFSC Response to the External Review 5. Review and Update of SSPC Research Priorities 6. Recommendations 7. Other Business Agenda for 128th SSC Meeting Tuesday, March 6, 2018, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. 1. Introductions 2. Approval of Draft Agenda and Assignment of Rapporteurs 3. Status of the 127th SSC Meeting Recommendations 4. Report from the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center Director 5. Insular Fisheries A. Main Hawaiian Islands Deep 7 Bottomfish Fishery 1. Report on the Western Pacific Stock Assessment Review (WPSAR) of the Main Hawaiian Islands Deep 7 Bottomfish Fishery 2. Stock assessment for the Main Hawaiian Islands Deep 7 Bottomfish Complex 2018, with Catch Projections Through 2022 B. Options for Refining Precious Corals Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) (Initial Action Item) C. Updates to the Ecosystem Component Classification (Initial Action Item) D. Public Comment E. SSC Discussion and Recommendations 6. Program Planning and Research A. Report on the National Scientific Coordinating Subcommittee (SCS) Meeting 6 B. Potential Ecosystem Indicators for Nearshore Fisheries C. Implementing Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management (EBFM) in the Western Pacific Region D. Updating the Management Strategy Evaluation Priorities E. Public Comment F. SSC Discussion and Recommendations Wednesday, March 7, 2018, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. 7. Pelagic Fisheries A. Hawaii Longline Fisheries 1. Hawaii Annual Longline Fisheries Report 2. Framework for Managing Sea Turtle Interactions in the Hawaii Shallow-set Longline Fishery (Initial Action Item) B. U.S. Territory Longline Bigeye Specification (Final Action Item) C. American Samoa Longline Fisheries 1. American Samoa Annual Longline Fisheries Report 2. American Samoa Large Vessel Prohibited Area (Final Action Item) a. Report on American Samoa Cultural Fishing 3. American Samoa Swordfish Trip Limit (Final Action Item) D. Electronic Monitoring and Reporting 1. Electronic Monitoring in the Hawaii Longline Fisheries 2. Electronic Reporting in the Hawaii Longline Fisheries 3. Pacific Islands Regional Office (PIRO) Observer Program Electronic Reporting E. International Fisheries 1. Western Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) 14 Outcomes F. Public Comment G. SSC Discussion and Action 8. Protected Species A. Report of the Albatross Workshop B. Report of the 2017 Hawaiian Islands Cetacean and Ecosystem Assessment Survey C. False Killer Whale Take Reduction Measures D. Updates on Endangered Species Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act Actions 1. Insular False Killer Whale Critical Habitat 2. Insular False Killer Whale Recovery Plan 3. Coral Critical Habitat 4. Loggerhead Turtle Recovery Plan 5. Oceanic Whitetip Shark and Giant Manta Ray Listing Final Rules 6. Other Actions E. Public Comment F. SSC Discussion and Recommendations Thursday, March 8, 2018, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. 9. Other Business A. 129th SSC Meeting B. Updates From the Social Science Planning Committee C. Revisions to the SSC three year plan 10. Summary of SSC Recommendations to the Council Agenda for the Executive, Budget and Legislative Standing Committee Tuesday, March 13, 2018, 9 a.m. to 12 noon (9:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. CLOSED) 1. Administrative Report 2. Financial Report 3. 2018 Council Member Appointments 4. Update on Litigation (Closed Session—pursuant to MSA § 302(i)(3)) 5. Meetings and Workshops 6. Council Family Changes 7. Standard Operating Policies and Procedures (SOPP) Changes 8. Other Issues 9. Public Comment 10. Discussion and Recommendations Agenda for the Pelagic and International Standing Committee Tuesday, March 13, 2018, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. 1. Introduction and Opening of Committee Meeting 2. American Samoa Large Vessel Prohibited Area (Final Action Item) 3. American Samoa Longline Swordfish Trip Limit (Final Action Item) 4. Framework for Managing Sea Turtle Interactions in the Hawaii Shallow-set Longline Fishery (Initial Action Item) 5. U.S. Territory Longline Bigeye Specification (Final Action Item) 6. Pelagics FEP Frameworks A. Amend Recommendation Made at the 161st Meeting to the Pelagic FEP Amendment To Establish a Framework for the Specification of WCPFC Catch and Effort Limits for U.S. Pelagic Fisheries in the Western Pacific Region To Include Other Measures, IATTC and any other RFMO legislation that authorizes implementation under the MSA (Final Action Item) B. Modification to US Participating Territory Catch and Effort Limit Amendment 7 Framework (Final Action Item) 7. Advisory Group Report and Recommendations A. Advisory Panels B. Scientific & Statistical Committee 8. Other Issues 9. Public Comment 10. Committee Discussion and Action Agenda for 172nd Council Meeting Wednesday, March 14, 2018, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. 1. Welcome and Introductions 2. Approval of the 172nd Agenda 3. Approval of the 171st Meeting Minutes 4. Executive Director's Report 5. Agency Reports A. National Marine Fisheries Service 1. Pacific Islands Regional Office a. Status of Executive Order 13795 Review 2. Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center B. NOAA Office of General Counsel, Pacific Islands Section C. U.S. State Department D. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1. Status of Executive Order 13792 Review E. Enforcement 1. U.S. Coast Guard 2. NOAA Office of Law Enforcement 3. NOAA Office of General Counsel, Enforcement Section F. Legislative Standing Committee Recommendations G. Public Comment H. Council Discussion and Action 6. Hawaii Archipelago & Pacific Remote Island Areas A. Moku Pepa B. Legislative Report C. Enforcement Issues D. Community Issues 1. Report of Puwalu Umi E. Identifying Priority Areas for Effective Management of at least 30% of Hawaii's Nearshore Waters F. Main Hawaiian Islands Deep 7 Bottomfish Fishery 1. Report on the Main Hawaiian Islands Deep 7 Bottomfish WPSAR 2. Stock Assessment for the Main Hawaiian Islands Deep 7 Bottomfish Complex 2018, with Catch Projections Through 2022 G. SSC Review of the Terms of Reference for the WPSAR of the Kona crab benchmark assessment H. Education and Outreach Initiatives I. Advisory Group Report and Recommendations 1. Hawaii Archipelago Fishery Ecosystem Plan Advisory Panel 2. Scientific & Statistical Committee J. Public Comment K. Council Discussion and Action 7. Protected Species A. Report of the Albatross Workshop B. Report of the 2017 Hawaiian Islands Cetacean and Ecosystem Assessment Survey C. False Killer Whale Take Reduction Measures D. Updates on Endangered Species Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act Actions 1. Insular False Killer Whale Critical Habitat 2. Insular False Killer Whale Recovery Plan 3. Coral Critical Habitat 4. Loggerhead Turtle Recovery Plan 5. Oceanic Whitetip Shark and Giant Manta Ray Listing Final Rules 6. Other Actions E. Advisory Group Report and Recommendations 1. Advisory Panels 2. Scientific & Statistical Committee F. Public Comment G. Council Discussion and Action Wednesday, March 14, 2018, 4 p.m. Public Comment on Non-agenda Items Wednesday, March 14, 2018, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Fishers Forum—Hawai`i Fisheries: Getting the Full Story Thursday, March 15, 2018, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. 8. Program Planning and Research A. Updates on the Ecosystem Component Species Classification (Initial Action Item) B. Omnibus Amendment To Establish an Aquaculture Management Program (Initial Action Item) C. Options for Refining Precious Corals EFH (Initial Action Item) D. Report on the National SCS Meeting 6 E. Potential Ecosystem Indicators for Nearshore Fisheries F. Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management in the Western Pacific Region G. Scoping Report on Non-Fishing Impacts to EFH H. Update on Regional Coastal Marine Spatial Planning/Ocean Planning Efforts I. Regional, National and International Outreach & Education J. Advisory Group Report and Recommendations 1. Advisory Panels 2. Hawaii Regional Ecosystem Advisory Committee 3. Joint Advisory Group a. CNMI b. Guam 4. Archipelagic Plan Team 5. Scientific & Statistical Committee K. Public Hearing L. Council Discussion and Action 9. Pelagic & International Fisheries A. Hawaii Longline Fisheries 1. Hawaii Annual Longline Fisheries Report 2. Framework for Managing Sea Turtle Interactions in the Hawaii Shallow-set Longline Fishery (Initial Action Item) B. U.S. Territory Longline Bigeye Specification (Final Action Item) C. Pelagics FEP Frameworks 1. Amend recommendation made at the 161st meeting to the Pelagic FEP Amendment to Establish a Framework for the Specification of WCPFC Catch and Effort Limits for U.S. Pelagic Fisheries in the Western Pacific Region To Include Other Measures, IATTC and Any Other RFMO Legislation That Authorizes Implementation Under the MSA (Final Action Item) 2. Modification to U.S. Participating Territory Catch and Effort Limit Amendment 7 Framework (Final Action Item) D. American Samoa Longline Fisheries 1. American Samoa Annual Longline Fisheries Report 2. American Samoa Large Vessel Prohibited Area (Final Action Item) a. Report on American Samoa Cultural Fishing 3. American Samoa Swordfish Trip Limit (Final Action Item) E. Update on Electronic Monitoring and Reporting 1. Electronic Monitoring in the Hawaii Longline Fisheries 2. Electronic Reporting in the Hawaii Longline Fisheries 3. PIRO Observer Program Electronic Reporting F. International Fisheries Meetings 1. WCPFC 14 Outcomes 2. SPRFMO 6 Outcomes G. Advisory Group Report and Recommendations 1. Advisory Panels 2. Scientific & Statistical Committee H. Pelagic & International Standing Committee Recommendations I. Public Hearing J. Council Discussion and Action 10. American Samoa Archipelago A. Motu Lipoti B. Fono Report C. Enforcement Issues D. Community Activities and Issues 1. Aunu`u Ice Machine 2. Report on Tuna Canneries a. StarKist Resumes Operations in November 2017 b. Status of Tri-Marine STP Operations in American Samoa 3. ASG Fisheries Development Projects a. Malaloa Longline Dock Extension Project b. Tutuila and Manu`a Alia Repair c. Fishermen Training Program d. Working Alia Project and Loan Program Update e. Fagatogo Fish Market & Bottomfish Export E. Status of Manu`a Fishermen's Cooperatives F. American Samoa Marine Conservation Plan (Final Action Item) G. Education and Outreach 1. Report on Council Scholarship Students 2. Lunar Calendar H. Advisory Group Reports and Recommendations 1. American Samoa Archipelago Advisory Panel 2. Scientific & Statistical Committee I. Public Hearing J. Council Discussion and Action Friday, March 16, 2018, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. 11. Mariana Archipelago A. Guam 1. Isla Informe 2. Legislative Report 3. Enforcement Issues 4. Community Activities and Issues a. Update on Territorial Science Initiative b. Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) Spearfishing Data Collection Project 5. Education and Outreach Initiatives B. Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands 1. Arongol Falú/Asunton i Tano 2. Legislative Report 3. Enforcement Issues 4. Community Activities and Issues 5. Education and Outreach Initiatives C. Update on Marianas Trench Marine National Monument Management Plan and Sanctuary Request D. Update on CNMI Marinas and Minimum Size Regulations E. Advisory Group Reports and Recommendations 1. Mariana Archipelago FEP Advisory Panel 2. Scientific & Statistical Committee F. Public Comment G. Council Discussion and Action 12. Administrative Matters A. Council Member and Staff Annual Training on Standards of Conduct B. Financial Reports C. Administrative Reports D. Update on Information Inquiries and Responses E. Council Family Changes 1. Education Committee 2. SSC F. Report on the Winter CCC Meeting G. SOPP Changes H. Meetings and Workshops I. 2018 Council Member Appointments J. Other Business K. Executive and Budget Standing Committee Recommendations L. Public Comment M. Council Discussion and Action 13. Other Business

    Non-emergency issues not contained in this agenda may come before the Council for discussion and formal Council action during its 172nd meeting. However, Council action on regulatory issues will be restricted to those issues specifically listed in this document and any regulatory issue arising after publication of this document that requires emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, provided the public has been notified of the Council's intent to take action to address the emergency.

    Special Accommodations

    These meetings are accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Kitty M. Simonds, (808) 522-8220 (voice) or (808) 522-8226 (fax), at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: February 14, 2018. Jeffrey N. Lonergan, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03413 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35).

    Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

    Title: Southeast Region Vessel and Gear Identification Requirements.

    OMB Control Number: 0648-0358.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Request: Regular (revision and extension of a currently approved information collection).

    Number of Respondents: 7,825.

    Average Hours per Response: Vessel marking: 45 minutes. Gear marking: Aquacultured live rocks, 10 seconds each; golden crab traps, 2 minutes each; spiny lobster traps, 7 minutes each; sea bass pots, 16 minutes each; and mackerel gillnets, and buoy gear, 20 minutes each.

    Burden Hours: 51,070.

    Needs and Uses: The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Southeast Region manages the U.S. fisheries in the exclusive economic zone of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic regions under various fishery management plans (FMPs). The regional fishery management councils prepared the FMPs pursuant to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). The regulations implementing the FMPs are located at 50 CFR part 622.

    The recordkeeping and reporting requirements at 50 CFR part 622 form the basis for this collection of information. The NMFS Southeast Region requires that all permitted fishing vessels must mark their vessel with the official identification number or some form of identification. A vessel's official number, under most regulations, is required to be displayed on the port and starboard sides of the deckhouse or hull, and weather deck. In addition, certain fisheries are required to display their assigned color code. The official number and color code identify each vessel and should be visible at distance from the sea and in the air. These markings provide law enforcement personnel with a means to monitor fishing, at-sea processing, and other related activities, to ascertain whether the vessel's observed activities are in accordance with those authorized for that vessel. The identifying official number is used by NMFS, the United States Coast Guard, and other marine agencies in issuing violations, prosecutions, and other enforcement actions. Vessels that are authorized for particular fisheries are readily identified, gear violations are more readily prosecuted, and this allows for more cost-effective enforcement.

    In addition to vessel marking, requirements that fishing gear be marked are essential to facilitate enforcement. The ability to link fishing gear to the vessel owner is crucial to enforcement of regulations issued under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. The marking of fishing gear is also valuable in actions concerning damage, loss, and civil proceedings. The requirements imposed in the Southeast Region are for coral aquacultured live rock; golden crab traps; mackerel gillnet floats; spiny lobster traps; black sea bass pots; and buoy gear.

    Affected Public: Business and other for profit organizations; individuals and households.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondent's Obligation: Mandatory.

    This information collection request may be viewed at reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB.

    Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to [email protected] or fax to (202) 395-5806.

    Dated: February 14, 2018. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03366 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XF592 Marine Mammals; File No. 21158-01 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; issuance of permit amendment.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that a major amendment to Permit No. 21158 has been issued to Robert Garrott, Ph.D., Montana State University, 310 Lewis Hall, Bozeman, MT 59717.

    ADDRESSES:

    The permit amendment and related documents are available for review upon written request or by appointment in the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910; phone (301) 427-8401; fax (301) 713-0376.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sara Young or Carrie Hubard, (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On November 8, 2017, a notice was published in the Federal Register (82 FR 51822) that a request for an amendment Permit No. 21158 to conduct research on Weddell seals had been submitted by the above-named applicant. The requested permit amendment has been issued under the authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) and the regulations governing the taking and importing of marine mammals (50 CFR part 216).

    The permit amendment authorizes an increase in takes of seal pups authorized to be flipper tagged from a total of 675 to a total take of 1,000 pups. This field season the research team has observed an abnormally high number of pups and current take numbers are not be adequate to meet the stated scientific goals of tagging all pups produced in the Erebus Bay colonies each year. This increase is only for the 2017-18 field season and not for the duration of the permit. At the end of the public comment period, we will assess all substantive comments received and if warranted, further amend the permit in response to those comments.

    In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), a final determination has been made that the activity proposed is categorically excluded from the requirement to prepare an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement.

    Dated: February 14, 2018. Julia Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03392 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P\
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35).

    Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

    Title: Pacific Halibut Fisheries: Charter Permits.

    OMB Control Number: 0648-0592.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Request: Regular (revision and extension of a currently approved information collection).

    Number of Respondents: 236.

    Average Hours per Response: 2 hours for Application for Transfer of Charter Halibut Permit; 0.5 hours for Application for Military Charter Permit; 2 hours for Application for Transfer between IFQ and Guided Angler Fish (GAF); and 4 hours for Appeals if an Application for Transfer between IFQ and GAF is denied by NMFS.

    Burden Hours: 559.

    Needs and Uses: This request is for revision and extension of a currently approved information collection.

    The Alaska Pacific Halibut Charter Program established Federal Charter Halibut Permits (CHPs) for operators in the charter halibut fishery in IPHC regulatory Areas 2C (Southeast Alaska) and 3A (Central Gulf of Alaska). Since February 1, 2011, all vessel operators in Areas 2C and 3A with charter anglers onboard catching and retaining Pacific halibut must have a valid CHP onboard during every charter vessel fishing trip. CHPs must be endorsed with the appropriate regulatory area and number of anglers.

    The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) implemented this program based on recommendations by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council to meet allocation objectives in the charter halibut fishery. This program provides stability in the fishery by limiting the number of charter vessels that may participate in Areas 2C and 3A and decreasing the overall number of available CHPs over time. The program goals are to increase the value of the resource, limit boats to qualified active participants in the guided sport halibut sector, and enhance economic stability in rural coastal communities.

    An appeal letter was inadvertently removed from this collection previously, now reinstated.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations; individuals and households.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondent's Obligation: Mandatory.

    This information collection request may be viewed at reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB.

    Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to [email protected] or fax to (202) 395-5806.

    Dated: February 14, 2018. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03365 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    BUREAU OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION [Docket No. CFPB-2018-0004] Request for Information Regarding the Bureau's Supervision Program AGENCY:

    Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for information.

    SUMMARY:

    The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) is seeking comments and information from interested parties to assist the Bureau in assessing the overall efficiency and effectiveness of its Supervision Program, and, consistent with the law, considering whether any changes to the program would be appropriate.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by May 21, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit responsive information and other comments, identified by Docket No. CFPB-2018-0004, by any of the following methods:

    Electronic: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Email: [email protected]. Include Docket No. CFPB-2018-0004 in the subject line of the message.

    Mail: Comment Intake, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 1700 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20552.

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

    Instructions: The Bureau encourages the early submission of comments. All submissions must include the document title and docket number. Please note the number of the topic on which you are commenting at the top of each response (you do not need to address all topics). Because paper mail in the Washington, DC area and at the Bureau is subject to delay, commenters are encouraged to submit comments electronically. In general, comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, with exceptions including those noted below. In addition, comments will be available for public inspection and copying at 1700 G St NW, Washington, DC 20552, on official business days between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. eastern standard time. You can make an appointment to inspect the documents by telephoning 202-435-7275.

    Submissions in response to this request for information, including attachments and other supporting materials, will become part of the public record and subject to public disclosure. Proprietary information or sensitive personal information, such as account numbers or Social Security numbers, or names of other individuals should not be included.

    Commenters should also refrain from submitting confidential supervisory information (CSI), as defined in 12 CFR 1070.2(i). If discussing interactions on an examination, commenters should speak in generalities, and should refrain from describing the content of supervisory communications or the results of specific exams. Commenters may wish to submit input anonymously or through a representative if associating their name with their public comment would disclose the fact that they have been examined by the Bureau or the results of a particular exam. The Bureau reserves the right to redact or refrain from publishing CSI consistent with 12 CFR 1070.41 et seq.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For general inquiries and submission process questions, please call Brian Shearer, Counsel, at (202) 435-7611.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Bureau has supervisory authority over insured depository institutions and credit unions with total assets over $10 billion and their affiliates, as well as non-depository financial institutions, regardless of size, in certain specific markets including mortgage companies (originators, brokers, servicers, and offerors of loan modifications or foreclosure relief services), payday lenders and private education lenders. The Bureau also has supervisory authority over non-depository larger participants of other markets as the Bureau defines by rule. To date, this includes larger participants in the consumer reporting, debt collection, student loan servicing, international money transfer, and automobile finance markets. Additionally, the Bureau has authority over service providers of the above referenced supervised entities, and service providers to a substantial number of depository institutions and credit unions with total assets of $10 billion or less. More detail regarding the Bureau's supervisory authority can be found principally at 12 U.S.C. 5514-5516 and 12 CFR parts 1090 and 1091.

    The Bureau is, as described below, issuing this request for information seeking public comment on how best to achieve meaningful burden reduction or other improvement to the processes used by the Bureau to supervise for compliance with Federal consumer financial law (Supervision Program) while continuing to meet the Bureau's statutory and regulatory objectives and ensuring a fair and transparent process for supervised entities.

    Overview of This Request for Information

    The Bureau is using this request for information to seek public input regarding its Supervision Program. The Bureau's ability to supervise entities is an essential part of the Bureau's statutory mission of enforcing Federal consumer financial laws. The Bureau engages in supervisory activities in accordance with applicable law and in furtherance of its statutory mandate. The Bureau understands, however, that the Bureau's supervisory activities can impose burdens on entities. The Bureau encourages comments from all interested members of the public. The Bureau anticipates that the responding public may include supervised entities or companies supervised by other agencies, compliance professionals or members of the bar who represent these entities, individual consumers, consumer advocates, regulators, and researchers, or members of academia.

    Suggested Topics for Commenters

    To allow the Bureau to evaluate suggestions more effectively, the Bureau requests that, where possible, comments include:

    • Specific suggestions regarding any potential updates or modifications to the Bureau's Supervision Program, consistent with the Bureau's statutory objectives, and including, in as much detail as possible (though without disclosing CSI), potential updates or modifications, supporting data or other information on impacts and costs, or information concerning alignment with the processes of other agencies with similar authorities; and

    • Specific identification of any aspects of the Bureau's Supervision Program that should not be modified, consistent with the Bureau's statutory objectives, and including supporting data or other information on impacts and costs, or information concerning alignment with the processes of other agencies with similar authorities.

    The following list represents a preliminary attempt by the Bureau to identify elements of Bureau processes related to its Supervision Program that may be deserving of more immediate focus. This non-exhaustive list is meant to assist in the formulation of comments and is not intended to restrict the issues that may be addressed. In addressing these topics or others, the Bureau requests that commenters identify with specificity the Bureau regulations or practices at issue, providing legal citations where appropriate and available. Please feel free to comment on some or all of the topics below, but please be sure to indicate on which area you are commenting. As noted in the instructions above, please refrain from revealing CSI in your public comment.

    The Bureau is seeking feedback on all aspects of its Supervision Program, including but not limited to:

    1. The timing, frequency, and scope of supervisory exams.

    2. The timing, method or process used by the Bureau to collect information and documents from a supervised entity prior to the commencement of an examination. Typically, the Bureau sends an examination Information Request (IR) to a supervised entity prior to the commencement of an examination. An IR is a list of information and documents that the supervised entity is asked to provide to the Bureau for off-site review or to make available when examiners are onsite at the entity. An IR is typically sent to an entity at least 60 days prior to the onsite start of an examination.

    3. The type and volume of information and documents requested in IRs.

    4. The effectiveness and accessibility of the CFPB Supervision and Examination Manual (Exam Manual). The Exam Manual provides internal direction to supervisory staff, including summaries of statutes and regulations and specific examination procedures for use by examiners in conducting exams. It is published on the Bureau's website to promote transparency and assist the public in understanding how the Bureau oversees supervised entities.

    5. The efficiency and effectiveness of onsite examination work. Typically, while onsite, examination teams may review documents and data, hold meetings with management, conduct interviews with staff, make observations, and conduct transaction testing.

    6. The effectiveness of Supervision's communications when potential violations are identified, including the usefulness and content of the potential action and request for response (PARR) letter. A PARR letter provides an entity with notice of preliminary findings of conduct that may violate Federal consumer financial laws and advises the entity that the Bureau is considering taking supervisory action or a public enforcement action based on the potential violations identified in the letter. Supervision invites the entity to respond to the PARR letter within 14 days and to set forth in the response any reasons of fact, law or policy why the Bureau should not take action against the entity. The Bureau often permits extensions of the response time when requested.

    7. The clarity, organization, and quality of communications that report the results of supervisory activities, including oral communications from examiners and Supervisory Letters and Examination Reports.

    8. The clarity of matters requiring attention (MRA) and the reasonability of timing requirements to satisfy MRAs. An MRA is used to address violation(s) of Federal consumer financial law or compliance management weaknesses. MRAs often require a written response to the Bureau and will include a due date for completion.

    9. The process for appealing supervisory findings.

    10. The use of third parties contracted by supervised entities to conduct assessments specified in MRAs, or to assess the sufficiency of completion of an MRA.

    11. The usefulness of Supervisory Highlights to share findings and promote transparency. The Bureau periodically publishes Supervisory Highlights to apprise the public about its examination program, including the concerns that it finds during the course of its work.

    12. The manner and extent to which the Bureau can and should coordinate its supervisory activity with Federal and state supervisory agencies, including through use of simultaneous exams, where feasible and consistent with statutory directives.

    Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 5511(c).

    Dated: February 12, 2018. Mick Mulvaney, Acting Director, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03358 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-AM-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Air Force [Docket ID: USAF-2018-HQ-0001] Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Department of the Air Force, DoD.

    ACTION:

    60-Day information collections notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Deputy Chief of Staff (DCS), Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration (HQ USAF/A10), on behalf of the Secretary of the Air Force, the Department of Defense (DoD) Executive Agent for the DoD Foreign Clearance Program, announces a proposed public information collection and seeks public comment on the provisions thereof. Comments are invited on: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by April 23, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Department of Defense, Office of the Chief Management Officer, Directorate for Oversight and Compliance, 4800 Mark Center Drive, Mailbox #24, Suite 08D09B, Alexandria, VA 22350-1700.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name, docket number and title for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information.

    Any associated form(s) for this collection may be located within this same electronic docket and downloaded for review/testing. Follow the instructions at http://www.regulations.gov for submitting comments. Please submit comments on any given form identified by docket number, form number, and title.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on this proposed information collection or to obtain a copy of the proposal and associated collection instruments, please write to the Deputy Chief of Staff (DCS), Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration Executive Services Office (HQ USAF/A10E), ATTN: Ms. April Powell-Donnell, 1488 Air Force Pentagon, Washington, DC 20330-1488, at (703) 695-7467.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title; Associated Form; and OMB Number: Aircraft and Personnel Automated Clearance System (APACS); OMB Control Number 0701-XXXX.

    Needs and Uses: The information collection requirement is necessary to obtain PII information which is used by in-country U.S. Embassy approvers to grant country travel clearances, Geographical Combatant Commands approvers to grant theater travel clearances and by the Office of Secretary of Defense for Policy approvers to grant special area travel clearances. Aircrew PII information is used for verification, identification and authentication of travelers for aircraft and personnel travel clearances, as required by DoDD 4500.54E, DoD Foreign Clearance Program.

    Affected Public: DoD-sponsored contractors and DoD-sponsored foreign nationals.

    Annual Burden Hours: 15,400.

    Number of Respondents: 30,800.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 30,800.

    Average Burden per Response: 30 minutes.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Travel clearance approvers are professionals who provide coordinate and grant applicable travel clearances for DoD personnel foreign travel to all overseas locations.

    Dated: February 13, 2018. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03300 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DOD-2018-OS-0004] Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Information collection notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs announces a proposed public information collection and seeks public comment on the provisions thereof. Comments are invited on: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by April 23, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Department of Defense, Office of the Chief Management Officer, Directorate for Oversight and Compliance, 4800 Mark Center Drive, Mailbox #24, Suite 08D09B, Alexandria, VA 22350-1700.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name, docket number and title for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information.

    Any associated form(s) for this collection may be located within this same electronic docket and downloaded for review/testing. Follow the instructions at http://www.regulations.gov for submitting comments. Please submit comments on any given form identified by docket number, form number, and title.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on this proposed information collection or to obtain a copy of the proposal and associated collection instruments, please write to the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Personnel Policy, ATTN: Accession Policy (3D1066), 1500 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-1500, or call 703-695-5525.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title; Associated Form; and OMB Number: Record of Military Processing—Armed Forces of the United States; DD Form 1966; OMB Control Number 0704-0173.

    Needs and Uses: The information collection requirement is necessary to comply with regulations in accordance with Title 10 U.S.C., Sections 504, 505, 508, 12102; Title 14 U.S.C., Sections 351 and 632; and 50 U.S.C. Appendix Section 451, which requires applicants to meet standards for enlistment into the Armed Forces. This information collection is the basis for determining eligibility of applicants for enlistment in the Armed Forces and is needed to verify data given by the applicant and to determine his/her qualification of enlistment. The information collected aids in the determination of qualifications, term of service, and grade in which a person, if eligible, will enter active duty or reserve status.

    Affected Public: Individuals or households.

    Annual Burden Hours: 141,000 hours.

    Number of Respondents: 423,000

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 423,000.

    Average Burden per Response: 20 minutes.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondents are individuals applying to serve in the United States Armed Forces. The primary purpose of this information collection is to gather the necessary data for determining eligibility in the Armed Forces and for establishing personnel records on those enlisted. The DD Form 1966 is the main source document for military enlistment or continued military service records. The information collected is used to feed other DoD and service-specific forms that later would be used to issue identification cards and receive benefits associated with military service.

    Dated: February 13, 2018. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03290 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Numbers: 84.038, 84.033, and 84.007] Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Work-Study, and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant Programs; 2018-2019 Award Year Deadline Dates; Correction AGENCY:

    Federal Student Aid, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Notice; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    On January 3, 2018, we published in the Federal Register (83 FR 356) a notice announcing the 2018-2019 award year deadline dates for the submission of requests and documents from postsecondary institutions for the Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Work-Study (FWS), and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) programs (collectively, the “campus-based programs”) (January 3, 2018 Notice). This notice corrects the zip code for submitting requests and documents by overnight delivery from 14304 to 14302. All other information in the January 3, 2018 Notice remains the same.

    DATES:

    The deadline dates for each program are specified in the chart in the Deadline Dates section of the January 3, 2018 notice.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Stephanie Gross, Manager, Campus-Based Programs, U.S. Department of Education, Federal Student Aid, 830 First Street NE, Union Center Plaza, Room 64F2, Washington, DC 20202-5453. Telephone: (202) 377-4363 or via email: [email protected].

    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Correction

    In FR Doc. No. 2017-28425, in the Federal Register of January 3, 2018 (83 FR 356), we make the following correction:

    On page 357, in the middle column under the heading How is it submitted?, in the sentence “For overnight delivery mail to: FISAP Administrator, 2429 Military Road, Suite 200, Niagara Falls, NY 14304,” we remove “14304” and replace it with “14302”.

    Program Authority: Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended.

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

    You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

    Dated: February 14, 2018. James F. Manning, Acting Chief Operating Officer Federal Student Aid.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03424 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2018-ICCD-0016] Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Assurance of Compliance—Civil Rights Certificate AGENCY:

    Office for Civil Rights (OCR), Department of Education (ED).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, ED is proposing an extension of an existing information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before April 23, 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-0016. 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 216-32, Washington, DC 20202-4537.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Elizabeth Wiegman, 202-453-6039.

    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: Assurance of Compliance—Civil Rights Certificate.

    OMB Control Number: 1870-0503.

    Type of Review: An extension of an existing information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: State, Local, and Tribal Governments; Private Sector.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 25.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 4.

    Abstract: The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has enforcement responsibilities under several civil rights laws, including Title VI, Title IX, Section 504, the Age Discrimination Act, and the Boy Scouts of America Equal Access Act. To meet these responsibilities, OCR collects assurances of compliance from applicants for Federal financial assistance from, and applicants for funds made available through, the Department of Education, as required by regulations. These entities include, for example, State educational agencies, local education agencies, and postsecondary educational institutions. If a recipient violates one or more of these civil rights laws, OCR and the Department of Justice can used the signed assurances of compliance in an enforcement proceeding.

    Dated: February 13, 2018. Stephanie Valentine, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03334 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Application Deadline for Fiscal Year 2018; Small, Rural School Achievement Program AGENCY:

    Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Under the Small, Rural School Achievement (SRSA) program, Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CDFA) number 84.358A, the U.S. Department of Education (Department) awards grants on a formula basis to eligible local educational agencies (LEAs) to address the unique needs of rural school districts. In this notice, we establish the deadline and describe the submission procedures for fiscal year (FY) 2018 SRSA grant applications.

    All LEAs eligible for FY 2018 SRSA funds must submit an application electronically via Grants.gov by the deadline in this notice.

    DATES:

    Applications Available: February 20, 2018.

    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: April 20, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Eric Schulz, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 3E-210, Washington, DC 20202. Telephone: (202) 260-7349 or by email: [email protected].

    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf or a text telephone, call the Federal Relay Service, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Award Information

    Type of Award: Formula grant.

    Available Funds: The Administration has requested $87,753,000 for SRSA in FY 2018. The actual level of funding, if any, depends on final congressional action. However, we are inviting applications to allow enough time to complete the grant process if Congress appropriates funds for this program.

    Estimated Range of Awards: $0-$60,000.

    Note:

    Depending on the number of eligible LEAs identified in a given year and the amount appropriated by Congress for the program, some eligible LEAs may receive an SRSA allocation of $0 under the statutory funding formula.

    Estimated Number of Awards: 4,000.

    II. Program Authority and Eligibility Information Under what statutory authority will FY 2018 SRSA grant awards be made?

    The FY 2018 SRSA grant awards will be made under title V, part B, subpart 1 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) (Pub. L. 114-95).1

    1 Throughout this notice, unless otherwise indicated, citations to the ESEA refer to the ESEA, as amended by the ESSA.

    Which LEAs are eligible for an award under the SRSA program?

    For FY 2018, an LEA (including a public charter school that meets the definition of LEA in section 8101(30) of the ESEA) is eligible for an award under the SRSA program if it meets one of the following criteria:

    (a)(1) The total number of students in average daily attendance at all of the schools served by the LEA is fewer than 600; or each county in which a school served by the LEA is located has a total population density of fewer than 10 persons per square mile; and

    (2) All of the schools served by the LEA are designated with a school locale code of 41, 42, or 43 by the Department's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES); or the Secretary has determined, based on a demonstration by the LEA and concurrence of the State educational agency, that the LEA is located in an area defined as rural by a governmental agency of the State.

    (b) The LEA is a member of an educational service agency (ESA) that does not receive SRSA funds, and the LEA meets the eligibility requirements described in (a)(1) and (2) above.

    (c) The LEA meets the requirements for a hold harmless award as described in section 5212(b)(4) of the ESEA. These are LEAs that are no longer eligible for the SRSA program because of amendments made under the ESSA to the locale code methodology and designations referenced in section 5211(b)(1)(A)(ii) of the ESEA. However, these LEAs may receive a FY 2018 award at a reduced rate as described in section 5212(b)(4) of the ESEA.

    Note:

    The “Choice of Participation” provision under section 5225 of the ESEA gives LEAs eligible for both SRSA and the Rural and Low-Income School (RLIS) program authorized under title V, part B, subpart 2 of the ESEA the option to participate in either the SRSA program or the RLIS program. LEAs eligible for both SRSA and RLIS are henceforth referred to as “dual-eligible LEAs.”

    Which eligible LEAs must submit an application to receive an FY 2018 SRSA grant award?

    Under 34 CFR 75.104(a), the Secretary makes a grant only to an eligible entity that submits an application.

    In FY 2018, all LEAs eligible to receive an SRSA award are required to submit an SRSA application in order to receive SRSA funds, regardless of whether the LEA received an award or submitted an application in any previous year.2 This includes LEAs eligible to receive an FY 2018 award under the hold harmless provision, dual-eligible LEAs that choose to participate in the SRSA program instead of the RLIS program, and SRSA-eligible LEAs that are members of ESAs that do not receive SRSA funds. In the case of SRSA-eligible LEAs that are members of SRSA-eligible ESAs, the respective LEAs and ESAs must coordinate directly with each other to determine which entity will submit an SRSA application, as both entities may not apply for or receive SRSA funds. Additionally, we note that dual-eligible LEAs that apply for SRSA funds in accordance with these application submission procedures will not be considered for an RLIS award.

    2 In FY 2017, the Department implemented a new annual application process for SRSA. To assist in the transition to this annual application process, for FY 2018 only, eligible LEAs that failed to apply for an SRSA grant award in FY 2017 may apply for the funds they were eligible to receive in FY 2017—in addition to any FY 2018 SRSA grant award—through this notice.

    A list of LEAs eligible for FY 2018 SRSA grant funds is available on the Department's website at: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/reapsrsa/eligibility.html. All LEAs on this list must submit an electronic application via Grants.gov in order to receive an FY 2018 SRSA grant award. The list identifies those LEAs that meet the eligibility requirements for the Rural Education Achievement Program (REAP) SRSA program, those LEAs that meet the eligibility requirements for the REAP RLIS program, those LEAs that are dual-eligible, and those LEAs that are eligible to receive an SRSA award pursuant to the hold harmless provision.

    If an LEA on the Department's list of LEAs eligible to receive an FY 2018 SRSA award is no longer in existence as of the 2017-18 school year or will close prior to the 2018-2019 school year, the LEA is no longer eligible to receive an FY 2018 SRSA award and should not apply.

    An LEA eligible to receive FY 2018 SRSA funds that fails to submit an FY 2018 SRSA application or fails to submit an application in accordance with the application submission procedures is at risk of not receiving an FY 2018 SRSA award. Such LEAs may receive an award only to the extent funds become available after awards are made to all eligible LEAs that complied with the application procedures.

    How must LEAs eligible for an FY 2018 SRSA grant award submit an application?

    LEAs must use the Grants.gov site for submitting SRSA applications. LEAs should review closely the next section titled Application and Submission Information for specific information about how to apply for SRSA FY 2018 funds.

    III. Application and Submission Information Electronic Submission of Applications Using Grants.gov

    All LEAs eligible for FY 2018 SRSA grant funds are required to submit an electronic application using the Grants.gov Apply site at www.Grants.gov by 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on April 20, 2018. SRSA applications must be submitted electronically using Grants.gov unless you qualify for an exception to this requirement, in accordance with the instructions in this section. You may not email an electronic copy of a grant application to us.

    A Grants.gov applicant must apply online using Workspace, a shared environment where members of a grant team may simultaneously access and edit different webforms within an application. An applicant can create an individual Workspace for each application notice and, thus, establish for that application a collaborative application package that allows more than one person in the applicant's organization to work concurrently on an application. The applicant can, thus, assign other users to participate in the Workspace. The system also enables the applicant to reuse forms from previous submissions; check them in and out and complete them; and submit its application package. For access to complete instructions on how to apply, refer to: www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/apply-for-grants.html.

    We will reject your application if you submit it in paper format unless, as described elsewhere in this section, you qualify for one of the exceptions to the electronic submission requirement and submit, no later than two weeks before the application deadline date, a written statement to the Department that you qualify for one of these exceptions. Further information regarding calculation of the date that is two weeks before the application deadline date is provided later in this section under Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement.

    Please note the following:

    • When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find information about submitting an application through the site, as well as the hours of operation.

    • Applications received by Grants.gov are date and time stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on April 20, 2018. Except as otherwise noted in this section, we will not accept your application if it is received—that is, date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system—after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on April 20, 2018. We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements. When we retrieve your application from Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are rejecting your application because it was date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on April 20, 2018.

    • The amount of time it can take to upload an application will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the size of the application and the speed of your internet connection. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the submission process through Grants.gov.

    • You should review and follow the Education Submission Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are included in the application package for this program to ensure that you submit your application in a timely manner to the Grants.gov system. You can also find the Education Submission Procedures pertaining to Grants.gov under News and Events on the Department's G5 system home page at www.G5.gov. In addition, for specific guidance and procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov, please refer to the Grants.gov website at: www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/apply-for-grants.html.

    • You must submit all documents electronically, including all information you typically provide on the following forms: The Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and certifications.

    • You must upload all documents for your application as files in a read-only, flattened Portable Document Format (PDF). Do not upload an interactive or fillable PDF file. If you upload a file type other than a read-only, flattened PDF (e.g., Word, Excel, WordPerfect, etc.) or submit a password-protected file, we will not review that material. Please note that this could result in your application not being considered for funding because the material in question is critical to a meaningful review of your proposal. For that reason it is important to allow yourself adequate time to upload all material as PDF files. The Department will not convert material from other formats to PDF.

    • After you electronically submit your application, you will receive from Grants.gov an automatic notification of receipt that contains a Grants.gov tracking number. This notification indicates receipt by Grants.gov only, not receipt by the Department. Grants.gov will also notify you automatically by email if your application met all the Grants.gov validation requirements or if there were any errors (such as submission of your application by someone other than a registered Authorized Organization Representative, or inclusion of an attachment with a file name that contains special characters). You will be given an opportunity to correct any errors and resubmit, but you must still meet the deadline for submission of applications.

    • Once your application is successfully validated by Grants.gov, the Department will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send you an email with a unique PR/Award number for your application.

    • These emails do not mean that your application is without any disqualifying errors. While your application may have been successfully validated by Grants.gov, it must also meet the Department's application requirements as specified in this notice and in the application instructions. Disqualifying errors could include, for instance, failure to submit a required part of the application; or failure to meet applicant eligibility requirements. It is your responsibility to ensure that your submitted application has met all of the Department's requirements.

    • We may request that you provide us original signatures on forms at a later date.

    Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of Technical Issues With the Grants.gov System

    If you are experiencing problems submitting your application through Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov Support Desk, toll free, at 1-800-518-4726. You must obtain a Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it.

    If you are prevented from electronically submitting your application by the application deadline date because of technical problems with the Grants.gov system, we will grant you an extension until 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, the following business day to enable you to transmit your application electronically or by hand delivery. You also may mail your application by following the mailing instructions described elsewhere in this notice.

    If you submit an application after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT and provide an explanation of the technical problem you experienced with Grants.gov, along with the Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number. We will accept your application if we can confirm that a technical problem occurred with the Grants.gov system and that the problem affected your ability to submit your application by 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. We will contact you after we determine whether your application will be accepted.

    Note:

    The extensions to which we refer in this section apply only to the unavailability of, or technical problems with, the Grants.gov system. We will not grant you an extension if you failed to fully register to submit your application to Grants.gov before the application deadline date and time or if the technical problem you experienced is unrelated to the Grants.gov system.

    Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement

    You qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit your application in paper format, if you are unable to submit an application through the Grants.gov system because—

    • You do not have access to the internet; or

    • You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to the Grants.gov system; and

    • No later than two weeks before the application deadline date (14 calendar days or, if the fourteenth calendar day before the application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business day following the Federal holiday), you send a letter or email a written statement to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception prevents you from using the internet to submit your application.

    If you mail your written statement to the Department, it must be postmarked no later than two weeks before the application deadline date. Address and mail your statement to: Mr. Eric Schulz, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 3E-210, Washington, DC 20202. Or email your statement to [email protected].

    Your paper application must be submitted in accordance with the mail or hand-delivery instructions described in this notice.

    Submission of Paper Applications by Mail

    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you may mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier) your application to the Department. You must mail the original and two copies of your application, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.358A), LBJ Basement Level 1, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20202-4260.

    You must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:

    (1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark.

    (2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the U.S. Postal Service.

    (3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial carrier.

    (4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.

    If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do not accept either of the following as proof of mailing:

    (1) A private metered postmark.

    (2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.

    Note:

    The U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a dated postmark. Before relying on this method, you should check with your local post office.

    We will not consider applications postmarked after the application deadline date.

    Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery

    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you (or a courier service) may deliver your paper application to the Department by hand. You must deliver the original and two copies of your application by hand, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.358A), 550 12th Street SW, Room 7039, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.

    The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, except Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays.

    Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Paper Applications:

    If you mail or hand deliver your application to the Department—

    (1) You must indicate on the envelope and—if not provided by the Department—in Item 11 of the SF 424 the CFDA number (84.358A) of the program under which you are submitting your application; and

    (2) The Application Control Center will mail to you a notification of receipt of your grant application. If you do not receive this notification within 15 business days from the application deadline date, you should call the U.S. Department of Education Application Control Center at (202) 245-6288.

    IV. Other Submission Requirements Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification Number, and System for Award Management

    To do business with the Department of Education, you must:

    a. Have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN);

    b. Register both your DUNS number and TIN with the System for Award Management (SAM), the Government's primary registrant database;

    c. Provide your DUNS number and TIN on your application; and

    d. Maintain an active SAM registration with current information while your application is under review by the Department and, if you are awarded a grant, throughout the grant performance period.

    You can obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet at the following website: http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform. A DUNS number can be created within one to two business days.

    If you are a corporate entity, agency, institution, or organization, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service. If you are an individual, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration. If you need a new TIN, please allow two to five weeks for your TIN to become active.

    The SAM registration process can take approximately seven business days, but may take upwards of several weeks, depending on the completeness and accuracy of the data you enter into the SAM database. Thus, if you think you might want to apply for Federal financial assistance under a program administered by the Department, please allow sufficient time to obtain and register your DUNS number and TIN. We strongly recommend that you register early.

    Note:

    Once your SAM registration is active, it may be 24 to 48 hours before you can access the information in, and submit an application through, Grants.gov.

    If you are currently registered with SAM, you may not need to make any changes. However, please make certain that the TIN associated with your DUNS number is correct. Also note that you will need to update your registration annually. This may take three or more business days.

    Information about SAM is available at www.SAM.gov. To further assist you with obtaining and registering your DUNS number and TIN in SAM or updating your existing SAM account, we have prepared a SAM.gov Tip Sheet, which you can find at: http://www2.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/sam-faqs.html.

    In addition, if you are submitting your SRSA application via Grants.gov, you must (1) be designated by your organization as an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR); and (2) register yourself with Grants.gov as an AOR. Details on these steps are outlined at the following Grants.gov web page: www.grants.gov/web/grants/register.html.

    V. Accessibility Information and Program Authority

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

    You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

    Program Authority:

    Sections 5211-5212 of the ESEA, 20 U.S.C. 7345-7345a.

    Dated: February 14, 2018. Jason Botel, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Delegated the authority to perform the functions and duties of Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03419 Filed 2-16-18; 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 corporate filings:

    Docket Numbers: EC18-56-000.

    Applicants: AGH Parent LLC, Agera Energy LLC, energy.me midwest llc, Aequitas Energy, Inc.

    Description: Application for Authorization Under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act, et al. of AGH Parent LLC, et al.

    Filed Date: 2/12/18.

    Accession Number: 20180212-5242.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/5/18.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER18-843-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2018-02-13_Cancellation of Schedule 43H White Pine 1 SSR Cost Allocation to be effective 4/15/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/13/18.

    Accession Number: 20180213-5044.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/6/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-844-000.

    Applicants: Backbone Mountain Windpower LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Market-Based Rate Notice of Change in Status to be effective 2/13/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/13/18.

    Accession Number: 20180213-5155.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/6/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-845-000.

    Applicants: Diablo Winds, LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Market-Based Rate Notice of Change in Status to be effective 2/13/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/13/18.

    Accession Number: 20180213-5158.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/6/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-846-000.

    Applicants: GPS Cabazon Wind LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Market-Based Rate Notice of Change in Status to be effective 2/13/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/13/18.

    Accession Number: 20180213-5164.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/6/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-847-000.

    Applicants: American Transmission Systems, Inc., PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: ATSI submits ECSAs, Service Agreement Nos. 4865 and 4896 to be effective 4/15/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/13/18.

    Accession Number: 20180213-5165.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/6/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-848-000.

    Applicants: Meyersdale Windpower LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Market-Based Rate Notice of Change in Status to be effective 2/13/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/13/18.

    Accession Number: 20180213-5166.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/6/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-849-000.

    Applicants: Mill Run Windpower, LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Market-Based Rate Notice of Change in Status to be effective 2/13/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/13/18.

    Accession Number: 20180213-5172.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/6/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-850-000.

    Applicants: Somerset Windpower LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Market-Based Rate Notice of Change in Status to be effective 2/13/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/13/18.

    Accession Number: 20180213-5175.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/6/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-851-000.

    Applicants: Waymart Wind Farm LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Market-Based Rate Notice of Change in Status to be effective 2/13/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/13/18.

    Accession Number: 20180213-5176.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/6/18.

    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 13, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03380 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #2

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER12-1436-012; ER10-2329-009; ER10-2740-011; ER10-2742-010; ER12-1260-011; ER13-1793-009; ER14-152-007.

    Applicants: Eagle Point Power Generation LLC, Vineland Energy LLC, Elgin Energy Center, LLC, Hazle Spindle, LLC, Rocky Road Power, LLC, Stephentown Spindle, LLC, Tilton Energy LLC.

    Description: Supplement to June 30, 2017 and November 17, 2017 Triennial Market-Based Rate Update Filing for the Northeast Region of the Rockland Sellers.

    Filed Date: 2/13/18.

    Accession Number: 20180213-5248.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/6/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-840-000.

    Applicants: Public Service Company of Colorado.

    Description: Request of Public Service Company of Colorado for Waiver of Applicable Provisions of the Formula Implementation Procedures.

    Filed Date: 2/9/18.

    Accession Number: 20180209-5204.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/20/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-852-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Original ISA SA No. 4904; Queue No. AA2-119/AC1-055 to be effective 1/16/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/13/18.

    Accession Number: 20180213-5212.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/6/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-853-0000.

    Applicants: California Independent System Operator Corporation.

    Description: Notice of Cancellation of Physical Scheduling Plant Agreement No. 336 and Request for Waiver of Notice Requirement of California Independent System Operator Corporation.

    Filed Date: 2/13/18.

    Accession Number: 20180213-5292.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/6/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-854-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Revisions to Limit Financial Exposure from Transmission Customer Defaults to be effective 4/14/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/13/18.

    Accession Number: 20180213-5302.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/6/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-855-000.

    Applicants: Panoche Valley Solar, LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Panoche Valley Solar, LLC Application for Market-Based Rate Authority to be effective 2/14/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/13/18.

    Accession Number: 20180213-5314.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/6/18.

    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 13, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03381 Filed 2-16-18; 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 corporate filings:

    Docket Numbers: EC18-55-000.

    Applicants: EAM Nelson Holding, LLC, Entergy Nuclear Generation Company, Entergy Nuclear Indian Point 2, LLC, Entergy Nuclear Indian Point 3, LLC, Entergy Nuclear Palisades, LLC, Entergy Nuclear Power Marketing, LLC, Entergy Power, LLC, EWO Marketing, LLC, RS Cogen, LLC.

    Description: Joint application of EAM Nelson Holding, LLC, et al., for FPA Section 203 authorization.

    Filed Date: 2/8/18.

    Accession Number: 20180208-5155.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/1/18.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER18-193-001.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc., Dairyland Power Cooperative.

    Description: Compliance filing: 2018-02-09_Compliance filing of Dairyland Power Coop to update Attachment O-DPC to be effective 1/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/9/18.

    Accession Number: 20180209-5034.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/2/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-504-001.

    Applicants: San Diego Gas & Electric Company.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: SDGE 138KV SUBSTATION FACILITIES OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE AGREEMENT—Clone to be effective 12/22/2017.

    Filed Date: 2/9/18.

    Accession Number: 20180209-5154.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/2/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-591-001.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: 2415R9 Kansas Municipal Energy Agency NITSA and NOA to be effective 12/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 2/9/18.

    Accession Number: 20180209-5087.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/2/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-829-000.

    Applicants: Wisconsin Electric Power Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Revisions to Reactive Power Revenue Requirement to be effective 5/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/8/18.

    Accession Number: 20180208-5114.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/1/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-830-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: Tariff Cancellation: Notice of Cancellation of WMPA SA No. 4187; Queue No. Z2-099/AA2-086 to be effective 3/26/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/8/18.

    Accession Number: 20180208-5131.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/1/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-831-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Revisions to Clarify Limitation of Liability for Attorney's Fees and Costs to be effective 4/10/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/9/18.

    Accession Number: 20180209-5026.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/2/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-832-000.

    Applicants: Public Service Company of New Mexico.

    Description: Initial rate filing: Executed Transmission Agreement between PNM and Avangrid Renewables, LLC to be effective 1/29/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/9/18.

    Accession Number: 20180209-5027.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/2/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-833-000.

    Applicants: Evergreen Community Power, LLC.

    Description: Petition of Evergreen Community Power, LLC For Waiver And Request For Expedited Action.

    Filed Date: 2/9/18.

    Accession Number: 20180209-5121.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/2/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-834-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Request for extension of Tariff Waiver of Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Filed Date: 2/9/18.

    Accession Number: 20180209-5122.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/2/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-835-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2018-02-09 Revisions to Attachment X NRIS Election Deadline to be effective 3/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/9/18.

    Accession Number: 20180209-5145.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/2/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-836-000.

    Applicants: Energia Sierra Juarez U.S. 2, LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Energia Sierra Juarez U.S. 2, LLC Application for Market-Based Rates to be effective 4/10/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/9/18.

    Accession Number: 20180209-5153.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/2/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-838-000.

    Applicants: California Independent System Operator Corporation.

    Description: Compliance filing: 2018-02-09 Petition Limited Tariff Waiver—Availability Assessment Hours to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 2/9/18.

    Accession Number: 20180209-5155.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/2/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-839-000.

    Applicants: Arizona Public Service Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Rate Schedule No. 290—Sun Valley Morgan Interconnection Agreement to be effective 4/11/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/9/18.

    Accession Number: 20180209-5157.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/2/18.

    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 9, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03378 Filed 2-16-18; 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: ER10-2950-011.

    Applicants: Spruance Genco, LLC.

    Description: Supplement to August 29, 2017 Notice of Non-Material Change in Status by Spruance Genco, LLC.

    Filed Date: 2/9/18.

    Accession Number: 20180209-5238.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/2/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER13-823-005; ER13-33-004.

    Applicants: Castleton Commodities Merchant Trading, L.P., Collegiate Clean Energy, LLC.

    Description: Notice of Non-Material Change in Status of Castleton Commodities Merchant Trading, L.P., et al.

    Filed Date: 2/9/18.

    Accession Number: 20180209-5216.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/2/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2255-002.

    Applicants: Armenia Mountain Wind, LLC.

    Description: Notice of Non-Material Change in Status of Armenia Mountain Wind, LLC.

    Filed Date: 2/9/18.

    Accession Number: 20180209-5239.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/2/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2679-007.

    Applicants: Latigo Wind Park, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: Latigo Wind Park, LLC Change in Status to be effective 2/13/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/12/18.

    Accession Number: 20180212-5093.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/5/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2541-004.

    Applicants: Pioneer Wind Park I, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: Pioneer Wind Park I, LLC Change in Status to be effective 2/13/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/12/18.

    Accession Number: 20180212-5094.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/5/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-841-000.

    Applicants: ISO New England Inc.

    Description: ISO New England Inc. submits Fourth Quarter 2017 Capital Budget Report.

    Filed Date: 2/9/18.

    Accession Number: 20180209-5214.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/2/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-842-000.

    Applicants: Alabama Power Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Macon Parkway Solar Project LGIA Filing to be effective 1/29/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/12/18.

    Accession Number: 20180212-5208.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/5/18.

    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 12, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03379 Filed 2-16-18; 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: RP12-490-000.

    Applicants: Northwest Pipeline GP.

    Description: Report Filing: Refund Report—Kemmerer Mine Relocation.

    Filed Date: 2/8/18.

    Accession Number: 20180208-5125.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/20/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-434-000.

    Applicants: Vector Pipeline L.P.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rate Filing—WEP, WG & WPS to be effective 3/12/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/8/18.

    Accession Number: 20180208-5044.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/20/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-435-000.

    Applicants: Gulf South Pipeline Company, LP.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Amendments to Neg Rate Agmts (QEP 36601-70, 37657-237) to be effective 2/6/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/8/18.

    Accession Number: 20180208-5045.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/20/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-436-000.

    Applicants: Gulf South Pipeline Company, LP.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Amendment to Neg Rate Agmt (Chevron 41610-11) to be effective 2/8/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/8/18.

    Accession Number: 20180208-5046.

    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: February 12, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03382 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 1235-017] City of Radford; Notice of Ready for Environmental Analysis and Soliciting Comments, Recommendations, Terms and Conditions, and Prescriptions

    Take notice that the following hydroelectric application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection.

    a. Type of Application: Subsequent Minor License.

    b. Project No.: 1235-017.

    c. Date filed: May 30, 2017.

    d. Applicant: City of Radford.

    e. Name of Project: Municipal Hydroelectric Project.

    f. Location: On the Little River near the City of Radford in Montgomery and Pulaski Counties, Virginia. The project does not affect federal lands.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 791(a)-825(r).

    h. Applicant Contact: Tim Logwood, Director of Electric Utilities for the City of Radford, 701 17th Street, Radford, VA 24141; Telephone (540) 731-3641.

    i. FERC Contact: Allyson Conner, (202) 502-6082 or [email protected].

    j. Deadline for filing comments, recommendations, terms and conditions, and prescriptions: 60 days from the issuance date of this notice; reply comments are due 105 days from the issuance date of this notice.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file comments, recommendations, terms and conditions, and prescriptions 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-1235-017.

    The Commission's Rules of Practice require all intervenors filing documents with the Commission to serve a copy of that document on each person on the official service list for the project. Further, if an intervenor files comments or documents with the Commission relating to the merits of an issue that may affect the responsibilities of a particular resource agency, they must also serve a copy of the document on that resource agency.

    k. This application has been accepted, and is ready for environmental analysis at this time.

    l. The existing Municipal Hydroelectric Project consists of: (1) A 293-foot-long, 58-foot-high reinforced concrete slab and buttress dam that includes: (a) A south non-overflow section; (b) an overflow bulkhead section; (c) an eight-bay spillway section each with a steel tainter gate; (d) a powerhouse intake section; and (e) a north non-overflow section; (2) a 77-acre impoundment with a gross storage capacity of 562 acre-feet at a normal pool elevation of 1,772 feet National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1929 (NGVD29) and a net storage capacity of 220 acre-feet between elevations 1,768 and 1,772 feet; (3) a 20-foot, 3-inch-wide intake section with angled steel trash racks (3-inch by 5/16th-inch trash rack bars spaced 2.5 inches on center) and a steel roller type head gate; (4) a 27-foot-long steel-lined penstock in concrete that transitions from a 13.5-foot-wide, 11-foot-high entrance to an 8-foot-diameter conveyance to the turbine scroll case; (5) a 30-foot-long, 28-foot-wide, and 62-foot-high powerhouse containing a single 1,185-kilowatt turbine-generator unit; (6) a 2.7-mile-long transmission line connected to the grid; and (7) appurtenant facilities.

    The City of Radford proposes to revise its exhibit G to include transmission facilities composed of only three, 560-foot-long, 4.16-kV overhead conductors that transmit power to a switched disconnect/interconnection with the local distribution grid. The City of Radford states that the formerly licensed transmission line now serves to distribute power to other sources along its length and is no longer part of the project.

    The City of Radford operates the project in both run-of-river and peaking modes. For the period 1984 through 2013, the project's average annual generation was about 4,550 megawatt-hours.

    m. A copy of the application is available for review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission's website at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support. A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in item h above.

    All filings must (1) bear in all capital letters the title “COMMENTS,” “REPLY COMMENTS,” “RECOMMENDATIONS,” “TERMS AND CONDITIONS,” or “PRESCRIPTIONS;” (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 submitting the filing; and (4) otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 385.2001 through 385.2005. All comments, recommendations, terms and conditions or prescriptions must set forth their evidentiary basis and otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 4.34(b). Agencies may obtain copies of the application directly from the applicant. Each filing must be accompanied by proof of service on all persons listed on the service list prepared by the Commission in this proceeding, in accordance with 18 CFR 4.34(b) and 385.2010.

    You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    n. A license applicant must file no later than 60 days following the date of issuance of this notice: (1) A copy of the water quality certification; (2) a copy of the request for certification, including proof of the date on which the certifying agency received the request; or (3) evidence of waiver of water quality certification.

    o. Procedural schedule: The application will be processed according to the following schedule. Revisions to the schedule will be made as appropriate.

    Milestone Target date Deadline for Filing Comments, Recommendations and Agency Terms and Conditions/Prescriptions April 2018. Deadline for Filing Reply Comments May 2018. Commission issues EA October 2018. Comments on EA Due November 2018. Dated: February 13, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03384 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER18-836-000] Energia Sierra Juarez U.S. 2, 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 Energia Sierra Juarez U.S. 2, 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 March 5, 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 13, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03383 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION Agency Information Collection Activities: Extension Without Change of an Existing Collection; Comments Request AGENCY:

    Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Commission announces that it intends to submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request for a three-year extension without change of the existing recordkeeping requirements under its regulations. The Commission is seeking public comments on the proposed extension.

    DATES:

    Written comments on this notice must be submitted on or before April 23, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments should be sent to Bernadette Wilson, Executive Officer, Executive Secretariat, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 131 M Street NE, Washington, DC 20507. As a convenience to commenters, the Executive Secretariat will accept comments totaling six or fewer pages by facsimile (“FAX”) machine. This limitation is necessary to assure access to the equipment. The telephone number of the fax receiver is (202) 663-4114. (This is not a toll-free number.) Receipt of FAX transmittals will not be acknowledged, except that the sender may request confirmation of receipt by calling the Executive Secretariat staff at (202) 663-4070 (voice) or (202) 663-4074 (TTD). (These are not toll-free telephone numbers.) Instead of sending written comments to EEOC, you may submit comments and attachments electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Follow the instructions online for submitting comments. All comments received through this portal will be posted without change, including any personal information you provide, except as noted below. The EEOC reserves the right to refrain from posting comments, including those that contain obscene, indecent, or profane language; that contain threats or defamatory statements; that contain hate speech directed at race, color, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, or genetic information; or that promote or endorse services or products. All comments received, including any personal information provided, also will be available for public inspection during normal business hours by appointment only at the EEOC Headquarters Library, 131 M Street NE, Washington, DC 20507. Upon request, individuals who require assistance viewing comments will be provided appropriate aids such as readers or print magnifiers. To schedule an appointment, contact EEOC Library staff at (202) 663-4630 (voice) or (202) 663-4641 (TTY). (These are not toll-free numbers.)

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kathleen Oram, Acting Assistant Legal Counsel, Office of Legal Counsel, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 131 M Street NE, Washington, DC 20507, (202) 663-4681 (voice) or (202) 663-4494 (TTY), or Erin Norris, Senior Attorney, Office of Legal Counsel, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 129 W Trade Street, Charlotte, NC 28202, (704) 954-6491 (voice). Requests for this notice in an alternative format should be made to the Office of Communications and Legislative Affairs at (202) 663-4191 (voice) or (202) 663-4494 (TTY).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), which collectively prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or genetic information. Section 709(c) of Title VII, section 107(a) of the ADA, and section 207(a) of GINA authorize the EEOC to issue recordkeeping and reporting regulations that are deemed reasonable, necessary or appropriate. EEOC has promulgated recordkeeping regulations under those authorities that are contained in 29 CFR part 1602 et seq. Those regulations do not require the creation of any particular records but generally require employers to preserve any personnel and employment records they make or keep for a period of one year. The EEOC seeks extension of the recordkeeping requirement in these regulations without change.

    Pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, and OMB regulation 5 CFR 1320.8(d)(1), the Commission solicits public comment to enable it to:

    (1) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the Commission's functions, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    (2) Evaluate the accuracy of the Commission's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including the use of appropriate, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    Overview of Current Information Collection

    Collection Title: Recordkeeping under Title VII, the ADA, and GINA.

    OMB Number: 3046-0040.

    Description of Affected Public: Employers with 15 or more employees are subject to Title VII, the ADA, and GINA.

    Number of Respondents: 961,709.

    Number of Reports Submitted: 0.

    Estimated Burden Hours: 37,264 hours.

    Cost to Respondents: $0.

    Federal Cost: None.

    Number of Forms: None.

    Abstract: Section 709(c) of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 2000e-8(c), section 1007(a) of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. 12117(a), and section 207(a) of GINA, 42 U.S.C. 2000ff-6(a), require the Commission to establish regulations pursuant to which employers subject to those Acts shall make and preserve certain records to assist the EEOC in assuring compliance with the Acts' nondiscrimination in employment requirements. This is a recordkeeping requirement. Any of the records maintained which are subsequently disclosed to the EEOC during an investigation are protected from public disclosure by the confidentiality provisions of section 706(b) and 709(e) of Title VII which are also incorporated by reference into the ADA at section 107(a) and GINA at section 207(a).

    Burden Statement: The estimated number of respondents subject to this recordkeeping requirement is 961,709 employers. An employer subject to the recordkeeping requirement in 29 CFR part 1602 must retain all personnel or employment records made or kept by that employer for one year, and must retain any records relevant to charges of discrimination filed under Title VII, the ADA, or GINA until final disposition of those matters, which may be longer than one year. This recordkeeping requirement does not require reports or the creation of new documents, but merely requires retention of documents that an employer has already made or kept in the normal course of its business operations. Thus, existing employers bear no burden under this analysis, because their systems for retaining personnel and employment records are already in place. Newly formed firms may incur a small burden when setting up their data collection and retention systems to ensure compliance with EEOC's recordkeeping requirements. We assume some effort and time must be expended by employers to familiarize themselves with the Title VII, ADA, and GINA recordkeeping requirements and explain those requirements to the appropriate staff. We estimate that 30 minutes would be needed for this one-time familiarization process. Using 2015 data from the Small Business Administration, we estimate that there are 74,528 firms that would incur this start-up burden.1 Assuming a 30-minute burden per firm, the total annual hour burden is 37,264 hours (.5 hour × 74,528 = 37,264).

    1 Source: U.S. Small Business Administration: Statistics of U.S. Business, Release Date 1/2017. (https://www.sba.gov/advocacy/firm-size-data). Select U.S. Static Data, U.S. Data and combines estimates from private employment, public sector, colleges and universities, and referral unions.

    For the Commission.

    Dated: February 13, 2018. Victoria A. Lipnic, Acting Chair.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03427 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6570-01-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request (3064-0082) AGENCY:

    Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

    ACTION:

    30-Day notice and request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) will submit the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The proposed information collection was previously published in the Federal Register on December 7, 2017, allowing for a 60-day comment period.

    DATES:

    Comments are encouraged and will be accepted for an additional 30 days until March 22, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested parties are invited to submit written comments to the FDIC by any of the following methods:

    https://www.FDIC.gov/regulations/laws/federal.

    Email: [email protected]. Please include the name and OMB control number of the relevant information collection in the subject line of the message.

    Mail: Manny Cabeza, Counsel, Room MB-3007, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 550 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20429.

    Hand Delivery: Comments may be hand-delivered to the guard station at the rear of the 17th Street Building (located on F Street), on business days between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

    All comments should refer to the relevant OMB control number. Written comments and/or suggestions can also be directed to the Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, attention FDIC Desk Officer, New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503 or sent to [email protected].

    FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have additional comments, particularly with respect to the estimated public burden or associated response time, have suggestions, need a copy of any proposed information collection instrument and instructions, or desire any other additional information, please contact Manny Cabeza, Counsel, FDIC Legal Division either by mail at Room MB-3007, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 550 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20429; by email at [email protected]; or by telephone at (202) 898-3767.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies concerning the proposed collection of information are encouraged. All comments received will become a matter of public record. Your comments should address one or more of the following four points:

    —Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information has practical utility; —Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; —Evaluate whether and if so, how, the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected can be enhanced; and —Ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Overview of the Information Collection Request

    1. Title: Recordkeeping, Disclosure and Reporting Requirements in Connection with Regulation Z.

    OMB Number: 3064-0082.

    Form Number: None.

    Affected Public: State nonmember banks and state savings associations.

    General Description of Collection: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Regulation Z—12 CFR 1026 implements the Truth in Lending Act (15 U.S.C. 1601, et seq.) and certain provisions of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (12 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.). This regulation prescribes uniform methods for computing the cost of credit, the disclosure of credit terms and costs, the resolution of errors and imposes various other recordkeeping, reporting and disclosure requirements. The FDIC has enforcement authority on the requirements of the CFPB's Regulation over the financial institutions it supervises. This information collection captures the recordkeeping, reporting and disclosure burdens of Regulation Z on FDIC-supervised institutions. The information collection is being revised to account for revisions and changes made to Regulation Z by the CFPB since this information collection was last submitted by the FDIC to OMB for clearance.

    To arrive at the estimated annual burden the FDIC assessed the number of potential respondents to the information collection by identifying the number of FDIC-supervised institutions who reported activity that would be within the scope of the information collection requirements according to data from the most recent CALL Report. Additionally, the FDIC estimated the frequency of responses to the recordkeeping, reporting, or disclosure requirements by assessing the dollar volume of activity that would be within the scope of the information collection. In some instances the FDIC used information provided by other sources to estimate the magnitude and scope of activity attributable to FDIC-supervised institutions when more immediate information sources did not exist.

    Burden Estimate: The total estimated annual burden is 2,395,630 hours (36 hours estimated implementation burden, plus 2,395,594 hours estimated ongoing burden). The burden estimate is detailed on the following tables:

    Implementation (One-Time) Burden Estimate Obligation to
  • respond/type of burden
  • Estimated
  • number of
  • respondents 1
  • Estimated
  • average
  • number of
  • credit
  • accounts
  • Frequency of response Number of
  • responses
  • Estimated
  • time per
  • response
  • (minutes)
  • Total
  • estimated
  • annual
  • burden
  • (hours)
  • Open-End Credit Products Not Home-Secured Open-End Credit Plans Credit and Charge Card Provisions Timely Settlement of Estate Debts (1026.11(c)(1)) Written Policies and Procedures Mandatory Recordkeeping 1 N/A 1 1 480.00 8 Ability to Pay (1026.51(a)(ii)) Written Policies and Procedures Mandatory Recordkeeping 1 N/A 1 1 480.00 8 Mortgage Products (Open and Closed-End) Valuation Independence Mandatory Reporting Implementation of Policies and Procedures (1026.42(g)) MandatoryRecordkeeping 1 N/A 1 0 1,200.00 20 Total Estimated Implementation Burden 36 Ongoing Burden Estimate Open-End Credit Products Not Home-Secured Open-End Credit Plans General Disclosure Rules for Not Home-Secured Open-End Credit Plans Credit and Charge Card Applications and Solicitations (1026.60) Mandatory Disclosure 634 N/A 1 634 480.00 5,072 Account Opening Disclosures (1026.6(b)) Mandatory Disclosure 634 N/A 1 634 720.00 7,608 Periodic Statements (1026.7(b)) Mandatory Disclosure 634 N/A 12 7,608 480.00 60,864 Annual Statement of Billing Rights (1026.9(a)(1)) Mandatory Disclosure 317 N/A 1 317 480.00 2,536 Alternative Summary Statement of Billing Rights (1026.9(a)(2)) Voluntary Disclosure 317 N/A 12 3,804 480.00 30,432 Change in Terms Disclosures (1026.9(b) through (h)) Mandatory Disclosure 634 N/A 1 634 480.00 5,072 Credit and Charge Card Provisions Timely Settlement of Estate Debts (1026.11(c)(2)) Mandatory Disclosure 634 428 1 271,352 5.00 22,613 Ability to Pay (1026.51) Mandatory Recordkeeping 634 N/A 1 634 720.00 7,608 College Student Credit Annual Report (1026.57(d)) Mandatory Reporting 634 N/A 1 634 480.00 5,072 Submission of Credit Card Agreements (1026.58(c)) Mandatory Reporting 634 N/A 4 2,536 180.00 7,608 Internet Posting of Credit Card Agreements (1026.58(d)) Mandatory Disclosure 634 N/A 4 2,536 360.00 15,216 Individual Credit Card Agreements (1026.58(e)) Mandatory Disclosure 634 125 1 79,250 15.00 19,813 Home Equity Open-End Credit Plans (HELOC) General Disclosure Rules for HELOCs Application Disclosures (1026.40) Mandatory Disclosure 2,717 N/A 1 2,717 720.00 32,604 Account Opening Disclosures (1026.6(a)) Mandatory Disclosure 2,717 N/A 1 2,717 720.00 32,604 Periodic Statements (1026.7(a)) Mandatory Disclosure 2,717 N/A 1 2,717 480.00 21,736 Annual Statement of Billing Rights (1026.9(a)(1)) Mandatory Disclosure 2,717 N/A 1 2,717 480.00 21,736 Alternative Summary Statement of Billing Rights (1026.9(a)(2)) Voluntary Disclosure 2,717 N/A 1 2,717 480.00 21,736 Change in Terms Disclosures (1026.9(b) through (h)) Mandatory Disclosure 2,717 N/A 1 2,717 480.00 21,736 Notice to Restrict Credit (1026.9(c)(1)(iii); .40(f)(3)(i) and (vi)) Mandatory Disclosure 2,717 N/A 1 2,717 120.00 5,434 All Open-End Credit Plans Error Resolution (1026.13) Mandatory Disclosure 3,624 2,963 1 10,737,912 1.0 178,965 Closed-End Credit Products General Rules for Closed-End Credit Other than Real Estate, Home-Secured and Private Education Loans (1026.17 and .18) Mandatory Disclosure 1 N/A 1 1 720.00 12 Closed-End Mortgages Application and Consummation Loan Estimate (1026.19(e); and .37) Mandatory Disclosure 3,628 N/A 1 3,628 480.00 29,024 Closing Disclosure (1026.19(f); and .38) Mandatory Disclosure 3,628 N/A 1 3,628 480.00 29,024 Record Retention of Disclosures (1026.19(e), (f); .37; and .38) Mandatory Recordkeeping 3,628 N/A 1 3,628 18.00 1,088 Post-Consummation Disclosures Interest Rate and Payment Summary (1026.18(s)) Mandatory Disclosure 3,628 N/A 1 3,628 2,400.00 145,120 No Guarantee to Refinance Statement (1026.18(t)) Mandatory Disclosure 3,628 N/A 1 3,628 480.00 29,024 ARMs Rate Adjustments with Payment Change Disclosures (1026.20(c)) Mandatory Disclosure 3,628 N/A 1 3,628 90.00 5,442 Initial Rate Adjustment Disclosure for ARMs (1026.20(d)) Mandatory Disclosure 3,628 N/A 1 3,628 120.00 7,256 Escrow Cancellation Notice (1026.20(e)) Mandatory Disclosure 3,628 N/A 1 3,628 480.00 29,024 Periodic Statements (1026.41) Mandatory Disclosure 3,628 N/A 1 3,628 480.00 29,024 Ability to Repay Requirements Minimum Standards (1026.43(c) through (f)) Mandatory Recordkeeping 3,628 926 1 3,359,528 15.00 839,882 Prepayment Penalties (1026.43(g)) Mandatory Disclosure 3,628 16 1 58,048 12.00 11.610 Mortgage Products (Open and Closed-End) Mortgage Servicing Disclosures Payoff Statements Payoff Statements (1026.36(c)(3)) Mandatory Disclosure 3,628 N/A 1 3,628 480.00 29,024 Notice of Sale or Transfer Notice of Sale or Transfer (1026.39) Mandatory Disclosure 3,628 N/A 1 3,628 480.00 29,204 Valuation Independence Mandatory Reporting Reporting Appraiser Noncompliance (1026.42(g)) Mandatory Reporting 3,628 1 1 3,628 10.00 605 Reverse and High-Cost Mortgages Reverse Mortgages Reverse Mortgage Disclosures Reverse Mortgage Disclosures (1026.31(c)(2) and .33) Mandatory Disclosure 14 N/A 1 14 1,440.00 336 High-Cost Mortgage Loans HOEPA Disclosures and Notice HOEPA Disclosures and Notice (1026.32(c) Mandatory Disclosure 3,628 N/A 1 3,628 14.00 847 Private Education Loans Initial Disclosures Application and Solicitation Disclosures Application or Solicitation Disclosures (1026.47(a)) Mandatory Disclosure 3,561 N/A 1 3,561 3,600.00 213,660 Approval Disclosures Approval Disclosures (1026.47(b)) Mandatory Disclosure 3,561 N/A 1 3,561 3,600.00 213,660 Final Disclosures Final Disclosures (1026.47(c)) Mandatory Disclosure 3,561 N/A 1 3,561 3600.00 213,660 Advertising Rules All Credit Types Open-End Credit Open-End Credit (1026.16) Mandatory Disclosure 3,624 5 1 18,120 20.00 6,040 Closed-End Credit Closed-End Credit (1026.24) Mandatory Disclosure 3,628 5 1 18,140 20.00 6,047 Record Retention Evidence of Compliance Regulation Z in General (1026.25) Mandatory Recordkeeping 3,652 N/A 1 3,652 18.00 1,096 Total Estimated Ongoing Burden 2,395,594 Total Estimated Annual Burden 2,395,630 1 FDIC estimates that all existing FDIC-supervised institutions have implemented the policies and procedures required by Regulation Z and will only face the estimated ongoing (transaction) burdens reflected in the Ongoing Burden Estimate table. The respondent count of 1 is intended as a placeholder for the associated burden estimate to account for any institution(s) that may become subject to the information collection requirements in the future.
    Dated at Washington, DC, this 14th day of February 2018. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03426 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-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 14, 2018.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City (Dennis Denney, Assistant Vice President) 1 Memorial Drive, Kansas City, Missouri 64198-0001:

    1. Almena Investments, LLC., Almena, Kansas; to become a bank holding company by acquiring 100 percent of the voting shares of Almena State Bank, Almena, Kansas.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, February 14, 2018. Ann Misback, Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03391 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    FEDERAL RETIREMENT THRIFT INVESTMENT BOARD Sunshine Act; Notice of Board Member Meeting Agenda

    Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board Meeting Agenda, February 26, 2018, In Person, 8:30 a.m.

    Open Session 1. Approval of the minutes for the January 22, 2018 Board Meeting 2. Monthly Reports (a) Participant Activity (b) Investment Performance (c) Legislative 3. Quarterly Reports (d) Metrics (e) Project Activity 4. Contact Centers 5. OERM Annual Report 6. OTS Annual Report 7. FISMA 8. FISMA—OTS 9. Blended Retirement Update Closed Session

    Information covered under 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(9)(B).

    Adjourn CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION:

    Kimberly Weaver, Director, Office of External Affairs, (202) 942-1640.

    Dated: February 15, 2018. Megan Grumbine, General Counsel, Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03554 Filed 2-15-18; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 6760-01-P
    FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION [Docket No. 9374] Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Board Oral Argument Before the Commission AGENCY:

    Federal Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Oral argument; open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC” or “Commission”) will meet on Thursday, February 22, 2018, in Room 532 of the FTC Building for an Oral Argument In the Matter of Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Board. The public is invited to attend and observe the open portion of the meeting, which is scheduled to begin at 2:00 p.m. The remainder of the meeting will be closed to the public.

    DATES:

    Oral argument is scheduled for February 22, 2018 at 2:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    Federal Trade Commission Building, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20580.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Donald S. Clark, Secretary, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20580, 202-326-2515.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Open Meeting

    (1) Oral Argument In the Matter of Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Board, Docket No. 9374.

    Closed Meeting

    (2) Executive Session to follow Oral Argument In the Matter of Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Board, Docket No. 9374.

    Record of Commission's Vote

    On February 6, 2018, Commissioners Ohlhausen and McSweeny were recorded as voting in the affirmative to close Matter Number Two, and to withhold from this meeting notice such information as is exempt from disclosure under 5 U.S.C. 552b(c).

    Commission's Explanation of Closing

    The Commission has determined that Matter Number Two may be closed under 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(10), and that the public interest does not require the matter to be open.

    General Counsel Certification

    The General Counsel has certified that Matter Number Two may properly be closed, citing the following relevant exemptive provision: 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(10).

    Expected Attendees

    Expected to attend the closed meeting are the Commissioners themselves, an advisor to one of the Commissioners, and such other Commission staff as may be appropriate.

    By direction of the Commission.

    Donald S. Clark, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03410 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750-01-P
    GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION [OMB Control No. 3090-0007 Docket 2018-0001; Sequence 1] Information Collection; General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation; Contractor's Qualifications and Financial Information (GSA Form 527) AGENCY:

    Office of Acquisition Policy, General Services Administration (GSA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of request for comments regarding an extension to an existing OMB clearance.

    SUMMARY:

    Under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Regulatory Secretariat Division will be submitting to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request to review and approve an extension of a previously approved information collection requirement regarding Contractor's Qualifications and Financial Information (GSA Form 527).

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before: April 23, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments identified by Information Collection 3090-0007, Contractor's Qualifications and Financial Information, by any of the following methods:

    Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov. Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal searching Information Collection 3090-0007. Select the link “Comment Now” that corresponds with “Information Collection 3090-0007, Contractor's Qualifications and Financial Information”. Follow the instructions provided on the screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “Information Collection 3090-0007, Contractor's Qualifications and Financial Information” on your attached document.

    Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20405. ATTN: Ms. Mandell/IC 3090-0007, Contractor's Qualifications and Financial Information.

    Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite Information Collection 3090-0007, Contractor's Qualifications and Financial Information, in all correspondence related to this collection. Comments received generally will be posted without change to regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business confidential information provided. To confirm receipt of your comment(s), please check regulations.gov, approximately two-to-three business days after submission to verify posting (except allow 30 days for posting of comments submitted by mail).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Johnnie McDowell, Policy Analyst, Office of Governmentwide Policy, at 202-718-6112, or via email at [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    A. Purpose

    The General Services Administration will be requesting the Office of Management and Budget to extend information collection 3090-0007, concerning GSA Form 527, Contractor's Qualifications and Financial Information. This form is used to determine the financial capability of prospective contractors as to whether they meet the financial responsibility standards in accordance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation 9.103(a) and 9.104-1 and also the General Services Administration Acquisition Manual 509.105-1(a).

    B. Annual Reporting Burden

    Respondents: 2,542.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.2.

    Total Responses: 3,050.

    Hours per Response: 1.5.

    Total Burden Hours: 4,575.

    The estimated annual burden has decreased since GSA's 2014 submission from 5,292 to 4,575 burden hours to reflect the continued use of the widespread option for potential contractors to submit financial statements and balance sheets in lieu of completing the applicable fields on GSA Form 527. The alternate submission of financial statements and balance sheets significantly reduces the burden on prospective contractors, as these documents are generally readily available. The average estimated hours to complete a response remained at the optimal rate of 1.5 hours.

    C. Public Comments

    Public comments are particularly invited on: Whether this collection of information is necessary and whether it will have practical utility; whether our estimate of the public burden of this collection of information is accurate, and based on valid assumptions and methodology; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected.

    Obtaining Copies of Proposals: Requesters may obtain a copy of the information collection documents from the General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20405, telephone 202-501-4755. Please cite OMB Control No. 3090-0007, Contractor's Qualifications and Financial Information (GSA Form 527), in all correspondence.

    Jeffrey A. Koses, Director, Office of Acquisition Policy, Office of Government-wide Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03292 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-61-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION [OMB Control No. 9000-0142; Docket 2017-0053; Sequence No. 19] Submission for OMB Review; Past Performance Information AGENCY:

    Department of Defense (DOD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of request for public comments regarding an extension to an existing OMB clearance.

    SUMMARY:

    Under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act the Regulatory Secretariat Division will be submitting to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request to review and approve an extension of a previously approved information collection requirement concerning past performance information.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before March 22, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden to: Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB, Attention: Desk Officer for GSA, Room 10236, NEOB, Washington, DC 20503. Additionally submit a copy to GSA by any of the following methods:

    Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov. Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by searching the OMB control number 9000-0142. Select the link “Comment Now” that corresponds with “Information Collection 9000-0142, Past Performance Information.” Follow the instructions provided on the screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “Information Collection 9000-0142, Past Performance Information,” on your attached document.

    Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20405. ATTN: Ms. Mandell/IC 9000-0142, Past Performance Information.

    Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite “Information Collection 9000-0142, Past Performance Information”, in all correspondence related to this collection. Comments received generally will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business confidential information provided. To confirm receipt of your comment(s), please check www.regulations.gov, approximately two to three days after submission to verify posting (except allow 30 days for posting of comments submitted by mail).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Curtis E. Glover, Sr., Procurement Analyst, Acquisition Policy Division, at GSA 202-501-1448 or email [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Purpose

    Past performance information regarding a contractor's actions under previously awarded contracts is relevant information for future source selection purposes. The information collection requirements at FAR 15.304 and 42.15 remains the same; however, the public burden has been adjusted downward, based on the total annual responses. The estimated responses used to calculate the burden is based on the availability of data on Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 awards from existing systems (the Federal Procurement Data System and the Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System).

    B. Annual Reporting Burden

    Responses during Source Selection:

    Respondents: 7,055.

    Responses per Respondent: 4.

    Annual Responses: 28,220.

    Hours per Response: 2.

    Total Burden Hours: 56,440.

    Responses in CPARS:

    Respondents: 63,444.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 63,444.

    Hours per Response: 2.

    Total Burden Hours: 126,888.

    Total Annual Burden: 183,328.

    C. Public Comments

    A public notice published in the Federal Register at 82 FR 57270 on December 4, 2017. No comments were received. Public comments are particularly invited on: Whether this collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of functions of the FAR, and whether it will have practical utility; whether our estimate of the public burden of this collection of information is accurate, and based on valid assumptions and methodology; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways in which we can minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, through the use of appropriate technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Obtaining Copies of Proposals: Requesters may obtain a copy of the information collection documents from the 1800 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20405, telephone 202-501-4755. Please cite OMB Control No. 9000-0142, Past Performance Information, in all correspondence.

    Dated: February 14, 2018. Lorin S. Curit, Director, Federal Acquisition Policy Division, Office of Governmentwide Acquisition Policy, Office of Acquisition Policy, Office of Governmentwide Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03337 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-EP-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [60Day-18-0530; Docket No. CDC-2018-0016] Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations AGENCY:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Notice with comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as part of its continuing effort to reduce public burden and maximize the utility of government information, invites the general public and other Federal agencies the opportunity to comment on a proposed and/or continuing information collection, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. This notice invites comment on a proposed information collection project titled EEOICPA Dose Reconstruction Interviews and Forms. This data collection permits claimants under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA) to provide information potentially useful in reconstructing radiation doses, and to confirm that they have no further information to submit.

    DATES:

    CDC must receive written comments on or before April 23, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. CDC-2018-0016 by any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Mail: Leroy A. Richardson, Information Collection Review Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road, NE, MS-D74, Atlanta, Georgia 30329.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and Docket Number. CDC will post, without change, all relevant comments to Regulations.gov.

    Please note:

    Submit all Federal comments through the Federal eRulemaking portal (regulations.gov) or by U.S. mail to the address listed above.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the information collection plan and instruments, contact Leroy A. Richardson, Information Collection Review Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE, MS-D74, Atlanta, Georgia 30329; phone: 404-639-7570; Email: [email protected].

    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. In addition, the PRA also requires Federal agencies to provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each new proposed collection, each proposed extension of existing collection of information, and each reinstatement of previously approved information collection before submitting the collection to the OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, we are publishing this notice of a proposed data collection as described below.

    The OMB is particularly interested in comments that will help:

    1. Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    2. Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    3. Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    4. Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submissions of responses.

    5. Assess information collection costs.

    Proposed Project

    EEOICPA Dose Reconstruction Interviews and Forms, OMB No. 0920-0530, expires 04/30/2018—Extension—National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

    Background and Brief Description

    On October 30, 2000, the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000 (42 U.S.C. 7384-7385) was enacted. This Act established a federal compensation program for employees of the Department of Energy (DOE) and certain of its contractors, subcontractors and vendors, who have suffered cancers and other designated illnesses as a result of exposures sustained in the production and testing of nuclear weapons.

    Executive Order 13179, issued on December 7, 2000, delegated authorities assigned to “the President” under the Act to the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Energy and Justice. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) was delegated the responsibility of establishing methods for estimating radiation doses received by eligible claimants with cancer applying for compensation. NIOSH is applying the following methods to estimate the radiation doses of individuals applying for compensation.

    In performance of its dose reconstruction responsibilities, under the Act, NIOSH is providing voluntary interview opportunities to claimants (or their survivors) individually and providing them with the opportunity to assist NIOSH in documenting the work history of the employee by characterizing the actual work tasks performed. In addition, NIOSH and the claimant may identify incidents that may have resulted in undocumented radiation exposures, characterizing radiological protection and monitoring practices, and identify co-workers and other witnesses as may be necessary to confirm undocumented information. In this process, NIOSH uses a computer assisted telephone interview (CATI) system, which allows interviews to be conducted more efficiently and quickly as opposed to a paper-based interview instrument. Both interviews are voluntary and failure to participate in either or both interviews will not have a negative effect on the claim, although voluntary participation may assist the claimant by adding important information that may not be otherwise available.

    NIOSH uses the data collected in this process to complete an individual dose reconstruction that accounts, as fully as possible, for the radiation dose incurred by the employee in the line of duty for DOE nuclear weapons production programs. After dose reconstruction, NIOSH also performs a brief, voluntary final interview with the claimant to explain the results and to allow the claimant to confirm or question the records NIOSH has compiled. This will also be the final opportunity for the claimant to supplement the dose reconstruction record.

    At the conclusion of the dose reconstruction process, the claimant submits a form to confirm that the claimant has no further information to provide to NIOSH about the claim at this time. The form notifies the claimant that signing the form allows NIOSH to forward a dose reconstruction report to DOL and to the claimant, and closes the record on data used for the dose reconstruction. Signing this form does not indicate that the claimant agrees with the outcome of the dose reconstruction. The dose reconstruction results will be supplied to the claimant and to the DOL, the agency that will utilize them as one part of its determination of whether the claimant is eligible for compensation under the Act.

    There is no cost to respondents other than their time.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Type of respondent Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Total
  • burden
  • (in hours)
  • Claimant Initial Interview 3,600 1 1 3,600 Claimant Conclusion form OCAS-1 3,600 1 5/60 300 Total 3,900
    Leroy A. Richardson, Chief, Information Collection Review Office, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03387 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [30Day-18-1048] Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act Review

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has submitted the information collection request titled “Assessing Education Agency Staff Perceptions of School Climate and Youth Access to Services.” This study provides in-depth assessment of HIV and STD prevention efforts in three local education agencies funded by CDC's Division of Adolescent and School Health to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. CDC previously published a “Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations” notice on August 17, 2017, to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies. CDC received four comments related to the previous notice. This notice serves to allow an additional 30 days for public and affected agency comments.

    CDC will accept all comments for this proposed information collection project. The Office of Management and Budget is particularly interested in comments that:

    (a) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    (b) Evaluate the accuracy of the agencies estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    (c) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected;

    (d) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including, through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses; and

    (e) Assess information collection costs.

    To request additional information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the information collection plan and instruments, call (404) 639-7570 or send an email to [email protected]. Direct written comments and/or suggestions regarding the items contained in this notice to the Attention: CDC Desk Officer, Office of Management and Budget, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20503 or by fax to (202) 395-5806. Provide written comments within 30 days of notice publication.

    Proposed Project

    Assessing Education Agency Staff Perceptions of School Climate and Youth Access to Services (OMB #0920-1048, Expiration Date 02/28/2018)—Revision—Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH), National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Background and Brief Description

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requests a one-year OMB approval for the revision of the information collection with OMB control number 0920-1048. The information collection uses two separate, but complementary, information collections to conduct assessment of prevention efforts that are taking place in three local education agencies (LEA) funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) under PS13-1308: Promoting Adolescent Health through School-Based HIV/STD Prevention and School-Based Surveillance.

    This data collection will provide data and reports for the funded LEAs, and will allow the LEAs to identify areas of the program that are working well and other areas that will need additional improvement. In addition, the findings will allow CDC to determine the potential impact of currently recommended strategies and make changes to those recommendations if necessary. This revision request involves no changes to instruments, protocols, or burden estimates per respondent or per data collection cycle; however, annualized burden estimates have technical changes due to changes in the number of data collections planned and the length of clearance requested.

    The first information collection will involve collecting information from a total of up to 735 LEA employees in 3 LEAs through a Web-based instrument tailored to each LEA. The instrument will include items that ask education agency staff about professional development, referral practices, community linkages/partners, school climate, school policies and practices, and staff comfort levels in helping address the health needs of youth.

    The second information collection will be conducted in only one LEA (Broward County Public Schools) and is designed to provide an in-depth assessment of one LEA as a way to supplement the Web-based data collection with more detailed information. This information collection will involve in-person interviews with up to 44 LEA employees (2 district level employees, and up to 6 school level employees in each of 7 schools) to learn about six domains that can impact school climate: Policy, practice, programs, professional development, place, and pedagogy.

    CDC will administer both the Web-based instrument and in-person interviews in the 2017-2018 school year as the final data collection in a series of data collections for the five-year PS13-1308 cooperative agreement. Although some staff may have participated in previous years' data collections, this is not a longitudinal design and individual staff member responses will not be tracked across the years. CDC will not collect personally identifiable information.

    All school staff members will receive informed consent forms prior to participation in the information collection. The consent form explains the study and also explains participants may choose not to complete the Web-based instrument or participate in the interviews with no penalty and no impact on their job or relationship with the LEA. Participation is completely voluntary.

    For the Web-based instrument, the estimated burden per response ranges from 20-25 minutes, and burden estimates presented here are based on the assumption of a 25-minute response time per response. The estimated annualized burden of this data collection is 306 hours for respondents.

    For the interviews, the estimated burden per response ranges from 60-90 minutes, depending on whether the respondent is a district-level administrator, a school-level administrator, or another school staff member. The burden estimates presented here are based on the assumption of a one-hour response time per district-level and school-level administrator response and a 1.5-hour response time per school staff member response. The estimated annualized burden of this data collection is 58 hours for respondents.

    The two information collections combine for a total estimated annualized burden of 364 hours for respondents. There are no costs to respondents other than their time.

    Table A.12-1—Estimated Annualize Burden to Respondents Type of respondents Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hrs.)
  • School staff Web-based instrument for Broward County Public Schools 245 1 25/60 School staff Web-based instrument for Los Angeles Unified School District 245 1 25/60 School staff Web-based instrument for San Francisco Unified School District 245 1 25/60 District-level Administrators School Climate Index Interview Guide for District-level Administrators 2 1 1 School-level Administrators School Climate Index Interview Guide for School-level Administrators 14 1 1 School Staff School Climate Index Interview Guide for School Staff 28 1 1.5
    Leroy A. Richardson, Chief, Information Collection Review Office, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03386 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [30Day-18-0109] Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act Review

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has submitted the information collection request titled Respiratory Protective Devices—42 CFR part 84—Regulation to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. CDC previously published a “Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations” notice on October 20, 2017 to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies. CDC did not receive comments related to the previous notice. This notice serves to allow an additional 30 days for public and affected agency comments.

    CDC will accept all comments for this proposed information collection project. The Office of Management and Budget is particularly interested in comments that:

    (a) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    (b) Evaluate the accuracy of the agencies estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    (c) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected;

    (d) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including, through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses; and

    (e) Assess information collection costs.

    To request additional information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the information collection plan and instruments, call (404) 639-7570 or send an email to [email protected]. Direct written comments and/or suggestions regarding the items contained in this notice to the Attention: CDC Desk Officer, Office of Management and Budget, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20503 or by fax to (202) 395-5806. Provide written comments within 30 days of notice publication.

    Proposed Project

    Respiratory Protective Devices—42 CFR part 84—Regulation (OMB Control Number 0920-0109, expiration November 30, 2017)—Reinstatement with Change—National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Background and Brief Description

    The regulatory authority for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) certification program for respiratory protective devices is found in the Mine Safety and Health Amendments Act of 1977 (30 U.S.C. 577a, 651 et seq., and 657(g)) and the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (30 U.S.C. 3, 5, 7, 811, 842(h), 844). These regulations have, as their basis, the performance tests and criteria for approval of respirators used by millions of American construction workers, miners, painters, asbestos removal workers, fabric mill workers, and fire fighters.

    Regulations of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) also require the use of NIOSH-approved respirators. These regulations also establish methods for respirator manufacturers to submit respirators for testing under the regulation and have them certified as NIOSH-approved if they meet the criteria given in the above regulation. This data collection was formerly named Respiratory Protective Devices 30 CFR part 11, but in 1995, the respirator standard was moved to 42 CFR part 84.

    In accordance with 42 CFR part 84, NIOSH performs the following activities: (1) Issues certificates of approval for respirators which have met specified construction, performance, and protection requirements; (2) establishes procedures and requirements to be met in filing applications for approval; (3) specifies minimum requirements and methods to be employed by NIOSH and by applicants in conducting inspections, examinations, and tests to determine effectiveness of respirators; (4) establishes a schedule of fees to be charged to applicants for testing and certification, and (5) establishes approval labeling requirements. To establish the scope and intent of request, NIOSH collects information from those who request services under 42 CFR part 84.

    Information collected from requests for respirator approval functions includes contact information and information about factors likely to affect respirator performance and use. Such information includes, but is not necessarily limited to, respirator design, manufacturing methods and materials, quality assurance plans and procedures, and user instruction and draft labels, as specified in the regulation.

    The main instrument for data collection for respirator approval functions is the Standard Application for the Approval of Respirators (SAF), currently Version 9.

    Respirator manufacturers are the respondents (estimated to average 73 each year over the years 2017-2020). Upon submission of the SAF, NIOSH evaluates their applications for approval. Respirator manufacturers submit applications according to their business needs, which depends upon market conditions, technical advances, and other factors that are not easy to forecast. The best estimate for the annual number of respondents is the number from the most recent year for which data exists, 73 in 2016, an increase from 63 in 2014. Those 73 applicants submitted 542 applications in 2016, providing the current best estimate. A $200 fee is required for each application. Respondents requesting respirator approval or certain extensions of approval are required to submit additional fees for necessary testing and evaluation as specified in 42 CFR parts 84.20-22, 84.66, 84.258 and 84.1102. In 2016, $2,662,329.00 was accepted.

    Applicants are required to provide test data that shows that the manufacturer is capable of ensuring that the respirator is capable of meeting the specified requirements in 42 CFR part 84. The requirement for submitted test data is likely to be satisfied by standard testing performed by the manufacturer, and is not required to follow the relevant NIOSH Standard Test Procedures. As additional testing is not required, providing proof that an adequate test has been performed is limited to providing existing paperwork.

    Manufacturers with current approvals are subject to site audits by the Institute or its agents. Audits may occur periodically, typically every second year, or because of a reported issue. NIOSH completed 59 site audits from 92 respirator approval holders for the 2016 fiscal year. There is an average fee of $8,833 for each audit to align with fee collection provisions of the Independent Offices Appropriations Act of 1952 (31 U.S.C. 9701), and OMB Circular A-25 Revised. There is no cost to respondents other than the time to participate. The total estimated burden hours are 118,435. Burden hours have increased due to a moderate increase in the estimated number of annual responses per respondent.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Type of respondents Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden
  • per response
  • (in hours)
  • Business or other for-profit Standard Application for the Approval of Respirators 73 7 229 Business or other for-profit Audit 59 1 24
    Leroy A. Richardson, Chief, Information Collection Review Office, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03385 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Community Living Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Redesign of Existing Data Collection; National Longitudinal Survey of Older Americans Act Participants (NLSOAAP) AGENCY:

    Administration for Community Living, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Administration for Community Living (ACL) is announcing that the proposed collection of information listed below has been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance as required under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (the PRA). This 30-Day notice collects comments on a proposed revision to an existing data collection related to the National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants (NSOAAP).

    DATES:

    Submit written comments on the collection of information by March 22, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit written comments on the collection of information by fax 202-395-5806 or by email to [email protected], Attn: OMB Desk Officer for ACL.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Heather Menne at 202-795-7733 or [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In compliance with Section 44 U.S.C. 3507, ACL has submitted the following proposed collection of information to OMB for review and clearance.

    ACL is requesting approval for three years for a redesign of an existing data collection (OMB Control Number: 0985-0023).

    The National Longitudinal Survey of Older Americans Act (OAA) Participants (NLSOAAP) information collection will include consumer assessment surveys for the Congregate and Home-delivered meal nutrition programs; Case Management, Homemaker, and Transportation Services; and the National Family Caregiver Support Program. This survey builds on earlier national pilot studies and surveys, as well as performance measurement tools developed by ACL grantees in the Performance Outcomes Measures Project (POMP). Changes identified as a result of these initiatives, public comment, and the input from an expert panel (i.e., comprised of gerontologists, survey methodologists, and OAA program experts), are included in this proposed redesign of an existing data collection. This information will be used by ACL to track performance outcome measures; support budget requests; comply with the GPRA Modernization Act of 2010 (GPRAMA) reporting requirements; provide national benchmark information; and inform program development and management initiatives.

    This proposed collection is a revision that will replace the currently approved version (OMB Control Number: 0985-0023) by transitioning from a cross-sectional survey to a longitudinal survey. The current National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants (NSOAAP), an exclusively cross-sectional survey, can transition to a longitudinal information collection component by establishing a baseline cohort and conducting follow-up interviews with that cohort at specified time intervals. A baseline cohort can be selected in the same manner as in prior cycles of the cross-sectional NSOAAP. Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) would be selected with a probability proportional to their size, with some large AAAs sampled with certainty.

    Random samples of clients within each selected AAA will be sampled from the agencies' client lists. However, in a change from current procedures, the target sample size would be increased from current standards (n = 6000) to account for attrition of individuals over time. For the duration of the longitudinal cohort analysis, the same sample of AAAs and clients should be maintained to preserve the longitudinal nature of the study. Three strategies are key for transforming the current survey into a longitudinal study, while preserving the ability to produce nationally representative cross-sectional estimates of client characteristics at each wave. The three strategies include: (1) A higher initial sample size (n = 6600), (2) an intensive operational campaign to keep track of respondents over time, and (3) limiting the number of waves for each cohort study (e.g., three waves are proposed).

    Comments in Response to the 60 Day Federal Register Notice

    A 60-Day notice was published in the Federal Register in Vol. 82, No. 185, Pages 44800-44802, on September 26, 2017 announcing that ACL was requesting approval of a proposed redesign of an existing data collection extension with modifications of a currently approved data collection. ACL received comments from sixty-four (64) organizations and 15 individuals about the Redesigned National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants (NSOAAP). ACL reviewed all of the comments. Two (2) of the comments were deemed not relevant. The first referenced other data collections and not the NSOAAP (i.e., Census), and the other was commentary without reference to the NSOAAP.

    The majority of the comments that ACL received requested improved methodology for collecting gender identity (e.g., adding questions to understand gender identity/transgender status). ACL plans to conduct cognitive testing of questions in the redesigned information collection tool, including the gender question, to determine whether the questions are interpreted as intended. Based on the cognitive testing of the information collection tool, ACL will determine whether additional changes are necessary. Other public comments supported the: (a) Longitudinal methodology; (b) collection of data on sexual orientation; (c) inclusion of a rotating module on discrimination; and (d) limiting of burden on the Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs). Because these comments were in support of the proposed information collection, no response is needed.

    Burden Estimates

    Descriptions of previous National Surveys of OAA Participants can be found under the section on Performance Outcomes on ACL's website at: https://www.acl.gov/programs/performance-older-americans-act-programs. Copies of the survey instruments and data from previous National Surveys of OAA Participants can be found and queried using the AGing Integrated Database (AGID) at https://agid.acl.gov/. The proposed revisions for the National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants may be found on the ACL website at: https://www.acl.gov/about-acl/public-input.

    The estimated average hour burden per respondent for the Redesigned NSOAAP will change from the 0.80 hour estimate in 2017 to 0.71 hours. This decrease is due to the proposed change of Area Agencies on Aging only providing client lists once at the start of the three years of data collection (compared to annually in the current cross-sectional data collection). ACL estimates the burden of this revised collection of information as follows:

    Table—Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Respondent/data collection activity Number of
  • respondents
  • Responses per
  • respondent
  • Average hours per
  • response
  • Annual burden hours
    Baseline Area Agency on Aging: Respondent selection process 250 1 4.0 1,000 Service Recipients (i.e., Case Management; Congregate Nutrition; Home-delivered Nutrition; Homemaker; Transportation) 4,400 1 .6667 2,933 National Family Caregiver Support Program Clients 2,200 1 .6667 1,467 Year 2 Area Agency on Aging: Respondent selection process 0 0 0 0 Service Recipients (i.e., Case Management; Congregate Nutrition; Home-delivered Nutrition; Homemaker; Transportation) 4,200 1 .6667 2,800 National Family Caregiver Support Program Clients 2,100 1 .6667 1,400 Year 3 Area Agency on Aging: Respondent selection process 0 0 0 0 Service Recipients (i.e., Case Management; Congregate Nutrition; Home-delivered Nutrition; Homemaker; Transportation) 4,000 1 .6667 2,667 National Family Caregiver Support Program Clients 2,000 1 .6667 1,333 Total 19,150 Varies .710 (weighted mean) 13,600
    Dated: February 13, 2018. Mary Lazare, Principal Deputy Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03390 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4154-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2016-E-1891] Determination of Regulatory Review Period for Purposes of Patent Extension; PORTRAZZA AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or the Agency) has determined the regulatory review period for PORTRAZZA and is publishing this notice of that determination as required by law. FDA has made the determination because of the submission of an application to the Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Department of Commerce, for the extension of a patent which claims that human biological product.

    DATES:

    Anyone with knowledge that any of the dates as published (see the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section) are incorrect may submit either electronic or written comments and ask for a redetermination by April 23, 2018. Furthermore, any interested person may petition FDA for a determination regarding whether the applicant for extension acted with due diligence during the regulatory review period by August 20, 2018. See “Petitions” in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for more information.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments as follows. Please note that late, untimely filed comments will not be considered. Electronic comments must be submitted on or before April 23, 2018. The https://www.regulations.gov electronic filing system will accept comments until midnight Eastern Time at the end of April 23, 2018. Comments received by mail/hand delivery/courier (for written/paper submissions) will be considered timely if they are postmarked or the delivery service acceptance receipt is on or before that date.

    Electronic Submissions

    Submit electronic comments in the following way:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Comments submitted electronically, including attachments, to https://www.regulations.gov will be posted to the docket unchanged. Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for ensuring that your comment does not include any confidential information that you or a third party may not wish to be posted, such as medical information, your or anyone else's Social Security number, or confidential business information, such as a manufacturing process. Please note that if you include your name, contact information, or other information that identifies you in the body of your comments, that information will be posted on https://www.regulations.gov.

    • If you want to submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made available to the public, submit the comment as a written/paper submission and in the manner detailed (see “Written/Paper Submissions” and “Instructions”).

    Written/Paper Submissions

    Submit written/paper submissions as follows:

    Mail/Hand delivery/Courier (for written/paper submissions): Dockets Management Staff (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    • For written/paper comments submitted to the Dockets Management Staff, FDA will post your comment, as well as any attachments, except for information submitted, marked and identified, as confidential, if submitted as detailed in “Instructions.”

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2016-E-1891 for “Determination of Regulatory Review Period for Purposes of Patent Extension; PORTRAZZA.” Received comments, those filed in a timely manner (see ADDRESSES), will be placed in the docket and, except for those submitted as “Confidential Submissions,” publicly viewable at https://www.regulations.gov or at the Dockets Management Staff between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    • Confidential Submissions—To submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made publicly available, submit your comments only as a written/paper submission. You should submit two copies total. One copy will include the information you claim to be confidential with a heading or cover note that states “THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.” The Agency will review this copy, including the claimed confidential information, in its consideration of comments. The second copy, which will have the claimed confidential information redacted/blacked out, will be available for public viewing and posted on https://www.regulations.gov. Submit both copies to the Dockets Management Staff. If you do not wish your name and contact information to be made publicly available, you can provide this information on the cover sheet and not in the body of your comments and you must identify this information as “confidential.” Any information marked as “confidential” will not be disclosed except in accordance with § 10.20 (21 CFR 10.20) and other applicable disclosure law. For more information about FDA's posting of comments to public dockets, see 80 FR 56469, September 18, 2015, or access the information at: https://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-09-18/pdf/2015-23389.pdf.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Beverly Friedman, Office of Regulatory Policy, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 51, Rm. 6250, Silver Spring, MD 20993, 301-796-3600.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    The Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984 (Pub. L. 98-417) and the Generic Animal Drug and Patent Term Restoration Act (Pub. L. 100-670) generally provide that a patent may be extended for a period of up to 5 years so long as the patented item (human drug product, animal drug product, medical device, food additive, or color additive) was subject to regulatory review by FDA before the item was marketed. Under these acts, a product's regulatory review period forms the basis for determining the amount of extension an applicant may receive.

    A regulatory review period consists of two periods of time: A testing phase and an approval phase. For human biological products, the testing phase begins when the exemption to permit the clinical investigations of the biological product becomes effective and runs until the approval phase begins. The approval phase starts with the initial submission of an application to market the human biological product and continues until FDA grants permission to market the biological product. Although only a portion of a regulatory review period may count toward the actual amount of extension that the Director of USPTO may award (for example, half the testing phase must be subtracted as well as any time that may have occurred before the patent was issued), FDA's determination of the length of a regulatory review period for a human biological product will include all of the testing phase and approval phase as specified in 35 U.S.C. 156(g)(1)(B).

    FDA has approved for marketing the human biologic product PORTRAZZA (necitumumab). PORTRAZZA is indicated, in combination with gemcitabine and cisplatin, for first-line treatment of patients with metastatic squamous non-small cell lung cancer. Subsequent to this approval, the USPTO received a patent term restoration application for PORTRAZZA (U.S. Patent No. 7,598,350) from Eli Lilly and Company, and the USPTO requested FDA's assistance in determining this patent's eligibility for patent term restoration. In a letter dated August 30, 2016, FDA advised the USPTO that this human biological product had undergone a regulatory review period and that the approval of PORTRAZZA represented the first permitted commercial marketing or use of the product. Thereafter, the USPTO requested that FDA determine the product's regulatory review period.

    II. Determination of Regulatory Review Period

    FDA has determined that the applicable regulatory review period for PORTRAZZA is 2,533 days. Of this time, 2,175 days occurred during the testing phase of the regulatory review period, while 358 days occurred during the approval phase. These periods of time were derived from the following dates:

    1. The date an exemption under section 505(i) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 355(i)) became effective: December 19, 2008. FDA has verified the applicant's claim that the date the investigational new drug application became effective was on December 19, 2008.

    2. The date the application was initially submitted with respect to the human biological product under section 351 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 262): December 2, 2014. The applicant claims October 22, 2014, as the date the biologics license application (BLA) for PORTRAZZA (BLA 125547) was initially submitted. However, FDA records indicate that BLA 125547 was submitted on December 2, 2014.

    3. The date the application was approved: November 24, 2015. FDA has verified the applicant's claim that BLA 125547 was approved on November 24, 2015.

    This determination of the regulatory review period establishes the maximum potential length of a patent extension. However, the USPTO applies several statutory limitations in its calculations of the actual period for patent extension. In its application for patent extension, this applicant seeks 1,321 days of patent term extension.

    III. Petitions

    Anyone with knowledge that any of the dates as published are incorrect may submit either electronic or written comments and, under 21 CFR 60.24, ask for a redetermination (see DATES). Furthermore, as specified in § 60.30 (21 CFR 60.30), any interested person may petition FDA for a determination regarding whether the applicant for extension acted with due diligence during the regulatory review period. To meet its burden, the petition must comply with all the requirements of § 60.30, including but not limited to: Must be timely (see DATES), must be filed in accordance with § 10.20, must contain sufficient facts to merit an FDA investigation, and must certify that a true and complete copy of the petition has been served upon the patent applicant. (See H. Rept. 857, part 1, 98th Cong., 2d sess., pp. 41-42, 1984.) Petitions should be in the format specified in 21 CFR 10.30.

    Submit petitions electronically to http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FDA-2013-S-0610. Submit written petitions (two copies are required) to the Dockets Management Staff (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    Dated: February 13, 2018. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03345 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2016-E-1888] Determination of Regulatory Review Period for Purposes of Patent Extension; DARZALEX AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or the Agency) has determined the regulatory review period for DARZALEX and is publishing this notice of that determination as required by law. FDA has made the determination because of the submission of an application to the Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Department of Commerce, for the extension of a patent which claims that human biological product.

    DATES:

    Anyone with knowledge that any of the dates as published (see the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section) are incorrect may submit either electronic or written comments and ask for a redetermination by April 23, 2018. Furthermore, any interested person may petition FDA for a determination regarding whether the applicant for extension acted with due diligence during the regulatory review period by August 20, 2018. See “Petitions” in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for more information.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments as follows. Please note that late, untimely filed comments will not be considered. Electronic comments must be submitted on or before April 23, 2018. The https://www.regulations.gov electronic filing system will accept comments until midnight Eastern Time at the end of April 23, 2018. Comments received by mail/hand delivery/courier (for written/paper submissions) will be considered timely if they are postmarked or the delivery service acceptance receipt is on or before that date.

    Electronic Submissions

    Submit electronic comments in the following way:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Comments submitted electronically, including attachments, to https://www.regulations.gov will be posted to the docket unchanged. Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for ensuring that your comment does not include any confidential information that you or a third party may not wish to be posted, such as medical information, your or anyone else's Social Security number, or confidential business information, such as a manufacturing process. Please note that if you include your name, contact information, or other information that identifies you in the body of your comments, that information will be posted on https://www.regulations.gov.

    • If you want to submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made available to the public, submit the comment as a written/paper submission and in the manner detailed (see “Written/Paper Submissions” and “Instructions”).

    Written/Paper Submissions

    Submit written/paper submissions as follows:

    Mail/Hand delivery/Courier (for written/paper submissions): Dockets Management Staff (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    • For written/paper comments submitted to the Dockets Management Staff, FDA will post your comment, as well as any attachments, except for information submitted, marked and identified, as confidential, if submitted as detailed in “Instructions.”

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2016-E-1888 for “Determination of Regulatory Review Period for Purposes of Patent Extension; DARZALEX.” Received comments, those filed in a timely manner (see ADDRESSES), will be placed in the docket and, except for those submitted as “Confidential Submissions,” publicly viewable at https://www.regulations.gov or at the Dockets Management Staff between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    Confidential Submissions—To submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made publicly available, submit your comments only as a written/paper submission. You should submit two copies total. One copy will include the information you claim to be confidential with a heading or cover note that states “THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.” The Agency will review this copy, including the claimed confidential information, in its consideration of comments. The second copy, which will have the claimed confidential information redacted/blacked out, will be available for public viewing and posted on https://www.regulations.gov. Submit both copies to the Dockets Management Staff. If you do not wish your name and contact information to be made publicly available, you can provide this information on the cover sheet and not in the body of your comments and you must identify this information as “confidential.” Any information marked as “confidential” will not be disclosed except in accordance with § 10.20 (21 CFR 10.20) and other applicable disclosure law. For more information about FDA's posting of comments to public dockets, see 80 FR 56469, September 18, 2015, or access the information at: https://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-09-18/pdf/2015-23389.pdf.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Beverly Friedman, Office of Regulatory Policy, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave, Bldg. 51, Rm. 6250, Silver Spring, MD 20993, 301-796-3600.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    The Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984 (Pub. L. 98-417) and the Generic Animal Drug and Patent Term Restoration Act (Pub. L. 100-670) generally provide that a patent may be extended for a period of up to 5 years so long as the patented item (human drug product, animal drug product, medical device, food additive, or color additive) was subject to regulatory review by FDA before the item was marketed. Under these acts, a product's regulatory review period forms the basis for determining the amount of extension an applicant may receive.

    A regulatory review period consists of two periods of time: A testing phase and an approval phase. For human biological products, the testing phase begins when the exemption to permit the clinical investigations of the biological product becomes effective and runs until the approval phase begins. The approval phase starts with the initial submission of an application to market the human biological product and continues until FDA grants permission to market the biological product. Although only a portion of a regulatory review period may count toward the actual amount of extension that the Director of USPTO may award (for example, half the testing phase must be subtracted as well as any time that may have occurred before the patent was issued), FDA's determination of the length of a regulatory review period for a human biological product will include all of the testing phase and approval phase as specified in 35 U.S.C. 156(g)(1)(B).

    FDA has approved for marketing the human biologic product DARZALEX (daratumumab). DARZALEX is indicated for the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma who have received at least three prior lines of therapy, including a proteasome inhibitor and an immunomodulatory agent, or who are double-refractory to a proteasome inhibitor and an immunomodulatory agent. This indication is approved under accelerated approval based on response rate. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in confirmatory trials. Subsequent to this approval, the USPTO received a patent term restoration application for DARZALEX (U.S. Patent No. 7,829,673) from Genmab A/S, and the USPTO requested FDA's assistance in determining this patent's eligibility for patent term restoration. In a letter dated August 25, 2016, FDA advised the USPTO that this human biological product had undergone a regulatory review period and that the approval of DARZALEX represented the first permitted commercial marketing or use of the product. Thereafter, the USPTO requested that FDA determine the product's regulatory review period.

    II. Determination of Regulatory Review Period

    FDA has determined that the applicable regulatory review period for DARZALEX is 1,939 days. Of this time, 1,808 days occurred during the testing phase of the regulatory review period, while 131 days occurred during the approval phase. These periods of time were derived from the following dates:

    1. The date an exemption under section 505(i) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 355(i)) became effective: July 28, 2010. FDA has verified the applicant's claim that the date the investigational new drug application became effective was on July 28, 2010.

    2. The date the application was initially submitted with respect to the human biological product under section 351 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 262): July 9, 2015. FDA has verified the applicant's claim that the biologics license application (BLA) for DARZALEX (BLA 761,036) was initially submitted on July 9, 2015.

    3. The date the application was approved: November 16, 2015. FDA has verified the applicant's claim that BLA 761,036 was approved on November 16, 2015.

    This determination of the regulatory review period establishes the maximum potential length of a patent extension. However, the USPTO applies several statutory limitations in its calculations of the actual period for patent extension. In its application for patent extension, this applicant seeks 1,000 days of patent term extension.

    III. Petitions

    Anyone with knowledge that any of the dates as published are incorrect may submit either electronic or written comments and, under 21 CFR 60.24, ask for a redetermination (see DATES). Furthermore, as specified in § 60.30 (21 CFR 60.30), any interested person may petition FDA for a determination regarding whether the applicant for extension acted with due diligence during the regulatory review period. To meet its burden, the petition must comply with all the requirements of § 60.30, including but not limited to: must be timely (see DATES), must be filed in accordance with § 10.20, must contain sufficient facts to merit an FDA investigation, and must certify that a true and complete copy of the petition has been served upon the patent applicant. (See H. Rept. 857, part 1, 98th Cong., 2d sess., pp. 41-42, 1984.) Petitions should be in the format specified in 21 CFR 10.30.

    Submit petitions electronically to https://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FDA-2013-S-0610. Submit written petitions (two copies are required) to the Dockets Management Staff (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    Dated: February 13, 2018. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03342 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2017-N-XXXX] Statement of Organization, Functions, and Delegations of Authority AGENCY:

    Office of Regulatory Affairs, Office of Global Regulatory Operations and Policy, Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Office of Global Regulatory Operations and Policy, Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA), Office of Regulatory Science (ORS), and all ORA Laboratories have modified the structure. This new organizational structure was approved by the Secretary of Health and Human Services and effective on June 6, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Paul Norris, DVM, MPA, Director, Office of Regulatory Science, Office of Regulatory Affairs, Office of Global Regulatory Operations and Policy, Food and Drug Administration, NCTR-50 Room 404, Jefferson, Arkansas 72079, Phone: 870-543-4099.

    I. Summary

    Part D, Chapter D-B (Food and Drug Administration), the Statement of Organization, Functions, and Delegations of Authority for the Department of Health and Human Services 35 FR 3685, dated February 25, 1970; 60 FR 56605, dated November 9, 1995; 64 FR 36361, dated July 6, 1999; 72 FR 50112, dated August 30, 2007; 74 FR 41713, dated August 18, 2009; and 76 FR 45270, dated July 28, 2011, is amended to reflect the reorganization of the Office of Regulatory Affairs and the Office of Regulatory Science (ORS), and all ORA Laboratories in this consolidation.

    This organization expands current activities in the Office of Regulatory Science and ORA's Laboratories in support of the Agency's Program Alignment Initiative. One of the key elements outlined in the initiative is to transition to distinct commodity-based and vertically integrated regulatory programs with well-defined leads, promoting coherent policy and strategic development. This transforms the regionally organized laboratory system into a true national resource with enhanced ability to meet its public health mission to provide diverse scientific expertise, leadership, and responsive quality analytical services to safeguard public health in a global environment and foster continued flexibility across its functions and programs. It also centralizes and streamlines laboratory operations, scientific research, and support functions into one Office of Regulatory Science. Operationally this facilitates a more efficient and strategic deployment of these resources during public health emergencies and food borne outbreaks. Centralizing the laboratory system greatly enhances command and control of laboratory functions.

    The Food and Drug Administration, Office of Global Regulatory Operations and Policy, Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA), Office of Regulatory Science (ORS) has been restructured as follows:

    DLLRK. ORGANIZATION. The Office of Regulatory Science is headed by the Director, Office of Regulatory Science and includes the following organizational units:

    Office of Regulatory Science (DLLRK) Automated Laboratory Management Staff (DLLRK1) Safety and Risk Management Staff (DLLRK2) Office of Research Coordination and Evaluation (DLLRKA) Scientific Research Staff (DLLRKA1) Evaluation Staff (DLLRKA2) Office of Medical Products, Tobacco, and Specialty Laboratory Operations (DLLRKB) Medical Products and Tobacco Scientific Staff (DLLRKB1) Forensic Chemistry Center (DLLRKBA) Inorganic Branch (DLLRKBA1) Organic Branch (DLLRKBA2) Winchester Engineering and Analytical Center (DLLRKBB) Analytical Branch (DLLRKBB1) Engineering Branch (DLLRKBB2) Detroit Laboratory (DLLRKBC) Northeast Medical Products Laboratory (DLLRKBD) Pacific Southwest Medical Products Laboratory (DLLRKBE) Philadelphia Laboratory (DLLRKBF) San Juan Laboratory (DLLRKBG) Southeast Tobacco Laboratory (DLLRKBH) Office of Food and Feed Laboratory Operations (DLLRKC) Food and Feed Scientific Staff (DLLRKC1) Arkansas Laboratory (DLLRKCA) Chemistry Branch I (DLLRKCA1) Chemistry Branch II (DLLRKCA2) Microbiology Branch (DLLRKCA3) Denver Laboratory (DLLRKCB) Chemistry Branch (DLLRKCB1) Microbiology Branch (DLLRKCB2) Kansas City Laboratory (DLLRKCC) Chemistry Branch I (DLLRKCC1) Chemistry Branch II (DLLRKCC2) Northeast Food and Feed Laboratory (DLLRKCD) Chemistry Branch I (DLLRKCD1) Chemistry Branch II (DLLRKCD2) Microbiology Sciences Branch (DLLRKCD3) Pacific Northwest Laboratory (DLLRKCE) Chemistry Branch (DLLRKCE1) Microbiology Branch (DLLRKCE2) Applied Technology Branch (DLLRKCE3) San Francisco Laboratory (DLLRKCF) Chemistry Branch (DLLRKCF1) Microbiology Branch (DLLRKCF2) Southeast Food and Feed Laboratory (DLLRKCG) Microbiology Branch (DLLRKCG1) Nutrient Analysis Branch (DLLRKCG2) Chemistry Branch (DLLRKCG3) Pacific Southwest Food and Feed Laboratory (DLLRKCH) Chemistry Branch (DLLRKCH1) Microbiology Branch (DLLRKCH2)
    II. Delegations of Authority

    Pending further delegation, directives, or orders by the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, all delegations and redelegations of authority made to officials and employees of affected organizational components will continue in them or their successors pending further redelegations, provided they are consistent with this reorganization.

    III. Electronic Access

    Persons interested in seeing the complete Staff Manual Guide can find it on FDA's website at: http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/ReportsManualsForms/StaffManualGuides/default.htm.

    Dated: December 21, 2017. Eric D. Hargan Acting Secretary of Health and Human Services.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03402 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2010-N-0161] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Export of Food and Drug Administration-Regulated Products: Export Certificates AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing that a proposed collection of information has been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    Fax written comments on the collection of information by March 22, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    To ensure that comments on the information collection are received, OMB recommends that written comments be faxed to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Attn: FDA Desk Officer, Fax: 202-395-7285, or emailed to [email protected]. All comments should be identified with the OMB control number 0910-0498. Also include the FDA docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Amber Sanford, Office of Operations, Food and Drug Administration, Three White Flint North, 10A-12M, 11601 Landsdown St., North Bethesda, MD 20852, 301-796-8867, [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In compliance with 44 U.S.C. 3507, FDA has submitted the following proposed collection of information to OMB for review and clearance.

    Export of Food and Drug Administration-Regulated Products: Export Certificates OMB Control Number 0910-0498—Extension

    In April 1996, the FDA Export, Reform, and Enhancement Act of 1996 (FDAERA) (Pub. L. 104-134) amended sections 801(e) and 802 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) (21 U.S.C. 381(e) and 382). It was designed to ease restrictions on exportation of unapproved pharmaceuticals, biologics, and devices regulated by FDA. Section 801(e)(4) of FDAERA provides that persons exporting certain FDA-regulated products may request FDA to certify that the products meet the requirements of sections 801(e) and 802 or other requirements of the FD&C Act. This section of the law requires FDA to issue certification within 20 days of receipt of the request and to charge firms up to $175 for the certifications. In January 2011, section 801(e)(4)(A) was amended by the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (Pub. L. 111-353) to provide authorization for export certification fees for food and animal feed.

    This section of the FD&C Act authorizes FDA to issue export certificates for regulated food, animal feed, pharmaceuticals, biologics, and devices that are legally marketed in the United States, as well as for these same products that are not legally marketed but are acceptable to the importing country, as specified in sections 801(e) and 802 of the FD&C Act. FDA has developed various types of certificates that satisfy the requirements of section 801(e)(4)(B) of the FD&C Act. Four of those certificates are discussed in this notice: (1) Certificates to Foreign Governments, (2) Certificates of Exportability, (3) Certificates of a Pharmaceutical Product, and (4) Non-Clinical Research Use Only Certificates. FDA has updated the certificates as part of the proposed collection of information to account for the amendment authorizing export certification fees for food and animal feed. Table 1 lists the different certificates and details their uses:

    Table 1—Certificates and Uses Type of certificate Use “Supplementary Information Certificate to Foreign Government Requests”
  • “Exporter's Certification Statement Certificate to Foreign Government”
  • “Exporter's Certification Statement Certificate to Foreign Government (For Human Tissue Intended for Transplantation)”
  • For the export of products legally marketed in the United States.
    “Supplementary Information Certificate of Exportability Requests”
  • “Exporter's Certification Statement Certificate of Exportability”
  • For the export of products not approved for marketing in the United States (unapproved products) that meet the requirements of sections 801(e) or 802 of the FD&C Act.
    “Supplementary Information Certificate of a Pharmaceutical Product”
  • “Exporter's Certification Statement Certificate of a Pharmaceutical Product”
  • Conforms to the format established by the World Health Organization and is intended for use by the importing country when the product in question is under consideration for a product license that will authorize its importation and sale or for renewal, extension, amending, or reviewing a license.
    “Supplementary Information Non-Clinical Research Use Only Certificate”
  • “Exporter's Certification Statement (Non-Clinical Research Use Only)”
  • For the export of a non-clinical research use only product, material, or component that is not intended for human use which may be marketed in, and legally exported from the United States under the FD&C Act.

    FDA will continue to rely on self-certification by manufacturers for the first three types of certificates listed in table 1. Manufacturers are requested to self-certify that they are in compliance with all applicable requirements of the FD&C Act, not only at the time that they submit their request to the appropriate center, but also at the time that they submit the certification to the foreign government.

    The appropriate FDA centers will review product information submitted by firms in support of their certificate and any suspected case of fraud will be referred to the appropriate offices.

    In the Federal Register of November 27, 2017 (82 FR 56031), FDA published a 60-day notice requesting public comment on the proposed collection of information. No comments were received. The burden hours have decreased from the previous approval.

    Table 2—Estimated Annual Reporting Burden 1 FDA Center Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses
  • per
  • respondent
  • Total
  • annual
  • responses
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • Total hours
    Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research 2,651 1 2,651 1 2,651 Center for Devices and Radiological Health 11,175 1 11,175 2 22,350 Center for Drug Evaluation and Research 3,680 1 3,680 1 3,680 Center for Veterinary Medicine 1,925 1 1,925 1 1,925 Total 30,606 1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information.
    Dated: February 13, 2018. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03346 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2016-E-1187] Determination of Regulatory Review Period for Purposes of Patent Extension; MAESTRO RECHARGEABLE SYSTEM AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or the Agency) has determined the regulatory review period for MAESTRO RECHARGEABLE SYSTEM and is publishing this notice of that determination as required by law. FDA has made the determination because of the submission of an application to the Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Department of Commerce, for the extension of a patent which claims that medical device.

    DATES:

    Anyone with knowledge that any of the dates as published (in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section) are incorrect may submit either electronic or written comments and ask for a redetermination by April 23, 2018. Furthermore, any interested person may petition FDA for a determination regarding whether the applicant for extension acted with due diligence during the regulatory review period by August 20, 2018. See “Petitions” in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for more information.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments as follows. Please note that late, untimely filed comments will not be considered. Electronic comments must be submitted on or before April 23, 2018. The https://www.regulations.gov electronic filing system will accept comments until midnight Eastern Time at the end of April 23, 2018. Comments received by mail/hand delivery/courier (for written/paper submissions) will be considered timely if they are postmarked or the delivery service acceptance receipt is on or before that date.

    Electronic Submissions

    Submit electronic comments in the following way:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Comments submitted electronically, including attachments, to https://www.regulations.gov will be posted to the docket unchanged. Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for ensuring that your comment does not include any confidential information that you or a third party may not wish to be posted, such as medical information, your or anyone else's Social Security number, or confidential business information, such as a manufacturing process. Please note that if you include your name, contact information, or other information that identifies you in the body of your comments, that information will be posted on https://www.regulations.gov.

    • If you want to submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made available to the public, submit the comment as a written/paper submission and in the manner detailed (see “Written/Paper Submissions” and “Instructions”).

    Written/Paper Submissions

    Submit written/paper submissions as follows:

    Mail/Hand delivery/Courier (for written/paper submissions): Dockets Management Staff (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    • For written/paper comments submitted to the Dockets Management Staff, FDA will post your comment, as well as any attachments, except for information submitted, marked and identified, as confidential, if submitted as detailed in “Instructions.”

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2016-E-1187 for “Determination of Regulatory Review Period for Purposes of Patent Extension; MAESTRO RECHARGEABLE SYSTEM.” Received comments, those filed in a timely manner (see ADDRESSES), will be placed in the docket and, except for those submitted as “Confidential Submissions,” publicly viewable at https://www.regulations.gov or at the Dockets Management Staff between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    • Confidential Submissions—To submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made publicly available, submit your comments only as a written/paper submission. You should submit two copies total. One copy will include the information you claim to be confidential with a heading or cover note that states “THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.” The Agency will review this copy, including the claimed confidential information, in its consideration of comments. The second copy, which will have the claimed confidential information redacted/blacked out, will be available for public viewing and posted on https://www.regulations.gov. Submit both copies to the Dockets Management Staff. If you do not wish your name and contact information to be made publicly available, you can provide this information on the cover sheet and not in the body of your comments and you must identify this information as “confidential.” Any information marked as “confidential” will not be disclosed except in accordance with § 10.20 (21 CFR 10.20) and other applicable disclosure law. For more information about FDA's posting of comments to public dockets, see 80 FR 56469, September 18, 2015, or access the information at: https://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-09-18/pdf/2015-23389.pdf.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Beverly Friedman, Office of Regulatory Policy, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 51, Rm. 6250, Silver Spring, MD 20993, 301-796-3600.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    The Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984 (Pub. L. 98-417) and the Generic Animal Drug and Patent Term Restoration Act (Pub. L. 100-670) generally provide that a patent may be extended for a period of up to 5 years so long as the patented item (human drug product, animal drug product, medical device, food additive, or color additive) was subject to regulatory review by FDA before the item was marketed. Under these acts, a product's regulatory review period forms the basis for determining the amount of extension an applicant may receive.

    A regulatory review period consists of two periods of time: A testing phase and an approval phase. For medical devices, the testing phase begins with a clinical investigation of the device and runs until the approval phase begins. The approval phase starts with the initial submission of an application to market the device and continues until permission to market the device is granted. Although only a portion of a regulatory review period may count toward the actual amount of extension that the Director of USPTO may award (half the testing phase must be subtracted as well as any time that may have occurred before the patent was issued), FDA's determination of the length of a regulatory review period for a medical device will include all of the testing phase and approval phase as specified in 35 U.S.C. 156(g)(3)(B).

    FDA has approved for marketing the medical device MAESTRO RECHARGEABLE SYSTEM. MAESTRO RECHARGEABLE SYSTEM is indicated for use in weight reduction in patients aged 18 years through adulthood who have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 to 45 kg/m2, or a BMI of 35 to 39.9 kg/m2 with one or more obesity related co-morbid conditions, and have failed at least one or more obesity related co-morbid conditions, and have failed at least one supervised weight management program within the past 5 years. Subsequent to this approval, the USPTO received a patent term restoration application for MAESTRO RECHARGEABLE SYSTEM (U.S. Patent No. 7,672,727) from EnteroMedics Inc., and the USPTO requested FDA's assistance in determining this patent's eligibility for patent term restoration. In a letter dated July 12, 2016, FDA advised the USPTO that this medical device had undergone a regulatory review period and that the approval of MAESTRO RECHARGEABLE SYSTEM represented the first permitted commercial marketing or use of the product. Thereafter, the USPTO requested that FDA determine the product's regulatory review period.

    II. Determination of Regulatory Review Period

    FDA has determined that the applicable regulatory review period for MAESTRO RECHARGEABLE SYSTEM is 2,866 days. Of this time, 2,296 days occurred during the testing phase of the regulatory review period, while 570 days occurred during the approval phase. These periods of time were derived from the following dates:

    1. The date an exemption under section 520(g) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act) (21 U.S.C. 360j(g)) involving this device became effective: March 13, 2007. The applicant claims that the investigational device exemption (IDE) required under section 520(g) of the FD&C Act for human tests to begin became effective on March 14, 2007. However, FDA records indicate that the IDE was determined substantially complete for clinical studies to have begun on March 13, 2007, which represents the IDE effective date.

    2. The date an application was initially submitted with respect to the device under section 515 of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 360e): June 24, 2013. The applicant claims June 20, 2013, as the date the premarket approval application (PMA) for MAESTRO RECHARGEABLE SYSTEM (PMA P130019) was initially submitted. However, FDA records indicate that PMA P130019 was submitted on June 24, 2013.

    3. The date the application was approved: January 14, 2015. FDA has verified the applicant's claim that PMA P130019 was approved on January 14, 2015.

    This determination of the regulatory review period establishes the maximum potential length of a patent extension. However, the USPTO applies several statutory limitations in its calculations of the actual period for patent extension. In its application for patent extension, this applicant seeks 385 days of patent term extension.

    III. Petitions

    Anyone with knowledge that any of the dates as published are incorrect may submit either electronic or written comments and, under 21 CFR 60.24, ask for a redetermination (see DATES). Furthermore, as specified in § 60.30 (21 CFR 60.30), any interested person may petition FDA for a determination regarding whether the applicant for extension acted with due diligence during the regulatory review period. To meet its burden, the petition must comply with all the requirements of § 60.30, including but not limited to: Must be timely (see DATES), must be filed in accordance with § 10.20, must contain sufficient facts to merit an FDA investigation, and must certify that a true and complete copy of the petition has been served upon the patent applicant. (See H. Rept. 857, part 1, 98th Cong., 2d sess., pp. 41-42, 1984.) Petitions should be in the format specified in 21 CFR 10.30.

    Submit petitions electronically to https://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FDA-2013-S-0610. Submit written petitions (two copies are required) to the Dockets Management Staff (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    Dated: February 13, 2018. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03343 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2009-N-0025] Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Animal Food Labeling; Declaration of Certifiable Color Additives AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA, Agency, or we) is announcing an opportunity for public comment on the proposed collection of certain information by the Agency. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Federal Agencies are required to publish notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension of an existing collection of information, and to allow 60 days for public comment in response to the notice. This notice solicits comments on the information collection provisions of FDA regulations requiring the declaration of color additives on animal food labels.

    DATES:

    Submit either electronic or written comments on the collection of information by April 23, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments as follows. Please note that late, untimely filed comments will not be considered. Electronic comments must be submitted on or before April 23, 2018. The https://www.regulations.gov electronic filing system will accept comments until midnight Eastern Time at the end of April 23, 2018. Comments received by mail/hand delivery/courier (for written/paper submissions) will be considered timely if they are postmarked or the delivery service acceptance receipt is on or before that date.

    Electronic Submissions

    Submit electronic comments in the following way:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Comments submitted electronically, including attachments, to https://www.regulations.gov will be posted to the docket unchanged. Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for ensuring that your comment does not include any confidential information that you or a third party may not wish to be posted, such as medical information, your or anyone else's Social Security number, or confidential business information, such as a manufacturing process. Please note that if you include your name, contact information, or other information that identifies you in the body of your comments, that information will be posted on https://www.regulations.gov.

    • If you want to submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made available to the public, submit the comment as a written/paper submission and in the manner detailed (see “Written/Paper Submissions” and “Instructions”).

    Written/Paper Submissions

    Submit written/paper submissions as follows:

    Mail/Hand delivery/Courier (for written/paper submissions): Dockets Management Staff (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    • For written/paper comments submitted to the Dockets Management Staff, FDA will post your comment, as well as any attachments, except for information submitted, marked and identified, as confidential, if submitted as detailed in “Instructions.”

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2009-N-0025 for “Animal Food Labeling; Declaration of Certifiable Color Additives.” Received comments, those filed in a timely manner (see ADDRESSES), will be placed in the docket and, except for those submitted as “Confidential Submissions,” publicly viewable at https://www.regulations.gov or at the Dockets Management Staff between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    • Confidential Submissions—To submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made publicly available, submit your comments only as a written/paper submission. You should submit two copies total. One copy will include the information you claim to be confidential with a heading or cover note that states “THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.” The Agency will review this copy, including the claimed confidential information, in its consideration of comments. The second copy, which will have the claimed confidential information redacted/blacked out, will be available for public viewing and posted on https://www.regulations.gov. Submit both copies to the Dockets Management Staff. If you do not wish your name and contact information to be made publicly available, you can provide this information on the cover sheet and not in the body of your comments and you must identify this information as “confidential.” Any information marked as “confidential” will not be disclosed except in accordance with 21 CFR 10.20 and other applicable disclosure law. For more information about FDA's posting of comments to public dockets, see 80 FR 56469, September 18, 2015, or access the information at: https://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-09-18/pdf/2015-23389.pdf.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ila S. Mizrachi, Office of Operations, Food and Drug Administration, Three White Flint North, 10A-12M, 11601 Landsdown St., North Bethesda, MD 20852, 301-796-7726, [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), Federal Agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. “Collection of information” is defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c) and includes Agency requests or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)) requires Federal Agencies to provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension of an existing collection of information, before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, FDA is publishing notice of the proposed collection of information set forth in this document.

    With respect to the following collection of information, FDA invites comments on these topics: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of FDA's functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of FDA's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques, when appropriate, and other forms of information technology.

    Animal Food Labeling; Declaration of Certifiable Color Additives—21 CFR 501.22(k) OMB Control Number 0910-0721—Extension

    This information collection is associated with requirements under § 501.22(k) (21 CFR 501.22(k)) in which animal food manufacturers must declare the presence of certified and noncertified color additives in their animal food products on the product label. We issued this regulation in response to the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990 (Pub. L. 101-535) to make animal food regulations consistent with the regulations regarding the declaration of color additives on human food labels and to provide animal owners with information on the color additives used in animal food. Animal owners use the information to become knowledgeable about the foods they purchase for their animals. Color additive information enables a consumer to comparison shop and to avoid substances to which their animals may be sensitive.

    Description of Respondents: Respondents to this collection of information are manufacturers of pet food products that contain color additives.

    FDA estimates the burden of this collection of information as follows:

    Table 1—Estimated Annual Third-Party Disclosure Burden 1 21 CFR Section/activity Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • disclosures
  • per
  • respondent
  • Total annual disclosures Average
  • burden per
  • disclosure
  • Total hours
    501.22(k); labeling of color additive or lake of color additive; labeling of color additives not subject to certification 3,120 0.8292 2,587 0.25 (15 minutes) 647 1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information.

    Having become effective November 18, 2013, we estimate that the burden associated with the labeling requirements under § 501.22(k) apply only to new product labels. Because the vast majority of animal food products that contain certified color additives are pet foods, we limit our burden estimate to reviewing labels for the use of certified color additives to pet food manufacturers subject to this regulation. Based on A.C. Nielsen Data, we estimate that the number of animal food product units subject to § 501.22(k) for which sales of the products are greater than zero is 25,874. Assuming that the flow of new products is 10 percent per year, then 2,587 new animal food products subject to § 501.22(k) will become available on the market each year. We also estimate that there are approximately 3,120 manufacturers of pet food subject to either § 501.22(k)(1) or (k)(2). Assuming the approximately 2,587 new products are split equally among the firms, then each firm would prepare labels for approximately 0.8292 new products per year (2,587 new products/3,120 firms is approximately 0.8292 labels per firm). We expect that firms prepare the required labeling for their products in a manner that takes into account at one time all information required to be disclosed on their product labels. Based on our experience with reviewing pet food labeling, we estimate that firms would require less than 0.25 hour (15 minutes) per product to comply with the requirement to include the color additive information pursuant to § 501.22(k). The total burden of this activity is 647 hours (2,587 labels × 0.25 hour/label is approximately 647 hours). The burden for this information collection has not changed since the last OMB approval.

    Dated: February 13, 2018. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03339 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, notice is hereby given of the following meetings.

    The meetings will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel Topics on Diseases of Metabolism.

    Date: March 6, 2018.

    Time: 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, (Virtual Meeting).

    Contact Person: Liliana N. Berti-Mattera, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, RM 4215, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-827-7609, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel Member Conflict: Neurodevelopmental Issues—Immunology, Epilepsy, Microbiome.

    Date: March 9, 2018.

    Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Samuel C. Edwards, Ph.D., Chief, Brain Disorders and Clinical Neuroscience, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 5210, MSC 7846, Bethesda, MD 20892, (301) 435-1246, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel SBIB Clinical Pediatric and Fetal Applications Subcommittee.

    Date: March 9, 2018.

    Time: 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, (Virtual Meeting).

    Contact Person: Songtao Liu, MD, Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 5118, Bethesda, MD 20817, 301-827-6828, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel Small Business: Instrumentation, Environmental, and Occupational Safety.

    Date: March 12-13, 2018.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Hotel Nikko San Francisco, 222 Mason Street, San Francisco, CA 94102.

    Contact Person: Marie-Jose Belanger, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Rm 6188 MSC 7804, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-435-1267, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel Small Business: Psycho/Neuropathology Lifespan Development, STEM Education.

    Date: March 15-16, 2018.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Hyatt Centric Arlington, 1325 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22209.

    Contact Person: Elia E. Femia, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive Room 3108, Bethesda, md 20892, 301-827-7189, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel Small Business: Medical Imaging.

    Date: March 15-16, 2018.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: The Westgate Hotel, 1055 Second Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101.

    Contact Person: Leonid V. Tsap, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 5128, MSC 7854, Bethesda, MD 20892, (301) 435-2507, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel Small Business: Clinical Neurophysiology, Devices, Neuroprosthetics, and Biosensors.

    Date: March 15-16, 2018.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Residence Inn Washington, DC Downtown, 1199 Vermont Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20005.

    Contact Person: Cristina Backman, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, ETTN IRG, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 5211, MSC 7846, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-480-9069, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems: Basic Mechanisms of Health Effects—PAR Panel.

    Date: March 15-16, 2018.

    Time: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, (Virtual Meeting).

    Contact Person: Ghenima Dirami, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 4122, MSC 7814, Bethesda, MD 20892, 240-498-7546, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; PAR17-158: Psychopathology and Neuronal Networks.

    Date: March 15, 2018.

    Time: 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Julius Cinque, MS, Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 5186, MSC 7846, Bethesda, MD 20892, (301) 435-1252, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: AIDS and Related Research Integrated Review Group AIDS Immunology and Pathogenesis Study Section.

    Date: March 16, 2018.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: The Fairmont Washington, DC, 2401 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20037.

    Contact Person: Shiv A. Prasad, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 5220, MSC 7852, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-443-5779, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Member Conflict: Language and Communication.

    Date: March 16, 2018.

    Time: 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Serena Chu, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, BBBP IRG, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 3178, MSC 7848, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-500-5829, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Member Conflict: Topics in Bacterial Pathogenesis and Host Interactions.

    Date: March 16, 2018.

    Time: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892.

    Contact Person: Soheyla Saadi, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 3211, MSC 7808, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-435-0903, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Zika Virus Complications.

    Date: March 16, 2018.

    Time: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892.

    Contact Person: John C. Pugh, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 3114, MSC 7808, Bethesda, MD 20892, (301) 435-2398, [email protected].

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.306, Comparative Medicine; 93.333, Clinical Research, 93.306, 93.333, 93.337, 93.393-93.396, 93.837-93.844, 93.846-93.878, 93.892, 93.893, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: February 13, 2018. Natasha M. Copeland, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03321 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute on Drug Abuse; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, notice is hereby given of the following meetings.

    The meetings will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute on Drug Abuse Special Emphasis Panel; Exploiting HIV and/or Host Genomic Information to Understand HIV Compartments or Reactivation in Individuals with Substance Use Disorders (R61/R33).

    Date: March 7, 2018.

    Time: 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Hilton Garden Inn Bethesda, 7301 Waverly Street, Bethesda, MD 20814.

    Contact Person: Ivan K. Navarro, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Office of Extramural Policy and Review, Division of Extramural Research, National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH, DHHS, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 4242, MSC 9550, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-827-5833, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: National Institute on Drug Abuse Special Emphasis Panel; Identification of Genetic and Genomic Variants by Next-Gen Sequencing in Non-Human Animal Models (U01).

    Date: March 7, 2018.

    Time: 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate cooperative agreement applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20852 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Gerald L. McLaughlin, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Office of Extramural Policy and Review, National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH, DHHS, 6001 Executive Blvd., Room 4238, MSC 9550, Bethesda, MD 20892-9550, 301-827-5819, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: National Institute on Drug Abuse Special Emphasis Panel; NIDA Research “Center of Excellence” Grant Program (P50).

    Date: March 13-15, 2018.

    Time: 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Courtyard by Marriott Chevy Chase, 5520 Wisconsin Avenue, Chevy Chase, MD 20815.

    Contact Person: Gerald L. McLaughlin, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Office of Extramural Policy and Review, National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH, DHHS, 6001 Executive Blvd., Room 4238, MSC 9550, Bethesda, MD 20892-9550, 301-827-5819, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: National Institute on Drug Abuse Special Emphasis Panel; NIDA Core Center of Excellence Grant Program (P30).

    Date: March 15, 2018.

    Time: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Courtyard by Marriott Chevy Chase, 5520 Wisconsin Avenue, Chevy Chase, MD 20815.

    Contact Person: Gerald L. McLaughlin, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Office of Extramural Policy and Review, National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH, DHHS, 6001 Executive Blvd., Room 4238, MSC 9550, Bethesda, MD 20892-9550, 301-827-5819, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: National Institute on Drug Abuse Special Emphasis Panel; Phase II: Avenir Award Program for Research on Substance Abuse and HIV/AIDS (DP2).

    Date: March 19, 2018.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Courtyard by Marriott Chevy Chase, 5520 Wisconsin Avenue, Chevy Chase, MD 20815.

    Contact Person: Hiromi Ono, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Office of Extramural Policy and Review, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, DHHS, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 4238, MSC 9550, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-827-5820, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: National Institute on Drug Abuse Special Emphasis Panel; Phase II: Avenir Award Program for Genetics or Epigenetics of Substance Use Disorders (DP1).

    Date: March 21, 2018.

    Time: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Hyatt Regency Bethesda, One Bethesda Metro Center, 7400 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814.

    Contact Person: Ivan K. Navarro, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Office of Extramural Policy and Review, Division of Extramural Research, National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH, DHHS, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 4242, MSC 9550, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-827-5833, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: National Institute on Drug Abuse Special Emphasis Panel; Multi-Site Studies for System-Level Implementation of Substance Use Prevention and Treatment Services (R01; R34).

    Date: March 23, 2018.

    Time: 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20852 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Julia Berzhanskaya, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Office of Extramural Policy and Review, Division of Extramural Research, National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH, DHHS, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 4234, MSC 9550, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-827-5840, [email protected].

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos.: 93.279, Drug Abuse and Addiction Research Programs, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: February 13, 2018. Natasha M. Copeland, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03324 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institute; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, notice is hereby given of the following meetings.

    The meetings will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and/or contract proposals and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with grant applications and/or contract proposals, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Cancer Institute Special Emphasis Panel; Targeted Radiotherapy & Radiation-Induced Toxicity.

    Date: March 20, 2018.

    Time: 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate contract proposals.

    Place: National Cancer Institute, Shady Grove, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 3W034, Rockville, MD 20850 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Ivan Ding, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Program & Review Extramural Staff Training Office, Division of Extramural Activities, National Cancer Institute, NIH, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W236, Bethesda, MD 20892-9750, 240-276-6444, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: National Cancer Institute Special Emphasis Panel; R13 Conference Grant Review.

    Date: March 20, 2018.

    Time: 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Cancer Institute, Shady Grove, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W556, Rockville, MD 20850 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Bratin K. Saha, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Program Coordination and Referral Branch, Division of Extramural Activities, National Cancer Institute, NIH, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W556, Bethesda, MD 20892-9750, 240-276-6411.

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.392, Cancer Construction; 93.393, Cancer Cause and Prevention Research; 93.394, Cancer Detection and Diagnosis Research; 93.395, Cancer Treatment Research; 93.396, Cancer Biology Research; 93.397, Cancer Centers Support; 93.398, Cancer Research Manpower; 93.399, Cancer Control, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: February 13, 2018. Melanie J. Pantoja, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03322 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute of General Medical Sciences; Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, notice is hereby given of the following meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute of General Medical Sciences Special Emphasis Panel; Review of Multicenter Clinical Trial Applications.

    Date: April 10, 2018.

    Time: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Natcher Building, Room 3AN12N, 45 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892.

    Contact Person: Lisa A. Newman, SCD, Scientific Review Officer, Office of Grants Management and Scientific Review. National Center for Advancing Translational, Sciences, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Democracy Boulevard, Room 1074—MSC 4874, Bethesda, MD 20892-4874, (301) 435-0965, [email protected].

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.375, Minority Biomedical Research Support; 93.821, Cell Biology and Biophysics Research; 93.859, Pharmacology, Physiology, and Biological Chemistry Research; 93.862, Genetics and Developmental Biology Research; 93.88, Minority Access to Research Careers; 93.96, Special Minority Initiatives; 93.859, Biomedical Research and Research Training, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: February 13, 2018. Melanie J. Pantoja, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03326 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Submission for OMB Review; 30-Day Comment Request; CareerTrac (Fogarty International Center (FIC), National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), National Institute of General Medical Science (NIGMS), National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health (NIH)) AGENCY:

    National Institutes of Health, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request for review and approval of the information collection listed below.

    DATES:

    Comments regarding this information collection are best assured of having their full effect if received within 30-days of the date of this publication.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments and/or suggestions regarding the item(s) contained in this notice, especially regarding the estimated public burden and associated response time, should be directed to the: Office of Management and Budget, Office of Regulatory Affairs, [email protected] or by fax to 202-395-6974, Attention: Desk Officer for NIH.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To obtain a copy of the data collection plans and instruments or request more information on the proposed project contact: Dr. Rachel Sturke, Evaluation Officer, Division of Science Policy, Planning, and Evaluation, FIC, NIH, 16 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892 or call non-toll-free number (301)-496-1491 or Email your request, including your address to: [email protected]. Formal requests for additional plans and instruments must be requested in writing.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This proposed information collection was previously published in the Federal Register on November 9, 2017, page 52062 (82 FR 52062) and allowed 60 days for public comment. No public comments were received. The purpose of this notice is to allow an additional 30 days for public comment. The Fogarty International Center (FIC), National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), including the Superfund Research Program (SRP) within NIEHS, National Institute of General Medical Science (NIGMS), and National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health, may not conduct or sponsor, and the respondent is not required to respond to, an information collection that has been extended, revised, or implemented on or after October 1, 1995, unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    In compliance with Section 3507(a)(1)(D) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request for review and approval of the information collection listed below.

    Proposed Collection: CareerTrac, 0925-0568, Expiration Date: 06/30/2019—REVISION, Fogarty International Center (FIC), National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), National Institute of General Medical Science (NIGMS), National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health (NIH).

    Need and Use of Information Collection: This data collection system is being used to track, evaluate and report short and long-term outputs, outcomes and impacts of trainees involved in health research training programs—specifically tracking this for at least ten years following training by having Principal Investigators enter data after trainees have completed the program. The data collection system provides a streamlined, web-based application permitting principal investigators to record career achievement progress by trainee on a voluntary basis. FIC, NIEHS, NCI and NIGMS management will use this data to monitor, evaluate and adjust grants to ensure desired outcomes are achieved, comply with OMB Part requirements, respond to congressional inquiries, and as a guide to inform future strategic and management decisions regarding the grant program.

    OMB approval is requested for 3 years. There are no costs to respondents other than their time. The total estimated annualized burden hours are 16,154.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Type of respondents Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses
  • per
  • respondent
  • Average time per response
  • (in hours)
  • Annual hour burden
    Individual: FIC Grantee 80 90 30/60 3,600 Individual: NIEHS Grantee 60 45 30/60 1,350 Individual: NCI Grantee 264 22 30/60 2,904 Individual: NIGMS Grantee 80 150 30/60 6,000 Individual: Superfund Grantee 20 105 30/60 1,050 Individual: Trainee 5,000 1 15/60 1,250 Total 5,504 34,808 16,154
    Dated: January 30, 2018. Celia Wolfman, Project Clearance Liaison, Fogarty International Center, National Institutes of Health.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03291 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute of Mental Health; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, notice is hereby given of the following meetings.

    The meetings will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Mental Health Special Emphasis Panel; Non-Invasive Neuromodulation—Mechanisms & Dose/Response Relationships.

    Date: March 9, 2018.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: The Westin Georgetown, 2350 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20037.

    Contact Person: Rebecca Steiner Garcia, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Division of Extramural Activities, National Institute of Mental Health, NIH Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Blvd., Room 6149, MSC 9608, Bethesda, MD 20892-9608, 301-443-4525, steinerr[email protected].

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Mental Health Special Emphasis Panel; BRAIN Initiative: Novel Tools to Analyze Cells and Circuits in the Brain.

    Date: March 15, 2018.

    Time: 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20852 (Virtual Meeting).

    Contact Person: Vinod Charles, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Division of Extramural Activities, National Institute of Mental Health, NIH Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Blvd., Room 6151, MSC 9606, Bethesda, MD 20892-9606, 301-443-1606, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Mental Health Special Emphasis Panel; Non-Invasive Neuromodulation—New Tools & Techniques.

    Date: March 16, 2018.

    Time: 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20852 (Virtual Meeting).

    Contact Person: Rebecca Steiner Garcia, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Division of Extramural Activities, National Institute of Mental Health, NIH Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Blvd., Room 6149, MSC 9608, Bethesda, MD 20892-9608, 301-443-4525, [email protected].

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program No. 93.242, Mental Health Research Grants, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: February 13, 2018. Melanie J. Pantoja, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03328 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism; Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, notice is hereby given of the following meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Special Emphasis Panel; Alcoholic Hepatitis Clinical and Translational Network.

    Date: March 19, 2018.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 5635 Fishers Lane, Terrace Level Conference Room 508, Bethesda, MD 20851.

    Contact Person: Philippe Marmillot, Ph.D., National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 5635 Fishers Lane, Room 2017, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-443-2861, [email protected].

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.271, Alcohol Research Career Development Awards for Scientists and Clinicians; 93.272, Alcohol National Research Service Awards for Research Training; 93.273, Alcohol Research Programs; 93.891, Alcohol Research Center Grants; 93.701, ARRA Related Biomedical Research and Research Support Awards, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: February 13, 2018. Melanie J. Pantoja, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03323 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute of General Medical Sciences; Amended Notice of Meeting

    Notice is hereby given of a change in the meeting of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences Special Emphasis Panel, March 5, 2018, 8:00 a.m. to March 6, 2018, 5:00 p.m., Residence Inn Bethesda Downtown, 7335 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814, which was published in the Federal Register on January 22, 2018, 83 FR 3004.

    The meeting notice is amended to change the title from Review of MIRA Applications to ESI MIRA Review. The meeting is closed to the public.

    Dated: February 13, 2018. Melanie J. Pantoja, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03325 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute of Mental Health; Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, notice is hereby given of the following meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Mental Health Initial Review Group; Mental Health Services Research Committee.

    Date: March 7, 2018.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications and/or proposals.

    Place: The Fairmont Washington, DC, 2401 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20037.

    Contact Person: Aileen Schulte, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Division of Extramural Activities, National Institute of Mental Health, NIH, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Blvd., Room 6136, MSC 9606, Bethesda, MD 20852, 301-443-1225, [email protected].

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program No. 93.242, Mental Health Research Grants, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: February 13, 2018. Melanie J. Pantoja, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03327 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, notice is hereby given of the following meetings.

    The meetings will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly arranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Member Conflicts: Pulmonary Diseases.

    Date: March 6-7, 2018.

    Time: 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Virtual Meeting).

    Contact Person: Bradley Nuss, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 4142, MSC7814, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-451-8754, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel. Cardiovascular and Surgical Devices.

    Date: March 8-9, 2018.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Serrano Hotel, 405 Taylor Street, San Francisco, CA 94102.

    Contact Person: Jan Li, MD, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 5106, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-402-9607, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel, PAR-16-064: Small Grants for New Investigators to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (R21).

    Date: March 15-16, 2018.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Virtual Meeting).

    Contact Person: Jianxin Hu, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 2156, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-827-4417, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Small Business: Drug Discovery for Aging, Neuropsychiatric and Neurologic Disorders.

    Date: March 15-16, 2018.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Bethesda Marriott, 5151 Pooks Hill Road, Bethesda, MD 20814.

    Contact Person: Joseph G. Rudolph, Ph.D., Chief and Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 5186, MSC 7844, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-408-9098, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Small Business: Cardiovascular Sciences.

    Date: March 15-16, 2018.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Embassy Suites at the Chevy Chase Pavilion, 4300 Military Road NW, Washington, DC 20015.

    Contact Person: Eugene Carstea, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 4130, MSC 7818, Bethesda, MD 20892, (301) 408-9756, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel Topics in Drug Discovery and Clinical Field Research.

    Date: March 15, 2018.

    Time: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Liangbiao Zheng, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 3202, MSC 7808, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-996-5819, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel Small Business: Endocrinology, Metabolism, Nutrition and Reproductive Sciences.

    Date: March 15, 2018.

    Time: 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892.

    Contact Person: Clara M. Cheng, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 6170, MSC 7892, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-435-1041, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel Small Business: HIV/AIDS Innovative Research Applications.

    Date: March 15-16, 2018.

    Time: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, (Virtual Meeting).

    Contact Person: Jingsheng Tuo, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 5207, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-451-8754, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel PAR-15-024: Molecular Profiles and Biomarkers of Food and Nutrient Intake.

    Date: March 15, 2018.

    Time: 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Gregory S Shelness, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 6156, Bethesda, MD 20892-7892, (301) 435-0492, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel Member Conflict: Chemo/Dietary Prevention.

    Date: March 15, 2018.

    Time: 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Nicholas J. Donato, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 4040, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-827-4810, [email protected].

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.306, Comparative Medicine; 93.333, Clinical Research, 93.306, 93.333, 93.337, 93.393-93.396, 93.837-93.844, 93.846- 93.878, 93.892, 93.893, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: February 12, 2018. Sylvia L. Neal, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03320 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR-6021-N-03] Fair Market Rents for the Housing Choice Voucher Program and Moderate Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy Program Fiscal Year 2018; Revised AGENCY:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research, HUD.

    ACTION:

    Notice of revised fiscal year (FY) 2018 fair market rents (FMRs) and discussion of comments on FY 2018 FMRs.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice updates the FY 2018 FMRs for eight areas based on new survey data: Hawaii County, HI; Hood River County, OR; Jonesboro, AR HUD Metro FMR Area (HMFA); Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA); Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA MSA; Seattle-Bellevue, WA HMFA; Urban Honolulu, HI MSA; and, Wasco County, OR. All comments received on the FY 2018 FMRs are also discussed.

    DATES:

    Applicability: The revised FY 2018 FMRs for these eight areas are applicable beginning March 22, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Questions on how to conduct FMR surveys or concerning further methodological explanations may be addressed to Marie L. Lihn or Peter B. Kahn, Economic and Market Analysis Division, Office of Economic Affairs, Office of Policy Development and Research, telephone 202-402-2409. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339 (toll-free).

    Questions related to use of FMRs or voucher payment standards should be directed to the respective local HUD program staff.

    For technical information on the methodology used to develop FMRs or a listing of all FMRs, please call the HUD USER information line at 800-245-2691 (toll-free) or access the information on the HUD USER website: http://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr.html. FMRs are listed at the 40th or 50th percentile in Schedule B. For informational purposes, 40th percentile recent-mover rents for the areas with 50th percentile FMRs will be provided in the HUD FY 2018 FMR documentation system at https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr.html#2018_query and 50th percentile rents for all FMR areas are published at http://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/50per.html.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On September 1, 2017 HUD published the FY 2018 FMRs, requesting comments on the FY 2018 FMRs, and outlining procedures for requesting a reevaluation of an area's FY 2018 FMRs (82 FR 41637). This notice revises FY 2018 FMRs for eight areas that requested reevaluation and provided data to HUD to allow for a reevaluation, and provides responses to the public comments HUD received on the previous notice referenced above.

    I. Revised FY 2018 FMRs

    The FMRs appearing in the following table supersede the use of the FY 2017 FMRs for these eight areas. The updated FY 2018 FMRs are based on surveys conducted by the area public housing agencies (PHAs) and reflect the estimated 40th percentile rent levels trended to April 1, 2018.

    The FMRs for the affected area are revised as follows:

    2018 Fair market rent area FMR by number of bedrooms in unit 0 BR 1 BR 2 BR 3 BR 4 BR Hawaii County, HI 877 1,009 1,322 1,663 1,936 Hood River County, OR 696 901 1,090 1,586 1,739 Jonesboro, AR, HMFA 493 613 743 1,046 1,047 Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA MSA 1,253 1,477 1,965 2,615 2,961 Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA MSA 1,393 1,636 1,917 2,603 3,030 Seattle-Bellevue, WA HMFA 1,363 1,529 1,878 2,719 3,219 Urban Honolulu, HI MSA 1,352 1,527 2,031 2,954 3,525 Wasco County, OR 708 798 1,062 1,440 1,835

    The FY 2018 FMRs are amended and are available on the HUD USER website: http://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr.html. The FY 2018 Small Area FMRs (SAFMRs) for the revised metropolitan areas have also been updated and may be found at https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr/smallarea/index.html.

    II. Public Comments on FY 2018 FMRs

    A total of 18 comments were received and posted on regulations.gov, https://www.regulations.gov/docketBrowser?rpp=25&so=DESC&sb=commentDueDate&po=0&dct=PS&D=HUD-2017-0051. Fifteen of these comments were requests for reevaluation of the FY 2018 FMRs. HUD granted requests for reevaluation for 13 FMR areas, and rejected one area's request, by Department of Human Services for Monmouth County, NJ, because this requestor did not administer at least half of the housing choice voucher families as required. HUD discussed these requests for reevaluation in a posting available at https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr.html#2018_data.

    These 13 areas continued to use FY 2017 FMRs until the PHAs provided local survey rent data, which was due no later than January 5, 2018. Only eight of these 13 areas have continued to use FY 2017 FMRs because they provided sufficient data. HUD published a list of the five FMR areas not providing data on January 8, 2018 stating that the FY 2018 FMRs become applicable on January 8, 2018 (https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr.html#2018_data). This notice provides the reevaluated FY 2018 FMRs for these eight areas.

    General Comments

    Most of the comments discussed inaccuracies of the FMRs and a need for more current and local data. There were also comments on HUD's methodology, especially HUD's failure to use more local forecasts for the trend factor and a request to use vacancy data to adjust FMRs. Several commenters also asked HUD to agree to use FMRs revised by PHA surveys for three years as FMRs and as an input to the Renewal Funding Inflation Factors. These comments and their responses are discussed in greater detail below.

    Comment: FMRs do not represent accurate on-the-ground rental market prices. The accuracy of FMRs is a function of the underlying data set and the methodology used to convert the data set to the FMRs, and the source of the data is unchanged from last year. More current and more local data should be used.

    HUD Response: The American Community Survey (ACS) continues to be the primary source of gross rent data used in the calculation of the FMRs as it is the only known statistically reliable data source that provides comprehensive information on gross rents paid collected in a consistent manner nationwide. The ACS data HUD acquires is adjusted for housing quality and calculated at the 40th percentile rent for the FMR areas. HUD does point out that the data used to calculate FY 2018 FMRs is one year more current than the data used to calculate FY 2017 FMRs. HUD uses the most current ACS data available when calculating the FMRs. As an example, consider the publication timeline for the FY 2018 FMRs. The FY 2018 FMRs were calculated in June and July of 2017 for publication by September 2017, but the 2016 ACS data was not released until September through December of 2017. Therefore, during calculation of FY 2018 FMRs, the 2015 ACS data was the most current available ACS data. FMRs use a 40th percentile standard quality gross rent paid by recent movers, which requires a special tabulation from the Census that is provided by June of the year following the release of the data. HUD augments the most current available ACS data with the annual change in gross rents measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Price Index (CPI), measured between 2015 and 2016 for the FY 2018 FMR, and a forecasted trend factor to align the calculated FMRs with the Fiscal Year for which the FMRs are applicable.

    Comment: HUD should use local and regional forecasts of the CPI rather than national forecasts.

    HUD Response: HUD has evaluated the use of more local forecasts for a trend factor, but has only been able to develop forecasts based on national inputs. The lack of consistent local data reduces the effectiveness of the local forecast.

    Comment: HUD's use of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) metropolitan area definitions continues to be a problem in setting FMRs. HUD should not have changed the area definitions in FY 2006 based on the new OMB definitions and this change is continued through the changes to area definitions for FY 2016. HUD has the discretion to not accept the OMB definition changes and should exercise this discretion rather than continue to follow its past practice of updating area definitions with the OMB changes.

    HUD Response: While the commenter is correct that HUD is not required to adopt OMB metropolitan area definitions for the calculation of FMRs, HUD believes there are compelling reasons to continue to use these area definitions. OMB defines metropolitan areas primarily based on commuting interchange patterns that also offer a good approximation of areas within which housing units are in competition with one another. These patterns change over time with growth and decline in jobs and populations. HUD's use of updated OMB metropolitan area definitions in estimating FMRs recognizes these changes in housing markets. The commuting interchange patterns coupled with other factors comprise the standards that have come to be known as “core based statistical areas” (75 FR 37246).1 The core based statistical areas are the metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas published by OMB. For the purposes of calculating and publishing FMRs, HUD uses the metropolitan statistical areas (and subdivisions thereof) delineated using the core based statistical area standards.

    1 2010 Standards for Delineating Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas; Notice. Federal Register, June 28, 2010.

    Further, the accuracy of the annual FMR values lies in the accuracy of the underlying statistical information used to calculate the FMRs. As HUD has established numerous times, the only known source of information on gross rents paid that is collected and distributed in a consistent manner across the country is the American Community Survey (ACS). As stated by OMB, “The purpose of the Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Area standards is to provide nationally consistent delineations for collecting, tabulating, and publishing Federal statistics for a set of geographic areas” (75 FR 37249). The ACS uses the OMB metropolitan area definitions in collecting its rent (and other) data. Therefore, it is imperative that HUD continue to base the FMR calculations on OMB metropolitan area definitions, as updated.

    The commenter also asserts that HUD's continued use of OMB metropolitan area definitions “remain one of the biggest contributors to erratic and by extension inaccurate FMR and SAFMR estimates.” HUD has employed numerous strategies to address the accuracy and to attenuate the variability in the FMRs precisely due to changes in metropolitan area definitions. For example, HUD modified the OMB-defined metropolitan areas in the FY 2006 FMR implementation if the underlying gross rent or area median family income data exhibited more than a five percent difference in the subject area's FMR or area median family income calculation. More recently, HUD has discontinued the practice of using metropolitan area wide base rents, when local values are statistically reliable, for counties newly added to metropolitan areas. HUD uses data specific to the county when available and uses the smallest encompassing geography for recent mover gross rent update factors and CPI update factors when local data is not available.

    Comment: HUD should use more timely data when calculating FMRs. HUD should work to develop a method to incorporate more recent data into its published FMRs rather than continue to rely on PHA-funded studies to correct inaccuracies in FMRs. PHAs are not well suited to conduct surveys and compile sophisticated statistical analyses. This is a function that would be better suited for HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R).

    HUD Response: There is no other data on gross rents paid that is consistently collected on a nationwide basis, available to HUD, that is more current than the data we receive from the ACS dataset. HUD recognizes the housing quality data limitations of the ACS dataset and uses a combination of ACS survey responses and a public housing “cut-off” rent calculated from HUD administrative data to identify and eliminate these low rent units from the distribution of gross rents paid before a 40th percentile rent is calculated. Propriety rental data cannot be used in establishing FMRs because it is not consistently available for all areas and is not statistically representative of the market it covers. Some of these sources focus on rents for major apartment projects only. Other sources that include single family homes, which are at least 30 percent of the rental market in major metropolitan areas and a greater portion in rural areas, are typically compiled from internet-based ads. These online listings of rents are akin to newspaper ads and newspaper ads have been excluded as a source of rent data for FMRs since the mid-1980s due to a directive issued by HUD's Inspector General.

    HUD currently lacks funding to conduct surveys of area rents to adjust FMRs. HUD would need to obtain budget authority to conduct surveys as well as OMB approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act for the survey mechanism. HUD is subject to stricter federal rules for conducting surveys than PHAs, which means that it would take longer for HUD to pass these hurdles before being able to conduct surveys. HUD would also likely have to weigh competing needs for surveys based on a limited budget. HUD has provided technical assistance, significant at times, in compiling and analyzing the data collected by PHAs.

    Comment: Allow PHAs to use other survey methodologies for at least half of the FMR Area. HUD should allow PHAs to conduct valid rent studies for their portion of an FMR area for the purposes of appealing the portion of the FMR in their service area and for RFIF purposes. These agencies do not have the necessary funding to conduct or secure services to conduct rental market survey for the entire FMR area.

    HUD Response: FMRs are area-wide assessments of the 40th percentile of gross rents paid by recent movers for standard quality housing units. Surveys or other methods of collecting data in a portion of the metropolitan area may not be representative of rents across the entire area. Issues pertaining to FMRs in portions of the FMR area are best addressed through Exception Payment Standards which are defined at 24 CFR 982.503. HUD requires PHAs representing at least half of the voucher holders in a given FMR area to acknowledge and agree that a survey is necessary because the FMR directly impacts the PHAs' administration of their HCV program. HUD includes this requirement to ensure that the decision to request an FMR reevaluation is supported by PHAs that administer at least half of the vouchers under lease in the metropolitan area.

    Comment: HUD should use valid rent studies in FMRs, small area FMRs (SAFMRs) and renewal funding inflation factors (RFIF) for three years. Depending on the date on which HUD approved a PHA's rent survey, HUD's use of that data in subsequent years resulted in a dilution of its value for purposes of determining RFIFs for areas.

    HUD Response: HUD will use the rent surveys conducted by PHAs to modify FMRs for such time until the majority of the ACS data supersedes the survey. For a large metropolitan area where the FMR is estimated from local one-year ACS data, the survey can be used until the ACS data is of the same year (for those conducted up through June), and in the following year for those conducted from July and on. For smaller areas that rely on five-year ACS data, they will continue to have FMRs based on the local survey until more than half of the five-year ACS data is newer, which means they will be used for more than three years.

    Historically, HUD has included survey-based FMRs in the next RFIF calculation following the applicability date of the newly revised FMRs. In some cases, the year of the RFIF containing the initial survey based FMR matches the year of the first implementation of the survey and in other cases the survey based FMR is included in the following year's RFIF calculation. Regardless of when the survey based FMR is included in the RFIF calculation, the survey-based FMRs remain part of the calculation until the survey is no longer used in the calculation of the FMRs.

    Comment: PHAs should freeze FMRs and payment standards during FMR appeals. PHAs should be awarded HAP funds upon successful appeal of changes to the HUD-approved inflation factor adjustment.

    HUD Response: The Housing Opportunities Through Modernization Act (HOTMA) specifies that newly posted FMRs do not go into effect in areas that have initiated valid reevaluation requests. Existing FMRs remain in effect until the reevaluation process is complete and reevaluated FMRs have been posted and become applicable. With regards to the portion of the comment concerning the awarding of HAP funds, reevaluated FMRs are included in the next calculation of RFIFs following the end of the reevaluation process. Should the renewal funding calculations and awards occur before the reevaluation process is complete, under current HUD policy, the survey-based FMR increase is incorporated into the calculation of the RFIFs in the following year.

    Comment: HUD should request a reallocation of a portion of the $41.5 million that the Department receives so that it can begin to conduct its own rent studies.

    HUD Response: The budget item of $41.5 million covers the cost of conducting the American Housing Survey, the Survey of Construction, the Survey of Market Absorption, the Rental Housing Finance Survey, and the Manufactured Housing Placement Survey. There are no excess funds in that amount that could be used to conduct area rent surveys to adjust FMRs, so additional funds would have to be made available for area rent surveys. HUD would also need a contract to spend these additional funds for surveys and would have to receive approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act from OMB (required for any data collection activity of 10 or more respondents (in this case tenants)).

    Comment: For certain rural areas the FMR is too high.

    HUD Response: Unfortunately, in many cases these are small areas that do not have enough ACS data for locally calculated FMRs. These areas typically have FMRs set at the state minimum FMR. Where available, HUD publishes the rents below the state minimum for use as public housing flat rents. A PHA that believes the FMR for a rural county is too high for purposes of HCV administration may request HUD approval to establish a payment standard lower than the basic range in accordance with 24 CFR 982.503(d).

    Comment: The zero bedroom and one-bedroom FMRs are the same. Please verify.

    HUD Response: This is correct. HUD does not allow the zero-bedroom FMR to be greater than the one-bedroom FMR, so where it would be higher, it is set at the one-bedroom FMR. Zero-bedroom units, or efficiencies, represent a much smaller segment of the rental market population than one-bedroom units and their rents may be skewed in some areas by a preponderance of the units in newer buildings and/or buildings with better amenities.

    Comment: Small Area FMRs should not be required. SAFMRs will increase the complexity in administering the voucher program by increasing the number of payment schedules. Also, many ZIP Codes where voucher holders live have lower SAFMRs that will force voucher holders out of neighborhoods where they have lived their entire lives to areas away from their support groups.

    HUD Response: Small Area FMRs (SAFMRs) are required in the administration of the housing choice voucher (HCV) program in a limited number of metropolitan areas where voucher holders are highly concentrated in areas of concentrated low income and where SAFMRs are likely to be an effective tool in helping HCV holders access units in higher opportunity areas.

    HUD included provisions in the SAFMR rule to provide PHAs the ability to maintain payment standards at current levels for in-place tenants should the PHA choose to do so.

    To assist with the administrative complexity of converting to SAFMRs, HUD has tasked a Technical Assistance provider to develop training materials and to conduct in-person trainings for all PHAs who are required to implement SAFMRs.

    III. Environmental Impact

    This Notice makes changes in FMRs for two FMR areas and does not constitute a development decision affecting the physical condition of specific project areas or building sites. Accordingly, under 24 CFR 50.19(c)(6), this Notice is categorically excluded from environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321).

    Dated: February 13, 2018. Todd M. Richardson, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Policy Development, Office of Policy Development and Research.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03398 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210-67-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR-7009-N-01] Privacy Act of 1974, System of Records; Notice: Comprehensive Servicing and Management System AGENCY:

    Office of Asset Management and Portfolio Oversight (OAMPO), HUD.

    ACTION:

    Notice of a new system of records.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Office of Asset Management and Portfolio Oversight (OAMPO) provides public notice that it proposes to establish a new system, Department of Housing and Urban Development System of Records Titled, “Comprehensive Servicing and Monitoring System (CSMS) P085”.

    DATES:

    March 22, 2018.

    Comments Due Date: March 22, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by one of the following methods:

    Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions provided on that site to submit comments electronically.

    Fax: 202-619-8365.

    Email: [email protected].

    Mail: Attention: Housing and Urban Development, Privacy Office; John Bravacos, The Executive Secretariat; 451 Seventh Street SW, Room 10139; Washington, DC 20410.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For general questions please contact: John Bravacos, SAOP, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 Seventh Street SW, Washington, DC 20410; telephone number 202-708-1515 for privacy issues please contact: Senior Agency Official, John Bravacos.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This system of records titled P085—Comprehensive Servicing and Monitoring System (CSMS), Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Office of Asset Management and Portfolio Oversight (OAMPO). P-085-CSMS is operated by HUD's OAMPO, and includes personally identifiable information (PII) provided on or about families receiving rental housing assistance, multifamily property owners, multifamily vendors, and HUD employees who have system access, which information is retrieved by a name or unique identifier. CSMS, identified in HUD's Inventory of Systems as P085, supports the accounting and asset management functions for the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) an agency of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. The system supports asset servicing and accounting for HUD held and HUD-owned multifamily assets and is a subsidiary ledger to the FHA general ledger. CSMS supports several management and accounting functions for these loans and properties, including financial recordkeeping, performance analysis, and status reporting for HUD's financial and business managers. CSMS is a proprietary system that maintains both Business Identifiable Information (BII) and PII.

    This system of records incorporates Federal privacy requirements and HUD policy requirements. The Privacy Act provides certain safeguards for an individual against an invasion of personal privacy by requiring Federal agencies to protect records in an agency system of records from unauthorized disclosure, ensure that information is current for its intended use, and that adequate safeguards are provided to prevent misuse of such information. The notice reflects the Department's focus on industry best practices in protecting the personal privacy of the individuals covered by each system notification. This notice states the name and location of the record system, the authority for and manner of its operations, the categories of individuals it covers, the records it contains, the sources of the information for those records, the routine uses made of the records, and the system of records exemption types. In addition, the notice includes the business address of the HUD officials who will inform interested persons of the procedures whereby they may gain access to and/or request amendments to records pertaining to them. The routine uses that apply to this publication are reiterated based on past publication to clearly communicate the ways in which HUD continues to conduct some of its business practices. In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(4) and (11), HUD has provided a report of this new system to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform as instructed by OMB Circular No. A-108, “Federal Agencies Responsibilities for Review, Reporting, and Publication under the Privacy Act.”

    SYSTEM NAME AND NUMBER

    P085—COMPREHENSIVE SERVICING AND MONITORING SYSTEM (CSMS)

    Security Classification:

    UNCLASSIFIED, BUT SENSITIVE

    System Location:

    Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 Seventh Street SW, Washington, DC 20410 or at the locations of the Business Service Provider/Contractor under contract with HUD.

    System Manager(s):

    Robert Iber, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Asset Management and Portfolio Oversight, 451 Seventh Street SW, Washington, DC 20410, (202) 708-3055.

    Authority for Maintenance of the System:

    HUD/FHA collects social security numbers during the FHA loan endorsement process and by request via IRS Form W-9 to update its records. Tenant information is collected by HUD contractors under the National Housing Act (12 U.S.C 1701 et seq.). CSMS provides servicing for loans acquired through the payment of an insurance claims under Housing Act Sections 202, 207, 223(f), 236, 221(d)(3), 221 (d)(4), 232, and 242. In addition, CSMS includes Mark to Market loans including Demonstration preservation programs from the Multifamily Assisted Housing Reform and Affordability Act of 1997 (MAHRA) (42 U.S.C. 1437f) and Demonstration preservation programs of the Office of Recapitalization (RECAP). CSMS collects and shares SSNs and PII externally with credit reporting agencies (pursuant to 5 U.S. Code 552a), banks (pursuant to Section 6109 of the Internal Revenue Code), and with the IRS (pursuant to Section 6109 of the Internal Revenue Code).

    Purpose(s) of the System:

    CSMS is a loan servicing, property management, and accounting system. The purpose of the system is to bill and collect funds owed to HUD/FHA, to provide program information about loan repayment and status, to manage investment of reserve for replace funds, to process and reimburse property managers or vendors for expenses incurred in managing multifamily properties owned by the Department, to track lease information for tenants living in HUD-owned properties, and to account for all transactions on this portfolio.

    CSMS is a subsidiary ledger to the FHA's general ledger. CSMS provides servicing and accounting for multifamily loans acquired through the payment of an insurance claims under various Sections of the National Housing Act (12 U.S.C 1701 et seq.), including Sections 221(d)(3) and 221 (d)(4), 202, 207, 223(f), 232 and 242, 236, and loans from the Mark2Market and Demonstration preservation programs of the Office of Recapitalization (RECAP). CSMS also provides property management servicing and accounting for HUD-owned properties or mortgagees-in-possession for use by HUD and its property management contractor.

    Categories of Individuals Covered by the System:

    (e.g., all participants of certain HUD Rental Housing Assistance Programs, and/or HUD staff). CSMS collects, processes, and retains information from the following individuals:

    • Families receiving Housing assistance from HUD-administered Multifamily programs administered by the Multifamily Property Disposition Division in Fort Worth, TX.

    • Multifamily Property Owners established at the time that the FHA loan is executed.

    • Vendors to ensure, preserve and protect the property, including but not limited to electricians, plumbers, landscape contractors, security services, advertisers, painters and foreclosure commissioners.

    • HUD employees who have CSMS access for entering and tracking information.

    Categories of Records in the System:

    Loan Servicing/Claims: Mortgagors/Borrowers and authorized contacts' names and addresses, Borrower's TIN/Social Security Numbers, phone numbers; email addresses; banking information (institutional information, routing, account numbers and account type); loan amounts (assigned balance, unpaid principal balance, face amount), interest rates, loan terms, and loan statuses; claim data (amount, expenses, interest paid by HUD, certificate of claim liability); payment and other financial account data such as loan balances, loan history, interest accrued, fees incurred, real estate property information, property taxes and insurance amounts, reserve for replacement escrow accounts and related invested escrows; accounting data including debits and credits to HUD accounts based on transaction events.

    Vendor Information: Service fees, late fees, and other billing data; collection history; expenses incurred for foreclosure and acquisition, protection and preservation, attorney fees, special assessments; disbursements for taxes, insurance, and any other miscellaneous disbursements; Mortgagee-in-Possession activity, appraisals, closing costs; asset sales, other loan termination data; UCC and filings by jurisdiction with due dates, filing costs, continuation data.

    HUD-Owned Property: Property names, addresses, authorized contacts names and addresses, phone numbers, email addresses; property financial account data such as income and expense; acquisition data; sale data, potential bidders, bid packages, closing activities; vendor/business partner (banking information, TIN/SSN number, routing, account numbers, small business identifier, and other socioeconomic data); accounting data including debits and credits to HUD accounts based on transaction events.

    HUD-Owned Property Tenant: Tenants' names, addresses, social security number, marital status, gender, family members; lease information, including rent, subsidies, fees, collections, history, and eviction status.

    Uniform Commercial Code (UCC)/202: Property names, addresses, authorized contacts' names and addresses, phone numbers, email addresses; loan maturity date; status; UCC filing by jurisdiction due dates, filing costs, continuation data.

    Record Source Categories:

    Records in the system are obtained through a variety of HUD/FHA loan documents, completed W-9 forms, investment account enrollment forms, and tenant lease records. Information is entered into the system by HUD/FHA staff or its contractors. This information is not received electronically from another system. The information is released by HUD for entry into CSMS.

    Routine uses of records maintained in the system, including categories of users and the purposes of such uses. In addition to those disclosures generally permitted under 5 U.S.C. Section 552A(B) of the Privacy Act, all or a portion of the records or information contained in this system may be disclosed to authorized entities, as is determined to be relevant and necessary, outside the Department of Housing and Urban Development as a routine use pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552A(B)(3), as follows:

    1. To appropriate agencies, entities, and persons for disclosures which are compatible with the purpose for which the records in this system were collected, as set forth by Appendix I—HUD's Routine Use Inventory Notice published in the Federal Register (80 FR 81837-81840), as follows:

    a. To the National Archives and Records Administration or to the General Services Administration for records having enough historical or other value to warrant continued preservation by the United States Government, or for inspection under Title 44 U.S.C. 2904 and 2906. Loan Servicing and HUD-Owned Property hard-copy documentation is provided.

    b. To a congressional office from the record of an individual, in response to an inquiry from that congressional office made at the request of that individual. Loan Servicing/Claims, Vendor, HUD-Owned Property, HUD-Owned Property tenant, and UCC/202 information is provided as requested.

    c. To contractors performing or working under a contract with HUD, when necessary to accomplish an agency function related to this system of records. Disclosure requirements are limited to only those data elements considered relevant to accomplishing an agency function. Individuals provided information under these routine use conditions are subject to Privacy Act requirements and disclosure limitations imposed on the Department. Loan Servicing/Claims, Vendor Information, HUD-Owned Property Information, HUD-Owned Property tenant, and UCC/202 is provided as requested.

    d. To appropriate Federal, State, and local governments, or persons, pursuant to a showing of compelling circumstances affecting the health or safety or vital interest of an individual or data subject, including assisting such agencies or organizations in preventing the exposure to or transmission of a communicable or quarantinable disease, or to combat other significant public health threats, if upon such disclosure appropriate notice was transmitted to the last known address of such individual to identify the health threat or risk. To a consumer reporting agency, when trying to collect a claim owed on behalf of the Government, in accordance with 31 U.S.C. 3711(e). To Federal, State, and local agencies, their employees, and agents for the purpose of conducting computer matching programs as regulated by the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (5 U.S.C. 552a).

    e. To Federal agencies, non-Federal entities, their employees, and agents (including contractors, their agents or employees; employees or contractors of the agents or designated agents); or contractors, their employees or agents with whom HUD has a contract, service agreement, grant, cooperative agreement, or computer matching agreement for the purpose of: (1) Detection, prevention, and recovery of improper payments; (2) detection and prevention of fraud, waste, and abuse in major Federal programs administered by a Federal agency or non-Federal entity; (3) detection of fraud, waste, and abuse by individuals in their operations and programs, but only to the extent that the information shared is necessary and relevant to verify pre-award and prepayment requirements prior to the release of Federal funds, prevent and recover improper payments for services rendered under programs of HUD or of those Federal agencies and non-Federal entities to which HUD provides information under this routine use.

    f. To contractors, grantees, experts, consultants, Federal agencies, and non-Federal entities, including, but not limited to, State and local governments and other research institutions or their parties, and entities and their agents with whom HUD has a contract, service agreement, grant, or cooperative agreement, when necessary to accomplish an agency function, related to a system of records, for the purposes of statistical analysis and research in support of program operations, management, performance monitoring, evaluation, risk management, and policy development, or to otherwise support the Department's mission. Records under this routine use may not be used in whole or in part to make decisions that affect the rights, benefits, or privileges of specific individuals. The results of the matched information may not be disclosed in identifiable form.

    g. To a recipient who has provided the agency with advance, adequate written assurance that the record provided from the system of records will be used solely for statistical research or reporting purposes. Records under this condition will be disclosed or transferred in a form that does not identify an individual.

    h. To contractors, grantees, experts, consultants and their agents, or others performing or working under a contract, service, grant, or cooperative agreement with HUD, when necessary to accomplish an agency function related to a system of records. Disclosure requirements are limited to only those data elements considered relevant to accomplishing an agency function. Individuals provided information under these routine use conditions are subject to Privacy Act requirements and disclosure limitations imposed on the Department.

    i. To contractors, experts and consultants with whom HUD has a contract, service agreement, or other assignment of the Department, when necessary to utilize relevant data for the purpose of testing new technology and systems designed to enhance program operations and performance.

    j. To appropriate Federal, State, local, tribal, or governmental agencies or multilateral governmental organizations responsible for investigating or prosecuting the violations of, or for enforcing or implementing, a statute, rule, regulation, order, or license, where HUD determines that the information would assist in the enforcement of civil or criminal laws. To third parties during the course of a law enforcement investigation, to the extent necessary to obtain information pertinent to the investigation, provided the disclosure of such information is appropriate to the proper performance of the official duties of the officer making the disclosure.

    k. To a court, magistrate, administrative tribunal, or arbitrator in the course of presenting evidence, including disclosures to opposing counsel or witnesses in the course of civil discovery, litigation, mediation, or settlement negotiations; or in connection with criminal law proceedings; or in response to a subpoena or to a prosecution request when such records to be released are specifically approved by a court provided order. To appropriate Federal, State, local, tribal, or governmental agencies or multilateral governmental organizations responsible for investigating or prosecuting the violations of, or for enforcing or implementing, a statute, rule, regulation, order, or license, where HUD determines that the information would assist in the enforcement of civil or criminal laws. To third parties during the course of a law enforcement investigation to the extent necessary to obtain information pertinent to the investigation, provided disclosure is appropriate to the proper performance of the official duties of the officer making the disclosure.

    To another agency or to an instrumentality of any governmental jurisdiction within or under the control of the United States for a civil or criminal law enforcement activity if the activity is authorized by law, and if the head of the agency or instrumentality has made a written request to the agency that maintains the record, specifying the particular portion desired and the law enforcement activity for which the record is sought.

    l. To the Department of Justice (DOJ) when seeking legal advice for a HUD initiative or in response to DOJ's request for the information, after either HUD or DOJ determine that such information is relevant to DOJ's representatives of the United States or any other components in legal proceedings before a court or adjudicative body, provided that, in each case, the agency also determines prior to disclosure that disclosure of the records to DOJ is a use of the information contained in the records that is compatible with the purpose for which HUD collected the records. HUD on its own may disclose records in this system of records in legal proceedings before a court or administrative body after determining that the disclosure of the records to the court or administrative body is a use of the information contained in the records that is compatible with the purpose for which HUD collected the records.

    To the IRS for reporting of payments, forgiveness of debt, and property sales under section 6109 of the Internal Revenue Code. A subset of Loan Servicing/Claims and Vendor Information is provided. To banks holding escrow monies for the purpose of establishing interest bearing accounts and reporting of interest payments to the IRS under section 6109 of the Internal Revenue Code. A subset of Loan Servicing/Claims data is provided. To credit reporting agencies for the purposed of reporting delinquencies under 5 U.S. Code 552a. A subset of Loan Servicing/Claims data is provided. To UCC filing organization for the purpose of filing UCC Article 9 secured party interest on behalf of HUD under the Uniform Commercial Code Article 9. A subset of Uniform Commercial Code (UCC)/202 data is provided.

    To appropriate agencies, entities, and persons as necessary when:

    1. HUD suspects or has confirmed that there has been a breach of the system of records;

    2. HUD has determined that as a result of the suspected or confirmed breach there is a risk of harm to individuals, HUD (including its information systems, programs, and operations), the Federal Government, or national security; and

    3. The disclosure made to such agencies, entities, and persons is reasonably necessary to assist in connection with HUD efforts to respond to the suspected or confirmed breach or to prevent, minimize, or remedy such harm.

    4. To another Federal agency or Federal entity, when HUD determines that information from this system of records is reasonably necessary to assist the recipient agency or entity in:

    5. Responding to a suspected or confirmed breach or,

    6. Preventing, minimizing, or remedying the risk of harm to individuals, the recipient agency or entity (including its information systems, programs, and operations), the Federal Government, or national security, resulting from a suspected or confirmed breach.

    Policies and Practices for Storage of Records:

    Records in CSMS are stored electronically in a secure data center at the primary site in Silver Spring, MD and at a secure data center at the Disaster Recovery Site in Columbus, OH. Encrypted backup tapes are stored in a secure vault at an alternate storage site in Rockville, MD. Paper records are stored in locked file cabinets in limited access areas of a secure facility with 24 hour monitoring and other physical protection measures. Paper records are stored in a secure location and retrieved by staff according to their level of authorization.

    Policies and Practices for Retrieval of Records:

    Electronic records are retrieved via a variety of CSMS reports and data screens by authorized users of CSMS according to their level of authorization. The primary method of retrieval is Integrated Real Estate Management System (IREMS) id or FHA loan number.

    Policies and Practices for Retention and Disposal of Records:

    Record retention use and disposal practices are governed by 44 U.S.C. Chapter 33. On-line data is kept for the life of the system/contract, based on the contractual requirement to provide full loan histories. Backup and Recovery digital media are destroyed or otherwise rendered irrecoverable per NIST SP 800-88 Rev 1 “Guidelines for Media Sanitization.” Hard copy documents held by the contractor are retired per the Performance Work Statement and HUD Handbook 2225.6, Records Disposition Schedules and HUD Handbook 2228.2, General Records Schedules. The system contractor will purge the information at contract termination per the Transition-Out Plan.

    Administrative, Technical, and Physical Safeguards:

    Electronic records are maintained in secured areas within the system. Access is limited to authorized personnel with a need-to-know based on unique user credentials and confidential passwords. Physical entry by unauthorized person is restricted though the use of locks, guards, passwords, and/or other security measures. Policy and standard operating procedures are implemented and disseminated to system users to ensure records are safeguarded, including rules of behavior implementation.

    Record Access Procedures:

    For information, assistance, or inquiry about the existence of records, contact Marcus Smallwood, Acting, Chief Privacy Officer 451 Seventh Street SW, Room 10139, Washington, DC 20410, telephone number (202) 708-3055. When seeking records about yourself from this system of records or any other Housing and Urban Development (HUD) system of records, your request must conform with the Privacy Act regulations set forth in 24 CFR part 16. You must first verify your identity, meaning that you must provide your full name, address, and date and place of birth. You must sign your request, and your signature must either be notarized or submitted under 28 U.S.C.1746, a law that permits statements to be made under penalty of perjury as a substitute for notarization. In addition, your request should:

    a. Explain why you believe HUD would have information on you.

    b. Identify which Office of HUD you believe has the records about you.

    c. Specify when you believe the records would have been created.

    d. Provide any other information that will help the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), staff determine which HUD office may have responsive records.

    If your request is seeking records pertaining to another living individual, you must include a statement from that individual certifying their agreement for you to access their records. Without the above information, the HUD FOIA Office may not conduct an effective search, and your request may be denied due to lack of specificity or lack of compliance with regulations.

    Contesting Record Procedures:

    The Department's rules for contesting contents of records and appealing initial denials appear in 24 CFR part 16, Procedures for Inquiries. Additional assistance may be obtained by contacting John Bravacos, Senior Agency Official for Privacy, 451 Seventh Street SW, Room 10139, Washington, DC 20410, or the HUD Departmental Privacy Appeals Officers, Office of General Counsel, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 Seventh Street SW, Washington, DC 20410.

    Notification Procedures:

    Individuals seeking notification of and access to any record contained in this system of records, or seeking to contest its content, may submit a request in writing to the Privacy Office at the address provided above or to the component's FOIA Officer, whose contact information can be found at http://www.hud.gov/foia under “contact.” If an individual believes more than one component maintains Privacy Act records concerning him or her the individual may submit the request to the Chief Privacy Officer, HUD, 451 Seventh Street SW, Room 10139, Washington, DC 20410.

    Exemptions Promoulgated for the System:

    None.

    History:

    None.

    Dated: February 8, 2018. John Bravacos, Senior Agency Official for Privacy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03393 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210-67-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS-R4-ES-2017-N004; FXES11140400000-189-FF04E00000] Endangered Species Recovery Permit Applications AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of receipt of permit applications; request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, invite the public to comment on the following applications to conduct certain activities with endangered species. With some exceptions, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) prohibits activities with listed species unless a Federal permit is issued that allows such activities. The ESA requires that we invite public comment before issuing these permits.

    DATES:

    We must receive written data or comments on the applications at the address given in ADDRESSES by March 22, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Reviewing Documents: Documents and other information submitted with the applications are available for review, subject to the requirements of the Privacy Act and Freedom of Information Act, by any party who submits a written request for a copy of such documents to the following office within 30 days of the date of publication of this notice (see DATES): U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Office, Ecological Services, 1875 Century Boulevard, Atlanta, GA 30345 (Attn: Karen Marlowe, Permit Coordinator).

    Submitting Comments: If you wish to comment, you may submit comments by any one of the following methods:

    U.S. mail or hand-delivery: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Regional Office (see above).

    Email: [email protected]. Please include your name and return address in your email message. If you do not receive a confirmation from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that we have received your email message, contact us directly at the telephone number listed in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Karen Marlowe, Permit Coordinator, 404-679-7097 (telephone) or 404-679-7081 (fax).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    We invite review and comment from local, State, and Federal agencies and the public on applications we have received for permits to conduct certain activities with endangered and threatened species under section 10(a)(1)(A) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.; ESA), and our regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 50 CFR part 17. With some exceptions, the ESA prohibits activities with listed species unless a Federal permit is issued that allows such activities. The ESA requires that we invite public comment before issuing these permits.

    Public Availability of Comments

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

    Permit Applications Permit
  • application No.
  • Applicant Species/numbers Location Activity Type of take Permit action
    TE 63577A-2 Mammoth Cave National Park, Mammoth Cave, KY Gray bat (Myotis grisescens), Indiana bat (M. sodalis), northern long-eared bat (M. septentrionalis) Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia Presence/absence surveys Enter hibernacula, salvage dead bats, capture with mist nets or harp traps, handle, identify, collect hair samples, band, radio-tag, PIT-tag, light tag, and wing-punch Renewal and Amendment. TE 57873C-0 Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, Little Rock, AR Yellowcheek darter (Etheostoma moorei) Arkansas Presence/absence surveys Capture, handle, identify, weigh, measure, and release New. TE 102292-13 Jeremy L. Jackson, Richmond, KY Gray bat (Myotis grisescens), Indiana bat (M. sodalis), northern long-eared bat (M. septentrionalis), and Virginia big-eared bat (Corynorhinus townsendii virginianus) Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming Presence/absence surveys, studies to document habitat use, and population monitoring Enter hibernacula or maternity roost caves, salvage dead bats, capture with mist nets or harp traps, handle, identify, collect hair samples, band, radio-tag, light-tag, and wing-punch Renewal. TE 066980-5 J.W. Jones Ecological Research Center, Newton, GA Red-cockaded woodpecker (Picoides borealis) Georgia Population management and monitoring Capture, band, construct, and monitor artificial nest cavities and restrictors, translocate, and buccal swab Renewal. TE 56749B-2 Patrick R. Moore, Harrison, AR Gray bat (Myotis grisescens), Indiana bat (M. sodalis), northern long-eared bat (M. septentrionalis), Ozark big-eared bats (Corynorhinus townsendii ingens), and Virginia big-eared bats (C. t. virginianus) Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin Presence/absence surveys, studies to document habitat use, population monitoring, and to evaluate potential impacts of white-nose syndrome or other threats Enter hibernacula or maternity roost caves, salvage dead bats, capture with mist nets or harp traps, handle, identify, collect hair samples, band, radio tag, light-tag, swab, and wing-punch Renewal. TE 206872-9 Joy M. O'Keefe, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN Gray bat (Myotis grisescens), Indiana bat (M. sodalis), northern long-eared bat (M. septentrionalis), and Virginia big-eared bat (Corynorhinus townsendii virginianus) Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming Presence/absence surveys, studies to document habitat use, population monitoring, and to evaluate potential impacts of white-nose syndrome or other threats Enter hibernacula or maternity roost caves, salvage dead bats, capture with mist nets or harp traps, handle, identify, collect hair samples, band, radio tag, light-tag, swab, fungal lift tape, and wing-punch Renewal. TE 61573C-0 University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS Louisiana quillwort (Isoetes louisianensis) DeSoto National Forest, Mississippi Anatomic and genetic studies Collect leaf fragments, root tips, megaspores, and a whole individual voucher specimen New. TE 64393C-0 Vanesse Hangen Brustlin, Inc., South Burlington, VT Florida bonneted bat (Eumops floridanus), gray bat (Myotis grisescens), Indiana bat (M. sodalis), northern long-eared bat (M. septentrionalis), Virginia big-eared bat (Corynorhinus townsendii virginianus) Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin Presence/absence surveys Capture with mist nets, handle, identify, band, and radio-tag New. TE 94704A-2 Dorothy C. Brown, Woodstock, GA Gray bat (Myotis grisescens), Indiana bat (M. sodalis), northern long-eared bat (M. septentrionalis), Virginia big-eared bat (Corynorhinus townsendii virginianus), Carolina northern flying squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus coloratus), and bog turtle (Clemmys muhlenbergii) Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming Presence/absence surveys, white-nose syndrome and genetic research, studies to document habitat use, and population monitoring Bats: Enter hibernacula or maternity roost caves, salvage, capture with mist nets or harp traps, handle, identify, collect hair samples, band, pit-tag, radio-tag, light-tag, wing-punch, and swab for white-nose syndrome testing; Carolina northern flying squirrel: Capture, handle, ear-tag, pit-tag, radio-tag, collect fur and tissue samples, and conduct den surveys; Bog turtle: Capture, mark, pit-tag, and radio-tag Renewal. TE 56746B-3 Joseph S. Johnson, Ohio University, Athens, OH Gray bat (Myotis grisescens), Indiana bat (M. sodalis), and northern long-eared bat (M. septentrionalis) Alabama, Ohio, and Pennsylvania Presence/absence surveys, studies to examine the impact of fire management and forest thinning on these bat species, and fall migration studies Capture with mist nets, handle, identify, band, nano tag, radio-tag, and wing-punch Renewal and Amendment. TE 64767C-0 John H. Collins, Columbia, SC Red-cockaded woodpecker (Picoides borealis) Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina Population management and monitoring Capture, band, construct, install, and monitor artificial nest cavities and restrictors, and translocate New. TE 37900B-1 Sarah A. Lauerman, Gainesville, FL Red-cockaded woodpecker (Picoides borealis) Osceola National Forest, Florida Population management and monitoring Capture, band, monitor nest cavities, and translocate Renewal. TE 94728A-1 Environmental Consulting Operations, Inc., Benton, AR American burying beetle (Nicrophorus americanus) Arkansas Presence/absence surveys Trap and release Renewal. TE 48579B-4 Ecological Solutions, Inc., Roswell, GA Gray bat (Myotis grisescens), Indiana bat (M. sodalis), and northern long-eared bat (M. septentrionalis) Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming Presence/absence surveys, studies to document habitat use, population monitoring, and white-nose syndrome surveillance Enter hibernacula or maternity roost caves, salvage dead bats, capture with mist nets or harp traps, handle, identify, collect hair samples, band, radio-tag, light-tag, swab, and wing-punch Renewal. TE 80381A-1 Department of Defense (Army), Fort Campbell, KY Gray bat (Myotis grisescens), Indiana bat (M. sodalis), and northern long-eared bat (M. septentrionalis) Fort Campbell, Kentucky Presence/absence surveys, studies to document habitat use, and population monitoring Enter hibernacula or maternity roost caves, capture with mist nets, band, and radio-tag Renewal.
    Authority

    We provide this notice under section 10(c) of the Act.

    Leopoldo Miranda, Assistant Regional Director, Ecological Services, Southeast Region.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03302 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS-RX-ES-2017-N167]; [FXES11140800000-178-FF08E00000] Notice of Availability; City of San Diego Vernal Pool Habitat Conservation Plan and Final Environmental Impact Report/Statement; San Diego County, California AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability of final environmental impact report/environmental impact statement and habitat conservation plan.

    SUMMARY:

    The City of San Diego (applicant) has applied to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) for an incidental take permit under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). The Applicant is requesting a permit to incidentally take 2 animal species and seeking assurances for 5 plant species (all are federally listed species) during the term of the proposed 30-year permit. The permit is needed to authorize take of listed animal species (including harm, death, and injury) resulting from covered activities. The proposed Vernal Pool Habitat Conservation Plan (VPHCP) plan area encompasses 206,124 acres in the southwestern portion of San Diego County within the State of California.

    Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), we advise the public of the availability of the final Environmental Impact Report (EIR)/Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) analyzing the impacts of issuing an incidental take permit based on the City's proposed VPHCP. The EIR portion of the joint document was prepared by the City in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

    DATES:

    A record of decision will be signed no sooner than 30 days after the publication of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) notice of the final EIS in the Federal Register. We must receive any comments by 5 p.m. on March 22, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Please send written comments to Mr. Mendel Stewart, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, 2177 Salk Avenue, Suite 250, Carlsbad, California 92008. You may also submit comments by facsimile to (760) 431-5901.

    Information and comments related specifically to the final EIR and the California Environmental Quality Act should be submitted to Myra Herrmann, Senior Environmental Planner, City of San Diego Planning Department, 1010 Second Avenue, East Tower, Suite 1200, MS 413, San Diego, CA 92101. You may also submit comments by email to [email protected].

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    G. Mendel Stewart, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2177 Salk Avenue, Suite 250, Carlsbad, California 92008; or by phone at (760) 431-9440.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Availability of Documents

    Documents available for public review include the final EIR/EIS with response to public comments received on the draft EIR/EIS, VPHCP, and the Implementing Agreement.

    • For copies of the documents, please contact the Service by telephone at (760) 431-9440, or by letter to the Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). Copies of the final EIR/EIS, VPHCP also are available for public review, by appointment, during regular business hours, at the Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office or at the City of San Diego. Copies are also on the City's website at https://www.sandiego.gov/planning/programs/mscp/vphcp.

    Background

    Section 9 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), and Federal regulations prohibit the “take” of fish and wildlife species federally listed as endangered or threatened. Take of federally listed fish or wildlife is defined under the Act as to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect listed species, or attempt to engage in such conduct (16 U.S.C. 1538). “Harm” includes significant habitat modification or degradation that actually kills or injures listed wildlife by significantly impairing essential behavioral patterns, including breeding, feeding, and sheltering (50 CFR 17.3). Under limited circumstances, we may issue permits to authorize incidental take, which is defined under the Act as take that is incidental to, and not the purpose of, otherwise lawful activities. “Take” under the ESA does not apply to plant species, and is therefore not prohibited under the ESA; however, the plant species identified in the VPHCP are listed on the Federal Permit as Covered Species in recognition of the conservation measures provided for them under the Plan and receive “No Surprises” regulatory assurances under the Federal Permit.

    The Applicant seeks incidental take authorization for 2 animal species and assurances for 5 plant species. Collectively the 7 listed species are referred to as “Covered Species” by the VPHCP and include 2 crustaceans and 5 plant species (all listed). The permit would provide take authorization for both animal species and assurances for all plant species identified by the VPHCP as “Covered Species.” Take authorized for listed covered animal species would be effective upon permit issuance.

    The proposed permit would include the following 2 federally listed animal species: San Diego fairy shrimp (Branchinecta sandiegonensis; endangered) and Riverside fairy shrimp (Streptocephalus woottoni; endangered). The proposed permit would include assurances for the following 5 plant species included in the VPHCP: Otay Mesa mint (Pogogyne nudiuscula; endangered), San Diego mesa mint (Pogogyne abramsii; endangered), spreading navarretia (Navarretia fossalis; threatened), San Diego button-celery (Eryngium aristulatum var. parishii; endangered), and California Orcutt grass (Orcuttia californica; endangered).

    The VPHCP Plan Area encompasses 206,124 acres and is intended to protect and sustain viable populations of native plant and animal species and their habitats in perpetuity through avoidance, minimization, and mitigation measures. It includes measures necessary to minimize and mitigate the impacts, to the maximum extent practicable, of potential proposed taking of federally listed species to be covered by the VPHCP, and the habitats upon which they depend, resulting from residential, commercial, and other development activities within the proposed plan area. The covered activities under the VPHCP are expected to include residential, commercial, and industrial development; airport operation; road and utility maintenance and construction; trail use; and vernal pool restoration and enhancement.

    The VPHCP is a conservation plan for vernal pools and seven threatened and endangered vernal pool species that do not currently have federal coverage under the section 10(a)(1)(B) permit issued to the City of San Diego in association with its Multiple Species Conservation Program Subarea Plan (MSCP SAP). The VPHCP would be compatible with, and would expand upon, the City's existing MSCP SAP by adding approximately 275 acres of additional lands with vernal pools that are occupied with threatened and endangered vernal pool species. The VPHCP would conserve an additional 8 vernal pool complexes and additional 226 pools (approximately 9% more), totaling 2.8 acres of basin area, over what is currently conserved. Once adopted, vernal pool lands would be subject to the provisions of the VPHCP, in addition to the City's MSCP SAP and other existing land use and biological resource plans, policies, and regulations.

    National Environmental Policy Act Compliance

    The EIR/EIS analyzes two alternatives in addition to the proposed action (i.e., permit issuance based on the VPHCP) described above. The other alternatives include a no-action (i.e., no permit) alternative and an expanded conservation alternative.

    The final EIR/EIS includes all comments we received on the draft EIR/EIS and our response to those comments. After the 30 day waiting period, we will complete a Record of Decision that announces our decision on the action that will be implemented and discusses all factors leading to the decision.

    Public Review

    Copies of the final EIR/EIS and the VPHCP are available for review (see Availability of Documents). Any comments we receive will become part of the administrative record and may be available to the public. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment, including your personal identifying information, may be made publicly available at any time. While you may ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    Authority:

    We provide this notice under section 10(c) of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (50 CFR 17.22) and NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (40 CFR 1506.6).

    Michael Senn, Acting Assistant Regional Director, Pacific Southwest Region, Sacramento, California.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03315 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Geological Survey [GX18GG00995TR00] Notice of Public Meeting of Scientific Earthquake Studies Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    U.S. Geological Survey, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, and the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Authorization Act of 1977, the Scientific Earthquake Studies Advisory Committee (SESAC) will meet as indicated below.

    DATES:

    The SESAC will hold public meetings on March 5-6, 2018. On March 5, 2018, the SESAC will meet from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on March 6, 2018, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The SESAC meeting will be held at the Caltech Avery Library, 370 Holliston Avenue, Pasadena, California.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Questions should be directed to Dr. William Leith, U.S. Geological Survey, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, MS 905, Reston, Virginia 20192. Dr. Leith can be reached by calling (703) 648-6712 or via email at [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The SESAC advises the Director of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) on matters relating to the USGS's participation in the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program. The Committee is comprised of members from academia, industry, and State government. In this meeting, the Committee will review the current activities of the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program and discuss future priorities. All meetings are open to the public.

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

    Authority:

    5 U.S.C. Appendix 2; 42 U.S.C. 7709.

    William Leith, Senior Science Advisor for Earthquake and Geologic Hazards.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03286 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4338-11-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Geological Survey National Geospatial Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    U.S. Geological Survey, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of renewal of National Geospatial Advisory Committee.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972, notice is hereby given that the Secretary of the Interior has renewed the National Geospatial Advisory Committee (Committee).

    DATES:

    Comments regarding the renewal of this Committee must be submitted not later than March 7, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    John Mahoney, U.S. Geological Survey, 900 First Avenue, Suite 800, Seattle, WA 98104.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Mahoney, U.S. Geological Survey; phone: 206-220-4621; email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Committee provides advice and recommendations to the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC), through the FGDC Chair (the Secretary of the Interior or designee), related to the management of Federal geospatial programs, the development of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI), and the implementation of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-16 and Executive Order 12906. The Committee will review and comment upon geospatial policy and management issues and will provide a forum to convey views representative of non-Federal partners in the geospatial community.

    Public Availability of Comments: Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comments, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    Certification: I hereby certify that the National Geospatial Advisory Committee is in the public interest in connection with the performance of duties imposed on the Department of the Interior by Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-16 (Revised), “Coordination of Geographic Information and Related Spatial Data Activities.”

    Authority:

    5 U.S.C. Appendix 2.

    Ryan Zinke, Secretary of the Interior.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03295 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4311-AM-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Investigation No. 731-TA-709 (Fourth Review)] Seamless Carbon and Alloy Steel Standard, Line, and Pressure Pipe From Germany Determination

    On the basis of the record 1 developed in the subject five-year review, the United States International Trade Commission (“Commission”) determines, pursuant to the Tariff Act of 1930 (“the Act”), that revocation of the antidumping duty order on seamless carbon and alloy steel standard, line, and pressure pipe from Germany would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury to an industry in the United States within a reasonably foreseeable time.

    1 The record is defined in sec. 207.2(f) of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 207.2(f)).

    Background

    The Commission, pursuant to section 751(c) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 1675(c)), instituted this review on August 1, 2017 (82 FR 35821, August 1, 2017) and determined on November 6, 2017 that it would conduct an expedited review (82 FR 56267, November 20, 2017).

    The Commission made this determination pursuant to section 751(c) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 1675(c)). It completed and filed its determination in this review on February 13, 2018. The views of the Commission are contained in USITC Publication 4760 (February 2018), entitled Seamless Carbon and Alloy Steel Standard, Line, and Pressure Pipe from Germany, Inv. No. 731-TA-709 (Fourth Review).

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: February 14, 2018. Lisa R. Barton, Secretary to the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03359 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION Notice of Receipt of Complaint; Solicitation of Comments Relating to the Public Interest AGENCY:

    U.S. International Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that the U.S. International Trade Commission has received a complaint entitled Certain Jump Rope Systems Products, DN 3296; the Commission is soliciting comments on any public interest issues raised by the complaint or complainant's filing pursuant to the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lisa R. Barton, Secretary to the Commission, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436, telephone (202) 205-2000. The public version of the complaint can be accessed on the Commission's Electronic Document Information System (EDIS) at https://edis.usitc.gov, and will be available for inspection during official business hours (8:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.) in the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436, telephone (202) 205-2000.

    General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its internet server at United States International Trade Commission (USITC) at https://www.usitc.gov . The public record for this investigation may be viewed on the Commission's Electronic Document Information System (EDIS) at https://edis.usitc.gov. Hearing-impaired persons are advised that information on this matter can be obtained by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal on (202) 205-1810.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Commission has received a complaint and a submission pursuant to § 210.8(b) of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure filed on behalf of Jump Rope Systems, LLC on February 13, 2018. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1337) in the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, and the sale within the United States after importation of certain jump rope systems products. The complaint names as a respondent: Suzhou Everise Fitness Co., Ltd. of China. The complainant requests that the Commission issue a limited exclusion order, cease and desist orders and impose a bond upon respondents' alleged infringing articles during the 60-day Presidential review period pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1337(j).

    Proposed respondents, other interested parties, and members of the public are invited to file comments, not to exceed five (5) pages in length, inclusive of attachments, on any public interest issues raised by the complaint or § 210.8(b) filing. Comments should address whether issuance of the relief specifically requested by the complainant in this investigation would affect the public health and welfare in the United States, competitive conditions in the United States economy, the production of like or directly competitive articles in the United States, or United States consumers.

    In particular, the Commission is interested in comments that:

    (i) Explain how the articles potentially subject to the requested remedial orders are used in the United States;

    (ii) identify any public health, safety, or welfare concerns in the United States relating to the requested remedial orders;

    (iii) identify like or directly competitive articles that complainant, its licensees, or third parties make in the United States which could replace the subject articles if they were to be excluded;

    (iv) indicate whether complainant, complainant's licensees, and/or third party suppliers have the capacity to replace the volume of articles potentially subject to the requested exclusion order and/or a cease and desist order within a commercially reasonable time; and

    (v) explain how the requested remedial orders would impact United States consumers.

    Written submissions must be filed no later than by close of business, eight calendar days after the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register. There will be further opportunities for comment on the public interest after the issuance of any final initial determination in this investigation.

    Persons filing written submissions must file the original document electronically on or before the deadlines stated above and submit 8 true paper copies to the Office of the Secretary by noon the next day pursuant to § 210.4(f) of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 210.4(f)). Submissions should refer to the docket number (“Docket No. 3296) in a prominent place on the cover page and/or the first page. (See Handbook for Electonic Filing Procedures, Electronic Filing Procedures).1 Persons with questions regarding filing should contact the Secretary (202-205-2000).

    1 Handbook for Electronic Filing Procedures: https://www.usitc.gov/documents/handbook_on_filing_procedures.pdf.

    Any person desiring to submit a document to the Commission in confidence must request confidential treatment. All such requests should be directed to the Secretary to the Commission and must include a full statement of the reasons why the Commission should grant such treatment. See 19 CFR 201.6. Documents for which confidential treatment by the Commission is properly sought will be treated accordingly. All such requests should be directed to the Secretary to the Commission and must include a full statement of the reasons why the Commission should grant such treatment. See 19 CFR 201.6. Documents for which confidential treatment by the Commission is properly sought will be treated accordingly. All information, including confidential business information and documents for which confidential treatment is properly sought, submitted to the Commission for purposes of this Investigation may be disclosed to and used: (i) By the Commission, its employees and Offices, and contract personnel (a) for developing or maintaining the records of this or a related proceeding, or (b) in internal investigations, audits, reviews, and evaluations relating to the programs, personnel, and operations of the Commission including under 5 U.S.C. Appendix 3; or (ii) by U.S. government employees and contract personnel,2 solely for cybersecurity purposes. All nonconfidential written submissions will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Secretary and on EDIS.3

    2 All contract personnel will sign appropriate nondisclosure agreements.

    3 Electronic Document Information System (EDIS): https://edis.usitc.gov.

    This action is taken under the authority of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1337), and of §§ 201.10 and 210.8(c) of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 201.10, 210.8(c)).

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: February 13, 2018. Lisa R. Barton, Secretary to the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03330 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Investigation Nos. 701-TA-578 and 731-TA-1368 (Final)] 100- to 150-Seat Large Civil Aircraft From Canada; Determinations

    On the basis of the record 1 developed in the subject investigations, the United States International Trade Commission (“Commission”) determines, pursuant to the Tariff Act of 1930 (“the Act”), that an industry in the United States is not materially injured or threatened with material injury, and the establishment of an industry in the United States is not materially retarded, by reason of imports of 100- to 150-seat large civil aircraft from Canada, provided for in subheading 8802.40.00 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, that have been found by the U.S. Department of Commerce (“Commerce”) to be sold in the United States at less than fair value (“LTFV”) and to be subsidized by the government of Canada.

    1 The record is defined in sec. 207.2(f) of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 207.2(f)).

    Background

    The Commission, pursuant to sections 705(b) and 735(b) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 1671d(b) and 19 U.S.C. 1673d(b)), instituted these investigations effective April 27, 2017, following receipt of a petition filed with the Commission and Commerce by The Boeing Company, Chicago, Illinois. The final phase of the investigations was scheduled by the Commission following notification of preliminary determinations by Commerce that imports of 100- to 150-seat large civil aircraft from Canada were subsidized within the meaning of section 703(b) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 1671b(b)) and sold at LTFV within the meaning of 733(b) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 1673b(b)). Notice of the scheduling of the final phase of the Commission's investigations and of a public hearing to be held in connection therewith was given by posting copies of the notice in the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, Washington, DC, and by publishing the notice in the Federal Register on October 27, 2017 (82 FR 49850).2 The hearing was held in Washington, DC, on December 18, 2017, and all persons who requested the opportunity were permitted to appear in person or by counsel.

    2 Due to the lapse in appropriations and ensuing cessation of Commission operations, these investigations conducted under authority of Title VII of the Tariff Act of 1930 accordingly have been tolled pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1671d(b)(2), 1673d(b)(2).

    The Commission made these determinations pursuant to sections 705(b) and 735(b) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 1671d(b) and 19 U.S.C. 1673d(b)). It completed and filed its determinations in these investigations on February 13, 2018. The views of the Commission are contained in USITC Publication 4759 (February 2018), entitled 100- to 150-Seat Large Civil Aircraft from Canada: Investigation Nos. 701-TA-578 and 731-TA-1368 (Final).

    By order of the Commission.

    Dated: February 13, 2018. Lisa R. Barton, Secretary to the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03317 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration Robert C. Vidaver, M.D.; Decision and Order

    On July 18, 2017, the Acting Assistant Administrator, Diversion Control Division, Drug Enforcement Administration (hereinafter, DEA or Government), issued an Order to Show Cause to Robert C. Vidaver, M.D. (hereinafter, Respondent), of Henniker, New Hampshire. GX 2. The Show Cause Order proposed the revocation of Respondent's Certificate of Registration on the ground that Respondent is “currently without authority to handle controlled substances in the State of New Hampshire,” the State in which he is registered. GX 2, at 2 (citing 21 U.S.C. 824(a)(3)).

    As to the Agency's jurisdiction, the Show Cause Order alleged that Respondent holds DEA Certificate of Registration No. FV0660565, which authorizes him to dispense controlled substances in schedules II through V as a practitioner, at the registered address of 304 Highland Drive, Henniker, New Hampshire 03242. GX 2, at 1. See also GX 1 (Certification of Registration History). The Show Cause Order alleged that this registration expires on May 31, 2019. GX 2, at 1. See also GX 1, at 1.

    As the substantive ground for the proceeding, the Show Cause Order alleged that Respondent is “without authority to handle controlled substances in the State of New Hampshire, the state in which . . . [he is] registered with DEA.” GX 2, at 1. It further alleged that, “[o]n July 2, 2015, the New Hampshire Board of Medicine issued an Order on Practice Restrictions prohibiting . . . [Respondent] from prescribing or administering controlled substances . . . [and t]hus, . . . [Respondent is] currently without authority to handle controlled substances in the State of New Hampshire.” GX 2, at 1. See also GX 3 (New Hampshire Board of Medicine Order on Practice Restrictions (hereinafter, Practice Restrictions Order)) and GX 6 (New Hampshire Online Licensing information concerning Respondent) (“7/2/15—Order on Practice Restrictions. License is active pending further Board Action.”). The Show Cause Order asserted that “DEA must revoke . . . [his] DEA registration based on . . . [his] lack of authority to handle controlled substances in the State of New Hampshire.” GX 2, at 1-2 (citing 21 U.S.C. 824(a)(3) and 21 CFR 1301.37(b)).

    The Show Cause Order notified Respondent of his right to request a hearing on the allegations or to submit a written statement while waiving his right to a hearing, the procedures for electing each option, and the consequences for failing to elect either option. GX 2, at 2 (citing 21 CFR 1301.43). The Show Cause Order also notified Respondent of the opportunity to submit a corrective action plan. GX 2, at 2 (citing 21 U.S.C. 824(c)(2)(C)).

    On July 27, 2017, a DEA Diversion Investigator personally served Respondent with the Show Cause Order. GX 4, at 1 (Declaration of Service of Order to Show Cause dated October 3, 2017).

    By letter dated August 17, 2017 addressed to the Office of the [DEA] Administrative Law Judges and copied to Respondent, James P. O'Rourke, Jr., Esq., advised that “upon advice of counsel, Dr. Vidaver is exercising his right against self-incrimination pursuant to the New Hampshire and United States Constitution . . . [and a]s such, Dr. Vidaver will not be appearing at the September 12, 2017 hearing nor offering a statement regarding the instant Order to Show Cause.” GX 5, at 1 (Letter of James P. O'Rourke, Jr., Esq.) (emphasis in original).

    On October 12, 2017, the Government submitted a Request for Final Agency Action including an evidentiary record to support the Show Cause Order's allegation (hereinafter, RFAA).

    I find that the Government's service of the Show Cause Order on Respondent was legally sufficient.

    I find that the letter from Mr. O'Rourke stated that Respondent was exercising his Federal and State Constitutional rights against self-incrimination and, therefore, will not appear at a hearing or file a written statement. Based on the letter from Respondent's counsel, I find that Respondent has waived his right to request a hearing, to submit a written statement, and to submit a corrective action plan.

    I issue this Decision and Order based on the record submitted by the Government. 21 CFR 1301.43(e).

    Findings of Fact Respondent's DEA Registration

    Respondent currently holds DEA practitioner registration FV0660565 authorizing him to dispense controlled substances in schedules II through V at the address of 304 Highland Drive, Henniker, New Hampshire 03242. GX 1, at 1; GX 2, at 1. This registration expires on May 31, 2019. Id.

    The Status of Respondent's Authority To Dispense Controlled Substances in New Hampshire

    On July 2, 2015, the Administrator and Authorized Representative of the New Hampshire Board of Medicine signed a Practice Restrictions Order granting Respondent's request to continue the Adjudicatory/Disciplinary Proceeding hearing concerning him “until the resolution of . . . [Respondent's] criminal case.” GX 3, at 2. The terms of the Practice Restrictions Order continuance included that Respondent “will refrain from prescribing or administering any controlled substances.” Id. The Government represented in the RFAA that “Respondent's New Hampshire medical license prohibits him from prescribing or administering controlled substances” and “Registrant is without state authority to handle controlled substances in New Hampshire, the state where he is registered with DEA.” RFAA, at 3.

    Accordingly, I find that Respondent currently is without authority to prescribe or administer any controlled substance in New Hampshire, the State in which he is registered with DEA.

    Discussion

    Pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 824(a)(3), the Attorney General is authorized to suspend or revoke a registration issued under section 823 of the Controlled Substances Act (hereinafter, CSA), “upon a finding that the registrant . . . has had his State License or registration suspended [or] revoked by competent State authority and is no longer authorized by State law to engage in the . . . dispensing of controlled substances.” With respect to a practitioner, the DEA has also long held that the possession of authority to dispense controlled substances under the laws of the State in which a practitioner engages in professional practice is a fundamental condition for obtaining and maintaining a practitioner's registration. See, e.g., James L. Hooper, M.D., 76 FR 71,371, 71,371-72 (2011), pet. for rev. denied, 481 Fed. Appx. 826 (4th Cir. 2012); Frederick Marsh Blanton, M.D., 43 FR 27,616, 27,617 (1978).

    This rule derives from the text of two provisions of the CSA. First, Congress defined the term “practitioner' [to] mean[ ] a physician . . . or other person licensed, registered, or otherwise permitted, by . . . the jurisdiction in which he practices . . . to distribute, dispense, . . . [or] administer . . . a controlled substance in the course of professional practice.” 21 U.S.C. 802(21). Second, in setting the requirements for obtaining a practitioner's registration, Congress directed that “[t]he Attorney General shall register practitioners . . . if the applicant is authorized to dispense . . . controlled substances under the laws of the State in which he practices.” 21 U.S.C. 823(f). Because Congress has clearly mandated that a practitioner possess State authority in order to be deemed a practitioner under the CSA, the DEA has held repeatedly that revocation of a practitioner's registration is the appropriate sanction whenever he is no longer authorized to dispense controlled substances under the laws of the State in which he practices. See, e.g., Hooper, 76 FR at 71,371-72; Sheran Arden Yeates, M.D., 71 FR 39,130, 39,131 (2006); Dominick A. Ricci, M.D., 58 FR 51,104, 51,105 (1993); Bobby Watts, 53 FR 11,919, 11,920 (1988); Blanton, 43 FR at 27,617.

    In this case, the New Hampshire Board of Medicine ordered practice restrictions on Respondent when it granted Respondent's request for a continuance of the licensee disciplinary proceedings against him. The New Hampshire Board of Medicine Practice Restrictions Order granted the continuance Respondent requested “to the extent” that Respondent “refrain[s] from prescribing or administering any controlled substances.” GX 3, at 2.

    Consequently, Respondent is not currently authorized to handle controlled substances in the State of New Hampshire, the State in which he is registered with the Agency and, therefore, he is not entitled to maintain his DEA registration. Hooper, 76 FR at 71,371-72; Blanton, 43 FR at 27,617. Accordingly, I will order that Respondent's registration be revoked and that any pending application for the renewal or modification of his registration be denied. 21 U.S.C. 824(a)(3), id. § 823(f).

    Order

    Pursuant to the authority vested in me by 21 U.S.C. 824(a), as well as 28 CFR 0.100(b), I order that DEA Certificate of Registration FV0660565 issued to Robert C. Vidaver, M.D., be, and it hereby is, revoked. Pursuant to the authority vested in me by 21 U.S.C. 823(f), as well as 28 CFR 0.100(b), I further order that any pending application of Robert C. Vidaver, M.D., to renew or modify this registration, as well as any other pending application by him for registration in the State of New Hampshire, be, and it hereby is, denied. This order is effective March 22, 2018.

    Dated: February 6, 2018. Robert W. Patterson, Acting Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03303 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration [Docket No. 15-27] Trinity Pharmacy I; Order Terminating Registration

    On July 10, 2015, the Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Diversion Control, Drug Enforcement Administration, issued an Order to Show Cause to Trinity Pharmacy I (hereinafter “Trinity I” or Respondent), which proposed the revocation of its DEA Certificate of Registration BT9848170, pursuant to which it is authorized to dispense controlled substances in schedules II through V as a retail pharmacy, at the registered location of 11130 Seminole Boulevard, Seminole, Florida. Administrative Law Judge Exhibit (ALJ Ex.) 1a, at 1. As grounds for the proposed action, the Show Cause Order alleged that Respondent's “continued registration is inconsistent with the public interest.” Id. (citing 21 U.S.C. 823(f) and 824(a)(4)). The Show Cause Order notified Respondent of its right to request a hearing on the allegations or to submit a written statement in lieu of a hearing, the procedure for electing either option, and the consequence for failing to elect either option. Id. at 15.

    In a letter from its counsel dated August 12, 2015, Trinity I requested a hearing on the allegations. ALJ Ex. 2a. The matter was placed on the docket of the Office of Administrative Law Judges and assigned to Chief Administrative Law Judge John J. Mulrooney, II (hereinafter, CALJ), who conducted a hearing on the allegations on January 4-8, 2016, in Arlington, Virginia, and on January 11-12, 2016, in Tampa, Florida. On May 12, 2016, the CALJ issued and served his Recommended Decision, which included the CALJ's recommendation that I revoke Respondent's registration and deny any pending applications for renewal. Recommended Decision (R.D.), at 66.1 On June 2, 2016, the Government and Respondent each filed Exceptions to the CALJ's Recommended Decision. Thereafter, the record was forwarded to me for final agency action.

    1 Trinity Pharmacy II (“Trinity II”), located in Clearwater, Florida, was served with a separate July 10, 2015 Order to Show Cause by the Government. ALJ Ex. 1b. Although the CALJ eventually ordered the consolidation of the evidentiary hearings for Trinity I and Trinity II, see ALJ Ex. 10 at 2, the CALJ wrote separate recommendations regarding each Respondent, and I therefore will issue a separate Order regarding the disposition of the Show Cause Order directed at Trinity II.

    On March 22, 2017, during the course of reviewing the record, my office received a “Notice of Trinity Pharmacy I Change of Business Status” (hereinafter, “Notice”) from the Government. In its Notice, the Government “informs the Acting Administrator of the change of business status for” Trinity I. Notice, at 1. Specifically, the Government states that, on March 17, 2017, counsel for Trinity I sent an email to the Group Supervisor of the Agency's Tampa, Florida District Office, which in turn attached a copy of a February 27, 2017 letter to the DEA's Registration Unit stating that Trinity I “desires to discontinue business activities” and enclosed “the original DEA Certificate of Registration for Cancellation.” Feb. 27, 2017 Letter to DEA Registration Unit from Dale R. Sisco, Counsel for Trinity I, attached as Exhibit B to Notice, at 1. The Government attached to its Notice a copy of the email, the letter, and a copy of Trinity I's “original DEA Certificate of Registration” sent to the Agency. Notice at 1; Exhibits A-B to Notice. It is undisputed that Trinity I surrendered its “original DEA Certificate of Registration” to the Agency.

    Based on these facts, I find that Respondent has surrendered its DEA registration certificate. Pursuant to 21 CFR 1301.52(a), “the registration of any person . . . shall terminate, without any further action by the Administration, if and when such person . . . surrenders a registration.” As a result, I find that Respondent's registration terminated upon its surrender to the Agency, and accordingly, that the Show Cause proceeding is now moot.2

    2 In its Notice, the Government stated that it forwarded the February 27, 2017 correspondence from Trinity I's counsel for my consideration because it is “unsure of how Trinity `disposed of' the `controlled substances in the possession of the pharmacy,' when it disposed of them, and if applicable, to whom the controlled substances were provided.” Notice at 2 (quoting Ex. B to Notice, at 1). This uncertainty, in turn, is based solely on the Government's observation that Trinity I's counsel cited to federal regulations in his letter that “do[ ] not exist.” Id. Specifically, Trinity I's counsel stated that Trinity I “desires to discontinue business activities.” Ex. B to Notice, at 1. As a result, he enclosed Trinity I's “original DEA Certificate of Registration” “as required by 21 CFR Section 1307.14” and stated that Trinity I “does not possess any unexecuted Order forms,” and “[a]ll controlled substances in the possession of the pharmacy have been disposed of in accordance with 21 CFR Section 1307.21.” Id.

    The Government observed, correctly, that “21 CFR Section 1307.14” and “21 CFR Section 1307.21” “do[ ] not exist,” and that the federal regulation setting forth the procedures a DEA registrant must follow when it desires to discontinue business activities altogether is 21 CFR 1301.52(c). Notice, at 2. However, the Government failed to note that the provision cited by Trinity I's counsel related to the disposal of controlled substances (21 CFR 1307.21) did exist until it was re-codified and amended on September 9, 2014 to what is now 21 CFR 1301.52(c) and part 1317 of Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations. See generally Disposal of Controlled Substances Final Rule, 79 FR 53520 (Sept. 9, 2014). Most importantly, the Government offered no factual basis for why it is “unsure” of how Trinity I disposed of its controlled substances when Trinity I discontinued its business activities. Nevertheless, if the Government has a factual basis to believe that Trinity I violated the Controlled Substances Act when it disposed of its controlled substances as a result of its discontinued business activities, then I direct the Government to investigate such violations immediately.

    Pursuant to the authority vested in me under 5 U.S.C. 554(e) and 28 CFR 0.100(b), I declare that DEA Certificate of Registration BT9848170, issued to Trinity I, terminated upon its surrender to the Agency. Pursuant to the authority vested in me by 21 U.S.C. 823(f) and 824(a), as well as 28 CFR 0.100(b), I further order that the Order to Show Cause issued to Trinity I be, and it hereby is, dismissed. This Order is effective immediately.

    Dated: February 6, 2018. Robert W. Patterson, Acting Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03297 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration [Docket No. DEA-392] Bulk Manufacturer of Controlled Substances Application: Johnson Matthey Inc. ACTION:

    Notice of application.

    DATES:

    Registered bulk manufacturers of the affected basic classes, and applicants therefore, may file written comments on or objections to the issuance of the proposed registration in accordance with 21 CFR 1301.33(a) on or before April 23, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments should be sent to: Drug Enforcement Administration, Attention: DEA Federal Register Representative/DRW, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Attorney General has delegated his authority under the Controlled Substances Act to the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), 28 CFR 0.100(b). Authority to exercise all necessary functions with respect to the promulgation and implementation of 21 CFR part 1301, incident to the registration of manufacturers, distributors, dispensers, importers, and exporters of controlled substances (other than final orders in connection with suspension, denial, or revocation of registration) has been redelegated to the Deputy Assistant Administrator of the DEA Office of Diversion Control (“Deputy Assistant Administrator”) pursuant to section 7 of 28 CFR part 0, appendix to subpart R.

    In accordance with 21 CFR 1301.33(a), this is notice that on November 09, 2017, Johnson Matthey Inc., 2003 Nolte Drive, West Deptford, NJ 08066, applied to be registered as a bulk manufacturer of the following basic classes of controlled substances:

    Controlled
  • substance
  • Drug
  • code
  • Schedule
    Gamma Hydroxybutyric Acid 2010 I Marihuana 7360 I Tetrahydrocannabinols 7370 I Dihydromorphine 9145 I Difenoxin 9168 I Propiram 9649 I Amphetamine 1100 II Methamphetamine 1105 II Lisdexamfetamine 1205 II Methylphenidate 1724 II Nabilone 7379 II Cocaine 9041 II Codeine 9050 II Dihydrocodeine 9120 II Oxycodone 9143 II Hydromorphone 9150 II Diphenoxylate 9170 II Ecgonine 9180 II Hydrocodone 9193 II Meperidine 9230 II Methadone 9250 II Methadone intermediate 9254 II Morphine 9300 II Thebaine 9333 II Oxymorphone 9652 II Noroxymorphone 9668 II Alfentanil 9737 II Remifentanil 9739 II Sufentanil 9740 II Tapentadol 9780 II Fentanyl 9801 II

    The company plans to manufacture the above-listed controlled substances in bulk for sale to its customers. Thebaine (9333) will be used to manufacture other controlled substances for sale in bulk to its customers.

    In reference to drug codes 7360 (marihuana), and 7370 (THC), the company plans to bulk manufacture these drugs as synthetics. No other activities for these drug codes are authorized for this registration.

    Dated: February 6, 2018. Susan A. Gibson, Deputy Assistant Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03293 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration Taylor Animal Shelter; Order

    On October 4, 2017, the Acting Assistant Administrator, Diversion Control Division, Drug Enforcement Administration, issued an Order to Show Cause proposing the revocation of the DEA Certificate of Registration issued to Taylor Animal Shelter of Taylor, Michigan (Respondent). GX 1, at 1. The basis of the proposed action was that, on June 30, 2017, Respondent's Michigan Controlled Substance Sodium Pentobarbital Facility license lapsed, and thus, it was “currently without authority to handle controlled substances in the State of Michigan, the [S]tate in which [it is] registered with the” Agency. Id.; see also 21 U.S.C. § 824(a)(3).

    Following service of the Show Cause Order, Respondent submitted a timely written statement of position with exhibits while waiving its right to a hearing. In its position statement, Respondent represented that its state controlled substances registration was renewed on October 30, 2017. Resp.'s Statement at 3, ¶ 10. Respondent attached a copy of a document which states that it is a “Sodium Pentobarbital Permit for Practice of Animal Euthanasia (Facility Permit).” Resp.'s Statement, at Exhibit E. While much of this document is unreadable, and it is unclear from the document when this permit was issued or expires, Respondent provided an affidavit of the Operations Manager for the Department of Public Works of the City of Taylor, Michigan, which states that on October 30, 2017, he received the renewed state license for the facility. Affidavit of Matt Bonza, at 2. Moreover, the Government does not dispute that the facility has re-obtained state authority to dispense controlled substances. Request for Order Dismissing Order to Show Cause, at 2.

    As the Government acknowledges, the sole basis for seeking revocation of Respondent's DEA registration was “its lack of state authority to handle controlled substances” and “this ground for revocation no longer exists.” Id. The Government thus seeks an order dismissing the Order to Show Cause. Id. at 3. Accordingly, I will grant the Government's request and dismiss the Order to Show Cause. Id.

    Order

    Pursuant to the authority vested in me by 21 U.S.C. 824 and 28 CFR 0.100(b), I order that the Order to Show Cause issued to Taylor Animal Shelter be, and it hereby is, dismissed. This Order is effective immediately.

    Dated: February 6, 2018. Robert W. Patterson, Acting Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03298 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration James E. Ranochak, M.D.; Decision and Order

    On September 11, 2017, the Acting Assistant Administrator, Diversion Control Division, Drug Enforcement Administration, issued an Order to Show Cause to James E. Ranochak, M.D. (hereinafter, Registrant), of Fort Wayne, Indiana. The Show Cause Order proposed the revocation of Registrant's DEA Certificate of Registration No. AR1591913, on the ground that he “do[es] not have authority to handle controlled substances in . . . Indiana, the [S]tate in which [he is] registered with the” Agency. GX 2, at 1 (citing 21 U.S.C. 823(f) and 824(a)(3)).

    As to the jurisdictional basis of the proceeding, the Show Cause Order alleged that Registrant is registered “as a practitioner in Schedules II [through] V,” under the above registration number, at the location of 3488-B Stellhorn Road, Fort Wayne, Indiana. Id. The Order further alleged that this registration does not expire until April 30, 2020. Id.

    As to the substantive ground for the proceeding, the Show Cause Order alleged that “[o]n August 8, 2017, the Indiana Medical Licensing Board summarily suspended [Registrant's] medical license for 90 days, effective July 27, 2017” and “[t]his order remains in effect.” Id. The Order thus alleged that Registrant is “without authority to handle controlled substances in the State . . . in which [he is] registered.” Id. The Order then asserted that Registrant is “required to possess authority from a state in order to obtain or retain a DEA registration,” and that “[c]onsequently, . . . DEA must revoke” his registration. Id. at 2 (citations omitted).

    The Show Cause Order also notified Registrant of his right to request a hearing on the allegations or to submit a written statement while waiving his right to a hearing, the procedure for electing either option, and the consequence of failing to elect either option. Id. (citing 21 CFR 1301.43). The Order also notified Registrant of his right to submit a corrective action plan in accordance with 21 U.S.C. 824(c)(2)(C). Id. at 2-3.

    On September 14, 2017, a DEA Diversion Investigator went to Registrant's home address and personally served the Show Cause Order on Registrant. GX 3, at 2 (affidavit of DI). Moreover, in its Request for Final Agency Action which it submitted on November 9, 2017, the Government represents that since the date of service of the Show Cause Order, Registrant has not requested a hearing, nor submitted a written statement or a corrective action plan. Based on the DI's affidavit and the Government's representation, I find that more than 30 days have now passed since the date of service of the Show Cause Order and that Registrant has neither requested a hearing nor submitted a written statement or corrective action plan. I therefore find that Registrant has waived his right to request a hearing or submit a written statement and issue this Decision and Order based on relevant evidence submitted by the Government 1 and matters of which I take official notice. 21 CFR 1301.43(d)-(e). I make the following findings.

    1 On January 12, 2018, the Government submitted a Supplement to its Request for Final Agency Action which contained an additional exhibit, this being a December 20, 2017 Order of the Medical Licensing Board.

    Findings of Fact

    Registrant is the holder of DEA Certificate of Registration No. AR1591913, pursuant to which he is authorized to dispense controlled substances in schedules II through V as a practitioner, at the registered address of 3488-B Stellhorn Road, Fort Wayne, Indiana. GX 1. This registration does not expire until April 30, 2020. Id.

    Registrant is also the holder of medical license No.01026732A issued by the Medical Licensing Board of Indiana (hereinafter, the Board). GX 3A (Order Granting Summary Suspension), at 1. However, on June 22, 2017, Registrant was indicted in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana on 10 counts of Conspiracy to Commit Healthcare Fraud and Distributing a Controlled Substance. Id. at 2. Based on the indictment, on July 27, 2017, the Board summarily suspended Registrant's medical license for 90 days. Id. On December 7, 2017, the Board extended the suspension for an additional 90 days. See GX 4, at 3 (Order Granting Summary Suspension Extension, at 2 (Dec. 20, 2017)). Also, according to the Board's website (of which I take official notice),2 the suspension remains in effect as of the date of this Decision an Order; the website also reflects that Registrant's CSR-Physician License Nos. 01026732B and 01026732C have both expired.

    2See 5 U.S.C. 556(e).

    Discussion

    Pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 824(a)(3), the Attorney General is authorized to suspend or revoke a registration issued under section 823 of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), “upon a finding that the registrant . . . has had his State license . . . suspended [or] revoked . . . by competent State authority and is no longer authorized by State law to engage in the . . . dispensing of controlled substances.” With respect to a practitioner, DEA has long held that the possession of authority to dispense controlled substances under the laws of the State in which a practitioner engages in professional practice is a fundamental condition for obtaining and maintaining a practitioner's registration. See, e.g., James L. Hooper, 76 FR 71371 (2011), pet. for rev. denied, 481 Fed. Appx. 826 (4th Cir. 2012); Frederick Marsh Blanton, 43 FR 27616 (1978).

    The Agency's rule derives from the text of two other provisions of the CSA: Section 802(21), which defines the term “practitioner,” and section 823(f), which sets forth the registration requirements applicable to practitioners. Notably, in section 802(21), Congress defined “the term `practitioner' [to] mean [ ] a . . . physician . . . or other person licensed, registered or otherwise permitted, by . . . the jurisdiction in which he practices . . . to distribute, dispense, [or] administer . . . a controlled substance in the course of professional practice.” 21 U.S.C. 802(21). The text of this provision makes clear that a physician is not a practitioner within the meaning of the CSA if he is not “licensed, registered or otherwise permitted, by the jurisdiction in which he practices . . . to dispense [or] administer . . . a controlled substance in the course of professional practice.” Id.

    To the same effect, Congress, in setting the requirements for obtaining a practitioner's registration, directed that “[t]he Attorney General shall register practitioners . . . if the applicant is authorized to dispense . . . controlled substances under the laws of the State in which he practices.” 21 U.S.C. 823(f). Thus, based on these provisions, the Agency held nearly forty years ago that “[s]tate authorization to dispense or otherwise handle controlled substances is a prerequisite to the issuance and maintenance of a Federal controlled substances registration.” Blanton, 43 FR at 27617 (revoking physician's registration based on one-year suspension of his state license) (emphasis added).

    Here, based on the Summary Suspension Order of Registrant's medical license as well as the information that both of Registrant's state controlled substance licenses have expired, I find that Registrant is currently without authority to dispense controlled substances in Indiana, the State in which he is registered with DEA. See Ind. Code § 35-48-3-3(b) (“Every person who dispenses . . . any controlled substance within Indiana must have a registration issued by the [pharmacy] board in accordance with its rules.”); see also Ind. Code § 25-22.5-1-1.1(a)(1)(B) (the “[p]ractice of medicine” includes the “prescription or administration of any form of treatment, without limitation”); id. § 25-22.5-1-1(g) (defining “[ ]physician” to “mean any person . . . who holds [a] valid unlimited license to practice medicine” in the state); id. § 25-22.5-8-1 (“It is unlawful for any person to practice medicine . . . in this state without holding a license or permit to do so, as provided in this article.”).

    Moreover, because “the controlling question” in a proceeding brought under 21 U.S.C. 824(a)(3) is whether the holder of a DEA registration “is currently authorized to handle controlled substances in the [S]tate,” Hooper, 76 FR at 71371 (quoting Anne Lazar Thorn, 62 FR 12847, 12848 (1997)), the Agency has also long held that revocation is warranted even where a practitioner has lost his state authority by virtue of the State's use of summary process and the State has yet to provide a hearing to challenge the suspension. Bourne Pharmacy, 72 FR 18273, 18274 (2007); Wingfield Drugs, 52 FR 27070, 27071 (1987). Thus, it is of no consequence that the Indiana Board has employed summary process in suspending Registrant's state license. What is consequential is that Registrant is no longer currently authorized to dispense controlled substances in Indiana, the State in which he is registered. I will therefore order that his registration be revoked.

    Order

    Pursuant to the authority vested in me by 21 U.S.C. 824(a), as well as 28 CFR 0.100(b), I order that DEA Certificate of Registration AR1591913, issued to James E. Ranochak, M.D., be, and it hereby is, revoked. This Order is effective immediately.3

    3 For the same reasons that led the Indiana Board to summarily suspend Registrant's medical license (his indictment in federal district court on 10 counts of Conspiracy to Commit Health Care Fraud and Distributing a Controlled Substance), I find that the public interest necessitates that this Order be effective immediately. 21 CFR 1316.67.

    Dated: February 6, 2018. Robert W. Patterson, Acting Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03301 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration [Docket No. 17-37] Kenneth N. Woliner, M.D.; Decision and Order

    On June 6, 2017, the Assistant Administrator, Diversion Control Division, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), issued an Order to Show Cause to Kenneth N. Woliner, M.D. (Respondent), of Boca Raton, Florida. The Show Cause Order proposed the revocation of Respondent's DEA Certificate of Registration No. BW6830500 on the ground that he “do[es] not have authority to handle controlled substances in the State of Florida, the [S]tate in which [he is] registered with the DEA.” Order to Show Cause, at 1 (citing 21 U.S.C. 823(f) and 824(a)(3)).

    With respect to the Agency's jurisdiction, the Show Cause Order alleged that Respondent is the holder of Certificate of Registration No. BW6830500, pursuant to which he is authorized to dispense controlled substances as a practitioner in schedules II through V, at the registered address of 9325 Glades Road, Suite 104, Boca Raton, Florida. Id. The Order also alleged that this registration does not expire until May 31, 2018. Id.

    Regarding the substantive grounds for the proceeding, the Show Cause Order alleged that on December 29, 2016, the Florida Board of Medicine “revoked [his] authority to practice medicine,” and he is therefore “without authority to handle controlled substances in Florida, the [S]tate in which [he is] registered with the DEA.” Id. Based on his “lack of authority to [dispense] controlled substances in . . . Florida,” the Order asserted that “DEA must revoke” his registration. Id. (citing 21 U.S.C. 823(f)(1) and 824(a)(3)).

    The Show Cause Order notified Respondent of (1) his right to request a hearing on the allegations or to submit a written statement in lieu of a hearing, (2) the procedure for electing either option, and (3) the consequence for failing to elect either option. Id. at 2 (citing 21 CFR 1301.43). The Show Cause Order also notified Respondent of his right to submit a corrective action plan (hereinafter, CAP) to the Assistant Administrator, Diversion Control Division, and the procedure for doing so. Id. at 2-3.

    On July 6, 2017, Respondent filed a letter with the Office of Administrative Law Judges pursuant to which he requested a hearing on the allegations of the Show Cause Order. Letter from Respondent to Hearing Clerk (dated July 3, 2017) (hereinafter, Hearing Request). In his letter, Respondent did not dispute that his Florida medical license “was revoked.” Id. at 1. He maintained, however, that his license “was revoked for issues not relating to controlled substances; and that the revocation . . . is currently under appeal at Florida's District Court of Appeal.” Id. Respondent also advised that he “has not been convicted of any crime, much less one involving controlled substances.” Id. Also on July 6, 2017, Respondent submitted his CAP by letter to the Assistant Administrator, Diversion Control Division. Letter from Respondent to Assistant Administrator Louis J. Milione (dated July 3, 2017). In his CAP, Respondent explained:

    My corrective action plan is to have my case overturned on appeal. The Initial Brief on the Merits was filed on 6/7/2017. Barring the Court granting extensions of time (if filed), the Department of Health is was [sic] required to file their Answer Brief by 6/27/2017, and our Reply is due 20 days after service of the Answer Brief.

    It would seem prudent for the DEA to “postpone the proceedings” until the 1st District Court of Appeal rules on this matter.

    Id. at 1.

    Upon receipt of Respondent's Hearing Request and CAP, the matter was placed on the docket of the Office of Administrative Law Judges and assigned to Chief Administrative Law Judge John J. Mulrooney, II (hereinafter, CALJ). On July 6, 2017, the CALJ issued an order noting that Respondent was appearing pro se and advised him “that he has the right to seek representation by a qualified attorney at his own expense.” Order Directing the Filing of Government Evidence of Lack of State Authority Allegation and Briefing Schedule, at 1 & n.1 (citing 21 CFR 1316.50). The CALJ also ordered the Government to file evidence to support the allegation that Respondent lacks state authority to handle controlled substances and an accompanying motion for summary disposition no later than July 18, 2017. Id. The CALJ further directed Respondent to file his response to any summary disposition motion no later than August 1, 2017. Id. at 2.

    On July 6, 2017, the Acting Assistant Administrator received Respondent's CAP letter. See Letter from Acting Assistant Administrator Demetra Ashley to Respondent (dated July 11, 2017) (hereinafter CAP Rejection Ltr), at 1. However, on July 10, 2017, before the Acting Assistant Administrator had ruled on Respondent's CAP (and eight days before its summary disposition motion was due), the Government filed its Motion for Summary Disposition. In its Motion, the Government argued that it is undisputed that the Florida Board of Medicine revoked Respondent's Florida medical license. Government's Motion for Summary Disposition (Govt. Mot.), at 2. The Government further argued “that the possession of authority to dispense controlled substances under the laws of the State in which a practitioner engages in professional practice is a fundamental condition for both obtaining and maintaining a practitioner's registration” under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Id. at 3 (citation omitted). As support for its summary disposition request, the Government attached, inter alia, a certified copy of the Florida Board of Medicine's December 29, 2016 “Final Order” revoking Respondent's license to practice medicine in the State of Florida. See Govt. Mot., Appendix (Appx.) B, at 13.1 On July 11, 2017, the Acting Assistant Administrator rejected Respondent's CAP and further “determined there is no potential modification of your [ ]CAP that could or would alter my decision in this regard.” CAP Rejection Ltr, at 1.

    1 The Government also attached a Declaration from a Diversion Investigator assigned to DEA's West Palm Beach Office stating that the Florida Board's Order attached to the Government's motion for summary decision “is a certified copy of the documents I obtained from the Florida Board of Medicine.” Govt. Mot., Appx. C, at 1.

    On August 1, 2017, Respondent filed a responsive pleading that opposed the Government's Motion and requested a stay in the proceedings. Respondent's Opposition to Government's Motion for Summary Disposition (hereinafter, Resp. Opp. or Opposition). Although Respondent did not dispute that his medical license had been revoked by Florida's Board of Medicine, he contended that this fact does not categorically support the revocation of his registration. Id. at 6 (citing Joe W. Morgan, D.O., 78 FR 61961 (2013)). He also argued that revoking his registration without an administrative hearing violates his rights under the Fifth Amendment's Due Process Clause. Id. He further argued that “the Government has not shown that Respondent's DEA registration is inconsistent with the public interest by any factor in § 824(a)(4) because, inter alia, (1) the “State of Florida has not made a recommendation regarding Respondent's ability to prescribe controlled substances,” (2) Respondent has not been charged or convicted of a federal or state crime related to controlled substances, and (3) that “[t]he disciplinary event in question did not relate to controlled substances in any fashion.” Id. at 9. Finally, Respondent argued that the Agency should delay any decision to revoke his registration because the Government would not be prejudiced and he believes that he “is very much likely to prevail in his appeal” before Florida's 1st District Court of Appeal, which he “expected” would decide the merits of his appeal “no later than September 19, 2017.” Id. at 10-12.

    The CALJ rejected Respondent's request for a stay, noting that “revocation is warranted even where a practitioner's state authority has been summarily suspended and the State has yet to provide the practitioner with a hearing to challenge the State's action and at which he . . . may ultimately prevail.” Order Denying the Respondent's Request for Stay, Granting the Government's Motion for Summary Disposition, and Recommended Rulings, Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Decision of the Administrative Law Judge (R.D.), at 4 (internal quotations and citations omitted). The CALJ also concluded that Respondent had no constitutional right to a hearing before the Agency because he “was apparently afforded a full hearing, where he was represented by counsel, before the [Florida] Board revoked his medical license.” Id. at 4 & n.3. The CALJ noted that DEA has previously held “that a stay in administrative enforcement proceedings is `unlikely to ever be justified' due to ancillary proceedings involving the Respondent.” Id. at 4 (quoting Grider Drug #1 & Grider Drug #2, 77 FR 44070, 44104 n.97 (2012)).2 The CALJ also rejected Respondent's claim that the loss of his Florida medical license categorically supports the revocation of his DEA registration and found Respondent's reliance on the Joe W. Morgan, D.O. case and others to be misplaced. Id. at 6 n.9.

    2 I agree with this statement of the Agency's precedents. However, the CALJ also cited Odette L. Campbell, 80 FR 41062 (2015), as contrary authority. See id. The CALJ characterized Campbell as “holding revocation proceedings in abeyance at the post-hearing adjudication level for a lengthy period pending the resolution of both criminal fraud charges and concurrent state administrative proceedings against the respondent,” id., even though I have repeatedly issued final decisions rejecting this reading of Campbell. See e.g., Judson H. Somerville, 82 FR 21408, 21409 n.3 (2017). For the same reasons set forth in those cases, including the fact that Campbell involved an application and not a revocation at the time the proceeding was held in abeyance, I again reject the CALJ's reading of Campbell.

    The CALJ then found summary disposition appropriate in this case because “no dispute exists over the fact that the Respondent currently lacks state authority to handle controlled substances in Florida due to the Board['s] Order dated December 29, 2017, which revoked his state license to practice medicine.” Id. at 7. Reasoning that “[b]ecause . . . Respondent lacks state authority at the present time . . . he is not entitled to maintain his DEA registration,” the CALJ granted the Government's request for summary disposition and recommended that I revoke Respondent's registration and deny any pending applications. Id.

    Neither party filed exceptions to the CALJ's Recommended Decision.3 Thereafter, the record was forwarded to my Office for Final Agency Action. Having reviewed the record, I adopt the CALJ's factual finding that Respondent's medical license has been revoked and his ultimate conclusion that Respondent does not hold authority under Florida law to handle controlled substances, the State in which he holds his registration with the Agency, and is thus not entitled to maintain his registration. I also adopt the CALJ's ruling rejecting Respondent's request for a stay of this proceeding. I further adopt the CALJ's recommendation that I revoke his registration and deny any pending application. I make the following factual findings.

    3 Although Respondent reached out to the CALJ's law clerk to determine the “process for filing `exceptions,' ” and the law clerk advised Respondent of that process and directed Respondent to 21 CFR 1316.66, the administrative record does not include any exceptions filed by Respondent. Aug. 8, 2008 Email from Law Clerk to Respondent, at 1. Government counsel was carbon copied on the entire email exchange. See id.

    Findings of Fact

    Respondent is a holder of DEA Certificate of Registration No. BW6830500, pursuant to which he is authorized to dispense controlled substances in schedules II through V as a practitioner, at the address of Holistic Family Medicine, LLC, 9325 Glades Road, Suite 104, Boca Raton, Florida. Govt. Mot., Appx. A. This registration does not expire until May 31, 2018. Id.

    On December 29, 2016, the Florida Board of Medicine issued a final order revoking Respondent's license to practice medicine in the State of Florida. Govt. Mot., Appx. B, at 13. The Florida Board adopted the recommended order of the state administrative law judge who conducted a hearing at which Respondent was present and represented by counsel. Id. at 1. The Board considered the Recommended Order, Exceptions to the Recommended Order and Response to Exceptions, and adopted the conclusions of law set forth in the Recommended Order,4 and ordered that Respondent's Florida license to practice medicine be revoked as of December 29, 2016. Id. at 13.

    4 The Recommended Order of the Florida Administrative Law Judge was not included in the Government's evidence.

    On August 28, 2017, the 1st District Court of Appeals of Florida affirmed the decision and final order of the Florida Department of Health revoking Respondent's license to practice medicine, and denied rehearing on October 9, 2017. Kenneth Woliner, M.D. v. Department of Health, No. 1D17-682, slip op. at 1 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1st District Aug. 28, 2017), and reh'g denied 2017 WL 3696794 (October 9, 2017). I take official notice of this unpublished decision 5 and find that Respondent does not possess authority to practice medicine in the State of Florida, the State in which he is registered.

    5 Under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), an agency “may take official notice of facts at any stage in a proceeding—even in the final decision.” U.S. Dept. of Justice, Attorney General's Manual on the Administrative Procedure Act 80 (1947) (Wm. W. Gaunt & Sons, Inc., Reprint 1979). In accordance with the APA and DEA's regulations, Respondent is “entitled on timely request to an opportunity to show to the contrary.” 5 U.S.C. 556(e); see also 21 CFR 1316.59(e). To allow Respondent the opportunity to refute the facts of which I take official notice, Respondent may file a motion for reconsideration within 15 calendar days of service of this order which shall commence on the date this order is mailed.

    Discussion

    Pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 824(a)(3), the Attorney General is authorized to suspend or revoke a registration issued under section 823 of the CSA, “upon a finding that the registrant . . . has had his State license . . . suspended [or] revoked . . . by competent State authority and is no longer authorized by State law to engage in the . . . dispensing of controlled substances.” Also, DEA has long held that the possession of authority to dispense controlled substances under the laws of the State in which a practitioner engages in professional practice is a fundamental condition for obtaining and maintaining a practitioner's registration. See, e.g., James L. Hooper, 76 FR 71371 (2011), pet. for rev. denied, 481 Fed. Appx. 826 (4th Cir. 2012); see also Frederick Marsh Blanton, 43 FR 27616 (1978) (“State authorization to dispense or otherwise handle controlled substances is a prerequisite to the issuance and maintenance of a Federal controlled substances registration.”).

    This rule derives from the text of two provisions of the CSA. First, Congress defined “the term `practitioner' [to] mean[ ] a . . . physician . . . or other person licensed, registered or otherwise permitted, by . . . the jurisdiction in which he practices . . . to distribute, dispense, [or] administer . . . a controlled substance in the course of professional practice.” 21 U.S.C. 802(21). Second, in setting the requirements for obtaining a practitioner's registration, Congress directed that “[t]he Attorney General shall register practitioners . . . if the applicant is authorized to dispense . . . controlled substances under the laws of the State in which he practices.” 21 U.S.C. 823(f).

    Here, the dispositive question is whether Respondent is currently authorized to dispense controlled substances in Florida, the State in which he is registered. It is undisputed that Florida's Board of Medicine revoked Respondent's license to practice medicine. In his recommendation, the CALJ also stated that “no dispute exists over the fact that the Respondent currently lacks state authority to handle controlled substances in Florida due to the Board['s] Order . . . which revoked his state license to practice medicine.” R.D., at 7.

    Respondent, however, argues in his Opposition that “[t]he State of Florida has not made a recommendation regarding Respondent's ability to prescribe controlled substances”—casting doubt on the CALJ's statement that it is undisputed that Respondent lacks this ability. Resp. Opp. at 9. Thus, the question of whether Respondent is currently authorized to dispense controlled substances in Florida is in dispute.

    This question is not a question of fact but of law. If this question were purely a fact question, as the CALJ suggests, then summary disposition in this case would have been inappropriate. However, I find that this dispositive question is a disputed legal question, not a question of fact. Specifically, under Florida law, a “ `[p]ractitioner' ” includes “a physician licensed under chapter 458” of the Florida statutes, and a “ `[p]hysician' ” under chapter 458 “means a person who is licensed to practice medicine in” Florida. Fla. Stat. §§ 893.02(23), 458.305(4). Florida law also states that the “[p]ractice of medicine,” in turn, “means the diagnosis, treatment, operation, or prescription for any human disease, pain, injury, deformity, or other physical or mental condition.” Id. § 458.305(3). Thus, I find that Florida law prohibits Respondent from dispensing controlled substances within the meaning of the CSA because, when the Florida Board of Medicine revoked his license to practice medicine on December 29, 2016, it had the legal effect of also taking away Respondent's authority to issue any prescriptions for any “physical or mental condition.” See Christina B. Paylan, M.D., 80 FR 69979, 69979 (2015) (holding that Respondent “lacks authority under Florida law to dispense controlled substances within the meaning of the CSA” because “Respondent's license `to practice as a medical doctor' ” had been suspended) (citing Fla. Stat. §§ 458.305(3), (4)); Reams v. State, 279 So. 2d 839, 842 (Fla. 1973) (holding that prescribing “vitamins or food” rather than “medicines” without a medical license constitutes an unlicensed practice of medicine under Florida law).

    Accordingly, as a matter of law, Respondent lacked the authority to handle controlled substances in Florida beginning on December 29, 2016 (when the Florida Board of Medicine revoked his State medical license), and he is therefore not entitled to maintain his DEA registration.

    Moreover, because “the controlling question” in a proceeding brought under 21 U.S.C. 824(a)(3) is whether the holder of a DEA registration “is currently authorized to handle controlled substances in the [S]tate,” Hooper, 76 FR at 71371 (quoting Anne Lazar Thorn, 62 FR 12847, 12848 (1997)), the Agency has also long held that revocation is warranted even where a practitioner has lost his state authority by virtue of the State's use of summary process and the State has yet to provide a hearing to challenge the suspension. Bourne Pharmacy, 72 FR 18273, 18274 (2007); Wingfield Drugs, 52 FR 27070, 27071 (1987). For the same reasons, given that the Florida Board of Medicine had revoked Respondent's state license, it is of no consequence that Respondent could have prevailed on his appeal to the 1st District Court of Appeals of Florida.6 In any event, and as already noted, that court has since affirmed the revocation of Respondent's medical license.

    6 Similarly, and contrary to Respondent's claim, Due Process did not require the CALJ to delay summary disposition of the case until his appeal to the First District Court of Appeals of Florida had been decided. Resp. Opp. at 10-12. Rather, Due Process required the CALJ to provide Respondent the opportunity to respond to the Order to Show Cause and the Government's Motion for Summary Disposition. The CALJ did provide Respondent such an opportunity, and the Respondent did so respond.

    I also agree with the CALJ's recommendation (R.D. at 6 n.9) that I reject, and I do reject, Respondent's argument that revocation is not required in this case based on the Joe W. Morgan case and the other Agency precedent cited by Respondent.

    As for Respondent's CAP, I conclude that there were adequate grounds for denying it. Specifically, Respondent's position in his CAP is identical to his principal argument seeking a stay of summary disposition of the Show Cause Order that I have already rejected; namely, that his DEA registration should not be revoked until the conclusion of his appeal to Florida's 1st District Court of Appeal. Thus, I agree with the Agency's denial of Respondent's CAP for the same reasons I set forth above for denying Respondent's identical argument to stay summary disposition. In addition, like his stay argument, the need to address the adequacy of Respondent's CAP is now moot because his appeal was denied.

    I will therefore reject Respondent's CAP and adopt the CALJ's recommendation that I revoke Respondent's registration and deny any pending applications to renew or modify his registration. See R.D. at 7.

    Order

    Pursuant to the authority vested in me by 21 U.S.C. 823(f) and 824(a), as well as 28 CFR 0.100(b), I order that DEA Certificate of Registration No. BW6830500, issued to Kenneth N. Woliner, M.D., be, and it hereby is, revoked. I further order that any pending application of Kenneth N. Woliner to renew or modify the above registration, or any pending application of Kenneth N. Woliner for any other registration, be, and it hereby is, denied. This Order is effective immediately.7

    7 For the same reasons which led the Florida Board of Medicine to revoke Respondent's medical license, I conclude that the public interest necessitates that this Order be effective immediately. 21 CFR 1316.67.

    Dated: February 7, 2018. Robert W. Patterson, Acting Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03299 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Employee Benefits Security Administration Technical Corrections to Exemptions From Certain Prohibited Transaction Restrictions AGENCY:

    Employee Benefits Security Administration, Labor.

    ACTION:

    Notice of technical corrections.

    SUMMARY:

    On December 29, 2017 the Department of Labor (the Department) published notices of exemptions in the Federal Register granting relief from certain of the prohibited transaction restrictions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA or the Act) and/or the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (the Code). This notice includes technical corrections to those published prohibited transaction exemptions (PTEs): PTE 2017-03, JPMorgan Chase & Co., D-11906; PTE 2017-04, Deutsche Investment Management Americas Inc. (DIMA) and Certain Current and Future Asset Management Affiliates of Deutsche Bank AG, D-11908; PTE 2017-05, Citigroup Inc., D-11909; PTE 2017-06, Barclays Capital Inc., D-11910; PTE 2017-07, UBS Assets Management (Americas) Inc.; UBS Realty Investors LLC; UBS Hedge Fund Solutions LLC; UBS O'Connor LLC; and Certain Future Affiliates in UBS's Asset Management and Wealth Management Americas Divisions, D-11907.

    JPMorgan Chase Co. (JPMC or the Applicant) Located in New York, New York
    [Prohibited Transaction Exemption (PTE) 2017-03; Exemption Application No. D-11906]. Discussion

    On December 29, 2017, the Department published PTE 2017-03 in the Federal Register at 82 FR 61816. PTE 2017-03 is an administrative exemption from the prohibited transaction provisions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (the Act), and the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, that permits certain entities with specified relationships to JPMC to continue to rely upon the relief provided by PTE 84-14 1 for a period of five years, notwithstanding JPMC's criminal conviction (the Conviction). The Department granted PTE 2017-03 to ensure that Covered Plans 2 whose assets are managed by a JPMC Affiliated QPAM or a JPMC Related QPAM may continue to benefit from the relief provided by PTE 84-14. The exemption is effective from January 10, 2018 through January 9, 2023.

    1 49 FR 9494, March 13, 1984, as corrected at 50 FR 41430 (October 10, 1985), as amended at 70 FR 49305 (August 23, 2005) and as amended at 75 FR 38837 (July 6, 2010), hereinafter referred to as PTE 84-14 or the QPAM Exemption.

    2 A “Covered Plan” is a plan subject to Part 4 of Title 1 of ERISA (“ERISA-covered plan”) or a plan subject to Section 4975 of the Code (“IRA”), with respect to which a JPMC Affiliated QPAM relies on PTE 84-14, or with respect to which a JPMC Affiliated QPAM (or any JPMC affiliate) has expressly represented that the manager qualifies as a QPAM or relies on the QPAM class exemption (PTE 84-14). A Covered Plan does not include an ERISA-covered Plan or IRA to the extent the JPMC Affiliated QPAM has expressly disclaimed reliance on QPAM status or PTE 84-14 in entering into its contract, arrangement, or agreement with the ERISA covered plan or IRA.

    The Department has decided to make certain technical and clarifying corrections to the exemption, as described below.

    Technical Corrections Sections I(g) and I(m)

    The Department's response to Comment 36 on page 61833 of the exemption states: “Section I(g) requires two specific entities, JPMC and the Investment Bank of JPMorgan Chase Bank, to refrain from providing investment management services to plans. . . . Thus, with respect to Sections I(g) and (m), the obligations imposed extend exclusively to JPMC and the Investment Bank of JPMorgan Chase Bank. . . . The Department also believes that the potential for disqualification of all JPMC Affiliated QPAMs under this agreement will serve as additional incentive for JPMC and JPMorgan Chase Bank to comply in good-faith with the provisions of Sections I(g) and (m).”

    The Department is revising its response to Comment 36 by removing references to “the Investment Bank of JPMorgan Chase Bank” because Section I(g) and I(m) do not apply to such entity. Similarly, the Department is also removing the phrase “JPMorgan Chase Bank” from the sentence that reads, “[t]he Department also believes that the potential for disqualification of all JPMC Affiliated QPAMs under this agreement will serve as additional incentive for JPMC and JPMorgan Chase Bank to comply in good-faith with the provisions of Sections I(g) and (m).”

    Section I(h)(1)(vii)

    The Department is adding the term “as reasonably possible” to the first sentence of the first full paragraph on page 61821 of the preamble to the exemption. As revised, the first sentence of the first full paragraph on page 61821 now reads: “The Department has revised the term `corrected promptly' to be consistent with the Department's intent that violations or compliance failures be corrected `as soon as reasonably possible upon discovery or as soon as reasonably possible after the QPAM reasonably should have known of the noncompliance (whichever is earlier).’ ”

    Section I(i)(10)

    Section I(i)(10) of the exemption states: “(10) Each JPMC Affiliated QPAM and the auditor must submit to [the Office of Exemption Determinations] OED: Any engagement agreement(s) entered into pursuant to the engagement of the auditor under this exemption, no later than two (2) months after the execution of any such engagement agreement.”

    The Department is revising Section I(i)(10) of the exemption to clarify the timing requirements for submission of the auditor agreements. As revised, Section I(i)(10) of the exemption now states: “(10) Any engagement agreement with an auditor to perform the audits required under the terms of this exemption must be submitted to OED by March 9, 2018 if the agreement was executed on or prior to January 10, 2018. Any engagement agreement(s) entered into subsequent to January 10, 2018 must be submitted to OED no later than two (2) months after the execution of such engagement agreement.”

    Section I(j)(7)

    Section I(j)(7) of the exemption states: “(7) By July 9, 2018, each JPMC Affiliated QPAM must provide a notice of its obligations under this Section I(j) to each Covered Plan. For all other prospective Covered Plans, the JPMC Affiliated QPAM will agree to its obligations under this Section I(j) in an updated investment management agreement between the JPMC Affiliated QPAM and such clients or other written contractual agreement.”

    The Department notes that the term “prospective Covered Plan,” as used in Section I(j)(7), means a Covered Plan that enters into a written asset or investment management agreement with a JPMC Affiliated QPAM on or after July 10, 2018.

    Section I(k)

    Section I(k) of the exemption states: “(k) By March 10, 2018, each JPMC Affiliated QPAM will provide a notice of the exemption, along with a separate summary describing the facts that led to the Conviction (the Summary), which have been submitted to the Department, and a prominently displayed statement (the Statement) that the Conviction results in a failure to meet a condition in PTE 84-14, to each sponsor and beneficial owner of a Covered Plan, or the sponsor of an investment fund in any case where a JPMC Affiliated QPAM acts as a sub-advisor to the investment fund in which such ERISA-covered plan and IRA invests. Any prospective client for which a JPMC Affiliated QPAM relies on PTE 84-14 or has expressly represented that the manager qualifies as a QPAM or relies on the QPAM class exemption must receive the proposed and final exemptions with the Summary and the Statement prior to, or contemporaneously with, the client's receipt of a written asset management agreement from the JPMC Affiliated QPAM. Disclosures may be delivered electronically.”

    The Department is replacing the term “prospective client” with “prospective Covered Plan.” As revised, “prospective Covered Plan,” as used in Section I(k), means a Covered Plan that enters into a written asset or investment management agreement with a JPMC Affiliated QPAM on or after March 10, 2018.

    The Department is clarifying that the requirements of Section I(k) will be met with respect to all current and prospective Covered Plans if, by March 10, 2018, the Applicant posts the required Section I(k) disclosure documents on a website whose link/address is referenced in: (a) The notice sent by the Applicant following the grant of the temporary exemption; or (b) the relevant investment management agreement received by the client (including instances where such reference describes the site as containing the required obligations under the temporary exemption), and the Applicant informs clients who are Covered Plan clients as of the effective date of this exemption, in writing, by March 10, that they can go back to the website to find the additional documents, which are identified.

    The Department is also clarifying that, for Covered Plans that enter into a written asset or investment management agreement with the Applicant between January 11, 2018, and March 9, 2018, the written notice that the website has been updated must be provided to such Covered Plans by March 31, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Joseph Brennan of the Department, telephone (202) 693-8456. (This is not a toll-free number).

    Deutsche Investment Management Americas Inc. (DIMA) and Certain Current and Future Asset Management Affiliates of Deutsche Bank AG (Collectively, the Applicant or the DB QPAMs), Located in New York, New York [Prohibited Transaction Exemption (PTE) 2017-04; Exemption Application No. D-11908] Discussion

    On December 29, 2017, the Department published PTE 2017-04 in the Federal Register at 82 FR 61840. PTE 2017-04 is an administrative exemption from the prohibited transaction provisions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (the Act), and the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, that permits certain entities with specified relationships to Deutsche Securities Korea, Co. (DSK) 3 or DB Group Services (UK) Limited (DB Group Services) 4 to continue to rely upon the relief provided by PTE 84-14 for a period of three years,5 notwithstanding certain criminal convictions (the Convictions). The Department granted PTE 2017-04 to ensure that Covered Plans 6 with assets managed by an asset manager within the corporate family of Deutsche Bank AG (together with its current and future affiliates, Deutsche Bank) may continue to benefit from the relief provided by PTE 84-14. The exemption is effective from April 18, 2018 through April 17, 2021 (the Exemption Period). The Department has decided to make certain technical and clarifying corrections to the exemption, as described below.

    3 Deutsche Securities Korea, Co. is a South Korean “affiliate” (as defined in Section VI(d) of PTE 84-14) of Deutsche Bank AG.

    4 DB Group Services (UK) Limited is United Kingdom-based “affiliate” (as defined in Section VI(d) of PTE 84-14) of Deutsche Bank AG.

    5 49 FR 9494 (March 13, 1984), as corrected at 50 FR 41430 (October 10, 1985), as amended at 70 FR 49305 (August 23, 2005) and as amended at 75 FR 38837 (July 6, 2010), hereinafter referred to as PTE 84-14 or the QPAM exemption.

    6 A “Covered Plan” is a plan subject to Part 4 of Title 1 of ERISA (“ERISA-covered plan”) or a plan subject to section 4975 of the Code (“IRA”) with respect to which a DB QPAM relies on PTE 84-14, or with respect to which a DB QPAM (or any Deutsche Bank affiliate) has expressly represented that the manager qualifies as a QPAM or relies on the QPAM class exemption (PTE 84-14). A Covered Plan does not include an ERISA-covered plan or IRA to the extent the DB QPAM has expressly disclaimed reliance on QPAM status or PTE 84-14 in entering into its contract, arrangement, or agreement with the ERISA-covered plan or IRA.

    Technical Corrections Section I Prefatory Language

    The prefatory language of Section I of the exemption states, in relevant part: “Certain entities with specified relationships to Deutsche Bank AG . . . will not be precluded from relying on the exemptive relief provided by Prohibited Transaction Class Exemption 84-14 . . . notwithstanding: . . . . (2) the `US Conviction' against DB Group Services (UK) Limited, an affiliate of Deutsche Bank based in the United Kingdom (hereinafter, DB Group Services, as further defined in Section II(e)) . . . .”

    For consistency with the re-ordered Definitions in Section II of the exemption, the relevant prefatory language of Section I now reads, “DB Group Services (UK) Limited, an affiliate of Deutsche Bank based in the United Kingdom (hereinafter, DB Group Services, as further defined in Section II(c)).”

    Section I(h)(1)(v)

    Section I(h)(1)(v) in the exemption states, in relevant part: “The Policies must require, and must be reasonably designed to ensure that: . . . . (v) To the best of the DB QPAM's knowledge at the time, the DB QPAM does not make material misrepresentations or omit material information in its communications with such regulators with respect to ERISA-covered plans or IRAs with respect to Covered Plans.”

    For clarity, the Department has deleted the phrase “with respect to ERISA-covered plans or IRAs.” As revised, Section I(h)(1)(v) now reads, in relevant part: “The Policies must require, and must be reasonably designed to ensure that: . . . . (v) To the best of the DB QPAM's knowledge at the time, the DB QPAM does not make material misrepresentations or omit material information in its communications with such regulators with respect to Covered Plans.”

    Section I(h)(2)

    Section I(h)(2) of the exemption states: “Each DB QPAM must develop and implement a program of training (the Training), to be conducted at least annually . . . The first Training under this Final Exemption must be completed by all relevant DB QPAM personnel by April 18, 2019 (by the end of this 30-month period, asset/portfolio management, trading, legal, compliance, and internal audit personnel who were employed from the start to the end of the period must have been trained twice: The first time under PTE 2016-13; and the second time under this exemption).”

    The Department is revising this condition to reflect the Department's intended timeline for completing the first Training under this exemption. To this end, the Department is replacing “April 18, 2019” with “April 17, 2019.” Furthermore, the Department is replacing the phrase “by the end of this 30-month period” with “by the end of the 24-month period commencing on the effective date of PTE 2016-13 and ending on April 17, 2019.” As revised, Section I(h)(2) in relevant part now reads: “The first Training under this Final Exemption must be completed by all relevant DB QPAM personnel by April 17, 2019 (by the end of the 24-month period commencing on the effective date of PTE 2016-13 and ending on April 17, 2019, asset/portfolio management, trading, legal, compliance, and internal audit personnel who were employed from the start to the end of the period must have been trained twice: The first time under PTE 2016-13; and the second time under this exemption).”

    Section I(h)(2)(i)

    Section I(h)(2)(i) of the exemption states: “The Training must: (i) At a minimum, cover the Policies, ERISA and Code compliance (including applicable fiduciary duties and the prohibited transaction provisions), ethical conduct, the consequences for not complying with the conditions of this exemption (including any loss of exemptive relief provided herein), and prompt reporting of wrongdoing.”

    The Department is revising Section I(h)(2)(i) to clarify that this exemption's Training requirement must be included in the Policies. As revised, Section I(h)(2)(i) reads, in relevant part: “The Training must: (i) Be required by the Policies and, at a minimum. . . .”

    Section I(i)(5)(i)

    Section I(i)(5)(i) of the exemption states: “For each audit, on or before the end of the relevant period described in Section I(i)(1) for completing the audit, the auditor must issue a written report (the Audit Report) . . . The Audit Report must include the auditor's specific determinations regarding: (i) The adequacy of each DB QPAM's Policies and Training . . . The DB QPAM must promptly address or prepare a written plan of action to address any determination of inadequacy by the auditor regarding the adequacy of the Policies and Training. . . .”

    For clarity, the Department is replacing the phrase “any determination of inadequacy by the auditor regarding the adequacy of the Policies and Training” with “any determination by the auditor regarding the adequacy of the Policies and Training.” As revised, Section I(i)(5)(i) in relevant part now states: “The DB QPAM must promptly address or prepare a written plan of action to address any determination by the auditor regarding the adequacy of the Policies and Training. . . .”

    Section I(i)(7)

    Section I(i)(7) of the exemption states: “(7) With respect to each Audit Report, the General Counsel, or one of the three most senior executive officers of the line of business engaged in discretionary asset management services through the DB QPAM with respect to which the Audit Report applies, must certify in writing, under penalty of perjury, that the officer has reviewed the Audit Report and this exemption; that such DB QPAM has addressed, corrected, or remedied any noncompliance and inadequacy or has an appropriate written plan to address any inadequacy regarding the Policies and Training identified in the Audit Report. . . .”

    The Department is replacing the term “General Counsel” with “general counsel” and making clear that the certification of the Audit Report can come from the respective line of business's general counsel or one of its three most senior officers. As revised, Section I(i)(7) in relevant part now reads: “With respect to each Audit Report, the general counsel, or one of the three most senior executive officers of the line of business engaged in discretionary asset management services through the DB QPAM with respect to which the Audit Report applies, must certify in writing, under penalty of perjury, that the officer has reviewed the Audit Report and this exemption.”

    Section I(i)(8)

    Section I(i)(8) of the exemption states: “(8) The Audit Committee of Deutsche Bank's Supervisory Board is provided a copy of each Audit Report; and a senior executive officer with a direct reporting line to the highest ranking legal compliance officer of Deutsche Bank must review the Audit Report for each DB QPAM and must certify in writing, under penalty of perjury, that such officer has reviewed each Audit Report. Deutsche Bank must provide notice to the Department in the event of a switch in the committee to which the Audit Report will be provided.”

    The Department is revising the first sentence of Section I(i)(8) by removing the term “legal.” The condition now reads: “(8) The Audit Committee of Deutsche Bank's Supervisory Board is provided a copy of each Audit Report; and a senior executive officer with a direct reporting line to the highest ranking compliance officer of Deutsche Bank must review the Audit Report for each DB QPAM and must certify in writing, under penalty of perjury, that such officer has reviewed each Audit Report.”

    Section I(i)(9)

    Section I(i)(9) of the proposed exemption states: “(9) Each DB QPAM provides its certified Audit Report, by regular mail to: The Department's Office of Exemption Determinations (OED), 200 Constitution Avenue NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20210, or by private carrier to: 122 C Street NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20001-2109, no later than 45 days following its completion.” Section I(i)(9) of the final exemption states: “(9) Each DB QPAM provides its certified Audit Report, by regular mail. . . . This delivery must take place no later than thirty (30) days following completion of the Audit Report. . . .”

    The Department is revising Section I(i)(9) for consistency with the proposed exemption by replacing “thirty (30) days” with “forty-five (45) days.” Section I(i)(9) in relevant part now states: “This delivery must take place no later than forty-five (45) days following completion of the Audit Report.”

    Section I(i)(10)

    Section I(i)(10) of the exemption states: “(10) Each DB QPAM and the auditor must submit to OED any engagement agreement(s) entered into pursuant to the engagement of the auditor under this exemption, no later than two (2) months after the execution of any such engagement agreement.”

    The Department is revising Section I(i)(10) to reflect that any engagement agreement entered into with the auditor prior to or on April 18, 2018 in order to comply with this exemption must be submitted by June 17, 2018. Section I(i)(10), as revised, now reads: “(10) Any engagement agreement to perform the audits required under the terms of this exemption must be submitted to OED by June 17, 2018 if the agreement was executed on or prior to April 18, 2018. Any engagement agreement(s) entered into subsequent to April 18, 2018 must be submitted to OED no later than two (2) months after the execution of such engagement agreement.”

    Section I(j)(7)

    Section I(j)(7) of the exemption in relevant part states: “(7) By October 17, 2018, each DB QPAM must provide a notice of its obligations under this Section I(j) to each Covered Plan. For all other prospective Covered Plans, the DB QPAM will agree to its obligations under this Section I(j) in an updated investment management agreement between the DB QPAM and such clients or other written contractual agreement. This condition will be deemed met for each Covered Plan that received a notice pursuant to PTE 2016-13 that meets the terms of this condition.”

    The Department notes that the term “prospective Covered Plan,” as used in Section I(j)(7), means a Covered Plan that enters into a written asset or investment management agreement with a DB QPAM on or after October 17, 2018.

    The Department also notes that the phrase, “This condition will be deemed met for each Covered Plan that received a notice pursuant to PTE 2016-13 that meets the terms of this condition,” means that a notice that satisfies Section I(j) of PTE 2016-13 will satisfy Section I(j)(7) of this exemption, unless such notice contains any language that limits, or is inconsistent with, the scope of this exemption.

    Section I(k)

    Section I(k) of the exemption states: “(k) By June 17, 2018, each DB QPAM will provide a notice of the exemption, along with a separate summary describing the facts that led to the Convictions (the Summary), which have been submitted to the Department, and a prominently displayed statement (the Statement) that the Convictions result in a failure to meet a condition in PTE 84-14, to each sponsor and beneficial owner of a Covered Plan, or the sponsor of an investment fund in any case where a DB QPAM acts as a sub-advisor to the investment fund in which such ERISA-covered plan and IRA invests. Any prospective client for which a DB QPAM relies on PTE 84-14 or has expressly represented that the manager qualifies as a QPAM or relies on the QPAM class exemption must receive the proposed and final exemptions with the Summary and the Statement prior to, or contemporaneously with, the client's receipt of a written asset management agreement from the DB QPAM. Disclosures may be delivered electronically.”

    The Department is revising Section I(k) by adding the phrase “that entered into a written asset or investment management agreement with a DB QPAM on or before June 16, 2018” following the phrase “to each sponsor and beneficial owner of a Covered Plan.” As revised, Section I(k) now states, in relevant part: “By June 17, 2018, each DB QPAM will provide a notice of the exemption, along with a separate summary describing the facts that led to the Convictions (the Summary), which have been submitted to the Department, and a prominently displayed statement (the Statement) that each Conviction separately results in a failure to meet a condition in PTE 84-14, to each sponsor and beneficial owner of a Covered Plan that entered into a written asset or investment management agreement with a DB QPAM on or before June 16, 2018, or the sponsor of an investment fund in any case where a DB QPAM acts as a sub-advisor to the investment fund in which such ERISA-covered plan and IRA invests.”

    The Department notes that the phrase, “Any prospective client for which a DB QPAM relies on PTE 84-14 or has expressly represented that the manager qualifies as a QPAM or relies on the QPAM class exemption . . .” means any Covered Plan that enters into a written asset or investment management agreement with a DB QPAM on or after June 17, 2018.

    Section I(m)(1)

    Section I(m)(1) of the exemption states: “(1) By October 17, 2018, Deutsche Bank designates a senior compliance officer (the Compliance Officer) who will be responsible for compliance with the Policies and Training requirements described herein.”

    The Department notes that each relevant line of business may designate its own Compliance Officer in order to comply with this condition.

    Section I(m)(1)(i)

    Section I(m)(1)(i) of the exemption states: “(i) The Compliance Officer must be a legal professional who has extensive experience with, and knowledge of, the regulation of financial services and products, including under ERISA and the Code.”

    The Department is removing the word “legal” from Section I(m)(1)(i). As revised, Section I(m)(1)(i) now reads: “(i) The Compliance Officer must be a professional who has extensive experience with, and knowledge of, the regulation of financial services and products, including under ERISA and the Code.”

    Section I(m)(1)(ii)

    Section I(m)(1)(ii) of the exemption states: “(ii) The Compliance Officer must have a direct reporting line to the highest-ranking corporate officer in charge of legal compliance for asset management.”

    The Department is removing the word “legal” from Section I(m)(1)(ii). As revised, Section I(m)(1)(ii) now reads: “(ii) The Compliance Officer must have a direct reporting line to the highest-ranking corporate officer in charge of compliance for asset management.”

    Section II(a)

    Section II(a) of the exemption states: “The term `Convictions' means (1) the judgment of conviction against DB Group Services, in case number 3:15-cr-00062-RNC to be entered in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut to a single count of wire fraud, in violation of 18 § U.S.C. 1343 . . .” This Section is revised to read,: “The term `Convictions' means (1) the judgment of conviction against DB Group Services that was entered on April 18, 2017, in case number 3:15-cr-00062-RNC in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut to a single count of wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1343 . . .”

    Discussion of Written Comments

    The prefatory section to the discussion of written comments on page 61840 of the Federal Register states: “[t]he Department received written comments from the Applicant, members of the U.S. Congress, and a number of plan and IRA clients of Deutsche Bank.” This section is revised to read, in relevant part, “[t]he Department received written comments from the Applicant, members of the U.S. Congress, and several other commenters.”

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Scott Ness of the Department, telephone (202) 693-8561. (This is not a toll-free number).

    Citigroup Inc. (Citigroup or the Applicant) Located in New York, New York [Prohibited Transaction Exemption (PTE) 2017-05; Exemption Application No. D-11909] Discussion

    On December 29, 2017, the Department published PTE 2017-05 in the Federal Register at 82 FR 61864. PTE 2017-05 is an administrative exemption from the prohibited transaction provisions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (the Act), and the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, that permits certain entities with specified relationships to Citigroup to continue to rely upon the relief provided by PTE 84-14 7 for a period of five years,8 notwithstanding Citicorp's criminal conviction (the Conviction). The Department granted PTE 2017-05 to ensure that Covered Plans 9 whose assets are managed by a Citigroup Affiliated QPAM or Citigroup Related QPAM may continue to benefit from the relief provided by PTE 84-14.

    7 49 FR 9494, March 13, 1984, as corrected at 50 FR 41430 (October 10, 1985), as amended at 70 FR 49305 (August 23, 2005) and as amended at 75 FR 38837 (July 6, 2010), hereinafter referred to as PTE 84-14 or the QPAM Exemption.

    8 PTE 2017-05 is effective from January 10, 2018 through January 9, 2023.

    9 A “Covered Plan” is a plan subject to Part 4 of Title 1 of ERISA (“ERISA-covered plan”) or a plan subject to Section 4975 of the Code (“IRA”), with respect to which a Citigroup Affiliated QPAM relies on PTE 84-14, or with respect to which a Citigroup Affiliated QPAM (or any Citigroup affiliate) has expressly represented that the manager qualifies as a QPAM or relies on the QPAM class exemption (PTE 84-14). A Covered Plan does not include an ERISA-covered Plan or IRA to the extent the Citigroup Affiliated QPAM has expressly disclaimed reliance on QPAM status or PTE 84-14 in entering into its contract, arrangement, or agreement with the ERISA covered plan or IRA.

    The Department has decided to make certain technical and clarifying corrections to the exemption, as described below.

    Technical Corrections Preamble

    The Department is replacing the term “Citcorp” with “Citicorp” on page 61876 of the preamble to the exemption.

    Section I(i)(1)

    The Department is revising its discussion of the entities subject to the Section I(i) Audit requirement. On page 61869 of the exemption, the Department is replacing the sentence that reads: “The Department notes that Section I(i) requires the audit of each Citigroup entity that relies upon QPAM status, or expressly represents to ERISA-covered plan or IRA clients that it qualifies as a QPAM,” with the following: “The Department notes that Section I(i) requires the audit of each Citigroup Affiliated QPAM.”

    Section I(i)(10)

    Section I(i)(10) of the exemption states: “(10) Each Citigroup Affiliated QPAM and the auditor must submit to [the Office of Exemption Determinations] OED: Any engagement agreement(s) entered into pursuant to the engagement of the auditor under this exemption, no later than two (2) months after the execution of any such engagement agreement.”

    The Department is revising Section I(i)(10) of the exemption to clarify the timing requirements for submission of the auditor agreements. As revised, Section I(i)(10) of the exemption now states: “(10) Any engagement agreement with an auditor to perform the audits required under the terms of this exemption must be submitted to OED by March 9, 2018 if the agreement was executed on or prior to January 10, 2018. Any engagement agreement(s) entered into subsequent to January 10, 2018 must be submitted to OED no later than two (2) months after the execution of such engagement agreement.”

    Section I(j)(7)

    Section I(j)(7) of the exemption states: “(7) By July 9, 2018, each Citigroup Affiliated QPAM must provide a notice of its obligations under this Section I(j) to each Covered Plan. For all other prospective Covered Plans, the Citigroup Affiliated QPAM will agree to its obligations under this Section I(j) in an updated investment management agreement between the Citigroup Affiliated QPAM and such clients or other written contractual agreement.”

    The Department notes that the term “prospective Covered Plan,” as used in Section I(j)(7), means a Covered Plan that enters into a written asset or investment management agreement with a Citigroup Affiliated QPAM on or after July 10, 2018.

    Section I(k)

    Section I(k) of the exemption states: “(k) By March 10, 2018, each Citigroup Affiliated QPAM will provide a notice of the exemption, along with a separate summary describing the facts that led to the Conviction (the Summary), which have been submitted to the Department, and a prominently displayed statement (the Statement) that the Conviction results in a failure to meet a condition in PTE 84-14, to each sponsor and beneficial owner of a Covered Plan, or the sponsor of an investment fund in any case where a Citigroup Affiliated QPAM acts as a sub-advisor to the investment fund in which such ERISA-covered plan and IRA invests. Any prospective clients for which a Citigroup Affiliated QPAM relies on PTE 84-14 or has expressly represented that the manager qualifies as a QPAM or relies on the QPAM class exemption must receive the proposed and final exemptions with the Summary and the Statement prior to, or contemporaneously with, the client's receipt of a written asset or investment management agreement from the Citigroup Affiliated QPAM. Disclosures may be delivered electronically.”

    The Department notes that “prospective clients,” as referred to in Section I(k), means Covered Plans that enter into a written asset or investment management agreement with a Citigroup Affiliated QPAM on or after March 10, 2018. The Department also notes that the disclosure materials required to be provided to prospective clients under Section I(k) do not need to be provided to such clients prior to March 10, 2018. Such disclosures, rather, must be made, “prior to, or contemporaneously with, the client's receipt of a written asset or investment management agreement from the Citigroup Affiliated QPAM.” Finally, the Department notes that the disclosure materials required to be provided to prospective clients under the second sentence of Section I(k) are the same materials referenced in the first sentence of Section I(k).

    Section I(p)

    The discussion of the Right to Copies of Policies and Procedures on page 61876 of the exemption states: “The Department has also modified Section I(p) to require that the Citigroup Affiliated QPAMs provide notice regarding the information on the website within 60 days of the effective date of this exemption, and thereafter to the extent certain material changes are made to the Policies.”

    The Department is revising the discussion of the Right to Copies of Policies and Procedures to conform with the language of Section I(p). As revised, the discussion on page 61876 now states: “The Department has also modified Section I(p) to require that the Citigroup Affiliated QPAMs provide notice regarding the information on the website by July 9, 2018. If the Policies are thereafter changed, each Covered Plan client must receive a new disclosure within six (6) months following the end of the calendar year during which the Policies were changed.”

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Joseph Brennan of the Department, telephone (202) 693-8456. (This is not a toll-free number).

    Barclays Capital Inc. (BCI or the Applicant), Located in New York, New York [Prohibited Transaction Exemption (PTE) 2017-06; Exemption Application No. D-11910] Discussion

    On December 29, 2017, the Department published PTE 2017-06 in the Federal Register at 82 FR 61881. PTE 2017-06 is an administrative exemption from the prohibited transaction provisions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (the Act), and the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, that permits certain entities with specified relationships to Barclays PLC (BPLC) to continue to rely upon the relief provided by PTE 84-14 for a period of five years,10 notwithstanding certain criminal convictions (the Convictions). The Department granted PTE 2017-06 to ensure that Covered Plans 11 with assets managed by an asset manager within the corporate family of BPLC may continue to benefit from the relief provided by PTE 84-14. The effective date of PTE 2017-06 is January 10, 2018, and the exemption is effective from January 10, 2018, through January 9, 2023 (the Exemption Period).

    10 49 FR 9494, March 13, 1984, as corrected at 50 FR 41430 (October 10, 1985), as amended at 70 FR 49305 (August 23, 2005) and as amended at 75 FR 38837 (July 6, 2010), hereinafter referred to as PTE 84-14.

    11 A “Covered Plan” is a plan subject to Part 4 of Title 1 of ERISA (“ERISA-covered plan”) or a plan subject to section 4975 of the Code (“IRA”) with respect to which a Barclays Affiliated QPAM relies on PTE 84-14, or with respect to which a Barclays Affiliated QPAM (or any BPLC affiliate) has expressly represented that the manager qualifies as a QPAM or relies on the QPAM class exemption (PTE 84-14). A Covered Plan does not include an ERISA-covered plan or IRA to the extent the Barclays Affiliated QPAM has expressly disclaimed reliance on QPAM status or PTE 84-14 in entering into its contract, arrangement, or agreement with the ERISA-covered plan or IRA.

    The Department has decided to make certain technical and clarifying corrections to the exemption, as described below.

    Technical Corrections Section I(b)

    Section I(b) of the exemption states: “Apart from a non-fiduciary line of business within BCI, the Barclays Affiliated QPAMs and the Barclays Related QPAMs (including their officers, directors, and agents other than BPLC, and employees of such Barclays Affiliated QPAMs) did not receive direct compensation, or knowingly receive indirect compensation, in connection with the criminal conduct that is the subject of the Conviction.” This Section is revised by replacing “within BCI” with “of a BPLC subsidiary.” In addition, the phrase, “who had responsibility for or exercised authority in connection with the management of plan assets” now appears after “Barclays Affiliated QPAMs” in the parenthetical. As revised, Section I(b) reads, in pertinent part, “Apart from a non-fiduciary line of business of a BPLC subsidiary, the Barclays Affiliated QPAMs and the Barclays Related QPAMs (including their officers, directors, and agents other than BPLC, and employees of such Barclays Affiliated QPAMs who had responsibility for or exercised authority in connection with the management of plan assets) did not receive direct compensation . . . .”

    Section I(j)

    Section I(j) of the exemption states, in relevant part:

    “As of January 10, 2018 and throughout the Exemption Period, with respect to any arrangement, agreement, or contract between a Barclays Affiliated QPAM and a Covered Plan, the Barclays Affiliated QPAM agrees and warrants . . . .”

    For clarity, the phrase, “As of January 10, 2018 and throughout the Exemption Period,” is revised to read, “Effective on the date that a Barclays Affiliated QPAM enters into any arrangement, agreement, or contract, after January 10, 2018, with any Covered Plan, and throughout the Exemption Period, . . . .”

    Section I(j)(7)

    Section I(j)(7) states: “Prior to a Barclays Affiliated QPAM's engagement with an ERISA-covered plan or IRA for the provision of asset management or other discretionary fiduciary services . . . .” The Department is replacing the phrase, “an ERISA-covered plan or IRA” with “a Covered Plan.”

    Section I(k)

    Section I(k) states: “Any client for which a Barclays Affiliated QPAM relies on PTE 84-14 or has expressly represented that the manager qualifies as a QPAM or relies on the QPAM class exemption must receive the proposed and final exemptions, along with a separate summary describing the facts that led to the Conviction (the Summary), which have been submitted to the Department, and a prominently displayed statement (the Statement) that the Conviction results in a failure to meet a condition in PTE 84-14, prior to, or contemporaneously with, the client's receipt of a written asset management agreement from the Barclays Affiliated QPAM. Disclosures may be delivered electronically.”

    The Department is replacing the term “client” with “Covered Plan.” As revised, “Covered Plan,” as used in Section I(k), means a Covered Plan that enters into a written asset or investment management agreement with a Barclays Affiliated QPAM.

    Section I(m)(1)(iv)

    Section I(m)(1)(iv) states: “(iv) Each Annual Report must be provided to the appropriate corporate officers of BPLC and each Barclays Affiliated QPAM to which such report relates; the head of compliance and the General Counsel (or their functional equivalent) of the relevant Barclays Affiliated QPAM and the General Counsel (or their functional equivalent) of BPLC; and must be made unconditionally available to the independent auditor described in Section I(i) above.”

    Comment Section 37 of the exemption at 82 FR 61896 states that the Department intended to revise Section I(m)(1)(iv) by deleting the phrase, “the appropriate corporate officers of BPLC and each Barclays Affiliated QPAM to which such report relates” from the condition. Such revision did not appear in the text. Therefore, the Department is now revising Section I(m)(1)(iv) to read, “(iv) Each Annual Report must be provided to the head of compliance and the General Counsel (or their functional equivalent) of the relevant Barclays Affiliated QPAM and the General Counsel (or their functional equivalent) of BPLC; and must be made unconditionally available to the independent auditor described in Section I(i) above.”

    Section II(d) 12

    Section II(d) states, “The term “Conviction” means the judgment of conviction against BPLC for violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act, 15 U.S.C. 1, which is scheduled to be entered in the District Court for the District of Connecticut (the District Court), Case Number 3:15-cr-00077-SRU-1.”

    12 In the final grant notice, the Department renumbered Section II(d), which was previously Section II(e) in the proposed exemption.

    Section II(d) is revised to reflect that the Conviction occurred prior to the effective date of the exemption. Section II(d) now reads, in pertinent part, “. . . . 15 U.S.C. 1, which was entered in the District Court. . . .”

    Section II(e) 13

    Section II(e) states, “The term “Conviction Date” means the date of the judgment of the trial court. For avoidance of confusion, the Conviction Date is January 10, 2017, as set forth in Case Number 3:15-cr-00077-SRU.” Section II(e) is revised to add a “-1” after the letters “SRU” in the case number. As revised, Section II(e) now reads, in pertinent part, “. . . . as set forth in Case Number 3:15-cr-00077-SRU-1.”

    13 In the final grant notice, the Department renumbered Section II(e), which was previously Section II(f) in the proposed exemption.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Anna Mpras Vaughan of the Department, telephone (202) 693-8565. (This is not a toll-free number).

    UBS Assets Management (Americas) Inc.; UBS Realty Investors LLC; UBS Hedge Fund Solutions LLC; UBS O'Connor LLC; and Certain Future Affiliates in UBS's Asset Management and Wealth Management Americas Divisions (collectively, the Applicants or the UBS QPAMs) Located in Chicago, Illinois; Hartford, Connecticut; New York, New York; and Chicago, Illinois, Respectively [Prohibited Transaction Exemption (PTE) 2017-07; Exemption Application No. D-11907] Discussion

    On December 29, 2017, the Department published PTE 2017-07 in the Federal Register at 82 FR 61903. PTE 2017-07 is an administrative exemption from the prohibited transaction provisions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (the Act), and the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, that permits certain entities with specified relationships to UBS (as defined in Section II(g)) (hereinafter, the UBS QPAMs) to continue to rely upon the relief provided by PTE 84-14 for a period of three years,14 notwithstanding the “2013 Conviction” of UBS Securities Japan Co. Ltd 15 and the “2017 Conviction” of UBS (collectively, the Convictions as defined in Section II(a)). The Department granted PTE 2017-07 to ensure that Covered Plans 16 with assets managed by UBS QPAMs may continue to benefit from the relief provided by PTE 84-14. The exemption is effective from January 10, 2018 through January 9, 2021 (the Exemption Period). The Department has decided to make certain technical and clarifying corrections to the exemption, as described below.

    14 49 FR 9494, March 13, 1984, as corrected at 50 FR 41430 (October 10, 1985), as amended at 70 FR 49305 (August 23, 2005) and as amended at 75 FR 38837 (July 6, 2010), hereinafter referred to as PTE 84-14 or the QPAM exemption.

    15 UBS Securities Japan Co. Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of UBS incorporated under the laws of Japan.

    16 A “Covered Plan” is a plan subject to Part 4 of Title 1 of ERISA (“ERISA-covered plan”) or a plan subject to section 4975 of the Code (“IRA”) with respect to which a UBS QPAM relies on PTE 84-14, or with respect to which a UBS QPAM (or any UBS affiliate) has expressly represented that the manager qualifies as a QPAM or relies on the QPAM class exemption (PTE 84-14). A Covered Plan does not include an ERISA-covered plan or IRA to the extent the UBS QPAM has expressly disclaimed reliance on QPAM status or PTE 84-14 in entering into its contract, arrangement, or agreement with the ERISA-covered plan or IRA.

    Technical Corrections Section I(f)

    Section I(f) of the exemption states: “[a] UBS QPAM did not exercise authority over the assets of any plan subject to Part 4 of Title I of ERISA (an ERISA-covered plan) or section 4975 of the Code (an IRA) in a manner that it knew or should have known would: Further the FX Misconduct or the criminal conduct that is the subject of the Convictions; or cause the UBS QPAM, its affiliates or related parties to directly or indirectly profit from the FX Misconduct or the criminal conduct that is the subject of the Convictions.” The Department is revising Section I(f) by inserting the word “or” between the phrase “or cause the UBS QPAM” and the phrase “its affiliates” and by removing the phrase “or related parties.” As revised, Section I(f) now reads, “A UBS QPAM did not exercise authority over the assets of any plan subject to Part 4 of Title I of ERISA (an ERISA-covered plan) or section 4975 of the Code (an IRA) in a manner that it knew or should have known would: further the FX Misconduct or the criminal conduct that is the subject of the Convictions; or cause the UBS QPAM or its affiliates to directly or indirectly profit from the FX Misconduct or the criminal conduct that is the subject of the Convictions.”

    Section I(h)(1)(ii)

    Section I(h)(1)(ii) of the exemption states: “[t]he UBS QPAM fully complies with ERISA's fiduciary duties, and with ERISA and the Code's prohibited transaction provisions, in such case as applicable, and does not knowingly participate in any violation of these duties and provisions with respect to Covered Plans.” For clarity and consistency, the Department is replacing the word “such” with the word “each” and by inserting the phrase “with respect to each Covered Plan” after the phrase “as applicable.” As revised, Section I(h)(1)(ii) now reads, “The UBS QPAM fully complies with ERISA's fiduciary duties, and with ERISA and the Code's prohibited transaction provisions, in each case as applicable with respect to each Covered Plan, and does not knowingly participate in any violation of these duties and provisions with respect to Covered Plans.”

    Section I(h)(2)(ii) and Section I(i)(10)

    Section I(h)(2)(ii) of the exemption states: “(2) Each UBS QPAM must develop and implement a program of training (the Training), conducted at least annually, for all relevant UBS QPAM asset/portfolio management, trading, legal, compliance, and internal audit personnel. The Training must: . . . . (ii) [b]e conducted by an independent professional who has been prudently selected and who has appropriate technical training and proficiency with ERISA and the Code.” The Department is revising Section I(h)(2)(ii) to reflect that the required training may be conducted by appropriate UBS personnel who have been prudently selected. Therefore, the Department is removing the word “independent” from Section I(h)(2)(ii) and, as revised, Section I(h)(2)(ii) now reads: “Be conducted by a professional who has been prudently selected and who has appropriate technical training and proficiency with ERISA and the Code.”

    Section I(i)(10) of the exemption states: “[e]ach UBS QPAM and the auditor must submit to OED any engagement agreement(s) entered into pursuant to the engagement of the auditor under this exemption. Further, each UBS QPAM must submit to OED any engagement entered into with any other person or entity retained in connection with such QPAM's compliance with the Training or Policies conditions of this exemption no later than two (2) months after the execution of any such engagement agreement.” The Department is revising Section I(i)(10) to reflect that the UBS QPAMs need not submit to Office of Exemption Determinations (OED) an engagement agreement entered into to comply with the training or Policy conditions, and to reflect that any engagement agreement entered into with the auditor prior to or on January 10, 2018 in order to comply with this exemption must be submitted by March 9, 2018. Section I(i)(10), as revised, now reads: “Any engagement agreement with an auditor to perform the audits required under the terms of this exemption must be submitted to OED by March 9, 2018 if the agreement was executed on or prior to January 10, 2018. Any engagement agreement(s) entered into subsequent to January 10, 2018 must be submitted to OED no later than two (2) months after the execution of such engagement agreement.”

    Section I(i)(1) and Footnote 71

    Section I(i)(1) of the exemption states, in relevant part: “Each UBS QPAM submits to an audit conducted annually by an independent auditor, who has been prudently selected and who has appropriate technical training and proficiency with ERISA and the Code, to evaluate the adequacy of, and each UBS QPAM's compliance with, the Policies and Training described herein. The audit requirement must be incorporated in the Policies. The first annual audit must cover a fourteen-month period that begins on January 10, 2017 (the Initial Audit Period) and all subsequent audits must cover consecutive twelve month periods commencing upon the end of the Initial Audit Period. The Initial Audit Period shall cover the period of time during which PTE 2016-17 is effective and a portion of the time during which this exemption is effective and the audit terms contained in this Section I(i) will supersede the terms of Section I(i) of PTE 2016-17 except as otherwise provided in this exemption. In determining compliance with the conditions for relief in PTE 2016-17 and this exemption, including the Policies and Training requirements, for purposes of conducting the audit, the auditor will rely on the conditions for exemptive relief as then applicable to the respective periods under audit” (footnotes omitted).

    To correct the timing of the audit requirement, the Department is revising Section I(i)(1) of the exemption to reflect that the Initial Audit Period begins on January 10, 2018 and ends on March 9, 2019, and the corresponding Audit Report must be completed by September 9, 2019. Additionally, the Second audit period must cover the period March 10, 2019 through March 9, 2020 and must be completed by September 9, 2020 and the third audit must cover the period from March 10, 2020 through March 9, 2021. In connection with the revision, the Department is deleting from Section I(i) the following language and corresponding footnote 72 on page 61917 of the exemption: “The Initial Audit Period shall cover the period of time during which PTE 2016-17 is effective and a portion of the time during which this exemption is effective and the audit terms contained in this Section I(i) will supersede the terms of Section I(i) of PTE 2016-17 except as otherwise provided in this exemption. In determining compliance with the conditions for relief in PTE 2016-17 and this exemption, including the Policies and Training requirements, for purposes of conducting the audit, the auditor will rely on the conditions for exemptive relief as then applicable to the respective periods under audit.”

    As revised, Section I(i)(1) in relevant part now states, “Each UBS QPAM submits to an audit conducted annually by an independent auditor, who has been prudently selected and who has appropriate technical training and proficiency with ERISA and the Code, to evaluate the adequacy of, and each UBS QPAM's compliance with, the Policies and Training described herein. The audit requirement must be incorporated in the Policies. The first annual audit must cover a fourteen-month period that begins on January 10, 2018 and ends on March 9, 2019 (the Initial Audit Period), and must be completed by September 9, 2019. The second audit must cover the period from March 10, 2019 through March 9, 2020 and must be completed by September 9, 2020. In the event that the Exemption Period is extended or a new exemption is granted, the third audit would cover the period from March 10, 2020 through March 9, 2021 and would have to be completed by September 9, 2021 (unless the Department chooses to alter the annual audit requirement in the new or extended exemption).”

    In coordination with the correction to Section I(i)(1) above, Footnote 71 on page 61917 included with Section I(i) is revised to state, “The third audit referenced above would not have to be completed until after the Exemption Period expires. If the Department ultimately decides to grant relief for an additional period, it could decide to alter the terms of the exempt