Federal Register Vol. 83, No.37,

Federal Register Volume 83, Issue 37 (February 23, 2018)

Page Range7949-8163
FR Document

83_FR_37
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
83 FR 8161 - Modifying and Continuing the National Emergency With Respect to Cuba and Continuing To Authorize the Regulation of the Anchorage and Movement of VesselsPDF
83 FR 8159 - Death of Billy GrahamPDF
83 FR 7949 - Application of the Definition of Machinegun to ``Bump Fire'' Stocks and Other Similar DevicesPDF
83 FR 8146 - Notice of Determinations; Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “Dead Sea Scrolls: The Exhibition” ExhibitionPDF
83 FR 8117 - Sunshine Act Meeting NoticePDF
83 FR 8118 - Sunshine Act MeetingsPDF
83 FR 8106 - Notice of Receipt of Complaint; Solicitation of Comments Relating to the Public InterestPDF
83 FR 8090 - Meeting of the Secretary's Advisory Committee on Human Research ProtectionsPDF
83 FR 8086 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Public Comment Request; State Annual Long-Term Care Ombudsman Report Known as the National Ombudsman Reporting System (NORS) and Instructions (OMB No: 0985-0005)PDF
83 FR 8091 - Findings of Research MisconductPDF
83 FR 8069 - Procurement List; Addition and DeletionsPDF
83 FR 8070 - Procurement List; Proposed DeletionsPDF
83 FR 8147 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Requests for Comments; Clearance of Renewed Approval of Information Collection: Safety Assurance System External PortalPDF
83 FR 8108 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Evaluation of Strategies Used in TechHire and Strengthening Working Families Initiative (SWFI) Grant ProgramsPDF
83 FR 8110 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Implementation StudyPDF
83 FR 8006 - Quizalofop ethyl; Pesticide TolerancesPDF
83 FR 8003 - Distillates (Petroleum), Solvent-Dewaxed Heavy Paraffinic; Exemption From the Requirement of a TolerancePDF
83 FR 8095 - National Offshore Safety Advisory CommitteePDF
83 FR 8073 - Environmental Impact Statements; Notice of AvailabilityPDF
83 FR 8101 - Notice of Inventory Completion: Tennessee Valley Authority, Knoxville, TNPDF
83 FR 8104 - Notice of Inventory Completion: San Luis Obispo County Archaeological Society, San Luis Obispo, CAPDF
83 FR 8103 - Notice of Inventory Completion: Utah Museum of Natural History, Salt Lake City, UTPDF
83 FR 8102 - Notice of Inventory Completion: Utah Museum of Natural History, Salt Lake City, UTPDF
83 FR 8013 - Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Requirements and Services for Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents; Advance Notice of Proposed RulemakingPDF
83 FR 8053 - Cast Iron Soil Pipe From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair Value InvestigationPDF
83 FR 8084 - Notice of Agreements FiledPDF
83 FR 8096 - Commercial Fishing Safety Advisory CommitteePDF
83 FR 8052 - Certain Polyester Staple Fiber From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Expedited Sunset Review of the Antidumping Duty OrderPDF
83 FR 8052 - Export Trade Certificate of ReviewPDF
83 FR 8047 - Cast Iron Soil Pipe From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Countervailing Duty InvestigationPDF
83 FR 8085 - Submission for OMB Review; Reporting and Use of Information Concerning Integrity and Performance of Recipients of Grants and Cooperative AgreementsPDF
83 FR 8086 - Patient Safety Organizations: Expired Listing for Quality SolutionsPDF
83 FR 8096 - California; Amendment No. 3 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
83 FR 8097 - American Samoa; Emergency and Related DeterminationsPDF
83 FR 8098 - California; Amendment No. 8 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
83 FR 8097 - New Hampshire; Amendment No. 1 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
83 FR 8131 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 8011 - Suspension of Community EligibilityPDF
83 FR 8016 - Energy Conservation Program: Energy Conservation Standards Program DesignPDF
83 FR 8149 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Joint Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 8116 - Proposal Review Panel for Computing and Communication Foundations; Notice of MeetingPDF
83 FR 8116 - Advisory Committee for Environmental Research and Education; Notice of MeetingPDF
83 FR 8074 - Incentive Auction Task Force and Media Bureau Announce Post Incentive Auction Special Displacement Window April 10, 2018 Through May 15, 2018 and Make Location and Channel Data AvailablePDF
83 FR 8147 - Seventy Second RTCA SC-135 Environmental Testing Plenary MeetingPDF
83 FR 8073 - Availability of an Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI)PDF
83 FR 8094 - Certificate of Alternative Compliance for the GLOBAL PROVIDERPDF
83 FR 8098 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Permit ApplicationsPDF
83 FR 8153 - Tiered Pharmacy Copayments for Medications UpdatePDF
83 FR 8107 - Importer of Controlled Substances Application: Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc.PDF
83 FR 8107 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; NewPDF
83 FR 8045 - Notice of Public Meetings of the Kansas Advisory CommitteePDF
83 FR 8045 - Notice of Public Meeting of the Ohio Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil RightsPDF
83 FR 8071 - Notice of Request Under Blanket Authorization: National Fuel Gas Supply CorporationPDF
83 FR 8070 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
83 FR 8072 - Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review of the Okeechobee Lateral Pipeline Project Florida Southeast Connection, LLCPDF
83 FR 8111 - Proposed Modification to the List of Appropriate NRTL Program Test Standards and the Scopes of Recognition of Several NRTLsPDF
83 FR 8113 - Applied Research Laboratories of South Florida, LLC: Application for RecognitionPDF
83 FR 8051 - Civil Nuclear Trade Advisory Committee; Meeting of the Civil Nuclear Trade Advisory CommitteePDF
83 FR 8047 - Civil Nuclear Trade Advisory Committee; Meeting of the Civil Nuclear Trade Advisory CommitteePDF
83 FR 8068 - Civil Nuclear Trade Advisory Committee; Meeting of the Civil Nuclear Trade Advisory CommitteePDF
83 FR 8046 - Notice of Public Meeting of the Arizona Advisory CommitteePDF
83 FR 8094 - National Human Genome Research Institute; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
83 FR 8093 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of MeetingPDF
83 FR 8093 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
83 FR 8088 - Determination of Regulatory Review Period for Purposes of Patent Extension; ZYDELIG-New Drug Application 206545PDF
83 FR 8089 - Sebela Ireland, Ltd. et al.; Withdrawal of Approval of 24 Abbreviated New Drug ApplicationsPDF
83 FR 8134 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Cboe EDGX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Expand the Short Term Options Series Program To Allow Monday Expirations for SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust Options on the Exchange's Equity Options PlatformPDF
83 FR 8125 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq GEMX, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rule 100PDF
83 FR 8132 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE American LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend Its Listing Standard for Warrants in Section 105 of the NYSE American Company GuidePDF
83 FR 8128 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Expand the Short Term Options Series Program To Allow Monday Expirations for SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust Options on the Exchange's Equity Options PlatformPDF
83 FR 8142 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Cboe Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Relating To Expand the Short Term Options Series Program To Allow Monday Expirations for SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust OptionsPDF
83 FR 8122 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq MRX, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rule 100PDF
83 FR 8140 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend Section 902.11 of the Exchange's Listed Company Manual Concerning Fees Applicable to Acquisition Companies for Shares Issued in Connection With the Consummation of a Business CombinationPDF
83 FR 8118 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Order Granting Approval of a Proposed Rule Change To List and Trade the Shares of the Reinhart Intermediate Bond NextShares Fund Under Nasdaq Rule 5745PDF
83 FR 8138 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; ICE Clear Europe Limited; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to a New F&O Concentration Charge PolicyPDF
83 FR 8146 - Projects Rescinded for Consumptive Uses of WaterPDF
83 FR 8146 - Projects Approved for Consumptive Uses of WaterPDF
83 FR 8037 - Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Proposed Rule To Revise Atlantic Shark Fishery Closure RegulationsPDF
83 FR 7951 - Annual Stress Test-Technical and Conforming ChangesPDF
83 FR 8117 - New Postal ProductsPDF
83 FR 8084 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
83 FR 8069 - Manufacturing Extension Partnership Advisory BoardPDF
83 FR 8148 - Notice and Request for CommentsPDF
83 FR 8147 - Notice and Request for CommentsPDF
83 FR 8105 - Certain UV Curable Coatings for Optical Fibers, Coated Optical Fibers, and Products Containing Same; Notice of Request for Statements on the Public InterestPDF
83 FR 8021 - Air Plan Approval; OR: Infrastructure Requirements for the 2010 Nitrogen Dioxide, 2010 Sulfur Dioxide, and 2012 Fine Particulate Matter StandardsPDF
83 FR 7998 - Indaziflam; Pesticide Tolerances for Emergency ExemptionsPDF
83 FR 8019 - Withdrawal of PleadingsPDF
83 FR 7954 - Requirements for Insurance; National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund Equity DistributionsPDF
83 FR 8017 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
83 FR 7979 - DefinitionsPDF
83 FR 8155 - Agency Information Collection Activity: Application for Service-Disabled Veterans InsurancePDF
83 FR 8028 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Halibut and Sablefish Individual Fishing Quota Program; Community Development Quota Program; Modifications to Recordkeeping and Reporting RequirementsPDF
83 FR 7972 - Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc., AirplanesPDF
83 FR 7968 - Airworthiness Directives; Fokker Services B.V. AirplanesPDF
83 FR 7964 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
83 FR 7975 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
83 FR 8058 - Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative ReviewsPDF

Issue

83 37 Friday, February 23, 2018 Contents Agency Health Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality NOTICES Patient Safety Organizations: Expired Listing for Quality Solutions, 8086 2018-03744 Aging Aging Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: State Annual Long-Term Care Ombudsman Report Known as National Ombudsman Reporting System and Instructions, 8086-8088 2018-03767 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Food and Nutrition Service

Civil Rights Civil Rights Commission NOTICES Meetings: Arizona Advisory Committee, 8046 2018-03705 Kansas Advisory Committee, 8045 2018-03719 Ohio Advisory Committee, 8045-8046 2018-03718 Coast Guard Coast Guard NOTICES Certificates of Alternative Compliance: GLOBAL PROVIDER, 8094-8095 2018-03729 Meetings: Commercial Fishing Safety Advisory Committee, 8096 2018-03749 National Offshore Safety Advisory Committee, 8095-8096 2018-03758 Commerce Commerce Department See

International Trade Administration

See

National Institute of Standards and Technology

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Committee for Purchase Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled NOTICES Procurement List; Additions and Deletions, 8069-8070 2018-03765 2018-03764 Commodity Futures Commodity Futures Trading Commission RULES Definitions, 7979-7997 2018-03590 Community Living Administration Community Living Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: State Annual Long-Term Care Ombudsman Report Known as National Ombudsman Reporting System and Instructions, 8086-8088 2018-03767 Comptroller Comptroller of the Currency RULES Annual Stress Test--Technical and Conforming Changes, 7951-7954 2018-03687 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 8149-8153 2018-03736 Drug Drug Enforcement Administration NOTICES Importers of Controlled Substances; Applications: Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 8107 2018-03723 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

PROPOSED RULES Energy Conservation Standards Program Design, 8016-8017 2018-03737
Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Pesticide Tolerances: Quizalofop ethyl, 8006-8011 2018-03760 Pesticide Tolerances; Emergency Exemptions: Indaziflam, 7998-8002 2018-03673 Pesticide Tolerances; Exemptions: Distillates (petroleum), Solvent-Dewaxed Heavy Paraffinic, 8003-8006 2018-03759 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: OR: Infrastructure Requirements for the 2010 Nitrogen Dioxide, 2010 Sulfur Dioxide, and 2012 Fine Particulate Matter Standards, 8021-8028 2018-03675 NOTICES Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc., 8073 2018-03730 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Weekly Receipts, 8073-8074 2018-03757 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: Bombardier, Inc., Airplanes, 7972-7975 2018-03438 Fokker Services B.V. Airplanes, 7968-7972 2018-03437 The Boeing Company Airplanes, 7964-7968, 7975-7979 2018-03429 2018-03434 PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: The Boeing Company Airplanes, 8017-8019 2018-03598 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Safety Assurance System External Portal, 8147 2018-03763 Meetings: Seventy Second RTCA SC-135 Environmental Testing Plenary, 8147 2018-03731 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission NOTICES Incentive Auction Task Force and Media Bureau Announce Post Incentive Auction Special Displacement Window April 10, 2018 through May 15, 2018 and Make Location and Channel Data Available, 8074-8084 2018-03732 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 8149-8153 2018-03736 Federal Emergency Federal Emergency Management Agency RULES Suspensions of Community Eligibility, 8011-8012 2018-03738 NOTICES Emergency and Related Determinations: American Samoa, 8097-8098 2018-03742 Major Disaster Declarations: California; Amendment No. 3, 8096-8097 2018-03743 California; Amendment No. 8, 8098 2018-03741 New Hampshire; Amendment 1, 8097 2018-03740 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission PROPOSED RULES Withdrawal of Pleadings, 8019-8020 2018-03648 NOTICES Combined Filings, 8070-8071 2018-03716 Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Florida Southeast Connection, LLC, 8072-8073 2018-03715 Requests under Blanket Authorizations: National Fuel Gas Supply Corp., 8071-8072 2018-03717 Federal Maritime Federal Maritime Commission NOTICES Agreements Filed, 8084 2018-03750 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 8149-8153 2018-03736 Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 8084 2018-03684 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Endangered and Threatened Species: Permit Applications, 8098-8101 2018-03725 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Determinations of Regulatory Review Periods for Purposes of Patent Extensions: ZYDELIG, 8088-8089 2018-03701 New Drug Applications: Sebela Ireland, Ltd. et al.; Withdrawal of Approval, 8089-8090 2018-03700 Food and Nutrition Food and Nutrition Service PROPOSED RULES Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Requirements and Services for Able-Bodied Adults without Dependents, 8013-8016 2018-03752 General Services General Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Reporting and Use of Information Concerning Integrity and Performance of Recipients of Grants and Cooperative Agreements, 8085-8086 2018-03745 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

See

Aging Administration

See

Community Living Administration

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

NOTICES Findings of Research Misconduct, 8091-8093 2018-03766 Meetings: Secretary's Advisory Committee on Human Research Protections, 8090-8091 2018-03768
Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

Federal Emergency Management Agency

Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

National Park Service

International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Administrative Reviews, 8058-8068 2018-03403 Cast Iron Soil Pipe from the People's Republic of China, 8047-8051 2018-03746 Certain Polyester Staple Fiber from the People's Republic of China, 8052 2018-03748 Export Trade Certificate of Review, 8052-8053 2018-03747 Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations: Cast Iron Soil Pipe from the People's Republic of China, 8053-8058 2018-03751 Meetings: Civil Nuclear Trade Advisory Committee, 8047, 8051-8052, 8068-8069 2018-03709 2018-03710 2018-03711 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Complaints: Certain Clidinium Bromide and Products Containing Same, 8106-8107 2018-03774 Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain UV Curable Coatings for Optical Fibers, Coated Optical Fibers, and Products Containing Same, 8105-8106 2018-03680 Justice Department Justice Department See

Drug Enforcement Administration

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 8107-8108 2018-03720
Labor Department Labor Department See

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Evaluation of Strategies Used in TechHire and Strengthening Working Families Initiative Grant Programs, 8108-8110 2018-03762 Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Implementation Study, 8110-8111 2018-03761
National Credit National Credit Union Administration RULES Requirements for Insurance: National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund Equity Distributions, 7954-7964 2018-03622 National Highway National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 8147-8149 2018-03681 2018-03682 National Institute National Institute of Standards and Technology NOTICES Meetings: Manufacturing Extension Partnership Advisory Board, 8069 2018-03683 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: Center for Scientific Review, 2018-03702 8093-8094 2018-03703 National Human Genome Research Institute, 8094 2018-03704 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration PROPOSED RULES Atlantic Highly Migratory Species: Revise Atlantic Shark Fishery Closure Regulations, 8037-8044 2018-03688 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska: Pacific Halibut and Sablefish Individual Fishing Quota Program; Community Development Quota Program; Modifications to Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements, 8028-8037 2018-03548 National Park National Park Service NOTICES Inventory Completions: San Luis Obispo County Archaeological Society, San Luis Obispo, CA, 8104-8105 2018-03755 Tennessee Valley Authority, Knoxville, TN, 8101-8102 2018-03756 Utah Museum of Natural History, Salt Lake City, UT, 8102-8104 2018-03753 2018-03754 National Science National Science Foundation NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee for Environmental Research and Education, 8116 2018-03734 Proposal Review Panel for Computing and Communication Foundations, 8116 2018-03735 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 8117 2018-03827 Occupational Safety Health Adm Occupational Safety and Health Administration NOTICES Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories: Applied Research Laboratories of South Florida, LLC; Application for Recognition, 8113-8116 2018-03713 Proposed Modification to List of Appropriate Program Test Standards and Scopes of Recognition of Several Laboratories, 8111-8113 2018-03714 Postal Regulatory Postal Regulatory Commission NOTICES New Postal Products, 8117-8118 2018-03685 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents PROCLAMATIONS Cuba, Regulation of Anchorage and Movement of Vessels; Modification and Continuation of National Emergency (Proc. 9699), 8161-8163 2018-03962 Special Observances: Death of Billy Graham (Proc. 9698), 8157-8159 2018-03959 ADMINISTRATIVE ORDERS Machinegun to “Bump Fire” Stocks and Similar Devices; Application of Definition (Memorandum of February 20, 2018), 7949-7950 2018-03868 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 8131-8132 2018-03739 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 8118 2018-03799 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc., 8128-8131 2018-03696 Cboe EDGX Exchange, Inc., 8134-8138 2018-03699 Cboe Exchange, Inc., 8142-8146 2018-03695 ICE Clear Europe, Ltd., 8138-8140 2018-03691 Nasdaq GEMX, LLC, 8125-8127 2018-03698 Nasdaq MRX, LLC, 8122-8125 2018-03694 NASDAQ Stock Market, LLC, 8118-8122 2018-03692 New York Stock Exchange, LLC, 8140-8142 2018-03693 NYSE American, LLC, 8132-8134 2018-03697 State Department State Department NOTICES Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition: Dead Sea Scrolls: The Exhibition, 8146 2018-03839 Susquehanna Susquehanna River Basin Commission NOTICES Projects Approved: Consumptive Uses of Water, 8146 2018-03689 Projects Rescinded: Consumptive Uses of Water, 8146-8147 2018-03690 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Treasury Treasury Department See

Comptroller of the Currency

Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application for Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance, 8155 2018-03585 Tiered Pharmacy Copayments for Medications Update, 8153-8154 2018-03724 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Presidential Documents, 8157-8159, 8161-8163 2018-03959 2018-03962 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 37 Friday, February 23, 2018 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Office of the Comptroller of the Currency 12 CFR Part 46 [Docket ID OCC-2017-0021] RIN 1557-AE28 Annual Stress Test—Technical and Conforming Changes AGENCY:

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Treasury.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

On October 27, 2017, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) published a proposed rule that would have made several revisions to its stress testing regulation. The OCC is now adopting the proposed rule as final. The final rule changes the range of possible “as-of” dates used in the global market shock component to conform to changes already made by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) to its stress testing regulations. The final rule also changes the transition process for covered institutions with $50 billion or more in assets. Under the final rule, a covered institution that becomes an over $50 billion covered institution, as that term is defined in the OCC stress testing regulation, before September 30 will become subject to the requirements applicable to an over $50 billion covered institution beginning on January 1 of the second calendar year after the covered institution becomes an over $50 billion covered institution, and a covered institution that becomes an over $50 billion covered institution after September 30 will become subject to the requirements applicable to an over $50 billion covered institution beginning on January 1 of the third calendar year after the covered institution becomes an over $50 billion covered institution. The final rule also makes certain technical changes to clarify the requirements of the OCC's stress testing regulation.

DATES:

The rule is effective March 26, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Hein Bogaard, Lead Economic Expert, International Analysis and Banking Condition, (202) 649-5450; Andrew Tschirhart, Financial Analyst, Large Bank Supervision, (202) 649-6210; Kari Falkenborg, Senior Financial Analyst, Midsize and Community Bank Supervision, (312) 917-5000; Henry Barkhausen, Counsel, or Ron Shimabukuro, Senior Counsel, Legislative and Regulatory Activities Division, (202) 649-5490; for persons who are deaf or hearing impaired, TTY, (202) 649-5597.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

Section 165(i) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act 1 (“Dodd-Frank Act”) requires two types of stress tests. Section 165(i)(1) requires the Board to conduct annual stress tests of holding companies with $50 billion or more in assets (“supervisory stress tests”). Section 165(i)(2) requires the federal banking agencies to issue regulations requiring financial companies with more than $10 billion in assets to conduct annual stress tests themselves (“company-run stress tests”). In October 2012, the OCC, the Board, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation issued final rules implementing the company-run stress tests.

1 Public Law 111-203, 124 Stat. 1376 (2010).

The Dodd-Frank Act requires that the OCC and other federal primary financial regulatory agencies issue consistent and comparable regulations to implement the statutory stress testing requirement. In order to fulfill this requirement and minimize regulatory burden, the OCC has worked to ensure that its stress testing regulation remains consistent and comparable to the regulations enacted by other regulatory agencies, including the Board.

II. Description of the Final Rule A. New Range of Possible As-Of Dates for Trading and Counterparty Scenario Component

Under 12 CFR 46.5(c) the OCC may require a covered institution with significant trading activities to include trading and counterparty components in its adverse and severely adverse scenarios. The trading and counterparty position data to be used in this component is as of a date between January 1 and March 1 of a calendar year. On February 3, 2017, the Board issued a final rule that extended this range to run from October 1 of the calendar year preceding the year of the stress test to March 1 of the calendar year of the stress test.2 The proposed rule would have made this same change to the OCC's stress testing regulation. The OCC received no comments on this change and is adopting the change as proposed. Extending this range will increase the OCC's flexibility to choose an appropriate as-of date. The OCC continues to coordinate its stress testing program with the Board in order to minimize regulatory burden.

2 82 FR 9308 (February 3, 2017).

B. New Applicability Transition and Terminology for Covered Institutions With $50 Billion or More in Assets

The proposed rule would have changed the term “over $50 billion covered institution” to “$50 billion or over covered institution.” The change would not have altered the scope of this defined term and would not change the substantive requirements of the regulation. The OCC did not receive any comments on this change and is adopting the change as proposed. The new defined term will be a more precise description of the entities included within this category, which includes all national banks and federal savings associations “with average total consolidated assets . . . that are not less than $50 billion.” 3 While the final rule will change the defined term “over $50 billion covered institution” to “$50 billion or over covered institution,” this supplementary information section will continue to use the defined term “over $50 billion covered institution” since that is the term used in the current regulatory text.

3 12 CFR 46.2.

The proposed rule would also have changed the transition process for covered institutions that become an “over $50 billion covered institution.” On February 3, 2017, the Board issued a final rule that would provide additional time for bank holding companies that cross the $50 billion asset threshold close to the April 5 submission date.4 The proposed rule would have made a parallel amendment to the OCC's stress testing regulation. The OCC did not receive any comments addressing this change and is adopting the change as proposed. Under the final rule, a national bank or federal savings association that becomes an over $50 billion covered institution in the fourth quarter of a calendar year 5 will not be subject to the stress testing requirements applicable to over $50 billion covered institutions until the third year after it crosses the asset threshold. For example, if a national bank or federal savings association became an over $50 billion covered institution on September 15, 2017, the institution would be expected to comply with the requirements applicable to over $50 billion covered institutions beginning in 2019 and file the OCC DFAST-14A in April 2019. If a national bank or federal savings association became an over $50 billion covered institution on October 15, 2017, the institution would be required to comply with the stress testing requirements applicable to over $50 billion covered institutions beginning in 2020 and file the OCC DFAST-14A in April 2020.

4 82 FR 9308 (February 3, 2017).

5 An institution becomes an over $50 billion covered institution when its average total consolidated assets, as reported on the covered institution's Call Reports, for the four most recent consecutive quarters, equals $50 billion or more. 12 CFR 46.3(a).

The stress testing timeline and transition process for national banks or federal savings associations which become $10 to $50 billion covered institutions remain unchanged. A national bank or federal savings association that becomes a $10 to $50 billion covered institution on or before March 31 of a given year would be required to conduct its first stress test in the next calendar year. For example, a national bank or federal savings association that becomes a $10 to $50 billion covered institution as of March 31, 2017, would be required to conduct its first stress test in the stress testing cycle beginning January 1, 2018. A national bank or federal savings association that becomes a $10 to $50 billion covered institution after March 31 of a given year would be required to conduct its first stress test in the second calendar year after the date the national bank or federal savings association becomes a covered institution. For example, a national bank or federal savings association that becomes a $10 to $50 billion covered institution on June 30, 2017 would be required to conduct its first stress test in the stress testing cycle beginning January 1, 2019.

C. Remove Obsolete Transition Language

In 2014 the OCC, in coordination with the Board and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, shifted the dates of the annual stress testing cycle by approximately three months.6 The OCC's stress testing regulation continues to include transition language to facilitate this schedule shift. The transition to the new schedule is now complete, and the final rule removes this obsolete transition language.

6 79 FR 71630 (December 3, 2014).

III. Comments

The OCC received three comments on the proposed rule from individuals. Two of the comments did not address the contents of the proposed rule or stress testing. One comment mentioned stress testing but was very brief and did not make any specific recommendations. Accordingly, the OCC is adopting the final rule as proposed.

IV. Regulatory Analysis Paperwork Reduction Act

Under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the OCC may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, an information collection unless the information collection displays a valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. This final rule amends 12 CFR part 46, which has an approved information collection under the PRA (OMB Control No. 1557-0319). The amendments do not introduce any new collections of information, nor do they amend 12 CFR part 46 in a way that modifies the collection of information that OMB has approved. Therefore, this final rule does not require a PRA submission to OMB.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., requires generally that, in connection with a final rule, an agency prepare and make available for public comment a regulatory flexibility analysis that describes the impact of the rule on small entities. However, the regulatory flexibility analysis otherwise required under the RFA is not required if an agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities (defined in regulations promulgated by the Small Business Administration (SBA) to include banking organizations with total assets of less than or equal to $550 million) and publishes its certification and a brief explanatory statement in the Federal Register together with the rule.

As discussed in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section, the final rule will only affect institutions with more than $10 billion in total assets. Therefore, the rule will not affect any small entities. As such, pursuant to section 605(b) of the RFA, the OCC certifies that this final rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because no small national banks or federal savings associations would be affected by the final rule. Accordingly, a regulatory flexibility analysis is not required.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

The OCC has analyzed the final rule under the factors in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) (2 U.S.C. 1532). Under this analysis, the OCC considered whether the final rule includes a federal mandate that may result in the expenditure by state, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more in any one year (adjusted annually for inflation). The OCC has determined that this final rule will not result in expenditures by state, local, and tribal governments, or the private sector, of $100 million or more in any one year. Accordingly, this final rule is not subject to section 202 of the UMRA.

Riegle Community Development and Regulatory Improvement Act of 1994

The Riegle Community Development and Regulatory Improvement Act of 1994 (RCDRIA) requires that each federal banking agency, in determining the effective date and administrative compliance requirements for new regulations that impose additional reporting, disclosure, or other requirements on insured depository institutions, consider, consistent with principles of safety and soundness and the public interest, any administrative burdens that such regulations would place on depository institutions, including small depository institutions, and customers of depository institutions, as well as the benefits of such regulations. In addition, new regulations and amendments to regulations that impose additional reporting, disclosure, or other new requirements on insured depository institutions generally must take effect on the first day of a calendar quarter that begins on or after the date on which the regulations are published in final form.7 The final rule would not impose additional reporting, disclosure, or other requirements; therefore the requirements of the RCDRIA do not apply.

7 12 U.S.C. 4802.

Plain Language

Section 722 of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act requires the federal banking agencies to use plain language in all proposed and final rules published after January 1, 2000. The OCC has sought to present the final rule in a simple and straightforward manner. The OCC did not receive any comments on its use of plain language.

List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 46

Banking, Banks, Capital, Disclosures, National banks, Recordkeeping, Risk, Savings associations, Stress test.

Authority and Issuance

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the OCC amends 12 CFR part 46 as follows:

PART 46—ANNUAL STRESS TEST 1. The authority citation for part 46 continues to read as follows: Authority:

12 U.S.C. 93a; 1463(a)(2); 5365(i)(2); and 5412(b)(2)(B).

2. Section 46.2 is amended by: a. Removing the phrase “an over $50 billion covered institution” and adding the phrase “a $50 billion or over covered institution” in its place in the definition of “covered institution”; and b. Removing the definition of “over $50 billion covered institution” and adding the definition for “$50 billion or over covered institution” in alphabetical order.

The addition reads as follows:

§ 46.2 Definitions.

$50 billion or over covered institution means a national bank or Federal savings association with average total consolidated assets, calculated as required under this part, that are not less than $50 billion.

3. Section 46.3 is amended by: a. Removing paragraph (b); b. Redesignating paragraphs (c) through (e) as paragraphs (b) through (d), respectively; c. Revising newly redesignated paragraphs (b) and (c); and d. Removing the phrase “an over $50 billion covered institution” and adding the phrase “a $50 billion or over covered institution” in its place wherever it appears in newly redesignated paragraph (d).

The revisions read as follows:

§ 46.3 Applicability.

(b) Covered institutions that become subject to stress testing requirements. A national bank or Federal savings association that becomes a $10 to $50 billion covered institution on or before March 31 of a given year shall conduct its first annual stress test under this part in the next calendar year after the date the national bank or Federal savings association becomes a $10 to $50 billion covered institution, unless that time is extended by the OCC in writing. A national bank or Federal savings association that becomes a $10 to $50 billion covered institution after March 31 of a given year shall conduct its first annual stress test under this part in the second calendar year after the calendar year in which the national bank or Federal savings association becomes a $10 to $50 billion covered institution, unless that time is extended by the OCC in writing.

(c) Ceasing to be a covered institution or changing categories. (1) A covered institution shall remain subject to the stress test requirements based on its applicable category, as defined in § 46.2, unless and until total consolidated assets of the covered institution falls below the relevant size threshold for each of four consecutive quarters as reported by the covered institution's most recent Call Reports. The calculation shall be effective on the “as of” date of the fourth consecutive Call Report.

(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (c)(1) of this section, a national bank or Federal savings association that becomes a $50 billion or over covered institution, whether by migrating from being a $10 to $50 billion covered institution or by directly becoming a $50 billion or over covered institution, after September 30 of a calendar year must comply with the requirements applicable to a $50 billion or over covered institution beginning on January 1 of the third calendar year after the national bank or Federal savings association becomes a $50 billion or over covered institution, unless that time is extended by the OCC in writing. A national bank or Federal savings association that becomes a $50 billion or over covered institution on or before September 30 of a calendar year must comply with the requirements applicable to a $50 billion or over covered institution beginning on January 1 of the second calendar year after the national bank or Federal savings association becomes a $50 billion or over covered institution, unless that time is extended by the OCC in writing.

4. Revise § 46.5 to read as follows:
§ 46.5 Annual stress test.

Each covered institution must conduct the annual stress test under this part subject to the following requirements:

(a) Financial data. A covered institution must use financial data as of December 31 of the previous calendar year.

(b) Scenarios provided by the OCC. In conducting the stress test under this part, each covered institution must use the scenarios provided by the OCC. The scenarios provided by the OCC will reflect a minimum of three sets of economic and financial conditions, including baseline, adverse, and severely adverse scenarios. The OCC will provide a description of the scenarios required to be used by each covered institution no later than February 15 of that calendar year.

(c) Significant trading activities. The OCC may require a covered institution with significant trading activities, as determined by the OCC, to include trading and counterparty components in its adverse and severely adverse scenarios. The trading and counterparty position data to be used in this component will be as of a date between October 1 of the previous calendar year and March 1 of that calendar year in which the stress test is performed, and the OCC will communicate a description of the component to the covered institution no later than March 1 of that calendar year.

(d) Use of stress test results. The board of directors and senior management of each covered institution must consider the results of the stress tests conducted under this section in the normal course of business, including but not limited to the covered institution's capital planning, assessment of capital adequacy, and risk management practices.

5. Section 46.7 is amended by revising paragraphs (a) and (b) to read as follows:
§ 46.7 Reports to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve Board.

(a) $10 to $50 billion covered institution. A $10 to $50 billion covered institution must report to the OCC and to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, on or before July 31, the results of the stress test in the manner and form specified by the OCC.

(b) $50 billion or over covered institution. A $50 billion or over covered institution must report to the OCC and to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, on or before April 5, the results of the stress test in the manner and form specified by the OCC.

6. Section 46.8 is amended by revising paragraph (a) to read as follows:
§ 46.8 Publication of disclosures.

(a) Publication date. (1) $50 billion or over covered institution. A $50 billion or over covered institution must publish a summary of the results of its annual stress test in the period starting June 15 and ending July 15 provided:

(i) Unless the OCC determines otherwise, if the $50 billion or over covered institution is a consolidated subsidiary of a bank holding company or savings and loan holding company subject to supervisory stress tests conducted by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System pursuant to 12 CFR part 252, then within the June 15 to July 15 period such covered institution may not publish the required summary of its annual stress test earlier than the date that the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System publishes the supervisory stress test results of the covered bank's parent holding company.

(ii) If the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System publishes the supervisory stress test results of the covered institution's parent holding company prior to June 15, then such covered institution may publish its stress test results prior to June 15, but no later than July 15, through actual publication by the covered institution or through publication by the parent holding company pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section.

(2) $10 to $50 billion covered institution. A $10 to $50 billion covered institution must publish a summary of the results of its annual stress test in the period starting October 15 and ending October 31.

Dated: February 13, 2018. Joseph Otting, Comptroller of the Currency.
[FR Doc. 2018-03687 Filed 2-22-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-33-P
NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION 12 CFR Part 741 RIN 3133-AE77 Requirements for Insurance; National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund Equity Distributions AGENCY:

National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The NCUA Board (Board) is adopting amendments to its share insurance requirements rule to provide stakeholders with greater transparency regarding the calculation of each eligible financial institution's pro rata share of a declared equity distribution from the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF). The Board is also adopting a temporary provision to govern all NCUSIF equity distributions related to the Corporate System Resolution Program (CSRP), a special purpose program established by the Board to stabilize the corporate credit union system following the 2007-2009 financial crisis. Furthermore, the Board is making technical and conforming amendments to other aspects of the share insurance requirements rule to account for these changes.

DATES:

This rule is effective March 26, 2018, except for the addition of § 741.13, which is effective from March 26, 2018, until December 31, 2022.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Benjamin M. Litchfield, Staff Attorney, Office of General Counsel, at (703) 518-6540; or Steve Farrar, Supervisory Financial Analyst, Office of Examination and Insurance, at (703) 518-6360. You may also contact them at the National Credit Union Administration, 1775 Duke Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314-3428.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background II. Summary of the Proposed Rule III. Summary of Comments to the Proposed Rule IV. Section-by-Section Analysis V. Technical and Conforming Amendments VI. Regulatory Procedures I. Background

The NCUA is the chartering and supervisory authority for federal credit unions (FCUs) and the federal supervisory authority for federally insured credit unions (FICUs).1 In addition to its chartering and supervisory responsibilities, the Board also administers the NCUSIF, a revolving fund within the U.S. Treasury that provides federal share insurance coverage to more than 106 million credit union members for member accounts held at FICUs and provides assistance in connection with the liquidation or threatened liquidation of FICUs in troubled condition.2

1 The NCUA's authority to charter federal credit unions is contained in Title I of the FCU Act (12 U.S.C. 1752-1775), and its various authorities as federal share insurer are contained in Title II of the FCU Act (12 U.S.C. 1781-1790e). Title III of the FCU Act (12 U.S.C. 1795-1795k) governs the Board's responsibilities overseeing the NCUA Central Liquidity Facility, a federal instrumentality that provides liquidity for member credit unions.

2 12 U.S.C. 1783.

The Federal Credit Union Act (FCU Act) requires each FICU to pay and maintain a capitalization deposit with the NCUSIF equal to one percent of the FICU's insured shares to capitalize the NCUSIF.3 The amount of the FICU's required capitalization deposit is adjusted annually for a FICU with less than $50 million in assets and semiannually for a FICU with $50 million in assets or more.4 A FICU that terminates federal share insurance coverage is entitled to have its capitalization deposit returned within a reasonable time.5

3Id. at 1782(c)(1)(A)(i).

4Id. at 1782(c)(1)(A)(iii)(I)-(II) (“The amount of each insured credit union's deposit shall be adjusted as follows, in accordance with procedures determined by the Board, to reflect changes in the credit union's insured shares: (I) Annually, in the case of an insured credit union with total assets of not more than $50,000,000; and (II) semi-annually, in the case of an insured credit union with total assets of $50,000,000 or more.”). Because the statutory text can be read to require the Board to adjust the capitalization deposit of a FICU with exactly $50,000,000 in assets both annually and semi-annually, the Board interprets the phrase “not more than” to mean “less than” to give full effect to Congress' intended meaning of this phrase. See Griffin v. Oceanic Contractors, Inc., 458 U.S. 564, 571 (1982) (if the meaning of the statutory provision is clear from its text, the sole responsibility of a federal agency is to enforce the statute according to its terms unless literal application of the statute “will produce a result demonstrably at odds with the intention of its drafters.”).

5Id. at 1782(c)(1)(B)(i). A FICU may terminate federal share insurance coverage by converting to, or merging into, a non-federally insured credit union or a non-credit union financial institution such as a mutual savings bank. If permitted under applicable state law, a federally insured, state-chartered credit union may also convert to private share insurance. See 12 CFR 708b (NCUA's regulation governing mergers and conversions to private share insurance). A FICU may also terminate federal share insurance coverage through voluntary or involuntary liquidation.

The FCU Act also requires each FICU to pay a federal share insurance premium equal to a percentage of the FICU's insured shares to ensure that the NCUSIF has sufficient reserves to pay potential share insurance claims by credit union members and to provide assistance in connection with the liquidation or threatened liquidation of FICUs in troubled condition.6 The Board may assess a federal share insurance premium no more than twice in a calendar year and not in an amount more than necessary to restore the NCUSIF's equity ratio to 1.3 percent.7

6Id. at 1782(c)(2)(A).

7Id. at 1782(c)(2)(B). The “equity ratio” is the amount of NCUSIF capitalization, including FICU NCUSIF capitalization deposits and retained earnings of the NCUSIF (net of direct liabilities of the NCUSIF and contingent liabilities for which no provision for losses has been made) divided by the aggregate amount of insured FICU shares. Id. at 1782(h)(2).

Furthermore, the FCU Act requires the Board to make a pro rata distribution of NCUSIF equity to FICUs “after each calendar year if, as of the end of the calendar year,” there are no outstanding loans or interest owed to the U.S. Treasury and the NCUSIF meets certain financial performance benchmarks.8 When those financial conditions are present, the FCU Act requires the Board to make the maximum possible equity distribution that does not reduce the NCUSIF's equity ratio below its normal operating level or the available assets ratio below one percent.9

8Id. at 1782(c)(3)(A). The FCU Act requires the Board to make a pro rata equity distribution from the NCUSIF to FICUs for each year where, at the end of the year, the following circumstances are present: (1) The NCUSIF has no outstanding loans from the U.S. Treasury and any outstanding interest on those loans has been repaid; (2) the NCUSIF's equity ratio exceeds the normal operating level set by the Board; and (3) the NCUSIF's available assets ratio exceeds 1 percent. The “normal operating level” is currently set at 1.39. The “available assets ratio” is the total of cash plus market value of unencumbered investments (less direct liabilities and contingent liabilities for which no provision for loss has been made) divided by the aggregate amount of insured FICU shares. Id. at 1782(h)(1).

9Id. at 1782(c)(3)(B)(i)-(ii).

Section 741.4 of the NCUA's share insurance requirements rule implements these requirements.10 The Board originally adopted it on October 17, 1984 following the passage of the Deficit Reduction Act of 1984,11 which amended the FCU Act to require pro rata distributions of NCUSIF equity under certain financial conditions.12 The Board subsequently amended § 741.4 following the passage of the Credit Union Membership Access Act of 1998 13 and the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009 14 to address changes made to the FCU Act by each of these laws.15 With respect to equity distributions from the NCUSIF, § 741.4 governs the form of a declared equity distribution (i.e., a waiver of insurance premiums, premium rebates, or a dividend directly from the NCUSIF) and the scope of financial institutions (referred to collectively herein as “eligible financial institutions”) eligible to receive the declared equity distribution.16

10 12 CFR 741.4.

11 Public Law 98-369, Div. B., Title VIII, sec. 2804, 98 Stat. 494, 1204 (July 18, 1984).

12 Capitalization of the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, 49 FR 40561 (Oct. 17, 1984).

13 Public Law 105-219, sec. 302(a), 112 Stat. 913, 933 (Aug. 7, 1998).

14 Public Law 111-22, sec. 204(e)-(f), 123 Stat. 1632, 1650-51 (May 20, 2009).

15 National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund Premium and One Percent Deposit, 74 FR 63277 (Dec. 3, 2009).

16 Under certain circumstances, a FICU that terminates federal share insurance coverage (including through merger with a privately insured credit union) and a financial institution that converts to federal share insurance coverage (including through merger with a FICU) may receive a prorated share of an equity distribution. See 12 CFR 741.4(i), (j).

II. Summary of the Proposed Rule

On July 20, 2017, the Board issued a notice of proposed rulemaking soliciting public comment on proposed amendments to § 741.4 to provide stakeholders with greater transparency regarding the calculation of an eligible financial institution's pro rata share of a declared equity distribution.17 As part of the proposed rulemaking, the Board also sought to adopt a temporary provision for equity distributions related to the CSRP.18

17 Requirements for Insurance; National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund Equity Distributions, 82 FR 35705 (Aug. 1, 2017).

18 The CSRP was a special purpose initiative to stabilize the corporate credit union system funded principally through advances from the Temporary Corporate Credit Union Stabilization Fund (TCCUSF). The TCCUSF was a temporary revolving fund within the U.S. Treasury created to address problems in the corporate credit union system that arose as part of the recent financial crisis. On September 28, 2017, the Board announced the closure of the TCCUSF and the winding down of the CSRP. See Closing the Temporary Corporate Credit Union Stabilization Fund and Setting the Share Insurance Fund Normal Operating Level, 82 FR 46298 (Oct. 4, 2017).

The proposed rule amended § 741.4 in several respects. First, the proposed rule amended § 741.4(e) to adopt a calculation methodology for determining each FICU's pro rata share of a declared equity distribution based on either an eligible financial institution's quarterly average amount of insured shares or its year-end insured shares balance as then reported in the financial institution's year-end Call Report. Second, the proposed rule amended § 741.4(j)(1)(ii) to eliminate the ability of a FICU terminating federal share insurance coverage during the calendar year from receiving an equity distribution for that calendar year.

To accommodate these changes, the proposed rule also made technical and conforming amendments to the definitions in § 741.4(b) and the provisions governing conversion to federal share insurance in § 741.4(i). Appendix A to part 741, which provides examples of partial year federal share insurance premium assessments and equity distributions under § 741.4, was removed in favor of developing a more user-friendly and readily updated set of examples to be posted on the NCUA's public website.

The proposed rule also sought to add a temporary provision, § 741.13, to govern equity distributions related to the CSRP. Because the CSRP involved a series of corporate assessments to capitalize the TCCUSF, the temporary provision required any equity distribution related to the CSRP to take the form of a rebate of past corporate assessments paid on either a First-In, First-Out (FIFO) or Last-In, First-Out (LIFO) basis to repay those eligible financial institutions that were required to pay a corporate assessment.

Finally, the proposed rule requested comment on ways to improve the NCUA's current process for assessing and collecting federal share insurance premiums to provide stakeholders with greater transparency. While not part of this rulemaking, the Board noted its intention to address the assessment and collection of federal share insurance premiums in a separate rulemaking based in part on stakeholder comments. One possible improvement that the Board was considering was calculating federal share insurance premiums similarly to equity distributions.

III. Summary of the Comments to the Proposed Rule

The Board received 50 comments from various stakeholders including FICUs, national credit union trade associations, state credit union trade associations, a professional trade association for state credit union supervisors, and a natural person. Commenters overwhelmingly supported the Board's initiative to provide FICUs with greater transparency and offered general support for the proposed rule.

Commenters almost uniformly supported the Board's four-quarter average method for calculating an eligible financial institution's pro rata share of a declared equity distribution under § 741.4(e). One commenter wrote in support of the year-end insured share balance method, but did not offer any substantive arguments in support of that approach. Another commenter wrote in support of the current average daily balance method, reasoning that the current approach more appropriately treats an equity distribution as a dividend on the NCUSIF capitalization deposit and does not reward FICUs that aggressively grow insured share balances which can increase the overall risk to the NCUSIF.

Commenters were more evenly divided on the Board's proposed changes to § 741.4(j)(1)(ii), which prohibited the payment of an equity distribution to a FICU that terminates federal share insurance coverage during the calendar year for which an equity distribution is declared. However, neither commenters in favor of the proposed changes nor commenters opposed to the proposed changes offered substantive arguments in support of their respective positions. Commenters in favor of the proposed changes echoed the Board's reasoning from the proposed rule and commenters opposed to the proposed changes generalized about fairness to FICUs that terminate federal share insurance coverage.

Commenters were likewise divided on whether an equity distribution related to the CSRP should take the form of a rebate of past corporate assessments paid on a LIFO or FIFO basis or using the quarterly average or year-end method, whichever was adopted in § 741.4(e). Of the commenters that indicated a preference for rebates of past corporate assessments on a LIFO or FIFO basis, an overwhelming majority favored the LIFO approach. Other commenters indicated a preference for an aggregate assessments paid approach, recommended by a national credit union trade association, which was neither a logical outgrowth of the LIFO or FIFO methods nor the quarterly average or year-end methods. Under the aggregate assessments paid approach, each FICU would have received an equity distribution based on the percentage of corporate assessments paid by that FICU over the life of the CSRP as a percentage of the aggregate corporate assessments paid by all FICUs over the life of the CSRP. The Board did not receive specific comments on any other aspect of the proposed rule, including the technical and conforming amendments proposed to § 741.4(b) and (i) or the elimination of Appendix A to part 741.

For the reasons set out in more detail below, the Board is adopting the four-quarter average method for calculating an eligible financial institution's pro rata share of an equity distribution. Additionally, the Board is adopting several new definitions to clarify provisions of the share insurance requirements rule. The Board is not adopting the change to the share insurance requirements rule that would have eliminated the ability of a FICU that terminated federal share insurance to receive an equity distribution for that calendar year. Instead, the Board is adopting a modified version of that provision that is more consistent with the four-quarter average method. Furthermore, the Board is also adopting a modified version of the temporary rule for equity distributions related to the CSRP that is more consistent with the four-quarter average method. All other changes are adopted as proposed.

IV. Section-by-Section Analysis Section 741.4(e) Distribution of NCUSIF Equity Not Related to the CSRP

The Board has historically used a number of different calculation methodologies to determine an eligible financial institution's pro rata share of a declared equity distribution made in the normal course of business not related to the CSRP.19 Rather than leaving the calculation methodology to the discretion of the Board, proposed § 741.4(e) sought to provide stakeholders with greater transparency by establishing a set calculation methodology for all such declared equity distributions. After considering a number of possible approaches, the Board requested public comment on two alternative calculation methodologies: (1) The use of an eligible financial institution's quarterly average insured share balance as then reported over the calendar year in four quarterly Call Reports and (2) the use of an eligible financial institution's year-end insured share balance as then reported in its December 31 Call Report.

19See e.g., 49 FR 40564 (Oct. 17, 1984) (adopting the year-end insured share balance method).

Under the four-quarter average approach, an eligible financial institution's pro rata share of a declared equity distribution would be based on its quarterly average insured share balance as then reported over the calendar year in four quarterly Call Reports. To account for mergers between FICUs during the calendar year, the Board proposed to treat a continuing FICU's quarterly average insured share balance as including insured shares reported by a merging FICU during reporting periods before the completion of the merger. The Board proposed to apply similar rules to mergers between a FICU and a non-FICU financial institution (such as a bank or privately insured credit union), except that the non-FICU financial institution would be treated as having no insured shares during reporting periods for which it did not carry federal share insurance coverage.

Under the year-end approach, an eligible financial institution's pro rata share of a declared equity distribution would be based on its year-end insured share balance as then reported in its December 31 Call Report. This year-end insured share balance naturally included any FICU merger activity that took place during the calendar year. For any merger between a FICU and a non-FICU financial institution (such as a bank or privately insured credit union), the Board proposed to retain the current rule set out in § 741.4(i)(2)(iii), which allows a FICU to receive an equity distribution based on its year-end insured share balance as then reported in its December 31 Call Report inclusive of any shares acquired by merging non-FICU financial institutions throughout the calendar year.

Of the two approaches, the Board noted that it favors the four-quarter average approach because it adjusts for seasonal fluctuations in insured share levels.20 Adjusting for seasonable fluctuations allows the NCUA to make an equity distribution based on the actual average size of the eligible financial institution over the calendar year rather than at some arbitrary point in time. This is particularly important to provide fairness to smaller or community-based FICUs that may maintain relatively high insured share balances during the calendar year but may experience a larger than normal decrease in insured share balances at the end of the year as consumers liquidate Christmas club and other types of special savings accounts during the holiday season. Additionally, this approach is based on quarterly Call Report data, eliminating the need for additional paperwork burden on FICUs.

20See 82 FR at 35707 (Aug. 1, 2017).

However, in the proposed rule, the Board also recognized the benefits of the year-end approach because it harmonizes the calculation methodology for an equity distribution with the methods for calculating the NCUSIF's equity and available assets ratios, and the dollar amount of a federal share insurance premium or distribution. In addition, the use of the year-end approach eliminates the need to create special rules for FICU mergers or terminations of federal share insurance coverage during the calendar year. Accordingly, the Board sought public comment on both approaches with the understanding that the Board would consider adopting one of the two approaches, with or without appropriate modifications, based, in part, on the persuasiveness of the comments. The Board also sought public comment on a number of issues related to each calculation methodology, including whether the look-back period under the four-quarter average approach should be extended to include insured share balances from previous years.

Commenters overwhelmingly favored the four-quarter average approach because it adjusted for seasonal fluctuations in insured share growth. However, many of these commenters largely echoed the Board's own justification for using the four-quarter average approach without any additional substantive arguments in favor of that position. One commenter wrote in support of the year-end approach, but did not offer any substantive arguments in favor of that position. Another commenter wrote in support of the Board's current policy of applying a daily distribution rate to each FICU's average daily capitalization deposit balance. This commenter raised concerns that either approach adopted by the Board would encourage eligible financial institutions to aggressively grow insured shares to receive larger equity distributions. This commenter also argued that the average daily balance method is preferable because it correctly treats an equity distribution as a dividend on a FICU's capitalization deposit.

On balance, the Board believes that accounting for seasonal fluctuations in insured share growth is a significant benefit to eligible financial institutions that outweighs the administrative convenience offered by the year-end approach. Furthermore, the Board disagrees with the commenter's argument that this calculation methodology encourages eligible financial institutions to aggressively grow insured shares to receive larger equity distributions. Any growth in insured shares would result in corresponding decreases to the NCUSIF's equity and available assets ratios which, if the resulting changes are large enough, could trigger a smaller equity distribution or the imposition of a federal share insurance premium. The Board believes that these potential negative outcomes sufficiently mitigate any incentive for an eligible financial institution to aggressively grow insured shares. Accordingly, the Board is adopting the four-quarter average approach in the final rule with some minor clarifications.

The four-quarter average approach relies on the use of quarterly Call Report data to determine an eligible financial institution's pro rata share of an equity distribution. Implicit in this concept is the idea that a financial institution that does not file a quarterly Call Report as a FICU for at least one reporting period in the calendar year for which the Board declares an equity distribution will not be entitled to receive a portion of that distribution nor would that FICU's insured shares be used to calculate the aggregate average amount of insured shares. For example, a FICU that files a December 31 Call Report in January 2018, but does not file a March 31 Call Report for the first quarter of 2018, would not be eligible to receive an equity distribution declared for calendar year 2018. While the Board believes that this principle is clear from a careful reading of the preamble and regulatory text set out in the proposed rule, it is adopting a provision in the final rule to ensure the reader understands the Board's intent.

The Board is also adopting a provision in the final rule to explicitly address mergers between FICUs. In the preamble and regulatory text set out in the proposed rule, the Board addressed mergers between FICUs at some length. To avoid any confusion, the final rule clarifies that a FICU that merges with another FICU that has filed at least one Call Report for a reporting period in the calendar year for which the Board declares an equity distribution shall receive an amount equivalent to what the continuing FICU and the merging FICU would have received but for the consummation of the merger. For purposes of calculating the continuing FICU's average amount of insured shares, any insured shares previously reported during that calendar year by the merging FICU on its quarterly Call Reports filed prior to the consummation of the merger shall be combined with the insured shares reported on the continuing FICU's quarterly Call Reports for purposes of calculating the continuing FICU's equity distribution.

Furthermore, the Board is adopting a provision in the final rule to explicitly address purchase and assumption transactions. In response to the proposed rule, several commenters asked about how the four-quarter average approach would apply to purchase and assumption transactions where a FICU acquires all of the insured shares of another FICU. While the Board also believes that this principle should be clear from a careful reading of the preamble and regulatory text set out in the proposed rule, it is adopting a provision in the final rule to make it as transparent as possible how the Board will address these transactions. Under the final rule, a FICU that acquires all of the insured shares of another FICU that files at least one Call Report for a reporting period in the calendar year for which the Board declares an equity distribution, shall receive an amount equivalent to what the acquiring FICU and the selling FICU would have received but for the consummation of the purchase and assumption transaction.

In all other respects, the Board is adopting the four-quarter average approach as proposed. Because the Board did not receive substantive comments on the appropriate look-back period for the four-quarter average approach, the Board is adopting a four-quarter look-back period.

Section 741.4(j) Conversion From, or Termination of, Federal Share Insurance

For 25 years, the Board did not allow a FICU that terminated federal share insurance coverage to receive an equity distribution as a matter of right. Rather, § 741.4 permitted a FICU to leave a “nominal sum” on deposit with the NCUISIF until the next equity distribution to be eligible to receive “a prorated share of the distribution.” 21 In 2009, however, the Board broadened § 741.4 to allow a FICU that terminated federal share insurance coverage to receive a pro rata equity distribution, but only for the calendar year in which the FICU terminated coverage. The Board made this policy change as a matter of administrative convenience to avoid potentially lengthy recordkeeping requirements imposed under the prior rule.22 Under this provision, which is codified in the current share insurance requirements rule as § 741.4(j)(1)(ii), the Board makes a prorated distribution to an insured credit union that terminates federal share insurance coverage during the calendar year for which the Board declares a pro rata distribution based on the number of full calendar months for which the insured credit union is federally insured.23

21See e.g., 12 CFR 741.5(i) (1985); 12 CFR 741.4(j) (1996).

22See National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund Premium and One Percent Deposit, 74 FR 63277 (Dec. 3, 2009).

23 12 CFR 741.4(j)(1)(ii).

Proposed § 741.4(j)(1)(ii) sought to eliminate the ability of a FICU that terminated federal share insurance coverage before the declaration date of an equity distribution to receive any portion of that distribution. The Board reasoned that this approach would be more consistent with general corporate practice regarding the payment of shareholder dividends. Furthermore, the Board believed that this approach would be more equitable to FICUs that remain federally insured throughout the calendar year because they bear the risk of a federal share insurance premium and are required to maintain the required capitalization deposit, while a FICU that terminates federal share insurance coverage does not. A FICU that terminates federal share insurance coverage before the assessment of a federal share insurance premium is not required to pay that premium. Under current § 741.4(j)(1)(ii), however, that former FICU may still receive an equity distribution.

Commenters were evenly split on whether the Board should adopt the proposed change to § 741.4(j)(1)(ii) or retain the current rule. Having considered the arguments advanced by the commenters, the Board believes that it is not appropriate to finalize this proposed change at this time. Instead, the Board believes that it would be beneficial to study this issue further, and it may revisit amendments to § 741.4(j)(1)(ii) in a future rulemaking. However, the Board is finalizing technical changes to § 741.4(j)(1)(ii) to make this provision more consistent with the four-quarter average method adopted in § 741.4(e). Section 741.4(j)(1)(ii) will be eliminated and codified as new § 741.4(e)(4)(i)(C).

Additionally, new § 741.4(e)(4)(i)(C) will calculate the prorated distribution of a FICU that terminated federal share insurance coverage by applying the general four-quarter average approach set out in § 741.4(e), including the requirement that the FICU must file a Call Report for at least one reporting period in the calendar year for which the Board has declared a distribution to receive a prorated equity distribution, with one exception. For reporting periods where the FICU did not maintain federal share insurance coverage, it will be treated as having no insured shares in that period. This has the same practical effect as the current process of multiplying the FICU's last reported insured share balance by a modified premium/distribution ratio, but is computationally simpler.

Section 741.13 NCUSIF Equity Distributions Related to the CSRP

The Board proposed to adopt a temporary provision governing any equity distributions resulting from the CSRP. Under this temporary provision, any equity distribution related to the CSRP was to take the form of a series of equity distributions repaying any corporate assessments against FICUs on either a FIFO or a LIFO basis. The Board also solicited public comment on whether it should instead use either the four-quarter average or year-end approach with appropriate modifications to account for the unique nature of the CSRP.

Under the proposed FIFO approach, the Board would have made an equity distribution to each FICU up to the total dollar amount of corporate assessments paid by that FICU during the relevant assessment period beginning with the first assessment period in 2009.

Under the proposed LIFO approach, the Board would have made an equity distribution to each FICU up to the total dollar amount of premiums paid by that FICU during the relevant assessment period beginning with the last assessment period in 2013. Of the two approaches, the Board favored the LIFO method because it ensured that FICUs received equity distributions for their most recent corporate assessments first, which generally were larger assessments, with smaller assessments that took place at the start of the CSRP being repaid over time as the NCUA-guaranteed securities issued as part of the CSRP matured.

Under either the proposed FIFO or LIFO approach, any payments owed to a FICU that had merged into another FICU would have been paid to the continuing FICU. Moreover, any payments owed to a liquidated FICU with an open liquidation estate or a closed liquidation estate still within its applicable look-back period would have been made to the liquidation estate and distributed ratably to the FICU's creditors in accordance with part 709 of the NCUA's rules.24 Given the payment priority set out in part 709, the Board anticipated that a majority of these creditors would be members with uninsured share balances rather than general creditors of the liquidation estate.

24 12 CFR part 709.

Furthermore, because any equity distribution related to the CSRP would go first towards repaying FICUs that paid corporate assessments, a FICU that had not paid a corporate assessment would not have been entitled to receive an equity distribution related to the CSRP unless all such corporate assessments are first repaid in full. Additionally, a FICU that terminated federal share insurance coverage before the payment date for an equity distribution related to the CSRP would not have been entitled to a distribution for the reasons stated above in the discussion of proposed changes to § 741.4(j)(1)(ii).

Of the commenters that indicated a preference for either the proposed FIFO or LIFO approach, an overwhelming majority favored the LIFO approach. Other commenters indicated a preference for an aggregate assessments paid approach recommended by a national credit union trade association. Under the aggregate assessments paid approach, each FICU would have received an equity distribution based on the percentage of corporate assessments paid by that FICU over the life of the CSRP as a percentage of the aggregate corporate assessments paid by all FICUs over the life of the CSRP. That approach is neither a logical outgrowth of the FIFO or LIFO methods nor a logical outgrowth of the four-quarter average or year-end methods and, thus, is outside the scope of this rulemaking.

While FIFO and LIFO would have been a way to closely link what a FICU paid in corporate assessments to what it received in equity distributions related to the CSRP, the Board acknowledges that over the past 9 years, several hundred FICUs have terminated federal share insurance at various times; there have been many FICU mergers and liquidations; and the NCUA has approved several new charters. Each of these transactions makes the calculation of each eligible financial institution's pro rata share of an equity distribution more complex. Additionally, the Board has acknowledged that FIFO and LIFO may not be completely compatible with the FCU Act requirement to make a distribution on a “pro rata” basis.

Instead, the Board believes that adopting a modified version of the four-quarter average method is the most appropriate approach. In the proposed rule, the Board solicited comment on whether a four-quarter look-back period, or some longer look-back period such as six or eight quarters, was preferable under the four-quarter average method. Given the unique nature of the CSRP, the Board strongly believes that a longer look-back period, which tracks the period of time in which corporate assessments were being made, is appropriate for CSRP-related equity distributions because it captures share insurance activity that took place during that time.

Accordingly, the Board is adopting a modified version of the four-quarter average approach for CSRP-related equity distributions that includes five separate look-back periods tied directly to the beginning of the CSRP that correspond to each calendar year for which the Board may declare an equity distribution related to the CSRP. For calendar year 2017 equity distributions, the Board will apply a 36-quarter look-back period. For calendar year 2018 equity distributions, the Board will apply a 40-quarter look-back period. For calendar year 2019 equity distributions, the Board will apply a 44-quarter look-back period. For calendar year 2020 equity distributions, the Board will apply a 48-quarter look-back period. Finally, for calendar year 2021 equity distributions, the Board will apply a 52-quarter look-back period. Applying five separate look-back periods ensures that the Board adequately accounts for share insurance activity that took place during the CSRP.

Consistent with the four-quarter average approach, an eligible financial institution must file at least one quarterly Call Report as a FICU for a reporting period in the calendar year for which the Board declares an equity distribution to receive a pro rata share of that distribution. Otherwise, that financial institution will not receive an equity distribution for that calendar year nor will its insured shares be used to calculate the aggregate average amount of insured shares used to determine each eligible financial institution's pro rata share of the distribution. Furthermore, a FICU that terminated federal share insurance coverage must file at least one quarterly Call Report as a FICU for a reporting period in the applicable calendar year to receive a prorated equity distribution.

V. Technical and Conforming Amendments

In addition to the proposed changes to the share insurance requirements rule governing the calculation of an eligible financial institution's pro rata share of an equity distribution and the treatment of a FICU that terminated federal share insurance coverage, the Board proposed to make technical and conforming amendments to other aspects of § 741.4 and to Appendix A of Part 741. Commenters did not address these technical and conforming amendments. Accordingly, the Board is adopting these amendments largely as proposed with one exception. The Board is making a technical change to the aspect of the share insurance requirements rule governing newly chartered FICUs that was not previously proposed. This change will relocate regulatory text governing equity distributions to newly chartered FICUs from § 741.4(g) to § 741.4(e). Because the change is technical in nature, and does not change the substance of the rule, the Board believes that public comment on the change to this aspect of the share insurance requirements rule is unnecessary and therefore has good cause to waive the notice and comment requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).25

25 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) (allowing waiver of public comment requirement when an agency for good cause finds such procedures “unnecessary”). See Administrative Procedure Act: Legislative History, S. Doc. No. 248 79-258 (1946), at 200 (“ `Unnecessary' means unnecessary as far as the public is concerned, as would be the case if a minor or merely technical amendment in which the public is not particularly interested were involved.”).

Section 741.4(b) Definitions

To provide stakeholders with greater transparency, the Board is amending § 741.4(b) to include definitions of “aggregate amount of insured shares”, “aggregate average amount of insured shares”, “average amount of insured shares”, “federally insured credit union”, “financial institution”, “insured depository institution”, and “NCUSIF equity distribution” in the final rule. Furthermore, the Board is revising definitions of “available assets ratio”, “equity ratio”, “insured shares”, and “reporting period”.

Section 741.4(g) New Charters

For greater readability and to improve ease of use throughout § 741.4, the Board is removing the language from § 741.4(g) addressing equity distributions for newly chartered FICUs and codifying it as new § 741.4(e)(4)(i)(A). The Board is also making technical amendments to this provision to provide for greater consistency with the four-quarter average method adopted above. Under current § 741.4(g), a newly chartered FICU may not receive a pro rata share of a declared equity distribution unless it is has funded its capitalization deposit.26 Under new § 741.4(e)(4)(i)(A), a newly chartered FICU may not receive a pro rata share of a declared equity distribution unless it has filed a quarterly Call Report for at least one reporting period in the calendar year for which the Board declares the distribution. In all other respects, current § 741.4(g) remains unchanged.

26 12 CFR 741.4(g).

Section 741.4(i) Conversion to Federal Insurance

The Board is also making conforming amendments to § 741.4(i)(1)(v) and (i)(2)(iii) to reflect the adoption of the four-quarter average method for calculating an eligible financial institution's pro rata share of an equity distribution not related to the CSRP. First, the Board is removing § 741.4(i)(1)(v) and (i)(2)(iii) and codifying those provisions as new § 741.4(e)(4)(i)(B). Section 741.4(i)(1)(v) currently allows a financial institution that converts to federal share insurance coverage during the calendar year to receive a prorated equity distribution based on the number of full calendar months for which the financial institution was a FICU.27 New § 741.4(e)(4)(i)(B) largely retains this aspect of the current rule. However, rather than the current process of multiplying the FICU's year-end insured share balance by premium/distribution ratio, new § 741.4(e)(4)(i)(B) will treat the FICU as having no insured shares for the applicable reporting periods for which the financial institution did not carry federal share insurance coverage. This has the same practical effect as the current process, but is computationally simpler. Furthermore, a FICU that does not file at least one quarterly Call Report for reporting periods of the calendar year for which the Board declares the distribution shall not receive an equity distribution.

27 12 CFR 741.4(i)(1)(v).

Section 741.4(i)(2)(iii) addresses an equity distribution to a FICU that merges with a financial institution that is not federally insured by the NCUA where the FICU is the surviving entity.28 If the Board declares an equity distribution for the calendar year in which such a merger takes place, the continuing FICU is entitled to receive an equity distribution based on its year-end insured share balance. New § 741.4(e)(4)(i)(B) differs slightly from § 741.4(i)(2)(iii). Under the final rule, only the insured shares attributable to the continuing FICU as reported on quarterly Call Reports at that time shall be used to determine the average amount of insured shares for reporting periods preceding the date of the merger. This approach harmonizes new § 741.4(e)(4)(i)(B) with new § 741.4(e)(4)(i)(A) and (C) respectively.

28 12 CFR 741.4(i)(2)(iii).

Appendix A to Part 741—Examples of Partial Year NCUSIF Assessment and Distribution Calculations Under § 741.4

The Board also proposed to remove Appendix A to part 741 from the NCUA's regulations and replace it with examples and frequently asked questions to be published on NCUA's public website.29 Appendix A provides examples of partial year NCUSIF assessment and distribution calculations under various factual scenarios. While the Board recognizes that examples of how the NCUA makes these calculations may be useful to stakeholders, including those examples in an appendix to part 741 makes it difficult for the NCUA to update, amend, or revise the examples to provide stakeholders with additional clarity. Accordingly, the Board is removing Appendix A and replacing it with information on the NCUA's website which can be updated easily and as frequently as necessary to provide stakeholders with more clear, relevant, and timely examples regarding the calculation of partial year NCUSIF assessments and distributions.

29 12 CFR 741, App. A.

VI. Regulatory Procedures Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires the NCUA to prepare an analysis to describe any significant economic impact a regulation may have on a substantial number of small entities (primarily those under $100 million in assets).30 This rule has no economic impact on small credit unions because it only impacts internal NCUA procedures that are used infrequently. Accordingly, NCUA certifies the final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small credit unions.

30 5 U.S.C. 603(a).

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121) (SBREFA) provides generally for congressional review of agency rules. A reporting requirement is triggered in instances where the NCUA issues a final rule as defined by Section 551 of the Administrative Procedure Act. The NCUA does not believe this final rule is a “major rule” within the meaning of the relevant sections of SBREFA. As required by SBREFA, the NCUA has filed the appropriate reports so that this final rule may be reviewed.

Paperwork Reduction Act

The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) applies to rulemakings in which an agency creates a new information collection requirement or amends an existing information collection requirement.31 For the purposes of the PRA, an information collection requirement may take the form of a reporting, recordkeeping, or third-party disclosure requirement. The final rule does not contain a new information collection requirement or amend an existing information collection requirement that requires approval by OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chap. 35).

31 44 U.S.C. 3507(d); 5 CFR 1320.

Assessment of Federal Regulations and Policies on Families.

The NCUA has determined that this final rule will not affect family well-being within the meaning of section 654 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 1999.32

32 Public Law 105-277, sec. 654, 112 Stat. 2681, 2681-581 (1998).

Executive Order 13132

Executive Order 13132 encourages independent regulatory agencies to consider the impact of their actions on state and local interests.33 The NCUA, an independent regulatory agency as defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(5), voluntarily complies with the executive order to adhere to fundamental federalism principles. The final rule will not have substantial direct effects on the states, on the relationship between the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. The NCUA has therefore determined that this final rule does not constitute a policy that has federalism implications for purposes of the executive order.

33 64 FR 43255 (Aug. 4, 1999).

List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 741

Bank deposit insurance, Credit unions, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

By the National Credit Union Administration Board on February 15, 2018. Gerard Poliquin, Secretary of the Board.

For the reasons discussed above, the Board amends 12 CFR part 741 as follows:

PART 741—REQUIREMENTS FOR INSURANCE 1. The authority citation for part 741 continues to read as follows: Authority:

12 U.S.C. 1757, 1766(a), 1781-1790, and 1790d; 31 U.S.C. 3717.

2. Amend § 741.4: a. In paragraph (b), by: i. Adding definitions in alphabetical order for “aggregate amount of insured shares” and “aggregate average amount of insured shares”; ii. Revising the definition for “available assets ratio”; iii. Adding definitions in alphabetical order for “average amount of insured shares” and “Board”; iv. Revising the definition of “equity ratio”; v. Adding definitions in alphabetical order definitions for “federally insured credit union”, “financial institution”, and “insured depository institution”; vi. Revising the definition of “insured shares”; vii. Adding definitions in alphabetical order for “NCUSIF” and “NCUSIF equity distribution”; and viii. Revising the definition of “reporting period”. b. Revising paragraphs (e) and (g); c. Removing paragraphs (i)(1)(v) and (i)(2)(iii); d. Revising paragraph (j)(1)(ii); and e. Removing paragraph (j)(1)(iii).

The revisions and additions to read as follows:

§ 741.4 Insurance premium and one percent deposit.

(b) * * *

Aggregate amount of insured shares means the sum of all insured shares reported by federally insured credit unions in calendar year-end Call Reports from the calendar year for which the Board declares an NCUSIF equity distribution pursuant to paragraph (e) of this section.

Aggregate average amount of insured shares means the sum of the average amount of insured shares as then reported by all financial institutions eligible to receive an NCUSIF equity distribution under subparagraph (e)(1) of this section in quarterly Call Reports over the calendar year for which the Board declares an NCUSIF equity distribution divided by the number of reporting periods in that calendar year.

Available assets ratio means the ratio of:

(i) The amount determined by subtracting—

(A) Direct liabilities of the NCUSIF and contingent liabilities for which no provision for losses has been made from

(B) The sum of cash and the market value of unencumbered investments authorized under § 203 of the Federal Credit Union Act (12 U.S.C. 1783), to

(ii) The aggregate amount of insured shares in all federally insured credit unions.

Average amount of insured shares means the sum of insured shares as then reported by a financial institution eligible to receive an NCUSIF equity distribution under subparagraph (e)(1) of this section over the calendar year for which the Board declares an NCUSIF equity distribution divided by the number of reporting periods in that calendar year.

Board means the NCUA Board or any individual or group of individuals with the delegated authority to act on behalf of the Board to implement the requirements of this section.

Federally insured credit union means a federal or state-chartered credit union that maintains federal share insurance coverage from the NCUSIF.

Financial institution means a federally insured credit union, non-federally insured credit union, or an insured depository institution, including a liquidation or receivership estate of any such credit union or depository institution.

Insured depository institution means any bank or savings association the deposits of which are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation pursuant to the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. 1811 et seq.).

Insured shares means the total amount of a federally insured credit union's share, share draft and share certificate accounts, or their equivalent under state law (which may include deposit accounts), authorized to be issued to members, other credit unions, public units, or nonmembers (where permitted under the Act or equivalent state law), but does not include amounts in excess of insurance coverage as provided in part 745 of this chapter.

National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund or NCUSIF refers to a revolving fund established by Congress within the U.S. Treasury to provide federal share insurance coverage to federally insured credit union members and to offset the NCUA's administrative expenses associated with the conservatorship and liquidation of federally insured credit unions.

NCUSIF equity distribution means a distribution of excess equity from the NCUSIF to financial institutions eligible to receive a pro rata share of that distribution pursuant to the requirements of § 202 of the Federal Credit Union Act (12 U.S.C. 1782) and the special rules set out in subparagraph (e)(5) of this section.

NCUSIF equity ratio means the ratio of:

(i) The amount determined by subtracting—

(A) Direct liabilities of the NCUSIF and contingent liabilities for which no provision for losses has been made from

(B) The sum of all one percent deposits made by federally insured credit unions pursuant to § 741.4 of this chapter and the retained earnings balance of the NCUSIF, to

(ii) The aggregate amount of insured shares in all federally insured credit unions.

Reporting period means span of time covered by a set of financial statements. For purposes of paragraph (c) of this section, reporting period refers to a calendar year for federally insured credit unions with total assets of less than $50,000,000 and refers to a semiannual period for federally insured credit unions with total assets of $50,000,000 or more. For all other provisions of this section, reporting period refers to the span of time covered by a quarterly Call Report.

(e) NCUSIF equity distribution. Except as otherwise provided for by federal law or regulation, the following procedures shall apply to any NCUSIF equity distribution declared by the Board:

(1) Eligibility for an NCUSIF equity distribution. The Board shall make an NCUSIF equity distribution to any financial institution that files at least one quarterly Call Report as a federally insured credit union for a reporting period in the calendar year for which the Board declares the NCUSIF equity distribution.

(2) Requirement to make an NCUSIF equity distribution. The Board shall make an NCUSIF equity distribution on a pro rata basis to financial institutions after each calendar year if, as of the end of the calendar year:

(i) Any loans to the NCUSIF from the Federal Government, and any interest on those loans, have been repaid;

(ii) The NCUSIF's equity ratio exceeds the normal operating level; and

(iii) The NCUSIF's available assets ratio exceeds one percent.

(3) Amount of NCUSIF equity distribution. The Board shall make the maximum possible NCUSIF equity distribution that does not:

(i) Reduce the NCUSIF's equity ratio below the normal operating level; and

(ii) Reduce the NCUSIF's available assets ratio below one percent.

(4) Form of NCUSIF equity distribution. The Board shall have the discretion to determine the form of an NCUSIF equity distribution including a waiver of federal share insurance premiums, a rebate of federal share insurance premiums, a dividend, or any combination thereof.

(5) Calculation of pro rata share of NCUSIF equity distribution. The Board shall determine a financial institution's pro rata share of an NCUSIF equity distribution by dividing the dollar amount of the declared NCUSIF equity distribution by the aggregate average amount of insured shares for that calendar year and then multiplying by a financial institution's average amount of insured shares.

(i) Special rules. The following special rules shall apply to newly chartered federally insured credit unions, financial institutions that convert to federal share insurance coverage from the NCUSIF, financial institutions that terminate federal share insurance coverage from the NCUSIF, mergers between federally insured credit unions, and purchase and assumption transactions:

(A) New charters. A newly chartered federally insured credit union that obtains federal share insurance coverage from the NCUSIF during the calendar year shall not receive an NCUSIF equity distribution for that calendar year unless the federally insured credit union has filed at least one quarterly Call Report as a federally insured credit union for a reporting period in the calendar year for which the Board has declared a distribution. For purposes of calculating the newly chartered federally insured credit union's average amount of insured shares, the federally insured credit union shall be treated as having no insured shares for reporting periods preceding the first reporting period in which the federally insured credit union files its first quarterly Call Report.

(B) Conversion to federal share insurance. A financial institution that converts to federal share insurance coverage from the NCUSIF during the calendar year for which the Board declares an NCUSIF equity distribution (including through merger into a federally insured credit union) shall receive a prorated NCUSIF equity distribution for that calendar year provided that the financial institution has filed at least one quarterly Call Report as a federally insured credit union for a reporting period in the applicable calendar year. For purposes of calculating the financial institution's average amount of insured shares, the financial institution shall be treated as having no insured shares for reporting periods preceding the date of conversion to federal share insurance coverage. In cases of conversion through merger, only the insured shares attributable to the continuing federally insured credit union shall be used to determine the average amount of insured shares for reporting periods preceding the date of conversion.

(C) Conversion from, or termination of, federal share insurance. A financial institution that terminates federal share insurance coverage from the NCUSIF during the calendar year for which the Board declares an NCUSIF equity distribution (including through a conversion to, or merger into, a non-federally insured credit union or an insured depository institution) shall receive a prorated NCUSIF equity distribution for that calendar year provided that the financial institution has filed at least one quarterly Call Report as a federally insured credit union for a reporting period in the applicable calendar year. For purposes of calculating the financial institution's average amount of insured shares, the financial institution shall be treated as having no insured shares for reporting periods following the date of termination of federal share insurance coverage. For purposes of this subparagraph, a financial institution that terminates federal share insurance coverage from the NCUSIF through liquidation will be treated as terminating federal share insurance coverage during the calendar year when it enters liquidation.

(D) Mergers between federally insured credit unions. A federally insured credit union that merges with a federally insured credit union shall receive an equity distribution equivalent to what the continuing federally insured credit union and the merging federally insured credit union would have received separately but for the consummation of the merger provided that the merging federally insured credit union has filed at least one quarterly Call Report as a federally insured credit union for a reporting period in the calendar year for which the Board declares the distribution. For purposes of calculating the continuing federally insured credit union's average amount of insured shares, any insured shares previously reported by the merging federally insured credit union on its quarterly Call Reports filed prior to the consummation of the merger during that calendar year for which the Board declares the distribution shall be combined with the insured shares reported on the continuing federally insured credit union's quarterly Call Reports.

(E) Purchase and assumption transactions. A federally insured credit union that acquires all of the insured shares of another federally insured credit union in the calendar year for which the Board declares an NCUSIF equity distribution shall receive an amount equivalent to what the acquiring federally insured credit union and the selling federally insured credit union would have received but for the consummation of the purchase and assumption transaction provided that the selling federally insured credit union has filed at least one quarterly Call Report as a federally insured credit union for a reporting period in the calendar year for which the Board declares an NCUSIF equity distribution. For purposes of calculating the acquiring federally insured credit union's average amount of insured shares, any insured shares previously reported during that calendar year for which the Board declares an NCUSIF equity distribution by the selling federally insured credit union on its quarterly Call Reports filed prior to the consummation of the purchase and assumption transaction shall be combined with the insured shares reported on the acquiring federally insured credit union's quarterly Call Reports.

(g) New charters. A newly-chartered credit union that obtains share insurance coverage from the NCUSIF during the calendar year in which it has obtained its charter will not be required to pay for insurance for that calendar year. The credit union will fund its one percent deposit on a date to be determined by the NCUA Board in the following calendar year.

(j) * * *

(1) * * *

(ii) If the NCUSIF assesses a premium in the calendar year of conversion or merger on or before the day in which the conversion or merger is completed, pay a prorated premium based on the financial institution's insured shares as of the last day of the most recently ended reporting period preceding the conversion or merger multiplied by the ratio of the amount of full calendar months for which the financial institution maintained federal share insurance coverage from the NCUSIF to the number of full calendar months for the entire calendar year. If the financial institution has previously paid a premium based on this same assessment that exceeds this amount, the financial institution will receive a refund of the difference following the completion of the conversion or merger.

3. Effective March 26, 2018, until December 31, 2022, add § 741.13 to subpart A to read as follows:
§ 741.13 NCUSIF equity distribution related to the Corporate System Resolution Program.

(a) Definitions. For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:

(1) Aggregate amount of insured shares means the sum of all insured shares reported by federally insured credit unions in calendar year-end Call Reports from the calendar year for which the Board declares an NCUSIF equity distribution pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section.

(2) Aggregate average amount of insured shares means the sum of the average amount of insured shares as then reported by all financial institutions eligible to receive an NCUSIF equity distribution under subparagraph (b)(1) of this section in quarterly Call Reports over a given time horizon divided by the number of reporting periods in that time horizon.

(3) Available assets ratio means the ratio of:

(i) The amount determined by subtracting—

(A) Direct liabilities of the NCUSIF and contingent liabilities for which no provision for losses has been made from

(B) The sum of cash and the market value of unencumbered investments authorized under section 203 of the Federal Credit Union Act (12 U.S.C. 1783), to

(ii) The aggregate amount of insured shares in all federally insured credit unions.

(4) Average amount of insured shares means the sum of insured shares as then reported by a financial institution eligible to receive an NCUSIF equity distribution under subparagraph (b)(1) of this section over a given time horizon divided by the number of reporting periods in that time horizon.

(5) Board means the NCUA Board or any individual or group of individuals with the delegated authority to act on behalf of the Board to implement the requirements of this section.

(6) Corporate System Resolution Program refers to a special program established by the Board to stabilize the corporate credit union system.

(7) Federally insured credit union means a federal or state-chartered credit union that maintains federal share insurance coverage from the NCUSIF.

(8) Financial institution means a federally insured credit union, non-federally insured credit union, or an insured depository institution, including a liquidation or receivership estate of any such credit union or depository institution.

(9) Insured depository institution means any bank or savings association the deposits of which are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation pursuant to the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. 1811 et seq.).

(10) Insured shares means the total amount of a federally insured credit union's share, share draft and share certificate accounts, or their equivalent under state law (which may include deposit accounts), authorized to be issued to members, other credit unions, public units, or nonmembers (where permitted under the Act or equivalent state law), but does not include amounts in excess of insurance coverage as provided in part 745 of this chapter.

(11) National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund or NCUSIF refers to a revolving fund established by Congress within the U.S. Treasury to provide federal share insurance coverage to federally insured credit union members and to offset the NCUA's administrative expenses associated with the conservatorship and liquidation of federally insured credit unions.

(12) NCUSIF equity distribution means a distribution of excess equity from the NCUSIF to financial institutions eligible to receive a pro rata share of that distribution pursuant to the requirements of section 202 of the Federal Credit Union Act (12 U.S.C. 1782) and the special rules set out in paragraph (b)(5) of this section.

(13) NCUSIF equity ratio means the ratio of:

(i) The amount determined by subtracting—

(A) Direct liabilities of the NCUSIF and contingent liabilities for which no provision for losses has been made from

(B) The sum of all one percent deposits made by federally insured credit unions pursuant to § 741.4 of this chapter and the retained earnings balance of the NCUSIF, to

(ii) The aggregate amount of insured shares in all federally insured credit unions.

(14) Normal operating level means an NCUSIF equity ratio not less than 1.2 percent and not more than 1.5 percent, as established by action of the Board.

(b) NCUSIF equity distributions related to the Corporate System Resolution Program. Notwithstanding § 741.4 of this chapter, the following procedures shall apply to any NCUSIF equity distribution declared for calendar years 2017 through 2021:

(1) Eligibility for an NCUSIF equity distribution. The Board shall make an NCUSIF equity distribution to any financial institution that files at least one quarterly Call Report as a federally insured credit union for a reporting period in the calendar year for which the Board declares the NCUSIF equity distribution.

(2) Requirement to make an NCUSIF equity distribution. The Board shall make an NCUSIF equity distribution on a pro rata basis to financial institutions after each calendar year if, as of the end of the calendar year:

(i) Any loans to the NCUSIF from the federal government, and any interest on those loans, have been repaid;

(ii) The NCUSIF's equity ratio exceeds the normal operating level; and

(iii) The NCUSIF's available assets ratio exceeds one percent.

(3) Amount of NCUSIF equity distribution. The Board shall make the maximum possible NCUSIF equity distribution that does not:

(i) Reduce the NCUSIF's equity ratio below the normal operating level; and

(ii) Reduce the NCUSIF's available assets ratio below one percent.

(4) Form of NCUSIF equity distribution. The Board shall have the discretion to determine the form of an NCUSIF equity distribution including a waiver of federal share insurance premiums, a rebate of federal share insurance premiums, a dividend, or any combination thereof.

(5) Calculation of pro rata share of NCUSIF equity distribution. The Board shall determine a financial institution's pro rata share of an NCUSIF equity distribution by dividing the dollar amount of the declared NCUSIF equity distribution by the aggregate average amount of insured shares for that given time horizon and then multiplying by a financial institution's average amount of insured shares.

(i) Time horizons. When calculating the average amount of insured shares and the aggregate average amount of insured shares for an NCUSIF equity distribution, the following time horizons shall apply:

(A) NCUSIF equity distribution for 2017. The average amount of insured shares and aggregate average amount of insured shares for an NCUSIF equity distribution declared for calendar year 2017 shall be based on information from quarterly Call Reports from the preceding 36 quarters, including the calendar year-end Call Report for 2017.

(B) NCUSIF equity distribution for 2018. The average amount of insured shares and aggregate average amount of insured shares for an NCUSIF equity distribution declared for calendar year 2018 shall be based on information from quarterly Call Reports from the preceding 40 quarters, including the calendar year-end Call Report for 2018.

(C) NCUSIF equity distribution for 2019. The average amount of insured shares and aggregate average amount of insured shares for an NCUSIF equity distribution declared for calendar year 2019 shall be based on information from quarterly Call Reports from the preceding 44 quarters, including the calendar year-end Call Report for 2019.

(D) NCUSIF equity distribution for 2020. The average amount of insured shares and aggregate average amount of insured shares for an NCUSIF equity distribution declared for calendar year 2020 shall be based on information from quarterly Call Reports from the preceding 48 quarters, including the calendar year-end Call Report for 2020.

(E) NCUSIF equity distribution for 2021. The average amount of insured shares and aggregate average amount of insured shares for an NCUSIF equity distribution declared for calendar year 2021 shall be based on information from quarterly Call Reports from the preceding 52 quarters, including the calendar year-end Call Report for 2021.

(ii) Special rules. The following special rules shall apply to newly-chartered federally insured credit unions, financial institutions that convert to federal share insurance coverage from the NCUSIF, financial institutions that terminate federal share insurance coverage from the NCUSIF, mergers between federally insured credit unions, and purchase and assumption transactions:

(A) New charters. A newly chartered federally insured credit union that obtains federal share insurance coverage from the NCUSIF during the calendar year shall not receive an NCUSIF equity distribution for that calendar year unless the federally insured credit union has filed at least one quarterly Call Report as a federally insured credit union for a reporting period in the calendar year. For purposes of calculating the newly chartered federally insured credit union's average amount of insured shares, the federally insured credit union shall be treated as having no insured shares for reporting periods preceding the first reporting period in which the federally insured credit union files its first quarterly Call Report.

(B) Conversion to federal share insurance. A financial institution that converts to federal share insurance coverage from the NCUSIF during the calendar year for which the Board declares an NCUSIF equity distribution (including through merger into a federally insured credit union) shall receive a prorated NCUSIF equity distribution for that calendar year provided that the financial institution has filed at least one quarterly Call Report as a federally insured credit union for a reporting period in the calendar year. For purposes of calculating the financial institution's average amount of insured shares, the financial institution shall be treated as having no insured shares for reporting periods preceding the date of conversion to federal share insurance coverage. In cases of conversion through merger, only the insured shares attributable to the continuing federally insured credit union shall be used to determine the average amount of insured shares for reporting periods preceding the date of conversion.

(C) Conversion from, or termination of, federal share insurance. A financial institution that terminates federal share insurance coverage from the NCUSIF during the calendar year for which the Board declares an NCUSIF equity distribution (including through a conversion to, or merger into, a non-federally insured credit union or an insured depository institution) shall receive a prorated NCUSIF equity distribution for that calendar year provided that the financial institution has filed at least one quarterly Call Report as a federally insured credit union for a reporting period in the calendar year. For purposes of calculating the financial institution's average amount of insured shares, the financial institution shall be treated as having no insured shares for reporting periods following the date of termination of federal share insurance coverage. For purposes of this subparagraph, a financial institution that terminates federal share insurance coverage from the NCUSIF through liquidation will be treated as terminating federal share insurance coverage during the calendar year when it enters liquidation.

(D) Mergers between federally insured credit unions. A continuing federally insured credit union that merges with a federally insured credit union shall receive an equity distribution equivalent to what the continuing federally insured credit union and the merging federally insured credit union would have received separately but for the consummation of the merger provided that the merging federally insured credit union has filed at least one quarterly Call Report as a federally insured credit union for a reporting period in the calendar year for which the Board declares the distribution. For purposes of calculating the continuing federally insured credit union's average amount of insured shares, any insured shares previously reported by the merging federally insured credit union on its quarterly Call Reports filed prior to the consummation of the merger during that calendar year for which the Board declares the distribution shall be combined with the insured shares reported on the continuing federally insured credit union's quarterly Call Reports.

(E) Purchase and assumption transactions. A federally insured credit union that acquires all of the insured shares of another federally insured credit union in the calendar year for which the Board declares an NCUSIF equity distribution shall receive an amount equivalent to what the acquiring federally insured credit union and the selling federally insured credit union would have received but for the consummation of the purchase and assumption transaction provided that the selling federally insured credit union has filed at least one quarterly Call Report as a federally insured credit union for a reporting period in the calendar year for which the Board declares an NCUSIF equity distribution. For purposes of calculating the acquiring federally insured credit union's average amount of insured shares, any insured shares previously reported during that calendar year for which the Board declares an NCUSIF equity distribution by the selling federally insured credit union on its quarterly Call Reports filed prior to the consummation of the purchase and assumption transaction shall be combined with the insured shares reported on the acquiring federally insured credit union's quarterly Call Reports.

(c) Expiration. This section shall expire and no longer be applicable after December 31, 2022.

Appendix A to Part 71 [Removed] 4. Remove Appendix A to part 741. Appendices B and C to Part 71 [Redesignated as as Appendices A and B to Part 71] 5. Redesignate appendix B and appendix C as appendix A and appendix B, respectively.
[FR Doc. 2018-03622 Filed 2-22-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7535-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0774; Product Identifier 2017-NM-036-AD; Amendment 39-19201; AD 2018-04-06] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2012-12-05, which applied to all The Boeing Company Model 737-100, -200, -200C, -300, -400, and -500 series airplanes. AD 2012-12-05 required repetitive inspections for cracking under the stop fittings and intercostal flanges and for cracking of the intercostal web, attachment clips, stringer splice channels, frame, reinforcement angle, shear web, frame outer chord and inner chord; a one-time inspection to detect missing fasteners; repetitive inspections of the cargo barrier net fitting for cracking; repetitive inspections for cracking of the stringer S-15L aft intercostal; and repair or corrective action if necessary. For certain airplanes, this AD adds new repetitive inspections of certain areas of the frame inner chord, and applicable on-condition actions. This AD was prompted by reports of additional cracking in locations not covered by the inspections in AD 2012-12-05. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

This AD is effective March 30, 2018.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of March 30, 2018.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain other publication listed in this AD as of July 23, 2012 (77 FR 36139, June 18, 2012).

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain other publication listed in this AD as of September 9, 2009 (74 FR 38901, August 5, 2009).

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this final rule, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Contractual & Data Services (C&DS), 2600 Westminster Blvd., MC 110-SK57, Seal Beach, CA 90740; telephone: 562-797-1717; internet: https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195. It is also available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0774.

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-2017-0774; 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 final rule, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Galib Abumeri, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Section, FAA, Los Angeles ACO Branch, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5324; fax: 562-627-5210; email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to supersede AD 2012-12-05, Amendment 39-17084 (77 FR 36139, June 18, 2012) (“AD 2012-12-05”). AD 2012-12-05 applied to all The Boeing Company Model 737-100, -200, -200C, -300, -400, and -500 series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on August 15, 2017 (82 FR 38637). The NPRM was prompted by reports of additional cracking in locations not covered by the inspections in AD 2012-12-05. The NPRM proposed to continue to require repetitive inspections for cracking under the stop fittings and intercostal flanges and for cracking of the intercostal web, attachment clips, stringer splice channels, frame, reinforcement angle, shear web, frame outer chord and inner chord; a one-time inspection to detect missing fasteners; repetitive inspections of the cargo barrier net fitting for cracking; repetitive inspections for cracking of the stringer S-15L aft intercostal; and repair or corrective action if necessary. For certain airplanes, the NPRM also proposed to add new repetitive inspections of certain areas of the frame inner chord, and applicable on-condition actions. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking of the intercostals on the forward and aft sides of the forward entry door cutout, which could result in loss of the forward entry door and rapid decompression of the airplane.

Comments

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

Support for the NPRM

The Boeing Company supported the NPRM.

Effect of Winglets on Accomplishing the Proposed Actions

Aviation Partners Boeing stated that accomplishing the Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) ST01219SE does not affect the actions specified in the NPRM.

We agree with the commenter. We have redesignated paragraph (c) of the proposed AD as paragraph (c)(1) of this AD and added paragraph (c)(2) to this AD to state that installation of STC ST01219SE does not affect the ability to accomplish the actions required by this AD. Therefore, for airplanes on which STC ST01219SE is installed, a “change in product” alternative method of compliance (AMOC) approval request is not necessary to comply with the requirements of 14 CFR 39.17.

Request To Add AMOC Language

Southwest Airlines (SWA) asked that a note be added to paragraph (s) of the proposed AD to provide provisions for AMOCs previously approved for AD 2012-12-05. SWA stated that the language in paragraph (s) of the proposed AD does not account for AMOCs previously approved for AD 2012-12-05.

We agree with the commenter's request. We have added paragraphs (s)(5) and (s)(6) to this AD to include approval of AMOCs previously approved for AD 2012-12-05.

Change to Final Rule

We have revised paragraph (r) of this AD to provide credit for the actions specified in paragraphs (i), (j), and (m) of this AD, if those actions were performed before September 9, 2009 (the effective date of AD 2009-16-14, Amendment 39-15987 (74 FR 38901, August 5, 2009)), using Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1204, dated June 19, 2003.

Conclusion

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

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

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

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

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1240, Revision 2, dated November 2, 2016. The service information describes procedures for, among other actions, repetitive inspections of the fastener holes in the station (STA) 351.2 frame inner chord at stringer S-17L, and applicable on-condition actions. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 411 airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Cost on U.S. operators Inspections for cracking under the stop fittings and intercostal flanges [retained actions from AD 2012-12-05] (411 airplanes) 18 work-hours × $85 per hour = $1,530 per inspection cycle $0 $1,530 per inspection cycle $628,830 per inspection cycle. Inspection of areas forward of the aft entry door [retained actions from AD 2012-12-05] (411 airplanes) 2 work-hours × $85 per hour = $170 per inspection cycle 0 $170 per inspection cycle $69,870 per inspection cycle. Inspection of areas aft of the forward entry door [retained actions from AD 2012-12-05] (411 airplanes) 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 per inspection cycle 0 $85 per inspection cycle $34,935 per inspection cycle. Inspection for missing fasteners [retained actions from AD 2012-12-05] (411 airplanes) 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 476 $561 $230,571. Inspection of fastener holes (new action) (160 airplanes) 27 work-hours × $85 per hour = $2,295 per inspection cycle 0 $2,295 per inspection cycle $367,200 per inspection cycle.

We estimate the following costs to do any necessary repairs that are required based on the results of the inspections. 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 of cracking done in accordance with Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1240 24 work-hours × $85 per hour = $2,040 $11,856 $13,896

    We have received no definitive data that enables us to provide cost estimates for the other on-condition corrective actions specified in this AD.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2012-12-05, Amendment 39-17084 (77 FR 36139, June 18, 2012), and adding the following new AD: 2018-04-06 The Boeing Company: Amendment 39-19201; Docket No. FAA-2017-0774; Product Identifier 2017-NM-036-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective March 30, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2012-12-05, Amendment 39-17084 (77 FR 36139, June 18, 2012) (“AD 2012-12-05”).

    (c) Applicability

    (1) This AD applies to all The Boeing Company Model 737-100, -200, -200C, -300, -400, and -500 series airplanes, certificated in any category.

    (2) Installation of Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) ST01219SE (http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgstc.nsf/0/ebd1cec7b301293e86257cb30045557a/$FILE/ST01219SE.pdf) does not affect the ability to accomplish the actions required by this AD. Therefore, for airplanes on which STC ST01219SE is installed, a “change in product” alternative method of compliance (AMOC) approval request is not necessary to comply with the requirements of 14 CFR 39.17.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by reports of cracking of the station (STA) 348.2 frame above the two outboard fasteners attaching the frame inner chord and door stop fittings, and in the outboard chord at stringer S-16L; missing fasteners in the STA 348.2 frame inner chord; and additional cracking in locations not covered by the inspections in AD 2012-12-05. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking of the intercostals on the forward and aft sides of the forward entry door cutout, which could result in loss of the forward entry door and rapid decompression of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Retained Initial Compliance Time for Model 737-100, -200, -200C, -300, -400, and -500 Series Airplanes, With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (i) of AD 2012-12-05, with no changes. For all Model 737-100, -200, -200C, -300, -400, and -500 series airplanes, as identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1204, Revision 1, dated March 26, 2007: Before the accumulation of 15,000 total flight cycles, or within 4,500 flight cycles after November 1, 2005 (the effective date of AD 2005-20-03, Amendment 39-14296 (70 FR 56361, September 27, 2005) (“AD 2005-20-03”)), whichever occurs later: Do the inspections required by paragraphs (i) and (j) of this AD.

    (h) Retained Initial Compliance Time for Model 737-200C Series Airplanes, With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (j) of AD 2012-12-05, with no changes. For all Model 737-200C series airplanes, as identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1204, Revision 1, dated March 26, 2007: Before the accumulation of 15,000 total flight cycles, or within 4,500 flight cycles after September 9, 2009 (the effective date of AD 2009-16-14, Amendment 39-15987 (74 FR 38901, August 5, 2009) (“AD 2009-16-14”)), whichever occurs later, do the inspection required by paragraph (k) of this AD.

    (i) Retained Initial Inspection for Group 1 Configuration Airplanes, With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (k) of AD 2012-12-05, with no changes. For Group 1 airplanes identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1204, Revision 1, dated March 26, 2007: Perform a detailed inspection for cracking of the intercostal web, attachment clips, and stringer splice channels; and a high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspection for cracking of the stringer splice channels located forward and aft of the forward entry door; and do all applicable corrective actions before further flight; in accordance with Parts 1 and 2 of the Work Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1204, dated June 19, 2003, or Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1204, Revision 1, dated March 26, 2007; or in accordance with Parts 1, 2, 4, and 5 of the Work Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1204, Revision 2, dated June 24, 2010. After September 9, 2009 (the effective date of AD 2009-16-14), and until July 23, 2012 (the effective date of AD 2012-12-05), Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1204, Revision 1, dated March 26, 2007; or Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1204, Revision 2, dated June 24, 2010; may be used to accomplish the actions required by this paragraph. As of July 23, 2012, only Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1204, Revision 2, dated June 24, 2010, may be used to accomplish the actions required by this paragraph.

    (j) Retained Initial Inspection for Cargo Configuration Airplanes (Forward of the Forward Entry Door), With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (l) of AD 2012-12-05, with no changes. For Group 2 cargo airplanes identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1204, Revision 1, dated March 26, 2007: Perform a detailed inspection for cracking of the intercostal webs and attachment clips located forward of the forward entry door, and do all applicable corrective actions before further flight, in accordance with Part 3 of the Work Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1204, dated June 19, 2003, or Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1204, Revision 1, dated March 26, 2007; or in accordance with Part 3 of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1204, Revision 2, dated June 24, 2010. After September 9, 2009 (the effective date of AD 2009-16-14), and until July 23, 2012 (the effective date of AD 2012-12-05), Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1204, Revision 1, dated March 26, 2007; or Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1204, Revision 2, dated June 24, 2010; may be used to accomplish the actions required by this paragraph. As of July 23, 2012, only Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1204, Revision 2, dated June 24, 2010, may be used to accomplish the actions required by this paragraph.

    (k) Retained Initial Inspection for Cargo Configuration Airplanes (Aft of the Forward Entry Door), With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (m) of AD 2012-12-05, with no changes. For Group 2 cargo airplanes identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1204, Revision 1, dated March 26, 2007: Perform a detailed inspection for cracking of the intercostal webs and attachment clips located aft of the forward entry door, and do all applicable corrective actions before further flight, in accordance with Part 4 of the Work Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1204, Revision 1, dated March 26, 2007; or in accordance with Part 3 of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1204, Revision 2, dated June 24, 2010. As of July 23, 2012 (the effective date of AD 2012-12-05), only Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1204, Revision 2, dated June 24, 2010, may be used to accomplish the actions required by this paragraph.

    (l) Retained Repetitive Inspections, With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (n) of AD 2012-12-05, with no changes. Repeat the inspections required by paragraphs (i), (j), and (k) of this AD thereafter at intervals not to exceed 6,000 flight cycles after the previous inspection, or within 3,000 flight cycles after September 9, 2009, whichever occurs later.

    (m) Retained Exceptions to Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53-1204, With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (o) of AD 2012-12-05, with no changes. Do the actions required by paragraphs (g), (h), (i), (j), (k), and (l) of this AD by accomplishing all the applicable actions specified in the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1204, dated June 19, 2003; Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1204, Revision 1, dated March 26, 2007; or Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1204, Revision 2, dated June 24, 2010; except as provided by paragraphs (m)(1) and (m)(2) of this AD. After September 9, 2009 (the effective date of AD 2009-16-14), and until July 23, 2012 (the effective date of AD 2012-12-05), Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1204, Revision 1, dated March 26, 2007; or Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1204, Revision 2, dated June 24, 2010; may be used to accomplish the actions required by this paragraph. As of July 23, 2012, only Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1204, Revision 2, dated June 24, 2010, may be used to accomplish the actions required by this paragraph.

    (1) Where Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1204, dated June 19, 2003; Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1204, Revision 1, dated March 26, 2007; or Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1204, Revision 2, dated June 24, 2010; specifies to contact Boeing for repair instructions: Before further flight, repair using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (s) of this AD.

    (2) Where Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1204, dated June 19, 2003; or Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1204, Revision 1, dated March 26, 2007; specifies a compliance time relative to the date of a service bulletin, this AD requires compliance relative to September 9, 2009 (the effective date of AD 2009-16-14). Where Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1204, dated June 19, 2003; or Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1204, Revision 1, dated March 26, 2007; specifies a compliance time relative to the date of the initial release of a service bulletin, this AD requires compliance relative to November 1, 2005 (the effective date of AD 2005-20-03).

    (n) Retained Exceptions to Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1204, Revision 2, Dated June 24, 2010, With No Changes

    This paragraph restates exceptions to Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1204, Revision 2, dated June 24, 2010, specified in paragraph (r) of AD 2012-12-05, with no changes.

    (1) The access and restoration instructions identified in the Work Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1204, Revision 2, dated June 24, 2010, are not required by this AD. Operators may perform those actions in accordance with approved maintenance procedures.

    (2) The use of Boeing Drawing 65-88700 is not allowed when accomplishing the actions required by this AD in accordance with the Work Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1204, Revision 2, dated June 24, 2010.

    (o) Retained Initial and Repetitive Inspections of the S-15L Aft Intercostal and Cargo Barrier Net Fitting for Model 737-200C Series Airplanes, With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (s) of AD 2012-12-05, with no changes. For Group 2 airplanes identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1204, Revision 2, dated June 24, 2010: Before the accumulation of 15,000 total flight cycles, or within 4,500 flight cycles after July 23, 2012 (the effective date of AD 2012-12-05), whichever occurs later, do initial detailed and HFEC inspections for cracking of the S-15L aft intercostal between body station (BS) 348.2 and BS 360, and do a detailed inspection of the cargo barrier net fitting at the intercostal, in accordance with Figure 3 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1204, Revision 2, dated June 24, 2010. If any cracking is found, before further flight, repair using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (s) of this AD. Repeat the inspections thereafter at intervals not to exceed 6,000 flight cycles.

    (p) Actions for Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1240, Revision 2, Dated November 2, 2016, Including New Repetitive Inspections of Certain Fastener Holes

    (1) For airplanes identified as Group 1 and Group 3 in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1240, Revision 2, dated November 2, 2016: Except as required by paragraph (q) of this AD, at the applicable times specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1240, Revision 2, dated November 2, 2016, do all applicable actions identified as “RC” (required for compliance) in, and in accordance with, the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1240, Revision 2, dated November 2, 2016.

    (2) For airplanes identified as Group 2 in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1240, Revision 2, dated November 2, 2016: Within 120 days after the effective date of this AD, do actions to correct the unsafe condition using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (s) of this AD.

    (q) Exceptions to Service Information Specifications

    (1) Where Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1240, Revision 2, dated November 2, 2016, uses the phrase “after the Revision 2 date of this service bulletin,” for purposes of determining compliance with the requirements of this AD, the phrase “after the effective date of this AD” must be used.

    (2) Where Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1240, Revision 2, dated November 2, 2016, specifies contacting Boeing, and specifies that action as RC: This AD requires using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph(s) of this AD.

    (r) Credit for Previous Actions

    (1) This paragraph provides credit for the actions specified in paragraphs (i), (j), and (m) of this AD, if those actions were performed before September 9, 2009 (the effective date of AD 2009-16-14, Amendment 39-15987 (74 FR 38901, August 5, 2009)), using Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1204, dated June 19, 2003.

    (2) This paragraph provides credit for the actions specified in paragraph (p) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1240, Revision 1, dated June 29, 2010, provided the conditions specified in paragraphs (r)(2)(i) and (r)(2)(ii) of this AD are met and except as provided by paragraph (r)(2)(iii) of this AD. Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1240, Revision 1, dated June 29, 2010, was incorporated by reference in AD 2012-12-05.

    (i) Note 1 of paragraph 3.A of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1240, Revision 1, dated June 29, 2010, was disregarded when accomplishing the actions.

    (ii) Boeing Drawing 65-88700 was not used when accomplishing the actions in accordance with the Work Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1240, Revision 1, dated June 29, 2010.

    (iii) The access and restoration instructions identified in the Work Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1240, Revision 1, dated June 29, 2010, are not required. Operators are allowed to perform those actions in accordance with approved maintenance procedures.

    (s) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Los Angeles ACO Branch, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the certification office, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (t)(1) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: [email protected]

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

    (3) An AMOC that provides an acceptable level of safety may be used for any repair, modification, or alteration required by this AD if it is approved by the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) that has been authorized by the Manager, Los Angeles ACO Branch, to make those findings. To be approved, the repair method, modification deviation, or alteration deviation must meet the certification basis of the airplane, and the approval must specifically refer to this AD.

    (4) Except as required by paragraph (q)(2) of this AD: For service information that contains steps that are labeled as RC, the provisions of paragraphs (s)(4)(i) and (s)(4)(ii) of this AD apply.

    (i) The steps labeled as RC, including substeps under an RC step and any figures identified in an RC step, must be done to comply with the AD. If a step or substep is labeled “RC Exempt,” then the RC requirement is removed from that step or substep. An AMOC is required for any deviations to RC steps, including substeps and identified figures.

    (ii) Steps not labeled 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 RC steps, including substeps and identified figures, can still be done as specified, and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy condition.

    (5) AMOCs approved previously for AD 2012-12-05 are approved as AMOCs for the corresponding provisions of paragraphs (g) through (o) of this AD.

    (6) AMOCs approved previously for AD 2012-12-05 are approved as AMOCs for the corresponding provisions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1240, Revision 2, dated November 2, 2016, that are required by paragraph (p)(1) of this AD.

    (t) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Galib Abumeri, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Section, FAA, Los Angeles ACO Branch, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5324; fax: 562-627-5210; email: [email protected]

    (2) Service information identified in this AD that is not incorporated by reference is available at the addresses specified in paragraphs (u)(6) and (u)(7) of this AD.

    (u) 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.

    (3) The following service information was approved for IBR on March 30, 2018.

    (i) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1240, Revision 2, dated November 2, 2016.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (4) The following service information was approved for IBR on July 23, 2012 (77 FR 36139, June 18, 2012).

    (i) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1204, Revision 2, dated June 24, 2010.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (5) The following service information was approved for IBR on September 9, 2009 (74 FR 38901, August 5, 2009).

    (i) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1204, Revision 1, dated March 26, 2007.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (6) For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Contractual & Data Services (C&DS), 2600 Westminster Blvd., MC 110-SK57, Seal Beach, CA 90740; telephone: 562-797-1717; internet: https://www.myboeingfleet.com.

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

    (8) 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 Renton, Washington, on February 9, 2018. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03434 Filed 2-22-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2017-1021; Product Identifier 2017-NM-052-AD; Amendment 39-19198; AD 2018-04-03] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Fokker Services B.V. Airplanes AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Fokker Services B.V. Model F28 Mark 0100 airplanes. This AD was prompted by a report that a jammed control cable prevented the full extension of the nose landing gear (LG). This AD requires a general visual inspection of the LG handle teleflex cable conduit connector for the presence of a grease nipple, a maintenance records check of affected airplanes, a detailed inspection for corrosion and damage of the LG handle teleflex cable, and corrective actions if necessary. This AD also requires revising the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective March 30, 2018.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of March 30, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    For service information identified in this final rule, contact Fokker Services B.V., Technical Services Dept., P.O. Box 1357, 2130 EL Hoofddorp, the Netherlands; telephone +31 (0)88-6280-350; fax +31 (0)88-6280-111; email [email protected]; internet http://www.myfokkerfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th Street, Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195. It is also available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-1021.

    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-2017-1021; 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 AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tom Rodriguez, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th Street, Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone 206-231-3226; fax 206-231-3398.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Fokker Services B.V. Model F28 Mark 0100 airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on November 6, 2017 (82 FR 51364) (“the NPRM”). The NPRM was prompted by a report that a jammed control cable prevented the full extension of the nose LG. The NPRM proposed to require a general visual inspection of the LG handle teleflex cable conduit connector for the presence of a grease nipple, a maintenance records check of affected airplanes, and if necessary, a detailed inspection for corrosion and damage of the LG handle teleflex cable, replacement if found, and lubrication. It also proposed to require revising the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct erratic or hard-to-move LG handles, which could lead to the nose LG not being in the fully extended position during landing and consequent damage to the airplane and injury to the flight crew and passengers.

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2017-0068, dated April 24, 2017 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Fokker Services B.V. Model F28 Mark 0100 airplanes. The MCAI states:

    A report was received of an alledgedly post-SBF100-32-107 (introducing a teleflex cable conduit with a grease nipple and a stainless steel teleflex cable) Fokker 100 aeroplane landing with a nose landing gear (LG) that was not completely in the extended position, in spite of the application by the crew of the relevant normal and abnormal Airplane Flight Manual LG extension procedures. The investigation revealed that the failure of the nose LG to completely extend had been caused by a jammed teleflex cable of the LG control system, which resulted in a hydraulic lock in the nose LG extension/retraction actuator. The investigation also revealed that the teleflex cable conduit connector on the subject aeroplane did not have the grease nipple installed, so that the aeroplane was actually not in the full post-SBF100-32-107 configuration.

    Based on an incorrect assumption with regard to full incorporation of SBF100-32-107 (i.e. the presence of the grease nipple on the conduit connector), Maintenance Review Board (MRB) task 323100-00-04 (removal, inspection, greasing and reinstallation of teleflex cable), which is only applicable for aeroplanes without the grease nipple, had been removed from the scheduled maintenance programme for the aeroplane. As a result, no detailed inspection or greasing of the teleflex cable had been accomplished on the aeroplane during the last 24,000 flight cycles (FC) or 17 years, leading to a lack of lubricant and excessive wear of the cable. Analysis indicates the possibility of more aeroplanes that do not have the grease nipple on the conduit connector, and where MRB task 323100-00-04 has been inadvertently removed from the scheduled maintenance program.

    This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to further landings with the nose LG not in the fully extended position, possibly resulting in damage to the aeroplane and injury to occupants.

    To address this potential unsafe condition, Fokker Services published SBF100-32-167 (hereafter referred to as `the SB' in this [EASA] AD) to provide inspection instructions.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires a one-time [general visual] inspection of the LG handle teleflex cable conduit connector for the presence of the grease nipple and, depending on findings, [a maintenance records check and] accomplishment of applicable corrective action(s). This [EASA] AD also requires the reporting of findings to Fokker Services, and to ensure that the maintenance [or inspection] programme [as applicable] contains those instructions applicable to the aeroplane configuration.

    Required actions also include a detailed inspection for corrosion and damage of the LG handle teleflex cable, replacement of the LG handle teleflex cable if necessary, and lubrication of the LG handle teleflex cable. 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-2017-1021.

    Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this final rule. We considered the comment received. The commenter, Peter North, supported the NPRM.

    Conclusion

    We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comment received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this 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

    Fokker Services B.V. has issued Fokker Service Bulletin SBF100-32-167, dated December 14, 2016. This service information describes procedures for a one-time inspection of the nose LG control cable; a maintenance records check; detailed inspection, replacement, and lubrication of the LG handle teleflex cable; and revision of the maintenance program. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 8 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S. operators
    Inspection and maintenance or inspection program revision 4 work-hours × $85 per hour = $340 $0 $340 $2,720 Reporting 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 0 85 680

    We estimate the following costs to do any necessary on-condition actions that would be required based on the results of the inspection. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need these actions:

    On-Condition Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Maintenance records check, inspection, replacement, and lubrication 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 $0 $85
    Paperwork Reduction Act

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2018-04-03 Fokker Services B.V.: Amendment 39-19198; Docket No. FAA-2017-1021; Product Identifier 2017-NM-052-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective March 30, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Fokker Services B.V. Model F28 Mark 0100 airplanes, certificated in any category, serial numbers 11244 through 11481 inclusive, if maintenance records show that the airplane is in a post-Fokker Service Bulletin SBF100-32-107 configuration.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 32, Landing gear.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a report that lack of maintenance on a control system cable caused a hydraulic lock and difficult operation of the nose landing gear (LG) handle, preventing full extension of the nose LG when landing. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct erratic or hard-to-move LG handles, which could lead to the nose LG not being in the fully extended position during landing and consequent damage to the airplane and injury to the flight crew and passengers.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Inspection

    Within 3 months after the effective date of this AD: Do a general visual inspection of the LG handle teleflex cable conduit connector for the presence of a grease nipple, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Fokker Service Bulletin SBF100-32-167, dated December 14, 2016.

    (h) Maintenance Records Check

    If, during the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, a grease nipple is not found installed: Within 3 months after the effective date of this AD, check the maintenance records of the affected airplane for the previous 3 months for reports of an erratic or hard-to-move LG handle, and check the maintenance records to determine the date of the most recent installation, or inspection/lubrication, as applicable, of the LG handle teleflex cable.

    (i) Inspection, Replacement, and Lubrication

    Based on results of the maintenance records check required by paragraph (h) of this AD: Within the applicable compliance times specified in Table 1 to paragraph (i) of this AD, do a detailed inspection for corrosion and damage of the LG handle teleflex cable, replace the LG handle teleflex cable if any corrosion or damage is found, and lubricate the LG handle teleflex cable, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Fokker Service Bulletin SBF100-32-167, dated December 14, 2016.

    Table 1 to Paragraph (i) of This AD—Compliance Times Results of maintenance records check Compliance time Report(s) of erratic and/or hard-to-move LG handle Before further flight after accomplishing the check required by paragraph (h) of this AD. Last installation or inspection/lubrication of the LG handle teleflex cable is not known Before further flight after accomplishing the check required by paragraph (h) of this AD. Last installation or inspection/lubrication of the LG handle teleflex cable is known and the airplane has 18,000 flight cycles or more, or 12 years or more, since the last installation or inspection/lubrication of the LG handle teleflex cable Before further flight after accomplishing the check required by paragraph (h) of this AD. Last installation or inspection/lubrication of the LG handle teleflex cable is known and the airplane has more than 12,000 flight hours, but less than 18,000 flight cycles, since the last installation or inspection/lubrication of the LG handle teleflex cable Within 6 months after accomplishing the check required by paragraph (h) of this AD. Last installation or inspection/lubrication of the LG handle teleflex cable is known and the airplane has 8 years or more but less than 12 years since the last installation or inspection/lubrication of the LG handle teleflex cable Within 6 months after accomplishing the check required by paragraph (h) of this AD. (j) Maintenance or Inspection Program Revision

    Within 6 months after the effective date of this AD: Revise the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Fokker Service Bulletin SBF100-32-167, dated December 14, 2016, to incorporate the applicable tasks and associated thresholds and intervals, based on the airplane configuration (pre- or post-SBF100-32-107) determined in the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD.

    (k) Reporting

    Within 3 months after the effective date of this AD, or within 30 days after doing the inspection required by paragraph (g) or (h) of this AD, whichever occurs later: Report the findings of the inspection specified in paragraph (g) of this AD, and the records check specified in paragraph (h) of this AD, to Fokker Services B.V., in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Fokker Service Bulletin SBF100-32-167, dated December 14, 2016.

    (l) 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 (m)(2) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: [email protected] Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

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

    (3) Reporting Requirements: 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.

    (m) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA AD 2017-0068, dated April 24, 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-2017-1021.

    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Tom Rodriguez, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th Street, Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone 206-231-3226; fax 206-231-3398.

    (n) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Fokker Service Bulletin SBF100-32-167, dated December 14, 2016.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Fokker Services B.V., Technical Services Dept., P.O. Box 1357, 2130 EL Hoofddorp, the Netherlands; telephone +31 (0)88-6280-350; fax +31 (0)88-6280-111; email [email protected]; internet http://www.myfokkerfleet.com.

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

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

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on February 9, 2018. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03437 Filed 2-22-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2017-1025; Product Identifier 2017-NM-137-AD; Amendment 39-19199; AD 2018-04-04] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc., Airplanes AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Bombardier, Inc., Model CL-600-2C10 (Regional Jet Series 700, 701, & 702), CL-600-2D15 (Regional Jet Series 705), CL-600-2D24 (Regional Jet Series 900), and CL-600-2E25 (Regional Jet Series 1000) airplanes. This AD was prompted by several incidents of electrical shorting and sparks caused by de-icing fluid leaks between flight deck windshields and side windows. This AD requires water spray tests and general visual inspections for water in the flight deck compartment, and water removal and sealant application if necessary. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective March 30, 2018.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of March 30, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    For service information identified in this final rule, contact Bombardier, Inc., 400 Côte Vertu Road West, Dorval, Québec H4S 1Y9, Canada; Widebody Customer Response Center North America toll-free telephone 1-866-538-1247 or direct-dial telephone 1-514-855-2999; fax 514-855-7401; email [email protected]; internet http://www.bombardier.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. It is also available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-1025.

    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-2017-1025; 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 AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Steven Dzierzynski, Aerospace Engineer, Avionics and Administrative Services Section, FAA, New York ACO Branch, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7367; fax 516-794-5531.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Bombardier, Inc., Model CL-600-2C10 (Regional Jet Series 700, 701, & 702), CL-600-2D15 (Regional Jet Series 705), CL-600-2D24 (Regional Jet Series 900), and CL-600-2E25 (Regional Jet Series 1000) airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on November 17, 2017 (82 FR 54304) (“the NPRM”).

    Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), which is the aviation authority for Canada, has issued Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2017-28, dated August 23, 2017 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Bombardier, Inc., Model CL-600-2C10 (Regional Jet Series 700, 701, & 702), CL-600-2D15 (Regional Jet Series 705), CL-600-2D24 (Regional Jet Series 900), and CL-600-2E25 (Regional Jet Series 1000) airplanes. The MCAI states:

    Several incidents of electrical shorting and sparks have been reported in the cockpit of CL-600-2C10 and CL-600-2D24 aeroplanes. De-icing fluid can leak between the windshields and side windows, leading to possible damage to the cockpit floodlight wires and electrical connections. If not corrected, this condition may result in a flight compartment fire.

    This [Canadian] AD is issued to mandate a water spray test and [general visual] inspection for evidence of fluid ingress into the flight compartment. It also provides mandatory instructions for sealant application if required.

    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-2017-1025.

    Comments

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

    Conclusion

    We reviewed the relevant data and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this 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

    Bombardier, Inc., has issued Service Bulletin 670BA-56-003, Revision A, dated April 13, 2016. This service information describes procedures for doing water spray tests on the flight deck windows, doing general visual inspections for water in the flight deck compartment, removing water, and applying sealant to the flight deck windows. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 543 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S. operators
    Spray tests and inspections 2 work-hours × $85 per hour = $170 $0 $170 $92,310

    We estimate the following costs to do any necessary water removal and sealant application that would be required based on the results of the inspection. We have no way of determining the number of airplanes that might need this water removal and sealant application:

    On-Condition Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Water removal and sealant application 4 work-hours × $85 per hour = $340 $308 $648
    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2018-04-04 Bombardier, Inc.: Amendment 39-19199; Docket No. FAA-2017-1025; Product Identifier 2017-NM-137-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective March 30, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to the airplanes identified in paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(2), and (c)(3) of this AD, certificated in any category.

    (1) Bombardier, Inc., Model CL-600-2C10 (Regional Jet Series 700, 701, & 702) airplanes, serial numbers 10003 through 10342 inclusive.

    (2) Bombardier, Inc., Model CL-600-2D15 (Regional Jet Series 705) and Model CL-600-2D24 (Regional Jet Series 900) airplanes, serial numbers 15001 through 15367 inclusive.

    (3) Bombardier, Inc., Model CL-600-2E25 (Regional Jet Series 1000) airplanes, serial numbers 19001 through 19041 inclusive.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 56, Windows.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by several incidents of electrical shorting and sparks caused by de-icing fluid leaks between flight deck windshields and side windows. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct de-icing fluid entering the flight deck, which could damage the flight deck floodlight wires and electrical connections, and ultimately could lead to a fire in the flight deck compartment.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Left Flight Deck Windshield and Side Window Spray Test, Inspection, Water Removal and Sealant Application

    For airplanes on which a left flight deck windshield or a left flight deck side window was replaced as specified in Bombardier Aircraft Maintenance Manual (AMM) task 56-11-01-400-801, Revision 48, dated March 25, 2015, or any previous revision of that task; or Bombardier AMM task 56-12-01-400-801, Revision 48, dated March 25, 2015, or any previous revision of that task: At the applicable time specified in paragraph (g)(1) or (g)(2) of this AD, perform a water spray test and do a general visual inspection of the left flight deck windshield and left flight deck side window for evidence of water ingress into the flight deck, in accordance with Part A of the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 670BA-56-003, Revision A, dated April 13, 2016. If water is found in the flight deck compartment: Before further flight, remove the water, and apply sealant on the left flight deck windows in accordance with Part C of the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 670BA-56-003, Revision A, dated April 13, 2016.

    (1) For airplanes on which Bombardier in-service ModSum IS67033110181 has not been incorporated: Within 2,500 flight hours after the effective date of this AD.

    (2) For airplanes on which Bombardier in-service ModSum IS67033110181 has been incorporated: Within 6,600 flight hours after the effective date of this AD.

    (h) Right Flight Deck Windshield and Side Window Spray Test, Inspection, Water Removal and Sealant Application

    For airplanes on which a right flight deck windshield or a right flight deck side window was replaced as specified in Bombardier AMM task 56-11-01-400-801, Revision 48, dated March 25, 2015, or any previous revision of that task; or Bombardier AMM task 56-12-01-400-801, Revision 48, dated March 25, 2015, or any previous revision of that task: At the applicable time specified in paragraph (h)(1) or (h)(2) of this AD, perform a water spray test and do a general visual inspection of the right flight deck windshield and right flight deck side window for evidence of water ingress into the flight deck, in accordance with Part B of the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 670BA-56-003, Revision A, dated April 13, 2016. If water is found in the flight deck compartment: Before further flight, remove the water, and apply sealant on the right flight deck windows in accordance with Part D of the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 670BA-56-003, Revision A, dated April 13, 2016.

    (1) For airplanes on which Bombardier in-service ModSum IS67033110181 has not been incorporated: Within 2,500 flight hours after the effective date of this AD.

    (2) For airplanes on which Bombardier in-service ModSum IS67033110181 has been incorporated: Within 6,600 flight hours after the effective date of this AD.

    (i) Credit for Previous Actions

    (1) This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using the service information specified in paragraphs (i)(1)(i), (i)(1)(ii), or (i)(1)(iii) of this AD; provided that the left flight deck side window or left flight deck windshield have not been subsequently replaced as specified in Bombardier AMM task 56-11-01-400-801, Revision 48, dated March 25, 2015, or any previous revision of that task; or Bombardier AMM task 56-12-01-400-801, Revision 48, dated March 25, 2015, or any previous revision of that task.

    (i) Bombardier Alert Service Bulletin A670BA-56-002, dated January 7, 2008.

    (ii) Bombardier Alert Service Bulletin A670BA-56-002, Revision A, dated February 26, 2008.

    (iii) Part A and Part C, as applicable, of the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 670BA-56-003, dated May 28, 2015.

    (2) This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (h) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using the service information specified in paragraphs (i)(2)(i), (i)(2)(ii), or (i)(2)(iii) of this AD; provided that the right flight deck side window or right flight deck windshield have not been subsequently replaced as specified in Bombardier AMM task 56-11-01-400-801, Revision 48, dated March 25, 2015, or any previous revision of that task; or Bombardier AMM task 56-12-01-400-801, Revision 48, dated March 25, 2015, or any previous revision of that task.

    (i) Bombardier Alert Service Bulletin A670BA-56-002, dated January 7, 2008.

    (ii) Bombardier Alert Service Bulletin A670BA-56-002, Revision A, dated February 26, 2008.

    (iii) Part B and Part D, as applicable, of the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 670BA-56-003, dated May 28, 2015.

    (j) Parts Installation Limitations

    (1) As of the effective date of this AD, no person may install on any airplane a left or right flight deck windshield as specified in Bombardier AMM task 56-11-01-400-801, Revision 48, dated March 25, 2015, or any previous revision of that task.

    (2) As of the effective date of this AD, no person may install on any airplane a left or right flight deck side window as specified in Bombardier AMM task 56-12-01-400-801, Revision 48, dated March 25, 2015, or any previous revision of that task.

    (k) 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. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the certification office, send it to ATTN: Program Manager, Continuing Operational Safety, FAA, New York ACO Branch, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7300; fax 516-794-5531. Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

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

    (l) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2017-28, dated August 23, 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-2017-1025.

    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Steven Dzierzynski, Aerospace Engineer, Avionics and Administrative Services Section, FAA, New York ACO Branch, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7367; fax 516-794-5531.

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

    (m) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Bombardier Service Bulletin 670BA-56-003, Revision A, dated April 13, 2016.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Bombardier, Inc., 400 Côte-Vertu Road West, Dorval, Québec H4S 1Y9, Canada; Widebody Customer Response Center North America toll-free telephone 1-866-538-1247 or direct-dial telephone 1-514-855-2999; fax 514-855-7401; email [email protected]; internet http://www.bombardier.com.

    (4) 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.

    (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 Renton, Washington, on February 9, 2018. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03438 Filed 2-22-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2016-9067; Product Identifier 2016-NM-043-AD; Amendment 39-19202; AD 2018-04-07] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all The Boeing Company Model 747-100, 747-100B, 747-100B SUD, 747-200B, 747-200C, 747-200F, 747-300, 747-400, 747-400D, 747-400F, 747SR, and 747SP series airplanes. This AD was prompted by a report of incidents involving fatigue cracking in transport category airplanes that are approaching or have exceeded their design service objective and a structural reevaluation by the manufacturer that identified additional structural elements that qualify as structural significant items (SSIs). This AD requires revising the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to include inspections that will give no less than the required damage tolerance rating (DTR) for certain SSI, performing repetitive inspections to detect cracks of all SSIs, and repairing cracked structures if necessary. Additionally, this AD requires all cracks involving an SSI or related structure in close vicinity to the SSI to be reported to Boeing. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective March 30, 2018.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of March 30, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    For service information identified in this final rule, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Contractual & Data Services (C&DS), 2600 Westminster Blvd., MC 110-SK57, Seal Beach, CA 90740-5600; telephone 562-797-1717; internet https://www.myboeingfleet.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. It is also available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-9067.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-9067; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this final rule, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for Docket Operations (phone: 800-647-5527) is Docket Operations, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Bill Ashforth, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Section, FAA, Seattle ACO Branch, 1601 Lind Avenue SW, Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6432; fax: 425-917-6590; 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 all The Boeing Company Model 747-100, 747-100B, 747-100B SUD, 747-200B, 747-200C, 747-200F, 747-300, 747-400, 747-400D, 747-400F, 747SR, and 747SP series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on September 8, 2016 (81 FR 62031). The NPRM was prompted by a report of incidents involving fatigue cracking in transport category airplanes that are approaching or have exceeded their design service objective and a structural reevaluation by the manufacturer that identified additional structural elements that qualify as SSIs. The NPRM proposed to require revising the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to include inspections that will give no less than the required DTR for certain SSIs, and repairing any cracked structure. The NPRM proposed to require inspections to detect cracks of all SSI structure, and repair if necessary.

    We issued a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all The Boeing Company Model 747-100, 747-100B, 747-100B SUD, 747-200B, 747-200C, 747-200F, 747-300, 747-400, 747-400D, 747-400F, 747SR, and 747SP series airplanes. The SNPRM published in the Federal Register on November 9, 2017 (82 FR 52015). The SNPRM revised the NPRM by proposing to require reporting in order to ensure the continuing structural airworthiness of The Boeing Company Model 747-100, 747-100B, 747-100B SUD, 747-200B, 747-200C, 747-200F, 747-300, 747-400, 747-400D, 747-400F, 747SR, and 747SP series airplanes with a high number of flight cycles. All cracks involving an SSI or related structure in close vicinity to the SSI must be reported to Boeing in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the supplemental structural inspections.

    We are issuing this AD to ensure the continued structural integrity of all The Boeing Company Model 747-100, 747-100B, 747-100B SUD, 747-200B, 747-200C, 747-200F, 747-300, 747-400, 747-400D, 747-400F, 747SR, and 747SP series airplanes.

    Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this final rule. We have considered the comments received. The Boeing Company, British Airways, and United Airlines supported the SNPRM.

    Conclusion

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

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

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

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Boeing Document D6-35022, “Supplemental Structural Inspection Document for Model 747 Airplanes,” Revision H, dated September 2013. This service information describes procedures for inspections to detect cracks of all structures identified as SSIs, and includes six new SSIs since the last revision.

    We also reviewed Boeing Document D6-35022-1, “747-400 LCF Supplemental Structural Inspection Document—Appendix A,” dated November 2015. This service information describes procedures for inspections of the wings, fuselage, and empennage SSIs for Model 747-400 LCF airplanes.

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

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 118 airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S. operators
    Revision of maintenance or inspection program 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 $0 $85 $10,030

    We have not specified cost estimates for the inspection and repair specified in this AD. Compliance with this AD constitutes a method of compliance with the FAA aging airplane safety final rule (AASFR) (70 FR 5518, February 2, 2005) for certain baseline structure of Model 747-100, 747-100B, 747-100B SUD, 747-200B, 747-200C, 747-200F, 747-300, 747-400, 747-400D, 747-400F, 747SR, and 747SP series airplanes. The AASFR requires certain operators to incorporate damage tolerance inspections into their maintenance inspection programs. These requirements are described in 14 CFR 121.1109(c)(1) and 14 CFR 129.109(b)(1). Accomplishment of the actions specified in this AD will meet the requirements of these regulations for certain baseline structure. The costs for accomplishing the inspection and repair portions of this AD were accounted for in the regulatory evaluation of the AASFR for airplanes affected by that rule. For airplanes not affected by the AASFR, we have received no definitive data that would enable us to provide cost estimates for the inspection or repair portions of this AD.

    We estimate the following costs to do any necessary reporting that would be required based on the results of the inspections in the maintenance inspection program. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need this action:

    On-Condition Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Reporting 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 $0 $85 per inspection cycle. Paperwork Reduction Act

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2018-04-07 The Boeing Company: Amendment 39-19202; Docket No. FAA-2016-9067; Product Identifier 2016-NM-043-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective March 30, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD affects AD 2004-07-22 R1, Amendment 39-15326 (73 FR 1052, January 7, 2008; corrected February 14, 2008 (73 FR 8589)) (“AD 2004-07-22 R1”).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to all The Boeing Company Model 747-100, 747-100B, 747-100B SUD, 747-200B, 747-200C, 747-200F, 747-300, 747-400, 747-400D, 747-400F, 747SR, and 747SP series airplanes, certificated in any category.

    Note 1 to paragraph (c) of this AD:

    A Model 747-400 LCF airplane is a Model 747-400 series airplane that has been modified from a passenger airplane to a freighter configuration, as specified in Boeing Service Bulletin 747-00-2084.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 53, Fuselage; 54, Nacelles/Pylons; 55, Stabilizers; 57, Wings.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a report of incidents involving fatigue cracking in transport category airplanes that are approaching or have exceeded their design service objective, and a structural reevaluation by the manufacturer that identified additional structural elements that qualify as structural significant items (SSIs). We are issuing this AD to ensure the continued structural integrity of all The Boeing Company Model 747-100, 747-100B, 747-100B SUD, 747-200B, 747-200C, 747-200F, 747-300, 747-400, 747-400D, 747-400F, 747SR, and 747SP series airplanes.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Definition of SSI

    For the purposes of this AD, an SSI is defined as a principal structural element (PSE). A PSE is a structural element that contributes significantly to the carrying of flight, ground, or pressurization loads, and whose integrity is essential in maintaining the overall structural integrity of the airplane.

    (h) Maintenance or Inspection Program Revision for All Airplanes

    Prior to reaching the compliance times specified in paragraph (i)(1)(i), (i)(2)(i), (j)(1)(i), or (j)(2)(i) of this AD, as applicable, or within 12 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later: Incorporate a revision into the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, that provides no less than the required damage tolerance rating (DTR) for each SSI listed in the applicable service information specified in paragraph (h)(1) or (h)(2) of this AD. The revision to the maintenance or inspection program must include, and must be implemented in accordance with, the procedures in Section 5.0, “Damage Tolerance Rating (DTR) System Application,” and Section 6.0, “SSI Discrepancy Reporting” of Boeing Document D6-35022, “Supplemental Structural Inspection Document for Model 747 Airplanes,” Revision H, dated September 2013; and Boeing Document D6-35022-1, “747-400 LCF Supplemental Structural Inspection Document—Appendix A,” dated November 2015; as applicable. Accomplishing the revision required by this paragraph terminates the actions required by paragraphs (f), (g), and (h) of AD 2004-07-22 R1.

    (1) For all airplanes except Model 747-400 LCF airplanes: SSIs listed in Boeing Document D6-35022, “Supplemental Structural Inspection Document for Model 747 Airplanes,” Revision H, dated September 2013.

    (2) For Model 747-400 LCF airplanes: SSIs listed in Boeing Document D6-35022, “Supplemental Structural Inspection Document for Model 747 Airplanes,” Revision H, dated September 2013; and SSIs listed in Boeing Document D6-35022-1, “747-400 LCF Supplemental Structural Inspection Document—Appendix A,” dated November 2015. For SSIs listed in both Boeing Document D6-35022-1, “747-400 LCF Supplemental Structural Inspection Document—Appendix A,” dated November 2015; and Boeing Document D6-35022, “Supplemental Structural Inspection Document for Model 747 Airplanes,” Revision H, dated September 2013: Incorporate the SSIs listed in Boeing Document D6-35022-1, “747-400 LCF Supplemental Structural Inspection Document—Appendix A,” dated November 2015.

    (i) Inspections for All Airplanes Except Model 747-400 LCF Airplanes

    For all airplanes except Model 747-400 LCF airplanes: Perform inspections to detect cracks of all structure identified in Boeing Document D6-35022, “Supplemental Structural Inspection Document for Model 747 Airplanes,” Revision H, dated September 2013, at the times specified in paragraph (i)(1), (i)(2), or (i)(3) of this AD, as applicable, except as required by paragraph (l) of this AD. Once the initial inspection has been performed, in order to remain in compliance with the maintenance or inspection program, as required by paragraph (h) of this AD, repetitive inspections are required at the intervals specified in Boeing Document D6-35022, “Supplemental Structural Inspection Document for Model 747 Airplanes,” Revision H, dated September 2013. Doing an inspection required by this paragraph terminates the corresponding inspection required by paragraph (i) of AD 2004-07-22 R1.

    (1) For wing structure, except as provided by paragraph (i)(3) of this AD: Inspect at the times specified in paragraph (i)(1)(i) or (i)(1)(ii) of this AD, whichever occurs later.

    (i) Within the applicable compliance time specified in paragraph (i)(1)(i)(A) or (i)(1)(i)(B) of this AD.

    (A) For all Model 747-100, 747-100B, 747-100B SUD, 747-200B, 747-200C, 747-200F, 747-300, 747SR, and 747SP series airplanes: Prior to the accumulation of 20,000 total flight cycles or 100,000 total flight hours, whichever occurs first.

    (B) For all Model 747-400, 747-400D, and 747-400F series airplanes: Prior to the accumulation of 20,000 total flight cycles or 115,000 total flight hours, whichever occurs first.

    (ii) Within 1,000 flight cycles measured from 12 months after the effective date of this AD.

    (2) For all structure other than wing structure, except as provided by paragraph (i)(3) of this AD: At the time specified in paragraph (i)(2)(i) or (i)(2)(ii) of this AD, whichever occurs later.

    (i) Prior to the accumulation of 20,000 total flight cycles.

    (ii) Within 1,000 flight cycles measured from 12 months after the effective date of this AD.

    (3) For any portion of an SSI that has been replaced with new structure: Inspect at the later of the times specified in paragraphs (i)(3)(i) and (i)(3)(ii) of this AD.

    (i) At the time specified in paragraph (i)(1) or (i)(2) of this AD, as applicable.

    (ii) Within 10,000 flight cycles after the replacement of the part with a new part.

    (j) Inspections for Model 747-400 LCF Airplanes

    For Model 747-400 LCF airplanes: Perform inspections to detect cracks of all structure identified in Boeing Document D6-35022, “Supplemental Structural Inspection Document for Model 747 Airplanes,” Revision H, dated September 2013; and Boeing Document D6-35022-1, “747-400 LCF Supplemental Structural Inspection Document—Appendix A,” dated November 2015; at the times specified in paragraph (j)(1) or (j)(2) of this AD, as applicable, except as required by paragraph (l) of this AD. Once the initial inspection has been performed, in order to remain in compliance with the maintenance or inspection program, as required by paragraph (h) of this AD, repetitive inspections are required at the intervals specified in Boeing Document D6-35022, “Supplemental Structural Inspection Document for Model 747 Airplanes,” Revision H, dated September 2013; and Boeing Document D6-35022-1, “747-400 LCF Supplemental Structural Inspection Document—Appendix A,” dated November 2015. For SSIs listed in both Boeing Document D6-35022, “Supplemental Structural Inspection Document for Model 747 Airplanes,” Revision H, dated September 2013; and Boeing Document D6-35022-1, “747-400 LCF Supplemental Structural Inspection Document—Appendix A,” dated November 2015; the SSIs listed in Boeing Document D6-35022-1, “747-400 LCF Supplemental Structural Inspection Document—Appendix A,” dated November 2015, take precedence (i.e., the SSIs in the latter document prevail). Doing an inspection required by this paragraph terminates the corresponding inspection required by paragraph (i) of AD 2004-07-22 R1.

    (1) For wing structure: Inspect at the times specified in paragraph (j)(1)(i) or (j)(1)(ii) of this AD, whichever occurs later.

    (i) Prior to the accumulation of 20,000 total flight cycles or 115,000 total flight hours, whichever occurs first.

    (ii) Within 1,000 flight cycles measured from 12 months after the effective date of this AD.

    (2) For all structure other than wing structure: At the time specified in paragraph (j)(2)(i) or (j)(2)(ii) of this AD, whichever occurs later.

    (i) At the earlier of the times specified in paragraphs (j)(2)(i)(A) and (j)(2)(i)(B) of this AD.

    (A) Prior to the accumulation of 20,000 total flight cycles.

    (B) Within the applicable initial compliance time specified in Boeing Document D6-35022, “Supplemental Structural Inspection Document for Model 747 Airplanes,” Revision H, dated September 2013; and Boeing Document D6-35022-1, “747-400 LCF Supplemental Structural Inspection Document—Appendix A,” dated November 2015. For SSIs are listed in both Boeing Document D6-35022, “Supplemental Structural Inspection Document for Model 747 Airplanes,” Revision H, dated September 2013; and Boeing Document D6-35022-1, “747-400 LCF Supplemental Structural Inspection Document—Appendix A,” dated November 2015; the SSIs listed in Boeing Document D6-35022-1, “747-400 LCF Supplemental Structural Inspection Document—Appendix A,” dated November 2015, take precedence (i.e., the SSIs in the latter document prevail).

    (ii) Within 1,000 flight cycles measured from 12 months after the effective date of this AD.

    (k) Repair

    If any cracked structure is found during any inspection required by paragraph (i) or (j) of this AD, repair before further flight using an FAA-approved method.

    (l) Compliance Time Clarification

    For compliance times identified in paragraphs (i) and (j) of this AD that specify total flight cycles and total flight hours, and the SSI is a removable structural component, those compliance times must be measured on the SSI since its first installation on any airplane, regardless of what the airframe as a whole has accumulated. If the total flight cycles and total flight hours on the SSI are not available or cannot be determined, use the airframe total flight cycles and total flight hours for the compliance times identified in paragraphs (i) and (j) of this AD.

    (m) No Alternative Inspections and Inspection Intervals

    After accomplishing the revision required by paragraph (h) of this AD, no alternative inspections or inspection intervals may be used unless the alternative inspection or inspection interval is approved as an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (p) of this AD.

    (n) Terminating Action for AD 2004-07-22 R1

    Accomplishing the revision required by paragraph (h) of this AD and all of the initial inspections required by paragraph (i) or (j) of this AD, as applicable, terminates all requirements of AD 2004-07-22 R1.

    (o) Paperwork Reduction Act Burden Statement

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

    (p) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Seattle ACO Branch, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the certification office, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (q) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: [email protected]

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

    (3) An AMOC that provides an acceptable level of safety may be used for any repair, modification, or alteration required by this AD if it is approved by the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) that has been authorized by the Manager, Seattle ACO Branch, to make those findings. To be approved, the repair method, modification deviation, or alteration deviation must meet the certification basis of the airplane, and the approval must specifically refer to this AD.

    (4) AMOCs approved for AD 2004-07-22 R1 are approved as AMOCs for the corresponding provisions of paragraphs (h), (i), (j), and (k) of this AD for the SSIs identified in the AMOC, except for any SSI that has an expanded inspection area identified in Boeing Document D6-35022, “Supplemental Structural Inspection Document for Model 747 Airplanes,” Revision H, dated September 2013; or Boeing Document D6-35022-1, “747-400 LCF Supplemental Structural Inspection Document—Appendix A,” dated November 2015, as applicable.

    (q) Related Information

    For more information about this AD, contact Bill Ashforth, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Section, FAA, Seattle ACO Branch, 1601 Lind Avenue SW, Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6432; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    (r) 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) Boeing Document D6-35022, “Supplemental Structural Inspection Document for Model 747 Airplanes,” Revision H, dated September 2013.

    (ii) Boeing Document D6-35022-1, “747-400 LCF Supplemental Structural Inspection Document—Appendix A,” dated November 2015.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Contractual & Data Services (C&DS), 2600 Westminster Blvd., MC 110-SK57, Seal Beach, CA 90740-5600; telephone 562-797-1717; internet https://www.myboeingfleet.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.

    (4) 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.

    (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 Renton, Washington, on February 9, 2018. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03429 Filed 2-22-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION 17 CFR Parts 1, 3, 4, 5, 15, 18, 19, 23, 30, 38, 39, 41, 50, 150, 151, 155, and 166 RIN 3038-AE70 Definitions AGENCY:

    Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

    ACTION:

    Interim final rule; request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “Commission”) is amending its primary definitions regulation to make it more user-friendly both to industry and the public. Specifically, the Commission is amending the primary definitions regulation to replace the complex and confusing lettering system with a simple alphabetical list; and replacing all existing cross references to any definition within the primary definitions regulation with a general reference to the revised alphabetical list, rather than to a specific lettered paragraph.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: This rule is effective February 23, 2018.

    Comment date: Comments must be received on or before March 26, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by RIN 3038-AE70, by one of the following methods:

    CFTC Website: https://comments.cftc.gov. Follow the instructions to Submit Comments through the website.

    Mail: Send comments to Christopher Kirkpatrick, Secretary of the Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Center, 1155 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20581.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Same as Mail, above.

    Please submit your comments using only one method.

    All comments must be submitted in English, or if not, accompanied by an English translation. Comments will be posted as received to https://comments.cftc.gov. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. If you wish the Commission to consider information that you believe is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”), a petition for confidential treatment of the exempt information may be submitted according to the procedures established in § 145.9 of the Commission's regulations.1

    1 17 CFR 145.9. Commission regulations referred to herein are found at 17 CFR chapter I.

    The Commission reserves the right, but shall have no obligation, to review, pre-screen, filter, redact, refuse or remove any or all of your submission from https://comments.cftc.gov that it may deem to be inappropriate for publication, such as obscene language. All submissions that have been redacted or removed that contain comments on the merits of the rulemaking will be retained in the public comment file and will be considered as required under the Administrative Procedure Act and other applicable laws, and may be accessible under the FOIA.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Matthew B. Kulkin, Director, (202) 418-5213, [email protected]; Frank Fisanich, Chief Counsel, (202) 418-5949, [email protected]; Andrew Chapin, Associate Chief Counsel, (202) 418-5465, [email protected]; Scott Lee, Special Counsel, (202) 418-5090, [email protected]; or C. Barry McCarty, Special Counsel, (202) 418-6627, [email protected]; Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, 1155 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20581.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Interim Final Rule

    Section 1a of the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”) 2 sets forth defined terms referenced throughout the statute. These terms are alphabetized and numbered, currently beginning with “(1) Alternative Trading System” and ending with “(51) Trading Facility.” Whenever defined terms are added by Congress, the new term is placed in the proper location in the alphabetic order and the entire list is renumbered. The alphabetized list makes it relatively easy for an individual completely unfamiliar with the CEA to find a particular term referenced in the statute.

    2 7 U.S.C. 1 et seq.

    Commission regulation § 1.3 similarly sets forth many definitions referenced throughout the Commission's regulations.3 Starting in 1938, the defined terms have been identified with an alphabetic designation consistent with the structure set forth in the Code of Federal Regulations (“CFR”).4 The CFR identifies regulations by “title,” divided into “chapters,” further sub-divided into “parts,” and further sub-divided into “sections” and “paragraphs.” Thus, the definitions in § 1.3 are set forth in Title 17 (Commodity and Securities Exchanges), Chapter I (Commodity Futures Trading Commission), Part 1 (General Regulations Under the Commodity Exchange Act), § 1.3 (Definitions). Each defined term then was originally set forth in paragraphs in alphabetical order, each with an alphabetic designation, starting with “(a) Board of Trade” and continuing through “(u) Person.” 5 Over decades, numerous definitions have been added by simply adding more paragraphs at the end (rather than in alphabetical order) with an ever-growing list of alphabetic designations, starting with “(aa)” after reaching “(z)” and then “(aaa)” after reaching “(zz).” Moreover, certain definitions have been removed, leaving certain paragraphs blank and cited as “reserved.” As of today, the list of definitions in § 1.3 concludes with “(ssss) Trading Facility.” The result of this progression has been that, absent a strong familiarity with the Commission's regulations, it can prove difficult to quickly locate defined terms within § 1.3, either directly or as referred to by another regulation, or even to know if certain terms have been defined.

    3 17 CFR 1.3. The Commission's regulations are found in Title 17 of the Code of Federal Regulations, 17 CFR chapter I.

    4See 17 CFR 1.3 (1938 ed.).

    5Id.

    Accordingly, the Commission has determined to amend § 1.3 to replace the sub-paragraphs currently identified with an alphabetic designation for each defined term with a simple alphabetized list, as is recommended by the Office of the Federal Register.6 Moving forward, any new defined terms in § 1.3 may be inserted in alphabetical order, rather than appended to the end. The Commission also has determined to amend all cross references to § 1.3—both within § 1.3 and within all other Commission regulations—to refer to the defined term set forth in the revised alphabetic list, rather than the existing complex and confusing system for subdividing the regulation into paragraphs identified with an alphabetic designation. Further, the Commission has determined to amend certain definitions within § 1.3 to correct certain typographical errors. Collectively, these amendments do not substantively alter any existing definition or other requirement set forth in other Commission regulations.

    6See Document Drafting Handbook, Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration, 2-31 (Revision 5, Oct. 2, 2017), stating, “[i]n sections or paragraphs containing only definitions, we recommend that you do not use paragraph designations if you list the terms in alphabetical order. Begin the definition paragraph with the term that you are defining.”

    II. Request for Comment on Interim Final Rule

    The Commission invites comments on this interim final rule. For example, the Commission invites comment as to the extent, if any, that the elimination of the paragraph references to particular defined terms in § 1.3 would cause registrants to update or alter existing automated compliance programs and any costs associated with such changes. Comments must be received by the Commission on or before the comment date specified under the DATES heading in this document. Comments on the interim final rule must be submitted pursuant to the instructions provided above.

    III. Related Matters A. Administrative Procedure Act

    The Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”) 7 generally requires a Federal agency to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register. This requirement does not apply, however, when an agency “for good cause finds . . . that notice and public procedure thereon are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Moreover, while the APA generally requires that an agency publish an adopted rule in the Federal Register 30 days before it becomes effective, this requirement does not apply if the agency finds good cause to make the rule effective sooner. In this interim final rulemaking the Commission is, by amendment, reorganizing the definitions in § 1.3 into alphabetical order. No substantive changes are being made to the definitions, only reordering in alphabetical order, deleting the alphabetic identification scheme, revising all cross references to existing § 1.3 definitions, and correcting certain typographical errors. Similarly, related regulations which include cross references to § 1.3 will be amended to reflect the elimination of the alphabetic identification scheme. Because the interim final rule does not alter in any way the substantive definitions and related regulations, the advance notice and public comment procedure that is generally required pursuant to the APA is not necessary in the present instance. For good cause, the Commission therefore finds that publication of a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register is unnecessary. Similarly, since the interim final rule simply reorganizes all definitions into alphabetical order in § 1.3, eliminates the alphabetic identification scheme, harmonizes related regulations, and corrects certain typographical errors, the Commission, for good cause, finds no transitional period, after publication in the Federal Register, is necessary before the amendments made by this interim final rule become effective. Accordingly, this interim final rule shall be effective immediately upon publication in the Federal Register.

    7See 5 U.S.C. 553 et seq.

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act (“PRA”) imposes certain requirements on Federal agencies in connection with their conducting or sponsoring any collection of information as defined by the PRA.8 Under the PRA, 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 control number from the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”). Since this interim final rule serves to clarify, by amendment, the scope of an already existing regulatory provision, the Commission has determined that the interim final rule will not impose any new information collection requirements that require approval of OMB under the PRA.

    8See 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.

    C. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (“RFA”) requires that Federal agencies consider whether the rules that they issue will have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities and, if so, to provide a regulatory flexibility analysis respecting the impact.9 By reorganizing the definitions set forth in § 1.3 into alphabetical order and updating all related cross references throughout all Commission regulations, this interim final rule serves to clarify its regulations. Therefore, the Commission has determined that this interim final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    9See 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.

    D. Cost-Benefit Considerations

    Section 15(a) of the CEA 10 requires the Commission to consider the costs and benefits of its actions before promulgating a regulation under the CEA or issuing certain orders. Section 15(a) further specifies that the costs and benefits shall be evaluated in light of five broad areas of market and public concern: (1) Protection of market participants and the public; (2) efficiency, competitiveness, and financial integrity of the futures markets; (3) price discovery; (4) sound risk management practices; and (5) other public interest considerations. The Commission considers the costs and benefits resulting from its discretionary determinations with respect to the section 15(a) factors.

    10 7 U.S.C. 19(a).

    The interim final rule does not represent an exercise of Commission discretion that alters substantive rights and obligations imposed by statute and current Commission rules. As discussed earlier, the interim final rule merely reorganizes the existing definitions in § 1.3 into alphabetical order, deletes the outdated lettering scheme, and revises § 1.3 and related regulations to reflect the deleted lettering scheme. As such, substantively, the interim final rule poses no incremental costs or benefits relative to the regulatory requirements that are now in force.

    This interim final rule does have a discretionary element. By issuing the interim final rule, the Commission is exercising its discretion to clarify, by amendment, the definitions currently in force. By alphabetizing the definitions, the interim final rule addresses a potential source of uncertainty for market participants, which promotes the public interest in market integrity and regulatory clarity. The Commission recognizes that this discretionary act of clarification may result in some administrative costs to market participants. However, the Commission believes any such costs will not be material.

    List of Subjects 17 CFR Part 1

    Commodity futures, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    17 CFR Part 3

    Administrative practice and procedure, Commodity futures, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    17 CFR Part 4

    Advertising, Brokers, Commodity futures, Consumer protection, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    17 CFR Part 5

    Commodity futures, Consumer protection, Foreign currencies, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Securities, Trade practices.

    17 CFR Part 15

    Brokers, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    17 CFR Part 18

    Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    17 CFR Part 19

    Cotton, Grains, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    17 CFR Part 23

    Swaps.

    17 CFR Part 30

    Consumer protection, Fraud.

    17 CFR Part 38

    Commodity futures, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    17 CFR Part 39

    Consumer protection, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    17 CFR Part 41

    Brokers, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Securities.

    17 CFR Part 50

    Business and industry, Swaps.

    17 CFR Part 150

    Cotton, Grains.

    17 CFR Part 151

    Swaps.

    17 CFR Part 155

    Brokers, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    17 CFR Part 166

    Brokers, Commodity futures, Consumer protection, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission amends 17 CFR chapter I as follows:

    PART 1—GENERAL REGULATIONS UNDER THE COMMODITY EXCHANGE ACT 1. The authority citation for part 1 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 1a, 2, 5, 6, 6a, 6b, 6c, 6d, 6e, 6f, 6g, 6h, 6i, 6k, 6l, 6m, 6n, 6o, 6p, 6r, 6s, 7, 7a-1, 7a-2, 7b, 7b-3, 8, 9, 10a, 12, 12a, 12c, 13a, 13a-1, 16, 16a, 19, 21, 23, and 24 (2012).

    2. Amend § 1.3 as follows: a. Republish the introductory text of § 1.3; b. Remove paragraph designations (a) through (ssss) and reorder those definitions paragraphs in correct alphabetical order; c. Revise the definitions of “Bona fide hedging transactions and positions for excluded commodities,” “Category of swaps; major swap category,” “Commodity option transaction; commodity option,” “Commodity trading advisor,” “Customer,” “Customer account,” “Eligible contract participant,” “Financial entity; highly leveraged,” “Futures contracts on certain foreign sovereign debt,” “Futures customer,” “Hedging or mitigating commercial risk,” “Major Swap Participant,” “Meaning of `issuers of securities in a narrow-based security index' as used in the definition of `security-based swap' as applied to index credit default swaps,” “Meaning of `narrow-based security index' used in the definition of `security-based swap' as applied to index credit default swaps,” “Narrow-based security index as used in the definition of `security-based swap,' ” “Substantial counterparty exposure,” “Substantial position,” “Swap,” and “Swap Dealer.”

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 1.3 Definitions.

    Words used in the singular form in the rules and regulations in this chapter shall be deemed to import the plural and vice versa, as the context may require. The following terms, as used in the Commodity Exchange Act, or in the rules and regulations in this chapter, shall have the meanings hereby assigned to them, unless the context otherwise requires:

    Bona fide hedging transactions and positions for excluded commodities—(1) General definition. Bona fide hedging transactions and positions shall mean any agreement, contract or transaction in an excluded commodity on a designated contract market or swap execution facility that is a trading facility, where such transactions or positions normally represent a substitute for transactions to be made or positions to be taken at a later time in a physical marketing channel, and where they are economically appropriate to the reduction of risks in the conduct and management of a commercial enterprise, and where they arise from:

    (i) The potential change in the value of assets which a person owns, produces, manufactures, processes, or merchandises or anticipates owning, producing, manufacturing, processing, or merchandising,

    (ii) The potential change in the value of liabilities which a person owns or anticipates incurring, or

    (iii) The potential change in the value of services which a person provides, purchases, or anticipates providing or purchasing.

    (iv) Notwithstanding the foregoing, no transactions or positions shall be classified as bona fide hedging unless their purpose is to offset price risks incidental to commercial cash or spot operations and such positions are established and liquidated in an orderly manner in accordance with sound commercial practices and, for transactions or positions on contract markets subject to trading and position limits in effect pursuant to section 4a of the Act, unless the provisions of paragraphs (2) and (3) of this definition have been satisfied.

    (2) Enumerated hedging transactions. The definitions of bona fide hedging transactions and positions in paragraph (1) of this definition includes, but is not limited to, the following specific transactions and positions:

    (i) Sales of any agreement, contract, or transaction in an excluded commodity on a designated contract market or swap execution facility that is a trading facility which do not exceed in quantity:

    (A) Ownership or fixed-price purchase of the same cash commodity by the same person; and

    (B) Twelve months' unsold anticipated production of the same commodity by the same person provided that no such position is maintained in any agreement, contract or transaction during the five last trading days.

    (ii) Purchases of any agreement, contract or transaction in an excluded commodity on a designated contract market or swap execution facility that is a trading facility which do not exceed in quantity:

    (A) The fixed-price sale of the same cash commodity by the same person;

    (B) The quantity equivalent of fixed-price sales of the cash products and by-products of such commodity by the same person; and

    (C) Twelve months' unfilled anticipated requirements of the same cash commodity for processing, manufacturing, or feeding by the same person, provided that such transactions and positions in the five last trading days of any agreement, contract or transaction do not exceed the person's unfilled anticipated requirements of the same cash commodity for that month and for the next succeeding month.

    (iii) Offsetting sales and purchases in any agreement, contract or transaction in an excluded commodity on a designated contract market or swap execution facility that is a trading facility which do not exceed in quantity that amount of the same cash commodity which has been bought and sold by the same person at unfixed prices basis different delivery months of the contract market, provided that no such position is maintained in any agreement, contract or transaction during the five last trading days.

    (iv) Purchases or sales by an agent who does not own or has not contracted to sell or purchase the offsetting cash commodity at a fixed price, provided that the agent is responsible for the merchandising of the cash position that is being offset, and the agent has a contractual arrangement with the person who owns the commodity or has the cash market commitment being offset.

    (v) Sales and purchases described in paragraphs (2)(i) through (iv) of this definition may also be offset other than by the same quantity of the same cash commodity, provided that the fluctuations in value of the position for in any agreement, contract or transaction are substantially related to the fluctuations in value of the actual or anticipated cash position, and provided that the positions in any agreement, contract or transaction shall not be maintained during the five last trading days.

    (3) Non-Enumerated cases. A designated contract market or swap execution facility that is a trading facility may recognize, consistent with the purposes of this definition, transactions and positions other than those enumerated in paragraph (2) of this definition as bona fide hedging. Prior to recognizing such non-enumerated transactions and positions, the designated contract market or swap execution facility that is a trading facility shall submit such rules for Commission review under section 5c of the Act and part 40 of this chapter.

    Category of swaps; major swap category. For purposes of section 1a(33) of the Act, 7 U.S.C. 1a(33), and the definition of major swap participant in this section, the terms major swap category, category of swaps and any similar terms mean any of the categories of swaps listed below. For the avoidance of doubt, the term swap as it is used in this definition has the meaning set forth in section 1a(47) of the Act, 7 U.S.C. 1a(47), and the rules thereunder.

    (1) Rate swaps. Any swap which is primarily based on one or more reference rates, including but not limited to any swap of payments determined by fixed and floating interest rates, currency exchange rates, inflation rates or other monetary rates, any foreign exchange swap, as defined in section 1a(25) of the Act, 7 U.S.C. 1a(25), and any foreign exchange option other than an option to deliver currency.

    (2) Credit swaps. Any swap that is primarily based on instruments of indebtedness, including but not limited to any swap primarily based on one or more broad-based indices related to debt instruments or loans, and any swap that is an index credit default swap or total return swap on one or more indices of debt instruments.

    (3) Equity swaps. Any swap that is primarily based on equity securities, including but not limited to any swap based on one or more broad-based indices of equity securities and any total return swap on one or more equity indices.

    (4) Other commodity swaps. Any swap that is not included in the rate swap, credit swap or equity swap categories.

    Commodity option transaction; commodity option. These terms each mean any transaction or agreement in interstate commerce which is or is held out to be of the character of, or is commonly known to the trade as, an “option,” “privilege,” “indemnity,” “bid,” “offer,” “call,” “put,” “advance guaranty,” or “decline guaranty,” and which is subject to regulation under the Act and the regulations in this chapter.

    Commodity trading advisor. (1) This term means any person who, for compensation or profit, engages in the business of advising others, either directly or through publications, writings or electronic media, as to the value of or the advisability of trading in any contract of sale of a commodity for future delivery, security futures product, or swap; any agreement, contract or transaction described in section 2(c)(2)(C)(i) or section 2(c)(2)(D)(i) of the Act; any commodity option authorized under section 4c of the Act; any leverage transaction authorized under section 19 of the Act; any person registered with the Commission as a commodity trading advisor; or any person, who, for compensation or profit, and as part of a regular business, issues or promulgates analyses or reports concerning any of the foregoing. The term does not include:

    (i) Any bank or trust company or any person acting as an employee thereof;

    (ii) Any news reporter, news columnist, or news editor of the print or electronic media or any lawyer, accountant, or teacher;

    (iii) Any floor broker or futures commission merchant;

    (iv) The publisher or producer of any print or electronic data of general and regular dissemination, including its employees;

    (v) The named fiduciary, or trustee, of any defined benefit plan which is subject to the provisions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, or any fiduciary whose sole business is to advise that plan;

    (vi) Any contract market; and

    (vii) Such other persons not within the intent of this definition as the Commission may specify by rule, regulation or order: Provided, That the furnishing of such services by the foregoing persons is solely incidental to the conduct of their business or profession: Provided further, That the Commission, by rule or regulation, may include within this definition, any person advising as to the value of commodities or issuing reports or analyses concerning commodities, if the Commission determines that such rule or regulation will effectuate the purposes of this provision.

    (2) Client. This term, as it relates to a commodity trading advisor, means any person:

    (i) To whom a commodity trading advisor provides advice, for compensation or profit, either directly or through publications, writings, or electronic media, as to the value of, or the advisability of trading in, any contract of sale of a commodity for future delivery, security futures product or swap; any agreement, contract or transaction described in section 2(c)(2)(C)(i) or section 2(c)(2)(D)(i) of the Act; any commodity option authorized under section 4c of the Act; any leverage transaction authorized under section 19 of the Act; or

    (ii) To whom, for compensation or profit, and as part of a regular business, the commodity trading advisor issues or promulgates analyses or reports concerning any of the activities referred to in the definition of commodity trading advisor in this section. The term client includes, without limitation, any subscriber of a commodity trading advisor.

    Customer. This term means any person who uses a futures commission merchant, introducing broker, commodity trading advisor, or commodity pool operator as an agent in connection with trading in any commodity interest; Provided, however, an owner or holder of a proprietary account as defined in this section shall not be deemed to be a customer within the meaning of section 4d of the Act, the regulations that implement sections 4d and 4f of the Act and § 1.35, and such an owner or holder of such a proprietary account shall otherwise be deemed to be a customer within the meaning of the Act and §§ 1.37 and 1.46 and all other sections of these rules, regulations, and orders which do not implement sections 4d and 4f of the Act.

    Customer account. This term references both a Cleared Swaps Customer Account and a Futures Account, as defined in this section.

    Eligible contract participant. This term has the meaning set forth in section 1a(18) of the Act, except that:

    (1) A major swap participant, as defined in section 1a(33) of the Act and in this section, is an eligible contract participant;

    (2) A swap dealer, as defined in section 1a(49) of the Act and in this section, is an eligible contract participant;

    (3) A major security-based swap participant, as defined in section 3(a)(67) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and § 240.3a67-1 of this title, is an eligible contract participant;

    (4) A security-based swap dealer, as defined in section 3(a)(71) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and § 240.3a71-1 of this title, is an eligible contract participant;

    (5)(i) A transaction-level commodity pool with one or more direct participants that is not an eligible contract participant is not itself an eligible contract participant under either section 1a(18)(A)(iv) or section 1a(18)(A)(v) of the Act for purposes of entering into transactions described in sections 2(c)(2)(B)(vi) and 2(c)(2)(C)(vii) of the Act; and

    (ii) In determining whether a commodity pool that is a direct participant in a transaction-level commodity pool is an eligible contract participant for purposes of paragraph (5)(i) of this definition, the participants in the commodity pool that is a direct participant in the transaction-level commodity pool shall not be considered unless the transaction-level commodity pool, any commodity pool holding a direct or indirect interest in such transaction-level commodity pool, or any commodity pool in which such transaction-level commodity pool holds a direct or indirect interest, has been structured to evade subtitle A of Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act by permitting persons that are not eligible contract participants to participate in agreements, contracts, or transactions described in section 2(c)(2)(B)(i) or section 2(c)(2)(C)(i) of the Act;

    (6) A commodity pool that does not have total assets exceeding $5,000,000 or that is not operated by a person described in subclause (A)(iv)(II) of section 1a(18) of the Act is not an eligible contract participant pursuant to clause (A)(v) of such section;

    (7)(i) For purposes of a swap (but not a security-based swap, security-based swap agreement or mixed swap) used to hedge or mitigate commercial risk, an entity may, in determining its net worth for purposes of section 1a(18)(A)(v)(III) of the Act, include the net worth of any owner of such entity, provided that all the owners of such entity are eligible contract participants;

    (ii)(A) For purposes of identifying the owners of an entity under paragraph (7)(i) of this definition, any person holding a direct ownership interest in such entity shall be considered to be an owner of such entity; provided, however, that any shell company shall be disregarded, and the owners of such shell company shall be considered to be the owners of any entity owned by such shell company;

    (B) For purposes of paragraph (7)(ii)(A) of this definition, the term shell company means any entity that limits its holdings to direct or indirect interests in entities that are relying on this paragraph (7); and

    (C) In determining whether an owner of an entity is an eligible contract participant for purposes of paragraph (7)(i) of this definition, an individual may be considered to be a proprietorship eligible contract participant only if the individual—

    (1) Has an active role in operating a business other than an entity;

    (2) Directly owns all of the assets of the business;

    (3) Directly is responsible for all of the liabilities of the business; and

    (4) Acquires its interest in the entity seeking to qualify as an eligible contract participant under paragraph (7)(i) of this definition in connection with the operation of the individual's proprietorship or to manage the risk associated with an asset or liability owned or incurred or reasonably likely to be owned or incurred by the individual in the operation of the individual's proprietorship; and

    (iii) For purposes of paragraph (7)(i) of this definition, a swap is used to hedge or mitigate commercial risk if the swap complies with the conditions in the definition in this section of hedging or mitigating commercial risk; and

    (8) Notwithstanding section 1a(18)(A)(iv) of the Act and paragraph (5) of this definition, a commodity pool that enters into an agreement, contract, or transaction described in section 2(c)(2)(B)(i) or section 2(c)(2)(C)(i)(I) of the Act is an eligible contract participant with respect to such agreement, contract, or transaction, regardless of whether each participant in such commodity pool is an eligible contract participant, if all of the following conditions are satisfied:

    (i) The commodity pool is not formed for the purpose of evading regulation under section 2(c)(2)(B) or section 2(c)(2)(C) of the Act or related Commission rules, regulations or orders;

    (ii) The commodity pool has total assets exceeding $10,000,000; and

    (iii) The commodity pool is formed and operated by a registered commodity pool operator or by a commodity pool operator who is exempt from registration as such pursuant to § 4.13(a)(3) of this chapter.

    Financial entity; highly leveraged. (1) For purposes of section 1a(33) of the Act, 7 U.S.C. 1a(33), and the definition of a major swap participant in this section, the term financial entity means:

    (i) A security-based swap dealer;

    (ii) A major security-based swap participant;

    (iii) A commodity pool as defined in section 1a(10) of the Act, 7 U.S.C. 1a(10);

    (iv) A private fund as defined in section 202(a) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, 15 U.S.C. 80b-2(a);

    (v) An employee benefit plan as defined in paragraphs (3) and (32) of section 3 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, 29 U.S.C. 1002; and

    (vi) A person predominantly engaged in activities that are in the business of banking or financial in nature, as defined in section 4(k) of the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, 12 U.S.C. 1843(k).

    (2) For purposes of section 1a(33) of the Act, 7 U.S.C. 1a(33), and the definition of a major swap participant in this section, the term highly leveraged means the existence of a ratio of an entity's total liabilities to equity in excess of 12 to 1 as measured at the close of business on the last business day of the applicable fiscal quarter. For this purpose, liabilities and equity should each be determined in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles; provided, however, that a person that is an employee benefit plan, as defined in paragraphs (3) and (32) of section 3 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, 29 U.S.C. 1002, may exclude obligations to pay benefits to plan participants from the calculation of liabilities and substitute the total value of plan assets for equity.

    Futures contracts on certain foreign sovereign debt. The term security-based swap as used in section 3(a)(68) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(68)), as incorporated in section 1a(42) of the Commodity Exchange Act, does not include an agreement, contract, or transaction that is based on or references a qualifying foreign futures contract (as defined in rule 3a12-8 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (17 CFR 240.3a12-8)) on the debt securities of any one or more of the foreign governments enumerated in rule 3a12-8 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (17 CFR 240.3a12-8), provided that such agreement, contract, or transaction satisfies the following conditions:

    (1) The futures contract that the agreement, contract, or transaction references or upon which the agreement, contract, or transaction is based is a qualifying foreign futures contract that satisfies the conditions of rule 3a12-8 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (17 CFR 240.3a12-8) applicable to qualifying foreign futures contracts;

    (2) The agreement, contract, or transaction is traded on or through a board of trade (as defined in the Commodity Exchange Act);

    (3) The debt securities upon which the qualifying foreign futures contract is based or referenced and any security used to determine the cash settlement amount pursuant to paragraph (4) of this definition were not registered under the Securities Act of 1933 (15 U.S.C. 77 et seq.) or the subject of any American depositary receipt registered under the Securities Act of 1933;

    (4) The agreement, contract, or transaction may only be cash settled; and

    (5) The agreement, contract or transaction is not entered into by the issuer of the debt securities upon which the qualifying foreign futures contract is based or referenced (including any security used to determine the cash payment due on settlement of such agreement, contract or transaction), an affiliate (as defined in the Securities Act of 1933 (15 U.S.C. 77 et seq.) and the rules and regulations thereunder) of the issuer, or an underwriter of such issuer's debt securities.

    Futures customer. This term means any person who uses a futures commission merchant, introducing broker, commodity trading advisor, or commodity pool operator as an agent in connection with trading in any contract for the purchase of sale of a commodity for future delivery or any option on such contract; Provided, however, an owner or holder of a proprietary account as defined in this section shall not be deemed to be a futures customer within the meaning of sections 4d(a) and 4d(b) of the Act, the regulations in this chapter that implement sections 4d and 4f of the Act and § 1.35, and such an owner or holder of such a proprietary account shall otherwise be deemed to be a futures customer within the meaning of the Act and §§ 1.37 and 1.46 and all other sections of these rules, regulations, and orders which do not implement sections 4d and 4f of the Act.

    Hedging or mitigating commercial risk. For purposes of section 1a(33) of the Act, 7 U.S.C. 1a(33) and the definition of a major swap participant in this section, a swap position is held for the purpose of hedging or mitigating commercial risk when:

    (1) Such position:

    (i) Is economically appropriate to the reduction of risks in the conduct and management of a commercial enterprise (or of a majority-owned affiliate of the enterprise), where the risks arise from:

    (A) The potential change in the value of assets that a person owns, produces, manufactures, processes, or merchandises or reasonably anticipates owning, producing, manufacturing, processing, or merchandising in the ordinary course of business of the enterprise;

    (B) The potential change in the value of liabilities that a person has incurred or reasonably anticipates incurring in the ordinary course of business of the enterprise; or

    (C) The potential change in the value of services that a person provides, purchases, or reasonably anticipates providing or purchasing in the ordinary course of business of the enterprise;

    (D) The potential change in the value of assets, services, inputs, products, or commodities that a person owns, produces, manufactures, processes, merchandises, leases, or sells, or reasonably anticipates owning, producing, manufacturing, processing, merchandising, leasing, or selling in the ordinary course of business of the enterprise;

    (E) Any potential change in value related to any of the foregoing arising from interest, currency, or foreign exchange rate movements associated with such assets, liabilities, services, inputs, products, or commodities; or

    (F) Any fluctuation in interest, currency, or foreign exchange rate exposures arising from a person's current or anticipated assets or liabilities; or

    (ii) Qualifies as bona fide hedging for purposes of an exemption from position limits under the Act; or

    (iii) Qualifies for hedging treatment under:

    (A) Financial Accounting Standards Board Accounting Standards Codification Topic 815, Derivatives and Hedging (formerly known as Statement No. 133); or

    (B) Governmental Accounting Standards Board Statement 53, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Derivative Instruments; and

    (2) Such position is:

    (i) Not held for a purpose that is in the nature of speculation, investing or trading; and

    (ii) Not held to hedge or mitigate the risk of another swap or security-based swap position, unless that other position itself is held for the purpose of hedging or mitigating commercial risk as defined by this definition or § 240.3a67-4 of this title.

    Major swap participant—(1) In general. The term major swap participant means any person:

    (i) That is not a swap dealer; and

    (ii)(A) That maintains a substantial position in swaps for any of the major swap categories, excluding both positions held for hedging or mitigating commercial risk, and positions maintained by any employee benefit plan (or any contract held by such a plan) as defined in paragraphs (3) and (32) of section 3 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, 29 U.S.C. 1002, for the primary purpose of hedging or mitigating any risk directly associated with the operation of the plan;

    (B) Whose outstanding swaps create substantial counterparty exposure that could have serious adverse effects on the financial stability of the United States banking system or financial markets; or

    (C) That is a financial entity that:

    (1) Is highly leveraged relative to the amount of capital such entity holds and that is not subject to capital requirements established by an appropriate Federal banking agency (as defined in section 1a(2) of the Act, 7 U.S.C. 1a(2)); and

    (2) Maintains a substantial position in outstanding swaps in any major swap category.

    (2) Scope of designation. A person that is a major swap participant shall be deemed to be a major swap participant with respect to each swap it enters into, regardless of the category of the swap or the person's activities in connection with the swap. However, if a person makes an application to limit its designation as a major swap participant to specified categories of swaps, the Commission shall determine whether the person's designation as a major swap participant shall be so limited. If the Commission grants such limited designation, such limited designation major swap participant shall be deemed to be a major swap participant with respect to each swap it enters into in the swap category or categories for which it is so designated, regardless of the person's activities in connection with such category or categories of swaps. A person may make such application to limit its designation at the same time as, or after, the person's initial registration as a major swap participant.

    (3) Timing requirements. A person that is not registered as a major swap participant, but that meets the criteria in this rule to be a major swap participant as a result of its swap activities in a fiscal quarter, will not be deemed to be a major swap participant until the earlier of the date on which it submits a complete application for registration as a major swap participant pursuant to section 4s(a)(2) of the Act, 7 U.S.C. 6s(a)(2), or two months after the end of that quarter.

    (4) Reevaluation period. Notwithstanding paragraph (3) of this definition, if a person that is not registered as a major swap participant meets the criteria in this rule to be a major swap participant in a fiscal quarter, but does not exceed any applicable threshold by more than twenty percent in that quarter:

    (i) That person will not be deemed a major swap participant pursuant to the timing requirements specified in paragraph (3) of this definition; but

    (ii) That person will be deemed a major swap participant pursuant to the timing requirements specified in paragraph (3) of this definition at the end of the next fiscal quarter if the person exceeds any of the applicable daily average thresholds in that next fiscal quarter.

    (5) Termination of status. A person that is deemed to be a major swap participant shall continue to be deemed a major swap participant until such time that its swap activities do not exceed any of the daily average thresholds set forth within this rule for four consecutive fiscal quarters after the date on which the person becomes registered as a major swap participant.

    (6) Calculation of status. A person shall not be deemed to be a “major swap participant,” regardless of whether the criteria in paragraph (1) of this definition otherwise would cause the person to be a major swap participant, provided the person meets the conditions set forth in paragraphs (6)(i), (ii) or (iii) of this definition.

    (i) Caps on uncollateralized exposure and notional positions—(A) Maximum potential uncollateralized exposure. The express terms of the person's agreements or arrangements relating to swaps with its counterparties at no time would permit the person to maintain a total uncollateralized exposure of more than $100 million to all such counterparties, including any exposure that may result from thresholds or minimum transfer amounts established by credit support annexes or similar arrangements; and

    (B) Maximum notional amount of swap positions. The person does not maintain swap positions in a notional amount of more than $2 billion in any major category of swaps, or more than $4 billion in the aggregate across all major categories; or

    (ii) Caps on uncollateralized exposure plus monthly calculation—(A) Maximum potential uncollateralized exposure. The express terms of the person's agreements or arrangements relating to swaps with its counterparties at no time would permit the person to maintain a total uncollateralized exposure of more than $200 million to all such counterparties (with regard to swaps and any other instruments by which the person may have exposure to those counterparties), including any exposure that may result from thresholds or minimum transfer amounts established by credit support annexes or similar arrangements; and

    (B) Calculation of positions. (1) At the end of each month, the person performs the calculations prescribed by the definition in this section of substantial position with regard to whether the aggregate uncollateralized outward exposure plus aggregate potential outward exposure as of that day constitute a “substantial position” in a major category of swaps, or pose “substantial counterparty exposure that could have serious adverse effects on the financial stability of the United States banking system or financial markets”; these calculations shall disregard provisions of those rules that provide for the analyses to be determined based on a daily average over a calendar quarter; and

    (2) Each such analysis produces thresholds of no more than:

    (i) $1 billion in aggregate uncollateralized outward exposure plus aggregate potential outward exposure in any major category of swaps; if the person is subject to the definition in this section of substantial position, by virtue of being a highly leveraged financial entity that is not subject to capital requirements established by an appropriate Federal banking agency, this analysis shall account for all of the person's swap positions in that major category (without excluding hedging positions), otherwise this analysis shall exclude the same hedging and related positions that are excluded from consideration pursuant to paragraph (1)(i) of the definition in this section of substantial position; or

    (ii) $2 billion in aggregate uncollateralized outward exposure plus aggregate potential outward exposure (without any positions excluded from the analysis) with regard to all of the person's swap positions.

    (iii) Calculations based on certain information. (A)(1) At the end of each month, the person's aggregate uncollateralized outward exposure with respect to its swap positions in each major swap category is less than $1.5 billion with respect to the rate swap category and less than $500 million with respect to each of the other major swap categories; and

    (2) At the end of each month, the sum of the amount calculated under paragraph (6)(iii)(A)(1) of this definition with respect to each major swap category and the total notional principal amount of the person's swap positions in each such major swap category, adjusted by the multipliers set forth in paragraph (3)(ii)(1) of the definition in this section of substantial position on a position-by-position basis reflecting the type of swap, is less than $3 billion with respect to the rate swap category and less than $1 billion with respect to each of the other major swap categories; or

    (B)(1) At the end of each month, the person's aggregate uncollateralized outward exposure with respect to its swap positions across all major swap categories is less than $500 million; and

    (2) The sum of the amount calculated under paragraph (6)(iii)(B)(1) of this definition and the product of the total effective notional principal amount of the person's swap positions in all major swap categories multiplied by 0.15 is less than $1 billion.

    (C) For purposes of the calculations set forth in this paragraph (6)(iii) of the major swap participant definition:

    (1) The person's aggregate uncollateralized outward exposure for positions held with swap dealers shall be equal to such exposure reported on the most recent reports of such exposure received from such swap dealers; and

    (2) The person's aggregate uncollateralized outward exposure for positions that are not reflected in any report of exposure from a swap dealer (including all swap positions it holds with persons other than swap dealers) shall be calculated in accordance with paragraph (2) of the definition in this section of substantial position.

    (iv) For purposes of the calculations set forth in paragraph (6) of this definition, the person shall use the effective notional amount of a position rather than the stated notional amount of the position if the stated notional amount is leveraged or enhanced by the structure of the position.

    (v) No presumption shall arise that a person is required to perform the calculations needed to determine if it is a major swap participant, solely by reason that the person does not meet the conditions specified in paragraph (6)(i), (ii) or (iii) of this definition.

    (7) Exclusions. A person who is registered as a derivatives clearing organization with the Commission pursuant to section 5b of the Act and regulations thereunder, shall not be deemed to be a major swap participant, regardless of whether the criteria in this definition otherwise would cause the person to be a major swap participant.

    Meaning of “issuers of securities in a narrow-based security index” as used in the definition of “security-based swap” as applied to index credit default swaps. (1) Notwithstanding paragraph (1) of the definition in this section of narrow-based security index as used in the definition of security-based swap, and solely for purposes of determining whether a credit default swap is a security-based swap under the definition of “security-based swap” in section 3(a)(68)(A)(ii)(III) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(68)(A)(ii)(III)), as incorporated in section 1a(42) of the Commodity Exchange Act, the term issuers of securities in a narrow-based security index means issuers of securities included in an index (including an index referencing loan borrowers or loans of such borrowers) in which:

    (i)(A) There are nine or fewer non-affiliated issuers of securities that are reference entities included in the index, provided that an issuer of securities shall not be deemed a reference entity included in the index for purposes of this definition unless:

    (1) A credit event with respect to such reference entity would result in a payment by the credit protection seller to the credit protection buyer under the credit default swap based on the related notional amount allocated to such reference entity; or

    (2) The fact of such credit event or the calculation in accordance with paragraph (1)(i)(A)(1) of this definition of the amount owed with respect to such credit event is taken into account in determining whether to make any future payments under the credit default swap with respect to any future credit events;

    (B) The effective notional amount allocated to any reference entity included in the index comprises more than 30 percent of the index's weighting;

    (C) The effective notional amount allocated to any five non-affiliated reference entities included in the index comprises more than 60 percent of the index's weighting; or

    (D) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this definition, for each reference entity included in the index, none of the criteria in paragraphs (1)(i)(D)(1) through (8) of this definition is satisfied:

    (1) The reference entity included in the index is required to file reports pursuant to section 13 or section 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78m or 78o(d));

    (2) The reference entity included in the index is eligible to rely on the exemption provided in rule 12g3-2(b) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (17 CFR 240.12g3-2(b));

    (3) The reference entity included in the index has a worldwide market value of its outstanding common equity held by non-affiliates of $700 million or more;

    (4) The reference entity included in the index (other than a reference entity included in the index that is an issuing entity of an asset-backed security as defined in section 3(a)(77) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(77)) has outstanding notes, bonds, debentures, loans, or evidences of indebtedness (other than revolving credit facilities) having a total remaining principal amount of at least $1 billion;

    (5) The reference entity included in the index is the issuer of an exempted security as defined in section 3(a)(12) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(12)) (other than any municipal security as defined in section 3(a)(29) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(29)));

    (6) The reference entity included in the index is a government of a foreign country or a political subdivision of a foreign country;

    (7) If the reference entity included in the index is an issuing entity of an asset-backed security as defined in section 3(a)(77) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(77)), such asset-backed security was issued in a transaction registered under the Securities Act of 1933 (15 U.S.C. 77a et seq.) and has publicly available distribution reports; and

    (8) For a credit default swap entered into solely between eligible contract participants as defined in section 1a(18) of the Commodity Exchange Act:

    (i) The reference entity included in the index (other than a reference entity included in the index that is an issuing entity of an asset-backed security as defined in section 3(a)(77) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(77)) makes available to the public or otherwise makes available to such eligible contract participant information about the reference entity included in the index pursuant to rule 144A(d)(4) under the Securities Act of 1933 (17 CFR 230.144A(d)(4));

    (ii) Financial information about the reference entity included in the index (other than a reference entity included in the index that is an issuing entity of an asset-backed security as defined in section 3(a)(77) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(77)) is otherwise publicly available; or

    (iii) In the case of a reference entity included in the index that is an issuing entity of an asset-backed security as defined in section 3(a)(77) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(77)), information of the type and level included in publicly available distribution reports for similar asset-backed securities is publicly available about both the reference entity included in the index and such asset-backed security; and

    (ii)(A) The index is not composed solely of reference entities that are issuers of exempted securities as defined in section 3(a)(12) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(12)), as in effect on the date of enactment of the Futures Trading Act of 1982 (other than any municipal security as defined in section 3(a)(29) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(29))), as in effect on the date of enactment of the Futures Trading Act of 1982; and

    (B) Without taking into account any portion of the index composed of reference entities that are issuers of exempted securities as defined in section 3(a)(12) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(12)), as in effect on the date of enactment of the Futures Trading Act of 1982 (other than any municipal security as defined in section 3(a)(29) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(29))), the remaining portion of the index would be within the term issuer of securities in a narrow-based security index under (1)(i) of this definition.

    (2) Paragraph (1)(i)(D) of this definition will not apply with respect to a reference entity included in the index if:

    (i) The effective notional amounts allocated to such reference entity comprise less than five percent of the index's weighting; and

    (ii) The effective notional amounts allocated to reference entities included in the index that satisfy paragraph (1)(i)(D) of this definition comprise at least 80 percent of the index's weighting.

    (3) For purposes of this definition:

    (i) A reference entity included in the index is affiliated with another reference entity included in the index (for purposes of paragraph (3)(iv) of this definition) or another entity (for purposes of paragraph (3)(v) of this definition) if it controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with, that other reference entity included in the index or other entity, as applicable; provided that each reference entity included in the index that is an issuing entity of an asset-backed security as defined in section 3(a)(77) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(77)) will not be considered affiliated with any other reference entity included in the index or any other entity that is an issuing entity of an asset-backed security.

    (ii) Control for purposes of this section means ownership of more than 50 percent of the equity of a reference entity included in the index (for purposes of paragraph (3)(iv) of this definition) or another entity (for purposes of paragraph (3)(v) of this definition), or the ability to direct the voting of more than 50 percent of the voting equity of a reference entity included in the index (for purposes of paragraph (3)(iv) of this definition) or another entity (for purposes of paragraph (3)(v) of this definition).

    (iii) In identifying a reference entity included in the index for purposes of this section, the term reference entity includes:

    (A) An issuer of securities;

    (B) An issuer of securities that is an issuing entity of an asset-backed security as defined in section 3(a)(77) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(77)); and

    (C) An issuer of securities that is a borrower with respect to any loan identified in an index of borrowers or loans.

    (iv) For purposes of calculating the thresholds in paragraphs (1)(i)(A) through (1)(i)(C) of this definition, the term reference entity included in the index includes a single reference entity included in the index or a group of affiliated reference entities included in the index as determined in accordance with paragraph (3)(i) of this definition (with each reference entity included in the index that is an issuing entity of an asset-backed security as defined in section 3(a)(77) of the Act (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(77)) being considered a separate reference entity included in the index).

    (v) For purposes of determining whether one of the criterion in either paragraphs (1)(i)(D)(1) through (1)(i)(D)(4) of this definition or paragraphs (1)(iv)(D)(8)(i) and (1)(iv)(D)(8)(ii) of this definition is met, the term reference entity included in the index includes a single reference entity included in the index or a group of affiliated entities as determined in accordance with paragraph (3)(i) of this definition (with each issuing entity of an asset-backed security as defined in section 3(a)(77) of the Act (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(77)) being considered a separate entity).

    Meaning of “narrow-based security index” used in the definition of “security-based swap” as applied to index credit default swaps. (1) Notwithstanding paragraph (1) of the definition in this section of narrow-based security index as used in the definition of “security-based swap,” and solely for purposes of determining whether a credit default swap is a security-based swap under the definition of “security-based swap” in section 3(a)(68)(A)(ii)(I) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(68)(A)(ii)(I)), as incorporated in section 1a(42) of the Commodity Exchange Act, the term narrow-based security index means an index in which:

    (i)(A) The index is composed of nine or fewer securities or securities that are issued by nine or fewer non-affiliated issuers, provided that a security shall not be deemed a component of the index for purposes of this section unless:

    (1) A credit event with respect to the issuer of such security or a credit event with respect to such security would result in a payment by the credit protection seller to the credit protection buyer under the credit default swap based on the related notional amount allocated to such security; or

    (2) The fact of such credit event or the calculation in accordance with paragraph (1)(i)(A)(1) of this definition of the amount owed with respect to such credit event is taken into account in determining whether to make any future payments under the credit default swap with respect to any future credit events;

    (B) The effective notional amount allocated to the securities of any issuer included in the index comprises more than 30 percent of the index's weighting;

    (C) The effective notional amount allocated to the securities of any five non-affiliated issuers included in the index comprises more than 60 percent of the index's weighting; or

    (D) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this definition, for each security included in the index, none of the criteria in paragraphs (1)(i)(D)(1) through (8) is satisfied if:

    (1) The issuer of the security included in the index is required to file reports pursuant to section 13 or section 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78m or 78o(d));

    (2) The issuer of the security included in the index is eligible to rely on the exemption provided in rule 12g3-2(b) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (17 CFR 240.12g3-2(b));

    (3) The issuer of the security included in the index has a worldwide market value of its outstanding common equity held by non-affiliates of $700 million or more;

    (4) The issuer of the security included in the index (other than an issuer of the security that is an issuing entity of an asset-backed security as defined in section 3(a)(77) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(77))) has outstanding notes, bonds, debentures, loans or evidences of indebtedness (other than revolving credit facilities) having a total remaining principal amount of at least $1 billion;

    (5) The security included in the index is an exempted security as defined in section 3(a)(12) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(12)) (other than any municipal security as defined in section 3(a)(29) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(29)));

    (6) The issuer of the security included in the index is a government of a foreign country or a political subdivision of a foreign country;

    (7) If the security included in the index is an asset-backed security as defined in section 3(a)(77) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(77)), the security was issued in a transaction registered under the Securities Act of 1933 (15 U.S.C. 77a et seq.) and has publicly available distribution reports; and

    (8) For a credit default swap entered into solely between eligible contract participants as defined in section 1a(18) of the Commodity Exchange Act:

    (i) The issuer of the security included in the index (other than an issuer of the security that is an issuing entity of an asset-backed security as defined in section 3(a)(77) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(77))) makes available to the public or otherwise makes available to such eligible contract participant information about such issuer pursuant to rule 144A(d)(4) of the Securities Act of 1933 (17 CFR 230.144A(d)(4));

    (ii) Financial information about the issuer of the security included in the index (other than an issuer of the security that is an issuing entity of an asset-backed security as defined in section 3(a)(77) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(77))) is otherwise publicly available; or

    (iii) In the case of an asset-backed security as defined in section 3(a)(77) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(77)), information of the type and level included in public distribution reports for similar asset-backed securities is publicly available about both the issuing entity and such asset-backed security; and

    (ii)(A) The index is not composed solely of exempted securities as defined in section 3(a)(12) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(12)), as in effect on the date of enactment of the Futures Trading Act of 1982 (other than any municipal security as defined in section 3(a)(29) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(29))), as in effect on the date of enactment of the Futures Trading Act of 1982; and

    (B) Without taking into account any portion of the index composed of exempted securities as defined in section 3(a)(12) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(12)), as in effect on the date of enactment of the Futures Trading Act of 1982 (other than any municipal security as defined in section 3(a)(29) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(29))), the remaining portion of the index would be within the term narrow-based security index under paragraph (1)(i) of this definition.

    (2) Paragraph (1)(i)(D) of this definition will not apply with respect to securities of an issuer included in the index if:

    (i) The effective notional amounts allocated to all securities of such issuer included in the index comprise less than five percent of the index's weighting; and

    (ii) The securities that satisfy paragraph (1)(i)(D) of this definition comprise at least 80 percent of the index's weighting.

    (3) For purposes of this definition:

    (i) An issuer of securities included in the index is affiliated with another issuer of securities included in the index (for purposes of paragraph (3)(iv) of this definition) or another entity (for purposes of paragraph (3)(v) of this definition) if it controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with, that other issuer or other entity, as applicable; provided that each issuer of securities included in the index that is an issuing entity of an asset-backed security as defined in section 3(a)(77) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(77)) will not be considered affiliated with any other issuer of securities included in the index or any other entity that is an issuing entity of an asset-backed security.

    (ii) Control for purposes of this section means ownership of more than 50 percent of the equity of an issuer of securities included in the index (for purposes of paragraph (3)(iv) of this definition) or another entity (for purposes of paragraph (3)(v) of this definition), or the ability to direct the voting of more than 50 percent of the voting equity an issuer of securities included in the index (for purposes of paragraph (3)(iv) of this definition) or another entity (for purposes of paragraph (3)(v) of this definition).

    (iii) In identifying an issuer of securities included in the index for purposes of this section, the term issuer includes:

    (A) An issuer of securities; and

    (B) An issuer of securities that is an issuing entity of an asset-backed security as defined in section 3(a)(77) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(77)).

    (iv) For purposes of calculating the thresholds in paragraphs (1)(i)(A) through (1)(i)(C) of the definition of the meaning of issuers of securities in a narrow-based security index as used in the definition of security-based swap as applied to index credit default swaps, the term issuer of the security included in the index or a group of affiliated issuers of securities included in the index as determined in accordance with paragraph (3)(i) of this definition (with each issuer of securities included in the index that is an issuing entity of an asset-backed security as defined in section 3(a)(77) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(77)) being considered a separate issuer of securities included in the index).

    (v) For purposes of determining whether one of the criterion in either paragraphs (1)(i)(D)(1) through (1)(i)(D)(4) of this definition or paragraphs (1)(iv)(D)(8)(i) and (1)(iv)(D)(8)(ii) of this definition is met, the term issuer of the security included in the index includes a single issuer of securities included in the index or a group of affiliated entities as determined in accordance with paragraph (3)(i) of this definition (with each issuing entity of an asset-backed security as defined in section 3(a)(77) of the Act (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(77)) being considered a separate entity).

    Narrow-based security index as used in the definition of “security-based swap”—(1) In general. Except as otherwise provided in the definitions in this section for meaning of issuers of securities in a narrow-based security index as used in the definition of security-based swap as applied to index credit default swaps and meaning of narrow-based security index as used in the definition of security-based swap as applied to index credit default swaps, for purposes of section 1a(42) of the Commodity Exchange Act, the term narrow-based security index has the meaning set forth in section 1a(35) of the Commodity Exchange Act, and the rules, regulations and orders of the Commission thereunder.

    (2) Tolerance period for swaps traded on designated contract markets, swap execution facilities, and foreign boards of trade. Notwithstanding paragraph (1) of this definition, solely for purposes of swaps traded on or subject to the rules of a designated contract market, swap execution facility, or foreign board of trade, a security index underlying such swaps shall not be considered a narrow-based security index if:

    (i)(A) A swap on the index is traded on or subject to the rules of a designated contract market, swap execution facility, or foreign board of trade for at least 30 days as a swap on an index that was not a narrow-based security index; or

    (B) Such index was not a narrow-based security index during every trading day of the six full calendar months preceding a date no earlier than 30 days prior to the commencement of trading of a swap on such index on a market described in paragraph (2)(i)(A) of this definition; and

    (ii) The index has been a narrow-based security index for no more than 45 business days over three consecutive calendar months.

    (3) Tolerance period for security-based swaps traded on national securities exchanges or security-based swap execution facilities. Notwithstanding paragraph (1) of this definition, solely for purposes of security-based swaps traded on a national securities exchange or security-based swap execution facility, a security index underlying such security-based swaps shall be considered a narrow-based security index if:

    (i)(A) A security-based swap on the index is traded on a national securities exchange or security-based swap execution facility for at least 30 days as a security-based swap on a narrow-based security index; or

    (B) Such index was a narrow-based security index during every trading day of the six full calendar months preceding a date no earlier than 30 days prior to the commencement of trading of a security-based swap on such index on a market described in paragraph (3)(i)(A) of this definition; and

    (ii) The index has been a security index that is not a narrow-based security index for no more than 45 business days over three consecutive calendar months.

    (4) Grace period. (i) Solely with respect to a swap that is traded on or subject to the rules of a designated contract market, swap execution facility, or foreign board of trade, an index that becomes a narrow-based security index under paragraph (2) of this definition solely because it was a narrow-based security index for more than 45 business days over three consecutive calendar months shall not be a narrow-based security index for the following three calendar months.

    (ii) Solely with respect to a security-based swap that is traded on a national securities exchange or security-based swap execution facility, an index that becomes a security index that is not a narrow-based security index under paragraph (3) of this definition solely because it was not a narrow-based security index for more than 45 business days over three consecutive calendar months shall be a narrow-based security index for the following three calendar months.

    Substantial counterparty exposure—(1) In general. For purposes of section 1a(33) of the Act, 7 U.S.C. 1a(33), and the definition in this section of major swap participant, the term substantial counterparty exposure that could have serious adverse effects on the financial stability of the United States banking system or financial markets means a swap position that satisfies either of the following thresholds:

    (i) $5 billion in daily average aggregate uncollateralized outward exposure; or

    (ii) $8 billion in:

    (A) Daily average aggregate uncollateralized outward exposure plus

    (B) Daily average aggregate potential outward exposure.

    (2) Calculation methodology. For these purposes, the terms daily average aggregate uncollateralized outward exposure and daily average aggregate potential outward exposure shall be calculated the same way as is prescribed in the definition in this section of substantial position, except that these amounts shall be calculated by reference to all of the person's swap positions, rather than by reference to a specific major swap category.

    Substantial position—(1) In general. For purposes of section 1a(33) of the Act, 7 U.S.C. 1a(33), and the definition in this section of major swap participant, the term “substantial position” means swap positions that equal or exceed any of the following thresholds in the specified major category of swaps:

    (i) For rate swaps:

    (A) $3 billion in daily average aggregate uncollateralized outward exposure; or

    (B) $6 billion in:

    (1) Daily average aggregate uncollateralized outward exposure plus

    (2) Daily average aggregate potential outward exposure.

    (ii) For credit swaps:

    (A) $1 billion in daily average aggregate uncollateralized outward exposure; or

    (B) $2 billion in:

    (1) Daily average aggregate uncollateralized outward exposure plus

    (2) Daily average aggregate potential outward exposure.

    (iii) For equity swaps:

    (A) $1 billion in daily average aggregate uncollateralized outward exposure; or

    (B) $2 billion in:

    (1) Daily average aggregate uncollateralized outward exposure plus

    (2) Daily average aggregate potential outward exposure.

    (iv) For other commodity swaps:

    (A) $1 billion in daily average aggregate uncollateralized outward exposure; or

    (B) $2 billion in:

    (1) Daily average aggregate uncollateralized outward exposure plus

    (2) Daily average aggregate potential outward exposure.

    (2) Aggregate uncollateralized outward exposure—(i) In general. Aggregate uncollateralized outward exposure in general means the sum of the current exposure, obtained by marking-to-market using industry standard practices, of each of the person's swap positions with negative value in a major swap category, less the value of the collateral the person has posted in connection with those positions.

    (ii) Calculation of aggregate uncollateralized outward exposure. In calculating this amount the person shall, with respect to each of its swap counterparties in a given major swap category, determine the dollar value of the aggregate current exposure arising from each of its swap positions with negative value (subject to the netting provisions described below) in that major category by marking-to-market using industry standard practices; and deduct from that dollar amount the aggregate value of the collateral the person has posted with respect to the swap positions. The aggregate uncollateralized outward exposure shall be the sum of those uncollateralized amounts across all of the person's swap counterparties in the applicable major category.

    (iii) Relevance of netting agreements. (A) If the person has one or more master netting agreement in effect with a particular counterparty, the person may measure the current exposure arising from its swaps in any major category on a net basis, applying the terms of those agreements. Calculation of net current exposure may take into account offsetting positions entered into with that particular counterparty involving swaps (in any swap category) as well as security-based swaps and securities financing transactions (consisting of securities lending and borrowing, securities margin lending and repurchase and reverse repurchase agreements), and other financial instruments that are subject to netting offsets for purposes of applicable bankruptcy law, to the extent these are consistent with the offsets permitted by the master netting agreements.

    (B) Such adjustments may not take into account any offset associated with positions that the person has with separate counterparties.

    (iv) Allocation of uncollateralized outward exposure. If a person calculates current exposure with a particular counterparty on a net basis, as provided by paragraph (2)(iii) of this definition, the portion of that current exposure that should be attributed to each “major” category of swaps for purposes of the substantial position analysis should be calculated according to the formula:

    ER23FE18.006 Where: E S(MC) equals the amount of aggregate current exposure attributable to the entity's swap positions in the “major” swap category at issue; E net total equals the entity's aggregate current exposure to the counterparty at issue, after accounting for the netting of positions and the posting of collateral; OTM S(MC) equals the exposure associated with the entity's out-of-the-money positions in swaps in the “major” category at issue, subject to those netting arrangements; and OTM S(O) equals the exposure associated with the entity's out-of-the-money positions in the other “major” categories of swaps, subject to those netting arrangements; and OTM non-S equals the exposure associated with the entity's out-of-the-money positions associated with instruments, other than swaps, that are subject to those netting arrangements.

    (3) Aggregate potential outward exposure—(i) In general. Aggregate potential outward exposure in any major swap category means the sum of:

    (A) The aggregate potential outward exposure for each of the person's swap positions in a major swap category that are not subject to daily mark-to-market margining and are not cleared by a registered or exempt clearing agency or derivatives clearing organization, as calculated in accordance with paragraph (3)(ii) of this definition; and

    (B) The aggregate potential outward exposure for each of the person's swap positions in such major swap category that are either subject to daily mark-to-market margining or are cleared by a registered or exempt clearing agency or derivatives clearing organization, as calculated in accordance with paragraph (3)(iii) of this definition.

    (ii) Calculation of potential outward exposure for swaps that are not subject to daily mark-to-market margining and are not cleared by a registered or exempt clearing agency or derivatives clearing organization—(A) In general. (1) For positions in swaps that are not subject to daily mark-to-market margining and are not cleared by a registered or exempt clearing agency or a derivatives clearing organization, potential outward exposure equals the total notional principal amount of those positions, multiplied by the following factors on a position-by-position basis reflecting the type of swap. For any swap that does not appropriately fall within any of the specified categories, the “other commodities” conversion factors set forth in the following Table 1 are to be used. If a swap is structured such that on specified dates any outstanding exposure is settled and the terms are reset so that the market value of the swap is zero, the remaining maturity equals the time until the next reset date.

    ER23FE18.007

    (2) Use of effective notional amounts. If the stated notional amount on a position is leveraged or enhanced by the structure of the position, the calculation in paragraph (3)(ii)(A)(1) of this definition shall be based on the effective notional amount of the position rather than on the stated notional amount.

    (3) Exclusion of certain positions. The calculation in paragraph (3)(ii)(A)(1) of this definition shall exclude:

    (i) Positions that constitute the purchase of an option, if the purchaser has no additional payment obligations under the position;

    (ii) Other positions for which the person has prepaid or otherwise satisfied all of its payment obligations; and

    (iii) Positions for which, pursuant to law or a regulatory requirement, the person has assigned an amount of cash or U.S. Treasury securities that is sufficient at all times to pay the person's maximum possible liability under the position, and the person may not use that cash or those Treasury securities for other purposes.

    (4) Adjustment for certain positions. Notwithstanding paragraph (3)(ii)(A)(1) of this definition, the potential outward exposure associated with a position by which a person buys credit protection using a credit default swap or index credit default swap, or associated with a position by which a person purchases an option for which the person retains additional payment obligations under the position, is capped at the net present value of the unpaid premiums.

    (B) Adjustment for netting agreements. Notwithstanding paragraph (3)(ii)(A) of this definition, for positions subject to master netting agreements the potential outward exposure associated with the person's swaps with each counterparty equals a weighted average of the potential outward exposure for the person's swaps with that counterparty as calculated under paragraph (3)(ii)(A) of this definition, and that amount reduced by the ratio of net current exposure to gross current exposure, consistent with the following equation as calculated on a counterparty-by-counterparty basis:

    P Net = 0.4 * P Gross + 0.6 * NGR * P Gross Where: P Net is the potential outward exposure, adjusted for bilateral netting, of the person's swaps with a particular counterparty; P Gross is the potential outward exposure without adjustment for bilateral netting as calculated pursuant to paragraph (3)(ii)(A) of this definition; and NGR is the ratio of the current exposure arising from its swaps in the major category as calculated on a net basis according to paragraphs (2)(iii) and (iv) of this definition, divided by the current exposure arising from its swaps in the major category as calculated in the absence of those netting procedures.

    (iii) Calculation of potential outward exposure for swaps that are either subject to daily mark-to-market margining or are cleared by a registered or exempt clearing agency or derivatives clearing organization. For positions in swaps that are subject to daily mark-to-market margining or that are cleared by a registered or exempt clearing agency or derivatives clearing organization:

    (A) Potential outward exposure equals the potential exposure that would be attributed to such positions using the procedures in paragraph (3)(ii) of this definition multiplied by:

    (1) 0.1, in the case of positions cleared by a registered or exempt clearing agency or derivatives clearing organization; or

    (2) 0.2, in the case of positions that are subject to daily mark-to-market margining but that are not cleared by a registered or exempt clearing agency or derivatives clearing organization.

    (B) Solely for purposes of calculating potential outward exposure:

    (1) A swap shall be considered to be subject to daily mark-to-market margining if, and for so long as, the counterparties follow the daily practice of exchanging collateral to reflect changes in the current exposure arising from the swap (after taking into account any other financial positions addressed by a netting agreement between the counterparties).

    (2) If the person is permitted by agreement to maintain a threshold for which it is not required to post collateral, the position still will be considered to be subject to daily mark-to-market margining for purposes of calculating potential outward exposure, but the total amount of that threshold (regardless of the actual exposure at any time), less any initial margin posted up to the amount of that threshold, shall be added to the person's aggregate uncollateralized outward exposure for purposes of paragraph (1)(i)(B), (ii)(B), (iii)(B) or (iv)(B) of this definition, as applicable.

    (3) If the minimum transfer amount under the agreement is in excess of $1 million, the position still will be considered to be subject to daily mark-to-market margining for purposes of calculating potential outward exposure, but the entirety of the minimum transfer amount shall be added to the person's aggregate uncollateralized outward exposure for purposes of paragraph (1)(i)(B), (ii)(B), (iii)(B) or (iv)(B) of this definition, as applicable.

    (4) A person may, at its discretion, calculate the potential outward exposure of positions in swaps that are subject to daily mark-to-market margining in accordance with paragraph (3)(ii) of this definition in lieu of calculating the potential outward exposure of such swap positions in accordance with paragraph (3)(iii) of this definition.

    (4) Calculation of daily average. Measures of daily average aggregate uncollateralized outward exposure and daily average aggregate potential outward exposure shall equal the arithmetic mean of the applicable measure of exposure at the close of each business day, beginning the first business day of each calendar quarter and continuing through the last business day of that quarter.

    (5) Inter-affiliate activities. In calculating its aggregate uncollateralized outward exposure and its aggregate potential outward exposure, the person shall not consider its swap positions with counterparties that are majority-owned affiliates. For these purposes the counterparties to a swap are majority-owned affiliates if one counterparty directly or indirectly owns a majority interest in the other, or if a third party directly or indirectly owns a majority interest in both counterparties to the swap, where “majority interest” is the right to vote or direct the vote of a majority of a class of voting securities of an entity, the power to sell or direct the sale of a majority of a class of voting securities of an entity, or the right to receive upon dissolution or the contribution of a majority of the capital of a partnership.

    Swap. (1) In general. The term swap has the meaning set forth in section 1a(47) of the Commodity Exchange Act.

    (2) Inclusion of particular products. (i) The term swap includes, without limiting the meaning set forth in section 1a(47) of the Commodity Exchange Act, the following agreements, contracts, and transactions:

    (A) A cross-currency swap;

    (B) A currency option, foreign currency option, foreign exchange option and foreign exchange rate option;

    (C) A foreign exchange forward;

    (D) A foreign exchange swap;

    (E) A forward rate agreement; and

    (F) A non-deliverable forward involving foreign exchange.

    (ii) The term swap does not include an agreement, contract, or transaction described in paragraph (2)(i) of this definition that is otherwise excluded by section 1a(47)(B) of the Commodity Exchange Act.

    (3) Foreign exchange forwards and foreign exchange swaps. Notwithstanding paragraph (2) of this definition:

    (i) A foreign exchange forward or a foreign exchange swap shall not be considered a swap if the Secretary of the Treasury makes a determination described in section 1a(47)(E)(i) of the Commodity Exchange Act.

    (ii) Notwithstanding paragraph (3)(i) of this definition:

    (A) The reporting requirements set forth in section 4r of the Commodity Exchange Act and regulations promulgated thereunder shall apply to a foreign exchange forward or foreign exchange swap; and

    (B) The business conduct standards set forth in section 4s(h) of the Commodity Exchange Act and regulations promulgated thereunder shall apply to a swap dealer or major swap participant that is a party to a foreign exchange forward or foreign exchange swap.

    (iii) For purposes of section 1a(47)(E) of the Commodity Exchange Act and this definition, the term foreign exchange forward has the meaning set forth in section 1a(24) of the Commodity Exchange Act.

    (iv) For purposes of section 1a(47)(E) of the Commodity Exchange Act and this definition, the term foreign exchange swap has the meaning set forth in section 1a(25) of the Commodity Exchange Act.

    (v) For purposes of sections 1a(24) and 1a(25) of the Commodity Exchange Act and this definition, the following transactions are not foreign exchange forwards or foreign exchange swaps:

    (A) A currency swap or a cross-currency swap;

    (B) A currency option, foreign currency option, foreign exchange option, or foreign exchange rate option; and

    (C) A non-deliverable forward involving foreign exchange.

    (4) Insurance. (i) This paragraph is a non-exclusive safe harbor. The terms swap as used in section 1a(47) of the Commodity Exchange Act and security-based swap as used in section 1a(42) of the Commodity Exchange Act do not include an agreement, contract, or transaction that:

    (A) By its terms or by law, as a condition of performance on the agreement, contract, or transaction:

    (1) Requires the beneficiary of the agreement, contract, or transaction to have an insurable interest that is the subject of the agreement, contract, or transaction and thereby carry the risk of loss with respect to that interest continuously throughout the duration of the agreement, contract, or transaction;

    (2) Requires that loss to occur and to be proved, and that any payment or indemnification therefor be limited to the value of the insurable interest;

    (3) Is not traded, separately from the insured interest, on an organized market or over-the-counter; and

    (4) With respect to financial guaranty insurance only, in the event of payment default or insolvency of the obligor, any acceleration of payments under the policy is at the sole discretion of the insurer; and

    (B) Is provided:

    (1)(i) By a person that is subject to supervision by the insurance commissioner (or similar official or agency) of any State or by the United States or an agency or instrumentality thereof; and

    (ii) Such agreement, contract, or transaction is regulated as insurance under applicable State law or the laws of the United States;

    (2)(i) Directly or indirectly by the United States, any State or any of their respective agencies or instrumentalities; or

    (ii) Pursuant to a statutorily authorized program thereof; or

    (3) In the case of reinsurance only, by a person to another person that satisfies the conditions set forth in paragraph (4)(i)(B) of this definition, provided that:

    (i) Such person is not prohibited by applicable State law or the laws of the United States from offering such agreement, contract, or transaction to such person that satisfies the conditions set forth in paragraph (4)(i)(B) of this definition;

    (ii) The agreement, contract, or transaction to be reinsured satisfies the conditions set forth in paragraph (4)(i)(A) or paragraph (4)(i)(C) of this definition; and

    (iii) Except as otherwise permitted under applicable State law, the total amount reimbursable by all reinsurers for such agreement, contract, or transaction may not exceed the claims or losses paid by the person writing the risk being ceded or transferred by such person; or

    (4) In the case of non-admitted insurance, by a person who:

    (i) Is located outside of the United States and listed on the Quarterly Listing of Alien Insurers as maintained by the International Insurers Department of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners; or

    (ii) Meets the eligibility criteria for non-admitted insurers under applicable State law; or

    (C) Is provided in accordance with the conditions set forth in paragraph (4)(i)(B) of this definition and is one of the following types of products:

    (1) Surety bond;

    (2) Fidelity bond;

    (3) Life insurance;

    (4) Health insurance;

    (5) Long term care insurance;

    (6) Title insurance;

    (7) Property and casualty insurance;

    (8) Annuity;

    (9) Disability insurance;

    (10) Insurance against default on individual residential mortgages; and

    (11) Reinsurance of any of the foregoing products identified in paragraphs (4)(i)(C)(1) through (10) of this definition; or

    (ii) The terms swap as used in section 1a(47) of the Commodity Exchange Act and security-based swap as used in section 1a(42) of the Commodity Exchange Act do not include an agreement, contract, or transaction that was entered into on or before the effective date of paragraph (4) of this definition, and that, at such time that it was entered into, was provided in accordance with the conditions set forth in paragraph (4)(i)(B) of this definition.

    (5) State. For purposes of paragraph (4) of this definition, the term State means any state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or any other possession of the United States.

    (6) Anti-Evasion. (i) An agreement, contract, or transaction that is willfully structured to evade any provision of Subtitle A of the Wall Street Transparency and Accountability Act of 2010, including any amendments made to the Commodity Exchange Act thereby (Subtitle A), shall be deemed a swap for purposes of Subtitle A and the rules, regulations, and orders of the Commission promulgated thereunder.

    (ii) An interest rate swap or currency swap, including but not limited to a transaction identified in paragraph (3)(v) of this definition, that is willfully structured as a foreign exchange forward or foreign exchange swap to evade any provision of Subtitle A shall be deemed a swap for purposes of Subtitle A and the rules, regulations, and orders of the Commission promulgated thereunder.

    (iii) An agreement, contract, or transaction of a bank that is not under the regulatory jurisdiction of an appropriate Federal banking agency (as defined in section 1a(2) of the Commodity Exchange Act), where the agreement, contract, or transaction is willfully structured as an identified banking product (as defined in section 402 of the Legal Certainty for Bank Products Act of 2000) to evade the provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act, shall be deemed a swap for purposes of the Commodity Exchange Act and the rules, regulations, and orders of the Commission promulgated thereunder.

    (iv) The form, label, and written documentation of an agreement, contract, or transaction shall not be dispositive in determining whether the agreement, contract, or transaction has been willfully structured to evade as provided in paragraphs (6)(i) through (6)(iii) of this definition.

    (v) An agreement, contract, or transaction that has been willfully structured to evade as provided in paragraphs (6)(i) through (6)(iii) of this definition shall be considered in determining whether a person that so willfully structured to evade is a swap dealer or major swap participant.

    (vi) Notwithstanding the foregoing, no agreement, contract, or transaction structured as a security (including a security-based swap) under the securities laws (as defined in section 3(a)(47) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(47))) shall be deemed a swap pursuant to this paragraph (6) or shall be considered for purposes of paragraph (6)(v) of this definition.

    Swap dealer. (1) In general. The term swap dealer means any person who:

    (i) Holds itself out as a dealer in swaps;

    (ii) Makes a market in swaps;

    (iii) Regularly enters into swaps with counterparties as an ordinary course of business for its own account; or

    (iv) Engages in any activity causing it to be commonly known in the trade as a dealer or market maker in swaps.

    (2) Exception. The term swap dealer does not include a person that enters into swaps for such person's own account, either individually or in a fiduciary capacity, but not as a part of regular business.

    (3) Scope of designation. A person who is a swap dealer shall be deemed to be a swap dealer with respect to each swap it enters into, regardless of the category of the swap or the person's activities in connection with the swap. However, if a person makes an application to limit its designation as a swap dealer to specified categories of swaps or specified activities of the person in connection with swaps, the Commission shall determine whether the person's designation as a swap dealer shall be so limited. If the Commission grants such limited designation, such limited designation swap dealer shall be deemed to be a swap dealer with respect to each swap it enters into in the swap category or categories for which it is so designated, regardless of the person's activities in connection with such category or categories of swaps. A person may make such application to limit the categories of swaps or activities of the person that are subject to its swap dealer designation at the same time as, or after, the person's initial registration as a swap dealer.

    (4) De minimis exception—(i)(A) In general. Except as provided in paragraph (4)(vi) of this definition, a person that is not currently registered as a swap dealer shall be deemed not to be a swap dealer as a result of its swap dealing activity involving counterparties, so long as the swap positions connected with those dealing activities into which the person—or any other entity controlling, controlled by or under common control with the person—enters over the course of the immediately preceding 12 months (or following the effective date of final rules implementing section 1a(47) of the Act, 7 U.S.C. 1a(47), if that period is less than 12 months) have an aggregate gross notional amount of no more than $3 billion, subject to a phase in level of an aggregate gross notional amount of no more than $8 billion applied in accordance with paragraph (4)(ii) of this definition, and an aggregate gross notional amount of no more than $25 million with regard to swaps in which the counterparty is a “special entity” (as that term is defined in section 4s(h)(2)(C) of the Act, 7 U.S.C. 6s(h)(2)(C), and 23.401(c) of this chapter), except as provided in paragraph (4)(i)(B) of this definition. For purposes of this definition, if the stated notional amount of a swap is leveraged or enhanced by the structure of the swap, the calculation shall be based on the effective notional amount of the swap rather than on the stated notional amount.

    (B) Utility special entities. (1) Solely for purposes of determining whether a person's swap dealing activity has exceeded the $25 million aggregate gross notional amount threshold set forth in paragraph (4)(i)(A) of this definition for swaps in which the counterparty is a special entity, a person may exclude utility operations-related swaps in which the counterparty is a utility special entity.

    (2) For purposes of this paragraph (4)(i)(B), a utility special entity is a special entity, as that term is defined in section 4s(h)(2)(C) of the Act, 7 U.S.C. 6s(h)(2)(C), and 23.401(c) of this chapter, that:

    (i) Owns or operates electric or natural gas facilities, electric or natural gas operations or anticipated electric or natural gas facilities or operations;

    (ii) Supplies natural gas or electric energy to other utility special entities;

    (iii) Has public service obligations or anticipated public service obligations under Federal, State or local law or regulation to deliver electric energy or natural gas service to utility customers; or

    (iv) Is a Federal power marketing agency as defined in section 3 of the Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 796(19).

    (3) For purposes of this paragraph (4)(i)(B), a utility operations-related swap is a swap that meets the following conditions:

    (i) A party to the swap is a utility special entity;

    (ii) A utility special entity is using the swap to hedge or mitigate commercial risk as defined in § 50.50(c) of this chapter;

    (iii) The swap is related to an exempt commodity, as that term is defined in section 1a(20) of the Act, 7 U.S.C. 1a(20), or to an agricultural commodity insofar as such agricultural commodity is used for fuel for generation of electricity or is otherwise used in the normal operations of the utility special entity; and

    (iv) The swap is an electric energy or natural gas swap, or the swap is associated with: The generation, production, purchase or sale of natural gas or electric energy, the supply of natural gas or electric energy to a utility special entity, or the delivery of natural gas or electric energy service to customers of a utility special entity; fuel supply for the facilities or operations of a utility special entity; compliance with an electric system reliability obligation; or compliance with an energy, energy efficiency, conservation, or renewable energy or environmental statute, regulation, or government order applicable to a utility special entity.

    (4) A person seeking to rely on the exclusion in paragraph (4)(i)(B)(1) of this definition may rely on the written representations of the utility special entity that it is a utility special entity and that the swap is a utility operations-related swap, as such terms are defined in paragraphs (4)(i)(B)(2) and (3) of this definition, respectively, unless it has information that would cause a reasonable person to question the accuracy of the representation. The person must keep such representation in accordance with § 1.31.

    (ii) Phase-in procedure and staff report—(A) Phase-in period. For purposes of paragraph (4)(i) of this definition, except as provided in paragraph (4)(vi) of this definition, a person that engages in swap dealing activity that does not exceed the phase-in level set forth in paragraph (4)(i) of this definition shall be deemed not to be a swap dealer as a result of its swap dealing activity until the phase-in termination date established as provided in paragraph (4)(ii)(C) or (D) of this definition. The Commission shall announce the phase-in termination date on the Commission website and publish such date in the Federal Register.

    (B) Staff report. No later than 30 months following the date that a swap data repository first receives swap data in accordance with part 45 of this chapter, the staff of the Commission shall complete and publish for public comment a report on topics relating to the definition of the term swap dealer and the de minimis threshold. The report should address the following topics, as appropriate, based on the availability of data and information: The potential impact of modifying the de minimis threshold, and whether the de minimis threshold should be increased or decreased; the factors that are useful for identifying swap dealing activity, including the application of the dealer-trader distinction for that purpose, and the potential use of objective tests or safe harbors as part of the analysis; the impact of provisions in paragraphs (5) and (6) of this definition excluding certain swaps from the dealer analysis, and potential alternative approaches for such exclusions; and any other analysis of swap data and information relating to swaps that the Commission or staff deem relevant to this rule.

    (C) Nine months after publication of the report required by paragraph (4)(ii)(B) of this definition, and after giving due consideration to that report and any associated public comment, the Commission may either:

    (1) Terminate the phase-in period set forth in paragraph (4)(ii)(A) of this definition, in which case the phase-in termination date shall be established by the Commission by order published in the Federal Register; or

    (2) Determine that it is necessary or appropriate in the public interest to propose through rulemaking an alternative to the $3 billion amount set forth in paragraph (4)(i) of this definition that would constitute a de minimis quantity of swap dealing in connection with transactions with or on behalf of customers within the meaning of section 1(a)(47)(D) of the Act, 7 U.S.C. 1(a)(47)(D), in which case the Commission shall by order published in the Federal Register provide notice of such determination, which order shall also establish the phase-in termination date.

    (D) If the phase-in termination date has not been previously established pursuant to paragraph (4)(ii)(C) of this definition, then in any event the phase-in termination date shall occur five years after the date that a swap data repository first receives swap data in accordance with part 45 of this chapter.

    (iii) Registration period for persons that can no longer take advantage of the exception. A person that has not registered as a swap dealer by virtue of satisfying the requirements of this paragraph (4) of the definition of swap dealer, but that no longer can take advantage of that de minimis exception, will be deemed not to be a swap dealer until the earlier of the date on which it submits a complete application for registration pursuant to section 4s(b) of the Act, 7 U.S.C. 6s(b), or two months after the end of the month in which that person becomes no longer able to take advantage of the exception.

    (iv) Applicability to registered swap dealers. A person who currently is registered as a swap dealer may apply to withdraw that registration, while continuing to engage in swap dealing activity in reliance on this section, so long as that person has been registered as a swap dealer for at least 12 months and satisfies the conditions of paragraph (4)(i) of this definition.

    (v) Future adjustments to scope of the de minimis exception. The Commission may by rule or regulation change the requirements of the de minimis exception described in paragraphs (4)(i) through (iv) of this definition.

    (vi) Voluntary registration. Notwithstanding paragraph (4)(i) of this definition, a person that chooses to register with the Commission as a swap dealer shall be deemed to be a swap dealer.

    (5) Insured depository institution swaps in connection with originating loans to customers. Swaps entered into by an insured depository institution with a customer in connection with originating a loan with that customer shall not be considered in determining whether the insured depository institution is a swap dealer.

    (i) An insured depository institution shall be considered to have entered into a swap with a customer in connection with originating a loan, as defined in paragraphs (5)(ii) and (iii) of this definition, with that customer only if:

    (A) The insured depository institution enters into the swap with the customer no earlier than 90 days before and no later than 180 days after the date of execution of the applicable loan agreement, or no earlier than 90 days before and no later than 180 days after any transfer of principal to the customer by the insured depository institution pursuant to the loan;

    (B)(1) The rate, asset, liability or other notional item underlying such swap is, or is directly related to, a financial term of such loan, which includes, without limitation, the loan's duration, rate of interest, the currency or currencies in which it is made and its principal amount;

    (2) Such swap is required, as a condition of the loan under the insured depository institution's loan underwriting criteria, to be in place in order to hedge price risks incidental to the borrower's business and arising from potential changes in the price of a commodity (other than an excluded commodity);

    (C) The duration of the swap does not extend beyond termination of the loan;

    (D) The insured depository institution is:

    (1) The sole source of funds to the customer under the loan;

    (2) Committed to be, under the terms of the agreements related to the loan, the source of at least 10 percent of the maximum principal amount under the loan; or

    (3) Committed to be, under the terms of the agreements related to the loan, the source of a principal amount that is greater than or equal to the aggregate notional amount of all swaps entered into by the insured depository institution with the customer in connection with the financial terms of the loan;

    (E) The aggregate notional amount of all swaps entered into by the customer in connection with the financial terms of the loan is, at any time, not more than the aggregate principal amount outstanding under the loan at that time; and

    (F) If the swap is not accepted for clearing by a derivatives clearing organization, the insured depository institution reports the swap as required by section 4r of the Act, 7 U.S.C. 6r (except as otherwise provided in section 4r(a)(3)(A), 7 U.S.C. 6r(a)(3)(A), or section 4r(a)(3)(B), 7 U.S.C. 6r(a)(3)(B) of the Act).

    (ii) An insured depository institution shall be considered to have originated a loan with a customer if the insured depository institution:

    (A) Directly transfers the loan amount to the customer;

    (B) Is a part of a syndicate of lenders that is the source of the loan amount that is transferred to the customer;

    (C) Purchases or receives a participation in the loan; or

    (D) Otherwise is the source of funds that are transferred to the customer pursuant to the loan or any refinancing of the loan.

    (iii) The term loan shall not include:

    (A) Any transaction that is a sham, whether or not intended to qualify for the exclusion from the definition of the term swap dealer in this rule; or

    (B) Any synthetic loan, including, without limitation, a loan credit default swap or loan total return swap.

    (6) Swaps that are not considered in determining whether a person is a swap dealer—(i) Inter-affiliate activities. In determining whether a person is a swap dealer, that person's swaps with majority-owned affiliates shall not be considered. For these purposes the counterparties to a swap are majority-owned affiliates if one counterparty directly or indirectly owns a majority interest in the other, or if a third party directly or indirectly owns a majority interest in both counterparties to the swap, where majority interest is the right to vote or direct the vote of a majority of a class of voting securities of an entity, the power to sell or direct the sale of a majority of a class of voting securities of an entity, or the right to receive upon dissolution or the contribution of a majority of the capital of a partnership.

    (ii) Activities of a cooperative. (A) Any swap that is entered into by a cooperative with a member of such cooperative shall not be considered in determining whether the cooperative is a swap dealer, provided that:

    (1) The swap is subject to policies and procedures of the cooperative requiring that the cooperative monitors and manages the risk of such swap;

    (2) The cooperative reports the swap as required by section 4r of the Act, 7 U.S.C. 6r (except as otherwise provided in section 4r(a)(3)(A) of the Act, 7 U.S.C. 6r(a)(3)(A) or section 4r(a)(3)(B) of the Act, 7 U.S.C. 6r(a)(3)(B)); and

    (3) If the cooperative is a cooperative association of producers, the swap is primarily based on a commodity that is not an excluded commodity.

    (B) For purposes of this paragraph (6)(ii) of this definition, the term cooperative shall mean:

    (1) A cooperative association of producers as defined in section 1a(14) of the Act, 7 U.S.C. 1a(14), or

    (2) A person chartered under Federal law as a cooperative and predominantly engaged in activities that are financial in nature as defined in section 4(k) of the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, 12 U.S.C. 1843(k).

    (C) For purposes of this paragraph (6)(ii) of this definition, a swap shall be deemed to be entered into by a cooperative association of producers with a member of such cooperative association of producers when the swap is between a cooperative association of producers and a person that is a member of a cooperative association of producers that is itself a member of the first cooperative association of producers.

    (iii) Swaps entered into for the purpose of hedging physical positions. In determining whether a person is a swap dealer, a swap that the person enters into shall not be considered, if:

    (A) The person enters into the swap for the purpose of offsetting or mitigating the person's price risks that arise from the potential change in the value of one or several—

    (1) Assets that the person owns, produces, manufactures, processes, or merchandises or anticipates owning, producing, manufacturing, processing, or merchandising;

    (2) Liabilities that the person owns or anticipates incurring; or

    (3) Services that the person provides, purchases, or anticipates providing or purchasing;

    (B) The swap represents a substitute for transactions made or to be made or positions taken or to be taken by the person at a later time in a physical marketing channel;

    (C) The swap is economically appropriate to the reduction of the person's risks in the conduct and management of a commercial enterprise;

    (D) The swap is entered into in accordance with sound commercial practices; and

    (E) The person does not enter into the swap in connection with activity structured to evade designation as a swap dealer.

    (iv) Swaps entered into by floor traders. In determining whether a person is a swap dealer, each swap that the person enters into in its capacity as a floor trader as defined by section 1a(23) of the Act or on or subject to the rules of a swap execution facility shall not be considered for the purpose of determining whether the person is a swap dealer if the person:

    (A) Is registered with the Commission as a floor trader pursuant to § 3.11 of this chapter;

    (B) Enters into swaps with proprietary funds for that trader's own account solely on or subject to the rules of a designated contract market or swap execution facility and submits each such swap for clearing to a derivatives clearing organization;

    (C) Is not an affiliated person of a registered swap dealer;

    (D) Does not directly, or through an affiliated person, negotiate the terms of swap agreements, other than price and quantity or to participate in a request for quote process subject to the rules of a designated contract market or a swap execution facility;

    (E) Does not directly or through an affiliated person offer or provide swap clearing services to third parties;

    (F) Does not directly or through an affiliated person enter into swaps that would qualify as hedging physical positions pursuant to paragraph (6)(iii) of this definition or hedging or mitigating commercial risk as defined in § 1.3 (except for any such swap executed opposite a counterparty for which the transaction would qualify as a bona fide hedging transaction);

    (G) Does not participate in any market making program offered by a designated contract market or swap execution facility; and

    (H) Notwithstanding the fact such person is not registered as a swap dealer, such person complies with §§ 23.201, 23.202, 23.203, and 23.600 of this chapter with respect to each such swap as if it were a swap dealer.

    §§ 1.17, 1.33, 1.46, 1.52, 1.55, 1.59, 1.63, 1.64, and 1.69 [Amended]
    3. In the table below, for each paragraph indicated in the left column, remove the cross-reference indicated in the middle column from wherever it appears in the paragraph, and add the cross-reference indicated in the right column: Paragraph Remove Add 1.10(j)(3) § 1.3(mm) § 1.3 1.17(b)(4)(ii) § 1.3(y) § 1.3 1.17(b)(5) § 1.3(d) § 1.3 1.17(b)(10) § 1.3(y) § 1.3 1.17(c)(5)(xiii)(C) § 1.3(rr) § 1.3 1.33(a)(1)(iii) § 1.3(rr) § 1.3 1.33(g)(2) § 1.3(g) § 1.3 1.46(d)(2) § 1.3(z) § 1.3 1.52(a)(2) § 1.3(h) § 1.3 1.52(a)(2) § 1.3(rrrr) § 1.3 1.55(f) § 1.3(g) § 1.3 1.59(a)(1) § 1.3(ee) § 1.3 1.59(a)(1) § 1.3(d) § 1.3 1.63(a)(1) § 1.3(ee) § 1.3 1.63(a)(1) § 1.3(d) § 1.3 1.64(a)(1) § 1.3(ee) § 1.3 1.64(a)(1) § 1.3(d) § 1.3 1.69(a)(7) § 1.3(ee) § 1.3 1.69(a)(7) § 1.3(d) § 1.3 PART 3—REGISTRATION 4. The authority citation for part 3 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 552, 552b; 7 U.S.C. 1a, 2, 6a, 6b, 6b-1, 6c, 6d, 6e, 6f, 6g, 6h, 6i, 6k, 6m, 6n, 6o, 6p, 6s, 8, 9, 9a, 12, 12a, 13b, 13c, 16a, 18, 19, 21, and 23, as amended by Title VII of Pub. L. 111-203, 124 Stat. 1376.

    §§ 3.10, 3.12, and 3.21 [Amended]
    5. In the table below, for each paragraph indicated in the left column, remove the cross-reference indicated in the middle column from wherever it appears in the paragraph, and add the cross-reference indicated in the right column: Paragraph Remove Add 3.10(c)(1) § 1.3(y) § 1.3 3.10(c)(2)(i) § 1.3(xx) § 1.3 3.10(c)(3)(i) § 1.3(mm) § 1.3 3.10(c)(3)(i) § 1.3(bb) § 1.3 3.10(c)(3)(i) § 1.3(nn) § 1.3 3.10(c)(4)(ii) § 1.3(g) § 1.3 3.12(h)(1)(iv) § 1.3(aa) § 1.3 3.21(c)(2)(i) § 1.3(yy) § 1.3 PART 4—COMMODITY POOL OPERATORS AND COMMODITY TRADING ADVISORS 6. The authority citation for part 4 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 1a, 2, 6(c), 6b, 6c, 6l, 6m, 6n, 6o, 12a, and 23.

    7. In § 4.5, revise paragraph (c)(2)(iii)(A) and the introductory text of paragraph (c)(2)(iii)(B) introductory text to read as follows:
    § 4.5 Exclusion for certain otherwise regulated persons from the definition of the term “commodity pool operator.”

    (c) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (iii) * * *

    (A) Will use commodity futures or commodity options contracts, or swaps solely for bona fide hedging purposes within the meaning and intent of the definition of bona fide hedging transactions and positions for excluded commodities in §§ 1.3 and 151.5 of this chapter; Provided however, That, in addition, with respect to positions in commodity futures or commodity options contracts, or swaps which do not come within the meaning and intent of the definition of bona fide hedging transactions and positions for excluded commodities in §§ 1.3 and 151.5 of this chapter, a qualifying entity may represent that the aggregate initial margin and premiums required to establish such positions will not exceed five percent of the liquidation value of the qualifying entity's portfolio, after taking into account unrealized profits and unrealized losses on any such contracts it has entered into; and, Provided further, That in the case of an option that is in-the-money at the time of the purchase, the in-the-money amount as defined in § 190.01(x) of this chapter may be excluded in computing such five percent; or

    (B) The aggregate net notional value of commodity futures, commodity options contracts, or swaps positions not used solely for bona fide hedging purposes within the meaning and intent of the definition of bona fide hedging transactions and positions for excluded commodities in §§ 1.3 and 151.5 of this chapter determined at the time the most recent position was established, does not exceed 100 percent of the liquidation value of the pool's portfolio, after taking into account unrealized profits and unrealized losses on any such positions it has entered into. For purposes of this paragraph:

    PART 5—OFF-EXCHANGE FOREIGN CURRENCY TRANSACTIONS 8. The authority citation for part 5 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 1a, 2, 6, 6a, 6b, 6c, 6d, 6e, 6f, 6g, 6h, 6i, 6k, 6m, 6n, 6o, 8, 9, 9a, 12, 12a, 13b, 13c, 16a, 18, 19, 21, and 23.

    § 5.5 [Amended]
    9. In the table below, for each paragraph indicated in the left column, remove the cross-reference indicated in the middle column from wherever it appears in the paragraph, and add the cross-reference indicated in the right column: Paragraph Remove Add 5.5(a)(1)(ii) § 1.3(mm) § 1.3
    PART 15—REPORTS—GENERAL PROVISIONS 10. The authority citation for part 15 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 2, 5, 6a, 6c, 6f, 6g, 6i, 6k, 6m, 6n, 7, 7a, 9, 12a, 19, and 21, as amended by Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Pub. L. 111-203, 124 Stat. 1376 (2010).

    §§ 15.00 and 15.01 [Amended]
    11. In the table below, for each paragraph indicated in the left column, remove the cross-reference indicated in the middle column from wherever it appears in the paragraph, and add the cross-reference indicated in the right column: Paragraph Remove Add 15.00(e) § 1.3(k) § 1.3 15.00(e) § 1.3(jj) § 1.3 15.00(n) § 1.3(t) § 1.3 15.01(d)(1) § 1.3(z) § 1.3
    PART 18—REPORTS BY TRADERS 12. The authority citation for part 18 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 2, 4, 5, 6a, 6c, 6f, 6g, 6i, 6k, 6m, 6n, 6t, 12a, and 19.

    Appendix A to Part 18 [Amended] 13. Amend Appendix A to Part 18 as follows: a. In instruction paragraph 15, under the heading Swaps Participation Indicators, remove “§ 1.3(ppp)” and add in its place “§ 1.3”; and b. In instruction paragraph 16, under the heading Swaps Participation Indicators, remove “§ 1.3(qqq)” and add in its place “§ 1.3”. PART 19—REPORTS BY PERSONS HOLDING BONA FIDE HEDGE POSITIONS AND BY MERCHANTS AND DEALERS IN COTTON 14. The authority citation for part 19 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 6g(a), 6i, and 12a(5).

    15. Revise the part heading for part 19 to read as set forth above.
    § 19.00 [Amended]
    16. In the table below, for each paragraph indicated in the left column, remove the cross-reference indicated in the middle column from wherever it appears in the paragraph, and add the cross-reference indicated in the right column: Paragraph Remove Add 19.00(a)(1) § 1.3(z) § 1.3 19.00(b)(1) § 1.3(z) § 1.3
    PART 23—SWAP DEALERS AND MAJOR SWAP PARTICIPANTS 17. The authority citation for part 23 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 1a, 2, 6, 6a, 6b, 6b-1, 6c, 6p, 6r, 6s, 6t, 9, 9a, 12, 12a, 13b, 13c, 16a, 18, 19, 21.

    Section 23.160 also issued under 7 U.S.C. 2(i); Sec. 721(b), Pub. L. 111-203, 124 Stat. 1641 (2010).

    § 23.22 [Amended]
    18. In the table below, for each paragraph indicated in the left column, remove the cross-reference indicated in the middle column from wherever it appears in the paragraph, and add the cross-reference indicated in the right column: Paragraph Remove Add 23.22(a) § 1.3(aa)(6) § 1.3 PART 30—FOREIGN FUTURES AND FOREIGN OPTIONS TRANSACTIONS 19. The authority citation for part 30 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 1a, 2, 6, 6c, and 12a, unless otherwise noted.

    §§ 30.1 and 30.4 [Amended]
    20. In the table below, for each paragraph indicated in the left column, remove the cross-reference indicated in the middle column from wherever it appears in the paragraph, and add the cross-reference indicated in the right column: Paragraph Remove Add 30.1(c) paragraph (y) of § 1.3 § 1.3 30.1(e) § 1.3(ss) § 1.3 30.1(f) § 1.3(y) § 1.3 30.4(a) paragraph (y) of § 1.3 § 1.3 Appendix B to Part 30 [Amended] 21. Amend Appendix B to Part 30 as follows: a. In paragraph 1, in the second sentence, remove “Rule 1.3(rr)” and add in its place “§ 1.3”. b. In footnote 1, in the first sentence, remove “paragraph (y) of [Rule 1.3]” and add in its place “§ 1.3”. PART 38—DESIGNATED CONTRACT MARKETS 22. The authority citation for part 38 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 1a, 2, 6, 6a, 6c, 6d, 6e, 6f, 6g, 6i, 6j, 6k, 6l, 6m, 6n, 7, 7a-2, 7b, 7b-1, 7b-3, 8, 9, 15, and 21, as amended by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Pub. L. 111-203, 124 Stat. 1376.

    Appendix B to Part 38 [Amended] 23. In Appendix B to Part 38, under the heading Core Principle 16 of section 5(d) of the Act: CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, in paragraph (b)(2)(ii)(B), remove “1.3(q)” and add in its place “§ 1.3 of this chapter”. PART 39—DERIVATIVES CLEARING ORGANIZATIONS 24. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 2, 7a-1, and 12a; 12 U.S.C. 5464; 15 U.S.C. 8325.

    §§ 39.1, 39.2, 39.4, 39.9, 39.30, and 39.37 [Amended]
    25. In the table below, for each section or paragraph indicated in the left column, remove the cross-reference indicated in the middle column from wherever it appears in the section or paragraph, and add the cross-reference indicated in the right column: Section/paragraph Remove Add 39.1 § 1.3(d) § 1.3 39.2 § 1.3(d) § 1.3 39.4(e) § 1.3(vv) § 1.3 39.9 § 1.3(d) § 1.3 39.30(a) § 1.3(d) § 1.3 39.37(d)(1) § 1.3(jjjj) § 1.3 39.37(d)(3) § 1.3(rr) § 1.3 PART 41—SECURITY FUTURES PRODUCTS 26. The authority citation for part 41 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Sections 206, 251 and 252, Pub. L. 106-554, 114 Stat. 2763, 7 U.S.C. 1a, 2, 6f, 6j, 7a-2, 12a; 15 U.S.C. 78g(c)(2).

    §§ 41.41 and 41.43 [Amended]
    27. In the table below, for each paragraph indicated in the left column, remove the cross-reference indicated in the middle column from wherever it appears in the paragraph, and add the cross-reference indicated in the right column: Paragraph Remove Add 41.41(d) § 1.3(vv) § 1.3 41.41(d) § 1.3(ww) § 1.3 41.41(e) § 1.3(vv) § 1.3 41.41(e) § 1.3(ww) § 1.3 41.43(a)(13) § 1.3(vv) § 1.3 41.43(a)(28) § 1.3(ww) § 1.3 PART 50—CLEARING REQUIREMENT AND RELATED RULES 28. The authority citation for part 50 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 2(h) and 7a-1 as amended by Pub. L. 111-203, 124 Stat. 1376.

    29. In § 50.51, revise paragraph (b)(1) to read as follows:
    § 50.51 Exemption for cooperatives.

    (b) * * *

    (1) Is entered into with a member of the exempt cooperative in connection with originating loan or loans for the member, which means the requirements of paragraphs (5)(i), (ii), and (iii) of the definition of swap dealer in § 1.3 of this chapter are satisfied; provided that, for this purpose, the term “insured depository institution” as used in those paragraphs is replaced with the term “exempt cooperative” and the word “customer” is replaced with the word “member”; or

    PART 150—LIMITS ON POSITIONS 30. The authority citation for part 150 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 6a, 6c, and 12a(5).

    § 150.3 [Amended]
    31. In the table below, for each paragraph indicated in the left column, remove the cross-reference indicated in the middle column from wherever it appears in the paragraph, and add the cross-reference indicated in the right column: Paragraph Remove Add 150.3(a)(1) § 1.3(z) § 1.3 32. In § 150.5, revise paragraph (d)(1) to read as follows:
    § 150.5 Exchange-set speculative position limits.

    (d) * * * (1) No exchange bylaw, rule, regulation, or resolution adopted pursuant to this section shall apply to bona fide hedging positions as defined by a contract market in accordance with the definition of bona fide hedging transactions and positions for excluded commodities in § 1.3 of this chapter. Provided, however, that the contract market may limit bona fide hedging positions or any other positions which have been exempted pursuant to paragraph (e) of this section which it determines are not in accord with sound commercial practices or exceed an amount which may be established and liquidated in orderly fashion.

    PART 151—POSITION LIMITS FOR FUTURES AND SWAPS 33. The authority citation for part 151 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 1a, 2, 5, 6, 6a, 6c, 6f, 6g, 6t, 12a, 19, as amended by Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Pub. L. 111-203, 124 Stat. 1376 (2010).

    34. In § 151.11, revise paragraph (f)(1)(ii) to read as follows:
    § 151.11 Designated contract market and swap execution facility position limits and accountability rules.

    (f) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (ii) For purposes of excluded commodities, no designated contract market or swap execution facility that is a trading facility by law, rule, regulation, or resolution adopted pursuant to this section shall apply to any transaction or position within the definition of bona fide hedging transactions and positions for excluded commodities in § 1.3 of this chapter; provided, however, that the designated contract market or swap execution facility that is a trading facility may limit bona fide hedging positions that it determines are not in accord with sound commercial practices or exceed an amount which may be established and liquidated in an orderly fashion.

    PART 155—TRADING STANDARDS 35. The authority citation for part 155 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 6b, 6c, 6g, 6j and 12a, unless otherwise noted.

    §§ 155.3 and 155.4 [Amended]
    36. In the table below, for each paragraph indicated in the left column, remove the cross-reference indicated in the middle column from wherever it appears in the paragraph, and add the cross-reference indicated in the right column: Paragraph Remove Add 155.3(b)(2)(ii) § 1.3(g) § 1.3 155.4(b)(2)(ii) § 1.3(g) § 1.3 PART 166—CUSTOMER PROTECTION RULES 37. The authority citation for part 166 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 1a, 2, 6b, 6c, 6d, 6g, 6h, 6k, 6l, 6o, 7, 12a, 21, and 23, as amended by the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, appendix E of Pub. L. 106-554, 114 Stat. 2763 (2000).

    § 166.2 [Amended]
    38. In the table below, for each paragraph indicated in the left column, remove the cross-reference indicated in the middle column from wherever it appears in the paragraph, and add the cross-reference indicated in the right column: Paragraph Remove Add 166.2(a) § 1.3(yy) § 1.3 166.2(b) § 1.3(yy) § 1.3 Issued in Washington, DC, on February 15, 2018, by the Commission. Christopher J. Kirkpatrick, Secretary of the Commission. Note:

    The following appendix will not appear in the Code of Federal Regulations.

    Appendix to Definitions—Commission Voting Summary

    On this matter, Chairman Giancarlo and Commissioners Quintenz and Behnam voted in the affirmative. No Commissioner voted in the negative.

    [FR Doc. 2018-03590 Filed 2-22-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6351-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 180 [EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0551; FRL-9973-10] Indaziflam; Pesticide Tolerances for Emergency Exemptions AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This regulation establishes time-limited tolerances for residues of indaziflam in or on rangeland, pastures, and areas subject to the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). This action is in response to EPA's granting of an emergency exemption under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) authorizing use of the pesticide in or on grass, forage, fodder, and hay, group 17, forage and grass, forage, fodder, and hay, group 17, hay, grown in rangeland, pastures, and areas subject to the CRP. This regulation establishes a maximum permissible level for residues of indaziflam in or on these commodities. The time-limited tolerances expire on December 31, 2020.

    DATES:

    This regulation is effective February 23, 2018. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before April 24, 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-2017-0551, 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 L. Goodis, Director, 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 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 https://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/about-office-chemical-safety-and-pollution-prevention-ocspp and select “Test Methods and Guidelines.”

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

    Under section 408(g) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), 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-2017-0551 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 24, 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-2017-0551, 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 https://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. Background and Statutory Findings

    EPA, on its own initiative, in accordance with FFDCA sections 408(e) and 408(l)(6) of, 21 U.S.C. 346a(e) and 346a(1)(6), is establishing time-limited tolerances for residues of the herbicide indaziflam, N-[(1R,2S)-2,3-dihydro-2,6-dimethyl-1H-inden-1-yl]-6-(1-fluoroethyl)-1,3,5-triazine-2,4-diamine, including its metabolites and degradates in or on grass, forage, fodder, and hay, group 17, forage at 30 parts per million (ppm) and grass, forage, fodder, and hay, group 17, hay at 100 ppm from use on rangeland, pastures, and areas subject to the CRP. These time-limited tolerances expire on December 31, 2020.

    Section 408(l)(6) of FFDCA requires EPA to establish a time-limited tolerance or exemption from the requirement for a tolerance for pesticide chemical residues in food that will result from the use of a pesticide under an emergency exemption granted by EPA under FIFRA section 18. Such tolerances can be established without providing notice or period for public comment. EPA does not intend for its actions on FIFRA section 18 related time-limited tolerances to set binding precedents for the application of FFDCA section 408 and the safety standard to other tolerances and exemptions. Section 408(e) of FFDCA allows EPA to establish a tolerance or an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance on its own initiative, i.e., without having received any petition from an outside party.

    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. . . .”

    Section 18 of FIFRA authorizes EPA to exempt any Federal or State agency from any provision of FIFRA, if EPA determines that “emergency conditions exist which require such exemption.” EPA has established regulations governing such emergency exemptions in 40 CFR part 166.

    III. Emergency Exemption for Indaziflam on Rangeland, Pastures, and Areas Subject to the CRP

    The Wyoming Department of Agriculture (WDA) requested a specific emergency exemption for the use of indaziflam in rangeland, pastures, and areas subject to the conservation reserve program (CRP) to control medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae) and ventenata (Ventenata dubia) in the Wyoming counties of Sheridan, Johnson, Cambell, Crook, and Weston. Medusahead and ventenata have recently become established in Wyoming. These pests are potentially two of the greatest risks to Wyoming cattle production because they degrade rangeland forage and hay production. Medusahead has reduced forage production by 80%. Visual assessments of areas invaded by ventenata suggest it offers very little forage. In addition to reducing the forage production, ventenata and medusahead also increase forage silica content by 1.5 and 4 times respectively. This produces poorer quality forage that is less palatable and harder for cattle to digest. If these pests are not controlled, potential statewide invasion can happen in less than 25 years. After having reviewed the submission, EPA determined that an emergency condition exists for this State, and that the criteria for approval of an emergency exemption are met.

    As part of its evaluation of the emergency exemption application, EPA assessed the potential risks presented by residues of indaziflam in or on rangeland, pastures, and areas subject to the CRP. In doing so, EPA considered the safety standard in FFDCA section 408(b)(2), and EPA decided that the necessary tolerances under FFDCA section 408(l)(6) would be consistent with the safety standard and with FIFRA section 18. Consistent with the need to move quickly on the emergency exemption in order to address an urgent, non-routine situation and to ensure that the resulting food is safe and lawful, EPA is issuing these tolerances without notice and opportunity for public comment as provided in FFDCA section 408(l)(6). Although these time-limited tolerances expire on December 31, 2020, under FFDCA section 408(l)(5), residues of the pesticide not in excess of the amounts specified in the tolerance remaining in or on grass, forage, fodder, and hay, group 17, forage and grass, forage, fodder, and hay, group 17, hay on rangeland, pastures, and areas subject to the CRP after that date will not be unlawful, provided the pesticide was applied in a manner that was lawful under FIFRA, and the residues do not exceed a level that was authorized by these time-limited tolerances at the time of that application. EPA will take action to revoke these time-limited tolerances earlier if any experience with, scientific data on, or other relevant information on this pesticide indicate that the residues are not safe.

    Because these time-limited tolerances are being approved under emergency conditions, EPA has not made any decisions about whether indaziflam meets FIFRA's registration requirements for use on rangeland, pastures, and areas subject to the CRP or whether permanent tolerances for this use would be appropriate. Under these circumstances, EPA does not believe that this time-limited tolerance decision serves as a basis for registration of indaziflam by a State for special local needs under FIFRA section 24(c), nor does this tolerance by itself serve as the authority for persons in any State other than Wyoming to use this pesticide on the applicable crops under FIFRA section 18, absent the issuance of an emergency exemption applicable within that State. For additional information regarding the emergency exemption for indaziflam, contact the Agency's Registration Division at the address provided under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    IV. Aggregate Risk Assessment and Determination of Safety

    Consistent with 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 expected as a result of this emergency exemption request and the time-limited tolerances for residues of indaziflam on grass, forage, fodder, and hay, group 17, forage at 30 ppm and grass, forage, fodder, and hay, group 17, hay at 100 ppm from use on rangeland, pastures, and areas subject to the CRP. EPA's assessment of exposures and risks associated with establishing time-limited tolerances follows.

    A. 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 https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-science-and-assessing-pesticide-risks.

    A summary of the toxicological endpoints for indaziflam used for human risk assessment is discussed in Unit III.B. of the final rule published in the Federal Register of January 29, 2014 (79 FR 4624) (FRL-9903-88).

    B. Exposure Assessment

    1. Dietary exposure from food and feed uses. In evaluating dietary exposure to indaziflam, EPA considered exposure under the time-limited tolerances established by this action as well as all existing indaziflam tolerances in 40 CFR 180.653. EPA assessed dietary exposures from indaziflam in food as follows:

    i. Acute and chronic exposures. Acute effects were identified for indaziflam. In estimating acute and chronic dietary exposures, EPA used food consumption information from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, What We Eat in America, (NHANES/WWEIA). As to residue levels in food, EPA notes that previous indaziflam assessments used screening-level assessments which assumed tolerance-level residues and 100% crop treated for all included commodities. There are no uses on human foods associated with this section 18 emergency use and there is no expectation of quantifiable residues in livestock commodities. This emergency exemption does not result in any changes to the previous dietary exposure and risk estimates.

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

    iii. Anticipated residue and percent crop treated (PCT) information. EPA did not use anticipated residue and/or PCT information in the dietary assessment for indaziflam. Tolerance level residues and 100% CT 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 indaziflam in drinking water. These simulation models take into account data on the physical, chemical, and fate/transport characteristics of indaziflam. Further information regarding EPA drinking water models used in pesticide exposure assessment can be found at https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-science-and-assessing-pesticide-risks/about-water-exposure-models-used-pesticide.

    Based on the Pesticide in Water Calculator (PWC) and the Tier 1 Rice model, the estimated drinking water concentrations (EDWCs) of indaziflam for acute exposures are estimated to be 84 parts per billion (ppb) for surface water and 3.7 ppb for ground water. For chronic exposures for non-cancer assessments are estimated to be 26 ppb for surface water and 3.7 ppb for ground water.

    Modeled estimates of drinking water concentrations were directly entered into the dietary exposure model. For the acute dietary risk assessment, the water concentration value of 84 ppb was used to assess the contribution to drinking water. For chronic dietary risk assessment, the water concentration value of 26 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).

    Indaziflam is currently registered for the following uses that could result in residential exposures: Turf, gardens, and trees. EPA assessed residential exposure using the following assumptions: Short-term dermal and inhalation handler exposure is expected for adults as a result of applying products containing indaziflam to lawns/turf and gardens/trees using a variety of application equipment. Short-term post-application dermal exposure is expected for adults, children 11 to 16, and children 6 to 11 years old as a result of playing, mowing and/or golfing on treated turf. Short-term dermal and incidental oral exposures (hand to mouth, object to mouth, incidental soil ingestion) are expected for children 1 to 2 years old as a result from playing on treated turf/lawns. Lastly, short-term post-application dermal exposure is expected for adults and children 6 to 11 years old as result of application to gardens and trees. The Agency selected only the most conservative residential adult and child scenarios to be included in the aggregate estimates, based on the lowest overall MOE (i.e., highest risk estimates). The most conservative residential exposure scenario for both adults and children resulted from short-term dermal and incidental oral (for children only) post-application exposure to treated turf.

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

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

    EPA has not found indaziflam to share a common mechanism of toxicity with any other substances, and indaziflam does not appear to produce a toxic metabolite produced by other substances. For the purposes of this tolerance action, therefore, EPA has assumed that indaziflam 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 https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-science-and-assessing-pesticide-risks/cumulative-assessment-risk-pesticides.

    C. 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 SF when reliable data available to EPA support the choice of a different factor.

    2. Prenatal and postnatal sensitivity. No evidence of increased quantitative or qualitative susceptibility was seen in developmental toxicity studies in rats and rabbits, a developmental toxicity study in rats, or in a reproduction study in rats. In the rat developmental toxicity study, decreased fetal weight was observed in the presence of maternal effects that included decreased body weight gain and food consumption. No developmental effects were observed in rabbits up to maternally toxic dose levels. Decreased pup weight and delays in sexual maturation (preputial separation in males and vaginal patency in females) were observed in the rat 2-generation reproductive toxicity study, along with clinical signs of toxicity, at a dose causing parental toxicity that included coarse tremors, renal toxicity and decreased weight gain. In the developmental neurotoxicity study, transiently decreased motor activity on post-natal day (PND) 21 only in male offspring was observed and was considered a potential neurotoxic effect. It was observed at a dose that also caused clinical signs of neurotoxicity along with decreased body weight in maternal animals.

    3. Conclusion. EPA has determined that reliable data show that 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 indaziflam is complete.

    ii. Evidence of neurotoxicity was observed in dogs and rats throughout the database, which included the dog subchronic toxicity study, the rat subchronic toxicity, the rat acute, subchronic, and developmental neurotoxicity screening batteries, the rat 2-generation reproduction study, the rat chronic toxicity study, and the rat combined carcinogenicity/chronic toxicity study. Evidence of neurotoxicity was manifested as neuropathology in dogs and as decreased motor activity and clinical signs (e.g., tremors) in rats. Evidence of neurotoxicity was the most consistent effect (seen in dogs and rats), the most sensitive toxicological finding (based on neuropathology in dogs), and was therefore used as the adverse effect of concern in the risk assessment. The endpoints selected for risk assessment are based on and protective of the neurotoxic effects seen in the guideline studies.

    iii. No developmental effects were observed in rabbits up to maternally toxic dose levels. Offspring effects in the developmental neurotoxicity study in rats and multi-generation toxicity studies only occurred at exposure levels that also produced maternal toxicity and these offspring effects were not considered more severe than the parental effects. In addition, clear NOAELs/LOAELs were identified for these studies. Therefore, EPA concluded that there is no evidence of increased quantitative or qualitative susceptibility to rat or rabbit fetuses exposed in utero and/or postnatally to indaziflam.

    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 indaziflam in drinking water. EPA used similarly conservative assumptions to assess post-application exposure of children as well as incidental oral exposure of toddlers. These assessments will not underestimate the exposure and risks posed by indaziflam.

    D. Aggregate Risks and Determination of Safety

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

    1. Acute risk. Using the exposure assumptions discussed in this document for acute exposure, the acute dietary exposure from food and water to indaziflam will occupy 19% of the aPAD for all infants, the population group receiving the greatest exposure.

    2. Chronic risk. Using the exposure assumptions described in this document for chronic exposure, EPA has concluded that chronic exposure to indaziflam from food and water will utilize 8% of the cPAD for all infants, the population group receiving the greatest exposure. Based on the explanation in the unit regarding residential use patterns, chronic residential exposure to residues of indaziflam is not expected.

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

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

    Using the exposure assumptions described in this document for short-term exposures, EPA has concluded the combined short-term food, water, and residential exposures result in aggregate MOEs of 1,400 for adults and 580 for children. Because EPA's level of concern for indaziflam is a MOE of 100 or below, these MOEs are not of concern.

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

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

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

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

    V. Other Considerations A. Analytical Enforcement Methodology

    An adequate enforcement methodology (liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry detection (LC/MS/MS) method (DH-003-P07-02) for indaziflam and FDAT) is available to enforce the tolerance expression.

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

    B. International Residue Limits

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

    The Codex has not established MRLs for indaziflam.

    VI. Conclusion

    Therefore, time-limited tolerances are established for residues of the herbicide indaziflam, N-[(1R,2S)-2,3-dihydro-2,6-dimethyl-1H-inden-1-yl]-6-(1-fluoroethyl)-1,3,5-triazine-2,4-diamine, including its metabolites and degradates in or on grass, forage, fodder, and hay, group 17, forage at 30 parts per million (ppm) and grass, forage, fodder, and hay, group 17, hay at 100 ppm from use on rangeland, pastures, and areas subject to the CRP. These tolerances expire on December 31, 2020.

    VII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    This action establishes tolerances under FFDCA sections 408(e) and 408(l)(6). The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has exempted these types of actions from review under Executive Order 12866, entitled “Regulatory Planning and Review” (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993). Because this action has been exempted from review under Executive Order 12866, this action is not subject to Executive Order 13211, entitled “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use” (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001) or Executive Order 13045, entitled “Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks” (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997). 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 in accordance with FFDCA sections 408(e) and 408(l)(6), such as the tolerances 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).

    VIII. 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 6, 2018. Michael L. Goodis, Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.

    Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I is amended as follows:

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

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

    2. In § 180.653, revise paragraph (b) to read as follows:
    §  180.653 Indaziflam; tolerances for residues.

    (b) Section 18 emergency exemptions. Time-limited tolerances specified in the following table are established for residues of the herbicide indaziflam, N-[(1R,2S)-2,3-dihydro-2,6-dimethyl-1H-inden-1-yl]-6-(1-fluoroethyl)-1,3,5-triazine-2,4-diamine, including its metabolites and degradates in or on the specified agricultural commodities, resulting from use of the pesticide pursuant to FIFRA section 18 emergency exemptions. Compliance with the tolerance levels specified in the table in this paragraph (b) is to be determined by measuring only indaziflam and FDAT, 6-[(1R)-1-fluoroethyl]-1,3,5-triazine-2,4-diamine (converted to parent equivalents), in or on the commodity. The tolerances expire on the date specified in the table.

    Commodity Parts per
  • million
  • Expiration date
    Grass, forage, fodder, and hay, Group 17, forage 30 12/31/2020 Grass, forage, fodder, and hay, Group 17, hay 100 12/31/2020
    [FR Doc. 2018-03673 Filed 2-22-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 180 [EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0179; FRL-9974-14] Distillates (Petroleum), Solvent-Dewaxed Heavy Paraffinic; Exemption From the Requirement of a Tolerance AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This regulation establishes an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for residues of distillates (petroleum), solvent-dewaxed heavy paraffinic (CAS Reg. No. 64742-65-0) when used as an inert ingredient (carrier) in pesticide products applied to growing crops and raw agricultural commodities after harvest and to animals. SciReg., Inc., on behalf of HollyFrontier Refining & Marketing LLC, submitted a petition to EPA under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), requesting establishment of an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance. This regulation eliminates the need to establish a maximum permissible level for residues of distillates (petroleum), solvent-dewaxed heavy paraffinic when used in accordance with the terms of those exemptions.

    DATES:

    This regulation is effective February 23, 2018. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before April 24, 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-2017-0179, 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 L. 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 40 CFR part 180 through the Government Printing Office's e-CFR site at http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?&c=ecfr&tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title40/40tab_02.tpl.

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

    Under FFDCA section 408(g), 21 U.S.C. 346a, any person may file an objection to any aspect of this regulation and may also request a hearing on those objections. You must file your objection or request a hearing on this regulation in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, you must identify docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0179 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 24, 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-2017-0179, by one of the following methods:

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

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

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

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

    II. Petition for Exemption

    In the Federal Register of September 15, 2017 (82 FR 43352) (FRL-9965-43), EPA issued a document pursuant to FFDCA section 408, 21 U.S.C. 346a, announcing the filing of a pesticide petition (IN-11015) by SciReg., Inc. (12733 Director's Loop, Woodbridge, VA 22192) on behalf of HollyFrontier Refining & Marketing LLC (401 Plymouth Road, Suite 350, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462). The petition requested that 40 CFR 180.910 and 40 CFR 180.930 be amended by establishing exemptions from the requirement of a tolerance for residues of distillates (petroleum), solvent-dewaxed heavy paraffinic (CAS Reg. No. 64742-65-0) when used as an inert ingredient (carrier) in pesticide formulations applied to growing crops and to raw agricultural commodities after harvest and in pesticides applied to animals. That document referenced a summary of the petition prepared by SciReg., Inc. on behalf of HollyFrontier Refining & Marketing LLC, the petitioner, which is available in the docket, http://www.regulations.gov. One comment was received on the notice of filing. EPA's response to this comment is discussed in Unit V.B.

    III. Inert Ingredient Definition

    Inert ingredients are all ingredients that are not active ingredients as defined in 40 CFR 153.125 and include, but are not limited to, the following types of ingredients (except when they have a pesticidal efficacy of their own): Solvents such as alcohols and hydrocarbons; surfactants such as polyoxyethylene polymers and fatty acids; carriers such as clay and diatomaceous earth; thickeners such as carrageenan and modified cellulose; wetting, spreading, and dispersing agents; propellants in aerosol dispensers; microencapsulating agents; and emulsifiers. The term “inert” is not intended to imply nontoxicity; the ingredient may or may not be chemically active. Generally, EPA has exempted inert ingredients from the requirement of a tolerance based on the low toxicity of the individual inert ingredients.

    IV. Aggregate Risk Assessment and Determination of Safety

    Section 408(c)(2)(A)(i) of FFDCA allows EPA to establish an exemption from the requirement for 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(c)(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(c)(2)(B) requires EPA to take into account the considerations set forth in subparagraphs (C) and (D) of subsection (b)(2) when making this exemption safety determination. 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. . . .”

    EPA establishes exemptions from the requirement of a tolerance only in those cases where it can be clearly demonstrated that the risks from aggregate exposure to pesticide chemical residues under reasonably foreseeable circumstances will pose no appreciable risks to human health. In order to determine the risks from aggregate exposure to pesticide inert ingredients, the Agency considers the toxicity of the inert in conjunction with possible exposure to residues of the inert ingredient through food, drinking water, and through other exposures that occur as a result of pesticide use in residential settings. If EPA is able to determine that a finite tolerance is not necessary to ensure that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result from aggregate exposure to the inert ingredient, an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance may be established.

    Consistent with FFDCA section 408(c)(2)(A), and the factors specified in FFDCA section 408(c)(2)(B), 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 distillates (petroleum), solvent-dewaxed heavy paraffinic including exposure resulting from the exemption established by this action. EPA's assessment of exposures and risks associated with distillates (petroleum), solvent-dewaxed heavy paraffinic follows.

    A. Toxicological Profile

    EPA has evaluated the available toxicity data and considered their 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. Specific information on the studies received and the nature of the adverse effects caused by distillates (petroleum), solvent-dewaxed heavy paraffinic as well as the no-observed-adverse-effect-level (NOAEL) and the lowest-observed-adverse-effect-level (LOAEL) from the toxicity studies are discussed in this unit.

    Petroleum materials are defined by how they are processed, physical properties and product use specifications. Distillates (petroleum), solvent-dewaxed heavy paraffinic are characterized as highly and severely refined distillate base oils. Petroleum materials processed in this manner behave similarly. Therefore, toxicity data on highly and severely refined distillate base oils are used as read across data to characterize the toxicity of similarly processed petroleum materials. Since limited toxicity data exist on distillates (petroleum), solvent-dewaxed heavy paraffinic, toxicity data on other highly and severely refined distillate base oils are used to characterize toxicity due to distillates (petroleum), solvent-dewaxed heavy paraffinic.

    The acute oral toxicity is low in rats for distillates (petroleum), solvent-dewaxed heavy paraffinic; the lethal dose, LD50 is >15,000 milligrams/kilogram (mg/kg). Distillates (petroleum), solvent-dewaxed heavy paraffinic has low acute dermal toxicity; the LD50 is >5,000 mg/kg in rabbits. In rats, acute inhalation toxicity is also low, the LD50 is >4.0 milligrams/liter (mg/L). It is not a dermal sensitizer in the guinea pig. Skin and eye irritation studies are not available.

    Oral repeated dose studies are not available on distillates (petroleum), solvent-dewaxed heavy paraffinic; however, studies are available on a similarly processed petroleum material (C10-C13 dearomatized solvent). Following 90 days of exposure via gavage to C10-C13 dearomatized solvent, the bench mark dose lower confidence limit (BMDL) was established at 1,857 mg/kg/day based on increased serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels in rats.

    No systemic toxicity is observed up to 2,000 mg/kg/day following 28 days or 13 weeks of dermal exposure to distillates (petroleum), solvent-dewaxed heavy paraffinic in rabbits and rats. No systemic toxicity is observed in a 90-day or 13-week dermal toxicity studies in male rats at 1,000 mg/kg/day and 2,000 mg/kg/day of distillates (petroleum), solvent-dewaxed heavy paraffinic, respectively. In an OECD guideline developmental toxicity study via dermal exposure, no systemic or dermal toxicity is observed at 2,000 mg/kg/day.

    Following inhalation exposure, multiple lung effects are observed at 0.52 g/m3 (0.52 mg/L). However, the lung effects were not due to chemical toxicity but rather the irritating nature of distillates (petroleum), solvent-dewaxed heavy paraffinic.

    No maternal, offspring or reproduction toxicity is observed up to 1,150 mg/kg/day in a 2-generation reproduction toxicity study in rats on a similarly processed petroleum, distillates (petroleum), hydrotreated heavy paraffinic.

    Although no carcinogenicity studies with distillates (petroleum), solvent-dewaxed heavy paraffinic are available, none of the available data concerning highly and severely refined distillate base oils indicate any toxicological endpoint of concern up to 1,000 mg/kg/day. Additionally, a Derek Nexus structural alert analysis was conducted with distillates (petroleum), solvent-dewaxed heavy paraffinic and indicated no structural alerts for carcinogenicity or mutagenicity. Therefore, distillates (petroleum), solvent-dewaxed heavy paraffinic is not expected to be carcinogenic.

    Evidence of neurotoxicity and immunotoxicity is not observed in the submitted studies. Therefore, distillates (petroleum), solvent-dewaxed heavy paraffinic is not expected to be neurotoxic or immunotoxic.

    Metabolism studies show that mineral oils and aliphatic petroleum hydrocarbons are poorly absorbed across the gastrointestinal tract lining and rapidly eliminated unchanged in the feces. Also, dermal absorption and inhalation absorption is very poor.

    B. Toxicological Points of Departure/Levels of Concern

    The available toxicity studies support a conclusion that distillates (petroleum), solvent-dewaxed heavy paraffinic have very low overall toxicity. The NOAELs in a 90-day oral and reproduction toxicity studies on similarly processed petroleum distillates were >1,000 mg/kg/day; the limit dose. Effects observed in inhalation studies are due to irritating effects rather than systemic toxicity. Since toxicity was only observed at doses above the limit dose, an endpoint of concern for risk assessment purposes was not identified. Therefore, a qualitative risk assessment was conducted for acute and chronic dietary exposures and short and intermediate dermal and inhalation exposures.

    C. Exposure Assessment

    1. Dietary exposure from food and feed uses. In evaluating dietary exposure to distillates (petroleum), solvent-dewaxed heavy paraffinic, EPA considered exposure under the proposed exemption from the requirement of a tolerance. EPA assessed dietary exposures from distillates (petroleum), solvent-dewaxed heavy paraffinic in food as follows:

    Dietary exposure (food and drinking water) to distillates (petroleum), solvent-dewaxed heavy paraffinic may occur following ingestion of foods with residues from treated crops or animals. However, a quantitative dietary exposure assessment was not conducted since a toxicological endpoint for risk assessment was not identified.

    2. Dietary exposure from drinking water. Since a hazard endpoint of concern was not identified for the acute and chronic dietary assessment, a quantitative dietary exposure risk assessment for drinking water was not conducted, although exposures may be expected from use on food crops.

    3. From non-dietary exposure. The term “residential exposure” is used in this document to refer to non-occupational, non-dietary exposure (e.g., textiles (clothing and diapers), carpets, swimming pools, and hard surface disinfection on walls, floors, tables).

    Distillates (petroleum), solvent-dewaxed heavy paraffinic may be used in pesticide products and non-pesticide products that may be used in and around the home. Based on the discussion above, a quantitative residential exposure assessment for distillates (petroleum), solvent-dewaxed heavy paraffinic was not conducted.

    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.”

    Based on the available data, distillates (petroleum), solvent-dewaxed heavy paraffinic does not have a toxic mechanism; therefore, section 408(b)(2)(D)(v) does not apply.

    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.

    Based on the lack of threshold effects, EPA has not identified any toxicological endpoints of concern and is conducting a qualitative assessment of distillates (petroleum), solvent-dewaxed heavy paraffinic. That qualitative assessment does not use safety factors for assessing risk, and no additional safety factor is needed for assessing risk to infants and children. Based on an assessment of distillates (petroleum), solvent-dewaxed heavy paraffinic, EPA has concluded that there are no toxicological endpoints of concern for the U.S. population, including infants and children.

    E. Aggregate Risks and Determination of Safety

    Because no toxicological endpoints of concern were identified, EPA concludes that aggregate exposure to residues of distillates (petroleum), solvent-dewaxed heavy paraffinic will not pose a risk to the U.S. population, including infants and children, and that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to the general population, or to infants and children from aggregate exposure to distillates (petroleum), solvent-dewaxed heavy paraffinic residues.

    V. Other Considerations A. Analytical Enforcement Methodology

    An analytical method is not required for enforcement purposes since the Agency is establishing an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance without any numerical limitation.

    B. Response to Comments

    One comment was received urging the Agency not to allow residues of pesticides in or on food. Although the Agency recognizes that some individuals believe that no residue of pesticides should be allowed in or on food, the existing legal framework provided by section 408 of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) authorizes the establishment of pesticide tolerances or exemptions where the Agency determines that tolerance or exemption meets the safety standard imposed by the statute. EPA has sufficient data to support a safety determination for the exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for distillates (petroleum), solvent-dewaxed heavy paraffinic. The commenter provided no additional information supporting a determination that the exemption is not safe.

    VI. Conclusions

    Therefore, exemptions from the requirement of a tolerance are established for residues of distillates (petroleum), solvent-dewaxed heavy paraffinic (CAS Reg. No. 64742-65-0) when used as an inert ingredient (carrier) in pesticide formulations applied to growing crops and raw agricultural commodities after harvest under 40 CFR 180.910 and when applied to animals under 40 CFR 180.930.

    VII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    This action establishes tolerance exemptions 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 exemptions 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).

    VIII. 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 12, 2018. Michael Goodis, Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.

    Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I is amended as follows:

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

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

    2. In § 180.910, add alphabetically the inert ingredient to the table to read as follows:
    § 180.910 Inert ingredients used pre- and post-harvest; exemptions from the requirement of a tolerance. Inert ingredients Limits Uses *         *         *         *         *         *         * Distillates (petroleum), solvent-dewaxed heavy paraffinic (CAS Reg. No. 64742-65-0) Carrier. *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    3. In § 180.930, add alphabetically the inert ingredient to the table to read as follows:
    § 180.930 Inert ingredients applied to animals; exemptions from the requirement of a tolerance. Inert ingredients Limits Uses *         *         *         *         *         *         * Distillates (petroleum), solvent-dewaxed heavy paraffinic (CAS Reg. No. 64742-65-0) Carrier. *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2018-03759 Filed 2-22-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 180 [EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0360; FRL-9972-30] 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 the commodities wheat germ and milled byproducts, and increases the tolerances in or on wheat forage, hay, and straw. Albaugh, LLC requested these tolerances under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA).

    DATES:

    This regulation is effective February 23, 2018. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before April 24, 2018, and must be filed in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178 (see also Unit I.C. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION).

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0360, 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-2016-0360 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 24, 2018. Addresses for mail and hand delivery of objections and hearing requests are provided in 40 CFR 178.25(b).

    In addition to filing an objection or hearing request with the Hearing Clerk as described in 40 CFR part 178, please submit a copy of the filing (excluding any Confidential Business Information (CBI)) for inclusion in the public docket. Information not marked confidential pursuant to 40 CFR part 2 may be disclosed publicly by EPA without prior notice. Submit the non-CBI copy of your objection or hearing request, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0360, 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 December 20, 2016 (81 FR 92758) (FRL-9956-04), 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 6F8476) by Albaugh, LLC, P.O. Box 2127, Valdosta, GA 31604. The petition requested that 40 CFR part 180.441 be amended by establishing tolerances for residues of the herbicide quizalofop ethyl, in or on wheat, bran at 0.40 parts per million (ppm); wheat, forage at 2.0 ppm; wheat, germ at 0.40 ppm; wheat, hay at 2.0 ppm; wheat, milled byproducts at 0.40 ppm; and wheat, straw at 0.80 ppm. That document referenced a summary of the petition prepared by Albaugh, LLC, the registrant, which is available in the docket, http://www.regulations.gov. There were no comments received in response to the notice of filing.

    EPA determined that a separate tolerance is not needed for wheat bran. The reason for this change is explained in Unit IV.C.

    III. Aggregate Risk Assessment and Determination of Safety

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

    Consistent with FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(D), and the factors specified in FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(D), EPA has reviewed the available scientific data and other relevant information in support of this action. EPA has sufficient data to assess the hazards of and to make a determination on aggregate exposure for 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 2-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 1-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, average percent crop treated (PCT) information, and default processing factors for all processed commodities except sunflower oil, where an empirical factor was used.

    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 residues and percent crop treated (PCT) information. EPA did not use anticipated residue information to assess exposure for these tolerances; rather, EPA used tolerance-level residues in its exposure assessment.

    Section 408(b)(2)(F) of FFDCA states that the Agency may use data on the actual percent of food treated for assessing chronic dietary risk only if:

    Condition a: The data used are reliable and provide a valid basis to show what percentage of the food derived from such crop is likely to contain the pesticide residue.

    Condition b: The exposure estimate does not underestimate exposure for any significant subpopulation group.

    Condition c: Data are available on pesticide use and food consumption in a particular area, the exposure estimate does not understate exposure for the population in such area.

    In addition, the Agency must provide for periodic evaluation of any estimates used. To provide for the periodic evaluation of the estimate of PCT as required by FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(F), EPA may require registrants to submit data on PCT.

    The Agency estimated the average PCT for existing uses as follows: Barley: 1%; beans, green: 2.5%; canola: 5%; cotton: 1%; dry beans/peas: 15%; peas, green: 2.5%; soybeans: 2.5%; sugar beets: 2.5%; and sunflowers: 5%. For all other existing uses, including the amended use on wheat, 100% of the crop treated was assumed.

    In most cases, EPA uses available data from United States Department of Agriculture/National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA/NASS), proprietary market surveys, and the National Pesticide Use Database for the chemical/crop combination for the most recent 6 to 7 years. EPA uses an average PCT for chronic dietary risk analysis. The average PCT value for each existing use is derived by combining available public and private market survey data for that use, averaging across all observations, and is rounded to the nearest multiple of 5% for use in the analysis; unless the average PCT value is estimated at less than 2.5% or 1%, in which case the Agency uses 2.5% or 1%, respectively, as the average PCT value in the analysis.

    The Agency believes that the three conditions discussed in Unit III.C.1.iv. have been met. With respect to Condition a, PCT estimates are derived from Federal and private market survey data, which are reliable and have a valid basis. The Agency is reasonably certain that the percentage of the food treated is not likely to be an underestimation. As to Conditions b and c, regional consumption information and consumption information for significant subpopulations is taken into account through EPA's computer-based model for evaluating the exposure of significant subpopulations including several regional groups. Use of this consumption information in EPA's risk assessment process ensures that EPA's exposure estimate does not understate exposure for any significant subpopulation group and allows the Agency to be reasonably certain that no regional population is exposed to residue levels higher than those estimated by the Agency. Other than the data available through national food consumption surveys, EPA does not have available reliable information on the regional consumption of food to which quizalofop ethyl may be applied in a particular area.

    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 125 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 125 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 2-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 tolerance-level residues, average PCTs for certain existing uses, and 100 PCT for other existing uses including the amended wheat use. 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.

    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 oral 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 84% of the cPAD for all infants less than 1-year old, the population group receiving the greatest exposure. Most of the dietary exposure is attributed to drinking water, utilizing 75% of the cPAD for all infants less than 1-year old. There are no residential uses for quizalofop ethyl.

    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

    An adequate enforcement methodology (Morse Meth-147, a liquid chromatography method using tandem mass spectrometry detection (LC-MS/MS) for plant commodities including wheat) is available to enforce the tolerance expression.

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

    B. International Residue Limits

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

    C. Revisions to Petitioned-For Tolerances

    EPA determined that a separate tolerance is not needed for wheat bran, since it is included in the commodity definition for wheat, milled byproducts, which includes wheat bran, middlings, and shorts.

    V. Conclusion

    Therefore, tolerances are established for residues of quizalofop ethyl in or on wheat, germ at 0.40 ppm and wheat, milled byproducts at 0.40 ppm. Existing tolerances are increased for residues of quizalofop ethyl in or on wheat, forage from 0.05 to 2.0 ppm; wheat, hay from 0.05 to 2.0 ppm; and wheat, straw from 0.05 to 0.80 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 9, 2018. Michael Goodis, Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.

    Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I is amended as follows:

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

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

    2. In § 180.441, a. Add alphabetically the entries “Wheat, germ” and “Wheat, milled byproducts” to the table in paragraph (a)(1).

    b. Revise the entries “Wheat, forage”; “Wheat, hay”; and “Wheat, straw” in the table in paragraph (a)(1).

    The additions and revisions read as follows:

    § 180.441 Quizalofop ethyl; tolerances for residues.

    (a) * * *

    (1) * * *

    Commodity Parts per million *    *    *    *    * Wheat, forage 2.0 Wheat, germ 0.40 *    *    *    *    * Wheat, hay 2.0 Wheat, milled byproducts 0.40 Wheat, straw 0.80
    [FR Doc. 2018-03760 Filed 2-22-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency 44 CFR Part 64 [Docket ID FEMA-2018-0002; Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-8519] Suspension of Community Eligibility AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

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

    DATES:

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 44 CFR Part 64

    Flood insurance, Floodplains.

    Accordingly, 44 CFR part 64 is amended as follows:

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

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

    § 64.6 [Amended]
    2. The tables published under the authority of § 64.6 are amended as follows: State and location Community
  • No.
  • Effective date authorization/cancellation of
  • sale of flood insurance in community
  • Current effective
  • map date
  • Date certain
  • Federal
  • assistance
  • no longer
  • available in
  • SFHAs
  • Region IV Mississippi: DeSoto County, Unincorporated Areas 280050 March 4, 1975, Emerg; May 3, 1990, Reg; March 6, 2018, Susp March 6, 2018 March 6, 2018. Horn Lake, City of, DeSoto County 280051 March 7, 1975, Emerg; May 3, 1990, Reg; March 6, 2018, Susp ......do *  Do. Walls, Town of, DeSoto County 280232 N/A, Emerg; October 2, 2007, Reg; March 6, 2018, Susp ......do  Do. Region IX California: Coachella, City of, Riverside County 060249 September 11, 1979, Emerg; September 30, 1980, Reg; March 6, 2018, Susp ......do  Do. * ......do and Do. = ditto. Code for reading third column: Emerg.—Emergency; Reg.—Regular; Susp.—Suspension.
    Dated: February 14, 2018. Michael M. Grimm, Assistant Administrator for Mitigation, Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03738 Filed 2-22-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-12-P
    83 37 Friday, February 23, 2018 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food and Nutrition Service 7 CFR Part 273 RIN 0584-AE57 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Requirements and Services for Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents; Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking AGENCY:

    Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), USDA.

    ACTION:

    Advanced notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, as amended (the Act), limits the amount of time an able-bodied adult without dependents (ABAWD) can receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to 3 months in a 36-month period, unless the individual is working and/or participating in a work program half-time or more, or participating in workfare. The Act exempts individuals from the time limit for several reasons, including age, unfitness for work, or having a dependent child. The Act also provides State agencies with flexibility to request a waiver of this time limit if unemployment is high or the area does not have a sufficient number of jobs to provide employment. Moreover, the Act gives States discretion to exempt 15 percent of the individuals who would otherwise be subject to the time limit.

    The Department of Agriculture's (Department's) policy goal is to address food insecurity by providing supplemental food assistance and helping able-bodied SNAP participants move out of poverty and into work in a manner that is consistent with the structure and the intent of the Act. As described in Sections 2 and 6(d) of the Act, the goals of the program are to promote food security, self-sufficiency, well-being, and economic mobility. In this Notice, the Department is seeking public input to inform potential policy, program, and regulatory changes to more consistently advance this goal.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before April 9, 2018 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    The Food and Nutrition Service, USDA, invites interested persons to submit written comments on this advanced notice of proposed rulemaking. Comments may be submitted in writing by one of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Send comments to SNAP Program Development Division, Food and Nutrition, Services, USDA, 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 812, Alexandria, Virginia 22302.

    • All written comments submitted in response to this advanced notice of proposed rulemaking will be included in the record and will be made available to the public. Please be advised that the substance of the comments and the identity of the individuals or entities submitting the comments will be subject to public disclosure. FNS will make the written comments publicly available on the internet via http://www.regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sasha Gersten-Paal, Chief, Certification Policy Branch, SNAP Program Development Division, Food and Nutrition, Services, USDA, 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 812, Alexandria, Virginia 22302 or (703) 305-2507 during regular business hours 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.) Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Need To Issue This Notice

    SNAP offers nutrition assistance to millions of low-income individuals and families. SNAP is the largest federal nutrition assistance program in the United States. As a result of the Great Recession, the national unemployment rate peaked at 9.7 percent for Fiscal Year (FY) 2010. As with other recessions, there was a lag between the time that the national unemployment rate began to decrease and the time that the national poverty rate and SNAP participation began to decrease. SNAP participation peaked at an average of 47.6 million recipients per month in FY 2013. During that time period, the national average unemployment rate was 7.6 percent. In FY 2017, the program served an average of 42.1 million recipients per month, and the national average unemployment rate was 4.5 percent. As Americans get back to work, it is appropriate to review how SNAP can better promote work and self-sufficiency so that fewer Americans need assistance from the program.

    The Department is soliciting public comments on potential policy, program, and regulatory changes that could advance its goal of addressing food insecurity by helping able-bodied SNAP recipients obtain and maintain employment and aligning program regulations with the President's Budget proposals related to ABAWDs. The Department will consider comments received through this Notice to help inform development of potential policy, program, or regulatory changes.

    The Department seeks input on potential regulatory or other changes that might better support States in accurately identifying ABAWDs subject to the time limit and providing meaningful opportunities for them to move towards self-sufficiency. The Department is also asking whether changes should be made to the existing process by which State agencies request to waive the ABAWD time limit, the information and data States are required to provide in supporting the waiver request, and the Department's implementation and duration of the waiver approval. If so, the Department is asking for information on changes that would better support the Department's goals. Moreover, the Department seeks input on 15 percent exemptions and how they may be better used to support State efforts to serve ABAWDs. The Department is receptive to suggested changes that could be made within the current statutory authority as well as changes that may require new or revised statutory authority. The Department believes that this public comment can inform the development of any rule that may ultimately be proposed.

    References—the Following References May Be Useful To Help Inform Those Wishing To Provide Comments (1) Section 6(d) and section 6(o) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, as amended (2) Code of Federal Regulations Title 7, Parts 273.7 and 273.24 (3) Food Stamp Program: Personal Responsibility Provisions of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, Proposed Rule, 64 FR 70920 (December 17, 1999). Available at: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/1999/12/17/99-32527/food-stamp-program-personal-responsibility-provisions-of-the-personal-responsibility-and-work (4) Food Stamp Program: Personal Responsibility Provisions of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, Final Rule, 66 FR 4437 (January 17, 2001). Available at: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2001/01/17/01-1025/food-stamp-program-personal-responsibility-provisions-of-the-personal-responsibility-and-work (5) Guide to Serving ABAWDs Subject to Time-limited Participation, 2015. Available at: https://fns-prod.azureedge.net/sites/default/files/Guide_to_Serving_ABAWDs_Subject_to_Time_Limit.pdf (6) Guide to Supporting Requests to Waiver the Time Limit for Able-Bodied Adults without Dependents, 2016. Available at: https://fns-prod.azureedge.net/sites/default/files/snap/SNAP-Guide-to-Supporting-Requests-to-Waive-the-Time-Limit-for-ABAWDs.pdf (7) Expiration of Statewide ABAWD Time Limit Waivers, 2015. Available at: https://fns-prod.azureedge.net/sites/default/files/snap/SNAP-Expiration-of-Statewide-ABAWD-Time-Limit-Waivers.pdf (8) ABAWD Time Limit Policy and Program Access, 2015. Available at: https://fns-prod.azureedge.net/sites/default/files/snap/ABAWD-Time-Limit-Policy-and-Program-Access-Memo-Nov2015.pdf (9) ABAWD Questions and Answers, 2015. Available at: https://fns-prod.azureedge.net/sites/default/files/snap/ABAWD-Questions-and-Answers-June%202015.pdf (10) ABAWD Questions and Answers, 2013. Available at internet site: https://fns-prod.azureedge.net/sites/default/files/snap/ABAWD-Questions-and-Answers-December-2013.pdf Overview of Current SNAP Work Policies

    SNAP work-related policies are best understood as three distinct, but interrelated and mutually supportive areas: The general work requirements, SNAP Employment and Training (SNAP E&T) programs, and the ABAWD time limit and work requirement. These work-related policies, the people they affect, and the ways in which they interact are summarized below.

    The General Work Requirements: Section 6(d) of the Act and 7 CFR 273.7

    The general work requirements apply to people ages 16 through 59, except for those who are physically or mentally unfit for employment, care for a child under age 6 or an incapacitated person, are already employed 30 hours or more per week, are already participating in a work program, or are in school half-time or more. In order to be eligible for SNAP benefits, people who are subject to the general work requirements must register for work, report to an employer if referred by the State agency, accept a bona fide offer of a suitable job, not voluntarily quit a job or reduce their work hours below 30 hours a week, and participate in a SNAP E&T program or a workfare program if assigned by the State agency.

    People subject to the general work requirements are commonly called “work registrants.” People that do not comply with the general work requirements without good cause are disqualified from receiving SNAP for a period of time. These disqualification periods can vary by State and circumstances. When a person subject to the general work requirements does not comply, the State must determine whether the person has good cause before imposing any disqualification. Examples of good cause include illness, household emergency, lack of transportation, or other circumstances beyond the person's control. In accordance with current law, if the State finds that a person has good cause, it must not disqualify them.

    The ABAWD Time Limit and Work Requirement: Section 6(o) of the Act and 7 CFR 273.24

    The ABAWD time limit and work requirement apply to people ages 18 through 49, unless they are already exempt from the general work requirements, medically certified as physically or mentally unfit for employment, responsible for a child under 18, or pregnant. ABAWDs are also work registrants and must meet the general work requirements. In addition, ABAWDs subject to the time limit must work and/or participate in a work program 80 hours per month or more, or participate in and comply with workfare in order to receive SNAP for more than 3 months in a 36-month period. Participation in SNAP E&T, which is a type of work program, is one way a person can meet the 80 hour per month ABAWD work requirement, but other work programs are acceptable as well.

    State agencies can request to waive the ABAWD time limit if an area has an unemployment rate of over 10 percent or the State can meet one of the regulatory options to show it does not have a sufficient number of jobs to provide employment. If the time limit is waived, individuals are not required to meet the ABAWD work requirement in order to receive SNAP for more than 3 months in a 36-month period. However, even if the time limit is waived, ABAWDs remain subject to the general work requirements, as ABAWDs are work registrants, and the general work requirements cannot be waived. State agencies also have discretion to exempt, on a month-to-month basis, 15 percent of the individuals who would otherwise be subject to the time limit as estimated by the Department each year. Each 15 percent exemption extends eligibility to one ABAWD for one month.

    SNAP Employment and Training Programs: Section 6(d) of the Act and 7 CFR 273.7

    The Department strongly supports the goal that individuals obtain gainful employment as a means to move to self-sufficiency. SNAP E&T programs are intended to help SNAP recipients gain skills, training, work, or experience that will increase their ability to obtain regular employment and become self-sufficient. The State agency must operate E&T programs, though it has significant flexibility in program design. The State determines who to serve through its E&T programs, what kind of activities to provide, and where to provide them. The State may provide other wrap-around services such as on-going case management, job coaching, or job retention services. The State is required to provide participant reimbursements for things that are necessary for participation in SNAP E&T such as transportation, books, safety equipment, or other items or services.

    The State has the option to offer E&T on a voluntary basis to certain or all SNAP participants; or, the State can require all or certain work registrants to participate in E&T as a condition of eligibility, often referred to as “mandatory E&T”. If a work registrant is required to participate in E&T and does not comply without good cause, they are disqualified from receiving SNAP as explained above under The General Work Requirements. In deciding whether to require E&T participation the State must carefully consider its capacity to serve E&T participants and provide reimbursements for participants with access barriers such as lack of transportation or child care.

    Currently, States have several options to provide ABAWDs nutrition assistance while getting experience or training that will help them get jobs and become self-sufficient. States may refer ABAWDs to other work programs such as State or local programs or programs operated through the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA) American Job Centers (AJCs). States may provide ABAWDs a slot in a workfare program or a SNAP E&T Program. However, all of these options may have their own limitations such as funding, capacity, or competing State priorities.

    There is no current requirement that States serve any or all ABAWDs through their SNAP E&T programs. However, if the State does require ABAWDs who are subject to the time limit to participate in E&T, it must apply the time limit and disqualify ABAWDs who fail to comply with the mandatory E&T requirements through the sanction process. In addition, States are eligible for a portion of a pool of $20 million in additional E&T funds if they pledge to offer all ABAWDs who are in the last month of their 3-month time limit a slot in an E&T component that fulfills the work requirement. These 100 percent federal funds are allocated across all pledge States based on the number of ABAWDs in each participating State, as a percentage of ABAWDs in all of the participating States.

    Discussion

    The Department is concerned that, in some cases, the State flexibilities provided under 7 CFR 273.7 and 7 CFR 273.24 have been used in ways that do not strengthen the goal of helping SNAP recipients find and keep work when jobs are sufficiently available. In particular, the ABAWD time limit waivers represent an area of concern for the Department.

    The decision to request and implement an ABAWD time limit waiver rests with the States. States can request to waive some areas in the State but not others, and not all States that are eligible for ABAWD time limit waivers request one. Economic conditions in the wake of the Great Recession resulted in an increase in the use of ABAWD time limit waivers. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act suspended the time limit across the country from April 1, 2009, through September 30, 2010, effectively waiving the time limit in all 50 States, the District of Columbia, Guam, and the Virgin Islands for the second half of FY 2009 and all of FY 2010. From October 2010 through December 2013, the vast majority of States qualified for and continued to implement statewide ABAWD time limit waivers, meaning the waivers covered the entire State or jurisdiction.

    Since that time, as economic conditions improved, there has been a decline in the use of these waivers. In the fourth quarter of FY 2013, 45 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and the Virgin Islands had waivers of the ABAWD time limit. Of those, 42 covered the entire state or jurisdiction and 6 covered only certain areas in the state or jurisdiction. In the fourth quarter of FY 2017, 33 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and the Virgin Islands had waivers of the ABAWD time limit. Of those, 9 covered the entire state or jurisdiction, and 27 covered only certain areas in the state or jurisdiction. However, the Department is concerned that the number of areas waived has not decreased as much as would be expected during the continued decline in unemployment rates over this time period. For these reasons, the Department is seeking comments on how to ensure the waiver criteria best reflects economic conditions.

    ABAWD Policy Review Issues

    The following questions represent particular areas in which the Department is interested in receiving comments. The questions are focused on ideas for regulatory or policy changes and seek information on better ways to meet the needs of SNAP participants and State agencies. However, the Department also invites commenters to address additional issues that are not described below but are within the scope of this review, particularly as it relates to opportunities to help participants move to self-sufficiency. Other comments that are not within the scope of this Notice will not be considered; therefore please refrain from including any comments that are not responsive to this particular request.

    The Department believes that this review will benefit from a broad scope of public input. However, in addressing the questions that follow, commenters are encouraged to be as specific as possible. Please be sure to include the rationale underlying any suggested changes.

    1. The Department is reviewing how it could take action on limiting ABAWD waivers as proposed in the President's budget proposals. In light of the Department's interest in helping SNAP participants find and maintain meaningful employment, how could the process for requesting to waive the time limit, the information needed to support waiver approval, and the waiver eligibility parameters be changed in order to provide appropriate relief for areas of high unemployment and a clearly demonstrated lack of jobs?

    (a) How could the definition of “lack of sufficient jobs” be revised to better support these goals?

    (b) States currently have discretion to define the area they are requesting to waive. Should States maintain this flexibility? Should an “economic area” be limited in geographic scope, such as to a single county, metropolitan area, or labor market area?

    (c) Should FNS accept data from additional sources of information that are currently not considered? If so:

    1. What data sources would that be?

    2. What review process should FNS use to verify the validity of the data?

    (d) How recent should the data and information used in support of a waiver be in relation to the waiver implementation date?

    (e) Waivers are typically approved for 1 year, although under certain criteria 2 year waivers are available. Should FNS consider waivers of different time periods? If so, what time period and under what conditions?

    2. How can existing authority and resources be best used to support ABAWDs as they transition to meaningful work and self-sufficiency? How could the Department better support State efforts to assess individuals' work readiness and identify appropriate services to help participants obtain and retain employment?

    (a) What challenges and barriers do States face in helping ABAWDs find and maintain employment? What do States need to build or strengthen their capacity, investment, and expertise in working with this population?

    (b) What is the appropriate role of States in assessing ABAWDs for barriers to employment, job skills, and career interests in order identify appropriate opportunities for fulfilling the work requirements? At what point in the process is this most useful? During the interview? After certification?

    (c) How can existing resources be leveraged by States to help ABAWDs find and maintain employment? Are there State/local/Federal or other stakeholders that can be leveraged to provide holistic services to ABAWDs?

    (d) Are there evidence-based activities that States could offer through their SNAP E&T programs that would help reduce barriers to employment among ABAWDs? What kinds of support services, job-retention services and other activities would increase success of ABAWDs moving into gainful employment?

    (e) Are there additional ways that States could incentivize employers to provide jobs to ABAWDs?

    (f) Should ABAWDs be subject to additional reporting requirements or be limited to a specific type of reporting system (e.g., change reporting, monthly reporting, quarterly reporting, or simplified reporting)? Have States that have assigned ABAWDs to a reporting system other than simplified reporting found this to be beneficial?

    (g) What approaches have States found effective in communicating with ABAWDs to educate them on the program's work requirements, tools and resources that can help them find or keep employment, and crucial administrative actions or deadlines they must adhere to?

    3. The accurate determination of whether an individual is physically or mentally unfit for employment is fundamental to applying the time limit to the proper individuals, and exempting others, consistent with the Act. In addition, it allows States to focus work strategies on those individuals who are truly capable of benefiting from them.

    (a) What is the appropriate scope of conditions and indicators of physical or mental unfitness for employment under current statutory authority, particularly in State determinations of whether an individual is obviously physically or mentally unfit for employment? What level of State flexibility is appropriate in this area? Why?

    (b) How do current certification processes (use of technology, lack of face-to-face interaction) affect the ability to determine exceptions or exemptions to the ABAWD time limit? How can these processes be modified or enhanced to best support these determinations, while providing any needed reasonable accommodations for individuals?

    (c) Who should determine whether a participant is fit to work? What technical and information resources, or other resources, would best support States to better screen for unfitness for employment and other exceptions to the ABAWD time limit? What performance and/or accountability measures would support this process?

    (d) How can the Department/States better engage and serve individuals determined to be unfit for employment? How can State agencies provide these individuals with services or opportunities that may increase their fitness for work?

    (e) What are best practices for the use of 15 percent exemptions in supporting the appropriate application of ABAWD requirements?

    Procedural Matters Executive Order 12866 and 13563

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This action has been determined to be significant and was reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in conformance with Executive Order 12866.

    Executive Order 13771

    This Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is not a regulatory action under Executive Order 13771.

    Executive Order 13175

    This Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) has been reviewed in accordance with the requirements of Executive Order 13175, “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments.” Executive Order 13175 requires Federal agencies to consult and coordinate with tribes on a government-to-government basis on policies that have tribal implications, including regulations, legislative comments or proposed legislation, and other policy statements or actions that have substantial direct effects on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes.

    The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has assessed the impact of this ANPRM on Indian tribes and determined that this ANPRM does not, to our knowledge, have tribal implications that require tribal consultation under E.O. 13175. If a Tribe requests consultation, FNS will work with the Office of Tribal Relations to ensure meaningful consultation is provided where changes, additions and modifications identified herein are not expressly mandated by Congress.

    Dated: February 20, 2018. Brandon Lipps, Acting Deputy Under Secretary Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03752 Filed 2-22-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-30-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY 10 CFR Part 430 [EERE-2017-BT-STD-0059] Energy Conservation Program: Energy Conservation Standards Program Design AGENCY:

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of comment period extension.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Energy (DOE) published, on November 28, 2017, a Request for Information (RFI) seeking comments from interested parties to assist DOE in evaluating the potential advantages and disadvantages of additional flexibilities in the U.S. Appliance and Equipment Energy Conservations Standards (ECS) program. The comment period for the RFI ends on February 26, 2018. Through this notice, DOE extends the comment period until March 26, 2018.

    DATES:

    The comment period for the RFI published in the Federal Register on November 28, 2017 (82 FR 56181) is extended to March 26, 2018. Written comments and information are requested on or before March 26, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are encouraged to submit comments by any of the following methods:

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

    Email: [email protected] Include “EERE-2017-BT-STD-0059” in the subject line of the message.

    Postal Mail: Appliance and Equipment Standards Program, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Office, Mailstop EE-5B, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC, 20585-0121.

    Docket: The docket for this activity, which includes Federal Register notices, comments, and other supporting documents/materials, is available for review at http://www.regulations.gov. All documents in the docket are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index. However, some documents listed in the index, such as those containing information that is exempt from public disclosure, may not be publicly available.

    The docket web page can be found at https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=EERE-2017-BT-STD-0059. The docket web page will contain simple instructions on how to access all documents, including public comments, in the docket.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Appliance and Equipment Standards Program Staff, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Building Technologies Program, EE-5B, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 287-1445. Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department of Energy (DOE) published a Request for Information (RFI) on November 28, 2017 (82 FR 56181) requesting feedback on the design, value, and solutions to potential challenges of revising the U.S. Appliance and Equipment Energy Conservation Standards (ECS) program to include additional compliance flexibilities, with the goal of reducing compliance costs, enhancing consumer choice and maintaining or increasing energy savings. The comment period for the RFI was previously February 26, 2018. In a letter dated February 9, 2018, Edison Electric Institute (EEI) requested that the comment period for the RFI be extended to March 9, 2018, to allow more time for member companies to submit information to EEI. (EERE-2017-BT-STD-0059-0015) DOE also received a letter dated February 13, 2018, from the Air-Conditioning, Heating, & Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) requesting that the comment period be extended until March 26, 2018, to allow more time for their members to submit information to AHRI. (EERE-2017-BT-STD-0059-0016) DOE grants these requests and extends the comment period until March 26, 2018.

    Approval of the Office of the Secretary

    The Secretary of Energy has approved the publication of this document.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on February 16, 2018. Daniel R Simmons, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03737 Filed 2-22-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0114; Product Identifier 2017-NM-167-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for The Boeing Company Model 787 series airplanes powered by Rolls Royce Trent 1000 engines. This proposed AD was prompted by a report of failures of the inner fixed structure (IFS) forward upper fire seal and damage to thermal insulation blankets in the forward upper area of the thrust reverser (TR). This proposed AD would require an inspection to determine the part number of the IFS forward upper fire seal, and applicable on-condition actions. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by April 9, 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 Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Contractual & Data Services (C&DS), 2600 Westminster Blvd., MC 110-SK57, Seal Beach, CA 90740-5600; telephone 562-797-1717; internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195. It is also available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0114.

    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-2018-0114; 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 NPRM, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tak Kobayashi, Aerospace Engineer, Propulsion Section, FAA, Seattle ACO Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA; phone: 206-231-3553; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2018-0114; Product Identifier 2017-NM-167-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this NPRM. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this NPRM because of those comments.

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

    Discussion

    We have received a report of IFS forward upper fire seal failures and damage to thermal insulation blankets in the forward upper area of the TR. Investigation revealed that the root cause of the failures is a scrubbing and pinching condition at the upper end cap of the IFS forward upper fire seal during TR closing. The failure of the IFS forward upper fire seal causes the loss of seal pressurization, which then allows fan bypass air to enter the engine core compartment. Fan bypass air entering the engine core compartment could degrade the ability to detect and extinguish an engine fire, resulting in an uncontrolled fire. Furthermore, fan bypass air entering the engine core compartment could cause damage to the TR insulation blanket, resulting in thermal damage to the TR inner wall, the subsequent release of engine exhaust components, and consequent damage to the critical areas of the airplane.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB780033-00, Issue 001, dated November 1, 2017. This service information describes procedures for an inspection to determine the part number of the IFS forward upper fire seal and applicable on-condition actions. 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

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

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require accomplishment of the actions identified as “RC” (required for compliance) in the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB780033-00, Issue 001, dated November 1, 2017, described previously, except as discussed under “Differences Between this Proposed AD and the Service Information,” and except for any differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this proposed AD.

    For information on the procedures and compliance times, see this service information at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0114.

    Differences Between This Proposed AD and the Service Information

    Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB780033-00, Issue 001, dated November 1, 2017, addresses only Model 787-8 and 787-9 airplanes powered by Rolls Royce Trent 1000 engines (excluding the Rolls Royce Trent 1000-TEN engine, which was recently certified). IFS forward upper fire seals having part number (P/N) 725Z3171-127 or P/N 725Z3171-128 can be installed on all Rolls Royce Trent 1000 engines, including the recently certified Rolls Royce Trent 1000-TEN engine. To prevent the installation of a TR with an unsafe fire seal on a Model 787 airplane, this proposed AD would apply to all Model 787 series airplanes (including future Model 787-10) powered by Rolls Royce Trent 1000 engines (including the Rolls Royce Trent 1000-TEN engine).

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 13 airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

    Estimated Costs for Required Actions Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on
  • U.S. operators
  • Inspection 8 work-hours × $85 per hour = $680 $0 $680 $8,840

    We estimate the following costs to do any necessary on-condition actions that would be required. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need these on-condition actions:

    Estimated Costs of On-Condition Actions Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • 8 work-hours × $85 per hour = $680 (fire seal replacement, 4 per airplane) $4,532 $5,212
    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): The Boeing Company: Docket No. FAA-2018-0114; Product Identifier 2017-NM-167-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by April 9, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 787 series airplanes, certificated in any category, powered by Rolls Royce Trent 1000 engines.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 78, Engine Exhaust System.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by reports of failures of the inner fixed structure (IFS) forward upper fire seal and damage to thermal insulation blankets in the forward upper area of the thrust reverser (TR). We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the IFS forward upper fire seal, which causes the loss of seal pressurization and allows fan bypass air to enter the engine core compartment. Fan bypass air entering the engine core compartment could degrade the ability to detect and extinguish an engine fire, resulting in an uncontrolled fire. Furthermore, fan bypass air entering the engine core compartment could cause damage to the TR insulation blanket, resulting in thermal damage to the TR inner wall, the subsequent release of engine exhaust components, and consequent damage to critical areas of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Required Actions

    For Model 787-8 and 787-9 series airplanes identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB780033-00, Issue 001, dated November 1, 2017 (“BASB B787-81205-SB780033-00, Issue 001”): Within 36 months after the effective date of this AD, do all applicable actions identified as “RC” (required for compliance) in, and in accordance with, the Accomplishment Instructions of BASB B787-81205-SB780033-00, Issue 001.

    (h) Parts Installation Prohibition

    For Model 787 series airplanes powered by Rolls Royce Trent 1000 engines, as of the effective date of this AD, no person may install a thrust reverser with an IFS forward upper fire seal having part number (P/N) 725Z3171-127 or P/N 725Z3171-128.

    (i) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Seattle ACO Branch, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the certification office, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (j)(1) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: [email protected]

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

    (3) An AMOC that provides an acceptable level of safety may be used for any repair, modification, or alteration required by this AD if it is approved by the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) that has been authorized by the Manager, Seattle ACO Branch, to make those findings. To be approved, the repair method, modification deviation, or alteration deviation must meet the certification basis of the airplane, and the approval must specifically refer to this AD.

    (4) For service information that contains steps that are labeled as RC, the provisions of paragraphs (i)(4)(i) and (i)(4)(ii) of this AD apply.

    (i) The steps labeled as RC, including substeps under an RC step and any figures identified in an RC step, must be done to comply with the AD. If a step or substep is labeled “RC Exempt,” then the RC requirement is removed from that step or substep. An AMOC is required for any deviations to RC steps, including substeps and identified figures.

    (ii) Steps not labeled 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 RC steps, including substeps and identified figures, can still be done as specified, and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy condition.

    (j) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Tak Kobayashi, Aerospace Engineer, Propulsion Section, FAA, Seattle ACO Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA; phone: 206-231-3553; email: [email protected]

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Contractual & Data Services (C&DS), 2600 Westminster Blvd., MC 110-SK57, Seal Beach, CA 90740-5600; telephone 562-797-1717; internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on February 14, 2018. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03598 Filed 2-22-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 18 CFR Part 385 [Docket No. RM18-7-000] Withdrawal of Pleadings AGENCY:

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commission proposes to adopt a more accurate title of Withdrawal of pleadings (Rule 216), for Rule 216 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure. The Commission also proposes to clarify the text of the Rule.

    DATES:

    Comments are due March 26, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments, identified by docket number, may be filed in the following ways:

    Electronic Filing through http://www.ferc.gov. Documents created electronically using word processing software should be filed in native applications or print-to-PDF format and not in a scanned format.

    Mail/Hand Delivery: Those unable to file electronically may mail or hand-deliver comments to: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426.

    Instructions: For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the Comment Procedures Section of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Vince Mareino, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-6167, [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    1. In this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR), the Commission proposes to clarify the title and text of Rule 216 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.216. The Commission proposes to adopt a more accurate title of “Withdrawal of pleadings (Rule 216).” The Commission also proposes to clarify the text of the Rule.

    I. Discussion

    2. The Commission proposes two changes to Rule 216. First, the current title may confuse some readers by implying that Rule 216 governs the withdrawal of tariff or rate filings, which are instead governed by separate regulations.1 Thus, the Commission proposes changing the title from “Withdrawal of pleadings and tariff or rate filings (Rule 216)” to “Withdrawal of pleadings (Rule 216).”

    1E.g., 18 CFR 35.17, 154.205, 284.123, 341.13.

    3. Second, the Commission proposes changing the first sentence of Rule 216(a) to read, “Any person may seek to withdraw its pleading by filing a notice of withdrawal.” This change clarifies that it is the person who has submitted a pleading that may withdraw that pleading. The Commission also proposes a conforming change, to refer to “person” rather than “party,” in Rule 216(c).

    II. Information Collection Statement

    4. Review by the Office of Management and Budget, pursuant to section 3507(d) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, is not required since this NOPR does not contain new or modified information collection or recordkeeping requirements.

    III. Environmental Analysis

    5. The Commission is required to prepare an Environmental Assessment or an Environmental Impact Statement for any action that may have a significant adverse effect on the human environment.2 Section 380.4(a)(1) of the Commission's regulations exempts certain actions from the requirement that an Environmental Analysis or Environmental Impact Statement be prepared.3 Included is an exemption for procedural actions. As this NOPR falls within that exemption, issuance of the NOPR does not represent a major federal action having a significant adverse effect on the human environment under the Commission's regulations implementing the National Environmental Policy Act, and, thus, does not require an Environmental Analysis or Environmental Impact Statement.

    2Regulations Implementing National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, Order No. 486, FERC Stats. & Regs. 30,783 (1987) (cross-referenced at 41 FERC 61,284).

    3 18 CFR 380.4(a)(1) (2017).

    IV. Regulatory Flexibility Act Analysis

    6. The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA) 4 generally requires a description and analysis of proposed rules that will have significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This NOPR concerns clarifications to agency procedure. The Commission certifies that the proposed clarifications will not have an economic impact upon participants in Commission proceedings and, therefore, an analysis under the RFA is not required.

    4 5 U.S.C. 601-612 (2012).

    V. Comment Procedures

    7. The Commission invites interested persons to submit comments on the matters and issues proposed in this notice to be adopted, including any related matters or alternative proposals that commenters may wish to discuss. Comments are due March 26, 2018. Comments must refer to Docket No. RM18-7-000, and must include the commenter's name, the organization they represent, if applicable, and their address in their comments.

    8. The Commission encourages comments to be filed electronically via the eFiling link on the Commission's website at http://www.ferc.gov. The Commission accepts most standard word processing formats. Documents created electronically using word processing software should be filed in native applications or print-to-PDF format and not in a scanned format. Commenters filing electronically do not need to make a paper filing.

    9. Commenters that are not able to file comments electronically must send an original of their comments to: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426.

    10. All comments will be placed in the Commission's public files and may be viewed, printed, or downloaded remotely as described in the Document Availability section below. Commenters on this proposal are not required to serve copies of their comments on other commenters.

    VI. Document Availability

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

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

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

    By direction of the Commission.

    Issued: February 15, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    List of Subjects in 18 CFR Part 385

    Electric power rates, Electric power, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Commission proposes to amend Part 385, Chapter I, Title 18, Code of Federal Regulations, as follows.

    PART 385—RULES OF PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE 1. The authority citation for part 385 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 551-557; 15 U.S.C. 717-717w, 3301-3432; 16 U.S.C. 791a-825v, 2601-2645; 28 U.S.C. 2461; 31 U.S.C. 3701, 9701; 42 U.S.C. 7101-7352, 16441, 16451-16463; 49 U.S.C. 60502; 49 App. U.S.C. 1-85 (1988); 28 U.S.C. 2461 note (1990); 28 U.S.C. 2461 note (2015).

    2. Revise the title of section 385.216 to read as follows:
    § 385.216 Withdrawal of pleadings (Rule 216).
    3. Revise section 385.216(a) to read as follows:

    (a) Filing. Any person may seek to withdraw its pleading by filing a notice of withdrawal. The procedures provided in this section do not apply to withdrawals of tariff or rate filings, which may be withdrawn only as provided in the regulations under this chapter.

    4. Revise section 385.216(c) to read as follows:

    (c) Conditional withdrawal. In order to prevent prejudice to other participants, a decisional authority may, on motion or otherwise, condition the withdrawal of any pleading upon a requirement that the withdrawing person leave material in the record or otherwise make material available to other participants.

    [FR Doc. 2018-03648 Filed 2-22-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R10-OAR-2016-0056; FRL-9974-79-Region 10] Air Plan Approval; OR: Infrastructure Requirements for the 2010 Nitrogen Dioxide, 2010 Sulfur Dioxide, and 2012 Fine Particulate Matter Standards AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    Whenever a new or revised National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) is promulgated, the Clean Air Act (CAA) requires states to submit a plan for the implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of the standard, commonly referred to as infrastructure requirements. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve the Oregon State Implementation Plan (SIP) as meeting infrastructure requirements for the 2010 nitrogen dioxide (NO2), 2010 sulfur dioxide (SO2), and 2012 fine particulate matter (PM2.5) NAAQS. The EPA is also proposing to approve, and incorporate by reference, rule changes made by the state to implement the PM2.5 NAAQS, relevant to this infrastructure action, and also the ozone NAAQS, which is unrelated to this action, but included for efficiency.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before March 26, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R10-OAR-2016-0056, 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 the disclosure of which is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit https://www.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kristin Hall, Air Planning Unit, Office of Air and Waste (OAW-150), Environmental Protection Agency—Region 10, 1200 Sixth Ave., Seattle, WA 98101; telephone number: (206) 553-6357; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document wherever “we,” “us,” or “our” is used, it is intended to refer to the EPA.

    Table of Contents I. Background II. Infrastructure Elements III. EPA Approach to Review of Infrastructure SIP Submissions IV. EPA Infrastructure Evaluation V. Rule Revisions VI. Proposed Action VII. Incorporation by Reference VIII. Statutory and Executive Orders Review I. Background

    On January 22, 2010, the EPA established a primary NO2 NAAQS at 100 parts per billion (ppb), averaged over one hour, supplementing the existing annual standard (75 FR 6474). Later that year, on June 2, 2010, the EPA promulgated a revised primary SO2 NAAQS at 75 ppb, based on a three-year average of the annual 99th percentile of one-hour daily maximum concentrations (75 FR 35520). More recently, on December 14, 2012, the EPA lowered the level of the primary annual PM2.5 NAAQS to 12 μg/m3 and retained the remaining particulate matter standards (January 15 2013, 78 FR 3086). Whenever a new or revised standard is promulgated, the CAA requires states to submit a plan for the implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of the standard, commonly referred to as infrastructure requirements. On September 13, 2013, the EPA issued guidance to help states address these infrastructure requirements (2013 Guidance).1 As noted in the 2013 Guidance, to the extent an existing SIP already meets the CAA section 110(a)(2) requirements, states may certify that fact in their submission to the EPA.

    1 Stephen D. Page, Director, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards. “Guidance on Infrastructure State Implementation Plan (SIP) Elements under Clean Air Act Sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2).” Memorandum to EPA Air Division Directors, Regions 1-10, September 13, 2013.

    On December 27, 2013, Oregon made an infrastructure SIP submission for the 2010 NO2 and 2010 SO2 NAAQS.2 Later, on October 20, 2015, Oregon made an infrastructure SIP submission for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.3 Included in these submissions were specific rule revisions made to implement the revised standards in Oregon. For a detailed discussion of the submitted rule changes, please see Section V. below.

    2 The December 27, 2013, submission also addressed infrastructure requirements for the 2008 lead (Pb) NAAQS. We approved the Pb-related portion of the submission on June 24, 2014, therefore, this action does not address the 2008 Pb NAAQS (79 FR 35693).

    3 The October 20, 2015, submission also addressed the interstate transport requirements at CAA section 110(a)(2)(D) for the 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. However, this action only addresses a portion of the interstate transport requirements, specifically CAA sections 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) and 110(a)(2)(D)(ii). We intend to address the remainder, CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I), in a separate, future action. See section 110(a)(2)(D) below.

    As part of this action we are also addressing a SIP revision submitted by Oregon on July 18, 2017. The July 18, 2017, submission updated an Oregon rule to account for a change to the federal ozone standard. We note that this update to the ozone standard in the Oregon SIP is not relevant to our infrastructure action on the 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS, and is only being included in this action for efficiency. For a detailed discussion of this rule change, please see Section V. below.

    II. Infrastructure Elements

    CAA section 110(a)(1) provides the procedural and timing requirements for SIP submissions after a new or revised NAAQS is promulgated. CAA section 110(a)(2) lists specific elements that states must meet for infrastructure SIP requirements related to a newly established or revised NAAQS. The requirements, with corresponding CAA subsections, are listed below:

    • 110(a)(2)(A): Emission limits and other control measures.

    • 110(a)(2)(B): Ambient air quality monitoring/data system.

    • 110(a)(2)(C): Program for enforcement of control measures.

    • 110(a)(2)(D): Interstate transport.

    • 110(a)(2)(E): Adequate resources.

    • 110(a)(2)(F): Stationary source monitoring system.

    • 110(a)(2)(G): Emergency power.

    • 110(a)(2)(H): Future SIP revisions.

    • 110(a)(2)(I): Areas designated nonattainment and meet the applicable requirements of part D.

    • 110(a)(2)(J): Consultation with government officials; public notification; and Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and visibility protection.

    • 110(a)(2)(K): Air quality modeling/data.

    • 110(a)(2)(L): Permitting fees.

    • 110(a)(2)(M): Consultation/participation by affected local entities.

    The EPA's 2013 Guidance restated our interpretation that two elements are not governed by the three-year submission deadline in CAA section 110(a)(1) because SIPs incorporating necessary local nonattainment area controls are due on separate schedules, pursuant to CAA section 172 and the various pollutant-specific subparts 2 through 5 of part D. These are submissions required by: (i) CAA section 110(a)(2)(C), to the extent that subsection refers to a permit program as required in part D, title I of the CAA, and (ii) CAA section 110(a)(2)(I). As a result, this action does not address CAA section 110(a)(2)(C) with respect to nonattainment new source review (NSR) or CAA section 110(a)(2)(I). The EPA has also determined that the CAA section 110(a)(2)(J) provision on visibility is not triggered by a new NAAQS because the visibility requirements in part C, title I of the CAA are not changed by a new NAAQS.

    III. EPA Approach To Review of Infrastructure SIP Submissions

    We are proposing to approve Oregon's December 23, 2013, and October 20, 2015, submissions for certain infrastructure requirements. Our most recent action on an Oregon infrastructure submission was published on June 24, 2014 (79 FR 35693). In the preamble of the proposal for that action, we published a discussion of the EPA's overall approach to review of these types of submissions. Please see our April 17, 2014, proposed rule for this discussion (79 FR 21679, at page 21680).

    IV. EPA Infrastructure Evaluation 110(a)(2)(A): Emission Limits and Other Control Measures

    CAA section 110(a)(2)(A) requires SIPs to include enforceable emission limits and other control measures, means or techniques (including economic incentives such as fees, marketable permits, and auctions of emissions rights), as well as schedules and timetables for compliance, as may be necessary or appropriate to meet the applicable requirements of the CAA.

    State submissions: Oregon's submissions cite multiple Oregon air quality laws and SIP-approved regulations to address this element for the 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 468A.035 General Comprehensive Plan provides authority to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) to develop a general comprehensive plan for the control or abatement of air pollution. ORS 468.020 Rules and Standards gives the Oregon Environmental Quality Commission (EQC) authority to adopt rules and standards to perform functions vested by law. ORS 468A.025 Air Purity Standards provides the EQC with authority to set air quality standards, emission standards, and emission treatment and control provisions. ORS 468A.040 Permits; Rules provides that the EQC may require permits for specific sources, type of air contaminant or specific areas of the state. The Oregon submissions also cite these other laws and regulations:

    • ORS 468A.045 Activities Prohibited without Permit; Limit on Activities with Permit • ORS 468A.050 Classification of Air Contamination Sources; Registration and Reporting; Registration and Reporting of Sources; Rules; Fees • ORS 468A.055 Notice Prior to Construction of New Sources; Order Authorizing or Prohibiting Construction; Effect of No Order; Appeal • ORS 468A.070 Measurement and Testing of Contamination Sources; Rules • ORS 468A.310 Federal Operating Permit Program Approval; Rules; Content of Plan • ORS 468A.315 Emission Fees for Major Sources; Base Fees; Basis of Fees; Rules • ORS 468A.350-455 Motor Vehicle Pollution Control • ORS 468A.460-520 Woodstove Emissions Control • ORS 468A.550-620 Field Burning and Propane Flaming • ORS 468A.990 Penalties for Air Pollution Offenses • OAR 340-200 General Air Pollution Procedures and Definitions • OAR 340-202 Ambient Air Quality Standards and PSD Increments • OAR 340-204 Designation of Air Quality Areas • OAR 340-208 Visible Emissions • OAR 340-216 Air Contaminant Discharge Permits • OAR 340-222 Stationary Source Plant Site Emission Limits • OAR 340-224 New Source Review • OAR 340-225 Air Quality Analysis Requirements • OAR 340-226 General Emission Standards • OAR 340-228 Requirements for Fuel Burning Equipment and Fuel Sulfur Content • OAR 340-232 Emission Standards for VOC Point Sources • OAR 340-234 Emission Standards for Wood Products Industries: Emission Limitations • OAR 340-236 Emission Standards for Specific Industries: Emission Limits • OAR 340-240 Rules for Areas with Unique Air Quality Needs • OAR 340-242 Rules Applicable to the Portland Area • OAR 340-250 General Conformity • OAR 340-252 Transportation Conformity • OAR 340-256 Motor Vehicles • OAR 340-258 Motor Vehicle Fuel Specifications • OAR 340-262 Residential Woodheating • OAR 340-266 Field Burning Rules • OAR 340-268 Emission Reduction Credits

    EPA analysis: Oregon regulates emissions of NO2, SO2, and PM2.5 (and nitrogen oxides (NOX) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) as precursors to PM2.5) through its SIP-approved new source review (NSR) permitting program, in addition to provisions described below. We recently approved updates to the Oregon ambient air quality standards in Division 202 to account for the 2010 NO2 and 2010 SO2 NAAQS (82 FR 47122, October 10, 2017). In this action, we are proposing to approve further updates to Division 202 for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS, at OAR 340-202-0060. For a detailed discussion of the update to Division 202, see Section V. below.

    Oregon has no areas designated nonattainment for the 2010 NO2 and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS, and the EPA is still in the process of completing designations for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS. We note, however, that the EPA does not consider SIP requirements triggered by the nonattainment area mandates in part D, title I of the CAA to be governed by the submission deadline of CAA section 110(a)(1). Regulations and other control measures for purposes of attainment planning under part D, title I of the CAA are due on a different schedule than infrastructure SIPs.

    Oregon's SIP-approved NSR program is administered through Division 216 Air Contaminant Discharge Permits. The EPA most recently approved revisions to Oregon's NSR program as meeting federal requirements on October 10, 2017 (82 FR 47122). The program regulates new and modified stationary sources of NO2, SO2, direct PM2.5, and nitrogen oxides (NOX) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) as precursors to PM2.5.

    In addition to permitting provisions, Oregon's SIP contains numerous rules that limit NOX, SO2, and particulate matter emissions. These rules (listed above) include visible emissions standards, particulate emissions standards, requirements for fuel burning equipment and fuel sulfur content, grain loading standards, refuse burning limitations, emission limits for wood products industries and other industries, residential wood heating restrictions, field burning rules, and motor vehicle pollution controls. As a result, we are proposing to approve the Oregon SIP as meeting the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(A) for the 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    110(a)(2)(B): Ambient Air Quality Monitoring/Data System

    CAA section 110(a)(2)(B) requires SIPs to include provisions to provide for establishment and operation of ambient air quality monitors, collecting and analyzing ambient air quality data, and making these data available to the EPA upon request.

    State submissions: The Oregon submissions reference ORS 468.035(a-e, m) Functions of the Department which provides authority to conduct and supervise inquiries and programs to assess and communicate air conditions and to obtain necessary resources (assistance, materials, supplies, etc.) to meet these responsibilities. The submissions also reference Division 212 Stationary Source Testing and Monitoring regulations.

    EPA analysis: A comprehensive air quality monitoring plan, intended to meet federal requirements, was originally submitted by Oregon on December 27, 1979 (40 CFR 52.1970) and approved by the EPA on March 4, 1981 (46 FR 15136). The plan includes statutory and regulatory authority to establish and operate an air quality monitoring network, including NO2, SO2, and PM2.5 monitoring. Oregon's SIP-approved regulations at Division 212 govern stationary source testing and monitoring in accordance with federal reference methods. Every five years, Oregon assesses the adequacy of the state monitoring network and submits that assessment to the EPA for review. In practice, Oregon operates a comprehensive monitoring network, including NO2, SO2, and PM2.5 monitoring, compiles and analyzes collected data, and submits the data to the EPA's Air Quality System on a quarterly basis. Therefore, we are proposing to approve the Oregon SIP as meeting the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(B) for the 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    110(a)(2)(C): Program for Enforcement of Control Measures

    CAA section 110(a)(2)(C) requires states to include a program providing for enforcement of all SIP measures and the regulation of construction of new or modified stationary sources, including a program to meet PSD and nonattainment NSR requirements.

    State submissions: The Oregon submissions refer to ORS 468.090-140 Enforcement which provides the ODEQ with authority to investigate complaints, investigate and inspect sources for compliance, access records, commence enforcement procedures, and impose civil penalties. In addition, ORS 468.035 Functions of the Department, paragraphs (j) and (k), provide the ODEQ with authority to enforce Oregon air pollution laws and compel compliance with any rule, standard, order, permit or condition. The submissions also cite:

    • ORS 468.020 Rules and Standards • ORS 468.065 Issuance of Permits; Consent; Fees; Use • ORS 468.070 Denial, Modification, Suspension or Revocation of Permits • ORS 468.920-963 Environmental Crimes • ORS 468.996-997 Civil Penalties • ORS 468A.025 Air Purity Standards; Air Quality Standards; Treatment and Control of Emissions; Rules • ORS 468A.035 General Comprehensive Plan • ORS 468A.040 Permits; Rules • ORS 468A.045 Activities Prohibited without Permit; Limit on Activities with Permit • ORS 468A.050 Classification of Air Contamination Sources; Registration and Reporting; Registration and Reporting of Sources; Rules; Fees • ORS 468A.055 Notice Prior to Construction of New Sources; Order Authorizing or Prohibiting Construction; Effect of No Order; Appeal • ORS 468A.070 Measurement and Testing of Contamination Sources; Rules • ORS 468A.310 Federal Operating Permit Program Approval; Rules; Content of Plan • ORS 468A.990 Penalties for Air Pollution Offenses • OAR 340-012 Enforcement Procedure and Civil Penalties • OAR 340-202 Ambient Air Quality Standards and PSD Increments • OAR 340-210 Stationary Source Notification Requirements • OAR 340-214 Stationary Source Reporting Requirements • OAR 340-216 Air Contaminant Discharge Permits (ADCP) • OAR 340-224 New Source Review

    EPA analysis: The EPA is proposing to find that Oregon code provisions provide the ODEQ with authority applicable to the 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 standards to enforce the air quality laws, regulations, permits, and orders promulgated pursuant to ORS Chapters 468 and 468A. The ODEQ staffs and maintains an enforcement program to ensure compliance with SIP requirements. The ODEQ Director, at the direction of the Governor, may enter a cease and desist order for polluting activities that present an imminent and substantial danger to public health (ORS 468.115). Enforcement cases may be referred to the state Attorney General's office for civil or criminal enforcement.

    To generally meet the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(C) for regulation of construction of new or modified stationary sources, a state is required to have PSD, nonattainment NSR, and minor NSR permitting programs adequate to implement the 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. As explained above, we are not in this action evaluating nonattainment-related provisions, including the nonattainment NSR program required by part D, title I of the CAA.

    Oregon's federally enforceable state operating permit program, at Division 216 Air Contaminant Discharge Permits, is also the administrative permit mechanism used to implement the SIP-approved NSR program. We most recently approved revisions to the NSR program (Divisions 200, 202, 209, 212, 216, 222, 224, 225, and 268) as meeting federal requirements at 40 CFR 51.160 through 164 (minor NSR) and 40 CFR 51.166 (PSD) on October 10, 2017 (82 FR 47122). The Oregon minor NSR and PSD rules meet current requirements for all regulated NSR pollutants. Therefore, we are proposing to approve the Oregon SIP as meeting the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(C) for the 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    110(a)(2)(D): Interstate Transport

    CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) addresses four separate elements, or “prongs.” CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) requires state SIPs to contain adequate provisions prohibiting emissions which will contribute significantly to nonattainment of the NAAQS in any other state (prong 1), and adequate provisions prohibiting emissions which will interfere with maintenance of the NAAQS by any other state (prong 2). CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) requires state SIPs to contain adequate provisions prohibiting emissions which will interfere with any other state's required measures to prevent significant deterioration (PSD) of its air quality (prong 3), and adequate provisions prohibiting emissions which will interfere with any other state's required measures to protect visibility (prong 4).

    CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(ii) states SIPs must include provisions ensuring compliance with the applicable requirements of CAA sections 126 and 115 (relating to interstate and international pollution abatement). CAA section 126 requires notification to neighboring states of potential impacts from a new or modified major stationary source, and specifies how a state may petition the EPA when a major source or group of stationary sources in a state is thought to contribute to certain pollution problems in another state. CAA section 115 governs the process for addressing air pollutants emitted in the United States that cause or contribute to air pollution that may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare in a foreign country.

    State submissions: The Oregon submissions address all interstate transport requirements of the CAA, however, we intend to address certain of these requirements in a separate, future action, specifically, CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) prongs 1 and 2. This proposed action addresses the remainder: 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) prongs 3 and 4, and 110(a)(2)(D)(ii). To meet these provisions, the Oregon submissions reference the state's SIP-approved NSR program and the state's SIP-approved regional haze plan. The Oregon submissions also reference Division 209 Public Participation, approved as part of the Oregon NSR program, and assert that Oregon regulations are consistent with federal requirements in Appendix N of 40 CFR part 50 pertaining to the notification of interstate pollution abatement.

    EPA analysis: The EPA believes that the PSD sub-element of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) (prong 3) is satisfied where major new and modified stationary sources in attainment and unclassifiable areas are subject to a SIP-approved PSD program. The EPA most recently approved revisions to Oregon's NSR program as meeting federal PSD requirements on October 11, 2017 (82 FR 47122). Therefore, we are proposing to approve the Oregon SIP as meeting CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) prong 3 with respect to PSD for the 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    The EPA believes, as noted in the 2013 Guidance, where a state's regional haze plan has been approved as meeting all current obligations, a state may rely upon those provisions in support of its demonstration that it satisfies CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) as it relates to visibility (prong 4). On July 5, 2011, the EPA approved portions of the Oregon regional haze plan, including the requirements for best available retrofit technology (76 FR 38997). We approved the remaining elements of the Oregon regional haze plan on August 22, 2012 (77 FR 50611). Because we approved the Oregon plan as meeting regional haze requirements, we are proposing to approve the Oregon SIP as meeting CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) prong 4 visibility requirements with respect to the 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    The Division 209 public notice provisions in Oregon's SIP-approved NSR program require that for major NSR permit actions, Oregon must provide notice to neighboring states, among other officials and agencies. This notice requirement is consistent with CAA section 126(a). In addition, Oregon has no pending obligations under section 115 or 126(b) of the CAA. Therefore, we are proposing to approve the Oregon SIP as meeting the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(ii) for the 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    110(a)(2)(E): Adequate Resources

    CAA section 110(a)(2)(E) requires states to provide (i) necessary assurances that the state will have adequate personnel, funding, and authority under state law to carry out the SIP (and is not prohibited by any provision of federal or state law from carrying out the SIP or portion thereof), (ii) requirements that the state comply with the state board provisions under CAA section 128 and (iii) necessary assurances that, where the state has relied on a local or regional government, agency, or instrumentality for the implementation of any SIP provision, the state has responsibility for ensuring adequate implementation of such SIP provision.

    State submissions: With respect to sub-element (E)(i), the Oregon submissions cite ORS 468.035 Functions of Department which provides the ODEQ authority to employ personnel, purchase supplies, enter into contracts, and to receive, appropriate, and expend federal and other funds for purposes of air pollution research and control. In addition, ORS 468.045 Functions of Director; Delegation provides the ODEQ Director with authority to hire, assign, reassign, and coordinate personnel of the department and to administer and enforce the laws of the state concerning environmental quality. In addition, the submission cites the CAA section 105 grants received from the EPA and matched through the Oregon General Fund.

    Turning to sub-element (E)(ii), the submissions cite OAR 340-200-0100 Purpose, OAR 340-200-0110 Public Interest Representation, and OAR 340-200-0120 Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest. The submissions state that the EPA approved the listed regulatory provisions as meeting the requirements of CAA section 128 on January 22, 2003 (68 FR 2891).

    With respect to sub-element (E)(iii), the submissions cite ORS 468.020 Rules and Standards which requires a public hearing on any proposed rule or standard prior to adoption. ORS 468.035(c) Functions of Department provides the ODEQ authority to advise, consult, and cooperate with other states, state and federal agencies, or political subdivisions on all air quality control matters. ORS 468A.010 Policy calls for a coordinated statewide program of air quality control with responsibility allocated between the state and the units of local government. ORS 468A.100-180 Regional Air Quality Control Authorities describes the establishment, role and function of regional air quality control authorities. State regulations Division 200 specify LRAPA has authority in Lane County and defines the term Regional Agency. Division 204 includes designation of control areas within Lane County. Division 216 Air Contaminant Discharge Permits includes permitting authority for LRAPA.

    EPA analysis: We are proposing to find that the above-referenced provisions provide Oregon with adequate authority to carry out SIP obligations with respect to the 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS as required by CAA section 110(a)(2)(E)(i). We are also proposing to approve the Oregon SIP as meeting CAA section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) because we previously approved the SIP for purposes of CAA section 128. On January 22, 2003, we approved OAR 340-200-0100 through OAR 340-200-0120 as meeting CAA section 128 (68 FR 2891). In addition, we previously approved LRAPA Title 12, Section 025 (recodified at LRAPA Title 13, section 025) as meeting CAA section 128 on March 1, 1989 (54 FR 8538).

    We are proposing to find that Oregon has provided necessary assurances that, where the state has relied on a local or regional government, agency, or instrumentality for the implementation of any SIP provision, the state has responsibility for ensuring adequate implementation of the SIP as required by CAA section 110(a)(2)(E)(iii). Therefore, we are proposing to approve the Oregon SIP as meeting the requirements of CAA sections 110(a)(2)(E) for the 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    110(a)(2)(F): Stationary Source Monitoring System

    CAA section 110(a)(2)(F) requires (i) the installation, maintenance, and replacement of equipment, and the implementation of other necessary steps, by owners or operators of stationary sources to monitor emissions from such sources, (ii) periodic reports on the nature and amounts of emissions and emissions-related data from such sources, and (iii) correlation of such reports by the state agency with any emission limitations or standards established pursuant to the CAA, which reports shall be available at reasonable times for public inspection.

    State submissions: The Oregon submissions refer to the following statutory and regulatory provisions for source emissions monitoring, reporting, and correlation with emission limits or standards:

    • ORS 468.020 Rules and Standards • ORS 468.035 Functions of Department paragraphs (b) and (d) • ORS 468A.025(4) Air Purity Standards; Air Quality Standards; Treatment and Control of Emissions; Rules • ORS 468A.070 Measurement and Testing of Contamination Sources; Rules • OAR 340-212 Stationary Source Testing and Monitoring • OAR 340-214 Stationary Source Reporting Requirements • OAR 340-222 Stationary Source Plant Site Emission Limits • OAR 340-225 Air Quality Analysis Requirements • OAR 340-234 Emission Standards for Wood Products Industries: Monitoring and Reporting • OAR 340-236 Emission Standards for Specific Industries: Emissions Monitoring and Reporting • OAR 340-240 Rules for Areas with Unique Air Quality Needs • OAR 340-250 General Conformity

    EPA analysis: The Oregon statutory provisions listed above provide authority to establish a program for measurement and testing of sources, including requirements for sampling and testing with respect to the 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. The Oregon regulations cited above require facilities to monitor and report emissions, including requirements for monitoring methods and design, and monitoring and quality improvement plans. Oregon's stationary source reporting requirements include maintaining written records to demonstrate compliance with emission rules, limitations, or control measures, and requirements for reporting and recordkeeping. Information is made available to the public through public processes outlined at OAR 340-209 Public Participation.

    Oregon submits emissions data to the EPA for purposes of the National Emissions Inventory (NEI). The NEI is the EPA's central repository for air emissions data. Oregon submits a comprehensive emissions inventory every three years and reports emissions for certain larger sources annually through the EPA's online Emissions Inventory System. Oregon reports emissions data for the six criteria pollutants and also voluntarily reports emissions of hazardous air pollutants. The EPA compiles the emissions data, supplementing it where necessary, and releases it to the general public through the website https://www.epa.gov/air-emissions-inventories.

    Based on the analysis above, we are proposing to approve the Oregon SIP as meeting the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(F) for the 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    110(a)(2)(G): Emergency Episodes

    CAA section 110(a)(2)(G) requires states to provide for authority to address activities causing imminent and substantial endangerment to public health, including adequate contingency plans to implement the emergency episode provisions in their SIPs.

    State submissions: The Oregon submissions cite ORS 468-115 Enforcement in Cases of Emergency which authorizes the ODEQ Director, at the direction of the Governor, to enter a cease and desist order for polluting activities that present an imminent and substantial danger to public health. In addition, OAR 340-206 Air Pollution Emergencies authorizes the ODEQ Director to declare an air pollution alert or warning, or to issue an advisory to notify the public. OAR 340-214 Stationary Source Reporting Requirements governs reporting of emergencies and excess emissions and reporting requirements.

    EPA analysis: Section 303 of the CAA provides authority to the EPA Administrator to restrain any source from causing or contribution to emissions which present an “imminent and substantial endangerment to public health or welfare, or the environment.” We find that ORS 468-115 Enforcement in Cases of Emergency provides emergency order authority comparable to CAA section 303.

    We recently approved revisions to the Oregon air pollution emergency rules at OAR 340-206 Air Pollution Emergencies on October 11, 2017 (82 FR 47122). Oregon's rules are consistent with federal emergency episode requirements for NO2, SO2, and PM2.5 (prevention of air pollution emergency episodes, 40 CFR part 51 subpart H; sections 51.150 through 51.153). Accordingly, we are proposing to approve the Oregon SIP as meeting the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(G) for the 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    110(a)(2)(H): Future SIP Revisions

    CAA section 110(a)(2)(H) requires that SIPs provide for revision of a state plan (i) from time to time as may be necessary to take account of revisions of a national primary or secondary ambient air quality standard or the availability of improved or more expeditious methods of attaining the standard, and (ii), except as provided in paragraph 110(a)(3)(C), whenever the Administrator finds that the SIP is substantially inadequate to attain the NAAQS which it implements or to otherwise comply with any additional requirements under the CAA.

    State submissions: The Oregon submissions refer to ORS 468.020 Rules and Standards which requires public notice on any proposed rule or standard prior to adoption, and ORS 468A.035 “General Comprehensive Plan” which requires the ODEQ to develop a general comprehensive plan for the control or abatement of air pollution. The submissions also refer to OAR 340-200-0040 State of Oregon Clean Air Act Implementation Plan which provides for revisions to the Oregon SIP and submission of revisions to the EPA, including standards submitted by a regional authority and adopted verbatim into state rules.

    EPA analysis: As cited above, the Oregon SIP provides for revisions, and in practice, Oregon regularly submits SIP revisions to the EPA. On October 11, 2017, the EPA approved a large number of revisions to the Oregon SIP (82 FR 47122). Other recent EPA actions on revisions to the Oregon SIP include but are not limited to: April 13, 2016 (81 FR 21814), October 23, 2015 (80 FR 64346), April 25, 2013 (78 FR 24347), October 4, 2012 (77 FR 60627), and November 27, 2011 (76 FR 80747). Accordingly, we are proposing to approve the Oregon SIP as meeting the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(H) for the 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    110(a)(2)(I): Nonattainment Area Plan Revision Under Part D

    There are two elements identified in CAA section 110(a)(2) not governed by the three-year submission deadline of CAA section 110(a)(1) because SIPs incorporating necessary local nonattainment area controls are due on nonattainment area plan schedules pursuant to section 172 and the various pollutant-specific subparts 2 through 5 of part D. These are submissions required by: (i) CAA section 110(a)(2)(C) to the extent that subsection refers to a permit program as required in part D, title I of the CAA, and (ii) section 110(a)(2)(I) which pertain to the nonattainment planning requirements of part D, title I of the CAA. As a result, this action does not address CAA section 110(a)(2)(C) with respect to nonattainment NSR or CAA section 110(a)(2)(I).

    110(a)(2)(J): Consultation With Government Officials

    CAA section 110(a)(2)(J) requires states to provide a process for consultation with local governments and federal land managers carrying out NAAQS implementation requirements pursuant to CAA section 121. CAA section 110(a)(2)(J) further requires states to notify the public if NAAQS are exceeded in an area and to enhance public awareness of measures that can be taken to prevent exceedances. Lastly, CAA section 110(a)(2)(J) requires states to meet applicable requirements of part C, title I of the CAA related to prevention of significant deterioration and visibility protection.

    State submissions: The Oregon submissions reference specific laws and regulations relating to consultation, public notification, and PSD:

    • ORS 468.020 Rules and Standards • ORS 468.035 Functions of Department paragraphs (a), (c), (f), and (g) • ORS 468A.010 Policy paragraphs (1)(b) and (c) • ORS 468A.025 Air Purity Standards; Air Quality Standards; Treatment and Control of Emissions; Rules • OAR 340-202 Ambient Air Quality Standards and PSD Increments • OAR 340-204 Designation of Air Quality Areas • OAR 340-224 New Source Review • OAR 340-225 Air Quality Analysis Requirements

    EPA analysis: The Oregon SIP includes specific provisions for consulting with local governments and federal land managers as specified in CAA section 121, including the Oregon rules for PSD permitting. The EPA most recently approved revisions to the Oregon NSR program, which provides opportunity and procedures for public comment and notice to appropriate federal, state and local agencies, on October 11, 2017 (82 FR 47122). In addition, we approved the Oregon rules that define transportation conformity consultation on October 4, 2012 (77 FR 60627) and regional haze interagency planning on July 5, 2011 (76 FR 38997).

    In practice, the ODEQ routinely coordinates with local governments, states, federal land managers and other stakeholders on air quality issues including transportation conformity and regional haze, and provides notice to appropriate agencies related to permitting actions. Oregon participates in regional planning processes including the Western Regional Air Partnership, which is a voluntary partnership of states, tribes, federal land managers, local air agencies and the EPA, whose purpose is to understand current and evolving regional air quality issues in the West. Based on the provisions above, we are proposing to find that the Oregon SIP meets the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(J) for consultation with government officials for the 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    Section 110(a)(2)(J) also requires states to notify the public if ambient air quality standards are exceeded in an area. States must advise the public of the health hazards associated with air pollution and what can be done to prevent exceedances. The EPA calculates an air quality index for five major air pollutants regulated by the CAA: Ground-level ozone, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. This air quality index (AQI) provides daily information to the public on air quality. Oregon actively participates and submits information to the EPA's AIRNOW and Enviroflash Air Quality Alert programs which provide information to the public on local air quality. Oregon also provides the AQI to the public at http://www.deq.state.or.us/aqi/. Therefore, we are proposing to find that the Oregon SIP meets the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(J) for public notification for the 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    Turning to the requirement in CAA section 110(a)(2)(J) that the SIP meet the applicable requirements of part C, title I of the CAA, we have evaluated this requirement in the context of CAA section 110(a)(2)(C) and permitting. The EPA most recently approved revisions to Oregon's PSD program on October 11, 2017 (82 FR 47122), updating the program for current federal requirements. Therefore, we are proposing to approve the Oregon SIP as meeting the requirements of CAA 110(a)(2)(J) with respect to PSD for the 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    With respect to visibility protection under element (J), the EPA recognizes that states are subject to visibility and regional haze program requirements under part C of the CAA. In the event of the establishment of a new NAAQS, however, the visibility and regional haze program requirements under part C do not change. Thus we find that there is no new applicable requirement relating to visibility triggered under CAA section 110(a)(2)(J) when a new NAAQS becomes effective.

    Based on the above analysis, we are proposing to approve the Oregon SIP as meeting the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(J) for the 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    110(a)(2)(K): Air Quality and Modeling/Data

    CAA section 110(a)(2)(K) requires that SIPs provide for (i) the performance of air quality modeling as the Administrator may prescribe for the purpose of predicting the effect on ambient air quality of any emissions of any air pollutant for which the Administrator has established a NAAQS, and (ii) the submission, upon request, of data related to such air quality modeling to the Administrator.

    State submissions: The Oregon submissions refer to ORS 468-020 Rules and Standards which requires public hearing on any proposed rule or standard prior to adoption, and ORS 468.035 Functions of Department which provides the ODEQ authority to conduct studies and investigations to determine air quality. The submissions also reference OAR 340-225 Air Quality Analysis Requirements which includes modeling requirements for analysis and demonstration of compliance with standards and increments in specified areas.

    EPA analysis: The EPA previously approved OAR 340-225 Air Quality Analysis Requirements on October 11, 2017 (82 FR 47122) and these rules specify that modeled estimates of ambient concentrations be based on 40 CFR part 51, Appendix W (Guidelines on Air Quality Models). Any change or substitution from models specified in 40 CFR part 51, Appendix W is subject to notice and opportunity for public comment and must receive prior written approval from the ODEQ and the EPA. In addition, as an example of the state's modeling capacity, we cite to a recent Oregon SIP revision, the Klamath Falls PM2.5 attainment plan, that was supported by modeling. The EPA approved the SIP revision on June 6, 2016 (81 FR 36176). Based on the above analysis, we are proposing to approve the Oregon SIP as meeting the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(K) for the 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    110(a)(2)(L): Permitting Fees

    CAA section 110(a)(2)(L) directs SIPs to require each major stationary source to pay permitting fees to cover the cost of reviewing, approving, implementing and enforcing a permit.

    State submissions: The Oregon submissions refer to ORS 468.065 Issuance of Permits: Content; Fees; Use which provides the EQC authority to establish a schedule of fees for permits based on the costs of filing and investigating applications, issuing or denying permits, carrying out title V requirements and determining compliance. ORS 468A.040 Permits; Rules provides that the EQC may require permits for air contamination sources, type of air contaminant, or specific areas of the state. The submission also references OAR 340-216 Air Contaminant Discharge Permits which requires payment of permit fees based on a specified table of sources and fee schedule.

    EPA analysis: On September 28, 1995, the EPA fully-approved Oregon's title V operating permit program (60 FR 50106). While Oregon's title V program is not formally approved into the SIP, it is a mechanism the state can use to ensure that the ODEQ has sufficient resources to support the air program, consistent with the requirements of the SIP. Before the EPA can grant full approval, a state must demonstrate the ability to collect adequate fees. The Oregon title V program included a demonstration that fees would be adequate, and that the state would collect fees from title V sources above the presumptive minimum in accordance with 40 CFR 70.9(b)(2)(i). In addition, we note that Oregon SIP-approved regulations require fees for purposes of major and minor NSR permitting, as specified in OAR 340-216-0090 Sources Subject to ADCP and Fees, OAR 340-216-8010 Table 1—Activities and Sources, and OAR 340-216-8020 Table 2—Air Contaminant Discharge Permits (fee schedule). Therefore, we are proposing to conclude that Oregon has satisfied the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(L) for the 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    110(a)(2)(M): Consultation/Participation by Affected Local Entities

    CAA section 110(a)(2)(M) requires states to provide for consultation and participation in SIP development by local political subdivisions affected by the SIP.

    State submissions: The Oregon submissions refer to the following laws and regulations:

    • ORS 468.020 Rules and Standards • ORS 468.035 Functions of Department paragraphs (a), (c), (f), and (g) • ORS 468A.010 Policy paragraphs (1)(b) and (c) • ORS 468A.025 Air Purity Standards; Air Quality Standards; Treatment and Control of Emissions; Rules • ORS 468A.035 General Comprehensive Plan • ORS 468A.040 Permits; Rules • ORS 468A.055 Notice Prior to Construction of New Sources; Order Authorizing or Prohibiting Construction; Effect of No Order; Appeal • ORS 468A.070 Measurement and Testing of Contamination Sources; Rules • ORS 468A.100-180 Regional Air Quality Control Authorities • OAR 340-200 General Air Pollution Procedures and Definitions • OAR 340-204 Designation of Air Quality Areas • OAR 340-216 Air Contaminant Discharge Permits

    EPA analysis: The regulations cited by Oregon were previously approved on December 27, 2011 (76 FR 80747), and provide for consultation and participation in SIP development by local political subdivisions affected by the SIP. We are proposing to approve the Oregon SIP as meeting the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(M) for the 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    V. Rule Revisions

    Oregon submitted several rule revisions in the December 27, 2013, and October 20, 2015, SIP submissions. However, most of these rule revisions were superseded by rule changes submitted on April 22, 2015 and approved on October 11, 2017 (82 FR 47122).4 There are two rule changes that are relevant to our proposed infrastructure action and that were not superseded by the April 22, 2015, submission. Specifically, Oregon revised OAR 340-202-0060 Suspended Particulate Matter to lower the level of the primary annual fine particulate matter standard from 15 μg/m3 to 12 μg/m3, consistent with the federal PM2.5 NAAQS promulgated on December 14, 2012 at 40 CFR 50.18 (January 15, 2013, 78 FR 3086). Oregon also revised OAR 340-200-0030(22) NAAQS to include PM2.5 in the definition of NAAQS pollutants. We propose to approve these rule changes related to PM2.5 because they are consistent with the federal PM2.5 NAAQS.

    4 Oregon's December 27, 2013 and October 20, 2015 submissions included revisions to OAR 340-200-0020, OAR 340-200-0040, OAR 340-202-0060, OAR 340-202-0070, OAR 340-202-0130, OAR 340-250-0030(22). Oregon's April 22, 2015, submission superseded all but OAR 340-200-0060 and OAR 340-200-0030(22) (October 11, 2017; 82 FR 47122).

    As part of this action we are also proposing to approve a SIP revision submitted by Oregon on July 18, 2017. The July 18, 2017, submission updated Oregon rules to account for changes to the federal ozone standard. Specifically, Oregon revised OAR 340-202-0090 Ozone to lower the level of the 8-hour ozone standard from 0.075 ppm to 0.070 ppm, consistent with the federal ozone NAAQS promulgated on October 1, 2015 at 40 CFR 50.19 (October 26, 2015; 80 FR 65292). We note that this update to the ozone standard in the Oregon SIP is not relevant to our infrastructure action on the 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS, and is only being included in this action for efficiency. We propose to approve this rule update for the revised ozone standard because it is consistent with the federal ozone standard.

    With respect to each of the submissions, we are taking no action on OAR 340-200-0040 State of Oregon Clean Air Act Implementation Plan because we have determined it is inappropriate to take action on a provision addressing state SIP adoption procedures, and because the relevant SIP provisions adopted into this rule at OAR 340-200-0040 have been separately submitted for approval, namely, the 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 infrastructure submissions and the specific rule revisions described above.

    VI. Proposed Action

    The EPA is proposing to approve Oregon's December 27, 2013 and October 20, 2015, SIP submissions as meeting specific infrastructure requirements of the CAA. We propose to find that the Oregon SIP meets the following CAA section 110(a)(2) infrastructure elements for the 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS: (A), (B), (C), (D)(i)(II), (D)(ii), (E), (F), (G), (H), (J), (K), (L), and (M).

    We are proposing to approve, and incorporate by reference at 40 CFR part 52, subpart MM, the following rule sections submitted October 20, 2015 (state effective October 16, 2015): OAR 340-202-0060 Suspended Particulate Matter; and OAR 340-250-0030(22) NAAQS. We are also proposing to approve, and incorporate by reference at 40 CFR part 52, subpart MM, the following rule section submitted July 18, 2017 (state effective July 13, 2017): OAR 340-202-0090 Ozone. We note that this update to OAR 340-202-0090 is not related to, nor is it necessary for our infrastructure action. We are including it in this action for efficiency.

    VII. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, we are proposing to include in a final rule regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, we are proposing to incorporate by reference the provisions described above in Section VI. Proposed Action. The EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available electronically through https://www.regulations.gov and in hard copy at the appropriate EPA office (see the ADDRESSES section of this preamble for more information).

    VIII. Statutory and Executive Orders Review

    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, the EPA's role is to approve state choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the CAA. Accordingly, this proposed action merely approves state law as meeting federal requirements and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For that reason, this proposed action:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Is not subject to requirements of section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) because it does not involve technical standards; and

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

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: February 8, 2018. Chris Hladick, Regional Administrator, Region 10.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03675 Filed 2-22-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Parts 300 and 679 [Docket No. 170626590-8143-01] RIN 0648-BG94 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Halibut and Sablefish Individual Fishing Quota Program; Community Development Quota Program; Modifications to Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS issues a proposed rule that would modify regulations governing the Halibut and Sablefish Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) Program. This proposed rule includes three actions. The first action would allow Western Alaska Community Development Quota (CDQ) groups to lease (to receive by transfer) halibut individual fishing quota (IFQ) in IFQ regulatory areas 4B, 4C, and 4D in years of extremely low halibut commercial catch limits. This proposed action is necessary to provide additional harvest opportunities to CDQ groups and community residents, and provide IFQ holders with the opportunity to receive value for their IFQ when the halibut commercial catch limits may not be large enough to provide for an economically viable fishery for IFQ holders. The second action would remove an obsolete reference in the IFQ Program regulations. The third action would clarify IFQ vessel use cap regulations. This proposed rule is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, and other applicable laws.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before March 26, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2017-0072, by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2017-0072, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Submit written comments to Glenn Merrill, Assistant Regional Administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region NMFS, Attn: Ellen Sebastian. Mail comments to P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802-1668.

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

    Electronic copies of the Regulatory Impact Review (referred to as the “Analysis”) and the Categorical Exclusion prepared for this proposed rule may be obtained from http://www.regulations.gov or from the NMFS Alaska Region website at http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov.

    Written comments regarding the burden-hour estimates or other aspects of the collection-of-information requirements contained in this proposed rule may be submitted to NMFS at the above address; by email to [email protected]; or by fax to (202) 395-5806.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Stephanie Warpinski, 907-586-7228.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority for Action

    The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) and NMFS manage fishing for Pacific halibut through regulations established under the authority of the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982 (Halibut Act). The IPHC promulgates regulations governing the halibut fishery under the Convention between the United States and Canada for the Preservation of the Halibut Fishery of the Northern Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea (Convention). The IPHC's regulations are subject to approval by the Secretary of State with the concurrence of the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary). NMFS publishes the IPHC's regulations as annual management measures pursuant to 50 CFR 300.62.

    The Halibut Act, at sections 773c(a) and (b), provides the Secretary with general responsibility to carry out the Convention and the Halibut Act. The Halibut Act, at section 773c(c), also provides the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) with authority to develop regulations, including limited access regulations, that are in addition to, and not in conflict with, approved IPHC regulations. Regulations developed by the Council may be implemented by NMFS only after approval by the Secretary.

    The Council developed the Individual Fishing Quota Program (IFQ Program) for the commercial halibut and sablefish fisheries. The IFQ Program for the halibut fishery is implemented by Federal regulations at 50 CFR part 679 under the authority of the section 773 of the Halibut Act. The IFQ Program for the sablefish fishery is implemented by the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) Fishery Management Plan (FMP) and Federal regulations at 50 CFR part 679 under the authority of section 303(b) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act).

    Background The IFQ Program

    The IFQ Program for the management of the fixed gear (hook-and-line and pot gear) halibut and sablefish fisheries off Alaska was implemented by NMFS in 1995 (58 FR 59375; November 9, 1993). The Council and NMFS designed the IFQ Program to allocate harvest privileges among participants in the commercial halibut and sablefish fisheries to reduce fishing capacity that had led to an unsafe “race for fish” as vessels raced to harvest their annual catch limits as quickly as possible before the annual limit was reached. A central objective of the IFQ Program is to support the social and economic character of the fisheries and the coastal fishing communities where many of these fisheries are based.

    Under the IFQ Program, access to the fixed gear sablefish and halibut fisheries is limited to those persons holding quota share (QS). NMFS issued separate QS for sablefish and halibut to qualified applicants based on their historical participation during a set of qualifying years in the sablefish and halibut fisheries. QS is an exclusive, revocable privilege that allows the holder to harvest a specific percentage of either the total allowable catch (TAC) in the sablefish fishery or the annual commercial catch limit in the halibut fishery. In addition to being specific to sablefish or halibut, QS is designated for specific geographic areas of harvest, a specific vessel operation type (catcher vessel or catcher/processor), and for a specific range of vessel sizes that may be used to harvest the sablefish or halibut (vessel category). There are four vessel categories of halibut QS: Category A shares are designated for catcher/processors, vessels that process their catch at sea (i.e., freezer longline vessels), and do not have a vessel length restriction; Category B shares are designated to be fished on catcher vessels greater than 60 feet length overall (LOA); Category C shares are designated to be fished on catcher vessels greater than 35 feet but less than or equal to 60 feet LOA; and Category D shares are designated to be fished on catcher vessels less than or equal to 35 feet LOA.

    NMFS annually issues IFQ permits to each QS holder. An annual IFQ permit authorizes the permit holder to harvest a specified amount of the IFQ species in a regulatory area from a specific operation type and vessel category. IFQ is expressed in pounds and is based on the amount of QS held in relation to the total QS pool for each regulatory area with an assigned catch limit.

    In addition to ending the race for fish, other goals of the IFQ Program are to prevent absentee ownership of QS and promote an owner-operator fleet. To meet these goals, the IFQ Program includes restrictions on the ability of QS holders to transfer their annual IFQ. The Council and NMFS recognized that at the time the IFQ Program was implemented, some QS holders had long-standing business arrangements with hired masters who harvested IFQ on behalf of the QS holder. Therefore, the IFQ Program authorizes the use of hired masters in certain instances. Since the implementation of the IFQ Program, the Council has recommended and NMFS has approved further regulatory amendments to limit the ability of QS holders to designate a hired master to discourage absentee ownership and move towards an owner-operated program (see Section 3.8.3.1 of the Analysis).

    The IFQ Program allows limited transfers of IFQ under specific conditions, including temporary medical transfers, survivorship transfer privileges, temporary military transfers, transfers through the Community Quota Entity Program, and transfers to the guided angler fish program. When these specific conditions are met, regulations allow a QS holder to designate a hired master to land the resulting IFQ derived from that holder's QS (see 50 CFR 679.41).

    The Council and the public frequently use the terms “IFQ lease” or “lease” to refer to the transfer of IFQ without a transfer of the underlying QS. However, NMFS does not generally use the term “lease” in its IFQ Program regulations governing the transfer of IFQ. For consistency with the terminology used in the existing regulations and for clarity, this proposed rule uses the term “transfer of IFQ”.

    As described above, the halibut fishery is managed in separate geographic areas of harvest, as determined by the IPHC. Accordingly, NMFS issues halibut IFQ consistent with the IPHC's regulatory areas. NMFS's IFQ regulatory areas are described in Figure 15 to part 679. This proposed rule uses the term “Area” to refer to a specific IFQ regulatory area (e.g., Area 4B). The first action in this proposed rule only pertains to Areas 4B, 4C, 4D, and 4E. Area 4B includes waters in the Central and Western Aleutian Islands. Areas 4C, 4D, and 4E include waters north of the Aleutian Islands, in the Bering Sea, and around the Pribilof Islands (see Section 1.3 of the Analysis). The IPHC considers the halibut in Areas 4C, 4D, and 4E to be a single stock unit for stock assessment and management purposes, and often refers to them combined as Areas 4CDE.

    The commercial catch limits for Areas 4B, 4C, and 4D are allocated between two distinct management programs, the CDQ Program and the IFQ Program. Throughout the duration of the IFQ Program, the Area 4E commercial catch limit has been exclusively allocated to the CDQ Program; therefore, no Area 4E QS or IFQ is allocated.

    Overall, the halibut IFQ commercial catch limits in Areas 4B and 4CDE have trended downward over the past 15 years (see Section 3.6.1 of the Analysis). The Area 4B commercial catch limit has dropped substantially from 2001 to 2007 (about 3.9 million pounds in 2001 to about 1.1 million pounds in 2007). Although there was a slight increasing trend between 2008 and 2011, the commercial catch limit for IFQ trended downward again from 2012 to 2015. In 2015, the Area 4B commercial catch limit for IFQ (about 0.9 million pounds) was less than a quarter of what it was in 2001. The combined commercial catch limit for IFQ in Areas 4C and 4D has seen more fluctuation during this period, but has still experienced an overall downward trend since 2007. In 2007, the combined commercial catch limit for IFQ in Areas 4C and 4D was about 2.2 million pounds; in 2015, it was about 0.7 million pounds.

    The CDQ Program

    The CDQ Program was implemented in 1992, and in 1996, the Magnuson-Stevens Act was amended to include provisions specific to the CDQ Program. The purpose of the CDQ Program is: (1) To provide eligible western Alaska villages with the opportunity to participate and invest in fisheries in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI); (2) to support economic development in western Alaska; (3) to alleviate poverty and provide economic and social benefits for residents of western Alaska; and (4) to achieve sustainable and diversified local economies in western Alaska (16 U.S.C. 1855(i)(1)(A)).

    The CDQ Program consists of six different non-profit managing organizations (CDQ groups) representing different geographical regions in Alaska: Aleutian Pribilof Island Community Development Association (APICDA), Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation (BBEDC), Central Bering Sea Fishermen's Association (CBSFA), Coastal Villages Region Fund (CVRF), Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation (NSEDC), and Yukon Delta Fisheries Development Association (YDFDA). The CDQ Program receives annual allocations of TAC for a variety of commercially valuable species in the BSAI groundfish, crab, and halibut fisheries, which are in turn allocated among the CDQ groups. CDQ groups use their allocations of halibut to provide opportunities for small vessel fishing by residents of their member communities.

    Among the species CDQ groups are allocated for commercial fishing, Pacific halibut is an important species for community resident employment and income. NMFS allocates halibut to CDQ groups for commercial fisheries in four Areas: 4B, 4C, 4D, and 4E (see Section 3.5.1 of the Analysis). Allocations of halibut CDQ are correlated with the geographic area in which a CDQ group's member communities are located. For example, 30 percent of the halibut commercial catch limit in Area 4B is allocated to the CDQ Program. The entire allocation to the CDQ Program in Area 4B is provided to APICDA, which represents all of the CDQ communities located within the geographic range of Area 4B. Area 4C surrounds the Pribilof Islands, and the portion of the halibut commercial catch limit allocated to the CDQ program is split between CBSFA (which represents the CDQ community of St. Paul) and APICDA (which represents the CDQ community of St. George). The CDQ allocation in Area 4D is split among BBEDC, NSEDC, and YDFDA. The CDQ allocation in Area 4E is split between BBEDC and CVRF. A CDQ group may transfer its halibut CDQ to another CDQ group that has halibut CDQ allocation in the same regulatory area (50 CFR 679.31(c)).

    The Council recommended and NMFS approved amendments to the IFQ Program to allow CDQ Program participants to harvest allocations of Area 4D halibut CDQ in Area 4E. This provision allows residents in CDQ communities along the Western Alaska coast to have more near-shore opportunities to harvest their group's halibut CDQ (68 FR 9902, March 3, 2003). Additionally, the Council recommended and NMFS approved amendments to the IFQ Program to allow for the harvest of Area 4C halibut IFQ and CDQ in Area 4D in response to reports of localized depletion, decreasing catch per unit effort, and resultant limitations on the optimal utilization of Area 4C halibut IFQ and CDQ (70 FR 43328, July 27, 2005). See Section 3.5.2 of the Analysis for additional detail on the history of the halibut CDQ fishery.

    The resident halibut CDQ fleets and criteria for participation in CDQ fisheries vary among the CDQ groups. Resource use is impacted by factors such as the number of interested and qualified residents, the location of the halibut resource relative to nearshore fishing grounds, other fishing opportunities (such as salmon and crab), other employment opportunities, and the availability of processing operations. Also, the resident halibut CDQ fleet is impacted by internal economic decisions made by the CDQ groups and in the ways the CDQ groups choose to promote economic development in their communities. In general, many of the small boat fishermen in CDQ communities are dependent on the halibut fishery (Section 3.5.3 of the Analysis).

    Need for Action

    The downward trend of halibut commercial catch limits in Areas 4B and 4CDE over the past 15 years has been dramatic, with current limits significantly lower than in the recent past years. The recent years of low halibut abundance and the resulting low commercial catch limits in Areas 4B and 4CDE have made it increasingly difficult for most CDQ groups to create a viable commercial halibut fishing opportunity for their community residents. The halibut resource is economically significant for small vessel fishing operations as well as culturally and socially important for residents of Western Alaska CDQ communities. Correspondingly, low halibut abundance and the resulting low commercial catch limits in Areas 4B, 4C, and 4D have made it increasingly difficult for IFQ holders to have an economically viable fishery.

    Under current regulations, CDQ groups cannot receive by transfer any IFQ derived from catcher vessel QS. Current regulations also prohibit halibut QS holders from transferring their IFQ separate from the underlying QS except in very narrow, specific situations, such as temporary military transfers (see Section 3.7 of the Analysis for more information). These restrictions limit the options for CDQ groups to temporarily expand opportunities for halibut fishing by community residents in times of low halibut abundance (see Section 3.7 of the Analysis).

    To address these problems, this proposed rule would create a voluntary option for an IFQ holder in Areas 4B, 4C and 4D to temporarily transfer his or her halibut IFQ to a CDQ group in years of extremely low halibut abundance. This proposed flexibility would allow CDQ groups to expand the fishing opportunities for the small boat fleets operating out of the CDQ group's communities and provide IFQ holders with the opportunity to receive value for their IFQ when extremely low halibut commercial catch limits may not be large enough to provide for an economically viable fishery for IFQ holders.

    This Proposed Rule and the Anticipated Effects

    This proposed rule includes three actions. The primary action, Action 1, would create a voluntary option for an IFQ holder to temporarily transfer his or her halibut IFQ to a CDQ group in years of extremely low halibut abundance. Actions 2 and 3 would make minor regulatory adjustments to remove an obsolete reference in the IFQ Program regulations and to clarify IFQ vessel use cap regulations, respectively. The following paragraphs provide additional detail on the proposed actions.

    Action 1

    This proposed rule would: (1) Define the halibut commercial catch limits under which CDQ groups could receive IFQ by transfer; (2) establish limits on the types and amounts of IFQ that can be transferred; and (3) establish reporting requirements for CDQ groups receiving IFQ by transfer. This proposed rule would not convert transferred IFQ to CDQ. Allocations of halibut CDQ would not change under this proposed rule.

    Under this proposed rule, CDQ groups would be able to receive transfers of halibut catcher vessel IFQ (Categories B, C, and D IFQ) in Areas 4C and 4D when the IPHC approves a halibut commercial catch limit that is less than 1.5 million pounds in Areas 4CDE. CDQ groups would be able to receive transfers of halibut catcher vessel IFQ (Categories B, C, and D IFQ) in Area 4B when the IPHC approves a halibut commercial catch limit that is less than 1 million pounds in Area 4B. IFQ holders would be able to transfer both blocked and unblocked IFQ to CDQ groups. This proposed rule would not revise current regulations that authorize an IFQ holder in Areas 4B, 4C and 4D to transfer his or her Category A halibut IFQ to any qualified person, including a CDQ group. This proposed rule would provide additional harvesting flexibility for Category A halibut IFQ transferred to a CDQ group in years of extremely low halibut abundance, as described in more detail below.

    The Council recommended these thresholds based on an analysis of commercial catch limits between 2008 and 2017, a period of time representing a range of different halibut commercial catch limits and decreasing opportunities for CDQ community fishermen. The Council considered a range of different commercial catch limit thresholds for both Area 4B and Areas 4CDE, before selecting these thresholds. Section 3.8.5 of the Analysis shows that from 2008 to 2016, the halibut commercial catch limit in Area 4B was never below the proposed threshold of 1 million pounds. However, in Areas 4CDE, the halibut commercial catch limit was below the proposed threshold of 1.5 million pounds in 2 years, 2014 and 2015. Therefore, under halibut abundance conditions over the last 8 years, had this proposed rule been in effect it would have allowed IFQ transfers to CDQ groups to occur in only 2 years, and only in Areas 4CDE.

    In selecting these thresholds, the Council sought to balance the goal of providing additional halibut fishing opportunities for CDQ residents when the halibut CDQ allocation alone may not be large enough to sustain small vessel resident fisheries, with the need to avoid potential adverse distributional impacts on other halibut IFQ users that could result if IFQ transfers were permitted. The Council also indicated that the flexibility to transfer halibut IFQ in Areas 4B, 4C, and 4D was to be available only during worst case scenarios for halibut commercial catch limits in these Areas (Section 2.3 of the Analysis). For Areas 4CDE, the Council determined and NMFS agrees that a halibut commercial catch limit below 1.5 million pounds, as was experienced in 2014 and 2015, reflects a worst case scenario for Areas 4CDE as it represents an extremely low commercial catch limit for these Areas. For Area 4B, the Council determined and NMFS agrees that a halibut commercial catch limit below 1 million pounds, which has not been experienced during the last 10 years, reflects a worst case scenario for Area 4B as it represents an extremely low commercial catch limit for this Area. The Council selected a lower threshold for Area 4B due to concerns expressed by the public about potentially adverse distributional impacts on the community of Adak with a threshold that was higher than 1 million pounds.

    This proposed rule would establish several limits on the catcher vessel IFQ that can be transferred as well as some flexibility with transferred catcher vessel and catcher/processor IFQ. This proposed rule includes five limits: (1) A CDQ group would only be able to receive catcher vessel IFQ by transfer for an Area in which it also holds halibut CDQ; (2) no vessel greater than 51 feet in length overall (LOA) could be used to harvest catcher vessel IFQ transferred to a CDQ group; (3) catcher vessel IFQ resulting from QS acquired after December 14, 2015 could not be transferred to a CDQ group until 3 years after the QS was acquired (i.e., a cooling off period); (4) an IFQ holder would not be allowed to transfer catcher vessel halibut IFQ to a CDQ group for more than 2 consecutive years; and (5) in Area 4B, only those QS holders who hold less than 76,355 QS units specified for Area 4B would be allowed to transfer their catcher vessel IFQ to CDQ groups.

    The first limit would prevent a CDQ group from receiving catcher vessel halibut IFQ by transfer for an Area in which that CDQ group does not hold halibut CDQ. The Council recommended this provision so that any catcher vessel IFQ transferred to a CDQ group would be available for use in conjunction with halibut CDQ that is issued to a CDQ group. The Council determined, and NMFS agrees, that coupling catcher vessel IFQ received by transfer to areas in which a CDQ group hold halibut CDQ would ensure that the benefits of the IFQ transfer manifest with the intended recipients—the resident halibut fleet in the CDQ group's communities adjacent to the Area. For example, if a CDQ group is issued halibut CDQ in Areas 4B and 4C, that CDQ group could only receive catcher vessel Area 4B and Area 4C IFQ by transfer. Additionally, under this proposed rule at § 679.42(a)(iii) and (iv), CDQ groups that are eligible to receive a transfer of Area 4D catcher vessel IFQ would be able to harvest that IFQ, and any Category A IFQ it holds, in Area 4E (Section 3.5.2 of the Analysis). The Council determined, and NMFS agrees, that this additional flexibility would improve the effectiveness of the proposed action by enabling transferred IFQ to be fished closer to shore so that smaller vessels typically used by residents in CDQ communities can more easily participate in halibut fisheries. This proposed flexibility also would be consistent with section 11(8) of the IPHC annual management measures, which allows Area 4D halibut CDQ to be harvested in Area 4E. However, the IPHC would need to revise its annual management measures to extend this harvesting flexibility to catcher vessel and catcher/processor IFQ held by a CDQ group before NMFS can approve it (see section 3.8.6 of the Analysis). The IPHC is scheduled to consider this revision to the annual management measures at its January 2018 annual meeting. NMFS will take into account the IPHC's decision when developing the final rule for this action.

    The second limit would prohibit the use of vessels greater than 51 feet LOA to harvest catcher vessel IFQ that is transferred to a CDQ group. The Council recommended this vessel size limit because this is the largest size vessel owned by CDQ community residents that has landed halibut CDQ during the past 10 years, 2008 through 2017 (Section 3.5.3 of the Analysis). Because this proposed rule is intended to provide additional harvest opportunities to CDQ community residents, the Council determined and NMFS agrees that allowing larger than 51 feel LOA to harvest transferred catcher vessel IFQ would be inconsistent with this objective. Current regulations provide sufficient flexibility to allow IFQ that could be transferred to a CDQ group under this proposed rule to be fished on a vessel of any length up to 51 feet LOA (see Section 2.4 of the Analysis).

    This proposed rule would also clarify that any Area 4D Category A IFQ that is held by a CDQ group or transferred to a CDQ group may be fished in Area 4E by vessels less than or equal to 51 feet LOA when the commercial catch limit threshold in Area 4CDE is triggered. The Council determined and NMFS agrees that this provision would provide additional harvest opportunities for CDQ residents. The 51-foot LOA restriction would help ensure additional harvest opportunities would be provided on the size class of vessels used by CDQ community residents (see Section 3.8.6 in the Analysis for additional detail). This proposed rule would not revise current regulations that authorize Category A IFQ for Areas 4B, 4C, or 4D to be fished in the corresponding Area on a vessel of any length.

    Under the third limit, IFQ resulting from QS acquired after December 14, 2015 could not be transferred to a CDQ group until 3 years after the QS was acquired. This provision would effectively create a “cooling off” period. For example, if a person acquired Area 4C halibut QS on March 15, 2016, that holder would not be eligible to transfer the IFQ from that QS to a CDQ group until March 14, 2019. The Council determined and NMFS agrees that the proposed cooling off period is necessary to reduce the incentive to QS holders to acquire QS with the intention of transferring the resulting IFQ to CDQ groups rather than fishing the IFQ. Section 3.8.7 of the Analysis notes that the Council considered a range of cooling off periods from 3 to 5 years. In selecting the proposed cooling off period, the Council determined and NMFS agrees that a 3-year period would balance the objectives of reducing the incentives for QS holders to acquire QS with the intention of transferring it to CDQ groups with the need to provide an adequate market for CDQ groups to receive IFQ by transfer. The Council also recommended that QS acquired after December 14, 2015, be subject to the cooling off period. The Council selected the December 14, 2015, date because that is the date when the Council first added the option of a cooling off period to the suite of alternatives and options under consideration for the proposed action. NMFS agrees that this proposed date is reasonable as it would deter speculative investment in anticipation of this proposed rule, and selection of this proposed date, versus the effective date of this action if approved, accelerates the time when QS acquired after December 14, 2015, would be eligible for transfer.

    The fourth limit would prohibit an IFQ holder from transferring catcher vessel halibut IFQ for a specific IFQ regulatory area to a CDQ group for more than 2 consecutive years. This 2-year limit would apply to calendar years and would not apply only to years in which the commercial catch limit is below the threshold. Additionally, this limit would apply to the transfer of any halibut IFQ for a specific Area. If an IFQ holder chooses to transfer some but not all of his or her IFQ for a particular Area during a year when the annual commercial catch limit for that Area set below the proposed threshold that transfer would count towards the 2-year limit. Transfers of IFQ for one Area would not affect the ability to transfer IFQ for another Area. The Council determined and NMFS agrees that limitations on how many consecutive years an IFQ holder could transfer IFQ to a CDQ group would limit the potential for a specific IFQ holder to continuously transfer IFQ to CDQ groups rather than fishing that IFQ or transferring the underlying QS to other new entrants in the fishery. Section 3.8.8 of the Analysis explains that the Council considered a range of limitations on the number of years that IFQ could be transferred (i.e., from 2 to 4 years), and that a less restrictive limitation of 2 years may be appropriate given the relatively low likelihood that the thresholds to allow leasing in Area 4B or Areas 4C and 4D will be met.

    Under the fifth limit, only catcher vessel QS holders that hold less than 76,355 QS units specified for Area 4B would be allowed to transfer their catcher vessel IFQ to CDQ groups. NMFS would consider all categories of Area 4B QS holdings regardless of blocked or unblocked status. This amount of QS units yielded approximately 7,500 pounds of halibut IFQ in 2016. The Council recommended and NMFS proposes this limitation to ensure that persons holding larger amounts of QS units continue to be active fishermen in the Area 4B halibut fishery while providing an opportunity for persons holding smaller amounts of QS units to transfer catcher vessel IFQ to CDQ groups if the 1 million pound commercial catch limit threshold to allow IFQ transfers is met. The Council recommended and NMFS is proposing this limitation only for Area 4B to accommodate the specific nature of IFQ operations in the remote Aleutian Island communities in Area 4B, and after considering a range of different limits (from 2,000 to 7,500 pounds of halibut IFQ, with the preferred option to convert 7,500 pounds to 2016 QS units) that are described in Section 3.8.9 of the Analysis.

    The Council received public testimony indicating that Aleutian Islands communities in Area 4B receive substantial benefits from fishery participation by persons holding relatively large amounts of halibut QS and IFQ in that area. The testifiers expressed concern that allowing these QS holders to transfer IFQ to a CDQ group could substantially reduce these benefits to the communities in years of extremely low commercial catch limits. In addition, persons holding less than 76,355 QS units would be allocated relatively small amounts of IFQ that may not be economically feasible to harvest in years of extremely low commercial halibut catch limits. The Council determined and NMFS agrees that limiting eligibility to transfer IFQ to holders of less than 76,355 QS units in Area 4B would allow the holders of these relatively small amounts of QS to lease the resulting IFQ in years of extremely low commercial halibut catch limits while maintaining the benefits of the fishery to the Aleutian Island communities from harvests of the larger holdings of IFQ.

    This proposed rule also establishes a reporting requirement for CDQ groups that receive IFQ by transfer. The proposed report would be required only for those years in which CDQ groups received IFQ by transfer. CDQ groups that receive IFQ by transfer would be required to report the annual amount and vessel category of Area 4 halibut IFQ transferred to the CDQ group, the criteria used to select IFQ holders to transfer Area 4 halibut IFQ to the CDQ group, and the criteria used to determine the person(s) eligible to fish Area 4 halibut IFQ received by transfer.

    In recommending this proposed rule, the Council stated its intent for catcher vessel IFQ transferred to a CDQ group to be fished by residents of that CDQ community but did not recommend that NMFS establish this requirement in regulation. Section 2.3 of the Analysis describes that CDQ groups have different methods of defining residents in their communities and different techniques for determining who will harvest their halibut CDQ. After considering this information, the Council specified that it did not intend for NMFS to establish a regulatory definition for CDQ community resident, nor did it intend for NMFS to verify that CDQ community residents were receiving the benefits of transferred IFQ under this proposed rule. The Council recommended that NMFS implement the requirement for CDQ groups to report the persons who harvest the IFQ received by transfer. This would allow the Council and the public to monitor the use of IFQ transferred to CDQ groups and provide the Council with information to determine whether the use of transferred IFQ is consistent with its intent for the action.

    The Council recommended and NMFS proposes a reporting requirement to understand the criteria that a CDQ group uses to receive transfers of IFQ and provide harvest opportunities. This information could be used to evaluate the effectiveness of this proposed rule to provide benefits to members of CDQ communities. This proposed rule would require the report to be submitted to NMFS no later than January 31 of the year after the IFQ was transferred to the CDQ group. NMFS proposes this deadline to be consistent with other reports required under the IFQ Program, and to ensure that NMFS has received the report prior to the issuance of IFQ that typically occurs in mid-February. If a CDQ group is required to submit a report and does not do so by the deadline, the CDQ group would be ineligible to receive transfers of catcher vessel IFQ until the report is submitted.

    Under this proposed rule, a CDQ group that wished to receive halibut IFQ by transfer would make an arrangement with an IFQ holder to transfer his or her IFQ. The CDQ group would need to complete an Application for Temporary Transfer of Halibut and Sablefish IFQ and submit the application to NMFS for approval. Once approved, NMFS would issue the CDQ group an IFQ permit with the pounds of halibut IFQ that would be available to be fished. After determining who would fish the halibut IFQ, the CDQ group with the IFQ permit would then need to apply for a hired master permit for the vessel operator designated to fish the halibut IFQ. Current regulations authorize a vessel operator to harvest halibut IFQ and CDQ on the same fishing trip and a vessel operator harvesting both halibut CDQ and IFQ transferred to a CDQ group would need to carry (1) a halibut CDQ permit, (2) a CDQ hired master permit, (3) a copy of the IFQ permit of the CDQ group, and (4) an IFQ hired master permit. Additionally, any vessels fishing halibut IFQ transferred to a CDQ group would be subject to the current IFQ vessel use caps under § 679.42(h)(1). If a vessel harvested both halibut IFQ and CDQ, only the halibut IFQ would accrue towards and be subject to the vessel use cap.

    Halibut that is landed by a vessel operator harvesting CDQ and IFQ would be debited off two separate catch limits. Therefore, for purposes of catch accounting, participants would need to track what amount of halibut harvest is associated with the group's CDQ and what amount is associated with the IFQ permit held by the CDQ group. This distinction would be recorded on the fish ticket (Section 3.8.11.3 of the Analysis). If this proposed rule is approved, NMFS would need to make changes to the database that monitors transfers of IFQ between permit holders and that is used to issue hired master permits to allow for this new type of transfer (see Section 3.8.11.4 of the Analysis).

    Under this proposed rule, CDQ groups would be responsible for cost recovery fees based on the IFQ pounds held on the IFQ permit. Section 304(d)(2)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act obligates NMFS to recover the actual costs of management, data collection, and enforcement (direct program cost) of the IFQ fisheries. Therefore, NMFS implemented a cost recovery fee program for the IFQ fisheries in 2000 (65 FR 14919, March 20, 2000). While costs specific to the CDQ Program for halibut are recoverable through a separate cost recovery program (81 FR 150, January 5, 2016), this proposed rule would require regulatory changes to the IFQ transfer and hired master use provisions and therefore constitute changes in management of the IFQ Program. CDQ group participants receiving IFQ transfers would be required to pay an IFQ cost recovery fee as a portion of the ex-vessel value of their landed halibut.

    Section 7(2) of the IPHC annual management measures (82 FR 12730, March 7, 2017) authorizes a vessel operator harvesting halibut CDQ in Areas 4D or 4E to retain halibut that are smaller than the size limit established by the IPHC for personal use. Under the status quo, a vessel operator harvesting halibut IFQ held by a CDQ group along with halibut CDQ may retain halibut less than legal size for personal use. Therefore, if this proposed action is approved, vessel operators harvesting both halibut CDQ and halibut IFQ transferred to a CDQ group in Areas 4D or 4E would be authorized to retain halibut smaller than the size limit established by the IPHC in length for personal use as specified in section 7 of the IPHC annual management measures. The personal use allotment would apply to all halibut IFQ transferred to a CDQ group under this exemption. Section 7(3) of the IPHC annual management measures requires a CDQ group to report on all retained halibut for personal use that are less than legal size and harvested on behalf of a CDQ group.

    Proposed Regulations to Implement Action 1

    This proposed rule would modify the definition of “annual commercial catch limit” at 50 CFR 300.61 to include definitions for Areas 3B and 4A, and for Areas 4B, 4C, 4D, and 4E.

    This proposed rule would modify § 679.41 to allow transfer of halibut IFQ in Areas 4B, 4C, and 4D in years of low halibut catch limits in Areas 4B and 4CDE to CDQ groups along with the specific conditions under which this transfer activity could occur.

    Additionally, a reporting requirement would be added at § 679.5(l)(10) to require a CDQ group to submit a report on the criteria it used to select IFQ holders from whom IFQ transfers would be received, the criteria it used to determine the persons who can harvest transferred IFQ, and the amount and type of IFQ transferred.

    This proposed rule also includes a provision which would be added under § 679.42 to allow Area 4D IFQ that is transferred to a CDQ group to be harvested in Area 4E.

    Finally, NMFS is proposing to add and reserve several paragraphs in this proposed rule to account for another rulemaking that proposes to modify the same sections of Part 679 that would be modified by this proposed rule.

    Anticipated Effects of Action 1

    The effects of Action 1 would depend on first the halibut resource falling below the threshold of 1 million pounds in Area 4B and 1.5 million pounds in Area 4CDE and then IFQ holders choosing to transfer their halibut IFQ to a CDQ group. If, in the future these conditions are met, then this proposed rule would be expected to provide benefits most directly to CDQ community residents who have traditionally been involved in the halibut CDQ fishery by allowing for continued employment and income in years where commercial halibut catch limits are at extremely low levels. This opportunity may have a particularly meaningful impact on these residents, as there tends to be limited regional economic diversity in these communities, resulting in few substitute employment options for residents (Section 3.8.1 of the Analysis). This proposed rule would provide IFQ holders and CDQ groups with an opportunity to alleviate the adverse economic, social, and cultural impacts of extremely low levels of commercial halibut catch limits on Western Alaskan communities.

    The benefits that could be derived from this proposed rule are different among CDQ groups and would likely even be distributional within a group. Overall, this action would not necessarily be expected to result in a financial gain for a CDQ group that chooses to receive halibut IFQ by transfer. It is likely that some, or all, of the fee an IFQ holder would incur to transfer his or her IFQ would be paid by the CDQ group. This proposed rule could also provide distributional benefits to some processing plants, secondary service providers, and communities as a whole (see Section 3.8 of the Analysis).

    Allowing CDQ groups the flexibility to harvest any IFQ received by transfer for Area 4D in Area 4E would add to the existing flexibility CDQ groups have to move their halibut CDQ between IFQ regulatory areas. The Council determined and NMFS agrees that this potential for change in locational fishing intensity from this proposed action would not be a threat to overall stock conservation as long as the Area 4CDE total catch limit is not exceeded, while noting that there is a possibility of localized impacts on fishing opportunities if fishing effort patterns were to change substantially.

    Halibut QS holders in Areas 4B, 4C, and 4D may also benefit from this proposed rule. These QS holders may feel constrained as their QS is associated with diminishing pounds of IFQ under the relatively low commercial halibut catch limits in recent years. In years of extremely low halibut abundance, it may not be economically viable for some QS holders to harvest their small amounts of IFQ, particularly in remote areas covered by this proposed rule where operating costs are higher relative to other IFQ regulatory areas. Depending on operating costs and catch limits, QS holders that transfer their IFQ to CDQ groups may be able to earn more revenue from transferring their IFQ than from harvesting it themselves or hiring a master to harvest the IFQ (if the QS holder is eligible). As the IFQ Program strictly limits leasing (transfers), this proposed rule would be the only opportunity for many QS holders to transfer their Area 4B, 4C, and 4D halibut IFQ (see Section 3.8.1) in years of extremely low commercial catch limits.

    This proposed rule may have adverse indirect effects on some stakeholders of the halibut IFQ fishery (see Section 3.8.2 of the Analysis). This action could prompt some amount of temporary IFQ consolidation, impacting the number of trips taken or resulting in some vessels not being used in the halibut fishery at all in a season. This reduction in participation could result in reduced fishery revenues for affected participants. Consolidation could also result in a displacement of some captain and crew jobs for the duration of time that the halibut catch limits are low enough to allow IFQ transfers. To the extent that they are not the QS holder making the decision to transfer their IFQ to CDQ groups, this proposed rule may also disadvantage vessel owners that use their vessel to harvest halibut IFQ if QS holders who historically fished their IFQ on that vessel choose to lease the IFQ and the vessel owner has reduced revenues from the fishery. Section 3.8.2 of the Analysis notes that it is uncertain how much IFQ may be transferred, from whom, and how this would impact current operations.

    As discussed in Section 3.8.1 of the Analysis, transferred IFQ received by a CDQ group and harvested by its community resident fleets would be expected to follow landing patterns similar to the current halibut CDQ operations. However, if the locations of port of origin and landings changes with IFQ received by this transfer provision, there is a potential some communities may not receive revenues from raw fish tax, business landing tax, and other economic activity associated with fishing, such as purchase of food and fuel. These are distributional impacts; therefore, they could represent losses to some communities, while communities with traditional halibut CDQ participation may benefit due to the increased activity from halibut IFQ.

    Additionally, this proposed rule may motivate some QS holders who may otherwise consider selling, to hold onto their Areas 4B, 4C, or 4D halibut QS. For those individuals seeking entry into the halibut QS market, the lack of QS movement may not be a positive result. However, to prevent speculative purchases of QS with the intent of using the transfer provision allowed under this proposed rule, this proposed rule includes a cooling off period that limits the transfer of IFQ until 3 years after the QS is acquired. Areas 4B, 4C, and 4D already tend to have the lowest level of QS transactions of any regulatory area (although, this may also be because a portion of the catch limit is designated as CDQ, thus the QS pool is much smaller) and the QS prices, similar to other regulatory areas, appear to be increasing (Section 3.8.4 of the Analysis).

    Additionally, this proposed rule would support one of the other goals of the IFQ Program, which is to increase the ability of the rural coastal communities adjacent to the BSAI to share in the wealth generated by the IFQ Program by providing community residents with the opportunity to benefit from fishing for additional halibut IFQ in years of extremely low commercial catch limits (see Section 3.8.3.1 of the Analysis).

    Action 2

    This proposed rule would remove an obsolete reference in the regulations at § 679.42(a)(2)(i). Currently, this regulation provides an exception in the wording. However, the paragraph (k) referred to in § 679.42(a)(2)(i) was modified by the final rule to revise regulations governing the use of commercial halibut QS and the processing of non-IFQ species when processed halibut is onboard a vessel (73 FR 8822; February 15, 2008). That final rule removed paragraph (k) and re-designated paragraph (l) as paragraph (k). NMFS inadvertently neglected to remove the cross-reference to paragraph (k) in § 679.42(a)(2)(i). Therefore, with this proposed rule, NMFS proposes removing the cross-reference to paragraph (k) to clarify that persons possessing unused Category B, C, or D halibut QS may be on board a catcher/processor vessel when that vessel is harvesting and processing Category A halibut or sablefish IFQ or is harvesting and processing non-IFQ species. The effects of this action are expected to be minor and beneficial by improving the clarity of the regulations.

    Action 3

    This proposed rule would clarify existing regulations pertaining to the IFQ vessel limitations, also referred to as the vessel use caps. NMFS proposes to add language to §  679.42(h)(1) and (h)(2) to clarify that the vessel use caps only apply to halibut and sablefish IFQ and not to halibut and sablefish CDQ. This action would improve the clarity of the regulations and help IFQ and CDQ participants understand what regulations to which they are subject. The effects of this action are expected to be minor and beneficial by improving the clarity of the regulations.

    Classification

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

    Regulations governing the U.S. fisheries for Pacific halibut are developed by the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC), the Pacific Fishery Management Council, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council), and the Secretary of Commerce. Section 5 of the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982 (Halibut Act, 16 U.S.C. 773c) allows the Regional Council having authority for a particular geographical area to develop regulations governing the allocation and catch of halibut in U.S. Convention waters which are in addition to, and not in conflict with, IPHC regulations. This proposed rule is consistent with the Council's authority to allocate halibut catches among fishery participants in the waters in and off Alaska. The Halibut Act, at sections 773c(a) and (b), provides the Secretary of Commerce with the general responsibility to carry out the Convention with the authority to, in consultation with the Secretary of the department in which the U.S. Coast Guard is operating, adopt such regulations as may be necessary to carry out the purposes and objectives of the Convention and the Halibut Act. This proposed rule is consistent with the Halibut Act and other applicable laws.

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

    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration that this proposed rule, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    This proposed rule would revise IFQ Program regulations to authorize CDQ groups to receive halibut IFQ transfers in certain areas when catch limits are below the established thresholds, subject to specific limitations. The directly regulated entities (118 small entities in 2015) are persons that hold Areas 4B, 4C, or 4D halibut QS, CDQ groups, and harvesters, including CDQ community residents, who have traditionally harvested halibut CDQ and may have an opportunity to harvest halibut IFQ received by transfer. Almost all of the directly regulated entities are considered small entities. As described in the Analysis, the 118 directly regulated entities would only be impacted to the extent that they choose to (and are able to) participate in receiving halibut IFQ transfers as a result of the proposed regulatory changes.

    Direct impacts would be expected to be positive for both CDQ community resident halibut fishery participants and QS holders that choose to utilize the IFQ transfer provision because the opportunity for this additional flexibility in years of low halibut abundance would be voluntary for both user groups and would only be undertaken if it would benefit the parties to the transfer. Direct impacts would be expected to be positive for CDQ community resident harvesters who have traditionally harvested halibut CDQ and may have an opportunity to harvest additional transfers of halibut IFQ under this proposed rule because it would provide an opportunity to continue to receive economic benefits from fishery participation in times of low abundance. This proposed rule therefore is not expected to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities regulated by this proposed rule.

    As a result, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis is not required and none has been prepared.

    Collection-of-Information Requirements

    This proposed rule contains collection-of-information requirements subject to review and approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). NMFS has submitted these requirements to OMB for approval under Control Number 0648-0272 and Control Number 0648-0711. Public reporting burden is estimated to average per response: 2 hours for Application for Temporary Transfer of Halibut and Sablefish IFQ, 40 hours for the report, and 1 minute for electronic submission of cost recovery fees or 30 minutes for non-electronic fee submission. These estimates include the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection information.

    Public comment is sought regarding whether these proposed collections of information are necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways to minimize the burden of the collections of information, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Send comments on these or any other aspects of the collections of information to NMFS (see ADDRESSES), and by email to [email protected] or fax to 202-395-5806.

    Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the requirement of the PRA, unless that collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number. All currently approved NOAA collections of information may be viewed at: http://www.cio.noaa.gov/services_programs/prasubs.html.

    List of Subjects 50 CFR Part 300

    Administrative practice and procedure, Fisheries, Fishing, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    50 CFR Part 679

    Alaska, Fisheries, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: February 15, 2018. Samuel D. Rauch, III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, NMFS proposes to amend 50 CFR parts 300 and 679 as follows:

    PART 300—INTERNATIONAL FISHERIES REGULATIONS Subpart E—Pacific Halibut Fisheries 1. The authority for 50 CFR part 300, subpart E, continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 773-773k.

    2. In § 300.61, revise the definition of “Annual commercial catch limit” to read as follows:
    § 300.61 Definitions.

    Annual commercial catch limit, for purposes of commercial fishing in:

    (1) Commission regulatory areas 2C and 3A, means the annual commercial allocation minus an area-specific estimate of commercial halibut wastage.

    (2) Commission regulatory areas 3B and 4A, means the annual total allowable halibut removals by persons fishing IFQ.

    (3) Commission regulatory areas 4B, 4C, 4D, and 4E, means the annual total allowable halibut removals by persons fishing IFQ and CDQ.

    PART 679—FISHERIES OF THE EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE OFF ALASKA 3. The authority citation for 50 CFR part 679 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 773 et seq.; 1801 et seq.; 3631 et seq.; Pub. L. 108-447; Pub. L. 111-281.

    4. In § 679.5: a. Add and reserve paragraph (l)(9); b. Add paragraph (l)(10); c. Add and reserve paragraph (v); and d. Add paragraph (w) to read as follows:
    § 679.5 Recordkeeping and reporting.

    (l) * * *

    (9) [Reserved]

    (10) A report on annual IFQ regulatory areas 4B, 4C, and 4D Halibut IFQ transfer activities must be submitted to NMFS by a CDQ group as required at § 679.5(w).

    (v) [Reserved]

    (w) Report on Area 4 halibut IFQ transfers to CDQ groups—(1) Applicability. A CDQ group that receives IFQ regulatory area 4 halibut IFQ by transfer must submit a timely and complete report on the CDQ group's annual halibut IFQ transfer activities for each calendar year that it receives IFQ regulatory area 4 halibut IFQ by transfer. A CDQ group is not required to submit a report for any calendar year in which it did not receive any IFQ regulatory area 4 halibut IFQ by transfer.

    (2) Time limits and submittal. A CDQ group must submit a complete report by January 31 of the year following a fishing year during which the CDQ group receives IFQ regulatory area 4B, 4C, or 4D halibut IFQ by transfer. The complete report must be submitted to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, 605 West 4th Ave., Suite 306, Anchorage, AK 99501-2252, and to NMFS-Alaska Regional Administrator, P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK, 99802-1668.

    (3) Complete report. A complete report contains all report requirements described in paragraphs (w)(4)(i) through (w)(4)(iii) of this section.

    (4) Report requirements. A CDQ group must report the following information:

    (i) The annual amount, IFQ regulatory area and vessel category of IFQ regulatory area 4B, 4C, and 4D halibut IFQ transferred to the CDQ group;

    (ii) The criteria used to select IFQ holders to transfer IFQ regulatory area 4B, 4C, and 4D halibut IFQ to the CDQ group; and

    (iii) The criteria used to determine the person(s) eligible to harvest IFQ regulatory area 4B, 4C, and 4D halibut IFQ received by transfer.

    5. In § 679.41: a. Add and reserve paragraph (c)(12); b. Add paragraph (c)(13); c. Revise paragraphs (d)(1), (g)(1), and (h)(2); d. Add and reserve paragraph (n); and e. Add paragraph (o) to read as follows:
    § 679.41 Transfer of quota shares and IFQ.

    (c) * * *

    (12) [Reserved]

    (13) If the person applying to receive halibut IFQ assigned to vessel categories B, C, or D in IFQ regulatory areas 4B, 4C, or 4D is a CDQ group, the following determinations are required:

    (i) The CDQ group applying to receive halibut IFQ for an IFQ regulatory area receives an annual allocation of halibut CDQ for that IFQ regulatory area pursuant to § 679.31(b)(1);

    (ii) The QS holder applying to transfer halibut IFQ to a CDQ group has not transferred any halibut IFQ assigned to vessel categories B, C, or D for that IFQ regulatory area to a CDQ group during the last two consecutive fishing years;

    (iii) If the IFQ to be transferred to a CDQ group results from QS that was transferred to the QS holder after December 14, 2015, the QS holder applying to transfer halibut IFQ to a CDQ group has held the underlying QS for that IFQ for a minimum of 3 years from the date NMFS approved the transfer;

    (iv) If the IFQ to be transferred to a CDQ group is assigned to vessel categories B, C, or D in IFQ regulatory area 4B, the QS holder applying to transfer that halibut IFQ to a CDQ group holds fewer than 76,355 halibut QS units in IFQ regulatory area 4B; and

    (v) The CDQ group applying to receive halibut IFQ has submitted a complete report if required to do so by § 679.5(w).

    (d) * * *

    (1) Application for Eligibility. All persons, except as provided in paragraphs (d)(1)(i) and (d)(1)(ii) of this section, applying to receive QS or IFQ must submit an Application for Eligibility to Receive QS/IFQ (Application for Eligibility) containing accurate information to the Regional Administrator. The Regional Administrator will not approve a transfer of IFQ or QS to a person until the Application for Eligibility for that person is approved by the Regional Administrator. The Regional Administrator shall provide an Application for Eligibility form to any person on request.

    (i) An Application for Eligibility is not required for a CQE if a complete application to become a CQE, as described in paragraph (l)(3) of this section, has been approved by the Regional Administrator on behalf of an eligible community.

    (ii) An Application for Eligibility is not required for a CDQ group.

    (g) * * *

    (1) Except as provided in paragraph (f), paragraph (g)(2), paragraph (l), paragraph (n) or paragraph (o) of this section, only persons who are IFQ crew members, or who were initially issued QS assigned to vessel categories B, C, or D, and meet the eligibility requirements in this section, may receive by transfer QS assigned to vessel categories B, C, or D, or the IFQ resulting from it.

    (h) * * *

    (2) IFQ resulting from categories B, C, or D QS may not be transferred separately from its originating QS, except as provided in paragraph (d), paragraph (f), paragraph (k), paragraph (l), paragraph (m), or paragraph (o) of this section.

    (n) [Reserved]

    (o) Transfer of IFQ to CDQ groups. (1) A QS holder who holds fewer than 76,355 units of halibut QS in IFQ regulatory area 4B may transfer halibut IFQ assigned to vessel categories B, C, or D in IFQ regulatory area 4B to a CDQ group that receives an allocation of IFQ regulatory area 4B halibut CDQ if the annual commercial halibut catch limit, as defined in § 300.61 of this title, for Area 4B is less than 1 million pounds in that calendar year.

    (2) A QS holder in IFQ regulatory areas 4C or 4D may transfer halibut IFQ assigned to vessel categories B, C, or D in IFQ regulatory areas 4C or 4D to a CDQ group that receives an allocation of halibut CDQ in that IFQ regulatory area if the annual commercial halibut catch limit, as defined in § 300.61 of this title, for Area 4CDE is less than 1.5 million pounds in that calendar year.

    (3) A QS holder must meet the requirements in paragraph (c)(13) of this section to transfer halibut IFQ assigned to vessel categories B, C, or D in IFQ regulatory areas 4B, 4C, or 4D to a CDQ group.

    (4) A CDQ group that receives halibut IFQ by transfer may not transfer that halibut IFQ to any other person.

    6. In § 679.42: a. Revise paragraph (a)(1); b. Remove paragraph (a)(2)(i); c. Redesignate paragraphs (a)(2)(ii) through (iv) as paragraphs (a)(2)(i) through (iii); d. Add paragraph (a)(2)(iv); and e. Revise paragraphs (h)(1) introductory text and (h)(2) introductory text to read as follows:
    § 679.42 Limitations on use of QS and IFQ.

    (a) * * *

    (1) The QS or IFQ specified for one IFQ regulatory area must not be used in a different IFQ regulatory area, except for the following:

    (i) All or part of the QS and IFQ specified for regulatory area 4C may be harvested in either Area 4C or Area 4D.

    (ii) All or part of the halibut CDQ specified for regulatory area 4D may be harvested in either Area 4D or Area 4E.

    (iii) If a CDQ group is authorized to receive a transfer of halibut IFQ assigned to vessel categories B, C, or D in IFQ regulatory area 4D as specified in § 679.41(o) of this part, all or part of the halibut IFQ specified for regulatory area 4D that is held by or transferred to a CDQ group may be harvested in either Area 4D or Area 4E.

    (2) * * *

    (iv) Halibut IFQ assigned to vessel category B, C, or D held by a CDQ group may not be used on a vessel over 51 feet LOA, irrespective of the vessel category assigned to the IFQ.

    (h) * * *

    (1) Halibut. No vessel may be used, during any fishing year, to harvest more halibut IFQ than one-half percent of the combined total catch limits of halibut for IFQ regulatory areas 2C, 3A, 3B, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, and 4E, except that:

    (2) Sablefish. No vessel may be used, during any fishing year, to harvest more sablefish IFQ than one percent of the combined fixed gear TAC of sablefish for the GOA and BSAI IFQ regulatory areas, except that:

    [FR Doc. 2018-03548 Filed 2-22-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 635 [Docket No. 170703617-8097-01] RIN 0648-BG97 Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Proposed Rule To Revise Atlantic Shark Fishery Closure Regulations AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS is proposing to revise the current closure regulations for commercial shark fisheries. These changes would affect commercial shark fisheries in the Atlantic Ocean including the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean. Proposed revisions include changes to the landings threshold that prompts a closure and the minimum time between filing of the closure with the Federal Register and the closure becoming effective. This action is necessary to allow more flexibility when closing shark fisheries and to facilitate the use of available quota while still preventing overharvests.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received March 26, 2018, NMFS will hold an operator-assisted public hearing via conference call and webinar for this proposed rule on March 2, 2018, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. For specific locations, dates and times, see the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2017-0070, by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2017-0070, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Submit written comments to Margo Schulze-Haugen, Chief, Atlantic HMS Management Division at 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910.

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

    NMFS will hold one public hearing via conference call on this proposed rule. For specific locations, dates and times, see the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

    Copies of the supporting documents, including the draft Environmental Assessment (EA), Regulatory Impact Review (RIR), Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA), and the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Fishery Management Plan (FMP) and amendments are available from the HMS website at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/ or by contacting Lauren Latchford at 301-427-8503.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lauren Latchford, Guý DuBeck, Gray Redding, or Karyl Brewster-Geisz by phone at 301-427-8503 or Delisse Ortiz at 240-681-9037.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Atlantic sharks are directly managed under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). NMFS published in the Federal Register (71 FR 59058, October 2, 2006) final regulations, effective November 1, 2006, implementing the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP, which details management measures for Atlantic HMS fisheries. The implementing regulations for the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and its amendments are at 50 CFR part 635. This proposed rule considers modifying the current regulations related to closures for commercial shark fisheries.

    Background

    A brief summary of the background of this proposed action is provided below. Additional information regarding Atlantic HMS management, specifically the commercial fisheries season structure, can be found in the Draft EA for this proposed action and the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and its amendments, found online at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/.

    NMFS initially required Federally-permitted dealers to report to NMFS every two weeks to effectively monitor quotas and close the shark fisheries when necessary to avoid exceeding the quotas. Because these reports were paper-based and had to be mailed, the data NMFS used to monitor the fisheries were often a month or more out of date.

    As established in Amendment 2 to the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP (Amendment 2), the Atlantic shark commercial fisheries season structure is managed with one fishing “season” that lasts the entire calendar year, beginning January 1 and closing on December 31, unless otherwise provided in an inseason action or other rule. NMFS closes a shark fishery when it calculates that the applicable overall, regional, and/or sub-regional landings for the species or management group has reached or is projected to reach 80 percent of the available applicable quota. Once closed, current regulations do not provide for re-opening the fishery.

    When the 80-percent landings threshold was established in Amendment 2, all Federal shark dealers reported on a biweekly basis on paper reports. This 80-percent threshold was meant to account for the delay in data entry from the paper reports, landings that occurred during the five-day notice period, state water landings continuing to occur after a Federal closure, delayed landing reports from state only dealers, and the potential for late dealer reporting. However, since January 1, 2013 (77 FR 47303; August 8, 2012), all Atlantic HMS Federal dealers have been required to report commercial harvests of sharks, swordfish, and bigeye, albacore, yellowfin, and skipjack (BAYS) tunas on a weekly basis through a NMFS-approved electronic dealer reporting system (eDealer). Most states also require all state-registered dealers to report electronically; however, there are some states that still allow for paper reports, and some states require reporting once a month rather than weekly. Overall, electronic dealer reporting has resulted in more timely data on landings.

    Current regulations provide that any shark fishery closure is effective no less than five days from notice of filing with the Office of the Federal Register. This minimum notice period was established to allow fishermen to complete their trip and land a portion of the remaining quota. As a result of changes in Amendment 2, however, most shark fishermen now take one or two day trips and may not need the full five-day notice.

    Since 2010, NMFS has received numerous comments at several HMS Advisory Panel (AP) meetings and during various rulemakings on commercial shark management requesting that NMFS modify the current 80-percent threshold.

    At the September 2017 HMS Advisory Panel Meeting, some Panel members suggested that NMFS consider maintaining the existing 80-percent closure threshold as a precautionary approach; raising the threshold to 90 percent only in the Atlantic region and maintaining the 80-percent threshold in the Gulf of Mexico region; and determining closure thresholds for each region and/or management group based on the stock status and characteristics of the fishery. Additionally, some Panel members commented that immediate closure at any quota threshold is infeasible given that some state regulations provide more than 24 hours of notice before closing a fishery. Therefore, requesting immediate closure can cause confusion in fisheries that occur in both state and Federal waters. Other Panel members suggested examining closure notice periods that are longer than five days.

    As described above, both the 80-percent threshold and five-day notice requirement for commercial shark fisheries went into effect before electronic dealer reporting and before the impacts of Amendment 2 on fishing behavior, including trip lengths, were fully understood. This proposed rule considers modifying the five-day notice and 80-percent threshold with the goal of more fully utilizing available quota while also avoiding overharvests in these fisheries.

    NMFS prepared a draft EA, RIR, and an IRFA, which present and analyze the anticipated environmental, social, and economic impacts of each alternative considered for this proposed rule. The complete list of alternatives and related analyses are provided in the draft EA/RIR/IRFA and are not repeated here in its entirety. A copy of the draft EA/RIR/IRFA prepared for this proposed rulemaking is available from NMFS (see ADDRESSES).

    NMFS considered six alternatives for the shark fishery-closure threshold and three alternatives for the shark fishery-closure notice period.

    Alternative 1a, the No Action alternative, would maintain the 80-percent threshold for shark fishery closures. Alternative 1b would change the shark fishery-closure threshold to 90 percent of the available applicable overall, regional, and/or sub-regional quota. Alternative 1c would change the shark fishery-closure threshold to 70 percent of the available applicable overall, regional, and/or sub-regional quota. Alternative 1d would increase the shark fishery-closure threshold to 90 percent in the Atlantic Region, while maintaining the Gulf of Mexico closure threshold and overall non-regional threshold at 80 percent. Alternative 1e would establish objective criteria to evaluate whether a shark species and/or management group should be closed when the relevant landings reach, or are projected to reach, 80 percent of the available applicable overall, regional, and/or sub-regional quota, or allowed to remain open until 90 percent of the available applicable overall, regional, and/or sub-regional quota is reached. These criteria include: (A) The stock status of the relevant species or management group and any linked species and/or management groups; (B) The patterns of over- and underharvest in the fishery over the previous five years; (C) The likelihood of continued landings after the Federal closure of the fishery; (D) The effects of the closure on accomplishing the objectives of the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and its amendments; (E) The likelihood of landings exceeding the quota by December 31 of each year; and (F) The impacts of the closure on the catch rates of other shark management groups, including likelihood of an increase in dead discards. Under Alternative 1f, the preferred alternative, when NMFS calculates that landings have reached, or are projected to reach, 80 percent of the available applicable overall, regional, and/or sub-regional quota, NMFS will determine whether landings are projected to reach 100 percent of the relevant quota before the end of the fishing season (December 31). If so, NMFS will close the fishery through publication in the Federal Register with the appropriate notice. If not, the fishery will continue to remain open, and NMFS will update the public about the landings levels in its next monthly shark landings update listserv notice.

    Alternative 2a, the No Action alternative, would maintain the five-day period between filing of the closure notice with the Office of the Federal Register and the closure going into effect. Alternative 2b, the preferred alternative, would change the minimum notice time between filing of the closure notice with the Office of the Federal Register and the closure going into effect to three days. Alternative 2c would allow immediate closure of a shark fishery upon filing of the closure notice with the Office of the Federal Register.

    Alternative 1f, the preferred alternative, would provide additional flexibility to achieve full quota utilization while still preventing overharvest of the quota. This alternative would also provide the flexibility to account for differences in regional reporting when monitoring quotas and the ability to close in time to ensure the quota is not exceeded. For instance, regions that are more timely in their reporting and have few landings after Federal closures (i.e., Atlantic region) could remain open for the remainder of the season while other regions (i.e., Gulf of Mexico) that have landings after a Federal closure and/or delays in reported landings from state-water vessels may need to be closed. This alternative would likely have both neutral direct and indirect short- and long-term ecological impacts on the shark fishery because it would not be expected to have any impacts on the allowable level of fishing pressure, catch rates, or distribution of fishing effort otherwise authorized under actions that had assumed full utilization of the quota when analyzed. This alternative would allow increased quota utilization by keeping the fishery open as long as available quotas are not projected to be exceeded before the end of the season. This alternative could, therefore, lead to neutral socioeconomic impacts, similar to Alternative 1a, the status quo alternative, if the fishery is projected to reach 100 percent before the end of the fishing season. If NMFS determined that a quota was not projected to reach 100 percent before the end of the fishing season, then the fishery would remain open under this alternative. Thus, in some scenarios, this alternative could lead to minor beneficial direct socioeconomic impacts since the quota could be fully utilized.

    In combination with any of the notification alternatives (five-day notice, three-day notice, or immediate closure) NMFS expects Alternative 1f would have neutral direct and indirect short- and long-term ecological impacts to the shark fishery as shark quotas would remain unchanged, leaving the fishery to operate under the current conditions. This alternative would support full quota utilization while preventing overharvest of the quota. Given the flexibility and responsiveness this alternative would provide, combined with neutral ecological impacts to the fishery stocks, NMFS prefers this alternative at this time.

    Under Alternative 2b, the preferred alternative, NMFS would change the minimum notice period to three days instead of the current five-day notice once landings reach a threshold necessitating a closure. According to the data presented in Amendment 2, historically, shark-fishing trips were up to nine days in length. In the directed shark fishery, recent observer reports show that most shark fishermen take trips of one or two days, and likely do not need the full five-day notice in order to land all sharks before the closure date is effective. As such, this alternative should not interfere with directed shark trips already underway at the time of closure, but may have impacts on pelagic longline trips that may last several weeks. This alternative would allow more timely action in closing shark fisheries, helping to prevent overharvests.

    Specifically, in combination with Alternative 1f, Alternative 2b would reduce the risk of exceeding the quota, especially if landings rates are high before the closure date is effective. This alternative would likely have both neutral direct and indirect short- and long-term ecological impacts to shark stocks because the allowable level of fishing pressure, catch rates, distribution of fishing effort, and commercial quotas would remain the same as otherwise authorized under actions that had assumed full utilization of the quota when analyzed. This alternative could potentially result in interrupted fishing activities for longer fishing trips, potentially resulting in regulatory discards and minor adverse socioeconomic impacts if trips were underway at the time of the notice of the closure. For instance, pelagic longline fishing vessels, which can take trips that last several weeks, may need to discard any dead sharks onboard and in their hold if the vessel is unable to land the sharks before the closure is effective. However, NMFS expects few dead discards and potential lost revenue as a result of closure notice timing as most pelagic longline fishermen do not target sharks and are unlikely to land many sharks given recent management measures to reduce shark mortality on pelagic longline vessels. Because this alternative would increase flexibility to close the fishery as needed while still preventing overharvest of the quota and allowing sufficient time for most fishermen to complete trips underway at the time of the notice of the closure, NMFS prefers this alternative at this time.

    As described above, NMFS also considered five other alternatives regarding the threshold for closure (Alternatives 1a, 1b, 1c, 1d, and 1e) and two other alternatives regarding the timing for a closure notice (Alternatives 2a and 2c). At this time, NMFS does not prefer any of those alternatives. NMFS does not prefer Alternative 1a (No Action Alternative) because this alternative could continue to leave some of the shark quotas underutilized. NMFS does not prefer Alternative 1b or 1d because increasing the closure threshold to 90 percent in either all (1b) or part (1d) of the region would increase the potential for overharvest. NMFS does not prefer Alternative 1c because of the potential for underharvest in the shark fisheries. NMFS does not prefer Alternative 1e because the additional inseason action required to assess these criteria and carry out this alternative would unnecessarily complicate the closure procedures and possibly confuse the regulated community given past, relatively simple protocols for shark fishery closures. NMFS does not prefer Alternative 2a (No Action Alternative) because this alternative does not increase flexibility in NMFS' ability to manage the shark fisheries in a timely manner. NMFS does not prefer Alternative 2c (change the timing of shark fishery species and or management groups closures to allow for immediate closure upon filing of the closure notice with the Federal Register) as this alternative could result in interrupted fishing activities with little or no warning, potentially increasing regulatory discards if trips were underway at the time of the notice of the closure. Regarding Alternative 2c, at the HMS AP meeting in September 2017, NMFS received comments from the Panel members who indicated that immediate closure (Alternative 2c) is infeasible given that most states provide more than 24 hours of notice before closing a fishery.

    Public Hearing

    Comments on this proposed rule may be submitted via http://www.regulations.gov, mail, or fax and comments may also be submitted at a public hearing. NMFS solicits comments on this proposed rule through March 26, 2018. During the comment period, NMFS will hold one conference call for this proposed rule. The hearing locations will be physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Gray Redding at 301-427-8503, at least 7 days prior to the meeting.

    Table 1—Date and Time of Upcoming Public Hearing Conference Call Venue Date/time Location contact information Conference call March 2, 2018, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. To participate in conference call, call: (888) 946-7204. Passcode: 1023240.
  • To participate in webinar, RSVP at: https://noaaevents2.webex.com/noaaevents2/onstage/g.php?MTID=e8805cc4b96307b6f3ad888ac845a0e6f. A confirmation email with webinar log-in information will be sent after RSVP is registered.
  • The public is reminded that NMFS expects participants at the public hearings to conduct themselves appropriately. At the beginning of the conference call, the moderator will explain how the conference call will be conducted and how and when attendees can provide comments. The NMFS representative will attempt to structure the meeting so that all the attending members of the public will be able to comment, if they so choose, regardless of the controversial nature of the subject(s). Attendees are expected to respect the ground rules, and, if they do not they may be asked to leave the hearing or may not be allowed to speak during the conference call.

    Classification

    Pursuant to the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that the proposed rule is consistent with the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and its amendments, 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.

    This proposed rule is expected to be an Executive Order 13771 deregulatory action.

    An IRFA was prepared, as required by section 603 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA). The IRFA describes the economic impact this proposed rule would have on small entities if adopted. A description of the action, why it is being considered, and the legal basis for this action are contained below. A summary of the analysis follows. A copy of this analysis is available from NMFS (see ADDRESSES).

    Section 603(b)(1) requires Agencies to describe reasons why the action is being considered. The purpose of this proposed action is to consider modifications to the percent landings threshold to a level that allows fishermen to utilize the full quota while avoiding under- and overharvest, and to determine a length of time between public notice and the effective date of a given fishery closure while avoiding under- and overharvest.

    Section 603(b)(2) requires Agencies to describe the objectives of the proposed rule. NMFS has identified the following objectives, which are consistent with existing statutes such as the Magnuson-Stevens Act and its objectives, with regard to this proposed action:

    • Maintaining optimum yield for all shark fishery species and/or management groups; and

    • Establishing an appropriate length of public notice for a fishery closure.

    Section 603(b)(3) of the Regulatory Flexibility Act requires Agencies to provide an estimate of the number of small entities to which the rule would apply. The Small Business Administration (SBA) has established size criteria for all major industry sectors in the United States, including fish harvesters. Provision is made under the SBA's regulations for an agency to develop its own industry-specific size standards after consultation with Advocacy and an opportunity for public comment (see 13 CFR 121.903(c)). Under this provision, NMFS may establish size standards that differ from those established by the SBA Office of Size Standards, but only for use by NMFS and only for the purpose of conducting an analysis of economic effects in fulfillment of the agency's obligations under the RFA. To utilize this provision, NMFS must publish such size standards in the Federal Register (FR), which NMFS did on December 29, 2015 (80 FR 81194). In this final rule effective on July 1, 2016, NMFS established a small business size standard of $11 million in annual gross receipts for all businesses in the commercial fishing industry (NAICS 11411) for RFA compliance purposes. NMFS considers all HMS permit holders to be small entities because they all had average annual receipts of less than $11 million for commercial fishing.

    The proposed rule would apply to the approximately 496 commercial limited access permit holders in the Atlantic shark fishery (223 directed and 271 incidental permits) and 142 open access smoothhound shark permit holders, based on an analysis of permit holders as of October 2016. Not all permit holders are active in the shark fishery in any given year. Active directed permit holders are defined as those with valid permits that landed one shark, based on HMS electronic dealer reports. Of those 223 commercial directed limited access permit holders, 29, or 13 percent of permit holders, landed large coastal sharks (LCS) and 22, or 10 percent of permit holders, landed small coastal sharks (SCS) in the Atlantic. In the Gulf of Mexico region, 13, or 6 percent of permit holders, landed LCS in the western sub-region; 8, or 4 percent of the permit holders, landed LCS in the eastern sub-region; and 5, or 2 percent of permit holders, landed SCS throughout the region. Of directed limited access permit holders, 45, or 20 percent, landed pelagic sharks. Of the 142 open-access smoothhound shark permit holders, 75, or 53 percent of permit holders, landed sharks in the Atlantic region. NMFS has determined that the proposed rule would not likely affect any small governmental jurisdictions.

    Section 603(b)(4) of the RFA requires Agencies to describe any new reporting, record-keeping and other compliance requirements. The action does not contain any new collection of information, reporting, or record-keeping requirements. The alternatives considered would review and modify the percent landings threshold that prompts a shark fishery closure, and the length of time between public notice and the effective date of a given fishery closure with the goal of avoiding under- and overharvests in these fisheries.

    Under section 603(b)(5) of the RFA, agencies must identify, to the extent practicable, relevant Federal rules which duplicate, overlap, or conflict with the proposed rule. Fishermen, dealers, and managers in these fisheries must comply with a number of international agreements, domestic laws, and fishery management measures. These include the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act (ATCA), the High Seas Fishing Compliance Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the National Environmental Policy Act, the Paperwork Reduction Act, and the Coastal Zone Management Act. This proposed rule has been determined not to duplicate, overlap, or conflict with any Federal rules.

    One of the requirements of an IRFA is to describe any alternatives to the proposed rule which accomplish the stated objectives and which minimize any significant economic impacts. These impacts are discussed below. Additionally, the RFA (5 U.S.C. 603 (c)(1)-(4)) lists four general categories of “significant” alternatives that would assist an agency in the development of significant alternatives. These categories of alternatives are: (1) Establishment of differing compliance or reporting requirements or timetables that take into account the resources available to small entities; (2) clarification, consolidation, or simplification of compliance and reporting requirements under the rule for such small entities; (3) use of performance rather than design standards; and (4) exemptions from coverage of the rule, or any part thereof, for small entities.

    NMFS examined each of these categories of alternatives. Regarding the first, second, and fourth categories, NMFS cannot establish differing compliance requirements for small entities or exempt small entities from coverage of the rule or parts of it because all of the businesses impacted by this rule are considered small entities and thus the requirements are already designed for small entities. NMFS does not know of any performance or design standards that would satisfy the objectives of this rulemaking while, concurrently, complying with the Magnuson-Stevens Act. As described below, NMFS analyzed several different alternatives in this proposed rulemaking and provides rationales for identifying the preferred alternatives to achieve the desired objectives.

    The alternatives considered and analyzed are described below. The IRFA assumes that each vessel will have similar catch and gross revenues to show the relative impact of the proposed action on vessels.

    Alternative 1a, the No Action alternative, would maintain the existing 80-percent threshold to close the shark fishery and maintain current shark quotas. Based on the 2016 ex-vessel prices, the potential annual gross revenues for the 13 active directed permit holders from blacktip, aggregated LCS, and hammerhead shark meat in the western Gulf of Mexico sub-region would be $433,308, while revenue from shark fins would be $229,723. Thus, potential total average annual gross revenues by each active directed permit holder for blacktip, aggregated LCS, and hammerhead shark landings in the western Gulf of Mexico sub-region would be $51,002 ($33,331 + $17,671). The potential annual gross revenues for the 8 active directed permit holders from blacktip, aggregated LCS, and hammerhead shark meat in the eastern Gulf of Mexico sub-region would be $169,206, while revenue from shark fins would be $88,058. Thus, potential total average annual gross revenues by each active directed permit holder for blacktip, aggregated LCS, and hammerhead shark landings in the Gulf of Mexico region would be $32,158 ($21,151 + $11,007). The potential annual gross revenues for the 5 active directed permit holders for non-blacknose SCS and smoothhound in the Gulf of Mexico would be $89,909, while revenue from shark fins would be $55,450. Thus, potential total average annual gross revenues by each active directed permit holder for non-blacknose SCS in the Gulf of Mexico would be $29,072 ($17,982 + $11,090). Since there have been no landings of smoothhound sharks in the Gulf of Mexico, the annual gross revenue for the active directed permit holders would be zero. The potential annual gross revenues for the 29 active directed permit holders from aggregated LCS and hammerhead shark meat in the Atlantic would be $317,016, while revenue from shark fins would be $64,968. Thus, potential total average annual gross revenues by each active directed permit holder for aggregated LCS and hammerhead shark in the Atlantic would be $13,172 ($10,932 + $2,240). The potential annual gross revenues for the 22 active directed permit holders from non-blacknose SCS and blacknose shark meat in the Atlantic would be $317,016, while revenue from shark fins would be $64,968. Thus, potential total average annual gross revenues by each active directed permit holder for non-blacknose SCS and blacknose shark in the Atlantic would be $22,548 ($20,337 + $2,211). The potential annual gross revenues for the 75 active directed permit holders from smoothhound shark meat in the Atlantic would be $1,985,794, while revenue from shark fins would be $182,058. Thus, potential total average annual gross revenues by each active directed permit holder for smoothhound shark in the Atlantic would be $28,905 ($26,477 + $2,427). The potential annual gross revenues for the 45 active directed permit holders from pelagic sharks (blue, porbeagle, shortfin mako and thresher sharks) meat would be $2,113,982, while revenue from shark fins would be $162,530. Thus, potential total average annual gross revenues by each active directed permit holder for pelagic sharks would be $50,589 ($46,977 + $3,612). Alternative 1a would likely result in neutral direct short- and long-term socioeconomic impacts because shark fishermen would continue to operate under current conditions, with shark fishermen continuing to fish at similar rates. The No Action alternative could also have neutral indirect impacts to those supporting the commercial shark fisheries, since the retention limits, and thus current fishing efforts, would not change under this alternative.

    Under Alternative 1b, NMFS would change the shark fishery-closure threshold to 90 percent of the available overall, regional, and/or sub-regional quota. This alternative is likely to have neutral direct and indirect short- and long-term socioeconomic impacts because the base quotas would not change for any of the management groups and fishermen would still be limited in the total amount of sharks that could be harvested. This alternative could potentially lead to minor beneficial direct economic impacts if fishermen can land available quota that may have remained unharvested under the current 80-percent threshold. For example, in 2016, the quota for the aggregate LCS and blacktip management groups from the western Gulf of Mexico sub-region was underutilized by 241,579 lbs dw or 32 percent of the adjusted annual base quota, valued at $201,087 in potential ex-vessel revenue. Assuming all of this unharvested quota were caught, based on the 13 vessels that landed LCS in the western Gulf of Mexico sub-region, the individual vessel impact would be an approximate gain of $15,468 per year. This does not include incidental permit holders, who would receive a smaller amount per year. In the Atlantic, the blacknose shark management group was underutilized by 8,022 lbs dw or 23 percent of the quota, valued at $8,270 in potential ex-vessel revenue. Based on the 22 vessels that landed blacknose and non-blacknose SCS in the Atlantic region, the individual vessel impact would be an approximate gain of $276 per year. This does not include incidental permit holders, which would receive a smaller amount per year. Alternative 1b could also lead to minor adverse socioeconomic impacts in the short-term if the quotas are overharvested, which would lead to lower quotas the following year. In addition, this alternative could potentially lead to minor adverse socioeconomic impacts if there is a large increase of landings combined with late dealer reporting, after the fishery is closed, that resulted in overharvest. For instance, the current 80-percent threshold has not been effective at closing in time to prevent overharvest of shark species that have small quotas, such as porbeagle sharks. As such, changing the percent closure threshold to 90 percent might be detrimental to the porbeagle shark fishery, as it may not provide sufficient buffer to prevent overharvest and fishery closures that occurred in 2013 and 2015. However, this negative impact would be only in the short-term as NMFS has the ability to monitor quotas on a weekly basis and promptly close the shark fishery.

    Under Alternative 1c, NMFS would change the shark fishery-closure threshold to 70 percent of the available overall, regional, and/or sub-regional quota. This change would potentially leave a larger buffer for fishermen to complete trips and receive delayed dealer reports. It is likely the change in threshold to 70 percent would have neutral direct and indirect short- and long-term socioeconomic impacts since none of the commercial quotas are being changed and NMFS is not expecting an increase in effort or fishing. This alternative could potentially have minor adverse direct socioeconomic impacts if there is a large amount of underharvest remaining every year, after accounting for late dealer reports, that fishermen would no longer be able to harvest as compared to the No Action alternative. For instance, a 10-percent decrease in realized revenue for the western Gulf of Mexico blacktip, aggregated LCS, and hammerhead shark fisheries would equate to an approximate $66,303 (10 percent of $433,308 + $229,273) loss in ex-vessel revenue. Based on the 13 vessels that landed LCS in the western Gulf of Mexico sub-region, the individual vessel impact would be an approximate loss of $5,100 per year. This does not include incidental permit holders, which would receive a smaller amount per year. However, these would only be short-term losses because NMFS has achieved close to full quota utilization in recent years for some shark quotas.

    Under Alternative 1d, NMFS would change the shark fishery-closure threshold to 90 percent in the Atlantic Region, while maintaining the Gulf of Mexico closure threshold and overall non-regional threshold at 80 percent. Alternative 1d provides some flexibility in assigning different closure thresholds between the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico regions. In the Atlantic region, this alternative could potentially lead to minor beneficial direct economic impacts if fishermen can land available quota that may have remained unharvested under the current 80-percent threshold. For instance, a 10-percent increase in realized revenue for the Atlantic aggregated LCS and hammerhead shark fisheries would equate to an approximate $38,198 (10 percent of $317,016 + $64,968) gain in ex-vessel revenue. Based on the 29 vessels that landed LCS in the Atlantic region, the individual vessel impact would be an approximate increase of $1,317 per year. This does not include incidental permit holders, which would receive a smaller amount per year. In the Gulf of Mexico region and for fisheries with no region, this alternative could likely result in neutral direct and indirect, short- and long-term socioeconomic impacts because shark fishermen would continue to operate under current conditions, with shark fishermen continuing to fish at similar rates. Impacts in the Gulf of Mexico would therefore be the same as those described in Alternative 1a.

    Under Alternative 1e, when any shark fishery species and/or management group landings reach or are projected to reach 80 percent of the available overall, regional, and/or sub-regional quota, NMFS would evaluate the criteria before determining if a closure is needed at the 80-percent threshold. This alternative would add additional flexibility to close a fishery depending on a set of criteria, helping to maximize management efficacy while preventing overharvest. If this increased flexibility in determining when to close a fishery leads to full quota utilization of management groups, while still preventing overharvest of shark fisheries, then fishermen could potentially see additional revenue from being able to land sharks that would otherwise have remained unharvested under the existing 80-percent threshold. For instance, a 20-percent increase in realized revenue for the Atlantic aggregated LCS and hammerhead shark fisheries would equate to an approximate $76,397 (20 percent of $317,016 + $64,968) gain in ex-vessel revenue. Based on the 29 vessels that landed LCS in the Atlantic region, the individual vessel impact would be an approximate increase of $2,634 per year. This does not include incidental permit holders, who would receive a smaller amount per year. Based upon these criteria, the fishery could still operate similarly to the status quo 80-percent closure threshold, which would result in neutral socioeconomic impacts as described for Alternative 1a, the status quo alternative. As examples, if a shark species/management group quota reaches 80 percent by September 1, then NMFS would evaluate the criteria in Alternative 1e before determining if a closure is needed at the 80-percent threshold in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic regions. Based on criteria A (stock status of the relevant species or management group and any linked species and/or management groups) and C (continued landings after the Federal closure), NMFS would likely close the shark species/management group quota in the Gulf of Mexico. In the Atlantic region, NMFS would likely also close the shark species/management group quota based on criteria A since all of the shark species/management groups in the region have an overfished or unknown stock status. This would lead to neutral socioeconomic impacts in both regions since there would be no change from current regulations. If a shark species/management group quota reaches 80 percent by December 1, then NMFS would need to evaluate all of the criteria closely before implementing a closure in either the Gulf of Mexico or Atlantic region. A key criterion to evaluate is the likelihood of landings exceeding the quota by December 31 of each year (Criteria E). In the Gulf of Mexico region, NMFS would also consider Criteria C (continued landings after the Federal closure) and how this would impact the fishery. In the Atlantic region, NMFS would likely keep the fishery open as long as landings are not projected to exceed the quota by the end of the year.

    Under Alternative 1f, the preferred alternative, NMFS would maintain the 80-percent closure threshold but allow a shark fishery to remain open after the fishery's landings have reached or are projected to reach 80 percent as long as landings are not projected to reach 100 percent before the end of the fishing season. This alternative, similar to Alternatives 1d and 1e, would provide the flexibility of achieving full quota utilization while still preventing overharvest. This alternative could therefore lead to neutral socioeconomic impacts, similar to Alternative 1a, the status quo alternative, if the landings are projected to reach 100 percent before the end of the fishing season. As examples, if a shark species/management group landings reach 80 percent by September 1, then NMFS would likely have to close the fishery if it was in either the Gulf of Mexico or Atlantic regions because the landings would likely reach 100 percent before the end of the fishing season. This would cause neutral socioeconomic impacts since it would be the status quo for the fishery. If a shark species/management group landings reach 80 percent by December 1, then NMFS would project whether the landings in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic regions would reach 100 percent before the end of the fishing season. If the landings would not reach 100 percent before the end of the fishing season, then NMFS would keep the fishery open. Thus, this could lead to minor beneficial socioeconomic impacts because the quota could be fully utilized.

    Under Alternative 2a, NMFS would maintain the status quo and would not change the notice period of five days for the closure of a management group. This alternative would have no impact on the allowable level of fishing pressure, catch rates, or distribution of fishing effort. As such, it is likely that the No Action Alternative as well as this alternative in combination with any of the Alternatives 1b, 1c, 1d, 1e, or 1f would have both neutral direct and indirect, short- and long-term socioeconomic impacts. If there is a large amount of landings made during the five-day notice and a later closure under Alternatives 1b, 1c, or 1d, then there could be the potential for minor beneficial socioeconomic impacts for those fisheries who have underutilized the quota in recent years. The majority of fishing trips for sharks are currently one day in length, so a five-day closure notice should not result in regulatory discards for these trips. However, this alternative could potentially result in interrupted fishing activities, potentially resulting in regulatory discards if trips were underway at the time of the notice of the closure. For instance, pelagic longline fishing vessels, which can take trips that last several weeks, may need to discard any dead sharks onboard and in their hold if the vessel is unable to land the sharks before the closure is effective. However, NMFS expects few dead discards as a result of closure notices given that NMFS has implemented several management measures that prohibit retention of some sharks (i.e., silky, oceanic whitetip, hammerhead sharks) on vessels with pelagic longline gear onboard. These management changes have made pelagic longline fishermen unlikely to land many sharks in recent years. In combination with all other alternatives (i.e., 1a, 1c, 1d, 1e, and 1f), except Alternative 1b, this alternative would allow fishermen to complete their fishing trips while still preventing overharvest. In combination with Alternative 1b (e.g., 90-percent closure threshold), there is a risk of overharvest if the landings rate was high before the closure date is effective and potential reduced quotas the following season.

    Under Alternative 2b, the preferred alternative, NMFS would change the minimum notice period to three days instead of the current five-day notice once the fisheries reached a landings threshold necessitating a closure. This change would allow more timely action in closing shark fisheries, helping to prevent overharvest. In combination with all other Alternatives (1a, 1b, 1d, 1e, and 1f), except Alternative 1c, this alternative would reduce the risk of exceeding the quota, especially if the landings rate was high before the closure date is effective. In combination with Alternative 1c (e.g., 70-percent closure threshold), this alternative would increase the risk of a significant underharvest and would cause minor adverse socioeconomic impacts. This alternative would have no impact on the allowable level of fishing pressure, catch rates, or distribution of fishing effort, as the commercial quotas would remain the same. Therefore, it is likely that this alternative would have both neutral direct and indirect, short- and long-term socioeconomic impacts. Because this alternative increases flexibility to close the fishery as needed while still preventing overharvest and allowing sufficient time for fishermen to complete trips underway at the time of the notice of the closure, NMFS prefers this alternative at this time. This alternative could potentially result in interrupted fishing activities for pelagic longline vessels, which generally take trips longer than nine days, potentially resulting in regulatory discards if trips were underway at the time of the closure. However, NMFS expects few dead discards as a result of the closure notice timing as most pelagic longline fishermen do not target sharks and are unlikely to land many sharks given recent management measures to reduce shark mortality on pelagic longline vessels. In addition, the preferred time before the closure is effective is well within the range of the current directed shark trip lengths (i.e., 1-2 days).

    Under Alternative 2c, NMFS would change the timing of shark fishery species and/or management group closures to allow immediate closure upon filing of the closure notice with the Federal Register. This action would allow timely action in closing shark fisheries, helping to prevent overharvest. In combination with all other alternatives, this alternative would either reduce the risk of exceeding the quota (i.e., Alternatives 1a, 1b, 1d, 1e, and 1f) or increase the risk of a significant underharvest (i.e., Alternative 1c). Therefore, it is likely that this alternative would have both neutral direct and indirect, short- and long-term economic impacts. However, as described above, this alternative could potentially result in interrupted fishing activities with little or no warning to the regulated community, potentially resulting in regulatory discards, if trips were underway at the time of the notice of the closure, with associated loss of revenue. Additionally, HMS AP members from several states indicated that some states would have difficulty closing state water fisheries immediately.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 635

    Fisheries, Fishing, Fishing vessels, Foreign relations, Imports, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Treaties.

    Dated: February 16, 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 635 is proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 635—ATLANTIC HIGHLY MIGRATORY SPECIES 1. The authority citation for part 635 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 971 et seq.; 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    2. In § 635.24, revise paragraph (a)(8)(iii) to read as follows:
    § 635.24 Commercial retention limits for sharks, swordfish, and BAYS tunas.

    (a) * * *

    (8) * * *

    (iii) Estimated date of fishery closure based on when the landings are projected to reach 80 percent of the quota given the realized catch rates and whether they are projected to reach 100 percent before the end of the fishing season;

    3. In § 635.28, revise paragraphs (b)(2) and (b)(3) to read as follows:
    § 635.28 Fishery closures.

    (b) * * *

    (2) Non-linked quotas. If the overall, regional, and/or sub-regional quota of a species or management group is not linked to another species or management group and that overall, regional, and/or sub-regional quota is available as specified by a publication in the Federal Register, then that overall, regional, and/or sub-regional commercial fishery for the shark species or management group will open as specified in § 635.27(b). When NMFS calculates that the overall, regional, and/or sub-regional landings for a shark species and/or management group, as specified in § 635.27(b)(1), has reached or is projected to reach 80 percent of the applicable available overall, regional, and/or sub-regional quota as specified in § 635.27(b)(1) and is projected to reach 100 percent of the relevant quota by the end of the fishing season, NMFS will file for publication with the Office of the Federal Register a notice of an overall, regional, and/or sub-regional closure, as applicable, for that shark species and/or shark management group that will be effective no fewer than 3 days from date of filing. From the effective date and time of the closure until NMFS announces, via the publication of a notice in the Federal Register, that additional overall, regional, and/or sub-regional quota is available and the season is reopened, the overall, regional, and/or sub-regional fisheries for that shark species or management group are closed, even across fishing years.

    (3) Linked quotas. As specified in paragraph (b)(4) of this section, the overall, regional, and/or sub-regional quotas of some shark species and/or management groups are linked to the overall, regional, and/or sub-regional quotas of other shark species and/or management groups. For each pair of linked species and/or management groups, if the overall, regional, and/or sub-regional quota specified in § 635.27(b)(1) is available for both of the linked species and/or management groups as specified by a publication in the Federal Register, then the overall, regional, and/or sub-regional commercial fishery for both of the linked species and/or management groups will open as specified in § 635.27(b)(1). When NMFS calculates that the overall, regional, and/or sub-regional landings for any species and/or management group of a linked group have reached or are projected to reach 80 percent of the applicable available overall, regional, and/or sub-regional quota as specified in § 635.27(b)(1) and are projected to reach 100 percent of the relevant quota before the end of the fishing season, NMFS will file for publication with the Office of the Federal Register a notice of an overall, regional, and/or sub-regional closure for all of the species and/or management groups in that linked group that will be effective no fewer than 3 days from date of filing. From the effective date and time of the closure until NMFS announces, via the publication of a notice in the Federal Register, that additional overall, regional, and/or sub-regional quota is available and the season is reopened, the overall, regional, and/or sub-regional fishery for all species and/or management groups in that linked group is closed, even across fishing years.

    [FR Doc. 2018-03688 Filed 2-22-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    83 37 Friday, February 23, 2018 Notices COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meetings of the Kansas Advisory Committee 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 Kansas Advisory Committee (Committee) will hold a meeting on Friday, February 9, 2018 at 2 p.m. Central time. The Committee will continue discussion and preparations to hold a public hearing as part of their current study on civil rights and school funding in the state.

    DATES:

    The meeting will take place on Friday, February 9, 2018 at 2 p.m. Central time.

    Public Call Information: Dial: 888-726-2458, Conference ID: 6219379.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Melissa Wojnaroski, DFO, at [email protected] or 312-353-8311.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Members of the public can listen to these discussions. These meetings are available to the public through the above call in numbers. Any interested member of the public may call this number and listen to the meeting. An open comment period will be provided to allow members of the public to make a statement as time allows. The conference call operator will ask callers to identify themselves, the organization they are affiliated with (if any), and an email address prior to placing callers into the conference room. Callers can expect to incur regular charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, according to their wireless plan. The Commission will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over land-line connections to the toll-free telephone number. Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the proceedings by first calling the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339 and providing the Service with the conference call number and conference ID number.

    Members of the public are also entitled to submit written comments; the comments must be received in the regional office within 30 days following the meeting. Written comments may be mailed to the Regional Programs Unit, 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 Corrine Sanders at [email protected]gov. Persons who desire additional information may contact the Regional Programs Unit at (312) 353-8311.

    Records generated from this meeting may be inspected and reproduced at the Regional Programs Unit 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, Kansas Advisory Committee link (http://www.facadatabase.gov/committee/meetings.aspx?cid=249). Click on “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 Regional Programs Unit at the above email or street address.

    Agenda Welcome and Roll Call Civil Rights in Kansas: School funding Future Plans and Actions Public Comment Adjournment Dated: February 16, 2018. David Mussatt, Supervisory Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03719 Filed 2-22-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Ohio Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights 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 Ohio Advisory Committee (Committee) will hold a meeting via web conference on Friday March 9, 2018, from 12 p.m.-1:30 p.m. EST for the purpose of hearing public testimony on voting rights in the state.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Friday, March 9, 2018, at 12:00 p.m. EST.

    Public Call Information: (audio only) Dial: 877-718-5095, Conference ID: 6801605.

    Web Access Information: (visual only) The online portion of the meeting may be accessed through the following link: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/ray86wto2gj&eom.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Melissa Wojnaroski, DFO, at [email protected] or 312-353-8311.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Members of the public can listen to the discussion. This meeting is available to the public through the above listed toll free number (audio only) and web access link (visual only). Please use both the call in number and the web access link in order to follow the meeting. An open comment period will be provided to allow members of the public to make a statement as time allows. The conference call operator will ask callers to identify themselves, the organization they are affiliated with (if any), and an email address prior to placing callers into the conference room. Callers can expect to incur regular charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, according to their wireless plan. The Commission will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over land-line connections to the toll-free telephone number. Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the proceedings by first calling the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339 and providing the Service with the conference call number and conference ID number.

    Members of the public are also entitled to submit written comments; the comments must be received in the regional office within 30 days following the meeting. Written comments may be mailed to the Regional Programs Unit 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 Carolyn Allen at [email protected] Persons who desire additional information may contact the Regional Programs Unit Office at (312) 353-8311.

    Records generated from this meeting may be inspected and reproduced at the Regional Programs Unit 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, Ohio Advisory Committee link (http://www.facadatabase.gov/committee/meetings.aspx?cid=268). Persons interested in the work of this Committee are directed to the Commission's website, http://www.usccr.gov, or may contact the Regional Programs Unit Office at the above email or street address.

    This is the first in a series of public meetings the Committee will hold on this topic. Please consult the Federal Register or contact the Regional Programs Unit for additional information on other upcoming meetings.

    Agenda Welcome and Roll Call Panel Presentations: Voting Rights in Ohio Public Comment Adjournment Dated: February 16, 2018. David Mussatt, Supervisory Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03718 Filed 2-22-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Arizona Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of public meeting on voting rights in Arizona.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) that a meeting of the Arizona Advisory Committee (Committee) to the Commission will be held at 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Mountain Time) Friday, March 9, 2018. The purpose of the briefing is for the Committee to receive testimony regarding potential barriers to voting such as language access, access to the polls, early voting, and voter registration that may have a disparate impact on voters on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, or national origin.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Friday, March 9, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. MT.

    Location: Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law; Fifth Floor Conference Center, 111 E. Taylor Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004.

    Public Call Information: Dial: 888-576-4387; Conference ID: 4884905.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ana Victoria Fortes (DFO) at [email protected] or (213) 894-3437.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This meeting is available to the public through the following toll-free call-in number: 888-576-4387, conference ID number: 4884905. Any interested member of the public may call this number and listen to the meetings. Callers can expect to incur charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, and the Commission will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over land-line connections to the toll-free telephone number. Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the proceedings by first calling the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339 and providing the Service with the conference call number and conference ID number.

    Members of the public are entitled to make comments during the open period at the end of the meetings. Members of the public may also submit written comments; the comments must be received in the Regional Programs Unit within 30 days following the meeting. Written comments may be mailed to the Western Regional Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 300 North Los Angeles Street, Suite 2010, Los Angeles, CA 90012. They may be faxed to the Commission at (213) 894-0508, or emailed Ana Victoria Fortes at [email protected] Persons who desire additional information may contact the Regional Programs Unit at (213) 894-3437.

    Records and documents discussed during the meeting will be available for public viewing prior to and after the meetings at https://facadatabase.gov/committee/meetings.aspx?cid=235.

    Please click on the “Meeting Details” and “Documents” links. Records generated from these meetings may also be inspected and reproduced at the Regional Programs Unit, as they become available, both before and after the meetings. Persons interested in the work of this Committee are directed to the Commission's website, https://www.usccr.gov, or may contact the Regional Programs Unit at the above email or street address.

    Agenda I. Opening Remarks and Introductions (9:00-9:15 a.m.) II. Government and Election Officials (9:15-10:30 a.m.) Eric Spencer, Election Director, State of Arizona Patty Hansen, Recorder, Coconino County Recorder's Office Adrian Fontes, Recorder, Maricopa County Recorder's Office Lisa Marra, Elections Director, Cochise County III. Advocacy Organizations (10:40-11:45 a.m.) Walt Opaska, Member, Arizona Republican Lawyers Association Renaldo Fowler, Senior Staff Advocate, Arizona Center for Disability Law Joel Edman, Executive Director, Arizona Advocacy Network Darrell Hill, Attorney, ACLU of Arizona IV. Election and Voting Experts (1:30-2:50 p.m.) Mary O'Grady, Staff Attorney, Osborn Maledon Timothy La Sota, Attorney, Timothy La Sota PLC Travis Lane, Assistant Director, Inter Tribal Council of Arizona Sarah Gonski, Political Law Associate, Perkins Coie Joseph Garcia, Director of the Latino Public Policy Center, Morrison Institute at Arizona State University V. Voter Perspectives (3:00-4:00 p.m.) Eric Sainz, Arizona State Director, Mi Familia Vota Robyn Prud'homme-Bauer, Co-President, League of Women Voters Juliana Huereña, Operations Manager, Southwestern Institute for Families and Children, co-presenting with John Britton, Member Gina Roberts, Arizona Clean Elections Commission VI. Open Forum (4:00-4:50 p.m.) VII. Closing Remarks (4:50-5:00 p.m.) Dated: February 16, 2018. David Mussatt, Supervisory Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03705 Filed 2-22-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Civil Nuclear Trade Advisory Committee; Meeting of the Civil Nuclear Trade Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Federal Advisory Committee meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice sets forth the schedule and proposed agenda for a meeting of the Civil Nuclear Trade Advisory Committee (CINTAC).

    DATES:

    The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 15, 2018, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the U.S. Department of Commerce, Herbert C. Hoover Building, Room 12015-12017, 1401 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20230.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Jonathan Chesebro, Office of Energy & Environmental Industries, International Trade Administration, Mail Stop 28018, 1401 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20230 (Phone: 202-482-1297; Fax: 202-482-5665; email: [email protected]).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background: The CINTAC was established under the discretionary authority of the Secretary of Commerce and in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.), in response to an identified need for consensus advice from U.S. industry to the Secretary of Commerce regarding the development and administration of programs to expand United States exports of civil nuclear goods and services in accordance with applicable U.S. laws and regulations, including advice on how U.S. civil nuclear goods and services export policies, programs, and activities will affect the U.S. civil nuclear industry's competitiveness and ability to participate in the international market.

    Topics to be considered: The agenda for the Thursday, March 15, 2018 CINTAC meeting is as follows:

    Public Session 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. 1. International Trade Administration's Civil Nuclear Trade Initiative Update 2. Civil Nuclear Trade Promotion Activities Discussion 3. Public comment period

    The meeting will be open to the public and will be accessible to people with disabilities. Members of the public wishing to attend the meeting must notify Mr. Jonathan Chesebro at the contact information above by 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, March 9, 2018 in order to pre-register. Please specify any requests for reasonable accommodation at least five business days in advance of the meeting. Last minute requests will be accepted, but may not be possible to fill.

    A limited amount of time will be available for pertinent brief oral comments from members of the public attending the meeting. To accommodate as many speakers as possible, the time for public comments will be limited to two (2) minutes per person, with a total public comment period of 60 minutes. Individuals wishing to reserve speaking time during the meeting must contact Mr. Chesebro and submit a brief statement of the general nature of the comments and the name and address of the proposed participant by 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, March 9, 2018. If the number of registrants requesting to make statements is greater than can be reasonably accommodated during the meeting, ITA may conduct a lottery to determine the speakers.

    Any member of the public may submit pertinent written comments concerning the CINTAC's affairs at any time before and after the meeting. Comments may be submitted to the Civil Nuclear Trade Advisory Committee, Office of Energy & Environmental Industries, U.S. Department of Commerce, Mail Stop 28018, 1401 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20230. For consideration during the meeting, and to ensure transmission to the Committee prior to the meeting, comments must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, March 9, 2018. Comments received after that date will be distributed to the members but may not be considered at the meeting.

    Copies of CINTAC meeting minutes will be available within 90 days of the meeting.

    Dated: February 14, 2018. Man Cho, Deputy Director, Office of Energy and Environmental Industries.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03710 Filed 2-22-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DR-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-570-080] Cast Iron Soil Pipe From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigation AGENCY:

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

    DATES:

    Applicable February 15, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Matthew Renkey at (202) 482-2312, AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement & Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Petition

    On January 26, 2018, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) received a countervailing duty (CVD) petition concerning imports of cast iron soil pipe (soil pipe) from the People's Republic of China (China), filed in proper form, on behalf of the Cast Iron Soil Pipe Institute (the petitioner).1 The petitioner is a trade association, whose members are all domestic producers of soil pipe.2 The CVD petition 3 was accompanied by an antidumping duty (AD) petition for soil pipe from China.4

    1See Letter to the Secretary of Commerce from the petitioner re: Cast Iron Pipe from the People's Republic of China—Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties, dated January 26, 2018 (Petition).

    2See Volume I of the Petition, at 2. The individual members of the Cast Iron Soil Pipe Institute are AB&I Foundry, Charlotte Pipe & Foundry, and Tyler Pipe.

    3See Volume III of the Petition.

    4See Volume II of the Petition.

    On January 30 and 31, 2018, Commerce requested additional information and clarification of certain areas of the Petition.5 The petitioner filed responses to these requests on February 1 and 2, 2018.6

    5See Letters from Commerce, “Petition for the Imposition of Countervailing Duties on Imports of Cast Iron Soil Pipe from the People's Republic of China: Supplemental Questions,” dated January 30, 2018, and “Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties on Imports of Cast Iron Soil Pipe from the People's Republic of China: General Issues Supplemental Questions,” dated January 31, 2018.

    6See Letters from the petitioner “Cast Iron Soil Pipe from the People's Republic of China: Response to Supplemental Questions—General Issues,” dated February 2, 2018 (General Issues Supplement), and “Cast Iron Pipe from the People's Republic of China—Petitioner's Response to Supplemental Questionnaire Concerning Volume III,” February 1, 2018 (CVD Supplement).

    In accordance with section 702(b)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), the petitioner alleges that the Government of China (GOC) is providing countervailable subsidies, within the meaning of sections 701 and 771(5) of the Act, with respect to imports of soil pipe from China, and that such imports are materially injuring, or threatening material injury to, an industry in the United States. Also, 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 Petition is accompanied by information reasonably available to the petitioner supporting its allegations.

    Commerce finds that the petitioner filed the Petition on behalf of the domestic industry because the petitioner is an interested party as defined in section 771(9)(E) of the Act. Commerce also finds that the petitioner demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the initiation of the CVD investigation that the petitioner is requesting.7

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

    Period of Investigation

    Because the Petition was filed on January 26, 2018, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.204(b)(2), the period of investigation is January 1, 2017, through December 31, 2017.8

    8See 19 CFR 351.204(b)(2).

    Scope of the Investigation

    The product covered by this investigation is soil pipe from China. For a full description of the scope of this investigation, see the “Scope of the Investigation,” in the Appendix to this notice.

    Comments on the Scope of the Investigation

    On February 2, 2018, in response to a question from Commerce, the petitioner filed a revision to the scope language.9

    9See General Issues Supplement at Exhibit 1.

    As discussed in the preamble to Commerce's regulations,10 we are setting aside a period for interested parties to raise issues regarding product coverage (i.e., scope). Commerce will consider all comments received from interested parties and, if necessary, will consult with the interested parties prior to the issuance of the preliminary determination. If scope comments include factual information,11 all such factual information should be limited to public information. In order to facilitate preparation of its questionnaire, Commerce requests all interested parties to submit such comments by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on Wednesday, March 7, 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 Monday, March 19, 2018, which is the next business day after the tenth calendar day from the deadline for initial comments.12 All such comments must be filed on the record of the concurrent AD and CVD investigations.

    10See Antidumping Duties; Countervailing Duties: Final Rule, 62 FR 27296, 27323 (May 19, 1997).

    11See 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21).

    12See 19 CFR 351.303(b).

    Commerce requests that any factual information the parties consider relevant to the scope of the investigation be submitted during this time period. However, if a party subsequently finds that additional factual information pertaining to the scope of the investigation may be relevant, the party may contact Commerce and request permission to submit the additional information. As stated above, all such comments must be filed on the record of the concurrent AD and CVD investigations.

    Filing Requirements

    All submissions to Commerce must be filed electronically using Enforcement & Compliance's Antidumping Duty and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS).13 An electronically-filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by the time and date it is due. Documents excepted from the electronic submission requirements must be filed manually (i.e., in paper form) with Enforcement & 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.

    13See 19 CFR 351.303 (for general filing requirements); see also Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011), 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 section 702(b)(4)(A) of the Act, Commerce notified representatives of the GOC of the receipt of the Petition, and provided them the opportunity for consultations with respect to the CVD Petition.14 In response to Commerce's invitation, the GOC met with Commerce Officials on February 7, 2018.15 The invitation letter and memorandum to the file regarding the consultations are on file electronically via ACCESS.

    14See Letter to the Embassy of China from Commerce, “Countervailing Duty Petition on Cast Iron Soil Pipe from the People's Republic of China” (January 29, 2018).

    15See memorandum to the file, “Consultations with Officials from the Government of China,” dated February 8, 2018.

    Determination of Industry Support for the Petition

    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,16 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.17

    16See Section 771(10) of the Act.

    17See 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 a petition).

    With regard to the domestic like product, the petitioner does not offer a definition of the domestic like product distinct from the scope of the Petition. Based on our analysis of the information submitted on the record, we have determined that soil 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

    18 For a discussion of the domestic like product analysis in this case, see Countervailing Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Cast Iron Soil Pipe from the People's Republic of China (Initiation Checklist), at Attachment II, Analysis of Industry Support for the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions Covering Cast Iron Soil Pipe from the People's Republic of China (Attachment II). This checklist is 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 petitioner has standing under section 702(c)(4)(A) of the Act, we considered the industry support data contained in the Petition and the General Issues Supplement with reference to the domestic like product as defined in the “Scope of the Investigation,” in the Appendix to this notice. The petitioner provided the 2017 production of the domestic like product by its members.19 The petitioner states that its members are the only known producers of soil pipe in the United States; therefore, the Petition is supported by 100 percent of the U.S. industry.20

    19See Volume I of the Petition at 4.

    20Id. at 3-4 and Exhibit I-1.

    Our review of the data provided in the Petition, General Issues Supplement, and other information readily available to Commerce indicates that the petitioner has established industry support for the Petition.21 First, the Petition 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).22 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 Petition account for at least 25 percent of the total production of the domestic like product.23 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 Petition 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 Petition.24 Accordingly, Commerce determines that the Petition was filed on behalf of the domestic industry within the meaning of section 702(b)(1) of the Act.

    21See Initiation Checklist at Attachment II.

    22See section 702(c)(4)(D) of the Act; see also Initiation Checklist at Attachment II.

    23See Initiation Checklist at Attachment II.

    24Id.

    Commerce finds that the petitioner filed the Petition on behalf of the domestic industry because it is an interested party as defined in section 771(9)(E) of the Act, and it has demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the CVD investigation that it is requesting that Commerce initiate.25

    25Id.

    Injury Test

    Because China is a “Subsidies Agreement Country” 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 China materially injure, or threaten material injury to, a U.S. industry.

    Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation

    The petitioner alleges 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 petitioner alleges that subject imports exceed the negligibility threshold provided for under section 771(24)(A) of the Act.26

    26See Volume I of the Petition, at 13-14 and Exhibit I-7.

    The petitioner contends that the industry's injured condition is illustrated by a significant and increasing volume of subject imports; reduced market share and increasing market share of subject imports; underselling and price depression; lost sales and revenues; and negative impact on financial results, including total revenue, gross profits, operating income, and net income.27 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.28

    27Id. at 14-19 and Exhibits I-7, I-9 and I-10; see also General Issues Supplement, at 1.

    28See Initiation Checklist at Attachment III, Analysis of Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation for the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions Covering Cast Iron Soil Pipe from the People's Republic of China.

    Initiation of CVD Investigation

    Section 702(b)(1) of the Act requires Commerce to initiate a CVD investigation whenever an interested party files a CVD petition on behalf of an industry that: (1) Alleges the elements necessary for an imposition of a duty under section 701(a) of the Act; and (2) is accompanied by information reasonably available to the petitioner supporting the allegations.

    The petitioner alleges that producers/exporters of soil pipe in China benefited from countervailable subsidies bestowed by the GOC. Commerce examined the Petition and finds that it complies with the requirements of section 702(b)(1) of the Act. Therefore, in accordance with section 702(b)(1) of the Act, we are initiating a CVD investigation to determine whether manufacturers, producers, and/or exporters of soil pipe from China receive countervailable subsidies from the GOC.

    Under the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, numerous amendments to the AD and CVD laws were made.29 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.30 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 this CVD investigation.31

    29See Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, Pub. L. 114-27, 129 Stat. 362 (2015).

    30See 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). The 2015 amendments may be found at https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/1295/text/pl.

    31Id., at 46794-95.

    Subsidy Allegations

    Based on our review of the Petition, we find that there is sufficient information to initiate a CVD investigation on all 32 alleged programs.32 For a full discussion of the basis for our decision to initiate on each program, see the CVD Initiation Checklist. A public version of the initiation checklist for this investigation is available on ACCESS.

    32 In the CVD Supplement, the petitioner withdrew its request that we initiate a CVD investigation on several programs.

    In accordance with section 703(b)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(b)(1), unless postponed, we will make our preliminary determination in this investigation no later than 65 days after the date of initiation.

    Respondent Selection

    The petitioner named numerous companies as producers/exporters of soil pipe from China. Commerce intends to follow its standard practice in CVD investigations and calculate company-specific subsidy rates in this investigation. 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 soil pipe from China during the period of investigation under the appropriate Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States number listed in the “Scope of the Investigation,” in the Appendix.

    On February 5, 2018, 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 this CVD investigation.33 Commerce will not accept rebuttal comments regarding the CBP data or respondent selection.

    33See Memorandum, “Cast Iron Soil Pipe from the People's Republic of China Countervailing Duty Petition: Release of Customs Data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection,” dated February 5, 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 Commerce's website at http://enforcement.trade.gov/apo.

    Comments for this investigation must be filed electronically using ACCESS. An electronically-filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by Commerce's electronic records system, ACCESS, by 5:00 p.m. ET, by the date noted above. We intend to finalize our decision regarding respondent selection within 20 days of publication of this notice.

    Distribution of Copies of the Petition

    In accordance with section 702(b)(4)(A)(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.202(f), a copy of the public version of the Petition has been provided to the GOC via ACCESS. Because of the large number of producers/exporters identified in the Petition,34 Commerce considers the service of the public version of the Petition to the foreign producers/exporters satisfied by delivery of the public version to the GOC, consistent with 19 CFR 351.203(c)(2).

    34See Volume I of the Petition, at Exhibit I-4.

    ITC Notification

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

    Preliminary Determination by the ITC

    The ITC will preliminarily determine, within 45 days after the date on which the Petition was filed, whether there is a reasonable indication that imports of soil pipe from China are materially injuring, or threatening material injury to, a U.S. industry.35 A negative ITC determination will result in the investigation being terminated; 36 otherwise, this investigation will proceed according to statutory and regulatory time limits.

    35See section 703(a)(2) of the Act.

    36See 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) through (iv). The regulation requires any party, when submitting factual information, to specify under which subsection of 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) the information is being submitted and, if the information is submitted to rebut, clarify, or correct factual information already on the record, to provide an explanation identifying the information already on the record that the factual information seeks to rebut, clarify, or correct. Time limits for the submission of factual information are addressed in 19 CFR 351.301, which provides specific time limits based on the type of factual information being submitted. Parties are advised to review the regulations prior to submitting factual information in this investigation.

    Extension 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. on the due date. Under certain circumstances, we may elect to specify a different time limit by which extension requests will be considered untimely for submissions which are due from multiple parties simultaneously. In such a case, we will inform parties in the letter or memorandum setting forth the deadline (including a specified time) by which extension requests must be filed to be considered timely. An extension request must be made in a separate, stand-alone submission; under limited circumstances we will grant untimely-filed requests for the extension of time limits. Review Extension of Time Limits; Final Rule, 78 FR 57790 (September 20, 2013), available at http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-20/html/2013-22853.htm, prior to submitting factual information in this investigation.

    Certification Requirements

    Any party submitting factual information in an AD or CVD proceeding must certify to the accuracy and completeness of that information.37 Parties must use the certification formats provided in 19 CFR 351.303(g).3839 Commerce intends to reject factual submissions if the submitting party does not comply with the applicable revised certification requirements.

    37See section 782(b) of the Act.

    38See 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.

    39See 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 Administrative Protective Order (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.

    Dated: February 15, 2018. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix—Scope of the Investigation

    The merchandise covered by this investigation is cast iron soil pipe, whether finished or unfinished, regardless of industry or proprietary specifications, and regardless of wall thickness, length, diameter, surface finish, end finish, or stenciling. The scope of this investigation includes, but is not limited to, both hubless and hub and spigot cast iron soil pipe. Cast iron soil pipe is nonmalleable iron pipe of various designs and sizes. Cast iron soil pipe is generally distinguished from other types of nonmalleable cast iron pipe by the manner in which it is connected to cast iron soil pipe fittings.

    Cast iron soil pipe is classified into two major types—hubless and hub and spigot. Hubless cast iron soil pipe is 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, including any revisions to those specifications. Hub and spigot pipe has one or more hubs into which the spigot (plain end) of a fitting is inserted. All pipe meeting the physical description set forth above is covered by the scope of this investigation, whether or not produced according to a particular standard.

    The subject imports are currently classified in subheading 7303.00.0030 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS): 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.

    [FR Doc. 2018-03746 Filed 2-22-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Civil Nuclear Trade Advisory Committee; Meeting of the Civil Nuclear Trade Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Federal Advisory Committee meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice sets forth the schedule and proposed agenda for a meeting of the Civil Nuclear Trade Advisory Committee (CINTAC).

    DATES:

    The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, May 17, 2018, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held via conference call. The call-in number and passcode will be provided by email to registrants. Requests to register (including to speak or for auxiliary aids) and any written comments should be submitted to: Mr. Jonathan Chesebro, Office of Energy & Environmental Industries, International Trade Administration, Room 20010, 1401 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20230 (Fax: 202-482-5665; email: [email protected]). Members of the public are encouraged to submit registration requests and written comments via email to ensure timely receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Jonathan Chesebro, Office of Energy & Environmental Industries, International Trade Administration, Mail Stop 28018, 1401 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20230 (Phone: 202-482-1297; Fax: 202-482-5665; email: [email protected]).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background: The CINTAC was established under the discretionary authority of the Secretary of Commerce and in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.), in response to an identified need for consensus advice from U.S. industry to the Secretary of Commerce regarding the development and administration of programs to expand United States exports of civil nuclear goods and services in accordance with applicable U.S. laws and regulations, including advice on how U.S. civil nuclear goods and services export policies, programs, and activities will affect the U.S. civil nuclear industry's competitiveness and ability to participate in the international market.

    Topics to be considered: The agenda for the Thursday, May 17, 2018 CINTAC meeting is as follows:

    Public Session 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. 1. International Trade Administration's Civil Nuclear Trade Initiative Update 2. Civil Nuclear Trade Promotion Activities Discussion 3. Public comment period

    The meeting will be open to the public and will be accessible to people with disabilities. Members of the public wishing to attend the meeting must notify Mr. Jonathan Chesebro at the contact information above by 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, May 11, 2018 in order to pre-register. Please specify any requests for reasonable accommodation at least five business days in advance of the meeting. Last minute requests will be accepted, but may not be possible to fill.

    A limited amount of time will be available for pertinent brief oral comments from members of the public attending the meeting. To accommodate as many speakers as possible, the time for public comments will be limited to two (2) minutes per person, with a total public comment period of 60 minutes. Individuals wishing to reserve speaking time during the meeting must contact Mr. Chesebro and submit a brief statement of the general nature of the comments and the name and address of the proposed participant by 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, May 11, 2018. If the number of registrants requesting to make statements is greater than can be reasonably accommodated during the meeting, ITA may conduct a lottery to determine the speakers.

    Any member of the public may submit pertinent written comments concerning the CINTAC's affairs at any time before and after the meeting. Comments may be submitted to the Civil Nuclear Trade Advisory Committee, Office of Energy & Environmental Industries, U.S. Department of Commerce, Mail Stop 28018, 1401 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20230. For consideration during the meeting, and to ensure transmission to the Committee prior to the meeting, comments must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, May 11, 2018. Comments received after that date will be distributed to the members but may not be considered at the meeting.

    Copies of CINTAC meeting minutes will be available within 90 days of the meeting.

    Dated: February 14, 2018. Man Cho, Deputy Director, Office of Energy and Environmental Industries.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03711 Filed 2-22-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DR-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-905] Certain Polyester Staple Fiber From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Expedited Sunset Review of the Antidumping Duty Order AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    As a result of this sunset review, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) finds that revocation of the antidumping duty order on certain polyester staple fiber (PSF) from the People's Republic of China (China) would likely lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping at the levels indicated in the “Final Results of Review” section of this notice.

    DATES:

    Applicable February 23, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Paul Walker, Enforcement and Compliance, Office V, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-0238.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On September 6, 2017, Commerce initiated the second sunset review of the antidumping duty order 1 on PSF from China, pursuant to section 751(c) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act).2 On February 16, 2016, Commerce received a timely notice of intent to participate in the sunset review from the domestic producers, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.218(d)(1)(i).3 The domestic producers in this sunset review claimed interested party status under section 771(9)(C) of the Act, as producers of the domestic like product.4 On October 6, 2017, the domestic producers filed a substantive response in the sunset review within the 30-day deadline, as specified in 19 CFR 351.218(d)(3)(i).5 Commerce did not receive a substantive response from any respondent interested party in the sunset review. On November 15, 2017, Commerce made its adequacy determination in the sunset review finding that Commerce did not receive a substantive response from any respondent interested party.6

    1See Notice of Antidumping Duty Order: Certain Polyester Staple Fiber from the People's Republic of China, 72 FR 30545 (June 1, 2007) (Order).

    2See Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Advance Notification of Sunset Reviews, 82 FR 42078 (September 6, 2017).

    3See letter from the domestic producers, “Polyester Staple Fiber from China—Petitioners' Notice of Intent to Participate,” dated September 21, 2017.

    4 The domestic producers in this sunset review are DAK Americas, LLC, Nan Ya Plastics Corporation, America and Auriga Polymers Inc.

    5See Substantive Response.

    6See Letter to the ITC from Commerce, “Sunset Reviews Initiated in September 2017,” dated November 15, 2017. In this letter, we stated that based on the lack of an adequate response in the sunset review from any respondent party, {Commerce} is conducting an expedited (120-day) sunset review consistent with section 751(c)(3)(B) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.218(e)(1)(ii)(C)(2). See also Procedures for Conducting Five-year (Sunset) Reviews of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders, 63 FR 13516, 13519 (March 20, 1998) (Commerce normally will conduct an expedited sunset review where respondent interested parties provide an inadequate response).

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise subject to the order is synthetic staple fibers, not carded, combed or otherwise processed for spinning, of polyesters measuring 3.3 decitex (3 denier, inclusive) or more in diameter. This merchandise is cut to lengths varying from one inch (25 mm) to five inches (127 mm). The merchandise is currently classifiable under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTSUS) subheadings 5503.20.0045 and 5503.20.0065.7

    7See “Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Results of the Expedited Sunset Review of the Antidumping Duty Order on Certain Polyester Staple Fiber from the People's Republic of China,” dated concurrently with this notice (Issues and Decision Memorandum).

    Analysis of Comments Received

    All issues raised in this review are addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum. The issues discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum include the likelihood of continuation or recurrence of dumping and the magnitude of the margins likely to prevail if the Order were revoked. Parties may find a complete discussion of all issues raised in the review and the corresponding recommendations in this public memorandum which is on file electronically via Enforcement & Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Services 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 Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the web at http://trade.gov/enforcement. The signed Issues and Decision Memorandum and the electronic version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    Final Results of Review

    Pursuant to sections 752(c)(1) and 752(c)(1) and (3) of the Act, Commerce determines that revocation of the antidumping duty order on PSF from China would likely lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping at weighted-average margins up to 44.30 percent.

    Notice Regarding Administrative Protective Order (APO)

    This notice also serves as the only reminder to parties subject to an APO of their responsibility concerning the return or destruction of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305. Timely notification of the return or destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of an APO is a violation which is subject to sanction.

    This sunset review and notice are in accordance with sections 751(c), 752(c), 777(i)(1) of the Act, and 19 CFR 351.218.

    Dated: February 16, 2018. Prentiss Lee Smith, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Negotiations.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03748 Filed 2-22-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [Application No. 99-12A05] Export Trade Certificate of Review ACTION:

    Notice of issuance of an amended Export Trade Certificate of Review to California Almond Export Association, LLC (CAEA), Application No. 99-12A05.

    SUMMARY:

    The Secretary of Commerce, through the Office of Trade and Economic Analysis (OTEA), issued an amended Export Trade Certificate of Review to CAEA on February 9, 2018. A previous amended Export Trade Certificate of Review was issued to CAEA on June 12, 2017, and a notice of its issuance was published in the Federal Register on June 26, 2017 (82 FR 28826).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joseph Flynn, Director, Office of Trade and Economic Analysis, International Trade Administration, (202) 482-5131 (this is not a toll-free number) or email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title III of the Export Trading Company Act of 1982 (15 U.S.C. Sections 4001-21) (the Act) authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to issue Export Trade Certificates of Review. An Export Trade Certificate of Review protects the holder and the members identified in the Certificate from State and Federal government antitrust actions and from private treble damage antitrust actions for the export conduct specified in the Certificate and carried out in compliance with its terms and conditions. The regulations implementing Title III are found at 15 CFR part 325 (2015). OTEA is issuing this notice pursuant to 15 CFR 325.6(b), which requires the Secretary of Commerce to publish a summary of the certification in the Federal Register. Under Section 305(a) of the Act and 15 CFR 325.11(a), any person aggrieved by the Secretary's determination may, within 30 days of the date of this notice, bring an action in any appropriate district court of the United States to set aside the determination on the ground that the determination is erroneous.

    Description of Certified Conduct

    CAEA's Export Trade Certificate of Review has been amended to:

    • Add Stewart & Jasper Marketing, Inc. as a Member

    CAEA's Export Trade Certificate of Review Membership, as amended, is listed below:

    Almonds California Pride, Inc., Caruthers, CA Baldwin-Minkler Farms, Orland, CA Blue Diamond Growers, Sacramento, CA Campos Brothers, Caruthers, CA Chico Nut Company, Chico, CA Del Rio Nut Company, Livingston, CA Fair Trade Corner, Inc., Chico, CA Fisher Nut Company, Modesto, CA Hilltop Ranch, Inc., Ballico, CA Hughson Nut, Inc., Hughson, CA Mariani Nut Company, Winters, CA Nutco, LLC d.b.a. Spycher Brothers, Turlock, CA P-R Farms, Inc., Clovis, CA Roche Brothers International Family Nut Co., Escalon, CA RPAC, LLC, Los Banos, CA South Valley Almond Company, LLC, Wasco, CA Stewart & Jasper Marketing, Inc., Newman, CA SunnyGem, LLC, Wasco, CA Western Nut Company, Chico, CA Wonderful Pistachios & Almonds, LLC, Los Angeles, CA

    The effective date of the amended certificate is November 14, 2017, the date on which CAEA's application to amend was deemed submitted.

    Dated: February 20, 2018. Joseph E. Flynn, Director, Office of Trade and Economic Analysis, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03747 Filed 2-22-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DR-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-079] Cast Iron Soil Pipe From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair Value Investigation AGENCY:

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

    DATES:

    Applicable February 15, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Javier Barrientos at (202) 482-2243, AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement & Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Petition

    On January 26, 2018, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) received an antidumping duty (AD) petition concerning imports of cast iron soil pipe (soil pipe) from the People's Republic of China (China), filed in proper form, on behalf of the Cast Iron Soil Pipe Institute (the petitioner).1 The petitioner is a trade association, whose members are all domestic producers of soil pipe.2 The AD petition was accompanied by a countervailing duty (CVD) petition for soil pipe from China.3

    1See Letter to the Secretary of Commerce from the petitioner re: Cast Iron Pipe from the People's Republic of China—Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties, dated January 26, 2018 (Petition).

    2 See Volume I of the Petition at 2. The individual members of the Cast Iron Soil Pipe Institute are AB&I Foundry, Charlotte Pipe & Foundry, and Tyler Pipe.

    3See Volume III of the Petition.

    On January 31, 2018, Commerce requested additional information and clarification of certain areas of the Petition.4 The petitioner filed responses to these requests on February 2, 2018.5

    4See Letters from Commerce, “Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties on Imports of Cast Iron Soil Pipe from the People's Republic of China: Supplemental Questions,” dated January 31, 2018, and “Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties on Imports of Cast Iron Soil Pipe from the People's Republic of China: General Issues Supplemental Questions,” dated January 31, 2018.

    5See Letters from the petitioner, “Cast Iron Soil Pipe from the People's Republic of China: Response to Supplemental Questions—General Issues,” dated February 2, 2018 (General Issues Supplement), and “Cast Iron Soil Pipe from the People's Republic of China: Response to Supplemental Questions—Antidumping Duties,” dated February 2, 2018 (AD Supplemental Response).

    In accordance with section 732(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), the petitioner alleges that imports of soil pipe from China 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, an industry in the United States. Also, consistent with section 732(b)(1) of the Act, the Petition is accompanied by information reasonably available to the petitioner supporting its allegations.

    Commerce finds that the petitioner filed the Petition on behalf of the domestic industry because the petitioner is an interested party as defined in section 771(9)(E) of the Act. Commerce also finds that the petitioner demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the initiation of the AD investigation that the petitioner is requesting.6

    6See “Determination of Industry Support for the Petition” section, below.

    Period of Investigation

    Because the Petition was filed on January 26, 2018, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.204(b)(1), the period of investigation (POI) is July 1, 2017, through December 31, 2017.

    Scope of the Investigation

    The product covered by this investigation is soil pipe from China. For a full description of the scope of this investigation, see the “Scope of the Investigation,” in the Appendix to this notice.

    Comments on the Scope of the Investigation

    On February 2, 2018, in response to a question from Commerce, the petitioner filed a revision to the scope language.7

    7See General Issues Supplement at Exhibit 1.

    As discussed in the preamble to Commerce's regulations,8 we are setting aside a period for interested parties to raise issues regarding product coverage (i.e., scope). Commerce will consider all comments received from interested parties and, if necessary, will consult with the interested parties prior to the issuance of the preliminary determination. If scope comments include factual information,9 all such factual information should be limited to public information. In order to facilitate preparation of its questionnaire, Commerce requests all interested parties to submit such comments by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on Wednesday, March 7, 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 Monday, March 19, 2018, which is the next business day after the tenth calendar day from the deadline for initial comments.10 All such comments must be filed on the record of each of the concurrent AD and CVD investigations.

    8See Antidumping Duties; Countervailing Duties: Final Rule, 62 FR 27296, 27323 (May 19, 1997).

    9See 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21).

    10See 19 CFR 351.303(b).

    Commerce requests that any factual information the parties consider relevant to the scope of the investigation be submitted during this time period. However, if a party subsequently finds that additional factual information pertaining to the scope of the investigation may be relevant, the party may contact Commerce and request permission to submit the additional information. As stated above, all such comments must be filed on the record of the concurrent AD and CVD investigations.

    Filing Requirements

    All submissions to Commerce must be filed electronically using Enforcement & Compliance's Antidumping Duty and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS).11 An electronically-filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by the time and date it is due. Documents excepted from the electronic submission requirements must be filed manually (i.e., in paper form) with Enforcement & 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.

    11See 19 CFR 351.303 (for general filing requirements); see also Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011), 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.

    Comments on Product Characteristics for AD Questionnaires

    Commerce requests comments from interested parties regarding the appropriate physical characteristics of soil pipe to be reported in response to Commerce's AD questionnaire. This information will be used to identify the key physical characteristics of the merchandise under consideration in order to report the relevant factors and costs of production accurately as well as to develop appropriate product-comparison criteria.

    Interested parties will have the opportunity to 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 used by manufacturers to describe soil 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 questionnaire, all comments must be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on March 7, 2018. Any rebuttal comments, which may include factual information, must be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on March 19, 2018. All comments and submissions to Commerce must be filed electronically using ACCESS, as explained above, on the record of the less-than-fair value investigation.

    Determination of Industry Support for the Petition

    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,12 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.13

    12See Section 771(10) of the Act.

    13See 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 a petition).

    With regard to the domestic like product, the petitioner does not offer a definition of the domestic like product distinct from the scope of the Petition. Based on our analysis of the information submitted on the record, we have determined that soil 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.14

    14 For a discussion of the domestic like product analysis in this case, see Antidumping Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Cast Iron Soil Pipe from the People's Republic of China (Initiation Checklist), at Attachment II, Analysis of Industry Support for the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions Covering Cast Iron Soil Pipe from the People's Republic of China (Attachment II). This checklist is 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 petitioner has standing under section 732(c)(4)(A) of the Act, we considered the industry support data contained in the Petition and the General Issues Supplement with reference to the domestic like product as defined in the “Scope of the Investigation,” in the Appendix to this notice. The petitioner provided the 2017 production of the domestic like product by its members.15 The petitioner states that its members are the only known producers of soil pipe in the United States; therefore, the Petition is supported by 100 percent of the U.S. industry.16

    15See Volume I of the Petition at 4.

    16Id. at 3-4 and Exhibit I-1.

    Our review of the data provided in the Petition, General Issues Supplement, and other information readily available to Commerce indicates that the petitioner has established industry support for the Petition.17 First, the Petition 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).18 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 Petition account for at least 25 percent of the total production of the domestic like product.19 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 Petition 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 Petition.20 Accordingly, Commerce determines that the Petition was filed on behalf of the domestic industry within the meaning of section 732(b)(1) of the Act.

    17See Initiation Checklist at Attachment II.

    18See section 732(c)(4)(D) of the Act; see also Initiation Checklist at Attachment II.

    19See Initiation Checklist at Attachment II.

    20Id.

    Commerce finds that the petitioner filed the Petition on behalf of the domestic industry because it is an interested party as defined in section 771(9)(E) of the Act, and it has demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the AD investigation that it is requesting that Commerce initiate.21

    21Id.

    Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation

    The petitioner alleges 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 petitioner alleges that subject imports exceed the negligibility threshold provided for under section 771(24)(A) of the Act.22 The petitioner contends that the industry's injured condition is illustrated by a significant and increasing volume of subject imports; reduced market share and increasing market share of subject imports; underselling and price depression; lost sales and revenues; and negative impact on financial results, including total revenue, gross profits, operating income, and net income.23 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.24

    22See Volume I of the Petition at 13-14 and Exhibit I-7.

    23See Volume I of the Petition at 14-19 and Exhibits I-7, I-9 and I-10; see also General Issues Supplement at 1.

    24See Initiation Checklist at Attachment III, Analysis of Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation for the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions Covering Cast Iron Soil Pipe from the People's Republic of China.

    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 the AD investigation of imports of soil pipe from China. The sources of data for the deductions and adjustments relating to U.S. price and NV are discussed in greater detail in the Initiation Checklist.25

    25Id. at 6-9.

    Export Price

    The petitioner based the U.S. price on export price (EP) using average unit values (AUVs) of publicly available import data.26 The petitioner made deductions to U.S. price for foreign inland freight and brokerage and handling.27

    26See Volume II of the Petition at 3 and Exhibit II-4.

    27Id. at 3-4 and Exhibits II-5 and 6; see also AD Supplemental Response at 4-6 and Exhibits 4-6.

    Normal Value

    Commerce considers China to be a non-market economy (NME) country.28 In accordance with section 771(18)(C)(i) of the Act, the presumption of NME status remains in effect until revoked by Commerce. The presumption of NME status for China has not been revoked by Commerce and, therefore, remains in effect for purposes of the initiation of this investigation. Accordingly, the NV of the product is appropriately based on factors of production (FOPs) valued in a surrogate market economy country, in accordance with section 773(c) of the Act.

    28See 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, 50871 (November 2, 2017), and accompanying decision memorandum, China's Status as a Non-Market Economy; see also Volume II of the Petition at 1.

    The petitioner argues that Brazil is an appropriate surrogate country for China because it is a market economy that is at a level of economic development comparable to that of China, it is a significant producer of comparable merchandise, and public information from Brazil is available to value all FOPs.29 Based on the information provided by the petitioner, we determine that it is appropriate to use Brazil as a surrogate country for China. 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 no later than 30 days before the scheduled date of the preliminary determination.

    29See Volume II of the Petition at 2-3.

    Factors of Production

    Because information regarding the volume of inputs consumed by Chinese producers/exporters is not reasonably available, the petitioner based the FOPs for materials, labor, and energy on the production experience of one of its member companies.30 The petitioner maintains that the production process for soil pipe is similar regardless of whether the product is produced in the United States or in China.31 The petitioner valued the estimated FOPs using surrogate values from Brazil.

    30Id. at 5-6 and Exhibit II-7. See also AD Supplemental Response at 3 and Exhibit 2.

    31Id.

    Valuation of Raw Materials

    The petitioner valued direct materials based on publicly-available import data for Brazil obtained from the Global Trade Atlas (GTA) for the period July 2017 through December 2017.32 The petitioner excluded all import data from countries previously determined by Commerce to maintain export subsidies and countries previously determined by Commerce to be NME countries.33

    32See Volume II of the Petition at 5-6 and Exhibit II-9.

    33Id.

    Valuation of Labor

    The petitioner relied on June through November 2017 data published by the Instituto Brasilero de Geografia e Estatistica for wage rates in manufacturing.34

    34Id. at 7 and Exhibit II-12.

    Valuation of Energy

    The petitioner valued natural gas and coke using GTA import data.35 The petitioner valued electricity using POI values reported in Brazil's Ministry of Mines and Energy Monthly Energy Bulletin.36

    35Id. at 7 and Exhibit II-9.

    36Id. at 7 and Exhibit II-11.

    Valuation of Factory Overhead, Selling, General and Administrative Expenses, and Profit

    The petitioner calculated ratios for overhead, selling, general, and administrative expenses, and profit based on the 2015 consolidated financial statements of Tupy SA, a cast iron products producer in Brazil.37

    37Id. at 7-8 and Exhibit II-13.

    Fair Value Comparisons

    Based on the data provided by the petitioner, there is reason to believe that imports of soil pipe from China are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less-than-fair value. Based on comparisons of EP to NV, in accordance with section 773(c) of the Act, the estimated dumping margin for soil pipe from China is 93.32 percent.38

    38See AD Supplemental Response at 7 and Exhibit 6.

    Initiation of Less-Than-Fair Value Investigation

    Based upon the examination of the AD Petition on soil pipe from China, we find that the Petition meets the requirements of section 732 of the Act. Therefore, we are initiating an AD investigation to determine whether imports of soil pipe from China 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 determination 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.39 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.40 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 this AD investigation.41

    39See Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, Public Law 114-27, 129 Stat. 362 (2015).

    40See 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).

    41Id. 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 petitioner named numerous companies as producers/exporters of soil pipe from China.42 In accordance with our standard practice for respondent selection in cases involving NME countries, we intend to issue quantity and value (Q&V) questionnaires to producers/exporters of merchandise subject to this investigation. In the event Commerce determines that the number of companies is large and it cannot individually examine each company, where appropriate, Commerce intends to select mandatory respondents based on the responses received.43 For this investigation, Commerce will request Q&V information from known exporters and producers identified, with complete contact information, in the Petition. In addition, Commerce will post the Q&V questionnaire along with filing instructions on the Enforcement & Compliance website at http://www.trade.gov/enforcement/news.asp.

    42See Volume I of the Petition at Exhibit I-6.

    43See, e.g., Carton-Closing Staples from the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation, 82 FR 19351 (April 27, 2017).

    Exporters/producers of soil 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 from the Enforcement & Compliance website. The Q&V response must be submitted by all Chinese exporters/producers no later than February 26, 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.44 The specific requirements for submitting a separate-rate application 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.45 Exporters and producers who submit a separate-rate application and are 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 respondents submit a response to both the Q&V questionnaire and the separate-rate application by their respective deadlines in order to receive consideration for separate-rate status.

    44See 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).

    45 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.46

    46See Policy Bulletin 05.1 at 6 (emphasis added).

    Distribution of Copies of the Petition

    In accordance with section 732(b)(3)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.202(f), a copy of the public version of the Petition has been provided to the Government of China (GOC) via ACCESS. Because of the large number of producers/exporters identified in the Petition,47 Commerce considers the service of the public version of the Petition to the foreign producers/exporters satisfied by delivery of the public version to the GOC, consistent with 19 CFR 351.203(c)(2).

    47See Volume I of the Petition at Exhibit I-4.

    ITC Notification

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

    Preliminary Determination by the ITC

    The ITC will preliminarily determine, within 45 days after the date on which the Petition was filed, whether there is a reasonable indication that imports of soil pipe from China are materially injuring, or threatening material injury to, a U.S. industry.48 A negative ITC determination will result in the investigation being terminated; 49 otherwise, this investigation will proceed according to statutory and regulatory time limits.

    48See section 733(a) of the Act.

    49Id.

    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) through (iv). The regulation requires any party, when submitting factual information, to specify under which subsection of 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) the information is being submitted and, if the information is submitted to rebut, clarify, or correct factual information already on the record, to provide an explanation identifying the information already on the record that the factual information seeks to rebut, clarify, or correct. Time limits for the submission of factual information are addressed in 19 CFR 351.301, which provides specific time limits based on the type of factual information being submitted. Parties are advised to review the regulations prior to submitting factual information in this investigation.

    Extension 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. on the due date. Under certain circumstances, we may elect to specify a different time limit by which extension requests will be considered untimely for submissions which are due from multiple parties simultaneously. In such a case, we will inform parties in the letter or memorandum setting forth the deadline (including a specified time) by which extension requests must be filed to be considered timely. An extension request must be made in a separate, stand-alone submission; under limited circumstances we will grant untimely-filed requests for the extension of time limits. Review Extension of Time Limits; Final Rule, 78 FR 57790 (September 20, 2013), available at http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-20/html/2013-22853.htm, prior to submitting factual information in this investigation.

    Certification Requirements

    Any party submitting factual information in an AD or CVD proceeding must certify to the accuracy and completeness of that information.50 Parties must use the certification formats provided in 19 CFR 351.303(g).5152 Commerce intends to reject factual submissions if the submitting party does not comply with the applicable revised certification requirements.

    50See section 782(b) of the Act.

    51See 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.

    52See 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 Administrative Protective Order (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 732(c)(2) and 777(i) of the Act.

    Dated: February 15, 2018. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix—Scope of the Investigation

    The merchandise covered by this investigation is cast iron soil pipe, whether finished or unfinished, regardless of industry or proprietary specifications, and regardless of wall thickness, length, diameter, surface finish, end finish, or stenciling. The scope of this investigation includes, but is not limited to, both hubless and hub and spigot cast iron soil pipe. Cast iron soil pipe is nonmalleable iron pipe of various designs and sizes. Cast iron soil pipe is generally distinguished from other types of nonmalleable cast iron pipe by the manner in which it is connected to cast iron soil pipe fittings.

    Cast iron soil pipe is classified into two major types—hubless and hub and spigot. Hubless cast iron soil pipe is 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, including any revisions to those specifications. Hub and spigot pipe has one or more hubs into which the spigot (plain end) of a fitting is inserted. All pipe meeting the physical description set forth above is covered by the scope of this investigation, whether or not produced according to a particular standard.

    The subject imports are currently classified in subheading 7303.00.0030 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS): 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.

    [FR Doc. 2018-03751 Filed 2-22-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Commerce) has received requests to conduct administrative reviews of various antidumping and countervailing duty orders and findings with December anniversary dates. In accordance with Commerce's regulations, we are initiating those administrative reviews.

    DATES:

    Applicable February 23, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brenda E. Brown, Office of AD/CVD Operations, Customs Liaison Unit, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230, telephone: (202) 482-4735.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    Commerce has received timely requests, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.213(b), for administrative reviews of various antidumping and countervailing duty orders and findings with December anniversary dates.

    All deadlines for the submission of various types of information, certifications, or comments or actions by Commerce discussed below refer to the number of calendar days from the applicable starting time.

    Notice of No Sales

    If a producer or exporter named in this notice of initiation had no exports, sales, or entries during the period of review (POR), it must notify Commerce within 30 days of publication of this notice in the Federal Register. All submissions must be filed electronically at http://access.trade.gov in accordance with 19 CFR 351.303.1 Such submissions are subject to verification in accordance with section 782(i) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). Further, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.303(f)(1)(i), a copy must be served on every party on Commerce's service list.

    1See Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011).

    Respondent Selection

    In the event Commerce limits the number of respondents for individual examination for administrative reviews initiated pursuant to requests made for the orders identified below, except for the review of the antidumping duty order on crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, whether or not assembled into modules (“solar cells and modules”) from the People's Republic of China (China), Commerce intends to select respondents based on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data for U.S. imports during the period of review. We intend to place the CBP data on the record within five days of publication of the initiation notice and to make our decision regarding respondent selection within 30 days of publication of the initiation Federal Register notice. Comments regarding the CBP data and respondent selection should be submitted seven days after the placement of the CBP data on the record of this review. Parties wishing to submit rebuttal comments should submit those comments five days after the deadline for the initial comments.

    In the event Commerce decides it is necessary to limit individual examination of respondents and conduct respondent selection under section 777A(c)(2) of the Act:

    In general, Commerce has found that determinations concerning whether particular companies should be “collapsed” (e.g., treated as a single entity for purposes of calculating antidumping duty rates) require a substantial amount of detailed information and analysis, which often require follow-up questions and analysis. Accordingly, Commerce will not conduct collapsing analyses at the respondent selection phase of this review and will not collapse companies at the respondent selection phase unless there has been a determination to collapse certain companies in a previous segment of this antidumping proceeding (e.g., investigation, administrative review, new shipper review or changed circumstances review). For any company subject to this review, if Commerce determined, or continued to treat, that company as collapsed with others, Commerce will assume that such companies continue to operate in the same manner and will collapse them for respondent selection purposes. Otherwise, Commerce will not collapse companies for purposes of respondent selection. Parties are requested to (a) identify which companies subject to review previously were collapsed, and (b) provide a citation to the proceeding in which they were collapsed. Further, if companies are requested to complete the Quantity and Value (Q&V) Questionnaire for purposes of respondent selection, in general each company must report volume and value data separately for itself. Parties should not include data for any other party, even if they believe they should be treated as a single entity with that other party. If a company was collapsed with another company or companies in the most recently completed segment of this proceeding where Commerce considered collapsing that entity, complete Q&V data for that collapsed entity must be submitted.

    In the event the Commerce limits the number of respondents for individual examination in the administrative review of the antidumping duty order on solar cells and modules from the PRC, the Commerce intends to select respondents based on volume data contained in responses to Q&V Questionnaires. Further, Commerce intends to limit the number of Q&V Questionnaires issued in the review based on CBP data for U.S. imports of solar cells and solar modules from the PRC. The units used to measure the imported quantities of solar cells and solar modules are “number”; however, it would not be meaningful to sum the number of imported solar cells and the number of imported solar modules in attempting to determine the largest PRC exporters of subject merchandise by volume. Therefore, Commerce will limit the number of Q&V Questionnaires issued based on the import values in CBP data which will serve as a proxy for imported quantities. Parties subject to the review to which Commerce does not send a Q&V Questionnaire may file a response to the Q&V Questionnaire by the applicable deadline if they desire to be included in the pool of companies from which Commerce will select mandatory respondents. The Q&V Questionnaire will be available on Commerce's website at http://trade.gov/enforcement/news.asp on the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register. The responses to the Q&V Questionnaire must be received by Commerce no later than 21 days after the signature date of this initiation notice. Please be advised that due to the time constraints imposed by the statutory and regulatory deadlines for antidumping duty administrative reviews, Commerce does not intend to grant any extensions for the submission of responses to the Q&V Questionnaire. Parties will be given the opportunity to comment on the CBP data used by Commerce to limit the number of Q&V Questionnaires issued. We intend to place CBP data on the record within five days of publication of this notice in the Federal Register. Comments regarding the CBP data and respondent selection should be submitted seven days after placement of the CBP data on the record.

    Deadline for Withdrawal of Request for Administrative Review

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1), a party that has requested a review may withdraw that request within 90 days of the date of publication of the notice of initiation of the requested review. The regulation provides that Commerce may extend this time if it is reasonable to do so. In order to provide parties additional certainty with respect to when Commerce will exercise its discretion to extend this 90-day deadline, interested parties are advised that Commerce does not intend to extend the 90-day deadline unless the requestor demonstrates that an extraordinary circumstance has prevented it from submitting a timely withdrawal request. Determinations by Commerce to extend the 90-day deadline will be made on a case-by-case basis.

    Separate Rates

    In proceedings involving non-market economy (NME) countries, Commerce begins with a rebuttable presumption that all companies within the country are subject to government control and, thus, should be assigned a single antidumping duty deposit rate. It is Commerce's policy to assign all exporters of merchandise subject to an administrative review in an NME country this single rate unless an exporter can demonstrate that it is sufficiently independent so as to be entitled to a separate rate.

    To establish whether a firm is sufficiently independent from government control of its export activities to be entitled to a separate rate, Commerce analyzes each entity exporting the subject merchandise. In accordance with the separate rates criteria, Commerce assigns separate rates to companies in NME cases only if respondents can demonstrate the absence of both de jure and de facto government control over export activities.

    All firms listed below that wish to qualify for separate rate status in the administrative reviews involving NME countries must complete, as appropriate, either a separate rate application or certification, as described below. For these administrative reviews, in order to demonstrate separate rate eligibility, Commerce requires entities for whom a review was requested, that were assigned a separate rate in the most recent segment of this proceeding in which they participated, to certify that they continue to meet the criteria for obtaining a separate rate. The Separate Rate Certification form will be available on Commerce's website at http://enforcement.trade.gov/nme/nme-sep-rate.html on the date of publication of this Federal Register notice. In responding to the certification, please follow the “Instructions for Filing the Certification” in the Separate Rate Certification. Separate Rate Certifications are due to Commerce no later than 30 calendar days after publication of this Federal Register notice. The deadline and requirement for submitting a Certification applies equally to NME-owned firms, wholly foreign-owned firms, and foreign sellers who purchase and export subject merchandise to the United States.

    Entities that currently do not have a separate rate from a completed segment of the proceeding 2 should timely file a Separate Rate Application to demonstrate eligibility for a separate rate in this proceeding. In addition, companies that received a separate rate in a completed segment of the proceeding that have subsequently made changes, including, but not limited to, changes to corporate structure, acquisitions of new companies or facilities, or changes to their official company name,3 should timely file a Separate Rate Application to demonstrate eligibility for a separate rate in this proceeding. The Separate Rate Status Application will be available on Commerce's website at http://enforcement.trade.gov/nme/nme-sep-rate.html on the date of publication of this Federal Register notice. In responding to the Separate Rate Status Application, refer to the instructions contained in the application. Separate Rate Status Applications are due to Commerce no later than 30 calendar days of publication of this Federal Register notice. The deadline and requirement for submitting a Separate Rate Status Application applies equally to NME-owned firms, wholly foreign-owned firms, and foreign sellers that purchase and export subject merchandise to the United States.

    2 Such entities include entities that have not participated in the proceeding, entities that were preliminarily granted a separate rate in any currently incomplete segment of the proceeding (e.g., an ongoing administrative review, new shipper review, etc.) and entities that lost their separate rate in the most recently completed segment of the proceeding in which they participated.

    3 Only changes to the official company name, rather than trade names, need to be addressed via a Separate Rate Application. Information regarding new trade names may be submitted via a Separate Rate Certification.

    For exporters and producers who submit a separate-rate status application or certification and subsequently are selected as mandatory respondents, these exporters and producers will no longer be eligible for separate rate status unless they respond to all parts of the questionnaire as mandatory respondents.

    Furthermore, firms to Commerce issues a Q&V questionnaire in the antidumping duty administrative review of solar cells and modules from the PRC must submit a timely and complete response to the Q&V questionnaire, in addition to a timely and complete Separate Rate Application or Certification in order to receive consideration for separate-rate status. In other words, Commerce will not give consideration to any timely Separate Rate Certification or Application made by parties to whom Commerce issued a Q&V questionnaire but who failed to respond in a timely manner to the Q&V questionnaire. Exporters subject to the antidumping duty administrative review of solar cells and modules from the PRC to which Commerce does not send a Q&V questionnaire may receive consideration for separate-rate status if they file a timely Separate Rate Application or a timely Separate Rate Certification without filing a response to the Q&V questionnaire. All information submitted by respondents in the antidumping duty administrative review of solar cells and modules from the PRC is subject to verification. As noted above, the Separate Rate Certification, the Separate Rate Application, and the Q&V questionnaire will be available on Commerce's website on the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register.

    Initiation of Reviews

    In accordance with 19 CFR 351.221(c)(1)(i), we are initiating administrative reviews of the following antidumping and countervailing duty orders and findings. We intend to issue the final results of these reviews not later than December 31, 2018.

    Period to be
  • reviewed
  • Antidumping Duty Proceedings India: Carbazole Violet Pigment 23, A-533-838 12/1/16-11/30/17 Pidilite Industries Limited India: Stainless Steel Wire Rod, A-533-808 12/1/16-11/30/17 Isinox Limited India: Welded Stainless Pressure Pipe,4 A-533-867 5/10/16-10/31/17 Oman: Circular Welded Carbon-Quality Steel Pipe, A-523-812 12/1/16-11/30/17 Al Jazeera Steel Products Co. SAOG Republic of Korea: Welded Line Pipe, A-580-876 12/1/16-11/30/17 AJU Besteel Co., Ltd. BDP Interntional, Inc. Daewoo International Corporation Dongbu Incheon Steel Co. Dongbu Steel Co., Ltd. Dongkuk Steel Mill Dong Yang Steel Pipe EEW Korea Co., Ltd. HISTEEL Co., Ltd. Husteel Co., Ltd. Hyundai RB Co. Ltd. Hyundai Steel Company/Hyundai HYSCO Kelly Pipe Co., LLC. Keonwoo Metals Co., Ltd. Kolon Global Corp. Korea Cast Iron Pipe Ind. Co., Ltd. Kurvers Piping Italy S.R.L. MSTEEL Co., Ltd. Miju Steel MFG Co., Ltd. NEXTEEL Co., Ltd. Poongsan Valinox (Valtimet Division) POSCO POSCO Daewoo R&R Trading Co. Ltd. Sam Kang M&T Co., Ltd. SeAH Steel Corp. Sin Sung Metal Co., Ltd. SK Networks Soon-Hong Trading Company Steel Flower Co., Ltd. TGS Pipe Tokyo Engineering Korea Ltd Russia: Certain Hot-Rolled Flat-Rolled Carbon-Quality Steel Products, A-821-809 12/1/16-11/30/17 Novolipetsk Steel (NLMK) Taiwan: Steel Wire Garment Hangers, A-583-849 12/1/16-11/30/17 Charles Enterprise Co., Ltd. Gee Ten Enterprise Co., Ltd. Inmall Enterprises Co., Ltd. Mindfull Life and Coaching Co., Ltd. Ocean Concept Corporation Su-Chia International Ltd. Taiwan Hanger Manufacturing Co., Ltd. Young Max Enterprises Co. Ltd. The People's Republic of China: Cased Pencils, A-570-827 12/1/16-11/30/17 Orient International Holding Shanghai Foreign Trade Co., Ltd. Shandong Rongxin Import & Export Co., Ltd. Shandong Wah Yuen Stationery Co. Ltd. Wah Yuen Stationery Co. Ltd. Tianjin Tonghe Stationery Co. Ltd. The People's Republic of China: Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether Or Not Assembled into Modules, A-570-979 12/1/16-11/30/17 Anji DaSol Solar Energy Science & Technology Co., Ltd. BYD (Shangluo) Industrial Co., Ltd. Canadian Solar International Limited/Canadian Solar Manufacturing (Changshu), Inc./Canadian Solar Manufacturing (Luoyang) Inc./CSI Cells Co., Ltd./CSI-GCL Solar Manufacturing (YanCheng) Co., Ltd./CSI Solar Power (China) Inc. Changzhou Trina Solar Energy Co., Ltd./Trina Solar (Changzhou) Science and Technology Co., Ltd./Yancheng Trina Solar Energy Technology Co., Ltd./Changzhou Trina Solar Yabang Energy Co., Ltd./Turpan Trina Solar Energy Co., Ltd./Hubei Trina Solar Energy Co., Ltd. Chint Solar (Zhejiang) Co., Ltd. De-Tech Trading Limited HK Dongguan Sunworth Solar Energy Co., Ltd. Eoplly New Energy Technology Co., Ltd. ERA Solar Co., Ltd. ET Solar Energy Limited Hangzhou Sunny Energy Science and Technology Co., Ltd. Hengdian Group DMEGC Magnetics Co., Ltd. JA Solar Technology Yangzhou Co., Ltd. Jiangsu High Hope Int'l Group Jiawei Solarchina (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd. Jiawei Solarchina Co., Ltd. JingAo Solar Co., Ltd. Jinko Solar Co., Ltd. Jinko Solar Import and Export Co., Ltd. Jinko Solar International Limited LERRI Solar Technology Co., Ltd. LightWay Green New Energy Co., Ltd. Nice Sun PV Co., Ltd. Ningbo ETDZ Holdings, Ltd. Ningbo Qixin Solar Electrical Appliance Co., Ltd. Risen Energy Co., Ltd. Shanghai BYD Co., Ltd. Shanghai JA Solar Technology Co., Ltd. Shenzhen Sungold Solar Co., Ltd. Shenzhen Topray Solar Co., Ltd. Sumec Hardware & Tools Co., Ltd. Sunpreme Solar Technology (Jiaxing) Co., Ltd. Systemes Versilis, Inc. Taizhou BD Trade Co., Ltd. tenKsolar (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. Toenergy Technology Hangzhou Co., Ltd. Wuxi Suntech Power Co., Ltd/Luoyang Suntech Power Co., Ltd. Wuxi Tianran Photovoltaic Co., Ltd. Xiamen Eco-sources Technology Co., Ltd. Yingli Energy (China) Company Limited/Baoding Tianwei Yingli New Energy Resources Co., Ltd./Tianjin Yingli New Energy Resources Co., Ltd./Hengshui Yingli New Energy Resources Co., Ltd./Lixian Yingli New Energy Resources Co., Ltd./Baoding Jiasheng Photovoltaic Technology Co., Ltd./Beijing Tianneng Yingli New Energy Resources Co., Ltd./Hainan Yingli New Energy Resources Co., Ltd./Shenzhen Yingli New Energy Resources Co., Ltd. Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Limited Yingli Green Energy International Trading Company Limited Zhejiang ERA Solar Technology Co., Ltd. Zhejiang Jinko Solar Co., Ltd. Zhejiang Sunflower Light Energy Science & Technology Limited Liability Company The People's Republic of China: Honey, A-570-863 12/1/16-11/30/17 Jiangsu Runchen Agricultural/Sideline Foodstuff Co., Ltd. Shayang Xianghe Food Co., Ltd. The People's Republic of China: Multilayered Wood Flooring, A-570-970 12/1/16-11/30/17 A&W (Shanghai) Woods Co., Ltd. Anhui Boya Bamboo & Wood Products Co., Ltd. Anhui Longhua Bamboo Product Co., Ltd. Anhui Suzhou Dongda Wood Co., Ltd. Armstrong Wood Products (Kunshan) Co., Ltd. Baishan Huafeng Wooden Product Co., Ltd. Baiying Furniture Manufacturer Co., Ltd. Baroque Timber Industries (Zhongshan) Co., Ltd. Benxi Flooring Factory (General Partnership) Benxi Wood Company Changbai Mountain Development and Protection Zone Hongtu Wood Industrial Co., Ltd. Changzhou Hawd Flooring Co., Ltd. Cheng Hang Wood Co., Ltd. Chinafloors Timber (China) Co., Ltd. Dalian Dajen Wood Co., Ltd. Dalian Guhua Wooden Product Co., Ltd. Dalian Huade Wood Product Co., Ltd. Dalian Huilong Wooden Products Co., Ltd. Dalian Jaenmaken Wood Industry Co., Ltd. Dalian Jiahong Wood Industry Co., Ltd. Dalian Jiuyuan Wood Industry Co., Ltd. Dalian Kemian Wood Industry Co., Ltd. Dalian Penghong Floor Products Co., Ltd. Dalian Qianqiu Wooden Product Co., Ltd. Dalian Shumaike Floor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. Dalian T-Boom Wood Products Co., Ltd. Dalian Xinjinghua Wood Co., Ltd. Dongtai Fuan Universal Dynamics, LLC. Dongtai Zhangshi Wood Industry Co. Ltd. Dunhua City Dexin Wood Industry Co., Ltd. Dunhua City Hongyuan Wood Industry Co., Ltd. Dunhua City Jisen Wood Industry Co., Ltd. Dunhua City Wanrong Wood Industry Co., Ltd. DunHua SenTai Wood Co., Ltd. Dunhua Shengda Wood Industry Co., Ltd. Fine Furniture (Shanghai) Limited Fujian Wuyishan Werner Green Industry Co., Ltd. Fu Lik Timber (HK) Co., Ltd. Fusong Jinlong Wooden Group Co., Ltd. Fusong Jinqiu Wooden Product Co., Ltd. Fusong Qianqiu Wooden Product Co., Ltd. GTP International Ltd. Guangdong Fu Lin Timber Technology Limited Guangdong Yihua Timber Industry Co., Ltd. Guangzhou Homebon Timber Manufacturing Co., Ltd. Guangzhou Panyu Kangda Board Co., Ltd. Guangzhou Panyu Southern Star Co., Ltd. HaiLin LinJing Wooden Products, Ltd. HaiLin XinCheng Wooden Products, Ltd. Hangzhou Dazhuang Floor Co., Ltd. (dba Dasso Industrial Group Co., Ltd.) Hangzhou Hanje Tec Co., Ltd. Hangzhou Huahi Wood Industry Co., Ltd. Hangzhou Zhengtian Industrial Co., Ltd. Henan Xingwangjia Technology Co., Ltd. Hong Kong Easoon Wood Technology Co., Ltd. Huaxin Jiasheng Wood Co., Ltd. Huber Engineering Wood Corp. Hunchun Forest Wolf Wooden Industry Co., Ltd. Hunchun Xingjia Wooden Flooring Inc. Huzhou Chenghang Wood Co., Ltd. Huzhou City Nanxun Guangda Wood Co., Ltd. Huzhou Fulinmen Imp. & Exp. Co., Ltd. Huzhou Fuma Wood Co., Ltd. Huzhou Jesonwood Co., Ltd. Huzhou Muyun Wood Co., Ltd. Huzhou Sunergy World Trade Co., Ltd. Innomaster Home (Zhongshan) Co., Ltd. Jiafeng Wood (Suzhou) Co., Ltd. Jiangsu Guyu International Trading Co., Ltd.. Jiangsu Kentier Wood Co., Ltd. Jiangsu Keri Wood Co., Ltd. Jiangsu Mingle Flooring Co., Ltd. Jiangsu Senmao Bamboo and Wood Industry Co., Ltd. Jiangsu Simba Flooring Co., Ltd. Jiangsu Yuhui International Trade Co., Ltd. Jiashan Fengyun Timber Co., Ltd. Jiashan HuiJiaLe Decoration Material Co., Ltd. Jiashan On-Line Lumber Co., Ltd. Jiaxin Brilliant Import & Export Co., Ltd. Jiaxing Hengtong Wood Co., Ltd. Jilin Forest Industry Jinqiao Flooring Group Co., Ltd. Jilin Xinyuan Wooden Industry Co., Ltd. Karly Wood Product Limited Kember Flooring, Inc. Kemian Wood Industry (Kunshan) Co., Ltd. Kingman Floors Co., Ltd. Kornbest Enterprises Limited Kunming Alston (AST) Wood Products Co., Ltd. Les Planchers Mercier, Inc. Liaoning Daheng Timber Group Co., Ltd. Linyi Anying Wood Co., Ltd. Linyi Bonn Flooring Manufacturing Co., Ltd. Linyi Youyou Wood Co., Ltd. Metropolitan Hardwood Floors, Inc. Mudanjiang Bosen Wood Industry Co., Ltd. Nakahiro Jyou Sei Furniture (Dalian) Co., Ltd. Nanjing Minglin Wooden Industry Co., Ltd. Ningbo Tianyi Bamboo and Wood Products Co., Ltd. Pinge Timber Manufacturing (Zhejiang) Co., Ltd. Power Dekor Group Co., Ltd. Qingdao Barry Flooring Co., Ltd. Scholar Home (Shanghai) New Material Co., Ltd. Shandong Kaiyuan Wood Industry Co., Ltd. Shandong Longteng Wood Co., Ltd. Shandong Puli Trading Co., Ltd. Shanghai Anxin (Weiguang) Timber Co., Ltd. Shanghai Demeija Timber Co., Ltd. Shanghai Eswell Timber Co., Ltd. Shanghai Lairunde Wood Co., Ltd. Shanghai Lizhong Wood Products Co., Ltd. (also known as The Lizhong Wood Industry Limited Company of Shanghai) Shanghai New Sihe Wood Co., Ltd. Shanghai Shenlin Corporation Shanghaifloor Timber (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. Shenyang Haobainian Wooden Co., Ltd. Shenyang Sende Wood Co., Ltd. Shenzhenshi Huanwei Woods Co., Ltd. Sino-Maple (Jiangsu) Co., Ltd. Suzhou Anxin Weiguang Timber Co., Ltd. Suzhou Dongda Wood Co., Ltd. Tak Wah Building Material (Suzhou) Co. Tech Wood International Ltd. Tongxiang Jisheng Import and Export Co., Ltd. Vicwood Industry (Suzhou) Co. Ltd. Xiamen Yung De Ornament Co., Ltd. Xuzhou Antop International Trade Co., Ltd. Xuzhou Shenghe Wood Co., Ltd. Yekalon Industry Inc. Yihua Lifestyle Technology Co., Ltd. Yingyi-Nature (Kunshan) Wood Industry Co., Ltd. Yixing Lion-King Timber Industry Zhejiang AnJi Xinfeng Bamboo and Wood Industry Co., Ltd. Zhejiang Biyork Wood Co., Ltd. Zhejiang Dadongwu Green Home Wood Co., Ltd. Zhejiang Desheng Wood Industry Co., Ltd.. Zhejiang Fudeli Timber Industry Co., Ltd. Zhejiang Fuerjia Wooden Co., Ltd. Zhejiang Fuma Warm Technology Co., Ltd. Zhejiang Haoyun Wooden Co., Ltd. Zhejiang Jesonwood Co., Ltd. Zhejiang Jiechen Wood Industry Co., Ltd. Zhejiang Longsen Lumbering Co., Ltd. Zhejiang Shiyou Timber Co., Ltd. Zhejiang Shuimojiangnan New Material Technology Co., Ltd. Zhejiang Simite Wooden Co., Ltd. Zhejiang Tianzhen Bamboo & Wood Development Co., Ltd. Zhejiang Yongyu Bamboo Joint-Stock Co., Ltd. Turkey: Welded Line Pipe, A-489-822 12/1/16-11/30/17 Borusan Istikbal Ticaret Borusan Mannesmann Boru Sanayi ve Ticaret A. Cayirova Boru Sanayi veTicaret A.S. Cimtas Boru Imalatlari ve Ticaret, Ltd. Sti. Emek Boru Makina Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S. Erbosan Erciyas Tube Industry and Trade Co. Inc. Erciyas Celik Boru Sanayii A.S. Guven Celik Boru Sanayii ve Ticaret Ltd. Sti. Has Altinyagmur celik Boru Sanayii ve Ticaret Ltd. Sti HDM Steel Pipe Industry & Trade Co. Ltd. Metalteks Celik Urunleri Sanayii MMZ Onur Boru Profil Uretim Sanayii ve Ticaret A.S. Noksel Steel Pipe Co. Inc. Ozbal Celik Boru Toscelik Profile and Sheet Industry, Co. Tosyali Dis Ticaret A.S. Umran Celik Boru Sanayii YMS Pipe & Metal Sanayii A.S. Yucelboru Ihracat Ithalat Pazzarlam United Arab Emirates: Circular Welded Carbon-Quality Steel Pipe, A-520-807 6/8/16-11/30/17 Abu Dhabi Metal Pipes and Profiles Industries Complex Ajmal Steel Tubes & Pipes Ind. L.L.C. Ferrolab LLC. Global Steel Industries KHK Scaffolding and Formwork LLC. Lamprell Link Middle East Ltd. PSL FZE Three Star Metal Ind LLC. Universal Tube and Plastic Industries, Ltd. Universal Tube and Pipe Industries Limited Countervailing Duty Proceedings Canada: Supercalendered Paper, C-122-854 1/1/16-12/31/16 Irving Paper Limted Port Hawkesbury Paper LP Resolute FP Canada Inc and Resolute FP US Inc. India: Carbazole Violet Pigment 23, C-533-839 1/1/16-12/31/16 Pidilite Industries Limited India: Welded Stainless Pressure Pipe,5 C-533-868 3/11/16-12/31/16 Quality Stainless Pvt. Ltd. The People's Republic of China: Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether Or Not Assembled Into Modules, C-570-980 1/1/16-12/31/16 Baoding Jiasheng Photovoltaic Technology Co., Ltd. Baoding Tianwei Yingli New Energy Resources Co., Ltd. Beijing Tianneng Yingli New Energy Resources Co., Ltd. BYD (Shangluo) Industrial Co., Ltd. Canadian Solar (USA) Inc. Canadian Solar Inc. Canadian Solar International, Ltd. Canadian Solar Manufacturing (Changshu) Inc. Canadian Solar Manufacturing (Luoyang) Inc. Changzhou Trina Solar Energy Co., Ltd. Changzhou Trina Solar Yabang Energy Co., Ltd. Chint Solar (Zhejiang) Co., Ltd. Dongguan Sunworth Solar Energy Co., Ltd. ERA Solar Co. Limited ET Solar Energy Limited Hainan Yingli New Energy Resources Co., Ltd. Hangzhou Sunny Energy Science and Technology Co., Ltd. Hengdian Group DMEGC Magnetics Co., Ltd. Hengshui Yingli New Energy Resources Co., Ltd. JA Solar Technology Yangzhou Co., Ltd. JA Technology Yangzhou Co., Ltd. Jiangsu High Hope Int'l Group Jiawei Solarchina (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd. Jiawei Solarchina Co., Ltd. JingAo Solar Co., Ltd. Jinko Solar (U.S.) Inc. Jinko Solar Co., Ltd. Jinko Solar Import and Export Co., Ltd. Jinko Solar International Limited Lightway Green New Energy Co., Ltd. Lixian Yingli New Energy Resources Co., Ltd. Luoyang Suntech Power Co., Ltd. Nice Sun PV Co., Ltd. Ningbo Qixin Solar Electrical Appliance Co., Ltd. Risen Energy Co., Ltd. Shanghai BYD Co., Ltd. Shanghai JA Solar Technology Co., Ltd. Shenzhen Glory Industries Co., Ltd. Shenzhen Topray Solar Co., Ltd. Sumec Hardware & Tools Co., Ltd. Systemes Versilis, Inc. Taizhou BD Trade Co., Ltd. tenKsolar (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. Tianjin Yingli New Energy Resources Co., Ltd. Toenergy Technology Hangzhou Co., Ltd. Trina Solar (Changzhou) Science & Technology Co., Ltd. Wuxi Suntech Power Co., Ltd. Yancheng Trina Solar Energy Technology Co., Ltd. Yingli Energy (China) Co., Ltd. Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Limited Yingli Green Energy International Trading Company Limited Zhejiang Era Solar Technology Co., Ltd. Zhejiang Jinko Solar Co., Ltd. Zhejiang Sunflower Light Energy Science & Technology Limited Liability Company The People's Republic of China: Multilayerd Wood Flooring, C-570-971 1/1/16-12/31/16 A&W (Shanghai) Woods Co., Ltd. Anhui Boya Bamboo & Wood Products Co., Ltd. Anhui Longhua Bamboo Product Co., Ltd. Anhui Suzhou Dongda Wood Co., Ltd. Armstrong Wood Products (Kunshan) Co., Ltd. Baishan Huafeng Wooden Product Co., Ltd. Baiying Furniture Manufacturer Co., Ltd. Baroque Timber Industries (Zhongshan) Co., Ltd. Benxi Flooring Factory (General Partnership) Benxi Wood Company Changbai Mountain Development and Protection Zone Hongtu Wood Industrial Co., Ltd. Changzhou Hawd Flooring Co., Ltd. Cheng Hang Wood Co., Ltd. Chinafloors Timber (China) Co., Ltd. Dalian Dajen Wood Co., Ltd. Dalian Huade Wood Product Co., Ltd. Dalian Huilong Wooden Products Co., Ltd. Dalian Jaenmaken Wood Industry Co., Ltd. Dalian Jiahong Wood Industry Co., Ltd Dalian Jiuyuan Wood Industry Co., Ltd. Dalian Kemian Wood Industry Co., Ltd. Dalian Penghong Floor Products Co., Ltd. Dalian Qianqiu Wooden Product Co., Ltd. Dalian Shumaike Floor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. Dalian T-Boom Wood Products Co., Ltd. Dalian Xinjinghua Wood Co., Ltd. Dongtai Fuan Universal Dynamics, LLC Dongtai Zhangshi Wood Industry Co. Ltd. Dun Hua Sen Tai Wood Co., Ltd. Dunhua City Dexin Wood Industry Co., Ltd. Dunhua City Hongyuan Wood Industry Co., Ltd. Dunhua City Jisen Wood Industry Co., Ltd. Dunhua City Wanrong Wood Industry Co., Ltd. Dunhua Shengda Wood Industry Co., Ltd. Fine Furniture (Shanghai) Limited Fu Lik Timber (HK) Co., Ltd. Fujian Wuyishan Werner Green Industry Co., Ltd. Fusong Jinlong Wooden Group Co., Ltd. Fuson Jinqiu Wooden Product Co., Ltd. Fusong Qianqiu Wooden Product Co., Ltd. GTP International Ltd. Guangdong Fu Lin Timber Technology Limited Guangdong Yihua Timber Industry Co., Ltd. Guangzhou Homebon Timber Manufacturing Co., Ltd. Guangzhou Panyu Kangda Board Co., Ltd. Guangzhou Panyu Southern Star Co., Ltd. HaiLin LinJing Wooden Products, Ltd. HaiLin XinCheng Wooden Products, Ltd. Hangzhou Dazhuang Floor Co., Ltd. (dba Dasso Industrial Group Co., Ltd.) Hangzhou Hanje Tec Company Limted Hangzhou Huahi Wood Industry Co., Ltd. Hangzhou Zhengtian Industrial Co., Ltd. Henan Xingwangjia Technology Co., Ltd. Hong Kong Easoon Wood Technology Co., Ltd. Huaxin Jiasheng Wood Co., Ltd. Huber Engineering Wood Corp. Hunchun Forest Wolf Wooden Industry Co., Ltd. Hunchun Xingjia Wooden Flooring Inc. Huzhou Chenghang Wood Co., Ltd. Huzhou City Nanxun Guangda Wood Co., Ltd. Huzhou Fulinmen Imp. & Exp. Co., Ltd. Huzhou Fuma Wood Co., Ltd. Huzhou Jesonwood Co., Ltd. Huzhou Muyun Wood Co., Ltd. Huzhou Sunergy World Trade Co., Ltd. Innomaster Home (Zhongshan) Co., Ltd. Jiafeng Wood (Suzhou) Co., Ltd. Jiangsu Guyu International Trading Co., Ltd. Jiangsu Kentier Wood Co., Ltd. Jiangsu Keri Wood Co., Ltd. Jingsu Mingle Flooring Co., Ltd. Jiangsu Senmao Bamboo and Wood Industry Co., Ltd. Jiangsu Simba Flooring Co., Ltd. Jiangsu Yuhui International Trade Co., Ltd. Jiashan Fengyun Timber Co., Ltd. Jiashan HuiJiaLe Decoration Material Co., Ltd. Jiashan On-Line Lumber Co., Ltd. Jiaxing Brilliant Import & Export Co., Ltd. Jiaxing Hengtong Wood Co., Ltd. Jilin Forest Industry Jinqiao Flooring Group Co., Ltd. Jilin Xinyuan Wooden Industry Co., Ltd. Karly Wood Product Limited Kember Flooring, Inc. Kemian Wood Industry (Kunshan) Co., Ltd. Kingman Floors Co., Ltd. Kornbest Enterprises Limited Kunming Alston (AST) Wood Products Co., Ltd. Les Planchers Mercier, Inc. Linyi Anying Wood Co., Ltd. Linyi Bonn Flooring Manufacturing Co., Ltd. Linyi Youyou Wood Co., Ltd. Metropolitan Hardwood Floors, Inc. Mudanjiang Bosen Wood Industry Co., Ltd. Nakahiro Jyou Sei Furniture (Dalian) Co., Ltd. Nanjing Minglin Wooden Industry Co., Ltd. Ningbo Tianyi Bamboo and Wood Products Co., Ltd. Pinge Timber Manufacturing (Zhejiang) Co., Ltd. Power Dekor Group Co. Ltd. Qingdao Barry Flooring Co., Ltd. Riverside Plywood Corporation Samling Elegant Living Trading (Labuan) Ltd. Samling Global USA, Inc. Samling Riverside Co., Ltd. Scholar Home (Shanghai) New Material Co. Ltd. Shandong Kaiyuan Wood Industry Co., Ltd. Shandong Longteng Wood Co., Ltd. Shandong Puli Trading Co., Ltd. Shanghai Anxin (Weiguang) Timber Co., Ltd. Shanghai Demeija Timber Co., Ltd. Shanghai Eswell Timber Co., Ltd. Shanghai Lairunde Wood Co., Ltd. Shanghai Lizhong Wood Products Co., Ltd. (aka The Lizhong Wood Industry Limited Company of Shanghai) Shanghai New Sihe Wood Co., Ltd. Shanghai Shenlin Corporation Shanghaifloor Timber (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. Shenyang Haobainian Wooden Co., Ltd. Shenyang Sende Wood Co., Ltd. Shenzhenshi Huanwei Woods Co., Ltd. Sino-Maple (Jiangsu) Co., Ltd. Suzhou Anxin Weiguang Timber Co., Ltd. Suzhou Dongda Wood Co., Ltd. Suzhou Times Flooring Co., Ltd. Tak Wah Building Material (Suzhou) Co. Tech Wood International Ltd. Tongxiang Jisheng Import and Export Co., Ltd. Vicwood Industry (Suzhou) Co. Ltd. Xiamen Yung De Ornament Co., Ltd. Xuzhou Antop International Trade Co., Ltd. Xuzhou Shenghe Wood Co., Ltd. Yekalon Industry, Inc. Yihua Lifestyle Technology Co., Ltd. Yingyi-Nature (Kunshan) Wood Industry Co., Ltd. Yixing Lion-King Timber Industry Zhejiang Anji Xinfeng Bamboo and Wood Industry Co., Ltd. Zhejiang Biyork Wood Co., Ltd. Zhejiang Dadongwu Green Home Wood Co., Ltd. Zhejiang Desheng Wood Industry Co., Ltd. Zhejiang Fudeli Timber Industry Co., Ltd. Zhejiang Fuerjia Wooden Co., Ltd. Zhejiang Fuma Warm Technology Co., Ltd. Zhejiang Haoyun Wooden Co., Ltd. Zhejiang Jesonwood Co., Ltd. Zhejiang Jiechen Wood Industry Co., Ltd. Zhejiang Longsen Lumbering Co., Ltd. Zhejiang Shiyou Timber Co., Ltd. Zhejiang Shuimojiangnan New Material Technology Co., Ltd. Zhejiang Simite Wooden Co., Ltd. Zhejiang Tianzhen Bamboo & Wood Development Co., Ltd. Zhejiang Yongyu Bamboo Joint-Stock Co., Ltd. Turkey: Steel Concrete Reinforcing Bar,6 C-489-819 1/1/16-12/31/16 Habas Sinai ve Tibbi Gazlar Istihsal Endustrisi A.S. Turkey: Welded Line Pipe, C-489-823 1/1/16-12/31/16 Borusan Istikbal Ticaret Borusan Mannesmann Boru Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S. Cayirova Boru Sanayii ve Ticaret A.S. Cimtas Boru Imalatlari ve Ticaret, Ltd. Sti. Emek Boru Makina Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S. Erbosan Erciyas Tube Industry and Trade Co. Inc. Erciyas Celik Boru Sanayii A.S. Guven Celik Boru Sanayii ve Ticaret Ltd. Sti Has Altinyagmur celik Boru Sanayii ve Ticaret Ltd. Sti. HDM Steel Pipe Industry & Trade Co. Ltd. Metalteks Celik Urunleri Sanayii MMZ Onur Boru Profil Uretim Sanayii ve Ticaret A.S. Noksel Steel Pipe Co. Inc. Ozbal Celik Boru Toscelik Profile and Sheet Industry, Co. Tosyali Dis Ticaret A.S. Umran Celik Boru Sanayii YMS Pipe & Metal Sanayii A.S. Yucelboru Ihracat Ithalat Pazzarlam Suspension Agreements Mexico: Sugar, A-201-845 12/1/16-11/30/17 Mexico: Sugar, C-201-846 1/1/17-12/30/17
    Duty Absorption Reviews

    4 The case number for this order was listed incorrectly in the initiation notice that published on January 11, 2018 (83 FR 1329). The correct case number is listed above.

    5 The company name listed above was inadvertently misspelled in the initiation notice that published on January 11, 2018 (83 FR 1329). The correct spelling of the company is listed in this notice.

    6 This company was listed in the initiation notice that published on January 11, 2018 (83 FR 1329). However, entries of merchandise produced and exported by Habas Sinai ve Tibbi Gazlar Istihsal Endustrisi A.S. are not subject to countervailing duties because Commerce's final determination with respect to this producer/exporter combination was negative. See Steel Concrete Reinforcing Bar from the Republic of Turkey: Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination Final Affirmative Critical Circumstances Determination, 79 FR 54963 at 54964 (September 15, 2014). Commerce hereby clarifies that the initiation of the administrative review covers entries of merchandise produced by any other entity and exported by Habas Sinai ve Tibbi Gazlar Istihsal Endustrisi A.S. or produced by Habas Sinai ve Tibbi Gazlar Istihsal Endustrisi A.S. and exported by another entity.

    During any administrative review covering all or part of a period falling between the first and second or third and fourth anniversary of the publication of an antidumping duty order under 19 CFR 351.211 or a determination under 19 CFR 351.218(f)(4) to continue an order or suspended investigation (after sunset review), the Secretary, if requested by a domestic interested party within 30 days of the date of publication of the notice of initiation of the review, will determine whether antidumping duties have been absorbed by an exporter or producer subject to the review if the subject merchandise is sold in the United States through an importer that is affiliated with such exporter or producer. The request must include the name(s) of the exporter or producer for which the inquiry is requested.

    Gap Period Liquidation

    For the first administrative review of any order, there will be no assessment of antidumping or countervailing duties on entries of subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption during the relevant provisional-measures “gap” period, of the order, if such a gap period is applicable to the POR.

    Administrative Protective Orders and Letters of Appearance

    Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under administrative protective orders in accordance with the procedures outlined in Commerce's regulations at 19 CFR 351.305. Those procedures apply to administrative reviews included in this notice of initiation. Parties wishing to participate in any of these administrative reviews should ensure that they meet the requirements of these procedures (e.g., the filing of separate letters of appearance as discussed at 19 CFR 351.103(d)).

    Factual Information Requirements

    Commerce's regulations identify five categories of factual information in 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21), which are summarized as follows: (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). These regulations require any party, when submitting factual information, to specify under which subsection of 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) the information is being submitted and, if the information is submitted to rebut, clarify, or correct factual information already on the record, to provide an explanation identifying the information already on the record that the factual information seeks to rebut, clarify, or correct. The regulations, at 19 CFR 351.301, also provide specific time limits for such factual submissions based on the type of factual information being submitted. Please review the final rule, available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/2013/1304frn/2013-08227.txt, prior to submitting factual information in this segment.

    Any party submitting factual information in an antidumping duty or countervailing duty proceeding must certify to the accuracy and completeness of that information.7 Parties are hereby reminded that revised certification requirements are in effect for company/government officials as well as their representatives. All segments of any antidumping duty or countervailing duty proceedings initiated on or after August 16, 2013, should use the formats for the revised certifications provided at the end of the Final Rule. 8 Commerce intends to reject factual submissions in any proceeding segments if the submitting party does not comply with applicable revised certification requirements.

    7See section 782(b) of the Act.

    8See Certification of Factual Information To Import Administration During Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 42678 (July 17, 2013) (Final Rule); see also the frequently asked questions regarding the Final Rule, available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/tlei/notices/factual_info_final_rule_FAQ_07172013.pdf.

    Extension of Time Limits Regulation

    Parties may request an extension of time limits before a time limit established under Part 351 expires, or as otherwise specified by the Secretary. See 19 CFR 351.302. In general, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after the time limit established under Part 351 expires. For submissions which are due from multiple parties simultaneously, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after 10:00 a.m. on the due date. Examples include, but are not limited to: (1) Case and rebuttal briefs, filed pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309; (2) factual information to value factors under 19 CFR 351.408(c), or to measure the adequacy of remuneration under 19 CFR 351.511(a)(2), filed pursuant to 19 CFR 351.301(c)(3) and rebuttal, clarification and correction filed pursuant to 19 CFR 351.301(c)(3)(iv); (3) comments concerning the selection of a surrogate country and surrogate values and rebuttal; (4) comments concerning U.S. Customs and Border Protection data; and (5) quantity and value questionnaires. Under certain circumstances, Commerce 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, Commerce 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. This modification also requires that an extension request must be made in a separate, stand-alone submission, and clarifies the circumstances under which Commerce will grant untimely-filed requests for the extension of time limits. These modifications are effective for all segments initiated on or after October 21, 2013. Please review the final rule, available at http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-20/html/2013-22853.htm, prior to submitting factual information in these segments.

    These initiations and this notice are in accordance with section 751(a) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 1675(a)) and 19 CFR 351.221(c)(1)(i).

    Dated: February 13, 2018. James Maeder, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations performing the duties of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03403 Filed 2-22-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Civil Nuclear Trade Advisory Committee; Meeting of the Civil Nuclear Trade Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Federal Advisory Committee meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice sets forth the schedule and proposed agenda for a meeting of the Civil Nuclear Trade Advisory Committee (CINTAC).

    DATES:

    The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, July 19, 2018, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST).

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the U.S. Department of Commerce, Herbert C. Hoover Building, Room 48019, 1401 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20230.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Jonathan Chesebro, Office of Energy & Environmental Industries, International Trade Administration, Mail Stop 28018, 1401 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20230 (Phone: 202-482-1297; Fax: 202-482-5665; email: [email protected]).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background: The CINTAC was established under the discretionary authority of the Secretary of Commerce and in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.), in response to an identified need for consensus advice from U.S. industry to the Secretary of Commerce regarding the development and administration of programs to expand United States exports of civil nuclear goods and services in accordance with applicable U.S. laws and regulations, including advice on how U.S. civil nuclear goods and services export policies, programs, and activities will affect the U.S. civil nuclear industry's competitiveness and ability to participate in the international market.

    Topics to be considered: The agenda for the Thursday, July 19, 2018 CINTAC meeting is as follows:

    Public Session 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. 1. International Trade Administration's Civil Nuclear Trade Initiative Update 2. Civil Nuclear Trade Promotion Activities Discussion 3. Public comment period

    The meeting will be open to the public and will be accessible to people with disabilities. Members of the public wishing to attend the meeting must notify Mr. Jonathan Chesebro at the contact information above by 5:00 p.m. EST on Friday, July 13, 2018 in order to pre-register. Please specify any requests for reasonable accommodation at least five business days in advance of the meeting. Last minute requests will be accepted, but may not be possible to fill.

    A limited amount of time will be available for pertinent brief oral comments from members of the public attending the meeting. To accommodate as many speakers as possible, the time for public comments will be limited to two (2) minutes per person, with a total public comment period of 60 minutes. Individuals wishing to reserve speaking time during the meeting must contact Mr. Chesebro and submit a brief statement of the general nature of the comments and the name and address of the proposed participant by 5:00 p.m. EST on Friday, July 13, 2018. If the number of registrants requesting to make statements is greater than can be reasonably accommodated during the meeting, ITA may conduct a lottery to determine the speakers.

    Any member of the public may submit pertinent written comments concerning the CINTAC's affairs at any time before and after the meeting. Comments may be submitted to the Civil Nuclear Trade Advisory Committee, Office of Energy & Environmental Industries, U.S. Department of Commerce, Mail Stop 28018, 1401 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20230. For consideration during the meeting, and to ensure transmission to the Committee prior to the meeting, comments must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. EST on Friday, July 13, 2018. Comments received after that date will be distributed to the members but may not be considered at the meeting.

    Copies of CINTAC meeting minutes will be available within 90 days of the meeting.

    Dated: February 14, 2018. Man Cho, Deputy Director, Office of Energy and Environmental Industries.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03709 Filed 2-22-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DR-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership Advisory Board AGENCY:

    National Institute of Standards and Technology, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announces that the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Advisory Board will hold an open meeting on March 7, 2018.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held Wednesday, March 7, 2018, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Reagan Building at 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20004. Please note admittance instructions in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Cheryl L. Gendron, Manufacturing Extension Partnership, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, Mail Stop 4800, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899-4800, telephone number (301) 975-2785, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The MEP Advisory Board is authorized under Section 3003(d) of the America COMPETES Act (Pub. L. 110-69), as amended by the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act, Public Law 114-329 sec. 501 (2017), and codified at 15 U.S.C. 278k(m), in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, 5 U.S.C. App. The Hollings MEP Program (Program) is a unique program, consisting of centers in all 50 states and Puerto Rico with partnerships at the state, federal, and local levels. By statute, the MEP Advisory Board provides the NIST Director with: (1) Advice on the activities, plans, and policies of the Program; (2) assessments of the soundness of the plans and strategies of the Program; and (3) assessments of current performance against the plans of the Program. Background information on the MEP Advisory Board is available at http://www.nist.gov/mep/about/advisory-board.cfm.

    Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, 5 U.S.C. App., notice is hereby given that the MEP Advisory Board will hold an open meeting on Wednesday, March 7, 2018, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The meeting agenda will include an update on Hollings MEP programmatic operations, as well as provide guidance and advice on current activities related to the 2017-2022 MEP National Network Strategic Plan. The MEP Advisory Board will provide input to NIST on supply chain development with an emphasis on defense suppliers, in order to strengthen the defense industrial base; make recommendations on the development of research and performance metrics to support and enrich MEP Center evaluation; receive updates from external organizations that work closely with the Program regarding national and state economic challenges, opportunities, and data trends. The final agenda will be posted on the MEP Advisory Board website at http://www.nist.gov/mep/about/advisory-board.cfm.

    Individuals and representatives of organizations who would like to offer comments and suggestions related to the MEP Advisory Board's business are invited to request a place on the agenda. Approximately 15 minutes will be reserved for public comments at the end of the meeting. Speaking times will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. The amount of time per speaker will be determined by the number of requests received but is likely to be no more than three to five minutes each. Requests must be received in writing before February 28, 2018 to be considered. The exact time for public comments will be included in the final agenda that will be posted on the MEP Advisory Board website at http://www.nist.gov/mep/about/advisory-board.cfm. Questions from the public will not be considered during this period. Speakers who wish to expand upon their oral statements, those who wished to speak but could not be accommodated on the agenda, or those who are/were unable to attend in person are invited to submit written statements to the MEP Advisory Board, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, Mail Stop 4800, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899-4800, via fax at (301) 963-6556, or electronically by email to [email protected]

    Admittance Instructions: Anyone wishing to attend the MEP Advisory Board meeting must submit their name, email address and phone number to Cheryl Gendron ([email protected] or 301-975-2785) no later than Friday, March 2, 2018, 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

    Kevin Kimball, Chief of Staff.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03683 Filed 2-22-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-13-P
    COMMITTEE FOR PURCHASE FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND OR SEVERELY DISABLED Procurement List; Addition and Deletions AGENCY:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled.

    ACTION:

    Addition to and deletions from the Procurement List.

    SUMMARY:

    This action adds a service to the Procurement List that will be provided by a nonprofit agency employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities, and deletes products from the Procurement List previously furnished by such agencies.

    DATES:

    Date added to and deleted from the Procurement List: March 25, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Committee for Purchase from People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled, 1401 S. Clark Street, Suite 715, Arlington, Virginia 22202-4149.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Amy B. Jensen, Telephone: (703) 603-7740, Fax: (703) 603-0655, or email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Addition

    On 1/12/2018 (83 FR 9), the Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled published notice of proposed addition to the Procurement List.

    After consideration of the material presented to it concerning capability of qualified nonprofit agency to furnish the service and impact of the addition on the current or most recent contractors, the Committee has determined that the service listed below is suitable for procurement by the Federal Government under 41 U.S.C. 8501-8506 and 41 CFR 51-2.4.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

    I certify that the following action will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. The major factors considered for this certification were:

    1. The action will not result in any additional reporting, recordkeeping or other compliance requirements for small entities other than the small organization that will provide the service to the Government.

    2. The action will result in authorizing a small entity to provide the service to the Government.

    3. There are no known regulatory alternatives which would accomplish the objectives of the Javits-Wagner-O'Day Act (41 U.S.C. 8501-8506) in connection with the service proposed for addition to the Procurement List.

    End of Certification

    Accordingly, the following service is added to the Procurement List:

    Service Service Type: Janitorial and Related Service, GSA Region 5, FDA Forensic Chemistry Center, 6751 Steger Drive, Cincinnati, OH. Mandatory Source of Supply: Portco, Inc., Portsmouth, VA. Contracting Activity: Public Buildings Service, PBS R5. Deletions

    On 1/19/2018 (83 FR 13), the Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled published notice of proposed deletions from the Procurement List.

    After consideration of the relevant matter presented, the Committee has determined that the products listed below are no longer suitable for procurement by the Federal Government under 41 U.S.C. 8501-8506 and 41 CFR 51-2.4.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

    I certify that the following action will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. The major factors considered for this certification were:

    1. The action will not result in additional reporting, recordkeeping or other compliance requirements for small entities.

    2. The action may result in authorizing small entities to furnish the products to the Government.

    3. There are no known regulatory alternatives which would accomplish the objectives of the Javits-Wagner-O'Day Act (41 U.S.C. 8501-8506) in connection with the products deleted from the Procurement List.

    End of Certification

    Accordingly, the following products are deleted from the Procurement List:

    Products NSNs—Product Names 6515-00-NIB-8007—Gloves, Surgical, Powder-free, Latex, Signature Glide, Translucent Yellow, Size 5.5″ 6515-00-NIB-8008—Gloves, Surgical, Powder-free, Latex, Signature Glide, Translucent Yellow, Size 6″ 6515-00-NIB-8009—Gloves, Surgical, Powder-free, Latex, Signature Glide, Translucent Yellow, Size 6.5″ 6515-00-NIB-8010—Gloves, Surgical, Powder-free, Latex, Signature Glide, Translucent Yellow, Size 7″ 6515-00-NIB-8011—Gloves, Surgical, Powder-free, Latex, Signature Glide, Translucent Yellow, Size 7.5″ 6515-00-NIB-8012—Gloves, Surgical, Powder-free, Latex, Signature Glide, Translucent Yellow, Size 8″ 6515-00-NIB-8013—Gloves, Surgical, Powder-free, Latex, Signature Glide, Translucent Yellow, Size 8.5″ 6515-00-NIB-8014—Gloves, Surgical, Powder-free, Latex, Signature Glide, Translucent Yellow, Size 9″ Mandatory Source of Supply: BOSMA Enterprises, Indianapolis, IN Contracting Activity: Department of Veterans Affairs, Strategic Acquisition Center NSNs—Product Names 9905-01-363-0874—Sign Kit, Contaminate, 8″ x 10″, CAUTION CONTROLLED SURFACE CONTAMINATION AREA 9905-01-363-0878—Sign Kit, Contaminate, CONTROL POINT AREA, CONTROL POINT WATCH, PERMISSION REQUIRED FOR ENTRY 9905-01-454-4649—Sign Kit, Contaminate, 4″ x 5.5″, HOT SPOT, ____MR/HR, __ON CONTACT, __ON CONTACT, WITH SHIELDING 9905-01-454-4651—Sign Kit, Contaminate, 8″ x 10″, CAUTION, HIGH RADIATION AREA, NO ENTRY BY UNAUTHORIZED PERSONNEL 9905-01-454-4655—Sign Kit, Contaminate, CAUTION RADIOLOGICALLY CONTROLLED AREA/RADIOLOGICAL CONTROLS REQUIRED FOR ENT 9905-01-454-4658—Sign Kit, Contaminate, 8″ x 10″, CAUTION RADIATION AREA 9905-01-454-4663—Sign Kit, Contaminate, 8″ x 10″, CAUTION RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL Mandatory Source of Supply: Handicapped Development Center, Davenport, IA Contracting Activity: NAVSUP WEAPON SYSTEMS SUPPORT Amy B. Jensen, Director, Business Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03765 Filed 2-22-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6353-01-P
    COMMITTEE FOR PURCHASE FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND OR SEVERELY DISABLED Procurement List; Proposed Deletions AGENCY:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled.

    ACTION:

    Proposed deletions from the Procurement List.

    SUMMARY:

    The Committee is proposing to deletes products from the Procurement List that was previously furnished by nonprofit agencies employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before: March 25, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Committee for Purchase from People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled, 1401 S. Clark Street, Suite 715, Arlington, Virginia 22202-4149.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For further information or to submit comments contact: Amy B. Jensen, Telephone: (703) 603-7740, Fax: (703) 603-0655, or email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This notice is published pursuant to 41 U.S.C. 8503(a)(2) and 41 CFR 51-2.3. Its purpose is to provide interested persons an opportunity to submit comments on the proposed actions.

    Deletions

    The following products are proposed for deletion from the Procurement List:

    Products NSN—Product Name: 7520-00-NIB-1620—Highlighters, Fluorescent, Flat Mandatory Source of Supply: Winston-Salem Industries for the Blind, Inc., Winston-Salem, NC Contracting Activity: General Services Administration, New York, NY NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 8440-01-288-2178—Handkerchief, Plain Weave, Army, Men's, Brown 8440-00-261-4246—Handkerchief, Mans Mandatory Source of Supply: Mount Rogers Community Services Board, Wytheville, VA Contracting Activity: Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support Amy B. Jensen, Director, Business Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03764 Filed 2-22-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6353-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following exempt wholesale generator filings:

    Docket Numbers: EG18-47-000.

    Applicants: Elk City Renewables II, LLC.

    Description: Notice of Self-Certification of Exempt Wholesale Generator Status of Elk City Renewables II, LLC.

    Filed Date: 2/16/18.

    Accession Number: 20180216-5172.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/9/18.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2401-001.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: Compliance filing: Compliance filing per 1/18/2018 order in Docket No. ER16-2401 to be effective 1/18/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/16/18.

    Accession Number: 20180216-5178.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/9/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-419-004.

    Applicants: Transource Pennsylvania, LLC, Transource Maryland, LLC, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: Compliance filing: Transource PA and MD submit Compliance Filing in ER17-419 re: 1/18/18 Order to be effective 2/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 2/16/18.

    Accession Number: 20180216-5006.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/9/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-473-001.

    Applicants: Union Electric Company.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: Supplement to Filing of Union Electric Company to be effective 1/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/16/18.

    Accession Number: 20180216-5164.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/9/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-861-000.

    Applicants: New York Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Compliance filing: Procedures for revenue allocation from sale of non-historic fixed price TCCs to be effective 4/17/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/15/18.

    Accession Number: 20180215-5119.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/8/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-862-000.

    Applicants: California Independent System Operator Corporation.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2018-02-15 Planning Coordinator Agreement with Silicon Valley Power to be effective 4/17/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/15/18.

    Accession Number: 20180215-5143.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/8/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-863-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Original WMPA SA No. 4942; Queue No. AC1-154 to be effective 1/22/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/15/18.

    Accession Number: 20180215-5151.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/8/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-864-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Original WMPA SA No. 4943; PJM Queue No. AC1-050 to be effective 1/22/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/15/18.

    Accession Number: 20180215-5155.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/8/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-865-000.

    Applicants: Power 52 Inc.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Power52 Market Based Rate Tariff to be effective 4/17/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/15/18.

    Accession Number: 20180215-5179.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/8/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-866-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc., Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2018-02-16_SA 3099 ATXI-UEC Construction Agreement (Adair) to be effective 1/18/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/16/18.

    Accession Number: 20180216-5004.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/9/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-867-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2018-02-16 Tariff revisions for the recovery of costs of TMEPs to be effective 4/18/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/16/18.

    Accession Number: 20180216-5088.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/9/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-868-000.

    Applicants: Sierra Pacific Power Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Rate Schedule No. 72—SPPC/Steamboat Scheduling Agr. to be effective 2/17/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/16/18.

    Accession Number: 20180216-5098.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/9/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-869-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: First Revised ISA, SA No. 3904; Queue No. AA1-108 to be effective 1/18/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/16/18.

    Accession Number: 20180216-5130.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/9/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-870-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Revisions to OATT and RAA RE: Energy Efficiency to be effective 4/17/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/16/18.

    Accession Number: 20180216-5176.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/9/18.

    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 16, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03716 Filed 2-22-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP18-80-000] Notice of Request Under Blanket Authorization: National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation

    Take notice that on February 7, 2018, National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation (National Fuel), 6363 Main Street, Williamsville, New York 14221 filed a prior notice request pursuant to sections 157.205 and 157.216 of the Commission's regulations under the Natural Gas Act for authorization to abandon two wells lines and convert the two associated injection/withdrawal wells to observation wells in its Holland Storage Field located in Erie County, New York. The abandonment will have no effect on the service to any of National Fuel's customers, all as more fully set forth in the application which is on file with the Commission and open to public inspection. The filing may also be viewed on the web 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 at [email protected] or call toll-free, (866) 208-3676 or TTY, (202) 502-8659.

    Any questions regarding this application should be directed to Alice A. Curtiss, Deputy General Counsel for National Fuel, 6363 Main Street, Williamsville, New York 14221, by phone (716) 857-7075, by fax (716) 857-7206, or by email at [email protected]

    Any person may, within 60 days after the issuance of the instant notice by the Commission, file pursuant to Rule 214 of the Commission's Procedural Rules (18 CFR 385.214) a motion to intervene or notice of intervention. Any person filing to intervene or the Commission's staff may, pursuant to section 157.205 of the Commission's Regulations under the NGA (18 CFR 157.205) file a protest to the request. If no protest is filed within the time allowed therefor, the proposed activity shall be deemed to be authorized effective the day after the time allowed for protest. If a protest is filed and not withdrawn within 30 days after the time allowed for filing a protest, the instant request shall be treated as an application for authorization pursuant to section 7 of the NGA.

    Pursuant to section 157.9 of the Commission's rules, 18 CFR 157.9, within 90 days of this Notice the Commission staff will either: Complete its environmental assessment (EA) and place it into the Commission's public record (eLibrary) for this proceeding; or issue a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review. If a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review is issued, it will indicate, among other milestones, the anticipated date for the Commission staff's issuance of the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) or EA for this proposal. The filing of the EA in the Commission's public record for this proceeding or the issuance of a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review will serve to notify federal and state agencies of the timing for the completion of all necessary reviews, and the subsequent need to complete all federal authorizations within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Commission staff's FEIS or EA.

    Persons who wish to comment only on the environmental review of this project should submit an original and two copies of their comments to the Secretary of the Commission. Environmental commenters will be placed on the Commission's environmental mailing list, will receive copies of the environmental documents, and will be notified of meetings associated with the Commission's environmental review process. Environmental commenters will not be required to serve copies of filed documents on all other parties. However, the non-party commentary will not receive copies of all documents filed by other parties or issued by the Commission (except for the mailing of environmental documents issued by the Commission) and will not have the right to seek court review of the Commission's final order.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filings of comments, protests, and interventions via the internet in lieu of paper. See 18 CFR 385.2001(a)(1)(iii) and the instructions on the Commission's website (www.ferc.gov) under the e-Filing link. Persons unable to file electronically should submit original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426.

    Dated: February 16, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03717 Filed 2-22-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP17-463-000] Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review of the Okeechobee Lateral Pipeline Project Florida Southeast Connection, LLC

    On August 22, 2017, Florida Southeast Connection, LLC (FSC) filed an application to construct and operate certain natural gas pipeline facilities. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) is considering this application in Docket No. CP17-463-000 for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity pursuant to Section 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act (NGA). The proposed project is known as the Okeechobee Lateral Pipeline Project (Project), and would connect FSC's mainline system with the Florida Power & Light Company's (FPL) Okeechobee Clean Energy Center (OCEC). The Project would be capable of transporting up to 400 million cubic feet per day of natural gas to the OCEC.

    This Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review indicates the anticipated date for the Commission staff's issuance of an environmental assessment (EA) for this proposal. The issuance of a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review will serve to notify federal and state agencies of the timing for the completion of all necessary reviews, and the subsequent need to complete all federal authorizations within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Commission staff's EA.

    Schedule for Environmental Review Issuance of EA—March 16, 2018 90-day Federal Authorization Decision Deadline—June 14, 2018

    If a schedule change becomes necessary, additional notice will be provided so that the relevant agencies are kept informed of the Project's progress.

    Project Description

    FSC requests authorization to construct and operate approximately 5.2 miles of 20-inch-diameter natural gas transmission pipeline and associated facilities including an inspection tool launcher and a receiver and a meter station in Okeechobee County, Florida. As described above, this lateral pipeline would connect FSC's mainline system with FPL's OCEC. FSC anticipates construction would require four to five months.

    Background

    On October 24, 2017, the Commission issued a Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Okeechobee Lateral Pipeline Project and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues (NOI). The NOI was sent to affected landowners; federal, state, and local government agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; Native American tribes; other interested parties; and local libraries and newspapers. In response to the NOI, the Commission received comments from the Treasure Coast Democratic Environmental Caucus, Seminole Tribe of Florida, Sierra Club, and the Economic Council of Okeechobee County. The primary issues raised by the commentors concern air quality, cumulative impacts, potential future projects and connected actions, cultural resources, purpose and need, alternatives, and greenhouse gas and upstream emissions.

    Additional Information

    In order to receive notification of the issuance of the EA and to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp.

    Additional information about the Project is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs at (866) 208-FERC or on the FERC website (www.ferc.gov). Using the eLibrary link, select General Search from the eLibrary menu, enter the selected date range and Docket Number excluding the last three digits (i.e., CP17-463), and follow the instructions. For assistance with access to eLibrary, the helpline can be reached at (866) 208-3676, TTY (202) 502-8659, or at [email protected] The eLibrary link on the FERC website also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rule makings.

    Dated: February 16, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03715 Filed 2-22-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OW-2018-0079] [ER-FRL-9037-7] Availability of an Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Environmental Assessment (EA)/Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI).

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Council on Environmental Quality's NEPA regulations, and EPA's regulations for implementing NEPA, EPA has prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) to analyze the potential environmental impacts related to the issuance of credit assistance to the Indiana Finance Authority (IFA) for State Revolving Fund (SRF) Loans under the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program. The EA evaluates the potential environmental impacts of water infrastructure projects funded under the WIFIA credit assistance program in compliance with NEPA and the required environmental cross-cutters and other federal, state, and local environmental reviews. Based on the environmental impact analysis in the EA, EPA has made a preliminary determination that no significant environmental impacts are anticipated from the issuance of the credit assistance to IFA. This notice initiates the 30-day review period and invites comments from Federal, State, and local agencies, Indian tribes, and the public regarding EPA's preliminary determination.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by March 25, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2018-0079 to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Please follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or withdrawn. The EPA may publish public comments received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit https://www.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Danusha Chandy, Water Infrastructure Division, Office of Wastewater Management, WIFIA Program, Mail Code: 4201T, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: 202-564-2165; email address [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    EPA is seeking public comment regarding its preliminary Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) to document its determination that no significant environmental impacts are anticipated from the issuance of credit assistance to IFA for SRF Loans under the WIFIA program. EPA invites the public to submit comments through Regulations.gov during the 30-day comment period following the publication of this notice in the Federal Register.

    Congress enacted the WIFIA as part of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014, as amended by sec. 1445 of Public Law 114-94 [1] and codified at 33 U.S.C. 3901-3914. WIFIA establishes a new federal credit program for water infrastructure projects to be administered by EPA.

    The proposed federal action under consideration in this EA is approving or denying IFA's application by either issuing or not issuing a WIFIA loan. The IFA provides loans for the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of eligible water and wastewater infrastructure projects as described in section 603(c) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1383(c)) and section 1452(a)(2) of the Safe Drinking Water Act (42 U.S.C. 300j-12(a)(2)). IFA applied for a WIFIA loan to help fund the 2017 3rd Quarter Project Priority Lists for the Drinking Water SRF (DWSRF) and Clean Water SRF (CWSRF) Loan Programs for projects applying for financial assistance in State Fiscal Year 2017. The proposed action involves the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance for a wide range of water and wastewater infrastructure projects, which are eligible for WIFIA credit assistance.

    The environmental review process, which is documented by the EA, indicates that no potential significant adverse environmental impacts are anticipated from the proposed action. The EA, which analyzed the potential environmental impacts of issuing of credit assistance to IFA for SRF Loans under the WIFIA program, considered the potential environmental impacts from water and waste water infrastructure projects.

    Based on the environmental impact analysis in the EA, EPA has determined that no significant environmental impacts are anticipated from the issuance of credit assistance to IFA for SRF Loans and the proposed action does not constitute a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment, making the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) unnecessary. Therefore, EPA is issuing a preliminary FONSI.

    Dated: February 20, 2018. Kelly Knight, Director, NEPA Compliance Division, Office of Federal Activities.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03730 Filed 2-22-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [ER-FRL-9037-8] Environmental Impact Statements; Notice of Availability

    Responsible Agency: Office of Federal Activities, General Information 202-564-7156 or http://www2.epa.gov/nepa.

    Weekly receipt of Environmental Impact Statements Filed 02/12/2018 through 02/16/2018 Pursuant to 40 CFR 1506.9. Notice

    Section 309(a) of the Clean Air Act requires that EPA make public its comments on EISs issued by other Federal agencies. EPA's comment letters on EISs are available at: https://cdxnodengn.epa.gov/cdx-nepa-public/action/eis/search

    EIS No. 20180021, Final, USFWS, CA, City of San Diego Vernal Pool Habitat Conservation Plan EIS/EIR, Review Period Ends: 03/26/2018, Contact: Susan Wynn, 760-431-9440 EIS No. 20180022, Final, USFS, BLM, USFWS, ID, Coeur d' Alene Basin Restoration Plan and Environmental Impact Statement, Review Period Ends: 03/26/2018, Contact: Jeffrey Johnson, 208-765-7442 EIS No. 20180023, Final, USAF, AK, Proposal to Improve F-22 Operational Efficiency at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, Review Period Ends: 03/26/2018, Contact: Major Matthew Smith, 907-552-8151 EIS No. 20180024, Draft, USFS, OR, East Hills Project DRAFT Environmental Impact Statement, Comment Period Ends: 04/09/2018, Contact: Jody Perozzi, 541-353-2723 Amended Notices EIS No. 20170243, Draft, DOT, TX Dallas to Houston High Speed Rail DRAFT Environmental Impact Statement, Comment Period Ends: 02/20/2018, Contact: Kevin Wright (202) 493-0845, Revision to FR Notice Published 12/22/2017; Correction to Extend Comment Period from 02/20/2018 to 03/09/2018 Dated: February 20, 2018. Kelly Knight, Director, NEPA Compliance Division, Office of Federal Activities.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03757 Filed 2-22-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [DA 18-124] Incentive Auction Task Force and Media Bureau Announce Post Incentive Auction Special Displacement Window April 10, 2018 Through May 15, 2018 and Make Location and Channel Data Available AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Incentive Auction Task Force and Media Bureau provide sixty days' advance notice of the opening of a displacement application filing window for low power television, TV translator stations, and analog-to-digital replacement translators that were displaced by the incentive auction and repacking process. The IATF and Media Bureau also announce that simultaneous with the release of the Public Notice they are releasing a channel study to assist stations in identifying potential new channels in the repacked television bands.

    DATES:

    The Special Displacement Window will open April 10, 2018 and will close on May 15, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. EDT.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Shaun Maher, Video Division, Media Bureau, Federal Communications Commission, [email protected], (202) 418-2324.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Incentive Auction Task Force (IATF) and the Media Bureau hereby provide sixty days' advance notice of the opening of a displacement application filing window for low power television (LPTV), TV translator stations, and analog-to-digital replacement translators (DRT) (referred to collectively as “LPTV/translator stations”) that were displaced by the incentive auction and repacking process (Special Displacement Window). The Special Displacement Window will open on Tuesday, April 10, 2018, and close on Tuesday, May 15, 2018, at 11:59 p.m. EDT. The IATF and Media Bureau also announce that simultaneous with the release of this Public Notice they are releasing a channel study to assist stations in identifying potential new channels in the repacked television bands. The Public Notice provides details regarding the channel study, reiterate some of the eligibility and filing procedures for the window, and lifts the displacement application filing freeze for eligible stations. The Public Notice also reminds eligible full power television stations that they may begin filing applications for digital-to-digital replacement translators (DTDRTs) on April 10, 2018.

    The Commission in 2015 sought comment on whether to preserve a vacant television channel for use by unlicensed white space devices and wireless microphones in all areas of the country. See Preservation of One Vacant Channel in the UHF Television Band For Use By White Space Devices and Wireless Microphones, MB Docket No. 15-146, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 30 FCC Rcd 6711 (2015). In that proceeding, the Commission proposed that applications filed in the displacement window would have to demonstrate that they do not eliminate the last remaining vacant channel in their proposed service area. Id. at 6719, para. 17. While the Commission has not issued an order in this proceeding to date, it is noted that the opening of the displacement window and acceptance of displacement applications does not preclude the preservation of a vacant television channel. Because new 600 MHz licensees have already begun to deploy service in the 600 MHz Band and the earliest transitioning full-power and Class A stations will begin testing on their post-auction channels in a few months, the IATF and Media Bureau believe time is of the essence in opening the special displacement window and processing displacement applications in order to “preserve the important services provided by LPTV and TV translator stations.” In the Matter of Expanding the Economic and Innovation Opportunities of Spectrum Through Incentive Auctions, Report and Order, 29 FCC Rcd 6567, 6576, para. 21 (2014). In addition, the IATF and Media Bureau expect that in many areas of the country there will likely be vacant channels available even after displacement applications are processed and granted.

    Channel Study. As described more fully in the Appendix to the Public Notice, the IATF and Media Bureau have compiled and are releasing data that identifies locations and channels where LPTV/translator stations filing applications in the Special Displacement Window likely cannot propose displacement facilities because of the presence of non-displaced LPTV/translator stations and permittees, full power and Class A television stations, or land mobile operations. The release of this data satisfies the Commission's directive to provide channel availability data to assist eligible LPTV/TV translator stations sixty days prior to the opening of the Special Displacement Window. See Rules for Digital Low Power Television and Television Translator Stations, MB Docket No. 03-185, Third Report and Order and Fourth Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 30 FCC Rcd 14927, 14946-47, paras. 40-42 (2015). Identification of the locations and channels where eligible LPTV/translator stations likely cannot operate will provide important information to help facilitate the LPTV/translator displacement application process. Stations are encouraged to use this information to help identify available channels and to use TVStudy to ensure the facilities they plan to propose will satisfy station needs. Stations are reminded that they must also use TVStudy to verify that the displacement facilities they propose will not create harmful interference. Additionally, given the public interest in promoting the efficient use of spectrum, LPTV/translator stations operating outside of the largest 40 DMAs are encouraged to select new channels for displaced stations that are adjacent to channels in use by other broadcast television stations to help provide flexibility in the future. Once a station has identified a suitable channel, it should file a construction permit application for it during the Special Displacement Window.

    The data being provided is based on use of the incentive auction repacking and optimization software nationwide, and includes: (1) All other primary users in the repacked television band or in adjacent bands, including land mobile operations; (2) licenses and valid construction permits for LPTV/translator stations; (3) licenses and valid construction permits for full power and Class A stations that were not reassigned to new channels in repacking; (4) the full power and Class A television station technical parameters in the Closing and Channel Reassignment Public Notice; (5) full power and Class A television station modifications proposed in the two alternate channel/expanded facilities filing windows; and (6) full power and Class A television station applications filed during the period from November 28 to December 7, 2017, when the April 2013 freeze on the filing of applications for minor modifications was lifted. See Media Bureau Temporarily Lifts the Freeze on the Filing of Minor Modification Applications That Expand the Contour of Full Power and Class A Television Stations From November 28 Through December 7, 2017, Public Notice, 32 FCC Rcd 9328 (MB 2017). If an application filed during either of the alternate channel/expanded facilities filing windows is granted and supersedes the full power or Class A station's facility as listed in the Closing and Channel Reassignment Public Notice, then an LPTV/translator station filing an application in the Special Displacement Window need only demonstrate that it will not cause interference to the facility authorized in the granted window application. The data is provided on the same 2 x 2 kilometer basis as used in connection with the incentive auction. The data is available online at https://data.fcc.gov/download/incentive-auctions/LPTV-Data.

    It is noted that the data shows those locations and channels that are potentially unavailable for displaced LPTV/translator stations. The data also indicates which LPTV/translator stations are potentially displaced as a result of causing interference or receiving interference based on certain assumptions that are described in more detail in the attached Appendix. This information is provided as guidance, and stations must conduct their own interference studies using TVStudy, particularly since technical parameters for stations may change. Technical showings will be required to demonstrate that LPTV/translator station displacement applications are predicted to cause less than the amount of interference prescribed in our rules to other TV stations, including other LPTV/translator stations.

    In addition, the Incentive Auction Task Force and the Media Bureau announce today that they will host a webinar on the data on Wednesday, February 28, 2018 at 1 p.m., to review the assumptions described in the Appendix and the data we are providing, and to respond to questions from LPTV/translator stations. Additional information on this webinar will be provided in a future Public Notice.

    Reminder of Certain Eligibility and Filing Procedures. To be eligible to file in the Special Displacement Window, an LPTV/translator station must be both “operating” and “displaced.” “Operating” LPTV/translator stations are those that had licensed their authorized construction permit facilities, or had an application for a license to cover on file with the Commission, as of April 13, 2017—the release date of the Closing and Channel Reassignment Public Notice. See Media Bureau Announces Date By Which LPTV and TV Translator Stations Must Be “Operating” In Order To Participate In Post-Incentive Auction Special Displacement Window, Public Notice, 31 FCC Rcd 5383 (MB 2016). In order to be “displaced” for purposes of filing in the Special Displacement Window, an LPTV/translator station must: (1) Be subject to displacement by a full power or Class A television station on the repacked television band (channels 2-36) as a result of the incentive auction and repacking process; (2) be licensed on frequencies repurposed for new, flexible use by a 600 MHz Band wireless licensee (channels 38-51); or (3) be licensed on frequencies that will serve as part of the 600 MHz Band guard bands (which includes the duplex gap).

    During the Special Displacement Window, all of the requirements of the current displacement rules will continue to apply (e.g., required interference showing and limits on transmitter moves), except for the requirement that displacement applications be submitted only after the primary full power or Class A station obtains a construction permit or license. Eligible digital stations may propose a change in transmitter site of not more than 48 kilometers from the reference coordinates of the existing station's community of license. Eligible analog stations may propose a change in antenna location of not more than 16.1 kilometers. In addition, eligible stations may apply only for a channel that continues to be allocated to broadcast television service (i.e., channels 2-36), and not for channels that have been repurposed for the new, flexible 600 MHz Band for wireless services or reserved for the 600 MHz guard band and duplex gap (i.e., former television channels 38-51).

    In order to ensure that as many potential channels as possible are available for operating LPTV/translator stations that are subject to displacement, we will permit stations to file displacement applications proposing pre-auction channels in the repacked television band (channels 2-36) that full power and Class A stations will relinquish as a result of the incentive auction and repacking process. This includes channels that were voluntarily relinquished by License Relinquishment Stations, Channel Sharing Stations, and Band Changing Stations as well as the pre-auction channels of Reassigned Stations. Applicants proposing such channels must include a request to waive the contingent application rule. The Media Bureau expects to view favorably requests to waive the contingent application rule filed by operating LPTV/translator stations that are subject to displacement if the station demonstrates that the requested channel is necessary to allow the station to continue to serve its current viewers. In addition, in order to comply with Section 73.3700(g)(2), the station must agree to a condition that it will not begin transmitting on the requested channel prior to discontinuation of operation by the full power or Class A station that is currently licensed to use that channel. If a conditional grant would require an LPTV/translator station to be silent for a consecutive 12-month period prior to discontinuation of operation by the full power or Class A station, the Media Bureau will consider a request for extension or reinstatement pursuant to Section 312(g) of the Communications Act and a request for waiver of the applicable Commission rule.

    Lifting of Displacement Application Filing Freeze. To facilitate filing in the Special Displacement Window, the current freeze on the filing of displacement applications will be lifted on April 10, 2018, solely for the purposes of accepting applications by eligible stations during the Special Displacement Window. The displacement application filing freeze will be reinstated upon the completion of the Special Displacement Window on May 15, 2018, at 11:59 p.m. EST.

    Displaced LPTV/translator stations that do not qualify for the Special Displacement Window (e.g., permittees that were not operating as of the Closing and Channel Reassignment Public Notice), and stations that are eligible but do not file during the Special Displacement Window are reminded that they must wait until the freeze is lifted to submit a displacement application. In addition, stations are reminded that minor change filings and digital companion channel applications also remain frozen. The Media Bureau will announce a lifting of these three freezes in one or more subsequent public notices following the completion of the Special Displacement Window.

    Applications for DTDRTs. Beginning April 10, 2018, eligible full power television stations may file applications for DTDRTs. Applications will continue to be accepted until July 13, 2021 (one year after completion of the post-incentive auction transition period). Additional information about eligibility and filing procedures for DTDRTs is contained in the May 2017 LPTV Procedures Public Notice.

    Appendix A Data To Assist LPTV/Translator Stations in Identifying Potential New Channels Prior to the Special Displacement Window I. Introduction

    This appendix describes the maps and data (collectively, “Channel Study”) released in conjunction with this Public Notice. As previously indicatd, the Channel Study provides location and channel availability information to assist eligible low power television (“LPTV”) stations, TV translator stations, and analog-to-digital replacement translators (“DRT”) (referred collectively as “LPTV/translator stations”) in identifying potential new channels in the repacked TV bands, consistent with the Commission's direction in Rules for Digital Low Power Television and Television Translator Stations, MB Docket No. 03-185, Third Report and Order and Fourth Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 30 FCC Rcd 14927, 14946-47, paras. 40-42 (2015). The data is available at https://data.fcc.gov/download/incentive-auctions/LPTV-Data.

    The Channel Study includes detailed information on a 2 x 2 km cell level about locations and channels that are likely not available for LPTV/translator station displacement facilities because of the presence of full power and Class A television stations, non-displaced LPTV/translator stations and permittees, or land mobile operations. The Channel Study also includes maps available in Tableau files to provide LPTV/translator stations a method to visually identify locations and channels that are likely unavailable as displaced channels. Both the maps and the detailed 2 x 2 km cell-level information should allow LPTV/translator stations to narrow their search options to the most viable locations and channels.

    The Channel Study is based on the assumptions detailed in this appendix. Eligible displaced LPTV/translator stations must also conduct their own interference analysis using TVStudy prior to submitting displacement applications during the Special Displacement Window.

    II. Overview of Study Process and Assumptions a. Overview

    The Channel Study examined potential interference caused by LPTV/translator stations to full power or Class A stations and interference received by LPTV/translator stations from full power and Class A stations. For each full power, Class A and LPTV/translator station, the Incentive Auction Task Force and Media Bureau (referred to collectively as “we”) determine the station's current interference-free population and then determined how much interference it caused and how much interference it received from each other station using two post auction scenarios—one scenario utilizing the most recent universe of granted applications and the second scenario utilizing the most recent universe of both pending and granted applications.

    b. Compiling the List of Stations

    Compiling a complete list of stations and permittees was a necessary first step in developing the Channel Study. On January 17, 2018 (the “pull date”), we pulled a station list from the Commission's Licensing and Management System (LMS) that included the following categories of stations:

    • All licensed full-power and Class A stations that existed prior to the auction;

    • all LPTV/translator licensees and permittees (including DRTs, digital companion channels, permittees whose status is currently “CP Off Air,” and the set of LPTVs which have already been displaced as a result of the auction); and

    • all Mexican and Canadian stations.

    More specifically, we included all Canadian and Mexican stations in the border regions that were protected during the incentive auction. This approach is consistent with what was done during the incentive auction, however, the data set also includes additional Mexican allotments which need to be protected after the auction.

    c. Calculating Interference

    We entered the compiled list of stations into TVStudy to calculate the interference-free populations for all LPTV/translator stations to create a baseline, using the methodology described in OET Bulletin 69 (OET-69) and at a 2 x 2 km cell level of granularity consistent with the repacking software used in connection with the incentive auction. We then used TVStudy to run pairwise studies to determine whether two TV stations on either the same channel or on an adjacent channel within the same region would create new pairwise interference greater than 0.5% between the two stations.

    In order for a displaced LPTV/translator station to receive the most complete picture of likely channel availability, two separate sets of data were generated. The first set of data used the parameters from the most recent universe of granted construction permits or licenses. This set will inform LPTV/translator stations of the required protections for full power and Class A stations as of the pull date. The following parameters were used to create this first set of data:

    • The operating parameters from the most recent granted construction permits for any full power, Class A and LPTV/translator station as of the pull date;

    • the post-auction baseline parameters for full power and Class A stations that did not have a granted construction permit since the close of the auction;

    • the licensed operating parameters of LPTV/translator stations that did not have a granted construction permit since the close of the auction; and

    • the protected parameters of Canadian and Mexican stations (including Mexican auction allotments).

    Note that in addition to granted construction permits and licensed operating facilities included in this first set, we also included a small number of pending minor modifications for LPTV/translator stations in this first set. These pending minor modifications are likely either awaiting international coordination or were otherwise filed prior to the December 20, 2017 freeze on LPTV/translator minor modifications and, in either case, will require protection from applications filed in the Special Displacement Window. See Media Bureau Freezes the Filing of Minor Change Applications for LPTV/Translator Stations, Public Notice, DA 17-1227 (rel. Dec. 20, 2017).

    The second set of data used the operating parameters from the most recent universe of both granted and pending applications for any station that has an application still under consideration as of the pull date. This set will inform LPTV/translator stations of the pending operating parameters that may be granted by the Commission. Even if a full power or Class A application is still pending when a displacement application is considered, it must nevertheless be protected from interference, as must any pending LPTV/translator minor modification application filed before December 20, 2017. The following parameters were used in this second set of data:

    • The operating parameters from the most recent pending construction permits for any full power, Class A, and LPTV/translator stations (including LPTV/translator stations that have already been displaced as a result of the incentive auction) as of the pull date;

    • the operating parameters from the most recent granted construction permit for any full power, Class A, and LPTV/translator station that did not have a pending construction permit as of the pull date;

    • the post-auction baseline parameters for full power and Class A stations that did not have a pending or granted construction permit since the close of the auction;

    • the licensed operating parameters of LPTV/translator stations that did not have a pending or granted construction permit since the close of the auction; and

    • the protected parameters of Canadian and Mexican stations (including Mexican auction allotments).

    We had to make one minor correction to the set of stations included in the pending and granted applications study. WWDT-CD (facility ID: 58261) was accidentally not included in the data used by TVStudy to create this scenario. To provide a more accurate picture for this study, WWDT-CD's interference-free service area was added manually into the data used to create the Tableau maps. WWDT-CD was, however, correctly included in the study that considered only granted applications.

    The results of these pairwise studies indicate, for each 2 x 2 km cell, whether the LPTV/translator station causes interference to a full power or Class A station or whether the LPTV/translator station receives interference from a full power or Class A station. If the LPTV/translator station was predicted to cause more than 0.5% new interference to the interference-free population of a full power or Class A station, it is considered displaced in the Channel Study due to interference caused. In addition, by aggregating the pairwise studies, the resulting output shows whether a LPTV/translator station receives in aggregate more than 2% new interference to its interference-free population from any combination of repacked full power and Class A stations. Any station that receives more than 2% new interference in aggregate but does not cause more than 0.5% interference will be considered displaced in the Channel Study due to interference received. We used the 2% threshold as a conservative measurement of displacement based on the pairwise protections that LPTV/translator stations owe other LPTV/translator stations.

    LPTV/translator stations that are marked as displaced, either because they cause or receive more than the stated threshold amount of interference, may not in fact be displaced because LPTV/translator stations have the option to modify their facility to eliminate such interference issues and remain on their current channel. Nevertheless, for purposes of the Channel Study, we mark these stations as being potentially displaced so that other LPTV/translator stations will be aware of this fact. Also, LPTV/translator stations that currently broadcast on channels (38-51) are automatically displaced because they are in the new 600 MHz band for mobile broadband service and are not included in the interference studies underlying the Channel Study.

    This data was then aggregated by point (i.e., each 2 x 2 km cell) for each channel. Any point that exists in an interference-free service area (“service area”) for a given channel is categorized using the first valid condition from the following list:

    • Protected due to land mobile or off shore radio;

    • within a full power or Class A station's service area;

    • within an LPTV/translator station's service area where that station does not cause more than 0.5% interference to a full power or Class A station or receive more the 2% aggregate interference;

    • within an LPTV/translator station's service area where that station receives more the 2% aggregate interference; or

    • within an LPTV/translator station's service area where that station causes more than 0.5% interference to a full power or Class A station.

    Note that for purposes of generating the Channel Study, we continued to use the same distance-based protections that were used in the incentive auction. See Incentive Auction Task Force Releases Information Related to Incentive Auction Repacking, ET Docket No. 13-26, GN Docket No. 12-268, Public Notice, 28 FCC Rcd 10370, 10407-10 (2013). This conservative approach was adopted for ease of use, but displaced LPTV/translator stations can still make a technical showing to demonstrate that they can operate on these excluded channels and locations.

    Points are categorized in this way to show areas likely to be unable to accommodate a displaced LPTV/translator station. Land mobile, full power and Class A stations, and LPTV/translator stations not causing or receiving interference are unlikely to modify their facilities and their current service areas are unlikely to be able to accommodate a displaced LPTV/translator station. LPTV/translator stations that are receiving interference may accept the interference and continue to broadcast or make modifications to mitigate the interference, or, if they cannot tolerate or eliminate the interference, they may file for a new channel in the Special Displacement Window. LPTV/translator stations causing interference must make modifications to mitigate the interference or file for a new channel in the Special Displacement Window.

    III. Description of Maps and CSV Data Files a. Maps Overview

    We provide four types of maps as visual tools to assist LPTV/translator stations in identifying available channels in their service area. All visualizations are Tableau workbooks that can be viewed using the free Tableau Reader (available here https://www.tableau.com/products/reader).

    The first and second workbooks show the locations and channels currently in the service area of full power, Class A, non-displaced LPTV/translator, or land mobile operations, and are therefore likely not available to displaced LPTV/translator stations. The third and fourth workbook show which LPTV/translator stations that remain in the TV band are displaced either as a result of causing or receiving interference. The four visualizations are identified in the bullets below and described in more detail in the following subsections.

    Protected Points by Channel—Granted: These maps provide a visual representation of granted construction permits or licensed stations, as described in detail in Section II.c, paragraph 6, to identify locations and channels that are potentially not available for displaced LPTV/translator stations.

    Protected Points by Channel—Pending and Granted: These maps provide a visual representation of pending construction permits, granted construction permits, or licensed stations, as described in detail in Section II.c, paragraph 7, to identify locations and channels that are potentially not available for displaced LPTV/translator stations.

    Potentially Displaced LPTV Stations Map—Granted: These maps provide a visual representation of granted construction permits or licensed stations, as described in detail in Section II.c, paragraph 6 (except those stations in the new 600 MHz band—i.e., channels 38-51—which are automatically displaced), to identify LPTV/translator stations that are potentially displaced.

    Potentially Displaced LPTV Stations Map—Pending and Granted: These maps provide a visual representation of pending construction permits, granted construction permits, or licensed stations, as described in detail in Section II.c, paragraph 7 (except those stations in the new 600 MHz band—i.e., channels 38-51—which are automatically displaced), to identify LPTV/translator stations that are potentially displaced.

    b. Protected Points by Channel Maps

    The two Protected Points by Channel visualizations display color coded maps. The colors identified below signify the existence of certain services in an area. Points that do not fall within any relevant service's or station's service area are not colored. Examples of these visualizations are provided in Figure 1 and Figure 2 below, and comprehensive information is available in the CSV files discussed below and posted online.

    • Green denotes an area protected due to land mobile or off shore radio.

    • Blue denotes an area within a full power or Class A station's service area.

    • Light blue denotes an area within an LPTV/translator station's service area where that station does not cause more than 0.5% new interference to a full power or Class A station or receive more the 2% new aggregate interference.

    • Orange denotes an area within an LPTV/translator station's service area where that station receives more than 2% new aggregate interference.

    • Red denotes an area within an LPTV/translator station's service area where that station causes more than 0.5% interference to a full power or Class A station.

    BILLING CODE 6712-01-P EN23FE18.000 EN23FE18.001

    As noted above, there are two Tableau workbooks for each visualization. One workbook reflects the data set using the service area parameters from the most recently granted construction permits or licenses of full or Class A TV stations as of the pull date and the second workbook reflects the data set using the service area parameters from pending construction permits as of the pull date.

    c. Potentially Displaced LPTV Stations Maps

    The two Potentially Displaced LPTV Station Map visualizations show LPTV/translator stations that are potentially displaced because they cause new pairwise interference greater than 0.5% to a full power or Class A station or because they receive aggregate new interference greater than 2%. The 2% parameter is a default used in the data but it can be changed using a filter next to the map. Using the lasso tool within Tableau, the user can select a geographic region to generate a table containing the pairwise and aggregate interference data, and also view the interference free service area of individual LPTV stations to see the impact of new interference. Examples of the visualizations available are provided in Figure 3 through Figure 6 below and comprehensive information is available in the data provided online.

    EN23FE18.002 EN23FE18.003 EN23FE18.004 EN23FE18.005 BILLING CODE 6712-01-C d. CSV Data Files

    The online Channel Study includes three zip files. The first zip file contains the three CSV files unique to the granted applications study. The second zip file contains the three CSV files unique to the pending and granted applications study. The third zip file contains the two CSV files common to both studies. The CSV files contained in these three zip files were used to generate the Tableau maps. Each study contains a CSV file, lptv_aggregated.csv, which is the aggregated 2 x 2 km point data as categorized above, and forms the basis for the Tableau maps. The other two CSV files combined with the common two CSV files contain the underlying point data for each LPTV/translator station used to generate the aggregated data. These are provided in comma separated value format and are available to users to generate their own study scenario or to replicate our analysis.

    The following three files (detailed in Tables 1-3 below) are in the zip file unique to each study. The lptv_aggregated.csv file identifies, for each channel, any point that falls within a service area. The file contains the fields listed in Table 1 below:

    Table 1—Data Dictionary for lptv_aggregated.csv Field Description Type Sample Pointkey The unique identification for a 2 x 2 grid cell determined by TVStudy Integer e.g., 62592057. Channel The channel number assigned to the station of the protection category indicated by the “type” field Integer e.g., 29. Type The classification of service for that point according to the priorities listed above String Types will be one of the following:
  • • LM/LMW/Offshore.
  • • FP/CA.
  • • LPTV.
  • • LPTV—Agg IX.
  • • LPTV—Pairwise IX.
  • The stations_points.csv file identifies the interference-free points for each station on the station's assigned channel in the study. These points establish the total interference-free population for a given station and also the possible locations for interference to that station. The file contains the fields listed in Table 2 below:

    Table 2—Data Dictionary for stations_points.csv Field Description Type Sample Facility_id The unique facility ID assigned to the station Integer e.g., 52887. Channel_id The channel number assigned to the station Integer e.g., 29. Pointkey The unique ID of each 2 x 2 km cell Integer e.g., 62592057.

    The ix_paired.csv file identifies interference between any two stations (LPTV/translator stations and full power/Class A stations) according to TVStudy at a given point. The file contains the following fields listed in Table 3 below:

    Table 3—Data Dictionary for ix_paired.csv Field Description Type Sample Facility_id The unique facility ID assigned to the station receiving interference Integer e.g., 52887. Channel_id The channel number assigned to the station receiving interference Integer e.g., 29. ix_facility_id The unique facility ID assigned to the station causing interference Integer e.g., 53442 ix_channel_id The channel number assigned to the station causing interference Integer e.g., 35. Pointkey The unique ID of the 2 x 2 km cell Integer e.g., 62592057.

    The following two files (detailed in Tables 4-5 below) are in the other zip file and are common to both runs. The lm_points.csv file identifies points that must be protected on a specific channel due to land mobile, land mobile waivers, and off shore radio (LM/LMW/OSR). The file contains the fields listed in Table 4 below:

    Table 4—Data Dictionary for lm_points.csv Field Description Type Sample Facility_id The unique facility ID assigned to the LM/LMW/OSR station Integer e.g., 52887.
  • Note: facility_id 999999 is used for off shore radio.
  • Channel_id The channel number assigned to the LM/LMW/OSR station Integer e.g., 29. Pointkey The unique ID of each 2 x 2 km cell Integer e.g., 62592057.

    The pointkeys.csv file identifies the characteristics associated with each point, specifically latitude, longitude, country and population. The file contains the fields listed in Table 5 below:

    Table 5—Data Dictionary for pointkeys.csv Field Description Type Sample Pointkey The unique ID of each 2 x 2 km cell Integer e.g., 62592057. Latitude The latitude coordinate of the 2 x 2 km point Decimal e.g., 28.586667. Longitude The longitude coordinate of the 2 x 2 km point Decimal e.g., −81.082778. Country The country where the 2 x 2 km point is located String One of the following:
  • • US
  • • CA
  • • MX.
  • Population The population of the 2 x 2 km cell Integer e.g., 586.
    e. TVStudy Scenarios

    We are also making available on the website a zip file that contains the three TVStudy XML scenarios used to generate the interference data used in the Channel Study. The first scenario, “180124-Pre.xml”, was used to generate the interference-free service areas of LPTV/translator stations on their current channels. The second scenario, “180124-PostG.xml”, was used to calculate the interference to/from LPTV/translator stations in the granted applications study. The third scenario, “180124-PostP.xml”, was used to calculate interference to/from LPTV/translator stations in the pending and granted applications study. These studies were run using the Interference Check template included with TVStudy 2.2.4. The output of these three TVStudy scenarios was combined into the data tables described in III.d. above.

    Federal Communications Commission. Barbara Kreisman, Chief, Video Division, Media Bureau.
    [FR Doc. 2018-03732 Filed 2-22-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION Notice of Agreements Filed

    The Commission hereby gives notice of the filing of the following agreements under the Shipping Act of 1984. Interested parties may submit comments on the agreements to the Secretary, Federal Maritime Commission, Washington, DC 20573, within twelve days of the date this notice appears in the Federal Register. Copies of the agreements are available through the Commission's website (www.fmc.gov) or by contacting the Office of Agreements at (202)-523-5793 or [email protected]

    Agreement No.: 012447-001.

    Title: THE Alliance/Zim MED-USEC Slot Exchange Agreement.

    Parties: Hapag-Lloyd AG; Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd.; Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd.; Nippon Yusen Kaisha; Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation; Yang Ming (UK) Ltd.; and Zim Integrated Shipping Services Ltd.

    Filing Party: Joshua Stein; Cozen O'Connor; 1200 Nineteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036.

    Synopsis: The amendment revises the Agreement to provide for the transition that will occur following the combination of the container liner operations of Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd.; Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd.; and Nippon Yusen Kaisha into a new company known as Ocean Network Express Pte. Ltd. effective April 1, 2018. Ocean Network Express Pte. Ltd. is added as a party. In addition, the amendment adds Yang Ming (UK) Ltd. as a party (operating as a single party with Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp.).

    Agreement No.: 012488-001.

    Title: THE Alliance/OOCL Vessel Sharing Agreement.

    Parties: Hapag-Lloyd AG; Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd.; Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd.; Nippon Yusen Kaisha; Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation; Yang Ming (UK) Ltd.; and Orient Overseas Container Line Limited.

    Filing Party: Joshua Stein; Cozen O'Connor; 1200 Nineteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036.

    Synopsis: The amendment revises the Agreement to provide for the transition that will occur following the combination of the container liner operations of Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd.; Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd.; and Nippon Yusen Kaisha into a new company known as Ocean Network Express Pte. Ltd. effective April 1, 2018. Ocean Network Express Pte. Ltd. is added as a party. In addition, the amendment adds Yang Ming (UK) Ltd. as a party (operating as a single party with Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp.).

    Agreement No.: