Federal Register Vol. 83, No.42,

Federal Register Volume 83, Issue 42 (March 2, 2018)

Page Range8923-9133
FR Document

83_FR_42
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
83 FR 8972 - Sunshine Act MeetingsPDF
83 FR 8923 - President's Council on Sports, Fitness, and NutritionPDF
83 FR 8938 - Safety Zone: Monte Foundation Snowfest Fireworks, Tahoe City, Lake Tahoe, CAPDF
83 FR 9028 - Government in the Sunshine Act Meeting NoticePDF
83 FR 8962 - Petitions for Reconsideration of Action in Rulemaking ProceedingPDF
83 FR 8991 - Deletion of Items From Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
83 FR 8994 - Medicare, Medicaid, and Other Programs, Initiatives, and Priorities; Meeting of the Advisory Panel on Outreach and Education (APOE), March 21, 2018PDF
83 FR 8973 - Applications for New Awards; Lead of a Career and Technical Education Network: Research Networks Focused on Critical Problems of Education Policy and Practice ProgramPDF
83 FR 8988 - Regular Meeting: Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation BoardPDF
83 FR 8972 - Procurement List; DeletionsPDF
83 FR 8971 - Procurement List; Proposed Additions and DeletionsPDF
83 FR 9026 - Filing of Plats of Survey: Oregon/WashingtonPDF
83 FR 8969 - Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries; Pelagic Longline Fishery ManagementPDF
83 FR 8972 - Reserve Forces Policy Board; Notice of Federal Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
83 FR 8968 - New England Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
83 FR 9072 - Fourteenth RTCA SC-230 Airborne Weather Detection Systems PlenaryPDF
83 FR 8987 - Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Contractor Conflicts of Interest; EPA ICR 1550.11, OMB Control No. 2030-0023PDF
83 FR 8940 - Special Regulations, Areas of the National Park System, Rocky Mountain National Park; BicyclingPDF
83 FR 9028 - Earned Import Allowance Program: Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the Program for Certain Apparel From the Dominican Republic, Ninth Annual ReviewPDF
83 FR 9008 - Availability of the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee Scientific Report and Solicitation of Written CommentsPDF
83 FR 8963 - Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest; Nevada; Humboldt-Toiyabe Integrated Invasive Plant Treatment ProjectPDF
83 FR 8985 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
83 FR 8984 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
83 FR 8986 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
83 FR 8987 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
83 FR 8988 - Environmental Impact Statements; Notice of AvailabilityPDF
83 FR 8933 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Sturgeon Bay, Sturgeon Bay, WIPDF
83 FR 8957 - Special Local Regulation; Miami Grand Prix of the Seas, Biscayne Bay, Miami, FLPDF
83 FR 8993 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
83 FR 9092 - Open Meeting of the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel's Special Projects Committee; ChangePDF
83 FR 9093 - Open Meeting of the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Taxpayer Assistance Center Project CommitteePDF
83 FR 8974 - Applications for New Awards; Expanding Opportunity Through Quality Charter Schools Program (CSP)-Grants to Charter School Developers for the Opening of New Charter Schools and for the Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter SchoolsPDF
83 FR 8986 - The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Diocese of Alabama; Notice of Availability of Environmental AssessmentPDF
83 FR 8963 - February 27, 2018PDF
83 FR 9096 - Secretary's Final Supplemental Priorities and Definitions for Discretionary Grant ProgramsPDF
83 FR 8965 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 158-Vicksburg/Jackson, Mississippi, Notification of Proposed Production Activity, International Converter, (Insulation Facer), Iuka, MississippiPDF
83 FR 8966 - Foreign-Trade Zone 78-Nashville, Tennessee; Application for Subzone; CEVA Freight LLC; Mount Juliet and Lebanon, TennesseePDF
83 FR 8966 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 138-Franklin County, Ohio; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; International Converter (Insulation Facer); Caldwell, OhioPDF
83 FR 8967 - Uncovered Innerspring Units From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2016-2017PDF
83 FR 8983 - Proposed Agency Information CollectionPDF
83 FR 8983 - Application for Presidential Permit; GridAmerica Holdings Inc.PDF
83 FR 9003 - Food Labeling: Serving Sizes of Foods That Can Reasonably Be Consumed at One Eating Occasion; Dual-Column Labeling; Updating, Modifying, and Establishing Certain Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed; Serving Size for Breath Mints; and Technical Amendments-Small Entity Compliance Guide; AvailabilityPDF
83 FR 9000 - Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed: List of Products for Each Product Category; Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
83 FR 8996 - Proper Labeling of Honey and Honey Products; Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
83 FR 8953 - The Declaration of Added Sugars on Honey, Maple Syrup, and Certain Cranberry Products; Draft Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
83 FR 8997 - Scientific Evaluation of the Evidence on the Beneficial Physiological Effects of Isolated or Synthetic Non-Digestible Carbohydrates Submitted as a Citizen Petition; Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
83 FR 9015 - Notice of Issuance of Final Determination Concerning Country of Origin of Aluminum Honeycomb PanelsPDF
83 FR 9013 - Notice of Issuance of Final Determination Concerning Certain Ethernet Gateway ProductsPDF
83 FR 8929 - Food Additives Permitted in Feed and Drinking Water of Animals; Silicon Dioxide as a Carrier for FlavorsPDF
83 FR 9006 - E18 Genomic Sampling and Management of Genomic Data; International Council for Harmonisation; Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
83 FR 9017 - Notice of Issuance of Final Determinations Concerning Country of Origin of the Hub and Mobile Platforms, and the AMC Home Tele-Health SystemPDF
83 FR 9009 - Collection of Information Under Review by Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0011PDF
83 FR 9012 - Information Collection Request to Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0068PDF
83 FR 9084 - Meeting of the Mutual Savings Association Advisory CommitteePDF
83 FR 9029 - Bulk Manufacturer of Controlled Substances Application: Stepan CompanyPDF
83 FR 9011 - Information Collection Request[s] to Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0005PDF
83 FR 8961 - Air Plan Approval; Rhode Island; Enhanced Motor Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance Program; Reopening of Comment PeriodPDF
83 FR 9010 - Information Collection Request to Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0012PDF
83 FR 8946 - Emergency Measures To Address Overfishing of Atlantic Shortfin Mako SharkPDF
83 FR 9001 - United States Food and Drug Administration and Health Canada Joint Regional Consultation on the International Council for Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Pharmaceuticals for Human Use; Public Meeting; Request for CommentsPDF
83 FR 8955 - Special Local Regulation; Black Warrior River, Tuscaloosa, ALPDF
83 FR 8936 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Petaluma River, Haystack Landing (Petaluma), CAPDF
83 FR 8937 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Curtis Creek, Baltimore, MDPDF
83 FR 8937 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Passaic River, Harrison, NJPDF
83 FR 8930 - Oil and Gas and Sulfur Operations in the Outer Continental Shelf-Civil Penalties Inflation AdjustmentsPDF
83 FR 8959 - Transporting Bows and Crossbows Across National Park System UnitsPDF
83 FR 9072 - Thirty Eighth RTCA SC-213 Enhanced Flight Vision Systems/Synthetic Vision Systems (EFVS/SVS) Joint Plenary With EUROCAE Working Group 79PDF
83 FR 8933 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Sloop Channel, Hempstead, New YorkPDF
83 FR 9071 - Federal Register Meeting Notice; Quarterly Public MeetingPDF
83 FR 8945 - Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act AmendmentsPDF
83 FR 9030 - Notice of Intent To Grant Partially Exclusive Patent LicensePDF
83 FR 9031 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 9042 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; National Securities Clearing Corporation; Notice of Filing of Amendment No. 1 and Order Granting Accelerated Approval of a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1, To Enhance the Calculation of the Volatility Component of the Clearing Fund Formula That Utilizes a Parametric Value-at-Risk Model and Eliminate the Market Maker Domination ChargePDF
83 FR 9035 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; National Securities Clearing Corporation; Notice of No Objection To Advance Notice Filing, as Modified by Amendment No. 1, To Enhance the Calculation of the Volatility Component of the Clearing Fund Formula That Utilizes a Parametric Value-at-Risk Model and Eliminate the Market Maker Domination ChargePDF
83 FR 9055 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Fixed Income Clearing Corporation; Notice of Advance Notice Filing of Proposed Changes to the Method of Calculating Netting Members' Margin in the Government Securities Division RulebookPDF
83 FR 9029 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Agreement and UndertakingPDF
83 FR 9027 - Certain Fuel Pump Assemblies Having Vapor Separators and Components Thereof; Institution of InvestigationPDF
83 FR 9093 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Regulation ProjectPDF
83 FR 9084 - Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation Advisory Board-Notice of Public MeetingsPDF
83 FR 8951 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
83 FR 9027 - Cut-to-Length Carbon-Quality Steel Plate From India, Indonesia, and Korea; DeterminationsPDF
83 FR 8991 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission Under Delegated AuthorityPDF
83 FR 8989 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission Under Delegated AuthorityPDF
83 FR 8992 - Information Collection Being Submitted for Review and Approval to the Office of Management and BudgetPDF
83 FR 8989 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications CommissionPDF
83 FR 9008 - National Institute of General Medical Sciences; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
83 FR 9008 - National Institute on Aging; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
83 FR 9089 - Notice of OFAC Sanctions ActionsPDF
83 FR 9085 - Notice of OFAC Sanctions ActionsPDF
83 FR 9025 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Onshore Oil and Gas Geophysical ExplorationPDF
83 FR 8993 - Patient Safety Organizations: Voluntary Relinquishment From the NCH Healthcare System, PSOPDF
83 FR 9022 - Agency Information Collection Activities; American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) Government Customer Satisfaction SurveysPDF
83 FR 9023 - Agency Information Collection Activities; E-Government Website Customer Satisfaction Surveys (Formerly American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) E-Government Website Customer Satisfaction Surveys)PDF
83 FR 9083 - Notice of Receipt of Petition for Decision That Nonconforming Model Year 2007 Jeep Wrangler Multipurpose Passenger Vehicles Are Eligible for ImportationPDF
83 FR 9074 - Reports, Forms and Record Keeping Requirements; Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB ReviewPDF
83 FR 9047 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Introduce a New Data Feed on the Exchange's Equity Options PlatformPDF
83 FR 9046 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Update Rule 4758 To Reflect the Name Change of NYSE MKT to NYSE AmericanPDF
83 FR 9050 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Revise the Private Securities Offerings Representative (Series 82) ExaminationPDF
83 FR 9039 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Revise the Securities Trader (Series 57) ExaminationPDF
83 FR 9032 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Cboe Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rule 6.56, Compression Forums, To Provide Additional Opportunities To Disclose Compression-List Positions MonthlyPDF
83 FR 9021 - International Wildlife Conservation Council; Public MeetingPDF
83 FR 9031 - Submission for OMB Review; Comments RequestPDF
83 FR 9032 - Submission for OMB Review; Comments RequestPDF
83 FR 9049 - Little Harbor Advisors, LLC and ETF Series SolutionsPDF
83 FR 9054 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 9053 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 8998 - Definitions of Suspect Product and Illegitimate Product for Verification Obligations Under the Drug Supply Chain Security Act; Draft Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
83 FR 9004 - Standardization of Data and Documentation Practices for Product Tracing; Draft Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
83 FR 9073 - Notice of Final Federal Agency Actions on Proposed Highway in IndianaPDF
83 FR 8927 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus HelicoptersPDF

Issue

83 42 Friday, March 2, 2018 Contents Agency Health Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality NOTICES Patient Safety Organizations: Voluntary Relinquishment from NCH Healthcare System, 8993-8994 2018-04217 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Forest Service

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 8963 2018-04292
Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Panel on Outreach and Education; Medicare, Medicaid, and Other Programs, Initiatives, and Priorities, 8994-8996 2018-04328 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: Curtis Creek, Baltimore, MD, 8937-8938 2018-04250 Passaic River, Harrison, NJ, 8937 2018-04249 Petaluma River, Haystack Landing (Petaluma), CA, 8936-8937 2018-04251 Sloop Channel, Hempstead, NY, 8933 2018-04243 Sturgeon Bay, Sturgeon Bay, WI, 8933-8936 2018-04299 Safety Zones: Monte Foundation Snowfest Fireworks, Tahoe City, Lake Tahoe, CA, 8938-8940 2018-04365 PROPOSED RULES Special Local Regulations: Black Warrior River, Tuscaloosa, AL, 8955-8957 2018-04254 Miami Grand Prix of the Seas, Biscayne Bay, Miami, FL, 8957-8959 2018-04298 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 9009-9013 2018-04263 2018-04268 2018-04271 2018-04272 Commerce Commerce Department See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

International Trade Administration

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, 8971-8972 2018-04318 2018-04321 Commodity Futures Commodity Futures Trading Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 8972 2018-04441 Comptroller Comptroller of the Currency NOTICES Meetings: Mutual Savings Association Advisory Committee, 9084-9085 2018-04270 Defense Department Defense Department NOTICES Meetings: Reserve Forces Policy Board, 8972-8973 2018-04314 Drug Drug Enforcement Administration NOTICES Manufacturers of Controlled Substances; Applications: Stepan Co., 9029 2018-04269 Education Department Education Department NOTICES Applications for New Awards: Expanding Opportunity Through Quality Charter Schools Program—Grants to Charter School Developers for the Opening of New Charter Schools and for the Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools, 8974-8983 2018-04294 Lead of a Career and Technical Education Network: Research Networks Focused on Critical Problems of Education Policy and Practice Program, 8973-8974 2018-04327 Final Supplemental Priorities and Definitions for Discretionary Grant Programs, 9096-9133 2018-04291 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 8983 2018-04286 Presidential Permits; Applications: GridAmerica Holdings Inc., 8983-8984 2018-04285
Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Rhode Island; Enhanced Motor Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance Program, 8961-8962 2018-04264 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Contractor Conflicts of Interest, 8987-8988 2018-04310 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Weekly Receipts, 8988 2018-04301 Farm Credit System Insurance Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation NOTICES Meetings: Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation Board, 8988-8989 2018-04323 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus Helicopters; Correction, 8927-8929 2018-03722 PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: The Boeing Company Airplanes, 8951-8953 2018-04229 NOTICES Meetings: Fourteenth RTCA SC-230 Airborne Weather Detection Systems Plenary, 9072 2018-04311 Thirty Eighth RTCA SC-213 Enhanced Flight Vision Systems/Synthetic Vision Systems Joint Plenary with EUROCAE Working Group 79, 9072 2018-04244 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission PROPOSED RULES Petitions for Reconsideration of Action in Rulemaking Proceeding, 8962 2018-04359 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 8989-8993 2018-04223 2018-04224 2018-04225 2018-04226 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 8991 2018-04358 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Combined Filings, 2018-04302 2018-04303 8984-8987 2018-04304 2018-04305 Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of Protestant Episcopal Diocese of Alabama, 8986 2018-04293 Federal Highway Federal Highway Administration NOTICES Federal Agency Actions: Indiana; Proposed Highway, 9073-9074 2018-04067 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 8993 2018-04297 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Meetings: International Wildlife Conservation Council, 9021-9022 2018-04206 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration RULES Food Additives Permitted in Feed and Drinking Water of Animals: Silicon Dioxide as Carrier for Flavors, 8929-8930 2018-04275 PROPOSED RULES Declaration of Added Sugars on Honey, Maple Syrup, and Certain Cranberry Products, 8953-8955 2018-04281 NOTICES Guidance: Definitions of Suspect Product and Illegitimate Product for Verification Obligations under Drug Supply Chain Security Act, 8998-9000 2018-04181 E18 Genomic Sampling and Management of Genomic Data; International Council for Harmonisation, 9006-9008 2018-04274 Food Labeling: Serving Sizes of Foods That Can Reasonably Be Consumed at One Eating Occasion; Dual-Column Labeling; Updating, Modifying, and Establishing Certain Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed; Serving Size for Breath Mints; and Technical Amendments—Small Entity Compliance Guide, 9003-9004 2018-04284 Proper Labeling of Honey and Honey Products, 8996-8997 2018-04282 Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed: List of Products for Each Product Category, 9000-9001 2018-04283 Scientific Evaluation of Evidence on Beneficial Physiological Effects of Isolated or Synthetic Non-Digestible Carbohydrates Submitted as Citizen Petition, 8997-8998 2018-04280 Standardization of Data and Documentation Practices for Product Tracing, 9004-9006 2018-04180 Meetings: United States Food and Drug Administration and Health Canada Joint Regional Consultation on International Council for Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Pharmaceuticals for Human Use, 9001-9003 2018-04256 Foreign Assets Foreign Assets Control Office NOTICES Blocking or Unblocking of Persons and Properties, 9085-9092 2018-04219 2018-04220 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Production Activities: International Converter, Foreign-Trade Zone 138, Franklin County, OH, 8966-8967 2018-04288 International Converter, Foreign-Trade Zone 158, Vicksburg/Jackson, MS, 8965-8966 2018-04290 Subzone Applications: CEVA Freight, LLC, Foreign-Trade Zone 78, Nashville, TN, 8966 2018-04289 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest; Nevada; Humboldt-Toiyabe Integrated Invasive Plant Treatment Project, 8963-8965 2018-04306 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

NOTICES 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee Scientific Report, 9008 2018-04307
Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Land Management Bureau

See

National Park Service

See

Ocean Energy Management Bureau

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: American Customer Satisfaction Index Government Customer Satisfaction Surveys, 9022-9023 2018-04216 E-Government Website Customer Satisfaction Surveys, 9023-9025 2018-04215
Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 9093 2018-04232 Meetings: Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Taxpayer Assistance Center Project Committee, 9093 2018-04295 Taxpayer Advocacy Panel's Special Projects Committee, 9092 2018-04296 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Uncovered Innerspring Units from the People's Republic of China, 8967-8968 2018-04287 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Earned Import Allowance Program: Program for Certain Apparel from Dominican Republic, Ninth Annual Review; Evaluation of Effectiveness, 9028-9029 2018-04308 Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Fuel Pump Assemblies Having Vapor Separators and Components Thereof, 9027 2018-04234 Cut-to-Length Carbon-Quality Steel Plate from India, Indonesia, and Korea, 9027-9028 2018-04227 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 9028 2018-04364 Justice Department Justice Department See

Drug Enforcement Administration

Labor Department Labor Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 9029-9030 2018-04235 Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Onshore Oil and Gas Geophysical Exploration, 9025-9026 2018-04218 Plats of Surveys: Oregon/Washington, 9026-9027 2018-04317 NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NOTICES Exclusive Patent Licenses: Chase Boats, LLC, 9030-9031 2018-04240 National Archives National Archives and Records Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 9031 2018-04239 National Highway National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Reports, Forms and Record Keeping Requirements, 9074-9083 2018-04213 Petitions for Import Eligibility: Nonconforming Model Year 2007 Jeep Wrangler Multipurpose Passenger Vehicles, 9083-9084 2018-04214 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: National Institute of General Medical Sciences, 9008-9009 2018-04222 National Institute on Aging, 9008 2018-04221 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Emergency Measures to Address Overfishing of Atlantic Shortfin Mako Shark, 8946-8950 2018-04262 NOTICES Atlantic Highly Migratory Species: Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries; Pelagic Longline Fishery Management, 8969-8971 2018-04315 Meetings: New England Fishery Management Council, 8968 2018-04312 2018-04313 National Park National Park Service RULES Special Regulations, Areas of National Park System, Rocky Mountain National Park; Bicycling, 8940-8945 2018-04309 PROPOSED RULES Transporting Bows and Crossbows Across National Park System Units, 8959-8961 2018-04247 Ocean Energy Management Ocean Energy Management Bureau RULES Oil and Gas and Sulfur Operations: Outer Continental Shelf—Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustments, 8930-8933 2018-04248 Overseas Overseas Private Investment Corporation NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 2018-04204 9031-9032 2018-04205 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents EXECUTIVE ORDERS Physical Fitness and Sports, President's Council on; Renamed as President's Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition (EO 13824), 8923-8925 2018-04414 Saint Lawrence Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Board, 9084 2018-04230 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 9053-9055 2018-04197 2018-04198 Applications: Little Harbor Advisors, LLC and ETF Series Solutions, 9049-9050 2018-04199 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc., 9047-9049 2018-04212 Cboe Exchange, Inc., 9032-9035 2018-04208 Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., 9039-9042, 9050-9053 2018-04209 2018-04210 Fixed Income Clearing Corp., 9055-9071 2018-04236 Nasdaq Stock Market, LLC, 9046-9047 2018-04211 National Securities Clearing Corp., 9035-9039, 9042-9046 2018-04237 2018-04238 Small Business Small Business Administration NOTICES Meetings: National Women's Business Council, 9071 2018-04242 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Highway Administration

See

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

See

Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation

Treasury Treasury Department See

Comptroller of the Currency

See

Foreign Assets Control Office

See

Internal Revenue Service

Customs U.S. Customs and Border Protection NOTICES Country of Origin Determinations: Aluminum Honeycomb Panels, 9015-9017 2018-04279 Certain Ethernet Gateway Products, 9013-9015 2018-04278 Hub and Mobile Platforms, AMC Home Tele-Health System, 9017-9021 2018-04273 Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department RULES Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act; Amendments, 8945-8946 2018-04241 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Education Department, 9096-9133 2018-04291 Reader Aids

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

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83 42 Friday, March 2, 2018 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0826; Product Identifier 2016-SW-084-AD; Amendment 39-19204; AD 2018-01-12 R1] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Final rule; correction.

SUMMARY:

We are revising airworthiness directive (AD) 2018-01-12 for Airbus Helicopters Model AS350B3 helicopters to correct an error. As published, AD 2018-01-12 referenced an incorrect monostable toggle switch part number (P/N) in the preamble and regulatory text. This document corrects the error. In all other respects, the original document remains the same.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective March 2, 2018.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of February 20, 2018 (83 FR 2039, January 16, 2018).

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this final rule, contact Airbus Helicopters, 2701 N Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone (972) 641-0000 or (800) 232-0323; fax (972) 641-3775; or at http://www.helicopters.airbus.com/website/en/ref/Technical-Support_73.html. You may review the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. It is also available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0826.

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-2017-0826; 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 AD, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, any incorporated-by-reference service information, the economic evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for Docket Operations (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

George Schwab, Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

AD 2018-01-12, Amendment 39-19153 (83 FR 2039, January 16, 2018) applied to Airbus Helicopters Model AS350B3 helicopters with a dual hydraulic system installed. AD 2018-01-12 required revising the rotorcraft flight manual (RFM) to perform the yaw load compensator check (ACCU TST switch) after rotor shut-down instead of during preflight procedures and to state that the yaw servo hydraulic switch (collective switch) must be in the “ON” (forward) position before taking off. AD 2018-01-12 also required modifying the yaw servo hydraulic switch and replacing the bistable ACCU TST button with a monostable button.

We issued AD 2018-01-12 to prevent takeoff without hydraulic pressure in the tail rotor (T/R) hydraulic system, loss of T/R flight control, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

As published, AD 2018-01-12 contained an incorrect P/N in the preamble and regulatory text. Specifically, the AD identified the Geneva Aviation P122 and P132 electrical console monostable toggle switch P/N as “MS24658-16F.” The correct P/N is “MS24658-26F.”

Accordingly, we have determined that it is appropriate to take action to revise AD 2018-01-12 to correct the Geneva Aviation P122 and P132 electrical console monostable toggle switch P/N. This correction will ensure that it will be possible for operators to comply with the AD by referencing the correct P/N for replacing the toggle switch.

No other part of the preamble or regulatory information has been changed. The final rule is reprinted in its entirety for the convenience of affected operators.

Impact of the Correction

Since this action corrects an obvious error in referencing the P/N for a replacement part, it has no adverse economic impact and imposes no additional burden on any person. Therefore, we find that notice and opportunity for prior public comment are unnecessary and that good cause exists for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

We reviewed Airbus Helicopters Service Bulletin (SB) No. AS350-67.00.64, Revision 0, dated February 25, 2015. This service information specifies procedures to install a timer relay and an additional indicator light on the caution and warning panel. This modification provides an “OFF” status indication of the yaw servo hydraulic switch by flashing a newly installed “HYD2” indicator light on the caution and warning panel. Airbus Helicopters identifies performance of this SB as modification 074622.

We also reviewed Airbus Helicopters SB No. AS350-67.00.65, Revision 0, dated August 25, 2016. This service information specifies procedures to replace the bistable push button ACCU TST switch with a monostable push button switch. Airbus Helicopters identifies performance of this SB as modification 074719.

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.

Other Related Service Information

We reviewed Airbus Helicopters SB No. AS350-67.00.66, Revision 1, dated October 22, 2015. This service information specifies inserting specific pages of the SB into the rotorcraft flight manual. These pages revise the preflight and post-flight hydraulic checks by moving the T/R yaw load compensator check from preflight to post-flight. These pages also revise terminology within the flight manuals for the different engine configurations.

FAA's Determination

These helicopters have been approved by the aviation authority of France and are approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with France, EASA, its technical representative, has notified us of the unsafe condition described in the EASA AD. We are issuing this AD because we evaluated all information provided by EASA and determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other helicopters of the same type design.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 86 helicopters of U.S. Registry. We estimate that operators may incur the following costs in order to comply with this AD. Labor costs are estimated at $85 per work-hour.

Revising an RFM takes about 0.5 work-hour for a cost of $43 per helicopter and $3,698 for the U.S. fleet. Installing a timer relay for the yaw servo hydraulic switch and an indicator light takes about 9 work-hours and parts cost about $2,224. Replacing the ACCU TST button takes about 1 work-hour and parts cost about $2,244.

Based on these figures, we estimate a total cost of $5,361 per helicopter and $461,046 for the U.S. fleet.

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.

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, 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 to the extent that it justifies making a regulatory distinction; 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.

We prepared an economic evaluation of the estimated costs to comply with this AD and placed it in the AD docket.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

Adoption of the Correction

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) 2018-01-12, Amendment 39-19153 (83 FR 2039, January 16, 2018), and adding the following new AD: 2018-01-12 R1 Airbus Helicopters: Amendment 39-19204; Docket No. FAA-2017-0826; Product Identifier 2016-SW-084-AD. (a) Applicability

This AD applies to Model AS350B3 helicopters with a dual hydraulic system installed, certificated in any category.

Note 1 to paragraph (a) of this AD:

The dual hydraulic system for Model AS350B3 helicopters is referred to as Airbus modification OP 3082 or OP 3346.

(b) Unsafe Condition

This AD defines the unsafe condition as lack of hydraulic pressure in a tail rotor (T/R) hydraulic system. This condition could result in loss of T/R flight control and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

(c) Affected ADs

This AD replaces AD 2018-01-12, Amendment 39-19153 (83 FR 2039, January 16, 2018).

(d) Effective Date

This AD becomes effective March 2, 2018.

(e) Compliance

You are responsible for performing each action required by this AD within the specified compliance time unless it has already been accomplished prior to that time.

(f) Required Actions

(1) Before further flight, insert a copy of this AD into the rotorcraft flight manual, Section 4 Normal Operating Procedures, or make pen and ink changes to the preflight and post-flight procedures as follows:

(i) Stop performing the yaw load compensator check (ACCU TST switch) during preflight procedures, and instead perform the yaw load compensator check during post-flight procedures after rotor shut-down.

(ii) The yaw servo hydraulic switch (collective switch) must be in the “ON” (forward) position before takeoff.

Note 2 to paragraph (f)(1)(ii) of this AD:

The yaw servo hydraulic switch is also called the hydraulic pressure switch or hydraulic cut off switch in various Airbus Helicopters rotorcraft flight manuals.

(2) Within 350 hours time-in-service:

(i) Install a timer relay for the yaw servo hydraulic switch (collective switch) by following the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraph 3.B.2.b.1, 3.B.2.b.2, 3.B.2.b.3, 3.B.2.b.4, 3.B.2.b.5, or 3.B.2.b.6, as applicable to the configuration of your helicopter, of Airbus Helicopters Service Bulletin (SB) No. AS350-67.00.64, Revision 0, dated February 25, 2015 (AS350-67.00.64). If your helicopter has an automatic pilot system, also comply with paragraph 3.B.2.b.7 of AS350-67.00.64.

(ii) Install an indicator light on the caution and warning panel by following the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraph 3.B.2.c.1 or 3.B.2.c.2, as applicable to the configuration of your helicopter, of AS350-67.00.64.

(iii) For helicopters with a Geneva Aviation P122 or P132 electrical console installed, replace the ESN-11 HYD TEST (ACCU TST) switch with a monostable toggle switch part number MS24658-26F.

(iv) For helicopters without a Geneva Aviation P122 or P132 electrical console installed, replace the bistable ACCU TST button on the control panel with a monostable button as depicted in Figure 1 or Figure 3, as applicable to the configuration of your helicopter, of Airbus Helicopters SB No. AS350-67.00.65, Revision 0, dated August 25, 2016.

(3) After the effective date of this AD, do not install a bistable ACCU TST button on any helicopter.

(g) Special Flight Permits

A special flight permit may be issued for paragraph (f)(2) of this AD only.

(h) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(1) The Manager, Safety Management Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: George Schwab, Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email [email protected]

(2) For operations conducted under a 14 CFR part 119 operating certificate or under 14 CFR part 91, subpart K, we suggest that you notify your principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office or certificate holding district office, before operating any aircraft complying with this AD through an AMOC.

(i) Additional Information

(1) Airbus Helicopters SB No. AS350-67.00.66, Revision 1, dated October 22, 2015, which is not incorporated by reference, contains additional information about the subject of this AD. For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus Helicopters, 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone (972) 641-0000 or (800) 232-0323; fax (972) 641-3775; or at http://www.helicopters.airbus.com/website/en/ref/Technical-Support_73.html. You may review a copy of the service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

(2) The subject of this AD is addressed in European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD No. 2016-0220, dated November 4, 2016. You may view the EASA AD on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating it in Docket No. FAA-2017-0826.

(j) Subject

Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 2910, Main Hydraulic System.

(k) 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 February 20, 2018 (83 FR 2039, January 16, 2018).

(i) Airbus Helicopters Service Bulletin No. AS350-67.00.64, Revision 0, dated February 25, 2015.

(ii) Airbus Helicopters Service Bulletin No. AS350-67.00.65, Revision 0, dated August 25, 2016.

(4) For Airbus Helicopters service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus Helicopters, 2701 N Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone (972) 641-0000 or (800) 232-0323; fax (972) 641-3775; or at http://www.helicopters.airbus.com/website/en/ref/Technical-Support_73.html.

(5) You may view this service information at FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (817) 222-5110.

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

Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on February 16, 2018. Lance T. Gant, Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2018-03722 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 573 [Docket No. FDA-2017-F-5528] Food Additives Permitted in Feed and Drinking Water of Animals; Silicon Dioxide as a Carrier for Flavors AGENCY:

Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA, we, or the Agency) is amending the regulations for food additives permitted in feed and drinking water of animals to provide for the safe use of silicon dioxide as a carrier for flavors for use in animal feed. This action is in response to a food additive petition filed by Idemitsu Kosan, Cp. Ltd.

DATES:

This rule is effective March 2, 2018. See section V of this document for information on the filing of objections. Submit either electronic or written objections and requests for a hearing on the final rule by April 2, 2018.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit objections and requests for a hearing as follows. Please note that late, untimely filed objections will not be considered. Electronic objections must be submitted on or before April 2, 2018. The https://www.regulations.gov electronic filing system will accept comments until midnight Eastern Time at the end of April 2, 2018. Objections received by mail/hand delivery/courier (for written/paper submissions) will be considered timely if they are postmarked or the delivery service acceptance receipt is on or before that date.

Electronic Submissions

Submit electronic objections in the following way:

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

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

Written/Paper Submissions

Submit written/paper submissions as follows:

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

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

Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2017-F-5528 for “Food Additives Permitted in Feed and Drinking Water of Animals; Silicon Dioxide as a Carrier for Flavors for Use in Animal Feed.” Received objections, those filed in a timely manner (see ADDRESSES), will be placed in the docket and, except for those submitted as “Confidential Submissions,” publicly viewable at https://www.regulations.gov or at the Dockets Management Staff between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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

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

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Chelsea Trull, Center for Veterinary Medicine, Food and Drug Administration, 7519 Standish Pl. (HFV-224), Rockville, MD 20855, 240-402-6729, [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

In a notice published in the Federal Register of September 25, 2017 (82 FR 44542), FDA announced that we had filed a food additive petition (animal use) (FAP 2304) submitted by Idemitsu Kosan, Cp. Ltd., Agri-Bio Business Dept., 1—1 Marunouchi 3-Chome, Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo 1000-8321, Japan. The petition proposed that the regulations for food additives permitted in feed and drinking water of animals be amended to provide for the safe use of silicon dioxide as a carrier for flavors for use in animal feed.

II. Conclusion

FDA concludes that the data establish the safety and utility of silicon dioxide as a carrier for flavors for use in animal feed and that the food additive regulations should be amended as set forth in this document. This is not a significant regulatory action subject to Executive Order 12866.

III. Public Disclosure

In accordance with § 571.1(h) (21 CFR 571.1(h)), the petition and documents we considered and relied upon in reaching our decision to approve the petition will be made available for inspection at the Center for Veterinary Medicine by appointment with the information contact person (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). As provided in § 571.1(h), we will delete from the documents any materials that are not available for public disclosure before making the documents available for inspection.

IV. Analysis of Environmental Impact

The Agency has determined under 21 CFR 25.32(r) that this action is of a type that does not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. Therefore, neither an environmental assessment, nor an environmental impact statement is required.

V. Objections and Hearing Requests

If you will be adversely affected by one or more provisions of this regulation, you may file with the Dockets Management Staff (see ADDRESSES) either electronic or written objections. You must separately number each objection, and within each numbered objection you must specify with particularity the provision(s) to which you object, and the grounds for your objection. Within each numbered objection, you must specifically state whether you are requesting a hearing on the particular provision that you specify in that numbered objection. If you do not request a hearing for any particular objection, you waive the right to a hearing on that objection. If you request a hearing, your objection must include a detailed description and analysis of the specific factual information you intend to present in support of the objection in the event that a hearing is held. If you do not include such a description and analysis for any particular objection, you waive the right to a hearing on the objection.

Any objections received in response to the regulation may be seen in the Dockets Management Staff between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and will be posted to the docket at https://www.regulations.gov.

List of Subjects in 21 CFR Part 573

Animal feeds, Food additives.

Therefore, under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and under authority delegated to the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, 21 CFR part 573 is amended as follows:

PART 573—FOOD ADDITIVES PERMITTED IN FEED AND DRINKING WATER OF ANIMALS 1. The authority citation for part 573 continues to read as follows: Authority:

21 U.S.C. 321, 342, 348.

2. In §  573.940, add paragraphs (d) and (e) to read as follows:
§ 573.940 Silicon dioxide.

(d) It is used or intended for use in feed components, as a carrier as follows:

Feed component Limitations
  • (percent)
  • Flavors 50

    (e) To ensure safe use of the additive, silicon dioxide is to be used in an amount not to exceed that reasonably required to accomplish its intended effect, and silicon dioxide from all sources cannot exceed 2 percent by weight of the complete feed.

    Dated: February 26, 2018. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04275 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Ocean Energy Management 30 CFR Parts 550 and 553 [Docket ID: BOEM-2017-0079; MMAA104000] RIN 1010-AD99 Oil and Gas and Sulfur Operations in the Outer Continental Shelf—Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustments AGENCY:

    Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This final rule implements the 2018 adjustment of the level of the maximum civil monetary penalties contained in the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) regulations pursuant to the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA), the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (FCPIA of 2015), and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidance. The 2018 adjustment multiplier of 1.02041 accounts for one year of inflation spanning the period from October 2016 through October 2017.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on March 2, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Deanna Meyer-Pietruszka, Chief, Office of Policy, Regulation and Analysis, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, at (202) 208-6352 or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background and Legal Authority II. Calculation of 2018 Adjustments III. Procedural Requirements A. Regulatory Planning and Review (E.O. 12866, 13563, and 13771) B. Regulatory Flexibility Act C. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act E. Takings (E.O. 12630) F. Federalism (E.O. 13132) G. Civil Justice Reform (E.O. 12988) H. Consultation With Indian Tribes (E.O. 13175 and Departmental Policy) I. Paperwork Reduction Act J. National Environmental Policy Act K. Effects on the Energy Supply (E.O. 13211) I. Background and Legal Authority

    The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) directs the Secretary of the Interior to adjust the OCSLA maximum civil penalty amount at least once every three years to reflect any increase in the Consumer Price Index to account for inflation (43 U.S.C. 1350(b)(1)). The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 (Pub. L. 104-410) (FCPIA of 1990) requires that all civil monetary penalties, including the OCSLA maximum civil penalty amount, be adjusted at least once every four years.

    Similarly, the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA) authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to impose civil penalties for failure to comply with financial responsibility regulations that implement OPA. The FCPIA of 1990 requires that all civil monetary penalties, including the OPA maximum civil penalty amount, be adjusted for inflation at least once every four years.

    The FCPIA of 2015 requires Federal agencies to promulgate annual inflation adjustments for civil monetary penalties. Specifically, agencies are required to adjust the level of civil monetary penalties with an initial “catch-up” adjustment through an interim final rulemaking (IFR) in 2016, and must make subsequent annual adjustments for inflation, beginning in 2017. Agencies were required to publish the first annual inflation adjustments in the Federal Register by no later than January 15, 2017, and must publish recurring annual inflation adjustments by no later than January 15 each subsequent year. The purpose of these adjustments is to maintain the deterrent effect of civil penalties and to further the policy goals of the underlying statutes.

    BOEM last adjusted the levels of civil monetary penalties in BOEM regulations through a final rule, RIN 1010-AD95 [82 FR 10709], which was published on February 15, 2017.

    The OMB Memorandum M-18-03, issued December 15, 2017, (Implementation of Penalty Inflation Adjustments for 2018, Pursuant to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015; https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/M-18-03.pdf) explains agency statutory responsibilities for: Identifying applicable penalties and performing the annual adjustment; publishing revisions to regulations to implement the adjustment in the Federal Register; applying adjusted penalty levels; and performing agency oversight of inflation adjustments.

    BOEM is promulgating this 2018 inflation adjustment for civil penalties as a final rule pursuant to the provisions of the FCPIA of 2015 and OMB guidance. A proposed rule is not required because the FCPIA of 2015 states that agencies shall adjust civil monetary penalties “notwithstanding Section 553 of the Administrative Procedure Act.” (FCPIA of 2015 at sec. 4(b)(2)). Accordingly, Congress expressly exempted the annual inflation adjustments implemented pursuant to the FCPIA of 2015 from the pre-promulgation notice and comment requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), allowing them to be published as a final rule. This interpretation of the statute is confirmed by OMB Memorandum M-18-03. (OMB Memorandum M-18-03 at 4 (“This means that the public procedure the APA generally requires—notice, an opportunity for comment, and a delay in effective date—is not required for agencies to issue regulations implementing the annual adjustment.”)).

    II. Calculation of 2018 Adjustments

    Under the FCPIA of 2015 and the guidance provided in OMB Memorandum M-18-03, BOEM has identified applicable civil monetary penalties and calculated the necessary inflation adjustments. The previous civil penalty inflation adjustments accounted for inflation through October 2016. The required annual civil penalty inflation adjustment promulgated through this rule accounts for inflation through October 2017.

    Annual inflation adjustments are based on the percent change between the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for the October preceding the date of the adjustment, and the prior year's October CPI-U. Consistent with the guidance in OMB Memorandum M-18-03, BOEM divided the October 2017 CPI-U by the October 2016 CPI-U to calculate the multiplying factor. In this case, October 2017 CPI-U (246.663)/October 2016 CPI-U (241.729) = 1.02041. OMB Memorandum M-18-03 confirms that this is the proper multiplier. (See OMB Memorandum M-18-03 at 1 and n.4).

    For 2018, OCSLA and the FCPIA of 2015 require that BOEM adjust the OCSLA maximum civil penalty amount. To accomplish this, BOEM multiplied the existing OCSLA maximum civil penalty amount ($42,704) by the multiplying factor ($42,704 × 1.02041 = $43,575.59). The FCPIA of 2015 requires that the resulting amount be rounded to the nearest $1.00 at the end of the calculation process. Accordingly, the adjusted OCSLA maximum civil penalty is $43,576.

    For 2018, the FCPIA of 2015 requires that BOEM adjust the OPA maximum civil penalty amount. To accomplish this, BOEM multiplied the current OPA maximum civil penalty amount ($45,268) by the multiplying factor (45,268 × 1.02041 = $46,191.92). The FCPIA of 2015 requires that the resulting amount be rounded to the nearest $1.00 at the end of the calculation process. Accordingly, the adjusted OPA maximum civil penalty is $46,192.

    The adjusted penalty levels will take effect immediately upon publication of this rule. Pursuant to the FCPIA of 2015, the increases in the OCSLA and OPA maximum civil penalty amounts apply to civil penalties assessed after the date the increase takes effect, even if the associated violation(s) predates such increase. Consistent with the provisions of OCSLA, OPA, and the FCPIA of 2015, this rule adjusts the following maximum civil monetary penalties per day per violation:

    CFR Citation Description of the penalty Current
  • maximum
  • penalty
  • Multiplier Adjusted
  • maximum
  • penalty
  • 30 CFR 550.1403 Failure to comply per day per violation $42,704 1.02041 $43,576 30 CFR 553.51(a) Failure to comply per day per violation 45,268 1.02041 46,192
    III. Procedural Requirements A. Regulatory Planning and Review (E.O. 12866, 13563, and 13771)

    Executive Order (E.O.) 12866 provides that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in the OMB will review all significant rules. OIRA has determined that this rule is not significant. (See OMB Memorandum M-18-03 at 3).

    E.O. 13563 reaffirms the principles of E.O. 12866 while calling for improvements in the Nation's regulatory system to reduce uncertainty and to promote predictability and the use of the best, most innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. E.O. 13563 directs agencies to consider regulatory approaches that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for the public where these approaches are relevant, feasible, and consistent with regulatory objectives. We have developed this rule in a manner consistent with these requirements, to the extent relevant and feasible given the limited discretion provided agencies in FCPIA.

    E.O. 13771 of January 30, 2017 directs Federal agencies to reduce the regulatory burden on regulated entities and control regulatory costs. E.O. 13771, however, applies only to significant regulatory actions, as defined in Section 3(f) of E.O. 12866. OIRA has determined that agency regulations exclusively implementing the annual adjustment are not significant regulatory actions under E.O. 12866, provided they are consistent with OMB Memorandum M-18-03 (See OMB Memorandum M-18-03 at 3); thus, E.O. 13771 does not apply to this rulemaking.

    B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) requires an agency to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis for all rules unless the agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The RFA applies only to rules for which an agency is required to first publish a proposed rule. (See 5 U.S.C. 603(a) and 604(a)). The FCPIA of 2015 expressly exempts these annual inflation adjustments from the requirement to publish a proposed rule for notice and comment. (See FCPIA of 2015 at section 4(b)(2); OMB Memorandum M-18-03 at 4). Thus, the RFA does not apply to this rulemaking.

    C. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. This rule:

    (a) Will not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more;

    (b) Will not cause a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, or local government agencies, or geographic regions; and

    (c) Will not have significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises.

    D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    This rule does not impose an unfunded mandate on state, local, or tribal governments, or the private sector, of more than $100 million per year. The rule does not have a significant or unique effect on state, local, or tribal governments or the private sector. Therefore, a statement containing the information required by the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) is not required.

    E. Takings (E.O. 12630)

    This rule does not effect a taking of private property or otherwise have takings implications under E.O. 12630. Therefore, a takings implication assessment is not required.

    F. Federalism (E.O. 13132)

    Under the criteria in section 1 of E.O. 13132, this rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a federalism summary impact statement. Therefore, a federalism summary impact statement is not required.

    G. Civil Justice Reform (E.O. 12988)

    This rule complies with the requirements of E.O. 12988. Specifically, this rule:

    (a) Meets the criteria of section 3(a) requiring that all regulations be reviewed to eliminate errors and ambiguity and be written to minimize litigation; and

    (b) Meets the criteria of section 3(b)(2) requiring that all regulations be written in clear language and contain clear legal standards.

    H. Consultation With Indian Tribes (E.O. 13175 and Departmental Policy)

    The Department of the Interior strives to strengthen its government-to-government relationship with Indian tribes through a commitment to consultation with Indian tribes and recognition of their right to self-governance and tribal sovereignty. We have evaluated this rule under the Department of the Interior's consultation policy, under Departmental Manual Part 512, Chapters 4 and 5, and under the criteria in E.O. 13175. We have determined that it has no substantial direct effects on Federally-recognized Indian tribes or Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) Corporations, and that consultation under the Department of the Interior's tribal and ANCSA consultation policies is not required.

    I. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule does not contain information collection requirements, and a submission to the OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) is not required. We may not conduct or sponsor, and you are not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    J. National Environmental Policy Act

    This rule does not constitute a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. A detailed statement under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) is not required because, as a regulation of an administrative nature, this rule is covered by a categorical exclusion (see 43 CFR 46.210(i)). We have also determined that the rule does not involve any of the extraordinary circumstances listed in 43 CFR 46.215 that would require further analysis under NEPA. Therefore, a detailed statement under NEPA is not required.

    K. Effects on the Energy Supply (E.O. 13211)

    This rule is not a significant energy action under the definition in E.O. 13211. Therefore, a Statement of Energy Effects is not required.

    List of Subjects 30 CFR Part 550

    Administrative practice and procedure, Continental shelf, Environmental impact statements, Environmental protection, Federal lands, Government contracts, Investigations, Mineral resources, Oil and gas exploration, Outer continental shelf, Penalties, Pipelines, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Rights-of-way, Sulfur.

    30 CFR Part 553

    Administrative practice and procedure, Continental shelf, Financial responsibility, Liability, Limit of liability, Oil and gas exploration, Oil pollution, Outer continental shelf, Penalties, Pipelines, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Rights-of-way, Surety bonds, Treasury securities.

    Dated: February 12, 2018. Joseph R. Balash, Assistant Secretary—Land and Minerals Management.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, the BOEM amends 30 CFR parts 550 and 553 as follows:

    PART 550—OIL AND GAS AND SULFUR OPERATIONS IN THE OUTER CONTINENTAL SHELF 1. The authority citation for part 550 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    30 U.S.C. 1751; 31 U.S.C. 9701; 43 U.S.C. 1334.

    2. Revise § 550.1403 to read as follows:
    § 550.1403 What is the maximum civil penalty?

    The maximum civil penalty is $43,576 per day per violation.

    PART 553—OIL SPILL FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR OFFSHORE FACILITIES 3. The authority citation for part 553 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 2704, 2716; E.O. 12777, as amended.

    4. In § 553.51, revise paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 553.51 What are the penalties for not complying with this part?

    (a) If you fail to comply with the financial responsibility requirements of OPA at 33 U.S.C. 2716 or with the requirements of this part, then you may be liable for a civil penalty of up to $46,192 per COF per day of violation (that is, each day a COF is operated without acceptable evidence of OSFR).

    [FR Doc. 2018-04248 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-MR-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2018-0120] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Sloop Channel, Hempstead, New York AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the Meadowbrook State Parkway Bridge across the Sloop Channel, mile 12.8, at Hempstead, New York. This temporary deviation is necessary to allow the bridge to remain in the closed-to-navigation position to facilitate the machinery rehabilitation and spanlock replacement of the bridge. This deviation allows the bridge to remain in the closed position.

    DATES:

    This deviation is effective from 7 a.m. on March 5, 2018 to 7 a.m. on May 9, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this deviation, USCG-2018-0120 is available at http://www.regulations.gov. Type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH”. Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this deviation.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this temporary deviation, call or email Judy Leung-Yee, Project Officer, First Coast Guard District, telephone (212) 514-4330, email [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The owner of the bridge, the New York State Department of Transportation, requested a temporary deviation to facilitate the machinery rehabilitation and spanlock replacement of the bridge. The Meadowbrook State Parkway Bridge across the Sloop Channel, mile 12.8, has a vertical clearance in the closed position of 22 feet at mean high water and 25 feet at mean low water. The existing bridge operating regulations are found at 33 CFR 117.799(h).

    This temporary deviation allows the Meadowbrook State Parkway Bridge to remain in the closed position daily on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. as follows: March 5-7, 2018; and March 12-14, 2018. Additionally, the Meadowbrook State Parkway Bridge shall remain in the closed position between 7 a.m. Monday and 7 a.m. Wednesday as follows: April 30-May 2, 2018; and May 7-9, 2018. The majority of Meadowbrook State Parkway Bridge openings for the past three years between March and April occurred on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

    The waterway is transited by commercial and recreational traffic. The Coast Guard notified known waterway users and there were no objections to this temporary deviation. Vessels able to pass under the bridge in the closed position may do so at any time. The bridge will not be able to open for emergencies and there is no immediate alternate route for vessels to pass.

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

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

    Dated: February 26, 2018. Christopher J. Bisignano, Supervisory Bridge Management Specialist, First Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04243 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2017-0050] RIN 1625-AA09 Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Sturgeon Bay, Sturgeon Bay, WI AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is modifying the operating regulation that governs the Bayview (State Route 42/57) Bridge, Mile 3.0, Maple-Oregon Bridge, Mile 4.17, and Michigan Street Bridge, Mile 4.3, all over the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal in Sturgeon Bay, WI, by authorizing remote operation for all three drawbridges. The operating schedules are not changing. The three drawbridges will be permanently remotely operated by a single tender.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective April 2, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov. Type USCG-2017-1047 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rulemaking.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this rule, call or email Mr. Lee Soule, Bridge Management Specialist, Ninth Coast Guard District; telephone 216-902-6085, or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    On February 21, 2017, we published an interim rule with request for comments entitled Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Sturgeon Bay, Sturgeon Bay, WI in the Federal Register (82 FR 11148). The comment period lasted between March 23 and December 1, 2017. We received three comments. A WI-DOT stakeholder and public involvement meeting was held in Sturgeon Bay, WI, on August 1, 2017. Additionally, the City of Sturgeon Bay conducted a Local Officials Meeting and a Community Protection Services Meeting, on April 11, 2017 and May 11, 2017, respectively, to align all city services with the remote drawbridge operation.

    III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority 33 U.S.C. 499.

    The operating schedules for the three drawbridges that cross Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal in Sturgeon Bay, WI are found under the existing regulation, 33 CFR 117.1101; Sturgeon Bay. All three drawbridges are bascule-type bridges with unlimited vertical clearance in the open position. In the closed position, the three drawbridges provide the following clearances: Bayview Bridge 42-feet, Maple-Oregon Bridge 25-feet, and Michigan Street Bridge 14-feet. Under the current regulations, from March 15 thru November 30, the Bayview Bridge opens on signal for vessels 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Between December 1 and March 14 the Bayview Bridge will open for vessels if at least 12-hours advance notice is provided. Between March 15 and December 31, the Maple-Oregon Bridge will open for recreational vessels on the quarter-hour and three-quarter hour, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Between March 15 and December 31 the Michigan Street Bridge will open for vessels on the hour and half-hour, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Between January 1 and March 14 both the Maple-Oregon and the Michigan Street Bridges will open for vessels if at least 12-hours advance notice is provided. All three drawbridges open at any time for commercial vessels. Due to the close proximity of the Maple-Oregon and the Michigan Street Bridges, both are required to open simultaneously if requested by a commercial vessel and both shall open on signal at any time if at least 10 vessels have accumulated at either bridge waiting for an opening or vessels are seeking shelter from severe weather. This rule does not change any of the existing bridge schedules or conditions.

    WI-DOT, owner of all three drawbridges, requested the Coast Guard authorize permanent remote operation of Bayview Bridge and Michigan Street Bridge, with operation from a single tender stationed at the middle bridge, Maple-Oregon Bridge, under the provisions of 33 CFR 117.42. The interim rule allowed testing of the remote operation arrangement throughout the 2017 navigation season to identify and fully evaluate any impacts during the testing period. Authorizing temporary remote operation of the Sturgeon Bay drawbridges provided an opportunity to evaluate the use of current technology to monitor and operate remote drawbridges due to the particular conditions on this waterway and the demonstrated historical record over time by the bridge owner, WI-DOT, to efficiently manage and operate their drawbridges within the Ninth Coast Guard District.

    The Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal carries large (freighter) and smaller (tug/barge) commercial vessels, recreational vessels (including sailing vessels), vessels seeking emergency yard services, transient vessels, and vessels seeking shelter from severe weather. There are numerous commercial, recreational, and transient facilities along Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal, including a shipyard capable of servicing freighter size commercial vessels. Vessels may enter or exit the Ship Canal through east or west entrances, with some traffic passing through the entire waterway and requiring openings of all three drawbridges, and some traffic reaching facilities without requiring any drawbridge openings by entering the waterway from either the Lake Michigan or Green Bay sides.

    Prior to the testing period authorized by the interim rule, WI-DOT provided data from the 2014 and 2015 seasons showing the number of commercial and recreational vessel traffic openings for each bridge. This data was published in the interim rule. For general comparison the total bridge openings of all three drawbridges during 2014 for all types of vessel traffic were 4,694 openings; during 2015 were 5,251 openings; and during 2017 (through November 30) were 4,945 openings.

    WI-DOT gathered additional data throughout the 2017 navigation season and during the interim rule period, including vehicular and pedestrian traffic totals. The operating schedules for all three drawbridges were not changed during the 2017 testing period and will not be changed with this rule.

    IV. Discussion of Comments, Changes and the Final Rule

    The interim rule provided a comment period between March 23 and December 1, 2017. We received three comments from the general public. Two comments generally supported the effectiveness of the remote operation arrangement. One comment stated the single tender located at the central bridge (Maple-Oregon Bridge) `should at the very least have visual contact with the bridge they are opening', citing the distance between the Maple-Oregon Bridge and the Bayview Bridge, approximately 1.3 miles apart. The Bayview Bridge offers greater vertical clearance for vessels in the closed position compared to Maple-Oregon Bridge, thereby requiring fewer drawbridge openings (488 openings at Bayview Bridge versus 1,439 openings at Maple-Oregon Bridge in 2017). The single tender at Maple-Oregon Bridge can visually see the Bayview Bridge with at least one mile of clear weather and has sufficient camera coverage for all approaches on the roadway or waterway (including thermal imaging during poor visibility) to safely operate the drawbridge for marine, vehicular and pedestrian traffic. No changes published in the interim rule have been revised in this final rule based on the comments received.

    WI-DOT requested the Coast Guard authorize permanently operating the Bayview and Michigan Street Bridges with a single bridge tender operating remote equipment from the Maple-Oregon Bridge, which is located between the Bayview and Michigan Street Bridges. In order to fulfill the required methods to receive and respond to bridge opening requests from vessels during the 2017 test period, as outlined in subpart A of 33 CFR part 117, WI-DOT employed the following equipment and protocols: Separate programmable logic controllers (PLC) designed for each bridge on fiber optic connections; digital camera coverage (with ability to pan and provide overlap video coverage) of all approaches from land and water; thermal imaging during severe weather or restricted visibility; two-way audio capability; VHF-FM marine radiotelephone; landline telephone; horn; signal lights; back-up and redundant systems; exclusive duties of bridge tenders; and signage at the bridges advising mariners of communication and signaling methods. WI-DOT developed protocols to suspend the remote operation arrangement and provide tenders at each drawbridge during emergencies or equipment failures, and during busy holidays or weekends (Memorial Day, July Fourth, Labor Day). WI-DOT provided a report documenting various data and observations, including: Frequency of bridge openings; vehicular traffic counts; vessel traffic counts (and type); pedestrian counts; frequency of equipment failure and temporary suspension of remote operation; frequency of restricted visibility; best practices; lessons learned; and other information useful for evaluating the remote operation arrangement.

    The overall number of openings at all three drawbridges between 2015 and 2017 were comparable (5,251 versus 4,945, respectively). The data provided by WI-DOT following the test period also included: No reports of equipment failure or temporary suspension of remote operation due to equipment failure; no periods of restricted visibility that affected safe remote operation; twenty occasions where ten or more vessels were waiting for openings between Michigan Avenue and Maple-Oregon Street Bridges, requiring openings outside of scheduled times and as per the existing operating regulations; and no additional periods where traffic volume or conditions necessitated manning all three drawbridges outside of expected traffic increases (Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day). The following items are among other lessons learned and provided by WI-DOT: High-definition cameras provide the greatest clarity of all views and should be mounted to the bridge in a manner where minimum vibration is experienced; two separate power sources are provided for each structure for redundancy; designation of one tender as “Head Drawtender” to receive and respond to all possible issues related to tenders, including emergency response; involve local law enforcement and fire first responders early in the planning process to ensure effective communications and interconnectivity with responder systems; identifying local sources to service equipment during emergencies to minimize disruptions; and investigate WiFi options for hard wire systems for redundancy.

    In addition to the successful test during the interim rule period, the established performance history of this particular bridge owner/operator was a significant factor in our evaluation of the safety and effectiveness of remote bridge operation. Strong consideration was given to this bridge owner due to no reported unreasonable delays to open drawbridges in the past ten years, timely bridge repairs when any drawbridge is rendered inoperable, no reported safety incidents, protocols to have tenders on all bridges within 30 minutes, if needed, and remote tenders having no other duties other than monitoring and operation of the drawbridges.

    We determined that the particular conditions on this waterway, along with the protocols and the historical performance of the bridge owner, allow for the safe and efficient operation of the Sturgon Bay drawbridges via remote operation.

    The existing operating schedules of the drawbridges will not be changed by this rule. This rule modifies the regulatory language by including the authorization to remotely operate the drawbridges under the provisions of 33 CFR 117.42.

    V. Regulatory Analyses

    We developed this rule after considering numerous statutes and Executive Orders related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses based on a number of these statutes and Executive Orders, and we discuss First Amendment rights of protesters.

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits. Executive Order 13771 directs agencies to control regulatory costs through a budgeting process. This rule has not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, it has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and pursuant to OMB guidance it is exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 13771.

    This regulatory action determination is based on the fact no changes to operating schedules are implemented with this action. The remote drawbridge operation is expected and designed to be transparent to vessels with no additional requirements or actions necessary to pass any of the three drawbridges.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601-612, as amended, requires federal agencies to consider the potential impact of regulations on small entities during rulemaking. The term “small entities” comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000. The Coast Guard received zero comments from the Small Business Administration on this rule. The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This rule imposes no changes or additional requirements for any vessel operator or small entity to pass a drawbridge compared to current conditions.

    While some owners or operators of vessels intending to transit the bridge may be small entities, for the reasons stated in section V.A above, this rule will not have a significant economic impact on any vessel owner or operator.

    Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this rule. If the rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT, above.

    Small businesses may send comments on the actions of Federal employees who enforce, or otherwise determine compliance with, Federal regulations to the Small Business and Agriculture Regulatory Enforcement Ombudsman and the Regional Small Business Regulatory Fairness Boards. The Ombudsman evaluates these actions annually and rates each agency's responsiveness to small business. If you wish to comment on actions by employees of the Coast Guard, call 1-888-REG-FAIR (1-888-734-3247). The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about this rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard.

    C. Collection of Information

    This rule calls for no new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520).

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Government

    A rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132, Federalism, if it has a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. We have analyzed this rule under that Order and have determined that it is consistent with the fundamental federalism principles and preemption requirements described in Executive Order 13132.

    Also, this rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it does not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes.

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531-1538) requires Federal agencies to assess the effects of their discretionary regulatory actions. In particular, the Act addresses actions that may result in the expenditure by a State, local, or tribal government, in the aggregate, or by the private sector of $100,000,000 (adjusted for inflation) or more in any one year. Though this rule will not result in such an expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble.

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guides the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have made a determination that this action is one of a category of actions which do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule simply promulgates the operating regulations or procedures for drawbridges. This action is categorically excluded from further review, under figure 2-1, paragraph (32)(e), of the Instruction.

    A Record of Environmental Consideration and a Memorandum for the Record are not required for this rule.

    G. Protest Activities

    The Coast Guard respects the First Amendment rights of protesters. Protesters are asked to contact the person listed in the For Further Information Contact section to coordinate protest activities so that your message can be received without jeopardizing the safety or security of people, places or vessels.

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117

    Bridges.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 33 CFR part 117 as follows:

    PART 117—DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS 1. The authority citation for part 117 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 499; 33 CFR 1.05-1; and Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

    2. In § 117.1101, add introductory text to read as follows:
    § 117.1101 Sturgeon Bay.

    The draws of the Bayview (State Route 42/57) and Michigan Street bridges, miles 3.0 and 4.3, respectively, at Sturgeon Bay, are remotely operated by the tender at Maple-Oregon bridge, mile 4.17, and shall open as follows:

    Dated: February 15, 2018. J.M. Nunan, Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, Ninth Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04299 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2018-0091] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Petaluma River, Haystack Landing (Petaluma), CA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of temporary deviation from regulations; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the Northwestern Pacific (SMART) railroad bridge across the Petaluma River, mile 12.4, at Haystack Landing (Petaluma), CA. This deviation will test a change to the drawbridge operation schedule to determine whether a permanent change to the schedule is appropriate. This test deviation will modify the existing regulation to add an advance notification requirement for obtaining bridge openings.

    DATES:

    This deviation is effective from 6 a.m. on March 19, 2018 to 6 a.m. on June 17, 2018.

    Comments and related materials must reach the Coast Guard on or before July 2, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2018-0091 using Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this test deviation, call or email Carl T. Hausner, Chief, Bridge Section, Eleventh Coast Guard District; telephone 510-437-3516; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background, Purpose and Legal Basis

    Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) owns the Northwestern Pacific railroad bridge across the Petaluma River, mile 12.4, at Haystack Landing (Petaluma), CA. The bridge has a vertical clearance of 3.6 feet above mean high water in the closed-to-navigation position and unlimited vertical clearance in the open-to-navigation position, and currently operates under 33 CFR 117.187(a).

    In 2015, SMART replaced the original swing bridge with a single leaf bascule bridge. Prior to 2015, the swing bridge was rarely used and was maintained in the fully open position. Commuter rail service began on August 25, 2017. Currently 32 trains cross the bridge each day. The Petaluma River supports commercial and recreational traffic. Due to an increase in said rail traffic, SMART has requested the drawspan remain in the closed-to-navigation position to avoid unnecessary bridge openings. The Coast Guard is publishing this temporary deviation to test the proposed schedule change SMART has requested to determine whether a permanent change to the schedule is appropriate to better balance the needs of marine and rail traffic.

    Under this temporary deviation, in effect from 6 a.m. on March 19, 2018 to 6 a.m. on June 17, 2018, the bridge shall open on signal from 3 a.m. to 11 p.m. if at least 2 hours notice is given to the drawtender. At all other times, the draw shall be maintained in the fully open position, except for the passage of trains or for maintenance. To request an opening, mariners can contact the drawtender via marine radio VHF-FM channel 16/9 or by telephone at (707) 890-8650. Vessels able to pass through the bridge in the closed position may do so at anytime. The bridge will be required to open as soon as practicable for vessels engaged in emergency response. SMART will log dates and times of vessels requesting openings. There are no alternate routes for vessels transiting upstream of the bridge on the Petaluma River.

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

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

    II. Public Participation and Request for Comments

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

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

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

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

    Dated: February 26, 2018. Carl T. Hausner, District Bridge Chief, Eleventh Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04251 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2018-0111] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Passaic River, Harrison, NJ AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the Route 280 Bridge across the Passaic River, mile 5.8, at Harrison, New Jersey. The deviation is necessary to perform work on the switch gear power source of the bridge. This deviation allows the bridge to undergo necessary maintenance for Route 21 interchange improvements. This deviation allows the bridge to remain closed during the maintenance period.

    DATES:

    This deviation is effective from 12:01 a.m. on March 1, 2018, until 11:59 p.m. on March 7, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this deviation, USCG-2018-0111, is available at http://www.regulations.gov. Type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this deviation.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this temporary deviation, call or email Judy K. Leung-Yee, Bridge Management Specialist, First District Bridge Branch, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 212-514-4336, email [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The owner of the bridge, the New Jersey Department of Transportation, requested a temporary deviation in order to perform work on the switch gear power source of the bridge.

    The Route 280 Bridge across the Passaic River, mile 5.8, at Harrison, New Jersey is a vertical lift bridge with a vertical clearance of 35 feet at mean high water and 40 feet at mean low water in the closed position. The existing drawbridge operating regulations are listed at 33 CFR 117.739(h).

    This temporary deviation will allow the Route 280 Bridge to remain in the closed position from 12:01 a.m. on March 1, 2018, to 11:59 p.m. on March 7, 2018. The deviation will have negligible effect on navigation. The waterway is transited by recreational and commercial vessels. Coordination with waterway users has indicated no objection to the proposed closure of the draw. Vessels that can pass under the bridge without an opening may do so at all times. The bridge will not be able to open for emergencies. There is no alternate route for vessels to pass.

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

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

    Dated: February 27, 2018. Christopher J. Bisignano, Supervisory Bridge Management Specialist, First Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04249 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2018-0031] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Curtis Creek, Baltimore, MD AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the CSX Swing Bridge which carries CSX railroad across the Curtis Creek, mile 1.4, at Baltimore, MD. The deviation is necessary to facilitate bridge maintenance. This deviation allows the bridge to remain in the closed-to-navigation position.

    DATES:

    The deviation is effective from 8 a.m. on Monday, March 5, 2018, through 2:30 p.m. on Friday, March 30, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2018-0031] is available at http://www.regulations.gov. Type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH”. Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this deviation.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this temporary deviation, call or email Mr. Michael Thorogood, Bridge Administration Branch Fifth District, Coast Guard, telephone 757-398-6557, email [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The CSX Corporation, owner and operator of the CSX Swing Bridge that carries CSX railroad across the Curtis Creek, mile 1.4, at Baltimore, MD, has requested a temporary deviation from the current operating schedule to facilitate installation of railroad ties across the swing span of the drawbridge. The bridge has a vertical clearance of 13 feet above mean high water in the closed position and unlimited vertical clearance in the open position. The current operating schedule is set out in 33 CFR 117.5. Under this temporary deviation, the bridge will remain in the closed-to-navigation position from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, March 5, 2018, through March 30, 2018.

    Curtis Creek is used by a variety of vessels including U.S. government and public vessels, tug and barge traffic, and recreational vessels. The Coast Guard has carefully coordinated the restrictions with waterway users in publishing this temporary deviation.

    Vessels able to pass through the bridge in the closed-to-navigation position may do so at any time. The bridge will open on signal, if at least one hour notification is given. The bridge will be able to open for emergencies, if at least 15 minutes notification is given. The bridge may be contacted at (410) 354-5593 24 hours per day. There is no immediate alternative route for vessels unable to pass through the bridge in the closed position. The Coast Guard will also inform the users of the waterway through our Local Notice and Broadcast Notices to Mariners of the change in operating schedule for the bridge so that vessel operators can arrange their transits to minimize any impact caused by the temporary deviation.

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

    Dated: February 26, 2018. Hal R. Pitts, Bridge Program Manager, Fifth Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04250 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG-2018-0117] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone: Monte Foundation Snowfest Fireworks, Tahoe City, Lake Tahoe, CA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone in the navigable waters of Lake Tahoe near Commons Beach in support of the Monte Foundation Snowfest Festival Fireworks Display on March 2, 2018. This safety zone is established to ensure the safety of participants and spectators from the dangers associated with pyrotechnics. Unauthorized persons or vessels are prohibited from entering into, transiting through, or remaining in the safety zone without permission of the Captain of the Port or their designated representative.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective from 7 a.m. to 8:15 p.m. on March 2, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Documents mentioned in this preamble are part of docket USCG-2018-0117. To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rulemaking.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this rule, call or email Lieutenant Junior Grade Emily Rowan, U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Francisco; telephone (415) 399-7443 or email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Table of Acronyms APA Administrative Procedure Act COTP U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register NOAA National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking PATCOM U.S. Coast Guard Patrol Commander U.S.C. United States Code II. Background Information and Regulatory History

    The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary final rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) with respect to this rule. Since the Coast Guard received notice of this event on January 30, 2018, notice and comment procedures would be impracticable in this instance.

    For similar reasons as those stated above, under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making this rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

    III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231. The Captain of the Port (COTP) San Francisco has determined that potential hazards associated with the planned fireworks display on March 2, 2018, will be a safety concern for anyone within a 100-foot radius of the fireworks barge and anyone within a 350-feet radius of the fireworks firing site. Loading of the pyrotechnics onto the fireworks barge is scheduled to take place from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. on March 2, 2018, at Lake Forest Boat Ramp in Tahoe City, CA. From 11:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on March 2, 2018, the staged fireworks barge will remain at Lake Forest Boat Ramp until the start of its transit to the display location. Towing of the barge from Lake Forest Boat Ramp to the display location is scheduled to take place from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on March 2, 2018 where it will remain until the conclusion of the fireworks display. This rule is needed to protect spectators, vessels, and other property from hazards associated with pyrotechnics.

    IV. Discussion of the Rule

    This rule establishes a temporary safety zone from 7:00 a.m. to 8:15 p.m. on March 2, 2018. During the loading, staging, transit, and until 30 minutes prior to the start of the fireworks display, the safety zone applies to the navigable waters around and under the fireworks barge within a radius of 100 feet. At 7:00 p.m. on March 2, 2018, 30 minutes prior to the commencement of the 12-minute fireworks display, the safety zone will increase in size and encompass the navigable water around and under the fireworks barge within a radius of 350 feet in approximate position 39°10′07″ N, 120°08′16″ W (NAD 83) for the Monte Foundation Snowfest Fireworks Display. The safety zone shall terminate at 8:15 p.m. on March 2, 2018.

    The effect of the temporary safety zone is to restrict navigation in the vicinity of the fireworks loading, staging, transit, and firing site. Except for persons or vessels authorized by the COTP or the COTP's designated representative, no person or vessel may enter or remain in the restricted areas. These regulations are needed to keep spectators and vessels away from the immediate vicinity of the fireworks firing sites to ensure the safety of participants, spectators, and transiting vessels.

    V. Regulatory Analyses

    We developed this rule after considering numerous statutes and executive orders related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses based on a number of these statutes and Executive orders, and we discuss First Amendment rights of protestors.

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits. Executive Order 13771 directs agencies to control regulatory costs through a budgeting process. This rule has not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, this rule has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and pursuant to OMB guidance it is exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 13771.

    This regulatory action determination is based on the limited duration and narrowly tailored geographic area of the safety zone. Although this rule restricts access to the waters encompassed by the safety zone, the effect of this rule will not be significant because the local waterway users will be notified via public Broadcast Notice to Mariners to ensure the safety zone will result in minimum impact. The entities most likely to be affected are waterfront facilities, commercial vessels, and pleasure craft engaged in recreational activities.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601-612, as amended, requires federal agencies to consider the potential impact of regulations on small entities during rulemaking. The term “small entities” comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000. The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    This rule may affect the following entities, some of which may be small entities: Owners and operators of waterfront facilities, commercial vessels, and pleasure craft engaged in recreational activities and sightseeing, if these facilities or vessels are in the vicinity of the safety zone at times when this zone is being enforced. This rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for the following reasons: (i) This rule will encompass only a small portion of the waterway for a limited period of time, and (ii) the maritime public will be advised in advance of these safety zones via Broadcast Notice to Mariners.

    Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this rule. If the rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

    Small businesses may send comments on the actions of Federal employees who enforce, or otherwise determine compliance with, Federal regulations to the Small Business and Agriculture Regulatory Enforcement Ombudsman and the Regional Small Business Regulatory Fairness Boards. The Ombudsman evaluates these actions annually and rates each agency's responsiveness to small business. If you wish to comment on actions by employees of the Coast Guard, call 1-888-REG-FAIR (1-888-734-3247). The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about this rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard.

    C. Collection of Information

    This rule will not call for a new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520).

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

    A rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132, Federalism, if it has a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. We have analyzed this rule under that Order and have determined that it is consistent with the fundamental federalism principles and preemption requirements described in Executive Order 13132.

    Also, this rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it does not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. If you believe this rule has implications for federalism or Indian tribes, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section above.

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531-1538) requires Federal agencies to assess the effects of their discretionary regulatory actions. In particular, the Act addresses actions that may result in the expenditure by a State, local, or tribal government, in the aggregate, or by the private sector of $100,000,000 (adjusted for inflation) or more in any one year. Though this rule will not result in such expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble.

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01, which guides the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have determined that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule involves safety zones of limited size and duration. It is categorically excluded from further review under Categorical Exclusion L60(a) of Appendix A, Table 1 of DHS Instruction Manual 023-01-001-01, Rev. 01. A Record of Environmental Consideration supporting this determination is available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES.

    G. Protest Activities

    The Coast Guard respects the First Amendment rights of protesters. Protesters are asked to contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to coordinate protest activities so that your message can be received without jeopardizing the safety or security of people, places or vessels.

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 33 CFR part 165 as follows:

    PART 165—REGULATED NAVIGATION AREAS AND LIMITED ACCESS AREAS 1. The authority citation for part 165 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    33 U.S.C 1231; 50 U.S.C. 191; 33 CFR 1.05-1, 6.04-1, 6.04-6, and 160.5; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1

    2. Add § 165.T11-915 to read as follows:
    § 165.T11-915 Safety Zone; Monte Foundation Snowfest Fireworks Display, Tahoe City, Lake Tahoe, CA.

    (a) Location. This temporary safety zone is established in the navigable waters of Lake Tahoe near Commons Beach in Tahoe City, Lake Tahoe, CA as depicted in National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Chart 18665. Starting at the Lake Forest Boat Ramp from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on March 2, 2018, during the loading, staging, transit, and arrival of the fireworks barge and until 30 minutes prior to the start of the fireworks display, the temporary safety zone applies to the navigable waters around and under the fireworks barge within a radius of 100 feet. At 7 p.m., 30 minutes prior to the commencement of the 12 minute fireworks display, scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. on March 2, 2018, the safety zone will expand to encompass the navigable waters around and under the fireworks barge within a radius of 350 feet in approximate position 39°10′07″ N, 120°08′16″ W (NAD 83).

    (b) Enforcement period. The zone described in paragraph (a) of this section will be enforced from 7 a.m. until approximately 8:15 p.m. March 2, 2018. The Captain of the Port San Francisco (COTP) will notify the maritime community of periods during which these zones will be enforced via Broadcast Notice to Mariners in accordance with 33 CFR 165.7.

    (c) Definitions. As used in this section, “designated representative” means a Coast Guard Patrol Commander, including a Coast Guard coxswain, petty officer, or other officer on a Coast Guard vessel or a Federal, State, or local officer designated by or assisting the COTP in the enforcement of the safety zone.

    (d) Regulations. (1) Under the general regulations in 33 CFR part 165, subpart C, entry into, transiting or anchoring within this safety zone is prohibited unless authorized by the COTP or the COTP's designated representative.

    (2) The safety zone is closed to all vessel traffic, except as may be permitted by the COTP or a designated representative.

    (3) Vessel operators desiring to enter or operate within the safety zone must contact the COTP or a designated representative to obtain permission to do so. Vessel operators given permission to enter or operate in the safety zone must comply with all directions given to them by the COTP or a designated representative. Persons and vessels may request permission to enter the safety zones on VHF-23A or through the 24-hour Command Center at telephone (415) 399-3547.

    Dated: February 23, 2018. Patrick S. Nelson, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Alternate Captain of the Port, San Francisco.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04365 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service 36 CFR Part 7 [NPS-ROMO-24625; PPIMROMO6A PPMRSNR1Z.Y00000] RIN 1024-AE31 Special Regulations, Areas of the National Park System, Rocky Mountain National Park; Bicycling AGENCY:

    National Park Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Park Service amends the special regulations for Rocky Mountain National Park to allow bicycle use on a 2-mile segment of the East Shore Trail located within the park. A portion of this 2-mile segment will require trail construction to accommodate bicycles and is therefore considered a new trail. National Park Service regulations require promulgation of a special regulation to designate new trails for bicycle use off park roads and outside developed areas.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on April 2, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Larry Gamble, Chief of Planning and Project Stewardship, Rocky Mountain National Park, 1000 U.S. Highway 36, Estes Park, CO 80517. Phone (970) 586-1320. Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    Rocky Mountain National Park (park) was established in 1915 and is located in north central Colorado. The approximately 265,761-acre park contains spectacular scenery that includes majestic mountains, lakes, rivers, forests, meadows, and abundant wildlife. The East Shore Trail is a hiking and equestrian trail that runs roughly north/south along the east shore of Shadow Mountain Lake near the town of Grand Lake, Colorado. The entire trail is 6.2 miles long and ends at the southern boundary of the park. The East Shore Trailhead is located south of the town of Grand Lake. The trailhead and the first 0.7 miles of the trail are located on land administered by the U.S. Forest Service as part of the Arapaho National Recreation Area. Bicycle use is currently allowed only on this 0.7-mile section of the trail. The remaining 5.5 miles of the East Shore Trail are located within the park. Hiking and fishing access to the lake is allowed along the trail. This rule applies to the northernmost 2-mile segment of the East Shore Trail within the park extending north from Shadow Mountain Dam to the park boundary. The 2-mile segment of the East Shore Trail corridor within the park is bounded on the west by Shadow Mountain Lake and on the east by designated wilderness.

    In January 2014, the National Park Service (NPS) published the East Shore Trail Environmental Assessment (EA). The EA evaluates (i) the suitability of the trail for bicycle use; and (ii) life cycle maintenance costs, safety considerations, methods to prevent or minimize user conflict, and methods to protect natural and cultural resources and mitigate impacts associated with bicycle use on the trail. After a public review period, the Regional Director of the Intermountain Region signed a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) in February 2015 that identified the preferred alternative (Alternative B) in the EA as the selected action.

    The EA and FONSI, which contain a full description of the purpose and need for taking action, scoping, the alternatives considered, maps, and the environmental impacts associated with the project, may be viewed on the park's planning website at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/romo, by clicking on the link entitled “East Shore Trail Rulemaking for Bicycle Use” and then clicking on the link entitled “Document List.”

    Final Rule

    This final rule implements the selected action in the FONSI and authorizes the Superintendent to designate bicycle use on a 2-mile segment of the East Shore Trail within the park. This segment of the trail extends north from Shadow Mountain Dam to the park boundary. To accommodate bicycle use, a 0.25-mile section of the existing trail will be rerouted to improve public safety, to avoid sensitive natural and cultural resources, and to provide for sustainability of the trail. NPS regulations at 36 CFR 4.30 require a rulemaking to implement the selected action because a portion of the rerouted trail will require construction and is located in an undeveloped area. Bicycle use will not be authorized by the Superintendent until the rerouted trail segments are completed. Rerouting is expected to be completed in 2018.

    The rule adds a new paragraph (f) to 36 CFR 7.7—Special Regulations, Areas of the National Park System for Rocky Mountain National Park. The rule requires the Superintendent to notify the public when designating any portion of the trail for bicycle use and to identify the designation on maps available in the office of the Superintendent and other places convenient to the public. The rule authorizes the Superintendent to establish closures, conditions, or restrictions for bicycle use on designated routes after considering public health and safety, natural and cultural resource protection, and other management activities and objectives. Notice of any such closures, conditions, or restrictions must be provided to the public.

    Summary of Public Comments

    The NPS published the proposed rule in the Federal Register on December 1, 2015 (80 FR 75022). In the same document, the NPS also published notice of a written determination concluding that bicycle use on the 2-mile trail segment is consistent with the protection of the park area's natural, scenic and aesthetic values, safety considerations and management objectives, and would not disturb wildlife or park resources. The NPS accepted comments on the proposed rule and the written determination through the mail, hand delivery, and through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Comments were accepted through February 1, 2016. The NPS received 35 timely comments. A summary of comments and NPS responses is provided below. After considering the public comments and after additional review, the NPS did not make any changes to the rule or the written determination.

    1. Comment: One commenter stated that bicycle use on the portion of the East Shore Trail that is part of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDNST) is inappropriate because such use is inconsistent with the park's general land and resource management plan.

    NPS Response: This comment applies to the northernmost 0.9 mile segment of the East Shore Trail that may be designated for bicycle use under this rule. This segment of the trail is part of the CDNST that was established by Congress in the National Parks and Recreation Act, Public Law 95-625 (1978) (NPRA) in 1978. The NPRA amended the National Trails System Act of 1968, Public Law 90-543 (1968) (NTSA) which governs the administration of national scenic trails, including the CDNST. The management and use of the CDNST is governed by a Comprehensive Plan that was most recently amended in 2009. Section 5.b.(2) of the Comprehensive Plan allows for bicycle use on the CDNST if the use is consistent with the applicable land and resource management plan and will not substantially interfere with the nature and purposes of the CDNST.

    The Rocky Mountain National Park Final Master Plan was adopted in January 1976 and remains the general land and resource management plan for the park. The framework for visitor use in the Master Plan establishes different zones within the park that, by virtue of their ease of access or facilities, fall into definable patterns of use. Management priorities defer to the basic character of a given zone to provide the visitor use experience for which the zone is most suited. The Master Plan allows for high-density use where necessary, and allows for the maintenance of natural conditions in more primitive portions of the park.

    The more primitive portions of the park are those within designated wilderness, which comprises 95 percent of the park. The park's wilderness legislation excluded the East Shore Trail area from designated wilderness. Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, Public Law 111-11. The East Shore Trail is located within the 5 percent of the park that—according to the Master Plan—could accommodate high-density use where appropriate. Although the trail is located outside designated wilderness, the EA and FONSI do not propose significant modifications to the East Shore Trail to accommodate high-density use, but instead propose modest improvements to accommodate low-density use, including bicycle use, on a single track trail. For these reasons, the NPS believes the decision to allow bicycle use on the segment of the East Shore Trail identified in the EA is consistent with the park's Master Plan.

    The NPS also believes that bicycle use is consistent with Congressional intent for management of the East Shore Trail area. The NTSA—which governs the administration of the national trails system—lists “trail biking” as a potential use of national scenic trails. 16 U.SC. 1246(j). The NTSA states that “other uses” of the trail system—in addition to campsites, shelters, and related public use facilities—should be permitted if they do not substantially interfere with the purposes of the trail. The NTSA also states that reasonable efforts should be made to provide sufficient access opportunities to the CDNST and, to the extent practicable, avoid activities incompatible for the purposes for which such trails were established. 16 U.SC. 1246(c).

    The Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 directed the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the NPS, to establish a route for the East Shore Trail to maximize the opportunity for sustained use of the trail without causing harm to affected resources or conflicts among users. Public Law 111-11, sec. 1954(a) (2009). Congress excluded the trail from designated wilderness and explicitly stated that the Secretary may allow nonmotorized bicycles on the trail. Public Law 111-11, sec. 1954 (e)(3) (2009).

    2. Comment: One commenter stated that bicycle use on the portion of the East Shore Trail that is part of the CDNST is inappropriate because such use will substantially interfere with the nature and purposes of the CDNST, which are to (i) provide high-quality scenic, primitive hiking and horseback riding opportunities and (ii) conserve natural, historic, and cultural resources. Other commenters had similar concerns for the entire 2-mile segment of the East Shore Trail. These commenters were concerned that allowing bicycle use would conflict with hikers and equestrians by creating an unsafe environment. Other commenters stated that bicycles would adversely impact natural resources by disturbing wildlife and eroding soil.

    NPS Response: The NPS believes that allowing bicycle use on the 2-mile segment of the East Shore Trail identified in the EA and FONSI is compatible with and will not substantially interfere with opportunities for high-quality scenic, primitive hiking and horseback riding. As long as the trail is not closed for management purposes (e.g., hazard tree removal), hikers and equestrians are free to use the trail every day of the year. The NPS expects that many interactions between hikers, equestrians, and bicyclists will not result in a conflict. To the extent the NPS receives evidence of conflicts between bicyclists and other user groups, the NPS will implement the adaptive management strategy identified in the FONSI to reduce the frequency and magnitude of those conflicts. The most restrictive management action that may be taken to address visitor conflicts is to close the trail to bicycles. An intermediate step is to close the trails to bicycles every other day, which would provide hikers and equestrians an opportunity to use the trail without the potential for interaction with bicycles. If alternate bike days are implemented, it will be because of documented and verifiable conflicts or accidents involving bicyclists. If this occurs, it does not mean there has been substantial interference with the purposes of the CDNST. The adaptive management strategy in the FONSI is designed with low thresholds that trigger management actions in order to mitigate conflict. The number and severity of incidents that would trigger the NPS to adopt alternate bike days fall below the threshold of substantial interference with the provision of high-quality scenic, primitive hiking and horseback riding opportunities on the CDNST. Whatever impacts there may be on these opportunities, the impacts will only apply to a 0.9-mile segment of the CDNST where bicycle use is allowed within the park. This represents only 6 percent of the length of the CDNST in the park and 0.03 percent of the total length of the CDNST.

    The NPS also believes that allowing bicycles on the 0.9-mile segment of the East Shore Trail that is also part of the CDNST is compatible with and will not substantially interfere with the conservation of natural, historic, and cultural resources along the CDNST corridor. The FONSI determined that the construction of the trail and bicycle use on the trail would not have a significant effect on the human environment. The EA and FONSI evaluated potential impacts to natural resources such as soils and wildlife, and cultural resources such as archeological sites and historic structures. The FONSI identified mitigation strategies that will be implemented to protect natural and cultural resources (pages 3-4). The FONSI identifies an adaptive management strategy to address resource damage from bicycles (page 5). Indicators such as loss of trail tread and expansion of off-trail resource damage will be met with trail armoring, increased trail maintenance, reevaluation of trail design, and—as the most restrictive measure—elimination of bicycle use on the trail.

    3. Comment: One commenter stated that the NPS should not allow bicycle use on the East Shore Trail until the CDNST Interagency Leadership Council establishes a carrying capacity that is required by the NTSA and the Comprehensive Plan.

    NPS Response: The CDNST crosses Federal lands administered by the U.S. Forest Service under the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the NPS and Bureau of Land Management under the U.S. Department of the Interior. Programs specific to the CDNST are developed and coordinated through the CDNST Interagency Leadership Council, consisting of Regional Foresters for the Forest Service, State Directors for the Bureau of Land Management, and a Regional Director for the NPS. The Council provides leadership and oversight to sustain the CDNST and ensures consistent, coordinated, and effective programs.

    The NTSA states that the Comprehensive Plan for the CDNST will identify a carrying capacity for the trail and a plan for its implementation. 16 U.S.C. 1244(f). The Comprehensive Plan states that the policy of the Council is to establish a carrying capacity for the CDNST that accommodates its nature and purposes. The Comprehensive Plan states that NPS managers will utilize existing capacity estimates developed for general park or resource management plans. The Council has not yet established a carrying capacity for the CDNST and the NPS has not established a carrying capacity for the East Shore Trail in the park's Master Plan. Although there is no carrying capacity to guide management of the trail, the NPS believes it has complied with the management direction in the Comprehensive Plan that the carrying capacity determination will consider biophysical environmental needs and the social capacity factors needed to provide desired recreation experience opportunities. The EA and the FONSI evaluated the impacts of bicycle use on the natural environment and on the visitor experience on the trail. The adaptive management indicators, thresholds, and management actions that are a part of the decision to allow bicycles on a 2-mile section of the East Shore Trail are designed to avoid resource damage and conflicts among bicyclists and other park visitors.

    4. Comment: One commenter stated that prior to considering actions that may degrade the CDNST corridor, the NPS must develop and implement a General Management Plan (GMP) that recognizes the CDNST as a Congressionally-designated area. This commenter further stated that the GMP must comply with the NTSA and the Comprehensive Plan for the CDNST, and that once programmatic direction is established in the GMP, CDNST site-specific protection and development plans should be established that provide for the values of the CDNST.

    NPS Response: NPS is required by law to prepare a GMP for the preservation and use of each National Park System unit that includes (1) measures for the preservation of the area's resources; (2) indications of types and general intensities of development (including visitor circulation and transportation patterns, systems, and modes) associated with public enjoyment and use of the area, including general locations, timing of implementation, and anticipated costs; (3) identification of and implementation of commitments for visitor carrying capacities for all areas of the System unit; and (4) indications of potential modifications to the external boundaries of the System unit, and the reasons for the modifications. 54 U.S.C. 100502.

    The park's Master Plan was adopted in January 1976 and serves as the GMP for the park. At this time, the Secretary of the Interior has not listed the park as needing a revised Master Plan. In May 2013, the NPS published a Foundation Document for the park which includes information on park purpose, significance, interpretive themes, and fundamental resources and values. One of the identified planning needs in the Foundation Document is a visitor use management plan that would address capacities of several areas of the park and determine where use should be limited, where it could be expanded, and strategies for managing use. The areas contemplated for a visitor use management plan could include high use areas like the Bear Lake Road corridor and the Alpine Visitor Center, which host hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. The plan will be developed over the course of the next few years and will be done through an open public process. It is unlikely that the proposed visitor use management plan would include areas of the park with relatively low visitation such as the East Shore Trail.

    5. Comment: Several commenters stated that the East Shore Trail is incompatible with mountain biking, especially during the summertime when the trail is most popular with hikers. These commenters felt that bicycling on the East Shore Trail would disrupt the serene and quiet environment along the edge of the lake.

    NPS Response: The NPS installed a trail counter on the East Shore Trail in 2013. The average daily use during the summer season (July through September) was 18 people. Saturdays were the busiest days on the East Shore Trail, with an average of 43 visitors each Saturday during the summer season. This is light trail use when compared to many other trails in the park. For example, the nearby East Inlet Trail averaged more than 550 visitors per day in 2003 when trail counters were last deployed at that location. This documented level of use suggests that bicyclists and hikers will be able to share the trail during the summer. The NPS will mitigate conflicts that arise through implementation of the adaptive management strategy. The East Shore Trail is located outside designated wilderness and lies adjacent to Shadow Mountain Lake where motorized use (motorboats and jet skis) are permitted. Noise generated by bicycles and bicyclists would not be substantially greater than that produced by hikers, and would be less than existing noise from motorized vessels on the nearby lake.

    6. Comment: Several commenters stated that the East Shore Trail should be used only by hikers because flat hiking trails that serve people of all ages, especially older hikers, are rare. These commenters stated that it is important to maintain a balance for outdoor activities so that visitors of all skill levels can enjoy the park. These commenters stated that bicyclists have many other trails they can use outside the park.

    NPS Response: There are many hiking trails on the west side of the park with grades and levels of difficulty that are similar to the East Shore Trail. Examples include the North Inlet Trail, East Inlet Trail, Kawuneeche Valley Trail, Colorado River Trail, and the Coyote Valley accessible trail. The East Shore Trail has been open to hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and equestrians since it was established after completion of the Shadow Mountain Reservoir. In 2009, Congress directed the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the NPS, to consider the use of bicycles use on the East Shore Trail. The NPS evaluated this use through a public planning process that resulted in the EA and FONSI. At the conclusion of that process, the NPS determined that bicycle use on the East Shore Trail is appropriate, and with carefully designed adaptive management measures could be sustained without causing unacceptable impacts. Mountain bike use on the East Shore Trail is a privilege and not a right. If unacceptable impacts occur from bicycle use, the NPS will follow the adaptive management strategy to mitigate those impacts with actions such as trail armoring and trail redesign.

    7. Comment: One commenter cited a study finding that elk and deer exhibit higher probabilities of flight response during ATV and mountain bike activity, in contrast to lower probabilities observed during hiking and horseback riding.

    NPS Response: Based on information provided by Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), the NPS erroneously stated in the EA that bicycles moving through the area would have less impact on wildlife than hikers or equestrians because they would be in the area for a shorter period of time. The NPS agrees with the commenter that less time does not equate to less disturbance to wildlife. Bicycle use on the East Shore Trail would cause wildlife displacement, but is not expected to rise to the level of harming wildlife. Congress directed the NPS to maximize the opportunity for sustained use of the trail without causing harm to affected resources.

    8. Comment: Several commenters asked how the NPS will pay for trail maintenance and repair, and how it will monitor trail activity in a manner that allows it to implement the adaptive management strategy.

    NPS Response: The FONSI commits the NPS to increase law enforcement patrols to two times per week if there are five or more unique verifiable verbal or written complaints about conflicts with bicyclists from May through September in any year. The Headwaters Trails Alliance (HTA) will assist the NPS with keeping bicyclists informed about trail restrictions. Bike use on the trail will be a privilege and not a right. It is in the best interest of the bicycle riders to observe the rules put in place by the NPS to avoid restrictive management actions such as alternate bicycle days and completely closing the trail to bicycles.

    The FONSI also commits the NPS to monitor the condition of the trail in accordance with an adaptive management strategy. Indicators such as loss of trail tread and expansion of off-trail resource damage will be met with management actions such as trail armoring and new trail design and edging. The HTA will provide funding to modify the trail to accommodate bike use in accordance with NPS trail standards. The HTA will also provide funding for trail maintenance that exceeds what the NPS would normally do for hiking and equestrian trails.

    Compliance With Other Laws, Executive Orders and Department Policy Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and 13563)

    Executive Order 12866 provides that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget will review all significant rules. The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has determined that this rule is not significant.

    Executive Order 13563 reaffirms the principles of Executive Order 12866 while calling for improvements in the nation's regulatory system to promote predictability, to reduce uncertainty, and to use the best, most innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. The executive order directs agencies to consider regulatory approaches that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for the public where these approaches are relevant, feasible, and consistent with regulatory objectives. Executive Order 13563 emphasizes further that regulations must be based on the best available science and that the rulemaking process must allow for public participation and an open exchange of ideas. We have developed this rule in a manner consistent with these requirements.

    Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs (Executive Order 13771)

    This final rule is considered an E.O. 13771 deregulatory action because it is an enabling regulation.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This rule will not have a significant economic effect on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). This certification is based on information contained in the economic analyses found in the report entitled “Benefit-Cost and Regulatory Flexibility Analyses: East Shore Trail at Rocky Mountain National Park” which is available online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/romo by clicking on the link entitled “East Shore Trail Rulemaking for Bicycle Use” and then clicking on the link entitled “Document List.”

    Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. This rule:

    (a) Does not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more.

    (b) Will not cause a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, or local government agencies, or geographic regions.

    (c) Does not have significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    This rule does not impose an unfunded mandate on State, local, or tribal governments or the private sector of more than $100 million per year. The rule does not have a significant or unique effect on State, local or tribal governments or the private sector. It addresses public use of national park lands, and imposes no requirements on other agencies or governments. A statement containing the information required by the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) is not required.

    Takings (Executive Order 12630)

    This rule does not effect a taking of private property or otherwise have takings implications under Executive Order 12630. A takings implication assessment is not required.

    Federalism (Executive Order 13132)

    Under the criteria in section 1 of Executive Order 13132, the rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a Federalism summary impact statement. This rule only affects use of federally-administered lands and waters. It has no outside effects on other areas. A Federalism summary impact statement is not required.

    Civil Justice Reform (Executive Order 12988)

    This rule complies with the requirements of Executive Order 12988. This rule:

    (a) Meets the criteria of section 3(a) requiring that all regulations be reviewed to eliminate errors and ambiguity and be written to minimize litigation; and

    (b) Meets the criteria of section 3(b)(2) requiring that all regulations be written in clear language and contain clear legal standards.

    Consultation With Indian tribes (Executive Order 13175 and Department Policy)

    The Department of the Interior strives to strengthen its government-to-government relationship with Indian Tribes through a commitment to consultation with Indian tribes and recognition of their right to self-governance and tribal sovereignty. We have evaluated this rule under the criteria in Executive Order 13175 and under the Department's tribal consultation policy and have determined that tribal consultation is not required because the rule will have no substantial direct effect on federally recognized Indian tribes. Nevertheless, the NPS mailed a letter on April 18, 2013 inviting input specifically from affiliated Native American tribes and offering to arrange a site visit. No response was received.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule does not contain information collection requirements, and a submission to the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act is not required. We may not conduct or sponsor and you are not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    National Environmental Policy Act

    The NPS prepared the EA to determine whether this rule will have a significant impact on the quality of the human environment under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. This rule does not constitute a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. A detailed statement under the National Environmental Policy Act is not required because of the FONSI. A copy of the EA and FONSI can be found online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/romo by clicking on the link entitled “East Shore Trail Rulemaking for Bicycle Use” and then clicking on the link entitled “Document List.”

    Effects on the Energy Supply (Executive Order 13211)

    This rule is not a significant energy action under the definition in Executive Order 13211. A Statement of Energy Effects in not required.

    Drafting Information

    The primary authors of this regulation are Larry Gamble of Rocky Mountain National Park and Jay Calhoun, Regulations Program Specialist, National Park Service.

    List of Subjects in 36 CFR Part 7

    National parks, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    In consideration of the foregoing, the National Park Service amends 36 CFR part 7 as set forth below:

    PART 7—SPECIAL REGULATIONS, AREAS OF THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM 1. The authority citation for part 7 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    54 U.S.C. 100101, 100751, 320102; Sec. 7.96 also issued under DC Code 10-137 and DC Code 50-2201.07.

    2. Add paragraph (f) to § 7.7 to read as follows:
    § 7.7 Rocky Mountain National Park.

    (f) Bicycle use on the East Shore Trail. The Superintendent may designate all or portions of a 2-mile segment of the East Shore Trail, extending north from Shadow Mountain Dam to the park boundary, as open to bicycle use. A map showing portions of the East Shore Trail open to bicycle use will be available at park visitor centers and posted on the park website. The Superintendent will provide notice of all bicycle route designations in accordance with § 1.7 of this chapter. The Superintendent may limit, restrict, or impose conditions on bicycle use, or close any trail to bicycle use, or terminate such conditions, closures, limits, or restrictions in accordance with § 4.30 of this chapter.

    Jason Larrabee, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, Exercising the Authority of the Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04309 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4312-52-P
    DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 38 CFR Parts 36 and 42 RIN 2900-AQ22 Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Amendments AGENCY:

    Department of Veterans Affairs.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is providing public notice of inflationary adjustments to the maximum civil monetary penalties assessed or enforced by VA, as implemented by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, for calendar year 2018. VA may impose civil monetary penalties for false loan guaranty certifications. Also, VA may impose civil monetary penalties for fraudulent claims or written statements made in connection with VA programs generally. The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as amended by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, sets forth a formula that increases the maximum statutory amounts for civil monetary penalties and directs VA to give public notice of the new maximum amounts by regulation. Accordingly, VA is providing notice of the calendar year 2018 inflationary adjustments that increase maximum civil monetary penalties from $21,916 to $22,363 for false loan guaranty certifications and from $10,957 to $11,181 for fraudulent claims or written statements made in connection with VA programs generally.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: This rule is effective March 2, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michael Shores, Director, Office of Regulation Policy and Management (00REG), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20420, (202) 461-4921. (This is not a toll-free number.)

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On November 2, 2015, the President signed into law the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (2015 Act) (Pub. L. 114-74, sec. 701, 129 Stat. 599), which amended the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 (Pub. L. 101-410, 104 Stat. 890), to improve the effectiveness of civil monetary penalties and to maintain their deterrent effect. The 2015 Act was codified in a note following 28 U.S.C. 2461. The 2015 Act requires agencies to publish annual adjustments for inflation, based on the percent change between the Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) for the month of October preceding the date of the adjustment and the prior year's October CPI-U. 28 U.S.C. 2461 note 4(b) and 5(b)(1).

    Under 38 U.S.C. 3710(g)(4), VA is authorized to levy civil monetary penalties against private lenders that originate VA-guaranteed loans if a lender falsely certifies that they have complied with certain credit information and loan processing standards, as set forth by chapter 37, title 38 U.S.C. and part 36, title 38 CFR. Under section 3710(g)(4)(B), any lender who knowingly and willfully makes such a false certification shall be liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty equal to two times the amount of the Secretary's loss on the loan involved or to another appropriate amount, not to exceed $10,000, whichever is greater. VA implemented the penalty amount in 38 CFR 36.4340(k)(1)(i) and (k)(3). On June 22, 2016, VA provided public notice of the adjustment to the $10,000 figure, as imposed by the 2015 Act's “catch up” formula. See 81 FR 40523-40525; 81 FR 65551-65552, Sept. 23, 2016. The “catch up” formula imposed an adjustment from $10,000 to $21,563. See 38 CFR 36.4340(k)(1)(i) and (k)(3). VA did not publish the calendar year 2017 inflation adjustment. On December 16, 2016, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) published Circular M-17-11. This circular stated that the inflation adjustment to the previously increased “catch up” figure was effectuated by multiplying the “catch up” figure by 1.01636. Consequently, the calendar year 2017 inflation revision imposed an adjustment from $21,563 to $21,916, rounded to the nearest dollar. On December 15, 2017, OMB issued Circular M-18-03. This circular reflects that the October 2016 CPI-U was 241.729 and the October 2017 CPI-U was 246.663, resulting in an inflation adjustment multiplier of 1.02041. Accordingly, the calendar year 2018 inflation revision imposes an adjustment from $21,916 to $22,363.

    Under 31 U.S.C. 3802, VA can impose monetary penalties against any person who makes, presents, or submits a claim or written statement to VA that the person knows or has reason to know is false, fictitious, or fraudulent, or who engages in other covered conduct. The statute permits, in addition to any other remedy that may be prescribed by law, a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 for each claim. 31 U.S.C. 3802(a)(1) and (2). VA implemented the penalty amount in 38 CFR 42.3(a)(1) and (b)(1). That amount was subsequently increased to $5,500. See 61 FR 56449-56450, Nov.1, 1996. On June 22, 2016, VA provided public notice of the adjustment to the $5,500 figure, as imposed by the 2015 Act's “catch up” formula. See 81 FR 40523-40525; 81 FR 65551-65552, Sept. 23, 2016. The “catch up” formula imposed an adjustment from $5,500 to $10,781. See 38 CFR 42.3(a)(1)(iv) and (b)(1). VA did not publish the calendar year 2017 inflation adjustment. Circular M-17-11 stated that the inflation adjustment to the previously increased “catch up” figure was effectuated by multiplying the “catch up” figure by 1.01636. Consequently, the calendar year 2017 inflation revision imposed an adjustment from $10,781 to $10,957. Circular M-18-03 reflects an inflation adjustment multiplier of 1.02041. Therefore, the calendar year 2018 inflation revision imposes an adjustment from $10,957 to $11,181.

    Accordingly, VA is revising 38 CFR 36.4340(k)(1)(i) and (k)(3) and 38 CFR 42.3(a)(1) and (b)(1) to reflect the 2018 inflationary adjustments for civil monetary penalties assessed or enforced by VA.

    Administrative Procedure Act

    The Secretary of Veterans Affairs finds that there is good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) and (d)(3) to dispense with the opportunity for prior notice and public comment and to publish this rule with an immediate effective date. The 2015 Act requires agencies to make annual adjustments for inflation to the allowed amounts of civil monetary penalties “notwithstanding section 553 of title 5, United States Code.” 28 U.S.C. 2461 note 4(a) and (b). The penalty adjustments, and the methodology used to determine the adjustments, are set by the terms of the 2015 Act. VA has no discretion to make changes in those areas. Therefore, an opportunity for prior notice and public comment and a delayed effective date is unnecessary.

    Executive Orders 12866, 13563, and 13771

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, when regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity). Executive Order 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review) emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, reducing costs, harmonizing rules, and promoting flexibility. Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review) defines a “significant regulatory action” requiring review by OMB, unless OMB waives such review, as “any regulatory action that is likely to result in a rule that may: (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or communities; (2) Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency; (3) Materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in this Executive Order.”

    The economic, interagency, budgetary, legal, and policy implications of this regulatory action have been examined, and it has been determined not to be a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866. VA's impact analysis can be found as a supporting document at http://www.regulations.gov, usually within 48 hours after the rulemaking document is published. Additionally, a copy of the rulemaking and its impact analysis are available on VA's website at http://www.va.gov/orpm/, by following the link for “VA Regulations Published From FY 2004 Through Fiscal Year to Date.” This rule is not an Executive Order 13771 regulatory action because this rule is not significant under Executive Order 12866.

    Unfunded Mandates

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires, at 2 U.S.C. 1532, that agencies prepare an assessment of anticipated costs and benefits before issuing any rule 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 (adjusted annually for inflation) in any one year. This final rule will have no such effect on state, local, and tribal governments, or on the private sector.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    This final rule contains no provisions constituting a collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3521).

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq. (RFA), imposes certain requirements on Federal agency rules that are subject to the notice and comment requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. 553(b). This final rule is exempt from the notice and comment requirements of the APA because the 2015 Act directed the Department to issue the annual adjustments without regard to section 553 of the APA. Therefore, the requirements of the RFA applicable to notice and comment rulemaking do not apply to this rule. Accordingly, the Department is not required either to certify that the final rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities or to conduct a regulatory flexibility analysis.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

    The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance number and title for the program affected by this document is 64.114, Veterans Housing Guaranteed and Insured Loans.

    List of Subjects 38 CFR Part 36

    Condominiums, Housing, Individuals with disabilities, Loan programs—housing and community development, Loan programs—Veterans, Manufactured homes, Mortgage insurance, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Veterans.

    38 CFR Part 42

    Administrative practice and procedure, Claims, Fraud, Penalties.

    Signing Authority

    The Secretary of Veterans Affairs, or designee, approved this document and authorized the undersigned to sign and submit the document to the Office of the Federal Register for publication electronically as an official document of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Gina S. Farrisee, Deputy Chief of Staff, Department of Veterans Affairs, approved this document on February 23, 2018, for publication.

    Dated: February 23, 2018. Jeffrey Martin, Impact Analyst, Office of Regulation Policy & Management, Office of the Secretary, Department of Veterans Affairs.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Department of Veterans Affairs amends 38 CFR parts 36 and 42 as set forth below:

    PART 36—LOAN GUARANTY 1. The authority citation for part 36 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    38 U.S.C. 501 and 3720.

    § 36.4340 [Amended]
    2. In § 36.4340, amend paragraphs (k)(1)(i) introductory text and (k)(3) by removing “$21,563” and adding, in its place, “$22,363.” PART 42—STANDARDS IMPLEMENTING THE PROGRAM FRAUD CIVIL REMEDIES ACT 3. The authority citation for part 42 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Pub. L. 99-509, secs. 6101-6104, 100 Stat. 1874, codified at 31 U.S.C. 3801-3812.

    § 42.3 [Amended]
    4. In § 42.3, amend paragraphs (a)(1)(iv) and (b)(1)(ii) by removing “$10,781” and adding, in its place, “$11,181.”
    [FR Doc. 2018-04241 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8320-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 635 [Docket No. 180104009-8201-01] RIN 0648-BH49 Emergency Measures To Address Overfishing of Atlantic Shortfin Mako Shark AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Interim final rule, emergency action; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS is taking emergency action through this interim final rule, in response to a new stock assessment for North Atlantic shortfin mako sharks to implement measures required by International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) Recommendation 17-08. Based on the results of the stock assessment, on December 13, 2017, NMFS determined the North Atlantic shortfin mako shark stock to be overfished, with overfishing occurring. The emergency management measures will reduce shortfin mako shark landings in commercial and recreational shark fisheries, with retention allowed only in certain limited circumstances. The emergency management measures are expected to meet the United States' obligations in relation to ending overfishing, but are not expected to result in significant economic impacts.

    DATES:

    Effective March 2, 2018 through August 29, 2018. Comments must be received on May 7, 2018. A public hearing will be held at the Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Advisory Panel meeting on March 7, 2018, from 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m., EST. For specific location and webinar information, please see the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document and the HMS AP meeting website at: https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/event/march-2018-hms-advisory-panel-meeting.

    ADDRESSES:

    Copies of the Environmental Assessment and other supporting documents for this emergency action are available from the HMS Management Division website at https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/topic/atlantic-highly-migratory-species.

    Written comments, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2018-0010, may be submitted to the HMS Management Division by either of the following methods:

    Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2018-0010, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Submit written comments to NMFS, Highly Migratory Species Management Division, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Mark the outside of the envelope “Comments on Atlantic Shortfin Mako Emergency Rule.”

    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).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tobey Curtis at 978-281-9273 or Guy DuBeck or Lauren Latchford at 301-427-8503.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The North Atlantic shortfin mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus) is a highly migratory species that ranges across the entire North Atlantic Ocean and is caught by fishermen from numerous countries. These sharks are a small but valued component of U.S. recreational and commercial shark fisheries, which are managed under the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic HMS Fishery Management Plan and its amendments. In recent years, U.S. catch represents only approximately 11 percent of the species' total catch in the North Atlantic by all reporting countries. International measures are, therefore, critical to the species' effective conservation and management.

    In August 2017, ICCAT's Standing Committee on Research and Statistics (SCRS) conducted a new benchmark stock assessment on the North Atlantic shortfin mako stock. At its November 2017 annual meeting, ICCAT accepted this stock assessment and determined the stock to be overfished, with overfishing occurring. On December 13, 2017, based on this assessment, NMFS issued a status determination finding the stock to be overfished and experiencing overfishing using domestic criteria. The assessment specifically indicated that biomass (B2015) is substantially less than the biomass at maximum sustainable yield (BMSY) for eight of the nine models used for the assessment (B2015/BMSY = 0.57-0.85). In the ninth model, spawning stock fecundity (SSF) was less than SSFMSY (SSF2015/SSFMSY = 0.95). Additionally, the assessment indicated that fishing mortality (F2015) was greater than FMSY (1.93-4.38), with a combined 90-percent probability from all models that the population is overfished, with overfishing occurring.

    The 2017 assessment estimated that total North Atlantic shortfin mako catches across all ICCAT parties are currently between 3,600 and 4,750 mt per year, and that total catches would have to be at 1,000 mt or below (72-79 percent reductions) to prevent further population declines and that catches of 500 t or less currently are expected to stop overfishing and begin to rebuild the stock. The projections indicate that a total allowable catch of 0 mt would produce a greater than 50 percent probability of rebuilding the stock by the year 2040, which is approximately equal to one mean generation time. Research indicates that post-release survival rates of Atlantic shortfin mako sharks are high (70 percent); however, the assessment could not determine if requiring live releases alone would reduce landings sufficiently to end overfishing and rebuild the stock.

    Based on this information, ICCAT adopted new management measures for Atlantic shortfin mako (Recommendation 17-08), which the United States must implement as necessary and appropriate under the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act. These measures largely focus on maximizing live releases of Atlantic shortfin mako sharks, allowing retention only in certain limited circumstances, increasing minimum size limits, and improving data collection in ICCAT fisheries. In November 2018, ICCAT will review the catches from the first six months of 2018 and decide whether these measures should be modified. In 2019, the SCRS will evaluate the effectiveness of these measures in ending overfishing and beginning to rebuild the stock. SCRS will also provide rebuilding information that reflects rebuilding timeframes of at least two mean generation times. Also in 2019, ICCAT will establish a rebuilding plan that will have a high probability of avoiding overfishing and rebuilding the stock to BMSY within a timeframe that takes into account the biology of the stock.

    Emergency Management Measures

    NMFS is implementing emergency measures in HMS recreational and commercial fisheries consistent with Recommendation 17-08 to address overfishing and to provide meaningful information reflective of the new measures for the six-month reporting requirement in the Recommendation. Management measures in the emergency rule are as follows:

    • Commercial fishermen on vessels deploying pelagic longline gear, which are required to have a functional electronic monitoring system on board under current regulations, must release all live shortfin mako sharks with a minimum of harm, while giving due consideration to the safety of crew members. Commercial fishermen using pelagic longline gear can only retain a shortfin mako shark if it is dead at haulback.

    • Commercial fishermen using gear other than pelagic longline commercial gear (e.g., bottom longline, gillnet, handgear, etc.) must release all shortfin mako sharks, whether they are dead or alive.

    • Recreational fishermen (fishermen with HMS Angling or Charter/Headboat permits, and fishermen with Atlantic Tunas General category and Swordfish General Commercial permits when participating in a registered HMS tournament) must release any shortfin mako sharks smaller than the minimum size of 83 inches (210 cm) fork length (FL). This minimum size is an increase from the current minimum size of 54 inches FL. This measure is more conservative than what was specifically recommended in Recommendation 17-08, which suggested separate minimum size limits for males (180 cm FL) and females (210 cm FL). NMFS is implementing a single minimum size limit of 83 inches (210 cm) FL due to recent analyses conducted by NMFS (but were not available during the ICCAT meeting) that indicate the lower minimum size limit for males would not sufficiently reduce total shortfin mako shark landings to levels that the stock assessment estimates are required to end overfishing (refer to the EA; see ADDRESSES). Furthermore, confirming the sex of a large and potentially active shortfin mako shark prior to its landing can be challenging for fishermen and may have safety implications. Therefore, a single minimum size limit for the species is simpler to implement and enforce, and is more consistent with the objectives of this action.

    NMFS is soliciting public comment on this interim final rule and will take into consideration any comments received and any testimony at the public hearing, as it evaluates whether any modifications to the emergency measures are needed. These emergency measures will be effective until August 29, 2018, with a possible extension of up to an additional 186 days. These measures will be replaced by long-term measures, which will be considered through notice and comment rulemaking for an upcoming fishery management plan amendment, accompanied by an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for that fishery management plan amendment will publish in the same issue of the Federal Register as this interim final rule.

    These emergency measures are expected to reduce shortfin mako landings in the HMS commercial fisheries and the ex-vessel revenues from those landings by approximately 75 percent. Thus, the commercial fisheries could cumulatively experience revenue losses of approximately $281,000 per year, 97 percent of which would be lost by the pelagic longline fishery. Lost revenues would have greater social and economic impacts on fishing communities with higher shortfin mako shark landings, including Wanchese, NC, Fairhaven/New Bedford, MA, and Barnegat Light, NJ. Shortfin mako sharks are a minor source of economic revenue to the overall HMS commercial fishery, but may be an important source of seasonal revenue to some individual fishermen. The socioeconomic impacts associated with these reductions in revenue are not expected be significant overall, however, as shortfin mako sharks comprise less than 1 percent of total ex-vessel revenues in the pelagic longline fishery on average, and an even smaller fraction of total fisheries revenues in the potentially-affected fishing communities. Therefore, socioeconomic impacts on the commercial fishery are expected to be slightly negative.

    These emergency measures would also reduce recreational landings of shortfin mako sharks by approximately 83 percent. However, as catch-and-release practices would still be permitted, a significant reduction in recreational fishing or charter/headboat activity is not expected. However, the reduced opportunities to catch and land a shortfin mako shark of legal size may slightly reduce demand and revenues for charters and tournaments that target this species. Approximately five percent of charter vessels and seven percent of headboat vessels in the U.S. Atlantic target pelagic sharks, including shortfin mako, with the majority of these businesses located off the northeast United States. According to NMFS Northeast Fisheries Science Center tournament data, the larger minimum size limit may not significantly limit the ability of tournaments to land shortfin mako sharks, because most of the largest shortfin mako sharks landed at tournaments in recent years have been above the 83 inches FL minimum size limit. However, it is likely that fewer vessels will be able to catch a shortfin mako shark of legal size, within or outside of tournaments. Therefore, the socioeconomic impacts associated with recreational shark fishing effort (fuel, bait, fishing supply expenditures, tournament participation, etc.) are expected to be slightly negative.

    Public Hearing

    Comments on this interim final rule may be submitted via http://www.regulations.gov or mail, and comments may also be submitted at the public hearing. NMFS solicits comments on this interim final rule by May 7, 2018. During the comment period, NMFS will hold one public hearing for this interim final rule.

    Table 1—Date, Time, and Location of the Upcoming Public Hearing Venue Date/time Meeting locations Location contact information Public Hearing March 7, 2018, 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m Silver Spring, MD HMS AP Meeting, Sheraton Silver Spring, 8777 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Classification

    This emergency interim final rule is promulgated pursuant to section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and NMFS has determined that it is consistent with that Act and other applicable laws. NMFS policy guidelines for the use of emergency rules (August 21, 1997; 62 FR 44421) specify the following three criteria that define what an emergency situation is: (1) The emergency results from recent, unforeseen events or recently discovered circumstances; (2) the emergency presents serious conservation or management problems in the fishery; and (3) if the emergency action is being implemented without prior public comment, the emergency can be addressed through emergency regulations for which the immediate benefits outweigh the value of advance notice, public comment, and deliberative consideration of the impacts on participants to the same extent as would be expected under the normal rulemaking process.

    This action meets the NMFS guidelines and criteria for emergency rulemaking. The action is needed to address recently discovered circumstances including the 2017 ICCAT stock assessment and Recommendation 17-08 for North Atlantic shortfin mako shark in November and NMFS's determination that the stock is overfished and overfishing is occurring in December (Criteria 1). The stock assessment conclusions differ significantly and unexpectedly from the most recent previous assessments, which had indicated that the stock was not overfished or experiencing overfishing. The new assessment indicates that dramatic immediate reductions in fishing mortality are needed to end overfishing of this stock, and this action is needed to address this serious conservation problem (Criteria 2). Finally, the immediate benefits to the shortfin mako shark resource and our need to meet obligations under the Magnuson-Stevens Act and Atlantic Tunas Convention Act outweigh the value of the advance notice and public comments provided under the normal rulemaking process (Criteria 3). Without an emergency rule to implement these measures, the reported U.S. catches at the end of the ICCAT six-month reporting period (ending at the end of June 2018) would reflect catches under the existing management practices and thus not reflect whether the new measures were effective to address overfishing. Any resulting action based on such information could disadvantage U.S. fishermen in the long-term.

    Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) and 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries finds good cause to waive the otherwise applicable requirements for both notice-and-comment rulemaking and a 30-day delay in effectiveness for this interim final, emergency rule implementing North Atlantic shortfin mako shark management measures. The recent unforeseen circumstances described above, and need for expedient action, make it impracticable to provide prior notice-and-comment opportunity and a 30-day delay. The new stock assessment for Atlantic shortfin mako sharks was completed in August 2017 and accepted in November by ICCAT and December 2017 by NMFS, revealing that the North Atlantic shortfin mako shark stock is overfished, with overfishing occurring. ICCAT developed Recommendation 17-08 at its annual meeting in November 2017, which the United States must implement as necessary and appropriate under the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act. It would be potentially harmful to the long-term sustainability of the resource to implement these measures through notice-and-comment rulemaking because immediate reductions in fishing mortality are needed to address overfishing and begin to rebuild the stock and data will be re-evaluated as soon as November 2018 to determine whether additional measures are needed. Unless the new measures are in place, they cannot be properly evaluated for effectiveness in the fall and ICCAT will not be able to determine whether additional measures are immediately needed. Additionally, affected fishing vessel owners should not require time to adjust to these regulations, as the regulations do not constitute substantive operational changes, such as changes to equipment that might require time for purchasing and installation, or changes to practices that might require special training. Here, the rule only affects the landing of a particular species, and thus vessel owners should be able to understand and implement the changes immediately. Furthermore, the agency requested voluntary implementation of these measures earlier this year, so fishermen have already been notified of these management changes.

    For the reasons outlined, NMFS finds it impracticable and contrary to the public interest to provide prior opportunity to comment on the Atlantic shortfin mako shark emergency measures. As noted above, NMFS is soliciting public comment on this interim final rule and will take into consideration any comments received and any testimony at the public hearing, as it evaluates whether any modifications to the emergency measures are needed. In addition, there will be multiple opportunities for public participation and notice-and-comment rulemaking as NMFS develops a long-term fishery management amendment to rebuild North Atlantic shortfin mako sharks.

    This action is being taken pursuant to the emergency provision of the Magnuson-Stevens Act and is exempt from OMB review.

    This rule is exempt from the otherwise applicable requirement of the Regulatory Flexibility Act to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis because the rule is issued without opportunity for prior public comment.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 635

    Fisheries, Fishing, Fishing vessels, Foreign relations, Imports, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Treaties.

    Dated: February 27, 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 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 § 635.20 suspend paragraph (e)(2) and add paragraphs (e)(6) and (7) to read as follows:
    § 635.20 Size limits.

    (e) * * *

    (6) All sharks, except as otherwise specified in this subsection below, landed under the recreational retention limits specified at § 635.22(c)(2) must be at least 54 inches (137 cm) FL.

    (7) All North Atlantic shortfin mako sharks landed under the recreational retention limits specified at § 635.22(c)(2) must be at least 83 inches (210 cm) fork length.

    3. In § 635.21, add paragraphs (a)(4) and (c)(1)(iv) to read as follows:
    § 635.21 Gear operation and deployment restrictions.

    (a) * * *

    (4) Any person issued a commercial shark permit must release all shortfin mako sharks, alive or dead, caught on any gear other than pelagic longline gear.

    (c) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (iv) Has pelagic longline gear on board, persons aboard that vessel are required to release unharmed, to the extent practicable, any shortfin mako shark that is alive at the time of haulback. Any shortfin mako shark that is dead at the time of haulback may be retained provided the electronic monitoring system is installed and functioning in accordance with § 635.9.

    4. In § 635.24, suspend paragraphs (a)(4)(i) and (iii), and add paragraphs (a)(4)(v) and (vi) to read as follows:
    § 635.24 Commercial retention limits for sharks, swordfish, and BAYS tunas.

    (a) * * *

    (4) * * *

    (v) A person who owns or operates a vessel that has been issued a directed shark LAP may retain, possess, or land pelagic sharks if the pelagic shark fishery is open per §§ 635.27 and 635.28. Shortfin mako sharks may only be retained by persons using pelagic longline gear, and only if each shark is dead at the time of haulback per § 635.21(c)(1).

    (vi) Consistent with paragraph (a)(4)(ii) of this section, a person who owns or operates a vessel that has been issued an incidental shark LAP may retain, possess, land, or sell no more than 16 SCS and pelagic sharks, combined, per vessel per trip, if the respective fishery is open per §§ 635.27 and 635.28. Of those 16 SCS and pelagic sharks per vessel per trip, no more than 8 shall be blacknose sharks. Shortfin mako sharks may only be retained by persons using pelagic longline gear, and only if each shark is dead at the time of haulback per § 635.21(c)(1).

    5. In § 635.71, add paragraphs (d)(27) through (29) to read as follows:
    § 635.71 Prohibitions.

    (d) * * *

    (27) Land a shortfin mako shark that was caught with gear other than pelagic longline as specified at § 635.21(a).

    (28) Retain, land, or possess a shortfin mako shark that was caught with pelagic longline gear and was alive at haulback as specified at § 635.21(c)(1).

    (29) As specified at § 635.21(c)(1), retain, land, or possess a shortfin mako shark that was caught with pelagic longline gear when the electronic monitoring system was not installed and functioning in accordance with the requirements at § 635.9.

    [FR Doc. 2018-04262 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    83 42 Friday, March 2, 2018 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0163; Product Identifier 2017-NM-168-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 certain The Boeing Company Model 757 airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder (DAH) indicating that the longitudinal lap splices of the fuselage skin are subject to widespread fatigue damage (WFD). This proposed AD would require repetitive inspections of the longitudinal lap splices of the fuselage skin for cracking and protruding fasteners, and applicable corrective 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 16, 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-2018-0163.

    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-2016-0163; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket 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:

    David Truong, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Section, Los Angeles ACO Branch, FAA, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5224; fax: 562-627-5210; 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-2018-0163; Product Identifier 2017-NM-168-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD 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

    Fatigue damage can occur locally, in small areas or structural design details, or globally, in widespread areas. Multiple-site damage is widespread damage that occurs in a large structural element such as a single rivet line of a lap splice joining two large skin panels. Widespread damage can also occur in multiple elements such as adjacent frames or stringers. Multiple-site damage and multiple-element damage cracks are typically too small initially to be reliably detected with normal inspection methods. Without intervention, these cracks will grow, and eventually compromise the structural integrity of the airplane. This condition is known as widespread fatigue damage. It is associated with general degradation of large areas of structure with similar structural details and stress levels. As an airplane ages, WFD will likely occur, and will certainly occur if the airplane is operated long enough without any intervention.

    The FAA's WFD final rule (75 FR 69746, November 15, 2010) became effective on January 14, 2011. The WFD rule requires certain actions to prevent structural failure due to WFD throughout the operational life of certain existing transport category airplanes and all of these airplanes that will be certificated in the future. For existing and future airplanes subject to the WFD rule, the rule requires that DAHs establish a limit of validity (LOV) of the engineering data that support the structural maintenance program. Operators affected by the WFD rule may not fly an airplane beyond its LOV, unless an extended LOV is approved.

    The WFD rule (75 FR 69746, November 15, 2010) does not require identifying and developing maintenance actions if the DAHs can show that such actions are not necessary to prevent WFD before the airplane reaches the LOV. Many LOVs, however, do depend on accomplishment of future maintenance actions. As stated in the WFD rule, any maintenance actions necessary to reach the LOV will be mandated by airworthiness directives through separate rulemaking actions.

    In the context of WFD, this action is necessary to enable DAHs to propose LOVs that allow operators the longest operational lives for their airplanes, and still ensure that WFD will not occur. This approach allows for an implementation strategy that provides flexibility to DAHs in determining the timing of service information development (with FAA approval), while providing operators with certainty regarding the LOV applicable to their airplanes.

    The longitudinal lap splices of the fuselage skin on Model 757 airplanes have been determined to be susceptible to WFD. No cracking was found on the fatigue test article, but WFD analysis has identified the need for more frequent repetitive inspections. Existing maintenance planning data (MPD) inspections are not sufficient to detect widespread fatigue cracks before they become critical. Currently, there have been no reports of WFD cracking on airplanes in service. Any fatigue cracking of the longitudinal lap splices of the fuselage skin could go undetected and grow in length. This condition could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-53A0104, dated November 6, 2017. The service information describes procedures for visual and eddy current inspections of the longitudinal lap splices of the fuselage skin for cracking and protruding head fasteners.

    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 757-53A0104, dated November 6, 2017, described previously, 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-2018-0163.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 509 airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Cost on U.S. operators Inspections 367 work-hours × $85 per hour = $31,195 $0 $31,195 per inspection cycle $15,878,255 per inspection cycle.

    We have received no definitive data that would enable us to provide cost estimates for the on-condition repairs specified in this proposed 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 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-2018-0163; Product Identifier 2017-NM-168-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by April 16, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 757-200, -200PF, -200CB, and -300 series airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-53A0104, dated November 6, 2017.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder indicating that the longitudinal lap splices of the fuselage skin are subject to widespread fatigue damage. We are issuing this AD to address fatigue cracking of the longitudinal lap splices of the fuselage skin, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Required Actions

    Except as required by paragraph (h) of this AD: At the applicable times specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-53A0104, dated November 6, 2017, do all applicable actions identified as “RC” (required for compliance) in, and in accordance with, the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-53A0104, dated November 6, 2017.

    (h) Exceptions to Service Information Specifications

    (1) For purposes of determining compliance with the requirements of this AD, where Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-53A0104, dated November 6, 2017, uses the phrase “the original issue date of this service bulletin,” this AD requires using “the effective date of this AD.”

    (2) Where Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-53A0104, dated November 6, 2017, specifies contacting Boeing, and specifies that action as RC: This AD requires using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (i) of this AD.

    (i) 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 (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, 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 (h)(2) of this AD: 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 David Truong, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Section, Los Angeles ACO Branch, FAA, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5224; fax: 562-627-5210; 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 22, 2018. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04229 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 101 [Docket No. FDA-2018-D-0075] The Declaration of Added Sugars on Honey, Maple Syrup, and Certain Cranberry Products; Draft Guidance for Industry; Availability AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notification of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or we) is announcing the availability of a draft guidance for industry entitled “The Declaration of Added Sugars on Honey, Maple Syrup, and Certain Cranberry Products: Guidance for Industry.” The draft guidance, when finalized, will advise food manufacturers of our intent to exercise enforcement discretion related to the use in the Nutrition Facts label of a symbol “†” immediately after the added sugars percent Daily Value information on certain foods. The symbol would lead the reader to truthful and non-misleading statements outside the Nutrition Facts label to provide additional information regarding the added sugars present in particular foods.

    DATES:

    Submit either electronic or written comments by May 1, 2018 to ensure that we consider your comment before we take further action.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on any guidance at any time as follows:

    Electronic Submissions

    Submit electronic comments in the following way:

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

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

    Written/Paper Submissions

    Submit written/paper submissions as follows:

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

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

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2018-D-0075 for “The Declaration of Added Sugars on Honey, Maple Syrup, and Certain Cranberry Products: Guidance for Industry.” Received comments will be placed in the docket and, except for those submitted as “Confidential Submissions,” publicly viewable at https://www.regulations.gov or at the Dockets Management Staff between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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

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

    You may submit comments on any guidance at any time (see 21 CFR 10.115(g)(5)).

    Submit written requests for single copies of the draft guidance to the Office of Nutrition and Food Labeling, Nutrition Programs Staff, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Food and Drug Administration, 5001 Campus Dr., College Park, MD 20740. Send two self-addressed adhesive labels to assist that office in processing your request. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for electronic access to the draft guidance.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Claudine Kavanaugh, Office of Foods and Veterinary Medicine, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 240-402-1450.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    We are announcing the availability of a draft guidance for industry entitled “The Declaration of Added Sugars on Honey, Maple Syrup and Certain Cranberry Products: Guidance for Industry.” We are issuing the draft guidance consistent with FDA's good guidance practices regulation (21 CFR 10.115). The draft guidance, when finalized, will represent the current thinking of FDA on this topic. It does not establish any rights for any person and is not binding on FDA or the public. You can use an alternate approach if it satisfies the requirements of the applicable statutes and regulations. This guidance is not subject to Executive Order 12866.

    The draft guidance is intended to advise food manufacturers of our intent to exercise enforcement discretion related to the use in the Nutrition Facts label of a symbol “†” immediately after the added sugars percent Daily Value information on certain foods. The symbol would lead the reader to truthful and non-misleading statements outside the Nutrition Facts label to provide additional information regarding the added sugars present in particular foods. The draft guidance would explain that we intend to consider exercising our enforcement discretion for the use of this symbol on single ingredient packages and/or containers of pure honey or pure maple syrup, and certain dried cranberry and cranberry juice products that are sweetened with added sugars, and that contain total sugars at levels no greater than comparable products with endogenous (inherent) sugars, but no added sugars.

    II. Electronic Access

    Persons with access to the internet may obtain the draft guidance at either https://www.fda.gov/FoodGuidances or https://www.regulations.gov. Use the FDA website listed in the previous sentence to find the most current version of the guidance.

    III. Other Issues for Consideration

    We invite interested persons to comment on topics related to the draft guidance. However, we are particularly interested in responses to the following questions:

    1. The draft guidance is intended to advise food manufacturers of our intent to exercise enforcement discretion related to the use in the Nutrition Facts label of a symbol “†” immediately after the added sugars percent Daily Value information on certain foods. Should we use a different symbol? If so, what symbol should we use and what is the rationale for using an alternative? Also, should the placement or location of the symbol be elsewhere on the Nutrition Facts label? For example, should the symbol appear after “Includes X g Added Sugars” instead? Please explain where the symbol should appear and your reasons for placing the symbol elsewhere on the label.

    2. We are considering giving an additional year to come into compliance with the changes required by the final rule for the labeling of packages or containers of pure honey and maple syrup, and for the dried cranberry and cranberry juice products described in this draft guidance. Consumers will likely become more acclimated and educated on having an added sugars declaration on the Nutrition Facts label during this time period, based in part on other products in the marketplace bearing the new Nutrition Facts label. Should FDA consider this period of enforcement discretion given that, in the Federal Register of October 2, 2017 (82 FR 45753), FDA has proposed to extend the Nutrition Facts label compliance date from July 26, 2018, to January 1, 2020, for manufacturers with $10 million or more in annual food sales and from July 26, 2019, to January 1, 2021, for manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual food sales? Please explain your reasoning.

    Dated: February 27, 2018. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04281 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 100 [Docket Number USCG-2018-0014] RIN 1625-AA08 Special Local Regulation; Black Warrior River, Tuscaloosa, AL AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard proposes to establish a temporary special local regulation on the Black Warrior River extending the entire width of the river from mile marker 338.5 to mile marker 339.5 in Tuscaloosa, AL. The proposed rulemaking is needed to protect the persons participating in the USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championships marine event. This proposed rulemaking restricts transit into, through and within the regulated area unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port Sector Mobile (COTP) or a designated representative. We invite your comments on this proposed rulemaking.

    DATES:

    Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before April 2, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2018-0014 using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for further instructions on submitting comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Table of Abbreviations CFR Code of Federal Regulations COTP Captain of the Port Sector Mobile DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking PATCOM Patrol Commander §  Section U.S.C. United States Code II. Background, Purpose, and Legal Basis

    On November 31, 2017, the marine event sponsor for the annual USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championships marine event submitted an application for a marine event permit. The Captain of the Port Sector Mobile (COTP) has determined a special local regulation is needed to protect the persons participating in and viewing the USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championships marine event.

    The purpose of this proposed rulemaking is to restrict transit into, through and within the regulated area on the Black Warrior River extending the entire width of the river from mile marker 338.5 to mile marker 339.5 in Tuscaloosa, AL during the USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championships. The Coast Guard proposes this rulemaking under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1233.

    III. Discussion of Proposed Rule

    The Coast Guard proposes to establish a temporary special local regulation on the Black Warrior River extending the entire width of the river from mile marker 338.5 to mile marker 339.5 in Tuscaloosa, AL. The proposed rulemaking is needed to needed to protect the persons participating in the USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championships marine event. This proposed rulemaking restricts transit into, through and within the regulated area unless specifically authorized by the COTP. No vessel or person would be permitted to enter the regulated area without obtaining permission from the COTP or a designated representative. A designated representative may be a Patrol Commander (PATCOM). The PATCOM would be aboard either a Coast Guard or Coast Guard Auxiliary vessel. The Patrol Commander may be contacted on Channel 16 VHF-FM (156.8 MHz) by the call sign “PATCOM”. All persons and vessels not registered with the sponsor as participants or official patrol vessels are considered spectators. The “official patrol vessels” consist of any Coast Guard, state, or local law enforcement and sponsor provided vessels assigned or approved by the COTP to patrol the regulated area.

    Spectator vessels desiring to transit the regulated area may do so only with prior approval of the Patrol Commander and when so directed by that officer would be operated at a minimum safe navigation speed in a manner which will not endanger participants in the regulated area or any other vessels. No spectator vessel shall anchor, block, loiter, or impede the through transit of participants or official patrol vessels in the regulated area during the effective dates and times, unless cleared for entry by or through an official patrol vessel. Any spectator vessel may anchor outside the regulated area, but may not anchor in, block, or loiter in a navigable channel. Spectator vessels may be moored to a waterfront facility within the regulated area in such a way that they shall not interfere with the progress of the event. Such mooring must be complete at least 30 minutes prior to the establishment of the regulated area and remain moored through the duration of the event.

    The COTP or a designated representative may forbid and control the movement of all vessels in the regulated area. When hailed or signaled by an official patrol vessel, a vessel shall come to an immediate stop and comply with the directions given. Failure to do so may result in expulsion from the area, citation for failure to comply, or both.

    The COTP or a designated representative may terminate the event or the operation of any vessel at any time it is deemed necessary for the protection of life or property. The COTP or a designated representative would terminate enforcement of the special local regulations at the conclusion of the event.

    The regulatory text we are proposing appears at the end of this document.

    IV. Regulatory Analyses

    We developed this proposed rule after considering numerous statutes and Executive orders related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses based on a number of these statutes and Executive orders and we discuss First Amendment rights of protestors.

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits. Executive Order 13771 directs agencies to control regulatory costs through a budgeting process. This NPRM has not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the NPRM has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and pursuant to OMB guidance it is exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 13771.

    This regulatory action determination is based on size, location, and duration of the proposed rulemaking. The proposed special local regulation on the Black Warrior River would extend the entire width of the river from mile marker 338.5 to mile marker 339.5 in Tuscaloosa, AL from 4 a.m. on April 27, 2018 through 6 p.m. on April 28, 2018. Additionally, the Coast Guard will issue Broadcast Notices to Mariners via VHF-FM marine channel 16 about the regulation so that waterway users may plan accordingly for transits during this restriction. The rule also allows vessels to seek permission from the COTP or a designated representative to enter the regulated area.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, 5 U.S.C. 601-612, as amended, requires Federal agencies to consider the potential impact of regulations on small entities during rulemaking. The term “small entities” comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000. The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    While some owners or operators of vessels intending to transit the safety zone may be small entities, for the reasons stated in section IV.A above, this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on any vessel owner or operator.

    If you think that your business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction qualifies as a small entity and that this proposed rule would have a significant economic impact on it, please submit a comment (see ADDRESSES) explaining why you think it qualifies and how and to what degree this rule would economically affect it.

    Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this proposed rule. If the rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about this proposed rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard.

    C. Collection of Information

    This proposed rule would not call for a new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520).

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

    A rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132, Federalism, if it has a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. We have analyzed this proposed rule under that Order and have determined that it is consistent with the fundamental federalism principles and preemption requirements described in Executive Order 13132.

    Also, this proposed rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it would not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. If you believe this proposed rule has implications for federalism or Indian tribes, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531-1538) requires Federal agencies to assess the effects of their discretionary regulatory actions. In particular, the Act addresses actions that may result in the expenditure by a State, local, or tribal government, in the aggregate, or by the private sector of $100,000,000 (adjusted for inflation) or more in any one year. Though this proposed rule would not result in such an expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble.

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Directive 023-01, which guides the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have determined that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule involves a special local regulation on the Black Warrior River extending the entire width of the river from mile marker 338.5 to mile marker 339.5. It is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph L61 of Appendix A, Table 1 of DHS Instruction Manual 023-01-001-01, Rev. 01. A Record of Environmental Consideration (REC) supporting this determination would be available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES.

    We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this proposed rule.

    G. Protest Activities

    The Coast Guard respects the First Amendment rights of protesters. Protesters are asked to contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to coordinate protest activities so that your message can be received without jeopardizing the safety or security of people, places, or vessels.

    V. Public Participation and Request for Comments

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 100

    Harbors, Marine safety, Navigation (water), Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Waterways.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes to amend 33 CFR part 100 as follows:

    PART 100—SAFETY OF LIFE ON NAVIGABLE WATERS 1. The authority citation for part 100 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 1233.

    2. Add § 100.35T08-0014 to read as follows:
    § 100.35T08-0014 Special Local Regulation; Black Warrior River, Tuscaloosa, AL

    (a) Regulated area. All navigable waters of the Black Warrior River between mile markers 338.5 and 339.5 in Tuscaloosa, AL.

    (b) Enforcement period. This section will be enforced from April 27, 2018 through April 28, 2018.

    (c) Special local regulations. (1) In accordance with the general regulations in § 100.801 of this part, entry into, transit within or through, or exit from this area is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Sector Mobile (COTP) or a designated representative. A designated representative may be a Patrol Commander (PATCOM). The PATCOM will be aboard either a Coast Guard or Coast Guard Auxiliary vessel. The Patrol Commander may be contacted on Channel 16 VHF-FM (156.8 MHz) by the call sign “PATCOM”.

    (2) All persons and vessels not registered with the sponsor as participants or official patrol vessels are considered spectators. The “official patrol vessels” consist of any Coast Guard, state, or local law enforcement and sponsor provided vessels assigned or approved by the Captain of the Port (COTP) Mobile to patrol the regulated area.

    (3) Spectator vessels desiring to transit the regulated area may do so only with prior approval of the Patrol Commander and when so directed by that officer will be operated at a minimum safe navigation speed in a manner which will not endanger participants in the regulated area or any other vessels.

    (4) No spectator vessel shall anchor, block, loiter, or impede the through transit of participants or official patrol vessels in the regulated area during the effective dates and times, unless cleared for entry by or through an official patrol vessel.

    (5) Any spectator vessel may anchor outside the regulated area, but may not anchor in, block, or loiter in a navigable channel. Spectator vessels may be moored to a waterfront facility within the regulated area in such a way that they shall not interfere with the progress of the event. Such mooring must be complete at least 30 minutes prior to the establishment of the regulated area and remain moored through the duration of the event.

    (6) The COTP or a designated representative may forbid and control the movement of all vessels in the regulated area. When hailed or signaled by an official patrol vessel, a vessel shall come to an immediate stop and comply with the directions given. Failure to do so may result in expulsion from the area, citation for failure to comply, or both.

    (7) The COTP or a designated representative may terminate the event or the operation of any vessel at any time it is deemed necessary for the protection of life or property.

    (8) The COTP or a designated representative will terminate enforcement of the special local regulations at the conclusion of the event.

    (d) Informational broadcasts. The COTP or a designated representative will inform the public through Broadcast Notices to Mariners of the enforcement period for the temporary safety zone as well as any changes in the planned schedule.

    Dated: February 2, 2018. M.R. McLellan, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port Sector Mobile.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04254 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 100 [Docket Number USCG-2017-1076] RIN 1625-AA08 Special Local Regulation; Miami Grand Prix of the Seas, Biscayne Bay, Miami, FL AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard proposes to establish a special local regulation (SLR) for certain navigable waters of Biscayne Bay, Miami, FL for the Miami Grand Prix of the Sea. This action is necessary to provide for the safety of the public, spectators, vessels, and marine environment from potential hazards during high-speed, offshore-style boat and Personal Water Craft (PWC) races during the Miami Grand Prix of the Sea. This SLR is necessary to provide for the safety of the public, spectators, vessels, and marine environment during the Miami Grand Prix of the Sea. The SLR would establish two regulated areas, a safety zone and no anchoring zone. Non-participant persons and vessels would be prohibited from entering, transiting, anchoring in, or remaining within the safety zone unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Miami (COTP) or a designated representative. All vessels would be prohibited from anchoring in the no anchoring zone. We invite your comments on this proposed rulemaking.

    DATES:

    Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before April 2, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov using docket number USCG-2017-1076 in the “Search” feature. See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for further instructions on submitting comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions about this proposed rulemaking, call or email Petty Officer Mara J. Brown, Sector Miami Waterways Management Division, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 305-535-4317, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Table of Abbreviations CFR Code of Federal Regulations DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking §  Section U.S.C. United States Code COTP Captain of the Port II. Background, Purpose, and Legal Basis

    Powerboat P1-USA, LLC has notified the Coast Guard it will be hosting the Miami Grand Prix of the Sea from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. from April 20, 2018 through 22, 2018. The event will consist of 28-foot offshore-style powerboats and 200 to 300 Horsepower PWC racing inside the Miami Marine Stadium basin. Approximately 90 participants are scheduled to race in this event.

    The purpose of this rulemaking is to establish a SLR to ensure the safety of personnel, vessels, and marine environment before, during, and after the scheduled event. The Coast Guard proposes this rulemaking under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1233.

    III. Discussion of Proposed Rule

    The COTP Miami proposes to establish a SLR from April 20 through 22, 2018 from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

    The SLR would establish two regulated areas, a safety zone and no anchoring zone, that includes certain waters of Biscayne Bay and the Miami Marine Stadium basin. The duration of the zones is intended to ensure the safety of vessels and these navigable waters before, during, and after the scheduled event. No vessel or person would be permitted to enter the safety zone without obtaining permission from the COTP or a designated representative. The regulatory text we are proposing appears at the end of this document.

    IV. Regulatory Analyses

    We developed this proposed rule after considering numerous statutes and Executive orders related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses based on a number of these statutes and Executive orders and we discuss First Amendment rights of protestors.

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits. Executive Order 13771 directs agencies to control regulatory costs through a budgeting process. This NPRM has not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the NPRM has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and pursuant to OMB guidance it is exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 13771.

    This regulatory action determination is based on the size, location, duration, and time-of-day of the safety zone. Vessel traffic would be able to safely transit around the regulated area, which may affect a small, designated area of Biscayne Bay. Moreover, the Coast Guard would issue a Broadcast Notice to Mariners via VHF-FM marine channel 16 notifying boaters of the regulated area.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, 5 U.S.C. 601-612, as amended, requires Federal agencies to consider the potential impact of regulations on small entities during rulemaking. The term “small entities” comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000. The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    While some owners or operators of vessels intending to transit the safety zone may be small entities, for the reasons stated in section IV.A above, this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on any vessel owner or operator.

    If you think that your business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction qualifies as a small entity and that this rule would have a significant economic impact on it, please submit a comment (see ADDRESSES) explaining why you think it qualifies and how and to what degree this rule would economically affect it.

    Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this proposed rule. If the rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about this proposed rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard.

    C. Collection of Information

    This proposed rule would not call for a new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520).

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

    A rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132, Federalism, if it has a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. We have analyzed this proposed rule under that Order and have determined that it is consistent with the fundamental federalism principles and preemption requirements described in Executive Order 13132.

    Also, this proposed rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it would not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. If you believe this proposed rule has implications for federalism or Indian tribes, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531-1538) requires Federal agencies to assess the effects of their discretionary regulatory actions. In particular, the Act addresses actions that may result in the expenditure by a State, local, or tribal government, in the aggregate, or by the private sector of $100,000,000 (adjusted for inflation) or more in any one year. Though this proposed rule would not result in such an expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble.

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01, which guides the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have made a preliminary determination that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This proposed rule involves a regulation that would prohibit persons and vessels from transiting or anchoring in the regulated areas during the event. Normally such actions are categorically excluded from further review under paragraphs L61 and of the DHS Instruction Manual Implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act DHS Instruction Manual 023-01-001-01, Rev 01. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this proposed rule.

    G. Protest Activities

    The Coast Guard respects the First Amendment rights of protesters. Protesters are asked to contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to coordinate protest activities so that your message can be received without jeopardizing the safety or security of people, places, or vessels.

    V. Public Participation and Request for Comments

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 100

    Marine safety; Navigation (water); Waterways; Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes to amend 33 CFR part 100 as follows:

    PART 100—SAFETY OF LIFE ON NAVIGABLE WATERS 1. The authority citation for part 100 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 1233; 33 CFR 1.05-1.

    2. Add §  100.T07-1076 to read as follows:
    § 100.T07-1076 Special Local Regulation; Miami Grand Prix of the Seas; Biscayne Bay, Miami, FL.

    (a) Location: The following regulated areas are established as a SLR in Biscayne Bay; Virginia Key; Miami, FL. Coordinates listed are based on North American Datum 1983.

    (1) Safety Zone: All waters of a Biscayne Bay encompassed within the following points. Starting at Point 1 in position 25°45′12″ N, 080°11′01″ W; thence north along the Intracoastal Waterway to Point 2 in position 25°45′31″ N, 080°11′02″ W; thence southeast to Point 3 at the Marine Stadium northern jetty in position 25°46′06″ N, 080°10′22″ W; thence southeast along the Marine Stadium basin shoreline to Point 4 in position 25°44′21″ N, 080°09′45″ W; thence northwest along Marine Stadium basin shoreline to starting point. No persons/vessels, except participating vessels, may enter, transit, anchoring in, or remaining within the safety zone.

    (2) No Anchor Zone: All waters of Biscayne Bay extending approximately 650 yards southwest, northwest and northeast from the perimeter of the portion of the safety zone that extends beyond the Miami Marine Stadium basin. No vessels may anchor within the no anchor zone.

    (b) Definition. (1) The term “designated representative” means Coast Guard Patrol Commanders, including Coast Guard coxswains, petty officers, and other officers operating Coast Guard vessels, and Federal, State, and Local officers designated by or assisting the COTP Miami in the enforcement of the regulated areas.

    (2) The term “Patrol Commander” means a commissioned, warrant, or petty officer of the Coast Guard who has been designated by the respective Coast Guard Sector Commander to enforce these regulations.

    (3) The term “spectators” means all persons and vessels not registered with the event sponsor as participants or official patrol vessels.

    (c) Regulations. (1) All non-participant vessels or persons are prohibited from entering, transiting, anchoring in, or remaining within the regulated area unless authorized by the COTP or a designated representative.

    (2) Persons and vessels desiring to enter, transit, anchor in, or remain within the regulated area may contact the COTP Miami by telephone at (305) 535-4472 or a designated representative via VHF-FM radio on channel 16, to request authorization. If authorization is granted, all persons and vessels receiving such authorization must comply with the instructions of the COTP Miami or a designated representative.

    (3) The Coast Guard will provide notice of the regulated area through Broadcast Notice to Mariners via VHF-FM channel 16 or by on-scene designated representatives.

    (d) Enforcement Period: This rule will be enforced daily from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on April 20, 2018 through April 22, 2018.

    Dated: February 16, 2018. Megan M. Dean, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Miami.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04298 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service 36 CFR Part 2 [NPS-WASO-24836; PPWOVPADU0/PPMPRLE1Y.Y00000] RIN 1024-AE44 Transporting Bows and Crossbows Across National Park System Units AGENCY:

    National Park Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Park Service proposes to allow individuals to carry or possess a bow or crossbow within the National Park System when accessing otherwise inaccessible lands or waters contiguous to a park area when other means of access are otherwise impracticable or impossible.

    DATES:

    Comments on the proposed rule and the notice of determination must be received by 11:59 p.m. EST on May 1, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Regulation Identifier Number (RIN) 1024-AE44, by either of the following methods:

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

    Mail or hand deliver to: NPS Regulations Program Office; 1849 C Street NW, MS-2472, Washington, DC 20240.

    Instructions: Comments will not be accepted by fax, email, or in any way other than those specified above. All submissions received must include the words “National Park Service” or “NPS” and must include the docket number or RIN (1024-AE44) for this rulemaking. Comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jay Calhoun, NPS Regulations Program, 1849 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20240. Phone: (202) 513-7112. Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    National Park Service (NPS) regulations at 36 CFR 2.4(b)(3) allow bows and crossbows that are not ready for immediate use to be possessed by individuals in NPS-administered areas within a mechanical mode of conveyance. This provides regulatory relief for transient individuals passing through park areas in vehicles and other forms of mechanical transport. This proposed rule would extend this relief to individuals transporting bows and crossbows on foot or horseback when accessing otherwise inaccessible lands or waters contiguous to a park area when other means of access are otherwise impracticable or impossible. Possessing bows and crossbows in this manner would be subject to applicable state laws and would not be allowed if the individual is otherwise prohibited by law from possessing a bow or crossbow.

    This rule would recognize and address the difficulties faced by some individuals attempting to access private property or other lands and waters adjacent to NPS-administered areas. In some cases, the use of mechanical transport to access these adjacent lands and waters is impracticable. As a result, individuals must traverse NPS areas on foot or horseback to reach these lands and waters but under existing regulations cannot do so with bows and crossbows without first obtaining a permit from the park Superintendent. This rule would remove the permit requirement in order to carry or possess bows or crossbows for this purpose. This rule would not change the regulations in 36 CFR part 2 governing the use of a bow or crossbow in park areas.

    Compliance With Other Laws, Executive Orders and Department Policy Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and 13563)

    Executive Order 12866 provides that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget will review all significant rules. The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has determined that this rule is not significant.

    Executive Order 13563 reaffirms the principles of Executive Order 12866 while calling for improvements in the nation's regulatory system to promote predictability, to reduce uncertainty, and to use the best, most innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. The executive order directs agencies to consider regulatory approaches that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for the public where these approaches are relevant, feasible, and consistent with regulatory objectives. Executive Order 13563 emphasizes further that regulations must be based on the best available science and that the rulemaking process must allow for public participation and an open exchange of ideas. The NPS has developed this rule in a manner consistent with these requirements.

    Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs (Executive Order 13771)

    This rule is an E.O. 13771 deregulatory action because, once finalized, it would impose less than zero costs by removing a regulatory permit requirement that imposes unnecessary costs upon individuals seeking to safely access remote lands and waters. The costs associated with the requirement to obtain a permit before transporting a bow or crossbow across NPS lands or waters outside of a mechanical conveyance would be eliminated.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This rule will not have a significant economic effect on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). This certification is based on information contained in the economic analyses found in the report entitled “Benefit-Cost and Regulatory Flexibility Analyses: Cost-Benefit and Regulatory Flexibility Analyses:

    Transporting Bows and Crossbows Across National Park System Units” that is available to the public upon request.

    Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. This rule:

    (a) Does not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more.

    (b) Will not cause a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, or local government agencies, or geographic regions.

    (c) Does not have significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    This rule does not impose an unfunded mandate on State, local, or tribal governments or the private sector of more than $100 million per year. The rule does not have a significant or unique effect on State, local or tribal governments or the private sector. It addresses public use of national park lands, and imposes no requirements on other agencies or governments. A statement containing the information required by the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) is not required.

    Takings (Executive Order 12630)

    This rule does not effect a taking of private property or otherwise have takings implications under Executive Order 12630. A takings implication assessment is not required.

    Federalism (Executive Order 13132)

    Under the criteria in section 1 of Executive Order 13132, the rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a Federalism summary impact statement. This proposed rule only affects use of federally-administered lands and waters. It has no outside effects on other areas. A Federalism summary impact statement is not required.

    Civil Justice Reform (Executive Order 12988)

    This rule complies with the requirements of Executive Order 12988. This rule:

    (a) Meets the criteria of section 3(a) requiring that all regulations be reviewed to eliminate errors and ambiguity and be written to minimize litigation; and

    (b) Meets the criteria of section 3(b)(2) requiring that all regulations be written in clear language and contain clear legal standards.

    Consultation With Indian Tribes (Executive Order 13175 and Department Policy)

    The Department of the Interior strives to strengthen its government-to-government relationship with Indian Tribes through a commitment to consultation with Indian Tribes and recognition of their right to self-governance and tribal sovereignty. The NPS has evaluated this rule under the criteria in Executive Order 13175 and under the Department's tribal consultation policy and has determined that tribal consultation is not required because the rule will have no substantial direct effect on federally recognized Indian tribes.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule does not contain information collection requirements, and a submission to the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act is not required. The NPS may not conduct or sponsor and you are not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    National Environmental Policy Act

    This rule does not constitute a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. A detailed statement under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) is not required because the NPS intends to categorically exclude this rule under 516 DM 12.5(A)(10). This rule will modify existing NPS regulations in a manner that does not increase public use to the extent of compromising the nature and character of the National Park System or causing physical damage to it. The rule will not conflict with adjacent ownerships or lands uses, or cause a nuisance to adjacent owners or occupants. We have also determined that the rule does not involve any of the extraordinary circumstances listed in 43 CFR 46.215 that would require further analysis under NEPA.

    Effects on the Energy Supply (Executive Order 13211)

    This rule is not a significant energy action under the definition in Executive Order 13211. A Statement of Energy Effects in not required.

    Clarity of This Rule

    The NPS is required by Executive Orders 12866 (section 1(b)(12)) and 12988 (section 3(b)(1)(B)), and 13563 (section 1(a)), and by the Presidential Memorandum of June 1, 1998, to write all rules in plain language. This means that each rule the NPS publishes must:

    (a) Be logically organized;

    (b) Use the active voice to address readers directly;

    (c) Use common, everyday words and clear language rather than jargon;

    (d) Be divided into short sections and sentences; and

    (e) Use lists and tables wherever possible.

    If you feel that the NPS has not met these requirements, send the NPS comments by one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section. To better help the NPS revise the rule, your comments should be as specific as possible. For example, you should identify the numbers of the sections or paragraphs that you find unclear, which sections or sentences are too long, the sections where you feel lists or tables would be useful, etc.

    Public Participation

    It is the policy of the Department of the Interior, whenever practicable, to afford the public an opportunity to participate in the rulemaking process. Accordingly, interested persons may submit written comments regarding this proposed rule by one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document.

    Public Availability of Comments

    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask the NPS in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, the NPS cannot guarantee that it will be able to do so.

    List of Subjects in 36 CFR Part 7

    National parks, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    In consideration of the foregoing, the National Park Service proposes to amend 36 CFR part 2 as set forth below:

    PART 2—RESOURCE PROTECTION, PUBLIC USE AND RECREATION 1. The authority citation for part 2 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    54 U.S.C. 100101, 100751, 320102.

    2. Amend § 2.4 as follows: a. Redesignate paragraph (b)(3) as paragraph (b)(3)(i). b. Add paragraph (b)(3)(ii). c. Revise paragraph (e) introductory text.

    The addition and revision to read as follows:

    § 2.4 Weapons, traps and nets.

    (b) * * *

    (3) * * *

    (ii) An individual may carry or possess an unloaded bow or crossbow when accessing otherwise inaccessible lands or waters contiguous to a park area when other means of access are otherwise impracticable or impossible if:

    (A) The individual is not otherwise prohibited by law from possessing the bow or crossbow; and

    (B) The possession of the bow or crossbow is in compliance with the law of the State in which the park area is located.

    (e) The superintendent may issue a permit to carry or possess a weapon that is not otherwise authorized, a trap, or a net under the following circumstances:

    Jason Larrabee, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, Exercising the Authority of the Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04247 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-EJ-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R01-OAR-2009-0436; FRL-9974-69—Region 1] Air Plan Approval; Rhode Island; Enhanced Motor Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance Program; Reopening of Comment Period AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; reopening of the public comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is reopening the public comment period for the proposed approval of Rhode Island's enhanced motor vehicle inspection and maintenance program State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision. The proposed rule published in the Federal Register on November 14, 2017. Written comments on the proposed rule were to be submitted to EPA on or before December 14, 2017. The purpose of this document is to reopen the comment period for an additional 30 days. This extension of the comment period is provided to allow the public additional time to provide comment on the November 14, 2017 proposed rule.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before April 2, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R01-OAR-2009-0436 at www.regulations.gov, or via email to [email protected] For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, the EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit www.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets. Publicly available docket materials are available at www.regulations.gov or at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA New England Regional Office, Office of Ecosystem Protection, Air Quality Planning Unit, 5 Post Office Square—Suite 100, Boston, MA. EPA requests that if at all possible, you contact the contact listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to schedule your inspection. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding legal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ariel Garcia, Air Quality Planning Unit, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA Region 1 Regional Office, 5 Post Office Square, Suite 100 (mail code: OEP05-2), Boston, MA 02109-3912, telephone number: (617) 918-1660, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background: In the withdrawal of direct final rule published in the Federal Register on January 9, 2018 (83 FR 984), EPA stated the intent to institute an extended comment period for the November 14, 2017 proposed rule (82 FR 52682) by publishing a notice of data availability.

    Extension of Comment Period: The adverse comment received on EPA's direct final rule requested that EPA hold a new public comment period, because EPA did not make all relevant documents available in the docket at www.regulations.gov. EPA has made available all documents, which are compatible with the electronic docket system, at the docket identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R01-OAR-2009-0436 at www.regulations.gov. All other documents, including emissions modeling files submitted as part of Rhode Island's enhanced motor vehicles inspection and maintenance program SIP revision, are available for public review by visiting the EPA New England Regional Office or by contacting the contact listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. This reopening of comment period also serves as the notice of data availability referenced in the January 9, 2018 withdrawal of direct final rule.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: February 21, 2018. Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, Regional Administrator, EPA New England.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04264 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 54 [WC Docket Nos. 17-287, 11-42, and 09-197; Report No. 3087] Petitions for Reconsideration of Action in Rulemaking Proceeding AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Petitions for Reconsideration.

    SUMMARY:

    Petitions for Reconsideration (Petitions) have been filed in the Commission's rulemaking proceeding by Joe Redcloud on behalf of Oceti Sakowin Tribal Utility Authority, and John J. Heitmann on behalf of Telrite Corporation d/b/a Life Wireless; i-wireless, LLC; and AmeriMex Communications Corp. d/b/a SafetyNet Wireless.

    DATES:

    Oppositions to the Petitions must be filed on or before March 19, 2018. Replies to an opposition must be filed on or before March 27, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC 20554.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jessica Campbell, phone: 202-418-3609, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is a summary of the Commission's document, Report No. 3087, released February 22, 2018. The full text of the Petitions is available for viewing and copying at the FCC Reference Information Center, 445 12th Street SW, Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554. They also may be accessed online via the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System at: http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/. The Commission will not send a Congressional Review Act (CRA) submission to Congress or the Government Accountability Office pursuant to the CRA, 5 U.S.C. because no rules are being adopted by the Commission.

    Subject: Bridging the Digital Divide for Low Income Consumers, Lifeline and Link Up Reform and Modernization, Telecommunications Carriers Eligible for Universal Service Support, FCC 17-155, published at 83 FR 2075, January 16, 2018, in WC Docket Nos. 17-287, 11-42, and 09-097. This document is being published pursuant to 47 CFR 1.429(e). See also 47 CFR 1.4(b)(1) and 1.429(f), (g).

    Number of Petitions Filed: 2.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04359 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    83 42 Friday, March 2, 2018 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request February 27, 2018

    The Department of Agriculture will submit the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13 on or after the date of publication of this notice. Comments are requested regarding: (1) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC; New Executive Office Building, 725—17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20503. Commenters are encouraged to submit their comments to OMB via email to: [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602.

    Comments regarding these information collections are best assured of having their full effect if received by April 2, 2018. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8681.

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

    National Agricultural Statistics Service

    Title: Field Crops Objective Yield.

    OMB Control Number: 0535-0088.

    Summary of Collection: The primary function of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is to prepare and issue current official State and national estimates of crop and livestock production. General authority for these data collection activities is granted under U.S. Code Title 7, Section 2204. This statute specifies the “The Secretary of Agriculture shall procure and preserve all information concerning agriculture which he can obtain . . . by the collection of statistics . . . and shall distribute them among agriculturists”. Data collected provides yield estimates for corn, cotton, potatoes, soybeans and winter wheat. In addition NASS has been contacted by several state cooperators to conduct projected yield studies for citrus, almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts. These fruit and nut surveys will be conducted through cooperative agreements with the states and will be totally funded by the individual states. The yield estimates for all of these crops are extremely important because they are used in conjunction with price data to estimate production and in making policy decisions in agricultural sectors.

    Need and Use of the Information: NASS will collect information on sample fields of, corn, cotton, potatoes, soybeans, and winter wheat. The information will be used by USDA to anticipate loan receipts and pricing of loan stocks for grains. Farmers and businesses use the production estimates in marketing decisions to evaluate expected prices and to determine when to sell. The fruit and nut data will be used by the State Departments of Agriculture and commodity marketing boards to make informed decisions concerning the stocks and marketing of these commodities.

    Description of Respondents: Farms and businesses or other for-profit operations.

    Number of Respondents: 15,850.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: Monthly during growing season or annually.

    Total Burden Hours: 5,456.

    Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04292 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-20-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest; Nevada; Humboldt-Toiyabe Integrated Invasive Plant Treatment Project AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement.

    SUMMARY:

    The Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to evaluate the effects of controlling and eradicating non-native invasive plants and restoring native vegetation on national forest lands in Nevada. The EIS will analyze actions to be implemented on known infested areas, as well as on infested areas that may be discovered over the next 15 years using a variety of tools, methods, and products.

    DATES:

    Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received in writing by April 16, 2018. The Draft Environmental Impact Statement is expected in September 2018, and the Final Environmental Impact Statement is expected in May 2019.

    ADDRESSES:

    Electronic comments are encouraged. Electronic comments should be submitted through the comment section at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=53031. Mail comments to Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest: Attn: Integrated Invasive Plant Treatment EIS, 1200 Franklin Way, Sparks, Nevada 89431.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information concerning this project, please contact James Winfrey, Interdisciplinary Team Leader, at 775-355-5308 or [email protected] Information about this EIS will be posted on the internet at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=53031. This website will be used to post all public documents during the environmental review process and announce opportunities for public participation and comment.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Invasive plants have been identified as a major threat to the biological diversity and ecological integrity in and near the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest (HTNF). Invasive plants displace native plants; reduce habitat and forage for wildlife and livestock; diminish populations of threatened, endangered, and sensitive species; alter soil properties and productivity; change the intensity and frequency of wildfires; and impact recreation opportunities.

    The HTNF encompasses approximately 5.6 million acres across the state of Nevada, with land in Carson, Clark, Douglas, Elko, Eureka, Humboldt, Lander, Lincoln, Lyon, Mineral, Nye, Washoe, and White Pine counties. There are approximately 28,500 acres identified as being infested with invasive, non-native, and/or State-listed noxious weeds. These invasive plant infestations have a high potential to expand on lands within and adjacent to the HTNF, degrading desired plant communities and the values provided by those communities.

    Forestlands are also threatened by “potential invaders,” invasive plants that have not been found on the HTNF but are known to occur in adjacent lands, counties, or states. Infestations can be controlled and eradicated, and native vegetation can be restored, through the use of specific management practices. A clear and comprehensive integrated invasive plan management strategy would allow for the implementation of timely and effective invasive plant management and prevention for projects and programs on the HTNF. In the absence of an aggressive invasive plant management program, the number, density, and distribution of invasive plants on the forest will continue to increase.

    Purpose and Need for Action

    The purpose of this analysis is to update current management to provide for integrated and timely management of invasive species, now and in the future, with the goal of promoting healthy and thriving native plant communities across the HTNF. The proposal is in response to an underlying need to implement management direction as described in the Regulatory Framework section below.

    The need for comprehensive and aggressive management of invasive plant species is multifaceted:

    Invasive plants are diminishing the natural resource values of the forest: Forest resources are negatively impacted by existing and expanding invasive plant infestations. Invasive species are known to out-compete native plants, which can reduce productivity and biodiversity, cause habitat loss, and have economic impacts.

    There must be a timely response to new infestations, new invasive plant species, and landscape-scale disturbances: On the HTNF, invasive plants are spread by use of transportation systems, livestock grazing, and off-road fire suppression activities. They are also spread by wild animals, wind, and water. Wildland fires are frequent on HTNF lands, and afterwards the burned areas typically become more densely infested with invasive plants such as cheatgrass and non-native thistles. The forest needs the flexibility to treat expanded and/or newly identified infestations in a timely manner, based on local site conditions and identified Forest priorities.

    Existing and future invasive plant populations in the HTNF require active and adaptive management: Invasive plant infestations already exist throughout the HTNF, and without management they will increase in density and distribution. Active and adaptive integrated pest management is necessary to contain invasive plants within existing boundaries, reduce infestation densities, and retard the establishment of new infestations. Control efforts should be focused on infestations that can realize the greatest resource benefits: those with the highest risk of spread, those that have not become established, and those with the best likelihood of control success.

    Rehabilitation and restoration of infested areas can inhibit the spread and establishment of invasive plants: Appropriate rehabilitation efforts are a critical component of a fully functional invasive plant management program. The goals of rehabilitating degraded areas may include preventing new infestations, preventing the reoccurrence of eradicated infestations, and/or reducing the density and spread of existing infestations. Post-fire rehabilitation efforts may incorporate one or more of the established control techniques outlined in the proposed action.

    Federal, State, and Forest Service laws, regulation, policy and direction relating to invasive plant management must be implemented and followed: Implementing invasive species laws and policies requires aggressive invasive plant management. This analysis would identify the strategies that the HTNF would use to comply with laws and policies pertaining to invasive plant management.

    Proposed Action

    The HTNF proposes to implement adaptive and integrated invasive plant treatments on current and future infested areas using tools and products currently available, and those that may become available in the next 15 years. Activities would be implemented with partners at the federal, state, and local level where opportunities exist. To provide for “Early Detection Rapid Response” (EDRR), the Forest would design a plan that allows treatment of invasive plant infestations located outside of currently identified infested areas. Infestations outside of currently identified areas may include new sites that arise in the future, or sites that currently exist, but have not been identified in Forest inventories to date. The intent of EDRR is to allow timely control, so that new infestations can be treated when they are small, preventing establishment and spread, while reducing the costs and potential side effects of treatment.

    Proposed control methods would be based on integrated pest management principles and methods known to be effective for each target species. They include, but are not limited to, manual mechanical techniques, such as mowing and pulling; biological control agents, such as pathogens, insects, and controlled grazing; prescribed fire; and herbicides (including aerial and ground-based application methods) that target specific invasive plant species. Restoration actions include planting, seeding, and fertilizing using a variety of equipment and methods. Control, eradication, and restoration methods could be employed alone or in combination to achieve the most effective results. Treatments over a number of years may be necessary to achieve control, eradication, and restoration goals.

    Treatment methods would be based on the extent, location, type, and character of an infestation and would be implemented using project design features developed to reduce or eliminate potential adverse effects.

    Restoration activities would be designed and implemented based on the conditions found in and around infested areas. Both active and passive (allowing plants on site to fill in a treated area) revegetation would be considered. Restoration techniques would be assessed and implemented in order to promote native plant communities that are resistant to infestation by invasive plants.

    Lead and Cooperating Agencies

    The Forest Service will be the lead federal agency in accordance with 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 1501.5(b) and is responsible for the preparation of the EIS. The Forest Service is in the process of inviting other federal, state, and local agencies to participate as cooperating agencies. At this time, these include the Bureau of Land Management, Natural Resource Conservation Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Nevada Departments of Wildlife, Nevada Department of Agriculture and local Conservation Districts. Scoping will determine if any other cooperating agencies are needed.

    Responsible Official

    The responsible official for this EIS is William A. Dunkelberger, Forest Supervisor, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest Supervisor's Office, 1200 Franklin Way, Sparks, Nevada 89431.

    Decision To Be Made

    The Forest Supervisor will decide whether to treat invasive plants and conduct restoration activities on the Nevada portion of the HTNF, and if so, what methods and strategies (including adaptive management and EDRR) will be used to contain, control, or eradicate invasive plants.

    Permits or Licenses Required

    A permit from the State of Nevada would be required prior to use of prescribed fire. Pesticide applicators would be certified as required by the Nevada Department of Agriculture, and all other permits required by regulatory agencies would be obtained prior to implementation.

    Scoping Process

    This notice of intent initiates the scoping process, which guides the development of the EIS. The Forest Service will be seeking information, comments, and assistance from federal, state, and local agencies, American Indian Tribes, as well as other individuals and organizations that may be interested in, or affected by, the proposed project. Comments on the proposed project should be in writing and should be specific to the proposed action, describing as clearly and completely as possible any issues or concerns the commenter has with the proposal. Comments received, including the names and addresses of those who comment, will become part of the public record for this EIS, and will be available on request for public inspection (see 40 CFR 1501.7 and 1508.22; Forest Service Handbook 1909.15, Section 21). For full consideration, scientific articles or other items cited in support of comments should be submitted in their entirety by the commenter. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered; however, anonymous comments will not provide the Agency with the ability to provide the respondent with subsequent environmental documents.

    Comments that would be most useful are those concerning developing or refining the proposed action, site specific concerns, and those concerns that can help us develop treatments that would be responsive to our goal to control, contain, or eradicate invasive plants.

    It is important that reviewers provide their comments at such times and in such manner that they are useful to the agency's preparation of the EIS. Therefore, comments should be provided prior to the close of the comment period and should clearly articulate the reviewer's concerns and contentions. Public meetings are anticipated to be held following publication of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement.

    Dated: January 9, 2018. Chris French, Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04306 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-14-2018] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 158—Vicksburg/Jackson, Mississippi, Notification of Proposed Production Activity, International Converter, (Insulation Facer), Iuka, Mississippi

    International Converter (IC) submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the FTZ Board for its facility in Iuka, Mississippi. The notification conforming to the requirements of the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR 400.22) was received on February 23, 2018.

    The applicant indicates that it will be submitting a separate application for FTZ designation at the IC facility under FTZ 158. The facility is used for the production of insulation facer using a wet-bond or dry-bond lamination process. Pursuant to 15 CFR 400.14(b), FTZ activity would be limited to the specific foreign-status materials/components and specific finished products described in the submitted notification (as described below) and subsequently authorized by the FTZ Board.

    Production under FTZ procedures could exempt IC from customs duty payments on the foreign-status materials/components used in export production. For foreign-status components subject to antidumping/countervailing duty (AD/CVD) investigations/orders, the applicant only requests authority to use such components in the company's export production. On its domestic sales, for the foreign-status materials/components noted below not subject to AD/CVD orders/investigations, IC would be able to choose the duty rates during customs entry procedures that apply to: Printed duplex insulation facer consisting of paper backed with aluminum foil; not printed duplex insulation facer consisting of paper backed with aluminum foil; printed triplex insulation facer, consisting of paper with aluminum foil on either side; not printed triplex insulation facer, consisting of paper with aluminum foil on either side; printed quadlaminate insulation facer, consisting of paper with aluminum foil on either side, and fabric scrim on one outer layer; and, not printed quadlaminate insulation facer, consisting of paper with aluminum foil on either side, and fabric scrim on one outer layer (duty rate ranges from duty-free to 3.7%). IC has indicated that all scrap/waste from the lamination process would be exported. Customs duties also could possibly be deferred or reduced on foreign-status production equipment.

    The materials/components sourced from abroad include: Aluminum foil in rolls, 0.00025 inches thick; aluminum foil in rolls, 0.00027 inches thick; aluminum foil in rolls, 0.000285 inches thick; and, nonwoven polyethylene terephthalate scrim fabric, in rolls, 33.84 grams per square meter (duty rate ranges from duty-free to 5.8%). The request indicates that the aluminum foil is subject to AD and CVD investigations if imported from a certain country. The FTZ Board's regulations (15 CFR 400.14(e)) require that merchandise subject to AD/CVD orders, or items which would be otherwise subject to suspension of liquidation under AD/CVD procedures if they entered U.S. customs territory, be admitted to the zone in privileged foreign status (19 CFR 146.41). As noted above, the request indicates that any aluminum foil subject to an AD/CVD investigation/order would be used only in production for export.

    Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is April 11, 2018.

    A copy of the notification will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Room 21013, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230-0002, and in the “Reading Room” section of the Board's website, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz.

    For further information, contact Elizabeth Whiteman at [email protected] or (202) 482-0473.

    Dated: February 27, 2018. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04290 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [S-39-2018] Foreign-Trade Zone 78—Nashville, Tennessee; Application for Subzone; CEVA Freight LLC; Mount Juliet and Lebanon, Tennessee

    An application has been submitted to the Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) Board by the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, grantee of FTZ 78, requesting subzone status for the facilities of CEVA Freight LLC, located in Mount Juliet and Lebanon, Tennessee. The application was submitted pursuant to the provisions of the Foreign-Trade Zones Act, as amended (19 U.S.C. 81a-81u), and the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR part 400). It was formally docketed on February 26, 2018.

    The proposed subzone would consist of: Site 1 (32.92 acres), three buildings located at 12002, 12008 and 12014 Volunteer Boulevard, Mount Juliet; and, Site 2 (1.70 acres), one building at 1442C Toshiba Dr., Lebanon. No authorization for production activity has been requested at this time. The proposed subzone would be subject to the existing activation limit of FTZ 78.

    In accordance with the FTZ Board's regulations, Kathleen Boyce of the FTZ Staff is designated examiner to review the application and make recommendations to the Executive Secretary.

    Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the FTZ Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is April 11, 2018. Rebuttal comments in response to material submitted during the foregoing period may be submitted during the subsequent 15-day period to April 26, 2018.

    A copy of the application will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Room 21013, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230-0002, and in the “Reading Room” section of the FTZ Board's website, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz.

    For further information, contact Kathleen Boyce at [email protected] or (202) 482-1346.

    Dated: February 26, 2018. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04289 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-13-2018] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 138—Franklin County, Ohio; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; International Converter (Insulation Facer); Caldwell, Ohio

    International Converter (IC) submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the FTZ Board for its facility in Caldwell, Ohio. The notification conforming to the requirements of the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR 400.22) was received on February 23, 2018.

    The applicant indicates that it will be submitting a separate application for FTZ designation at the IC facility under FTZ 138. The facility is used for the production of insulation facer using a wet-bond or dry-bond lamination process. Pursuant to 15 CFR 400.14(b), FTZ activity would be limited to the specific foreign-status materials/components and specific finished products described in the submitted notification (as described below) and subsequently authorized by the FTZ Board.

    Production under FTZ procedures could exempt IC from customs duty payments on the foreign-status materials/components used in export production. For foreign-status components subject to antidumping/countervailing duty (AD/CVD) investigations/orders, the applicant only requests authority to use such components in the company's export production. On its domestic sales, for the foreign-status materials/components noted below not subject to AD/CVD orders/investigations, IC would be able to choose the duty rates during customs entry procedures that apply to: Printed duplex insulation facer consisting of paper backed with aluminum foil; not printed duplex insulation facer consisting of paper backed with aluminum foil; printed triplex insulation facer, consisting of paper with aluminum foil on either side; not printed triplex insulation facer, consisting of paper with aluminum foil on either side; printed quadlaminate insulation facer, consisting of paper with aluminum foil on either side, and fabric scrim on one outer layer; and, not printed quadlaminate insulation facer, consisting of paper with aluminum foil on either side, and fabric scrim on one outer layer (duty rate ranges from duty-free to 3.7%). IC has indicated that all scrap/waste from the lamination process would be exported. Customs duties also could possibly be deferred or reduced on foreign-status production equipment.

    The materials/components sourced from abroad include: aluminum foil in rolls, 0.00025 inches thick; aluminum foil in rolls, 0.00027 inches thick; aluminum foil in rolls, 0.000285 inches thick; and, nonwoven polyethylene terephthalate scrim fabric, in rolls, 33.84 grams per square meter (duty rate ranges from duty-free to 5.8%). The request indicates that the aluminum foil is subject to AD and CVD investigations if imported from a certain country. The FTZ Board's regulations (15 CFR 400.14(e)) require that merchandise subject to AD/CVD orders, or items which would be otherwise subject to suspension of liquidation under AD/CVD procedures if they entered U.S. customs territory, be admitted to the zone in privileged foreign status (19 CFR 146.41). As noted above, the request indicates that any aluminum foil subject to an AD/CVD investigation/order would be used only in production for export.

    Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is April 11, 2018.

    A copy of the notification will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Room 21013, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230-0002, and in the “Reading Room” section of the Board's website, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz.

    For further information, contact Elizabeth Whiteman at [email protected] or (202) 482-0473.

    Dated: February 27, 2018. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04288 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-928] Uncovered Innerspring Units From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2016-2017 AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    For the final results of this review, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) continues to apply adverse facts available (AFA) to PT Sunhere Buana International's (PT Sunhere) exports of uncovered innerspring units (innersprings) from the People's Republic of China (China).

    DATES:

    Applicable March 2, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Paul Walker, AD/CVD Operations, Office V, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-0413.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On November 7, 2017, Commerce published the Preliminary Results of the eighth administrative review of innersprings from China, for the period of review (POR), February 1, 2016, through January 31, 2017.1 We invited parties to submit comments on the Preliminary Results, but we received no comments. Commerce conducted this administrative review in accordance with section 751 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act).

    1See Uncovered Innerspring Units from the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results and Rescission, in Part, of the Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2016-2017, 82 FR 51602 (November 7, 2017) and accompanying Preliminary Decision Memorandum (PDM) (collectively, Preliminary Results).

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise subject to the order is uncovered innerspring units composed of a series of individual metal springs joined together in sizes corresponding to the sizes of adult mattresses (e.g., twin, twin long, full, full long, queen, California king and king) and units used in smaller constructions, such as crib and youth mattresses The product is currently classified under subheading 9404.29.9010 and has also been classified under subheadings 9404.10.0000, 9404.29.9005, 9404.29.9011, 7326.20.0070, 7326.20.0090, 7320.20.5010, 7320.90.5010, or 7326.20.0071 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).2 The HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes only; the written description of the scope of the order is dispositive.3

    2 Based on a recommendation by CBP, on September 6, 2017, Commerce added HTS 7326.20.0090 to the scope. See Memo to the File, from Kenneth Hawkins, Case Analyst, “Request from Customs and Border Protection to Update the ACE AD/CVD Case Reference File, Uncovered Innersprings from the People's Republic of China (A-570-928) and South Africa (A-791-821),” dated September 6, 2017.

    3 For a full description of the scope of the Order, see PDM at 3-4.

    Analysis of Comments Received

    As noted above, we received no comments on the Preliminary Results.

    Changes Since the Preliminary Results

    As no parties submitted comments on the Preliminary Results, Commerce has not modified its analysis from that presented in the Preliminary Results, and no decision memorandum accompanies this Federal Register notice. Further, Commerce has made no changes to the application of AFA to PT Sunhere's exports of China-origin innersprings.4 As noted in the Preliminary Results, in selecting an AFA rate, Commerce's practice has been to assign non-cooperative respondents the highest margin determined for any party in the LTFV investigation or in any administrative review; 5 thus, we assigned PT Sunhere's exports of China-origin innersprings an individual rate of 234.51 percent based on total AFA, which is the highest rate on the record in this proceeding.6

    4 PT Sunhere is not a Chinese exporter of subject merchandise. See PDM at 1. As such, we are not treating PT Sunhere as a part of the China-wide entity, but rather have assigned a rate to PT Sunhere as a market economy reseller.

    5See PDM at 6; Non-Malleable Cast Iron Pipe Fittings from the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 71 FR 69546 (December 1, 2006) and accompanying IDM at Comment 1.

    6See Uncovered Innerspring Units from the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2012-2013, 79 FR 56338 (September 19, 2014).

    Assessment Rates

    We have not calculated any assessment (or cash deposit) rates in this administrative review, because we applied AFA to PT Sunhere. Commerce intends to issue assessment instructions to CBP 15 days after the publication date of the final results of this administrative review.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash deposit requirements will be effective upon publication of the final results of this administrative review for all shipments of the subject merchandise from China entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication date, as provided for by section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) For PT Sunhere's Chinese-origin merchandise, the cash deposit rate will be 234.51 percent); (2) for previously investigated or reviewed Chinese and non-Chinese exporters not listed above that received a separate rate in a prior segment of this proceeding, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the existing exporter-specific rate; (3) for all Chinese exporters of subject merchandise that have not been found to be entitled to a separate rate, the cash deposit rate will be that for the China-wide entity (i.e., 234.51 percent); and (4) for all non-Chinese exporters of subject merchandise that have not received their own rate, the cash deposit rate will be the rate applicable to the Chinese exporter that supplied that non-Chinese exporter. These deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    Disclosure

    Normally, Commerce discloses to interested parties the calculations performed in connection with the final results within five days of its public announcement, or if there is no public announcement, within five days of the date of publication of this notice in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b). However, because Commerce applied AFA to PT Sunhere, there are no calculations to disclose.

    Notification to Importers

    This notice also serves as a final reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in Commerce's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties.

    Administrative Protective Order

    This notice also serves as a reminder to parties subject to administrative protective order (APO) of their responsibility concerning the return or destruction of proprietary information disclosed under the APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3), which continues to govern business proprietary information in this segment of the proceeding. Timely written notification of the return or destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and the terms of an APO is a violation subject to sanction.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    We are issuing and publishing these results in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213(h) and 351.221(b)(5).

    Dated: February 23, 2018. Prentiss Lee Smith, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Negotiations.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04287 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XG043 New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Scallop Advisory Panel to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Recommendations from this group will be brought to the full Council for formal consideration and action, if appropriate.

    DATES:

    This meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 at 9 a.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Hotel Providence, 139 Mathewson Street, Providence, RI 02903; phone: (401) 861-8000.

    Council address: New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Mill 2, Newburyport, MA 01950.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, New England Fishery Management Council; telephone: (978) 465-0492.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Agenda

    The Scallop Advisory Panel will receive an update on measures expected to be adopted in Framework Adjustment 29. They will also review the general workload for 2018 based on Council priorities and initial progress on these work items. Other business may be discussed as necessary.

    Although non-emergency issues not contained in this agenda may come before this group for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Action will be restricted to those issues specifically listed in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, provided the public has been notified of the Council's intent to take final action to address the emergency.

    Special Accommodations

    This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, at (978) 465-0492, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date. Consistent with 16 U.S.C. 1852, a copy of the recording is available upon request.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: February 27, 2018. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04312 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XG045 New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Scallop Committee to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Recommendations from this group will be brought to the full Council for formal consideration and action, if appropriate.

    DATES:

    This meeting will be held on Thursday, March 22, 2018 at 9 a.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Hotel Providence, 139 Mathewson Street, Providence, RI 02903; phone: (401) 861-8000.

    Council address: New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Mill 2, Newburyport, MA 01950.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, New England Fishery Management Council; telephone: (978) 465-0492.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Agenda

    The Scallop Committee will receive an update on measures expected to be adopted in Framework Adjustment 29. They will also review the general workload for 2018 based on Council priorities and initial progress on these work items. Other business may be discussed as necessary.

    Although non-emergency issues not contained in this agenda may come before this group for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Action will be restricted to those issues specifically listed in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, provided the public has been notified of the Council's intent to take final action to address the emergency.

    Special Accommodations

    This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, at (978) 465-0492, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date. Consistent with 16 U.S.C. 1852, a copy of the recording is available upon request.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: February 27, 2018. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04313 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XG007 Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries; Pelagic Longline Fishery Management AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent (NOI) to prepare a draft environmental impact analysis and hold scoping meetings; notice of availability of scoping document; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS announces its intent to prepare a draft environmental impact analysis to assess the potential effects of alternative measures under the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan (2006 Consolidated HMS FMP) for management of the pelagic longline fishery. This notice announces a public process for determining the scope of issues to be addressed and for identifying the significant issues relating to the management of Atlantic HMS, with a focus on area-based management measures and weak hook management measures that were implemented to reduce dead discards of bluefin tuna in the pelagic longline fishery. NMFS would use the scoping process and the draft environmental impact analysis to develop a regulatory action applicable to the pelagic longline fishery. The scoping process and draft environmental impact analysis are intended to determine if existing area-based and weak hook management measures are the best means of achieving the current management objectives and providing flexibility to adapt to fishing variability in the future, consistent with the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act (ATCA), and other relevant Federal laws. NMFS is also announcing the availability of a scoping document describing potential measures for inclusion in a future regulatory action. NMFS will hold scoping meetings to gather public comment on potential management options for area based and weak hook requirements. The time and location details of the scoping meetings are available in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice. NMFS is requesting comments on the NOI to develop environmental impact assessments. NMFS also requests comments on the management options described in the scoping document concerning bluefin area-based management and weak hook measures that were implemented to minimize bluefin tuna bycatch and/or interactions, and relevant options that would meet the purpose and need for this action.

    DATES:

    Written comments on this NOI and the scoping document must be received on or before May 1, 2018. NMFS also will host an operator-assisted public hearing conference call and webinar March 15, 2018, from 2 to 4 p.m. EDT, providing an opportunity for individuals from all geographic areas to participate in a scoping meeting. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for further details, including public scoping meeting dates and locations.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by “NOAA-NMFS-2018-0035”, by either of the following methods:

    Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2018-00035, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Craig Cockrell, Highly Migratory Species Management Division, Office of Sustainable Fisheries (F/SF1), NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910.

    Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, or to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted to http://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).

    The public hearing conference call information is phone number 800-988-9546; participant passcode 27079. Participants are strongly encouraged to log/dial in 15 minutes prior to the meeting. NMFS will show a brief presentation via webinar followed by public comment. To join the webinar, go to: https://noaaevents2.webex.com/noaaevents2/onstage/g.php?MTID=e7fc24f346f6d54043131fad6e040d4bd; meeting number: 992 830 164; password: noaa. Participants who have not used WebEx before will be prompted to download and run a plug-in program that will enable them to view the webinar.

    The scoping document is available by sending your request to Craig Cockrell at the mailing address specified above, or by calling the phone numbers indicated below. The scoping document, the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP, and FMP amendments also may be downloaded from the HMS website at https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/topic/atlantic-highly-migratory-species.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Craig Cockrell 301-427-8503 or Jennifer Cudney 727-824-5399, or online at https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/topic/atlantic-highly-migratory-species.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    Regulations implemented under the authority of the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act (ATCA; 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq.) and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act; 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.) governing the harvest of HMS, including bluefin tuna, by persons and vessels subject to U.S. jurisdiction are found at 50 CFR part 635. The pelagic longline fishery for Atlantic HMS primarily targets swordfish, yellowfin tuna, and bigeye tuna in various areas and seasons. In 1997, NMFS determined that the western Atlantic bluefin tuna stock was overfished. In addition, the 1998 International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) Recommendation on western Atlantic bluefin tuna required that Contracting Parties, including the United States, minimize dead discards of bluefin tuna to the extent practicable, and set a country-specific dead discard allowance. Given the status of bluefin tuna and recommendations from ICCAT, at that time, NMFS analyzed a range of different time/area options for locations with high bluefin tuna bycatch in the 1999 FMP for Atlantic tunas, sharks, and swordfish (1999 HMS FMP), and subsequently implemented the Northeastern United States Pelagic Longline Closed Area, which is effective annually from June 1 through June 30, in the final rule implementing the 1999 HMS FMP (64 FR 29090, May 28, 1999) to reduce bluefin tuna dead discards in the pelagic longline fishery. In 2006, NMFS finalized the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic HMS FMP, which was intended to simplify management and better coordinate domestic conservation and management of Atlantic HMS. This Consolidated HMS FMP also carried forward many of the objectives of the 1999 FMP for Atlantic tunas, sharks and swordfish (e.g., reduce dead discard and post-release mortality of Atlantic HMS in directed and non-directed fisheries; reduce bycatch and bycatch mortality). In the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP, NMFS also recognized the importance of western Atlantic bluefin tuna spawning grounds in the Gulf of Mexico and considered alternatives that would provide additional protection or incentives to dissuade fishermen from keeping incidentally caught bluefin. Weak hooks have been mandatory in the Gulf of Mexico pelagic longline fishery since 2011 (76 FR 18653, April 5, 2011). Weak hooks straighten under pressure and research conducted from 2007-2015 showed weak hook use could decrease bluefin tuna catch by 46 to 56.5 percent in the Gulf of Mexico. Continued reductions of bluefin tuna catch in the Gulf of Mexico pelagic longline fishery have been observed since the implementation of weak hooks. Amendment 7 to the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP (79 FR 71510, December 2, 2014) implemented several measures for the pelagic longline fishery including, but not limited to, gear restricted areas, individual bluefin tuna quotas (IBQ), and catch reporting of each pelagic longline set using vessel monitoring systems.

    Since implementation of Amendment 7 in 2015, NMFS has noted decreased bluefin tuna landings and dead discards concurrent with the new focus on vessel accountability in fishing practices. However, effort within the pelagic longline fishery has also decreased and quotas established for target species (e.g., swordfish) are not being met. We presented a range of potential management issues and options for consideration at recent Advisory Panel meetings that might: (1) Optimize the ability of permit categories to harvest target species and still meet goals consistent with rebuilding and management plans and other species management objectives; and (2) revitalize the target longline fisheries, including increased swordfish landings within existing quotas. We specifically received comments from pelagic longline participants and other interested parties, including comments at the Spring and Fall 2017 Atlantic HMS Advisory Panel meetings, to examine whether older fleet-wide measures such as gear requirements, area restrictions, or time/area closures may no longer be necessary to reduce bluefin tuna bycatch and still meet the objectives of the Amendment 7. The HMS Advisory Panel expressed support for the continued development of management options to be presented at the Spring 2018 Advisory Panel meeting.

    Scoping Process

    NMFS encourages participation, by all persons affected or otherwise interested in bluefin tuna area-based and weak hook management measures, in the process to determine the scope and significance of issues to be analyzed in a draft environmental impact analysis and regulatory action. All such persons are encouraged to submit written comments (see ADDRESSES), or comment at one of the scoping meetings or public webinar. Persons submitting comments are welcome to address the specific measures in the scoping document.

    NMFS intends to hold scoping meetings in the geographic areas that may be affected by these measures, including locations on the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts, and will consult with the regional fishery management councils in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. After scoping has been completed and public comment gathered and analyzed, NMFS will determine if it is necessary to proceed with preparation of a draft environmental impact analysis and proposed rule, which would include additional opportunities for public comment. The scope of the draft environmental impact analysis would consist of the range of actions, alternatives, and impacts to be considered. Alternatives may include, but are not limited to, the following: Not amending the current regulations (i.e., taking no action); developing a regulatory action that contains management measures such as those described in the scoping document; or other reasonable courses of action. This scoping process also will identify, and eliminate from further detailed analysis, issues that may not meet the purpose and need of the action. NMFS expects to present the scoping document at the Spring 2018 HMS Advisory Panel meeting, the scheduled scoping meetings and webinar, and the regional fishery management councils, as listed in Table 1.

    Table 1—Locations, Dates, and Times of Upcoming Scoping Meetings and Council Presentations Date Time Meeting location Address March 8, 2018 TBD HMS Advisory Panel Meeting Sheraton Silver Spring Hotel, 8777 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20910. March 13, 2018 2:00-4:00 p.m Public Webinar Teleconference line: 800-988-9546, Participant pass code: 27079, Webinar Link: https://noaaevents2.webex.com/noaaevents2/onstage/g.php?MTID=e7fc24f346f6d54043131fad6e040d4bd, Event number: 992 830 164, Event password: noaa. March 15, 2018 4:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m Panama City, FL National Marine Fisheries Service, Southeast Fisheries Science Center, 3500 Delwood Beach Road, Saint Panama City, FL 32408. March 21, 2018 4:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m Manteo, NC Commissioners Meeting Room, Dare County Administration Building, 954 Marshall Collins Dr., Manteo, NC 27954. April 2, 2018 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m Houma, LA Terrebonne Parish Main Library, Large Conference Room, 151 Library Drive, Houma, LA 70360. April 12, 2018 4:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m Manahawkin, NJ Stafford Branch Public Library, 129 N Main St., Manahawkin, NJ 08050. April 18, 2018 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m Gloucester, MA National Marine Fisheries Service, Grater Atlantic Regional Office, 55 Great Republic Dr., Gloucester, MA 01930.

    The public is reminded that NMFS expects participants at public scoping meetings and on conference calls to conduct themselves appropriately. At the beginning of the scoping meetings and conference call, a representative of NMFS will explain the ground rules (e.g., all comments are to be directed to the Agency; attendees will be called to give their comments in the order in which they registered to speak; each attendee will have an equal amount of time to speak; and attendees should not interrupt one another). The meeting locations will be physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Craig Cockrell at 301-427-8503, at least 7 days prior to the meeting. A NMFS representative will attempt to structure the meeting so that all attending members of the public will be able to comment if they so choose, regardless of the controversial nature of the subject matter. If attendees do not respect the ground rules they will be asked to leave the scoping meeting or conference call.

    Because the rulemakings overlap for some gear types, the public scoping meetings being held in Panama City, FL, Manteo, NC, and Manahawkin, NJ will be held in conjunction with public scoping meetings for Amendment 11 to the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic HMS FMP (shortfin mako shark management measures). The Amendment 11 presentation will likely be given first unless polling of the audience indicates another approach is appropriate. After each presentation, public comment for that issue will be received. Meeting attendees interested in this issue are encouraged to show up at the beginning of the meeting to help determine the order of the presentations. The second presentation will not start any later than 6 p.m.

    The process of developing a regulatory action is expected to take approximately two years. In addition to future HMS Advisory Panel input, public comment and future analyses, there are other relevant events anticipated that may impact the development of this regulatory action, including implementation of a quota rule for Atlantic bluefin tuna and North Atlantic albacore, the three-year review of the IBQ program, and the ICCAT annual meeting in November 2018.

    Until the draft environmental impact analysis and proposed rule are finalized or until other regulations are put into place, the current regulations remain in effect.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 971 et seq.; 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: February 27, 2018. Jennifer M. Wallace, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04315 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    COMMITTEE FOR PURCHASE FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND OR SEVERELY DISABLED Procurement List; Proposed Additions and Deletions AGENCY:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled.

    ACTION:

    Proposed additions to and deletions from the Procurement List.

    SUMMARY:

    The Committee is proposing to add products and services to the Procurement List that will be furnished by nonprofit agencies employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities, and deletes products previously furnished by such agencies.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before: April 1, 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.

    Addition

    If the Committee approves the proposed additions, the entities of the Federal Government identified in this notice will be required to procure the products and services listed below from nonprofit agencies employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities.

    The following products and services are proposed for addition to the Procurement List for production by the nonprofit agencies listed:

    Products NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 7045-00-NIB-0012—Pack, Power, Portable, 12000mAh, Black 7045-00-NIB-0013—Pack, Power, Portable, 6000mAh, Black Mandatory Source of Supply: North Central Sight Services, Inc., Williamsport, PA Contracting Activity: General Services Administration, New York, NY Distribution: A-List Services Service Type: Records Management Service Mandatory for: US Navy, Military Sealift Command, Naval Station Norfolk, 471 East C Street, Norfolk, VA Mandatory Source of Supply: VersAbility Resources, Inc., Hampton, VA Contracting Activity: Dept of the Navy, MSC NORFOLK, Service Type: Base Supply Center Mandatory for: US Army, Picatinny Arsenal, Phipps Road, Picatinny Arsenal, NJ Mandatory Source of Supply: Central Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired, Utica, NY Contracting Activity: Dept of the Army, W6QK ACC-PICA Deletions

    The following products are proposed for deletion from the Procurement List:

    Products NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 8440-00-160-6843—Scarf, Air Force, Men's, Gray 8440-00-823-7520—Scarf, Air Force, Men's, Olive Green 8440-01-005-2558—Scarf, Air Force, Men's, Blue 8440-01-523-5765—Scarf, Air Force, Men's, Black Mandatory Source of Supply: ASPIRO, Inc., Green Bay, WI Contracting Activity: Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 6530-00-290-8292—Urinal, Incontinent 6530-00-NIB-0061—Catheter, External, Male, Self-Adhering, Pop-on 6530-00-NIB-0062—Catheter, External, Male, Self-Adhering, Pop-on 6530-00-NIB-0063—Catheter, External, Male, Self-Adhering, Pop-on 6530-00-NIB-0064—Catheter, External, Male, Self-Adhering, Pop-on 6530-00-NIB-0065—Catheter, External, Male, Self-Adhering, Pop-on Mandatory Source of Supply: The Lighthouse for the Blind, St. Louis, Contracting Activity: Department of Veterans Affairs, Strategic Acquisition Center NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 7520-01-483-8900—Paper Cutter, Rotary, Wood Base, Gray, 28.5″ Cutting Length 7520-01-483-8901—Paper Cutter, Rotary, Wood Base, Gray, 37.5″ Cutting Length 7520-01-483-8902—Paper Cutter, Rotary, Metal Base, Gray, 18″ Cutting Length 7520-01-483-8904—Paper Cutter, Rotary, Metal Base, Blue, 12″ Cutting Length Mandatory Source of Supply: The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc. (Seattle Lighthouse), Seattle, WA Contracting Activity: General Services Administration, New York, NY NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 8475-01-142-5648—Nape Strap Mandatory Source of Supply: Cambria County Association for the Blind and Handicapped, Johnstown, PA Contracting Activity: Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support Amy B. Jensen, Director, Business Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04318 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6353-01-P
    COMMITTEE FOR PURCHASE FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND OR SEVERELY DISABLED Procurement List; Deletions AGENCY:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled.

    ACTION:

    Deletions from the Procurement List.

    SUMMARY:

    This action deletes a product and a service from the Procurement List previously furnished by nonprofit agencies employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities.

    DATES:

    Date deleted from the Procurement List: April 1, 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:

    Deletions

    On 1/26/2018 (83 FR 18), 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 product and service 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 product and 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 product and service deleted from the Procurement List.

    End of Certification

    Accordingly, the following product and service are deleted from the Procurement List:

    Product NSN—Product Name: 8415-01-494-4605 Cover, Parachutists' and Ground Troops' Helmet, All Services, Snow Camouflage, ML Mandatory Source of Supply: Mount Rogers Community Services Board, Wytheville, VA Contracting Activity: Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support Service Service Type: Custodial Service Mandatory for: GSA PBS Region 5, Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse 201 N Vermilion Street, Danville, IL Mandatory Source of Supply: Challenge Unlimited, Inc., Alton, IL Contracting Activity: Public Buildings Service, Acquisition Management Division Amy B. Jensen, Director, Business Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04321 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6353-01-P
    COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION Sunshine Act Meetings TIME AND DATE:

    10:00 a.m., Friday, March 9, 2018.

    PLACE:

    Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW, Washington, DC, 9th Floor Commission Conference Room.

    STATUS:

    Closed.

    MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED:

    Examinations matters. In the event that the time, date, or location of this meeting changes, an announcement of the change, along with the new time, date, and/or place of the meeting will be posted on the Commission's website at http://www.cftc.gov.

    CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION:

    Christopher Kirkpatrick, 202-418-5964.

    Robert N. Sidman, Deputy Secretary of the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04441 Filed 2-28-18; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 6351-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary Reserve Forces Policy Board; Notice of Federal Advisory Committee Meeting AGENCY:

    Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Federal Advisory Committee meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense (DoD) is publishing this notice to announce that the following Federal Advisory Committee meeting of the Reserve Forces Policy Board will take place.

    DATES:

    The Reserve Forces Policy Board (RFPB) will hold a meeting on Wednesday, March 7, 2018 from 7:55 a.m. to 3:50 p.m. The portion of the meeting from 7:55 a.m. to 1:50 p.m. will be closed to the public. The portion of the meeting from 2:00 p.m. to 3:50 p.m. will be open to the public.

    ADDRESSES:

    The RFPB meeting address is the Pentagon, Room 3E863, Arlington, VA.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Alexander Sabol, (703) 681-0577 (Voice), 703-681-0002 (Facsimile), [email protected] (Email). Mailing address is Reserve Forces Policy Board, 5113 Leesburg Pike, Suite 601, Falls Church, VA 22041. Website: http://rfpb.defense.gov/. The most up-to-date changes to the meeting agenda can be found on the website and the Federal Register.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Due to circumstances beyond the control of the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Designated Federal Officer, the Reserve Forces Policy Board was unable to provide public notification required by 41 CFR 102-3.150(a) concerning the meeting on March 7, 2018, of the Reserve Forces Policy Board. Accordingly, the Advisory Committee Management Officer for the Department of Defense, pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.150(b), waives the 15-calendar day notification requirement.

    This meeting is being held under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) of 1972 (5 U.S.C., Appendix, as amended), the Government in the Sunshine Act of 1976 (5 U.S.C. 552b, as amended), and 41 CFR 102-3.140 and 102-3.150.

    Purpose of the Meeting: The purpose of the meeting is to obtain, review, and evaluate information related to strategies, policies, and practices designed to improve and enhance the capabilities, efficiency, and effectiveness of the Reserve Components.

    Agenda: The RFPB will hold a meeting from 7:55 a.m. to 3:50 p.m. The portion of the meeting from 7:55 a.m. to 1:50 p.m. will be closed to the public and will consist of remarks to the RFPB from following invited speakers: the National Defense University (NDU), Center for Strategic Research, Distinguished Research Fellow will discuss NDU's review of the National Defense Strategy and the integration of the Reserve Components' forces within the strategy; the Under Secretary of the Air Force will discuss the Air Force's posture, the status on the Report of the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force recommendations, and plans to adapt the Total Air Force to meet future challenges; the Institute for Defense Analysis (IDA) will continue briefing the findings of the current IDA study on the Reserve Components performance during Operation Enduring Freedom; the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness will discuss the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness' goals, and updates on Reserve Component personnel system reforms currently under consideration; the Special Assistant to the Director of the Army National Guard will discuss the Army National Guard goals, readiness objectives, and challenges for the “Operational Reserve” as part of the Total Force; and the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Global Security will discuss the role of the National Guard and Reserve in meeting future challenges related to Homeland Defense. The portion of the meeting from 2:00 p.m. to 3:50 p.m. will be open to the public and will consist of briefings from the following: The Chair of the RFPB's Subcommittee on Supporting & Sustaining Reserve Component Personnel will provide an update to the RFPB on the subcommittee's proposed recommendations to the Secretary of Defense concerning the OUSD P&R Duty Status Reform proposal and the co-sponsored National Guard Bureau's and OASD Manpower & Reserve Affairs Reserve Integration's study on Reserve Component Travel Pay; the Chair of the RFPB's Subcommittee on Enhancing DoD's Role in the Homeland will provide an update to the RFPB on the subcommittee's proposed recommendations to the Secretary of Defense concerning the Department of Defense support of civil authorities, FEMA requirements, the integration of the Reserve Component DoD's Cyber Mission Force, and other Homeland issues; and a member of the Subcommittee on Ensuring a Ready, Capable, Available and Sustainable Operational Reserve will provide an update to the RFPB on the subcommittee's proposed recommendations to the Secretary of Defense concerning the Air Reserve Component (ARC2 Mission) innovation for utilization and process improvements of the Reserves within the US Air Force.

    Meeting Accessibility: Pursuant to section 10(a)(1) of the FACA and 41 CFR 102-3.140 through 102-3.165, and subject to the availability of space, the meeting is open to the public from 2:00 p.m. to 3:50 p.m. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. All members of the public who wish to attend the public meeting must contact Mr. Alex Sabol, the Designated Federal Officer, not later than 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 6, 2018, as listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to make arrangements for a Pentagon escort, if necessary. Public attendees requiring escort should arrive at the Pentagon Metro Entrance at 1:30 p.m. to provide sufficient time to complete security screening to attend the beginning of the Open Meeting at 2:00 p.m. on March 7. To complete the security screening, please be prepared to present two forms of identification. One must be a picture identification card. In accordance with section 10(d) of the FACA, 5 U.S.C. 552b(c), and 41 CFR 102-3.155, the DoD has determined that the portion of this meeting scheduled to occur from 7:55 a.m. to 1:50 p.m. will be closed to the public. Specifically, the Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness), in coordination with the Department of Defense FACA Attorney, has determined in writing that this portion of the meeting will be closed to the public because it is likely to disclose classified matters covered by 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(1).

    Written Statements: Pursuant to section 10(a)(3) of the FACA and 41 CFR 102-3.105(j) and 102-3.140, interested persons may submit written statements to the RFPB about its approved agenda or at any time on the RFPB's mission. Written statements should be submitted to the RFPB's Designated Federal Officer at the address, email, or facsimile number listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. If statements pertain to a specific topic being discussed at the planned meeting, then these statements must be submitted no later than five (5) business days prior to the meeting in question. Written statements received after this date may not be provided to or considered by the RFPB until its next meeting. The Designated Federal Officer will review all timely submitted written statements and provide copies to all the RFPB members before the meeting that is the subject of this notice. Please note that since the RFPB operates under the provisions of the FACA, all submitted comments and public presentations will be treated as public documents and will be made available for public inspection, including, but not limited to, being posted on the RFPB's website.

    Dated: February 27, 2018. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04314 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Applications for New Awards; Lead of a Career and Technical Education Network: Research Networks Focused on Critical Problems of Education Policy and Practice Program AGENCY:

    Institute of Education Sciences, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Notice; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    On January 22, 2018, we published in the Federal Register a notice to fund the Lead of a Career and Technical Education Network under the Research Networks Focused on Critical Problems of Education Policy and Practice Program, Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance number 84.305N. This correction notice modifies the original notice to provide information on a grantee's authority to award subgrants to institutions of higher education, public and private non-profit organizations, and agencies identified in an approved application.

    DATES:

    March 2, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Corinne Alfeld, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, Potomac Center Plaza, 550 12th Street SW, Washington, DC 20202 or by email: [email protected]

    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Correction

    In the Federal Register notice of January 22, 2018 (83 FR 2967), on page 2967 in the third column under the heading III. Eligibility Information, immediately following paragraph 2. Cost Sharing or Matching, we add the following paragraph:

    3. Eligible Subgrantees: (a) Under 34 CFR 75.708(b) and (c) a grantee may award subgrants to directly carry out project activities described in its application to the following types of entities: institutions of higher education, public and private non-profit organizations, and agencies.

    (b) The grantee may award subgrants to entities identified in an approved application.

    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 2324(d)(4); 20 U.S.C. 9501 et seq.

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and a copy of the Request for Applications in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at this site.

    You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

    Dated: February 27, 2018. Thomas Brock, Commissioner of the National Center for Education Research, Delegated the Duties of the Director of the Institute of Education Sciences.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04327 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Applications for New Awards; Expanding Opportunity Through Quality Charter Schools Program (CSP)—Grants to Charter School Developers for the Opening of New Charter Schools and for the Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools AGENCY:

    Office of Innovation and Improvement, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Education is issuing a notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2018 for CSP—Grants to Charter School Developers for the Opening of New Charter Schools and for the Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools, Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) numbers 84.282B and 84.282E.

    DATES:

    Applications Available: March 2, 2018.

    Date of Pre-Application Webinar: Thursday, March 8, 2018, 1:00 p.m., Washington, DC time.

    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: April 16, 2018.

    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: June 15, 2018.

    Pre-Application Webinar Information: The Department will hold a pre-application meeting via webinar for prospective applicants on Thursday, March 8, 1:00 p.m., Washington, DC time. Individuals interested in attending this meeting are encouraged to pre-register by emailing their name, organization, and contact information with the subject heading “DEVELOPER GRANTS PRE-APPLICATION MEETING” to [email protected] There is no registration fee for attending this meeting.

    For further information about the pre-application meeting, contact Eddie Moat, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 4W259, Washington, DC 20202-5970. Telephone: (202) 401-2266 or by email: [email protected]

    ADDRESSES:

    The addresses pertinent to this competition—including the addresses for obtaining and submitting an application—can be found under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Eddie Moat, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 4W259, Washington, DC 20202-5970. Telephone: (202) 401-2266 or by email: [email protected]

    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Full Text of Announcement I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The major purposes of the CSP are to expand opportunities for all students, particularly traditionally underserved students, to attend charter schools and meet challenging State academic standards; provide financial assistance for the planning, program design, and initial implementation of public charter schools; increase the number of high-quality charter schools available to students across the United States; evaluate the impact of charter schools on student achievement, families, and communities; share best practices between charter schools and other public schools; encourage States to provide facilities support to charter schools; and support efforts to strengthen the charter school authorizing process.

    CSP—Grants to Charter School Developers for the Opening of New Charter Schools and for the Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools (Developer Grants) are intended to support charter schools that serve early childhood, elementary school, or secondary school students by providing grant funds to eligible applicants for the opening of new charter schools (CFDA number 84.282B) and for the replication and expansion of high-quality charter schools (CFDA number 84.282E). Eligibility for a grant under this competition is limited to charter school developers in States that do not currently have a CSP State Entity grant (CFDA number 84.282A) under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Eligibility in a State with a CSP State Educational Agency (SEA) grant under the ESEA, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) (CFDA number 84.282A) is limited to charter school developers applying for grants for the replication and expansion of high-quality charter schools (CFDA number 84.282E) and only if the Department has not approved an amendment to the SEA's approved grant application authorizing the SEA to make subgrants for replication and expansion. Charter schools that receive financial assistance through Developer Grants provide programs of elementary or secondary education, or both, and may also serve students in early childhood education programs or postsecondary students.

    Background: This notice invites applications from eligible applicants for two types of grants: (1) Grants to Charter School Developers for the Opening of New Charter Schools (CFDA number 84.282B) and (2) Grants to Charter School Developers for the Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools (CFDA number 84.282E). Under this competition, each CFDA number, 84.282B and 84.282E, constitutes its own funding category. The Secretary intends to award grants under each CFDA number for applications that are of sufficient quality. Information pertaining to each type of grant is provided in subsequent sections of this notice.

    The ESSA, enacted in December 2015, reauthorized and amended the ESEA. The amendments included significant changes affecting the CSP, including the Developer Grants competition.1 Consequently, this notice contains definitions, application requirements, and selection criteria from the ESEA, as amended by the ESSA,2 as well as priorities, definitions, application requirements, and selection criteria that we are establishing in accordance with section 437(d)(1) of the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA), 20 U.S.C. 1232(d)(1).

    1 Prior to enactment of the ESSA, the ESEA, as amended by NCLB, authorized CSP Grants to Non-State Educational Agency Eligible Applicants for Planning, Program Design, and Initial Implementation and for Dissemination (Non-SEA Grants). Under the ESSA, this authority has been substantially revised and, as a result, the name of this competition differs from previous years.

    2 All references to the ESEA in this notice are to the ESEA, as amended by the ESSA, unless otherwise noted.

    Eligible applicants are those that are qualified based on the requirements set forth in this notice. For more information on eligibility, please see section III.1. of this notice.

    All charter schools receiving CSP funds must meet the definition of a charter school in section 4310(2) of the ESEA, including the requirements that a charter school comply with various non-discrimination laws, including the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, section 444 of GEPA, and part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (i.e., rights afforded to children with disabilities and their parents), and applicable State laws.

    Priorities: This notice includes three competitive preference priorities. We are establishing Competitive Preference Priorities 1, 2, and 3 for the FY 2018 grant competition and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this competition, in accordance with section 437(d)(1) of GEPA, 20 U.S.C. 1232(d)(1).

    Competitive Preference Priorities: These priorities are competitive preference priorities.

    For CFDA number 84.282B, under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i), we award up to an additional four points to an application depending on how well the application addresses Competitive Preference Priority 1 and up to an additional four points to an application that meets Competitive Preference Priority 2. The maximum number of points an application for CFDA number 84.282B can receive under these priorities is eight.

    For CFDA number 84.282E, under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i), we award up to an additional two points to an application depending on how well the application addresses Competitive Preference Priority 1, up to an additional two points to an application that meets Competitive Preference Priority 2, and an additional two points to an application that meets Competitive Preference Priority 3. The maximum number of points an application for CFDA number 84.282E can receive under these priorities is six.

    These priorities are:

    Competitive Preference Priority 1—Supporting High-Need Students by Increasing Access to High-Quality Educational Choice. (Up to four points under CFDA number 84.282B, and up to two points under CFDA number 84.282E).

    Background: This priority focuses on projects serving children with disabilities, English learners (ELs), students in federally recognized Indian Tribes, and students served by rural local educational agencies. With respect to children with disabilities, the priority is intended to support projects that would serve these students at rates that are equal to or greater than those of surrounding public schools. With respect to ELs, it is intended to promote projects that would similarly serve these students at rates that are equal to or greater than those of surrounding public schools in communities with high concentrations of these students. The Department encourages applicants addressing this priority to include surrounding public schools' rates of enrollment for children with disabilities and ELs in their applications.

    The Department believes that charter schools can provide critically needed options for both children with disabilities and ELs. Moreover, research indicates that charter schools show gains on State assessments for children with disabilities in mathematics, and for ELs in mathematics and reading that are higher than those for their counterparts in traditional public schools.3 In addition, a secondary study by the National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools analyzing data from the Department's Civil Rights Data Collection for 2011-2012 found a narrowing, but still existing, gap in enrollment of children with disabilities in charter schools compared to traditional public schools.4

    3 Center for Research on Education Outcomes (2013). “National Charter School Study 2013,” available online at http://credo.stanford.edu/documents/NCSS%202013%20Final%20Draft.pdf.

    4 National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools (2015). “Key Trends in Special Education in Charter Schools,” available online at www.ncsecs.org/resources//.

    In addition, the Department understands that students who are members of federally recognized Indian Tribes and their communities face unique challenges. Therefore, through this priority the Department encourages applicants to use charter schools as part of the efforts to strengthen public education for Native American communities. Furthermore, the Department recognizes that rural schools confront a particular set of challenges and seeks to support rural education leaders in using charter schools, as appropriate, as part of their overall efforts to improve educational outcomes.

    Priority: This priority is for projects that are designed to increase access to educational choice and improve academic outcomes and learning environments for one or more of the following groups of students:

    (i) Students in communities served by rural local educational agencies

    (ii) Children with disabilities

    (iii) English learners

    (iv) Students who are members of federally recognized Indian Tribes.

    Note:

    Applicants may choose to respond to one or more of the priority areas and are not required to respond to each priority area in order to receive the maximum available points under this competitive preference priority.

    Competitive Preference Priority 2—Dual or Concurrent Enrollment Programs and Early College High Schools (Up to four points under CFDA number 84.282B, and up to two points under CFDA number 84.282E).

    Background: This priority is for projects that offer a program enabling secondary school students to begin earning credit toward a postsecondary degree or credential prior to high school graduation. Research has shown that dual or concurrent enrollment programs and early college high schools have positive effects including boosting college access and degree attainment, especially for students typically underrepresented in higher education.5

    5 Please see the following link for a study from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES): https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/InterventionReport/671.

    Priority: The extent to which the proposed project is designed to increase student access to, participation in, and completion of dual or concurrent enrollment programs or early college high schools.

    Competitive Preference Priority 3—Single School Operators. (Zero or two points under CFDA number 84.282E)

    Background: This priority is specifically for applications for Grants to Charter School Developers for the Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools (CFDA number 84.282E). Under this priority, we give preference to applicants that currently operate a single charter school. We are including this priority to encourage applications from developers that currently operate a single charter school but seek to replicate or expand it.

    Priority: Applications submitted under CFDA number 84.282E that provide evidence that the applicant currently operates one, and only one, charter school.

    Application Requirements: Applications for grants under CFDA numbers 84.282B and 84.282E must address the following application requirements. An applicant may choose to respond to these requirements in the context of its responses to the selection criteria in section V.1 of this notice. The source of each requirement is listed in parentheses. Where no source is provided, we establish the requirement, for FY 2018 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this competition, in accordance with section 437(d)(1) of GEPA, 20 U.S.C. 1232(d)(1).

    Grants to Charter School Developers for the Opening of New Charter Schools and for the Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter schools (CFDA numbers 84.282B and 84.282E).

    Applicants for grants under CFDA number 84.282B or 84.282E must provide the following:

    (a) A description of the roles and responsibilities of the eligible applicant, partner organizations, and charter management organizations, including the administrative and contractual roles and responsibilities of such partners (Section 4303(f)(1)(C)(i)(I) of the ESEA);

    (b) A description of the quality controls agreed to between the eligible applicant and the authorized public chartering agency involved, such as a contract or performance agreement, how a school's performance in the State's accountability system and impact on student achievement (which may include student academic growth) will be one of the most important factors for renewal or revocation of the school's charter, and how the SEA and the authorized public chartering agency involved will reserve the right to revoke or not renew a school's charter based on financial, structural, or operational factors involving the management of the school (Section 4303(f)(1)(C)(i)(II) of the ESEA);

    (c) A description of how the eligible applicant will solicit and consider input from parents and other members of the community on the implementation and operation of each charter school that will receive funds (Section 4303(f)(1)(C)(i)(IV) of the ESEA);

    (d) A description of the eligible applicant's planned activities and expenditures of funds to support the activities described in section 4303(b)(1) of the ESEA, and how the eligible applicant will maintain financial sustainability after the end of the grant period (Section 4303(f)(1)(C)(i)(V) of the ESEA);

    (e) A description of how the eligible applicant will support the use of effective parent, family, and community engagement strategies to operate each charter school that will receive funds under this program (Section 4303(f)(1)(C)(i)(VI) of the ESEA);

    (f) A description of how the eligible applicant has considered and planned for the transportation needs of students for each school that will receive funds (Section 4303(f)(1)(E) of the ESEA);

    (g) A description of how each school that will receive funds will support all students once they are enrolled to promote retention, including by reducing the overuse of discipline practices that remove students from the classroom;

    (h) A description of how each school that will receive funds will have a high degree of autonomy over budget and operations, including autonomy over personnel decisions (Section 4303(f)(2)(A) of the ESEA);

    (i) A description of how the applicant will ensure that each charter school that will receive funds will recruit, enroll, and retain students, including children with disabilities, ELs, and other educationally disadvantaged students, including the lottery and enrollment procedures that will be used for each charter school if more students apply for admission than can be accommodated, and, if the applicant proposes to use a weighted lottery, how the weighted lottery complies with section 4303(c)(3)(A) of the ESEA;

    (j) A description of how the applicant will ensure that all eligible children with disabilities receive a free appropriate public education in accordance with part B of the IDEA;

    (k) A description of how each school that will receive funds meets the definition of charter school under section 4310(2) of the ESEA as well as how the autonomy and flexibility granted to each charter school that will receive funds is consistent with the definition of a charter school;

    (l) If an applicant proposes to open a new charter school (CFDA number 84.282B) or proposes to replicate or expand a charter school (CFDA number 84.282E) that provides a single-sex educational program, the applicant must demonstrate that the proposed single-sex educational programs are in compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. 1681, et seq.) (“Title IX”) and its implementing regulations, including 34 CFR 106.34.

    (m) A request and justification for any waivers of Federal statutory or regulatory requirements over which the Secretary exercises administrative authority, except any such requirement relating to the elements of a charter school in section 4310(2) of the ESEA, that the applicant believes are necessary to implement its proposed project (Section 4303(d)(5));

    (n) A complete logic model for the grant project. The logic model must include the applicant's objectives for implementing a new charter school or replicating or expanding a high-quality charter school with funding under this competition; and

    (o) The applicant's most recent available independently audited financial statements prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.

    Grants for the Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools (CFDA number 84.282E).

    In addition to the preceding application requirements, applicants for CFDA number 84.282E must address the following application requirements.

    (a) For each charter school currently operated or managed by the applicant, provide—

    (1) Information that demonstrates that the school is treated as a separate school by its authorized public chartering agency and the State, including for purposes of accountability and reporting under Title I, Part A of the ESEA;

    (2) Student assessment results for all students and for each subgroup of students described in section 1111(c)(2) of the ESEA;

    (3) Attendance and student retention rates for the most recently completed school year and, if applicable, the most recent available four-year adjusted cohort graduation rates and extended-year adjusted cohort graduation rates; and

    (4) Information on any significant compliance and management issues encountered within the last three school years by the existing charter school being operated or managed by the eligible entity, including in the areas of student safety and finance.

    Project Director's Meeting: Applicants approved for funding under either CFDA number 84.282B or 84.282E must attend a two-day meeting for project directors during each year of the project. An applicant may include the cost of attending this meeting in its proposed budget.

    Definitions: The following definitions, where cited, are from 34 CFR 75.225 and 77.1, and sections 4310 and 8101 of the ESEA. We establish the definition of educationally disadvantaged student and rural local educational agency for FY 2018 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this competition, in accordance with section 437(d)(1) of GEPA, 20 U.S.C. 1232(d)(1).

    Ambitious means promoting continued, meaningful improvement for program participants or for other individuals or entities affected by the grant, or representing a significant advancement in the field of education research, practices, or methodologies. When used to describe a performance target, whether a performance target is ambitious depends upon the context of the relevant performance measure and the baseline for that measure. (34 CFR 77.1)

    Authorized public chartering agency means a State educational agency, local educational agency, or other public entity that has the authority pursuant to State law and approved by the Secretary to authorize or approve a charter school. (Section 4310(1) of the ESEA)

    Baseline means the starting point from which performance is measured and targets are set. (34 CFR 77.1)

    Charter management organization means a nonprofit organization that operates or manages a network of charter schools linked by centralized support, operations, and oversight. (Section 4310(3) of the ESEA)

    Charter school means a public school that—

    (a) In accordance with a specific State statute authorizing the granting of charters to schools, is exempt from significant State or local rules that inhibit the flexible operation and management of public schools, but not from any rules relating to the other requirements of this definition;

    (b) Is created by a developer as a public school, or is adapted by a developer from an existing public school, and is operated under public supervision and direction;

    (c) Operates in pursuit of a specific set of educational objectives determined by the school's developer and agreed to by the authorized public chartering agency;

    (d) Provides a program of elementary or secondary education, or both;

    (e) Is nonsectarian in its programs, admissions policies, employment practices, and all other operations, and is not affiliated with a sectarian school or religious institution;

    (f) Does not charge tuition;

    (g) Complies with the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.), section 444 of GEPA (20 U.S.C. 1232g) (commonly referred to as the “Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974”) and part B of the IDEA;

    (h) Is a school to which parents choose to send their children, and that—

    (1) Admits students on the basis of a lottery, consistent with section 4303(c)(3)(A) of the ESEA, if more students apply for admission than can be accommodated; or

    (2) In the case of a school that has an affiliated charter school (such as a school that is part of the same network of schools), automatically enrolls students who are enrolled in the immediate prior grade level of the affiliated charter school and, for any additional student openings or student openings created through regular attrition in student enrollment in the affiliated charter school and the enrolling school, admits students on the basis of a lottery as described in paragraph (1);

    (i) Agrees to comply with the same Federal and State audit requirements as do other elementary schools and secondary schools in the State, unless such State audit requirements are waived by the State;

    (j) Meets all applicable Federal, State, and local health and safety requirements;

    (k) Operates in accordance with State law;

    (l) Has a written performance contract with the authorized public chartering agency in the State that includes a description of how student performance will be measured in charter schools pursuant to State assessments that are required of other schools and pursuant to any other assessments mutually agreeable to the authorized public chartering agency and the charter school; and

    (m) May serve students in early childhood education programs or postsecondary students. (Section 4310(2) of the ESEA)

    Child with a disability has the same meaning given that term in section 602 of the IDEA. (Section 8101(4) of the ESEA)

    Developer means an individual or group of individuals (including a public or private nonprofit organization), which may include teachers, administrators and other school staff, parents, or other members of the local community in which a charter school project will be carried out. (Section 4310(5) of the ESEA)

    Dual or concurrent enrollment program means a program offered by a partnership between at least one institution of higher education and at least one local educational agency through which a secondary school student who has not graduated from high school with a regular high school diploma is able to enroll in one or more postsecondary courses and earn postsecondary credit that—

    (a) Is transferable to the institutions of higher education in the partnership; and

    (b) Applies toward completion of a degree or recognized educational credential as described in the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001 et seq.). (Section 8101(15) of the ESEA)

    Early childhood education program means (a) a Head Start program or an Early Head Start program carried out under the Head Start Act (42 U.S.C. 9831 et seq.), including a migrant or seasonal Head Start program, an Indian Head Start program, or a Head Start program or an Early Head Start program that also receives State funding; (b) a State licensed or regulated child care program; or (c) a program that (i) serves children from birth through age six that addresses the children's cognitive (including language, early literacy, and early mathematics), social, emotional, and physical development; and (ii) is (I) a State prekindergarten program; (II) a program authorized under section 619 or part C of the IDEA; or (III) a program operated by a local educational agency. (Section 8101(16) of the ESEA)

    Early college high school means a partnership between at least one local educational agency and at least one institution of higher education that allows participants to simultaneously complete requirements toward earning a regular high school diploma and earn not less than 12 credits that are transferable to the institutions of higher education in the partnership as part of an organized course of study toward a postsecondary degree or credential at no cost to the participant or participant's family. (Section 8101(17) of the ESEA)

    Educationally disadvantaged students means students in the categories described in section 1115(c)(2) of the ESEA, which include economically disadvantaged children, children with disabilities, migrant children, ELs, neglected or delinquent children, and homeless children.

    English learner, when used with respect to an individual, means an individual—

    (a) Who is aged 3 through 21;

    (b) Who is enrolled or preparing to enroll in an elementary school or secondary school;

    (c)(1) Who was not born in the United States or whose native language is a language other than English;

    (2)(i) Who is a Native American or Alaska Native, or a native resident of the outlying areas; and

    (ii) Who comes from an environment where a language other than English has had a significant impact on the individual's level of English language proficiency; or

    (3) Who is migratory, whose native language is a language other than English, and who comes from an environment where a language other than English is dominant; and

    (d) Whose difficulties in speaking, reading, writing, or understanding the English language may be sufficient to deny the individual—

    (1) The ability to meet the challenging State academic standards;

    (2) The ability to successfully achieve in classrooms where the language of instruction is English; or

    (3) The opportunity to participate fully in society. (ESEA section 8101(20))

    Expand, when used with respect to a high-quality charter school, means to significantly increase enrollment or add one or more grades to the high-quality charter school. (Section 4310(7) of the ESEA)

    High-quality charter school means a charter school that—

    (a) Shows evidence of strong academic results, which may include strong student academic growth, as determined by a State;

    (b) Has no significant issues in the areas of student safety, financial and operational management, or statutory or regulatory compliance;

    (c) Has demonstrated success in significantly increasing student academic achievement, including graduation rates, where applicable, for all students served by the charter school; and

    (d) Has demonstrated success in increasing student academic achievement, including graduation rates, where applicable, for each of the subgroups of students, as defined in section 1111(c)(2), except that such demonstration is not required in a case in which the number of students in a group is insufficient to yield statistically reliable information or the results would reveal personally identifiable information about an individual student. (Section 4310(8) of the ESEA)

    Logic model (also referred to as a theory of action) means a framework that identifies key project components of the proposed project (i.e., the active “ingredients” that are hypothesized to be critical to achieving the relevant outcomes) and describes the theoretical and operational relationships among the key project components and relevant outcomes (34 CFR 77.1)

    Performance measure means any quantitative indicator, statistic, or metric used to gauge program or project performance. (34 CFR 77.1)

    Performance target means a level of performance that an applicant would seek to meet during the course of a project or as a result of a project. (34 CFR 77.1)

    Replicate, when used with respect to a high-quality charter school, means to open a new charter school, or a new campus of a high-quality charter school, based on the educational model of an existing high-quality charter school, under an existing charter or an additional charter, if permitted or required by State law. (Section 4310(9) of the ESEA)

    Rural local educational agency means a local educational agency (LEA) that is eligible under the Small Rural School Achievement (SRSA) program or the Rural and Low-Income School (RLIS) program authorized under Title V, Part B of the ESEA. Eligible applicants may determine whether a particular LEA is eligible for these programs by referring to information on the Department's website at www2.ed.gov/nclb/freedom/local/reap.html.

    Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking: Under the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553), the Department generally offers interested parties the opportunity to comment on proposed priorities, selection criteria, definitions, and requirements. Section 437(d)(1) of GEPA, however, allows the Secretary to exempt from rulemaking requirements regulations governing the first grant competition under a new or substantially revised program authority. This is the first grant competition for this program under section 4305(a)(2) of the ESEA, and, therefore, this competition qualifies for this exemption. In order to ensure timely grant awards, the Secretary has decided to forgo public comment on certain priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria, as specified in this notice, in accordance with section 437(d)(1) of GEPA. These priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria will apply to the FY 2018 grant competition and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this competition.

    Program Authority: Title IV, part C of the ESEA (20 U.S.C. 7221-7221j).

    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 81, 82, 84, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The Office of Management and Budget Guidelines to Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) in 2 CFR part 180, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 200, as adopted and amended in 2 CFR part 3474.

    Note:

    The regulations in 34 CFR part 79 apply to all applicants except federally recognized Indian Tribes.

    II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Discretionary grants.

    Estimated Available Funds: The Administration has requested $500,000,000 for the CSP program for FY 2018, of which we intend to use an estimated $15,000,000 for this competition. The actual level of funding, if any, depends on final congressional action. However, we are inviting applications to allow enough time to complete the grant process if Congress appropriates funds for this program.

    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make additional awards in subsequent years from the list of unfunded applications from this competition.

    Estimated Range of Awards: $150,000-250,000 per school per year.

    Estimated Average Size of Awards: $200,000 per school per year.

    Maximum Award: See Reasonable and Necessary Costs in section III.4 for information regarding the maximum amount of funds that may be awarded per new school.

    Estimated Number of Awards: 30-45.

    Note:

    The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice. The estimated range and average size of awards are based on a single 12-month budget period. We may use FY 2018 funds to support multiple 12-month budget periods for one or more grantees.

    Project Period: Up to 60 months.

    III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: Eligible applicants are developers that have—

    (a) Applied to an authorized public chartering authority to operate a charter school; and

    (b) Provided adequate and timely notice to that authority. (Section 4310(6) of the ESEA).

    Additionally, the charter school must be located in a State with a State statute specifically authorizing the establishment of charter schools (section 4310(2) of the ESEA) and in which a State entity currently does not have a CSP State Entity grant (CFDA number 84.282A) under section 4303 of the ESEA.6 (Section 4305(a)(2) of the ESEA). In accordance with section 437(d)(1) of GEPA, 20 U.S.C. 1232(d)(1), we further establish that eligibility in a State with a CSP SEA grant (CFDA 84.282A) under the ESEA, as amended by NCLB, is limited to grants for replication and expansion 7 (CFDA 84.282E) and only if the Department has not approved an amendment to the SEA's approved grant application authorizing the SEA to make subgrants for replication and expansion.8

    6 States in which a State entity currently has an approved CSP State Entity grant application under section 4303 of the ESEA are Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Texas, and Wisconsin. We will not consider applications from applicants in these States under either CFDA 84.282B or 84.282E.

    7 States in which the SEA currently has an approved CSP SEA grant application under the ESEA, as amended by NCLB (i.e., a grant award made in fiscal year 2016 or earlier), include Arizona, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Washington. We will not consider applications from applicants in these States for grants for the opening of new charter schools submitted under CFDA number 84.282B.

    8 The Department is currently reviewing amendment requests from SEAs with grants under the ESEA, as amended by NCLB, that would authorize the SEA to make subgrants for replication and expansion (for more information please see https://innovation.ed.gov/files/2017/12/CSP-ESSA-Flexibilities-FAQ-2017.pdf). The Department will post the names of SEAs receiving approval for this flexibility on its website at https://innovation.ed.gov/what-we-do/charter-schools/charter-schools-program-non-state-educational-agencies-non-sea-planning-program-design-and-initial-implementation-grant/.

    As a general matter, the Secretary considers charter schools that have been in operation for more than five years to be past the initial implementation phase and, therefore, ineligible to receive CSP funds under CFDA number 84.282B to support the opening of a new charter school or under CFDA number 84.282E for the replication of a high-quality charter school; however, such schools may receive CSP funds under CFDA number 84.282E for the expansion of a high-quality charter school.

    Note:

    If an applicant has applied to an authorized public chartering agency to operate a new school and has not yet been approved, it should include information in its application addressing the plan and timeline to receive notification from the authorizer on the final decision. Additionally, an applicant should delineate any costs in its proposed budget that are projected to be incurred prior to the date the applicant's charter school application is approved by the authorized public chartering agency.

    2. Audits: All grantees must ensure that the charter schools they operate or manage conduct independent, annual audits of their financial statements prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and ensure that any such audits are publicly reported. (Section 4303(f)(2)(E)(ii) of the ESEA).

    3. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost sharing or matching.

    4. Subgrantees: A grantee under this competition may not award subgrants to entities to directly carry out project activities described in its application.

    5. Reasonable and Necessary Costs: The Secretary may elect to impose maximum limits on the amount of grant funds that may be awarded per new charter school created or replicated, per charter school expanded, or per new school seats created.

    For this competition, the maximum limit of grant funds that may be awarded per new, replicated, or expanded charter school is $1,250,000.

    In accordance with 2 CFR 200.404, applicants must ensure that all costs included in the proposed budget are reasonable and necessary in light of the goals and objectives of the proposed project. Any costs determined by the Secretary to be unreasonable or unnecessary will be removed from the final approved budget.

    A charter school that previously has received CSP funds for replication or expansion or for planning or initial implementation of a charter school under CFDA number 84.282A or 84.282M (as administered under the ESEA, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB)) may not use funds under this grant for the same purpose. However, such charter school may be eligible to receive funds under this competition to expand the charter school beyond the existing grade levels or student count. Likewise, a charter school that receives funds under this competition is ineligible to receive funds for the same purpose under section 4303(b)(1) or 4305(b) of the ESEA, including opening and preparing for the operation of a new charter school, opening and preparing for the operation of a replicated high-quality charter school, or expanding a high-quality charter school (i.e., CFDA number 84.282A or 84.282M).

    IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Application Submission Instructions: For information on how to submit an application please refer to our Common Instructions for Applicants to Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the Federal Register on February 12, 2018 (83 FR 6003).

    2. Submission of Proprietary Information: Given the types of projects that may be proposed in applications for this competition, an application may include business information that the applicant considers proprietary. The Department's regulations define “business information” in 34 CFR 5.11.

    Because we plan to make successful applications available to the public, you may wish to request confidentiality of business information.

    Consistent with Executive Order 12600, please designate in your application any information that you feel is exempt from disclosure under Exemption 4 of the Freedom of Information Act. In the appropriate Appendix section of your application, under “Other Attachments Form,” please list the page number or numbers on which we can find this information. For additional information please see 34 CFR 5.11(c).

    3. Intergovernmental Review: This competition is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. Information about Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under Executive Order 12372 is in the application package for this program.

    4. Funding Restrictions: Grantees must use the grant funds to open and prepare for the operation of a new charter school; to open and prepare for the operation of a replicated high-quality charter school; or to expand a high-quality charter school, as applicable. Grant funds must be used to carry out allowable activities, described in section 4303(h) of the ESEA, which include the following:

    (a) Preparing teachers, school leaders, and specialized instructional support personnel, including through paying costs associated with—

    (i) Providing professional development; and

    (ii) Hiring and compensating, during the applicant's planning period specified in the application for funds, one or more of the following:

    (A) Teachers.

    (B) School leaders.

    (C) Specialized instructional support personnel.

    (D) Acquiring supplies, training, equipment (including technology), and educational materials (including developing and acquiring instructional materials).

    (E) Carrying out necessary renovations to ensure that a new school building complies with applicable statutes and regulations, and minor facilities repairs (excluding construction).

    (F) Providing one-time, startup costs associated with providing transportation to students to and from the charter school.

    (G) Carrying out community engagement activities, which may include paying the cost of student and staff recruitment.

    (H) Providing for other appropriate, non-sustained costs related to the opening of new charter schools, or the replication or expansion of high-quality charter schools, as applicable, when such costs cannot be met from other sources.

    A grant awarded by the Secretary under this competition may be for a period of not more than five years, of which the grantee may use not more than 18 months for planning and program design. (Section 4303(d)(1)(B) of the ESEA). We establish that applicants may only propose to support one charter school per grant application, in accordance with section 437(d)(1) of GEPA, 20 U.S.C. 1232(d)(1).

    We reference additional regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section in this notice.

    5. Recommended Page Limit: The application narrative (Part III of the application) is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your application. We recommend that you (1) limit the narrative to no more than 50 pages, and (2) use the following standards:

    • A “page” is 8.5″ x 11″, on one side only, with 1″ margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.

    • Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, references, and captions, as well as all text in charts, tables, figures, and graphs.

    • Use a font that is either 12 point or larger or no smaller than 10 pitch (characters per inch).

    • Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, Courier New, or Arial.

    The recommended page limit does not apply to Part I, the cover sheet; Part II, the budget section, including the narrative budget justification; Part IV, the assurances and certifications; or the one-page abstract, the resumes, the bibliography, or the letters of support. However, the recommended page limit does apply to all of the application narrative.

    V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for applicants submitting applications under CFDA numbers 84.282B and 84.282E are listed in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section, respectively. These selection criteria, where cited, are based on section 4303 of the ESEA and 34 CFR 75.210. We are establishing the remaining selection criteria for the FY 2018 grant competition and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this competition, in accordance with section 437(d)(1) of GEPA, 20 U.S.C. 1232(d)(1). The maximum possible score for addressing all of the criteria in each section is 100 points. The maximum possible score for addressing each criterion is indicated in parentheses following the criterion.

    In evaluating an application for a Developer Grant, the Secretary considers the following criteria:

    (a) Selection Criteria for Grants for the Opening of New Charter Schools (CFDA number 84.282B).

    (i) Contribution in Assisting Educationally Disadvantaged Students (up to 15 points).

    The significance of the contribution the proposed project will make in expanding educational opportunities for educationally disadvantaged students and enabling those students to meet challenging State academic standards. In determining the significance of the contribution the proposed project will make, the Secretary considers the quality of the plan to ensure that the charter school the applicant proposes to open will recruit and enroll educationally disadvantaged students and serve those students at rates comparable to surrounding public schools.

    (ii) Quality of the Project Design (34 CFR 75.210(c)(1)and (c)(2)(i) and (ii)) (up to 30 points).

    The Secretary considers the quality of the design of the proposed project. In determining the quality of the design of the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:

    (1) The extent to which the goals, objectives, and outcomes to be achieved by the proposed project are clearly specified and measurable (up to 15 points); and

    (2) The extent to which the design of the proposed project is appropriate to, and will successfully address, the needs of the target population or other identified needs (up to 15 points).

    (iii) Quality of Project Personnel (34 CFR 75.210(e)(1), (e)(2), and (e)(3)(ii)) (up to 20 points).

    The Secretary considers the quality of the personnel who will carry out the proposed project. In determining the quality of project personnel, the Secretary considers:

    (1) The extent to which the applicant encourages applications for employment from persons who are members of groups that have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability (up to 2 points); and

    (2) The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, of key project personnel (up to 18 points).

    (iv) Quality of the Management Plan (34 CFR 75.210(g)(1) and (g)(2)(i)) (up to 20 points).

    The Secretary considers the quality of the management plan for the proposed project. In determining the quality of the management plan for the proposed project, the Secretary considers the adequacy of the management plan to achieve the objectives of the proposed project on time and within budget, including clearly defined responsibilities, timelines, and milestones for accomplishing project tasks.

    (v) Continuation Plan (Section 4303(f)(1)(A)(vi)(II) of the ESEA) (up to 15 points).

    The extent to which the eligible applicant is prepared to continue to operate charter schools that would receive grant funds in a manner consistent with the eligible applicant's application once the grant funds under this program are no longer available.

    (b) Selection Criteria for Replication and Expansion Grants (CFDA number 84.282E).

    (i) Contribution in Assisting Educationally Disadvantaged Students (15 points).

    The significance of the contribution the proposed project will make in expanding educational opportunities for educationally disadvantaged students and enabling those students to meet challenging State academic standards. In determining the significance of the contribution the proposed project will make, the Secretary considers the quality of the plan to ensure that the charter school the applicant proposes to replicate or expand will recruit and enroll educationally disadvantaged students and serve those students at rates comparable to surrounding public schools.

    (ii) Quality of the Project Design (34 CFR 75.210(c)(1) and (c)(2)(i) and (ii)) (up to 30 points).

    The Secretary considers the quality of the design of the proposed project. In determining the quality of the design of the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:

    (1) The extent to which the goals, objectives, and outcomes to be achieved by the proposed project are clearly specified and measurable (up to 15 points); and

    (2) The extent to which the design of the proposed project is appropriate to, and will successfully address, the needs of the target population or other identified needs (up to 15 points).

    (iii) Quality of Project Personnel (34 CFR 75.210(e)(1) and (e)(3)(ii)) (up to 10 points).

    The Secretary considers the quality of the personnel who will carry out the proposed project. In determining the quality of project personnel, the Secretary considers:

    (1) The extent to which the applicant encourages applications for employment from persons who are members of groups that have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability (up to 1 point);

    (2) The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, of key project personnel (up to 9 points).

    (iv) Quality of the Management Plan (34 CFR 75.210(g)(1) and (g)(2)(i)) (up to 10 points).

    The Secretary considers the quality of the management plan for the proposed project. In determining the quality of the management plan for the proposed project, the Secretary considers the adequacy of the management plan to achieve the objectives of the proposed project on time and within budget, including clearly defined responsibilities, timelines, and milestones for accomplishing project tasks.

    (v) Quality of the Eligible Applicant (20 points).

    The extent to which the applicant demonstrates that the charter school to be replicated or expanded is a high-quality charter school, including:

    (1) The degree to which the applicant has demonstrated success in increasing academic achievement, including graduation rates where applicable, for all students and for each of the subgroups of students described in section 1111(c)(2) of the ESEA, attending the charter schools the applicant operates or manages. These subgroups of students include: Economically disadvantaged students, students from major racial and ethnic groups, children with disabilities, and students who are ELs.

    (2) The extent to which the academic achievement results (including annual student performance on statewide assessments and annual student attendance and retention rates, and where applicable and available, student academic growth, high school graduation rates, college attendance rates, and college persistence rates) for educationally disadvantaged students served by the charter schools operated or managed by the applicant have exceeded the average academic achievement results for such students in the State.

    (3) The extent to which charter schools operated or managed by the applicant have been closed; have had a charter revoked due to noncompliance with statutory or regulatory requirements; have had their affiliation with the applicant revoked or terminated, including through voluntary disaffiliation; have had any significant issues in the area of financial or operational management; have experienced significant problems with statutory or regulatory compliance that could lead to revocation of the school's charter; and have had any significant issues with respect to student safety.

    (vi) Continuation Plan (Section 4303(f)(1)(A)(vi)(II) of the ESEA) (up to 15 points).

    The extent to which the eligible applicant is prepared to continue to operate charter schools that would receive grant funds in a manner consistent with the eligible applicant's application once the grant funds under this program are no longer available.

    2. Review and Selection Process: We remind potential applicants that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as the applicant's use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or submitted a report of unacceptable quality.

    In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary requires various assurances, including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department of Education (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

    3. Risk Assessment and Special Conditions: Consistent with 2 CFR 200.205, before awarding grants under this competition the Department conducts a review of the risks posed by applicants. Under 2 CFR 3474.10, the Secretary may impose special conditions and, in appropriate circumstances, high-risk conditions on a grant if the applicant or grantee is not financially stable; has a history of unsatisfactory performance; has a financial or other management system that does not meet the standards in 2 CFR part 200, subpart D; has not fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible.

    4. Integrity and Performance System: If you are selected under this competition to receive an award that over the course of the project period may exceed the simplified acquisition threshold (currently $150,000), under 2 CFR 200.205(a)(2) we must make a judgment about your integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards—that is, the risk posed by you as an applicant—before we make an award. In doing so, we must consider any information about you that is in the integrity and performance system (currently referred to as the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS)), accessible through the System for Award Management. You may review and comment on any information about yourself that a Federal agency previously entered and that is currently in FAPIIS.

    Please note that, if the total value of your currently active grants, cooperative agreements, and procurement contracts from the Federal Government exceeds $10,000,000, the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 200, Appendix XII, require you to report certain integrity information to FAPIIS semiannually. Please review the requirements in 2 CFR part 200, Appendix XII, if this grant plus all the other Federal funds you receive exceed $10,000,000.

    VI. Award Administration Information

    1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award Notification (GAN); or we may send you an email containing a link to access an electronic version of your GAN. We may notify you informally, also.

    If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, we notify you.

    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify administrative and national policy requirements in the application package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

    We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also incorporates your approved application as part of your binding commitments under the grant.

    3. Open Licensing Requirements: Unless an exception applies, if you are awarded a grant under this competition, you will be required to openly license to the public grant deliverables created in whole, or in part, with Department grant funds. When the deliverable consists of modifications to pre-existing works, the license extends only to those modifications that can be separately identified and only to the extent that open licensing is permitted under the terms of any licenses or other legal restrictions on the use of pre-existing works. For additional information on the open licensing requirements please refer to 2 CFR 3474.20(c).

    4. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).

    (b) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final performance report, including financial information, as directed by the Secretary. If you receive a multiyear award, you must submit an annual performance report that provides the most current performance and financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary under 34 CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, please go to www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.

    (c) Under 34 CFR 75.250(b), the Secretary may provide a grantee with additional funding for data collection analysis and reporting. In this case the Secretary establishes a data collection period.

    5. Performance Measures:

    (a) Program Performance Measures. The goal of the CSP is to support the creation and development of a large number of high-quality charter schools that are free from State or local rules that inhibit flexible operation, are held accountable for enabling students to reach challenging State performance standards, and are open to all students. The Secretary has two performance indicators to measure progress toward this goal: (1) The number of charter schools in operation around the Nation, and (2) the percentage of fourth- and eighth-grade charter school students who are achieving at or above the proficient level on State assessments in mathematics and reading/language arts. Additionally, the Secretary has established a third measure to examine the efficiency of the CSP: Federal cost per student in implementing a successful school (defined as a school in operation for three or more consecutive years).

    These three measures constitute the Department's indicators of success for this program. Consequently, we advise an applicant for a grant under this program to give careful consideration to these measures in conceptualizing the approach and evaluation for its proposed project. The evaluation must serve to determine whether the charter school is meeting the terms of the school's charter and meeting or exceeding the student academic achievement requirements and goals for the charter school. Each grantee will be required to provide, in its annual performance and final reports, data about its progress in meeting these measures.

    (b) Project-Specific Performance Measures. Applicants must propose project-specific performance measures and performance targets consistent with the objectives of the proposed project. Applications must provide the following information as required under 34 CFR 75.110(b) and (c):

    (1) Performance measures. How each proposed performance measure would accurately measure the performance of the project and how the proposed performance measure would be consistent with the performance measures established for the program funding the competition.

    (2) Baseline data. (i) Why each proposed baseline is valid; or (ii) If the applicant has determined that there are no established baseline data for a particular performance measure, an explanation of why there is no established baseline and of how and when, during the project period, the applicant would establish a valid baseline for the performance measure.

    (3) Performance targets. Why each proposed performance target is ambitious yet achievable compared to the baseline for the performance measure and when, during the project period, the applicant would meet the performance target(s).

    Note:

    The Secretary encourages the applicant to consider developing project-specific performance measures and targets tied to its grant activities (for instance, if grant funds will support professional development for teachers and other staff, the applicant should include measures related to the outcomes for the professional development), as well as to student academic achievement during the grant period. The project-specific performance measures should be sufficient to gauge the progress throughout the grant period and show results by the end of the grant period.

    For technical assistance in developing effective performance measures, applicants are encouraged to review information provided by the Department's Regional Educational Laboratories (RELs). The RELs seek to build the capacity of States and school districts to incorporate data and research into education decision-making. Each REL provides research support and technical assistance to its region but makes learning opportunities available to educators everywhere. For example, the REL Northeast and Islands has created the following resource on logic models: https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/regions/northeast/pdf/REL_2015057.pdf.

    (4) Data Collection and Reporting. The applicant must also describe in the application: (i) The data collection and reporting methods the applicant would use and why those methods are likely to yield reliable, valid, and meaningful performance data, and (ii) the applicant's capacity to collect and report reliable, valid, and meaningful performance data, as evidenced by high-quality data collection, analysis, and reporting in other projects or research.

    Note:

    If the applicant does not have experience with the collection and reporting of performance data through other projects or research, the applicant should provide other evidence of its capacity to successfully carry out data collection and reporting for the proposed project.

    6. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award under 34 CFR 75.253, the Secretary considers, among other things: Whether a grantee has made substantial progress in achieving the goals and objectives of the project; whether the grantee has expended funds in a manner that is consistent with its approved application and budget; and, if the Secretary has established performance measurement requirements, the performance targets in the grantee's approved application.

    In making a continuation grant, the Secretary also considers whether the grantee is operating in compliance with the assurances in its approved application, including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

    VII. Other Information

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. You may access the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations via the Federal Digital System at: www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

    You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

    Dated: February 27, 2018. Margo Anderson, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Innovation and Improvement.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04294 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Proposed Agency Information Collection AGENCY:

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Energy (DOE) invites public comment on a proposed collection of information that DOE is developing for submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    Comments regarding this proposed information collection must be received on or before May 1, 2018. If you anticipate difficulty in submitting comments within that period, contact the person listed in ADDRESSES as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Jay Wrobel, EE-5A/Forrestal Building, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20585, by fax at 202-586-9234, or by email at [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information should be directed to Jay Wrobel, EE-5A/Forrestal Building, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20585, by fax at 202-586-9234, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This information collection request contains:

    (1) OMB No.: 1910—NEW;

    (2) Information Collection Request Title: Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Packaged System e-Catalog (e-Catalog);

    (3) Type of Request: New;

    (4) Purpose: DOE's “CHP Technical Potential in the U.S.” shows significant technical potential in commercial buildings and industrial facilities in the < 10MW size range. Due to building characteristic similarities, this size range is particularly disposed to standardization of CHP systems. The e-Catalog creates a mechanism to take advantage of this standardization including the risk and cost reduction that are expected to ensue. This request for information consists of a voluntary data collection process for e-Catalog participation: To enroll CHP packagers and CHP solutions providers; develop an e-Catalog of packaged CHP systems; and relay the benefits of packaged CHP system performance to industry. Typical respondents are expected to be CHP project developers, CHP designers and packagers, and state and local energy program offices. Each respondent should have experience with compiling the data requested. Participation in the e-Catalog is voluntary, and it is expected that respondents would already have access to the information requested in this collection.

    There are four types of information to be collected from primary participants: (1) Background data, including contact information and basic information about the CHP packager's experience with CHP design, durability and performance testing—collected in the CHP Packager Enrollment Form; (2) Background data, including contact information and basic information about the CHP solutions provider's experience with CHP design, durability and performance testing, installation, operation and maintenance—collected in the CHP Solutions Provider Enrolment Form; (3) contact information and program description of market engagement programs that support Packaged CHP systems—collected in the Market Engagement Registration Form; and (4) Information, including packaged system component descriptions, design data, full-load and part-load performance data at three ambient conditions—collected in Packaged CHP System Application Form; Background data will primarily be used as a means to recognize CHP packers and solution providers, and establish the e-Catalog.

    (5) Annual Estimated Number of Respondents: 50;

    (6) Annual Estimated Number of Total Responses: 177;

    (7) Annual Estimated Number of Burden Hours: 739;

    (8) Annual Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping Cost Burden: $30,506.

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Authority:

    Energy Policy Act of 2005 sec 911—Energy Efficiency and sec 106 Voluntary Commitments to Reduce Industrial Energy Intensity.

    Issued in Washington, DC on February 21, 2018. Rob Ivester, Director, Advanced Manufacturing Office, Technical Partnerships.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04286 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY [OE Docket No. PP-443] Application for Presidential Permit; GridAmerica Holdings Inc. AGENCY:

    Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, DOE.

    ACTION:

    Notice of application.

    SUMMARY:

    GridAmerica Holdings Inc. (GridAmerica) has applied for a Presidential permit to construct, operate, maintain, and connect an electric transmission line across the United States border with Canada.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before April 2, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments should be addressed as follows: Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE-20), U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20585.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christopher Lawrence (Program Office) at 202-586-5260 or via electronic mail at [email protected]; Rishi Garg (Program Attorney) at 202-586-0258.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The construction, operation, maintenance, and connection of facilities at the international border of the United States for the transmission of electric energy between the United States and a foreign country is prohibited in the absence of a Presidential permit issued pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 10485, as amended by E.O. 12038.

    On December 22, 2017, GridAmerica filed an application with the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE) of the Department of Energy (DOE) for a Presidential permit for the Granite State Power Link Project (GSPL Project). GridAmerica is a direct wholly owned unregulated subsidiary of National Grid USA (“National Grid USA” and its subsidiaries, collectively, “National Grid”). The Applicant has its principal place of business in Waltham, MA.

    GridAmerica proposes to construct, operate, maintain and connect a 1,200 megawatt (MW) overhead high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission cable system to deliver electricity from Quebec. The GSPL Project will consist of new electric transmission facilities between the Canadian Provence of Quebec and Monroe, New Hampshire. From the U.S. border, two new 315 kilovolt (kV) overhead double circuit alternating current (AC) lines, supported by a single structure, will extend from the international border between Canada and the United States for approximately 0.5 miles to an alternating current/direct current (AC/DC) converter station located in Norton, Vermont. A new ±400kV overhead High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) electric transmission line will connect the new Norton Converter Station to a new DC/AC converter station located in Monroe, New Hampshire. The path of the transmission line will parallel the right-of-way of an existing Quebec-New England HVDC line. From the Monroe Converter station, a new single circuit 345kV line will extend approximately 215 feet to a new substation constructed by New England Power where it will then interconnect into the New England electric grid. The proposed GSPL Line will extend a distance of approximately 59 miles from the U.S.-Canada border to Monroe, NH.

    Since the restructuring of the electric industry began, resulting in the introduction of different types of competitive entities into the marketplace, DOE has consistently expressed its policy that cross-border trade in electric energy should be subject to the same principles of comparable open access and non-discrimination that apply to transmission in interstate commerce. DOE has stated that policy in export authorizations granted to entities requesting authority to export over international transmission facilities. Specifically, DOE expects transmitting utilities owning border facilities to provide access across the border in accordance with the principles of comparable open access and non-discrimination contained in the Federal Power Act and articulated in Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Order No. 888, (Promoting Wholesale Competition Through Open Access Non-Discriminatory Transmission Services by Public Utilities), 61 FR 21,540 (May 10, 1996), as amended.

    Procedural Matters: Any person may comment on this application by filing such comment at the mailing address or by emailing Christopher Lawrence at [email protected] provided above. A copy of each comment should be filed with DOE on or before the date listed above.

    Additional copies of such comments shall be filed with: Mr. Joseph Rossignoli Director, U.S. Business Development, GridAmerica Holdings Inc., 40 Sylvan Road, Waltham, MA 02451, [email protected] and Mr. Timothy Roskelley, Anderson & Kreiger LLP, 50 Milk Street, Boston, MA 02109, [email protected]

    Before a Presidential permit may be issued or amended, DOE must determine that the proposed action is in the public interest. In making that determination, DOE may consider the environmental impacts of the proposed project; the project's impact on electric reliability by ascertaining whether the proposed project would adversely affect the operation of the U.S. electric power supply system under normal and contingency conditions; and any other factors that DOE may also deem relevant to the public interest. Also, DOE must obtain the concurrences of the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense before taking final action on a Presidential permit application.

    Copies of this application will be made available, upon request, for public inspection and copying at the address provided above, by accessing the program website at http://energy.gov/oe/services/electricity-policy-coordination-and-implementation/international-electricity-regulatio-2.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on February 23, 2018. Christopher A. Lawrence, Electricity Policy Analyst, National Electricity Delivery Division, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04285 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric corporate filings:

    Docket Numbers: EC18-60-000.

    Applicants: Dominion Energy, Inc., SCANA Corporation, South Carolina Electric & Gas Company.

    Description: Joint Application for Approval under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act and Request for Waivers and Confidential Treatment of Dominion Energy, Inc., et al.

    Filed Date: 2/23/18.

    Accession Number: 20180223-5172.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/24/18.

    Docket Numbers: EC18-61-000.

    Applicants: NRG Yield, Inc., NRG Renew LLC, Carlsbad Energy Center LLC.

    Description: Application for Approval Under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act and Request for Expedited Action of NRG Yield, Inc., et. al.

    Filed Date: 2/23/18.

    Accession Number: 20180223-5173.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/16/18.

    Docket Numbers: EC18-62-000.

    Applicants: Stephentown Spindle, LLC, Hazle Spindle, LLC, Convergent Energy and Power LP.

    Description: Joint Application for Authorization Under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act, Request for Waivers, and Request for Expedited Action of Stephentown Spindle, LLC, et al.

    Filed Date: 2/23/18.

    Accession Number: 20180223-5175.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/16/18.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER10-2507-015.

    Applicants: Westar Energy, Inc.

    Description: Notice of Non-Material Change in Status of Westar Energy, Inc.

    Filed Date: 2/26/18.

    Accession Number: 20180226-5097.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/19/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER10-3297-012.

    Applicants: Powerex Corp.

    Description: Notice of Non-Material Change in Status of Powerex Corp.

    Filed Date: 2/23/18.

    Accession Number: 20180223-5168.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/16/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-880-001.

    Applicants: Plum Point Services Company, LLC.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: Market-Based Rate Tariff Revisions to be effective 2/27/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/26/18.

    Accession Number: 20180226-5064.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/19/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-902-000.

    Applicants: Dominion Energy Generation Marketing, Inc., Dominion Energy Fairless, LLC.

    Description: Request for Limited Waiver and Expedited Consideration of Dominion Energy Generation Marketing, Inc., et. al.

    Filed Date: 2/23/18.

    Accession Number: 20180223-5060.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/6/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-907-000.

    Applicants: Public Service Company of New Mexico.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: First Revised Transmission Service Agreement No. 497 to be effective 2/9/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/23/18.

    Accession Number: 20180223-5134.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/16/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-909-000.

    Applicants: Plum Point Energy Associates, LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Market-Based Rate Tariff Revisions to be effective 2/27/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/26/18.

    Accession Number: 20180226-5065.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/19/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-910-000.

    Applicants: Alabama Power Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Raven Solar Development (Dodge Solar) LGIA Filing to be effective 2/22/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/26/18.

    Accession Number: 20180226-5140.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/19/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-911-000.

    Applicants: Graphic Packaging International Inc.

    Description: Tariff Cancellation: Notice of Cancellation of Market-Based Rate Tariff to be effective 2/27/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/26/18.

    Accession Number: 20180226-5142.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/19/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-912-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: Tariff Cancellation: Notice of Cancellation of ISA, SA No. 3982; Queue No. R52 to be effective 4/23/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/26/18.

    Accession Number: 20180226-5149.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/19/18.

    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 26, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04304 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings

    Take notice that the Commission has received the following Natural Gas Pipeline Rate and Refund Report filings:

    Filings Instituting Proceedings

    Docket Numbers: RP18-454-000.

    Applicants: Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, L.L.C.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Clean Up Filing to remove expired & no longer NC/Neg Rate contracts to be effective 3/24/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/21/18.

    Accession Number: 20180221-5045.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/5/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-456-000.

    Applicants: Gulf South Pipeline Company, LP.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Remove Expired Agmts from Tariff eff 2/21/2018 to be effective 2/21/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/21/18.

    Accession Number: 20180221-5059.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/5/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-457-000.

    Applicants: Texas Eastern Transmission, LP.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rates—NJ Natural 910230 eff 04-01-2018 to be effective 4/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/21/18.

    Accession Number: 20180221-5103.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/5/18.

    Docket Numbers: CP18-91-000.

    Applicants: Destin Pipeline Company, L.L.C.

    Description: Joint Abbreviated Application for Certificate And Abandonment Authorization of Destin Pipeline Company, L.L.C., et al.

    Filed Date: 2/22/18.

    Accession Number: 20180222-5124.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/15/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-458-000.

    Applicants: Texas Eastern Transmission, LP.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rates—NJR Energy Services k911427 eff 04-01-18 to be effective 4/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/22/18.

    Accession Number: 20180222-5009.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/6/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-459-000.

    Applicants: Equitrans, L.P.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rate Service Agreement—EQT Energy LPS 4/1/2018 to be effective 4/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/23/18.

    Accession Number: 20180223-5001.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/7/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-460-000.

    Applicants: Gulf South Pipeline Company, LP.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Filing to Incorporate Approved Changes from RP17-851-000, et al. to be effective 2/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/23/18.

    Accession Number: 20180223-5020.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/7/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-461-000.

    Applicants: LA Storage, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing LA Storage, LLC Annual Adjustment of Fuel Retainage Percentage to be effective 3/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/23/18.

    Accession Number: 20180223-5049.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/7/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-462-000.

    Applicants: Chief Oil & Gas LLC.

    Description: Petition of Chief Oil & Gas LLC For Temporary Waiver of Capacity Release Regulations and Policies, and Request for Expedited Consideration.

    Filed Date: 2/23/18.

    Accession Number: 20180223-5112.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/2/18.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: February 26, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04305 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 14793-000—AL] The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Diocese of Alabama; Notice of Availability of Environmental Assessment

    In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's regulations, 18 CFR part 380 (Order No. 486, 52 FR 47879), the Office of Energy Projects has reviewed the application for exemption from licensing for the Camp McDowell Project, to be located on Clear Creek, near Nauvoo, in Winston County, Alabama, and has prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA). In the EA, Commission staff analyzes the potential environmental effects of the project and concludes that issuing an exemption for the project, with appropriate environmental measures, would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment.

    A copy of the EA is on file with the Commission and is available for public inspection. The EA may also be viewed on the Commission's website at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number, excluding the last three digits in the docket number field, to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support at [email protected] or toll-free at 1-866-208-3676, or for TTY, (202) 502-8659. You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    For further information, contact Monte TerHaar at (202) 502-6035 or [email protected].

    Dated: February 23, 2018. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04293 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following exempt wholesale generator filings:

    Docket Numbers: EG18-48-000.

    Applicants: Techren Solar II LLC.

    Description: Notice of Self-Certification of Exempt Wholesale Generator Status of Techren Solar II LLC.

    Filed Date: 2/22/18.

    Accession Number: 20180222-5109.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/15/18.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER16-323-004.

    Applicants: Ohio Valley Electric Corporation.

    Description: Errata to December 20, 2017 Updated Market Power Analysis in the MISO Balancing Area Authority of Ohio Valley Electric Corporation.

    Filed Date: 2/22/18.

    Accession Number: 20180222-5131.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/15/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-896-000.

    Applicants: Meadow Lake Wind Farm II LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Reactive Power Compensation to be effective 4/23/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/22/18.

    Accession Number: 20180222-5119.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/15/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-897-000.

    Applicants: ISO New England Inc., New England Power Pool Participants Committee.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: ISO-NE and NEPOOL; Reserve Designation and Settlement to be effective 6/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/22/18.

    Accession Number: 20180222-5121.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/15/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-898-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Original WMPA, SA No. 4919, Queue No. AC2-073 to be effective 1/30/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/23/18.

    Accession Number: 20180223-5019.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/16/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-899-000.

    Applicants: Commonwealth Edison Company, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Commonwealth Edison Company submits Revisions to PJM Tariff Attachment H-13A to be effective 4/24/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/23/18.

    Accession Number: 20180223-5026.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/16/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-900-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: Tariff Cancellation: Notice of Cancellation of WMPA, SA No. 4812; Queue W4-036 to be effective 4/2/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/23/18.

    Accession Number: 20180223-5043.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/16/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-901-000.

    Applicants: ISO New England Inc., Emera Maine.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Original Service Agreement Under Schedule 21-EM of ISO-NE Tariff to be effective 5/16/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/23/18.

    Accession Number: 20180223-5054.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/16/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-903-000.

    Applicants: Delmarva Power & Light Company, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Delmarva Power & Light Company submits Revisions to PJM Tariff, Attachment H-3D to be effective 4/24/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/23/18.

    Accession Number: 20180223-5063.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/16/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-904-000.

    Applicants: Atlantic City Electric Company, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Atlantic City Electric Company submits Revisions to PJM Tariff, Attachment H-1A to be effective 4/24/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/23/18.

    Accession Number: 20180223-5064.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/16/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-905-000.

    Applicants: Potomac Electric Power Company, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Potomac Electric Power Company submits Revisions to PJM Tariff, Attachment H-9A to be effective 4/24/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/23/18.

    Accession Number: 20180223-5065.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/16/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-906-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2018-02-23_Compensation of Demand Response Resources to be effective 7/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/23/18.

    Accession Number: 20180223-5098.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/16/18.

    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 23, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04303 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings

    Take notice that the Commission has received the following Natural Gas Pipeline Rate and Refund Report filings:

    Filings Instituting Proceedings

    Docket Number: PR18-31-000.

    Applicants: Louisville Gas and Electric Company.

    Description: Tariff filing per 284.123(b),(e)/: Revised Statement of Operating Conditions DDC to be effective 2/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/20/18.

    Accession Number: 201802205135.

    Comments/Protests Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-450-001.

    Applicants: National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: Errata-Fuel Tracker (RP18-450-000) to be effective 4/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/20/18.

    Accession Number: 20180220-5231.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/5/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-451-000.

    Applicants: Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Garden State Expansion—Phase 2 Rate Filing to be effective 3/23/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/20/18.

    Accession Number: 20180220-5031.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/5/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-452-000.

    Applicants: PG Pipeline LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing Annual Adjustment of Fuel and Gas Loss Retention Percentage.

    Filed Date: 2/20/18.

    Accession Number: 20180220-5222.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/5/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-453-000.

    Applicants: Rockies Express Pipeline LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: FL&U Electric Power Rate Adjustment 2018 to be effective 4/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 2/20/18.

    Accession Number: 20180220-5230.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/5/18.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified date(s). Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: February 23, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04302 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OARM-2018-0028; FRL-9974-93-OARM] Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Contractor Conflicts of Interest; EPA ICR 1550.11, OMB Control No. 2030-0023 AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is planning to submit an information collection request (ICR), “Conflict of Interest” (EPA ICR No. 1550.11, OMB Control No. 2030-0023) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act. Before doing so, EPA is soliciting public comments on specific aspects of the proposed information collection as described below. This is a proposed extension of the ICR, which is currently approved through June 30, 2018. An Agency may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before May 1, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OARM-2018-0028, online using www.regulations.gov (our preferred method), by email to [email protected], or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460.

    EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes profanity, threats, information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Pamela Leftrict, Policy, Training, and Oversight Division, Acquisition Policy and Training Service Center (3802R), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: 202-564-9463; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Supporting documents which explain in detail the information that the EPA will be collecting are available in the public docket for this ICR. The docket can be viewed online at www.regulations.gov or in person at the EPA Docket Center, WJC West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC. The telephone number for the Docket Center is 202-566-1744. For additional information about EPA's public docket, visit http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    Pursuant to section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA, EPA is soliciting comments and information to enable it to: (i) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (ii) evaluate the accuracy of the Agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (iii) enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (iv) minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. EPA will consider the comments received and amend the ICR as appropriate. The final ICR package will then be submitted to OMB for review and approval. At that time, EPA will issue another Federal Register notice to announce the submission of the ICR to OMB and the opportunity to submit additional comments to OMB.

    Abstract: EPA contractors will be required to disclose business relationships and corporate affiliations to determine whether EPA's interests are jeopardized by such relationships. Because EPA has the dual responsibility of cleanup and enforcement and because its contractors are often involved in both activities, it is imperative that contractors are free from conflicts of interest so as not to prejudice response and enforcement actions. Contractors will be required to maintain a database of business relationships and report information to EPA on either an annual basis or when each work order is issued.

    Form numbers: ICR numbers: EPA ICR No. 1550.11, OMB Control No. 2030-0023.

    Respondents/affected entities: Entities potentially affected by this action are businesses or organizations performing contracts for the EPA.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Mandatory to continue performance on the respective contract, in accordance with respective contract clause terms.

    Estimated number of respondents: 45 (total).

    Frequency of response: 1,245.67 hours per response.

    Total estimated burden: 14,652 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.03(b).

    Total estimated cost: Estimated total annual costs are $3,214,288.05. This includes an estimated contractor burden cost of $2,798,168.85 and an estimated agency burden cost of $416,119.20. These amounts were calculated using the hours above and the labor rates from the 2017 Bureau of Labor National Mean Statistics and the General Schedule.

    Changes in estimates: There is no change in the number of hours in the total estimated respondent burden compared to the ICR currently approved by OMB.

    Dated: February 21, 2018. Kimberly Y. Patrick, Director, Office of Acquisition Management.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04310 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [ER-FRL-9037-9] 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 02/19/2018 Through 02/23/2018 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: http://cdxnodengn.epa.gov/cdx-nepa-public/action/eia/search.

    EIS No. 20180025, Final Supplement, FTA, CA, VTA's BART Silicon Valley Phase II Extension Project. Review Period Ends: 04/02/2018, Contact: Mary Nguyen 213-202-3960. EIS No. 20180026, Final, USFS, ID, Big Creek Geothermal Leasing Project, Review Period Ends: 04/16/2018, Contact: Julie Hopkins 208-756-5279. EIS No. 20180027, Draft, FDA,GSA, MD, 2018 Federal Research Center Master Plan, Comment Period Ends: 04/16/2018, Contact: Paul Gyamfi 202-440-3405. EIS No. 20180028, Final, Caltrans, CA, State Route 269 Bridge Project, Review Period Ends: 09/03/2018, Contact: Jeff Sorensen 559-445-5329. EIS No. 20180029, Final, USACE, NC, Bogue Banks Master Beach Nourishment Plan, Review Period Ends: 04/02/2018, Contact: Mickey Sugg 910-251-4811. EIS No. 20180030, Draft, FHWA, WA, Industrial Way/Oregon Way Intersection Project, Comment Period Ends: 04/16/2018, Contact: Liana Liu 360-753-9553. Amended Notices EIS No. 20170249, Draft, OSM, MT, Western Energy Company's Rosebud Mine Area F, Revision to Federal Register Notice published 01/05/2018, extending comment period from 02/20/2018 to 03/05/2018, Contact: Logan Sholar 303-293-5036. Dated: February 27, 2018. Kelly Knight, Director, NEPA Compliance Division, Office of Federal Activities.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04301 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FARM CREDIT SYSTEM INSURANCE CORPORATION Regular Meeting: Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation Board AGENCY:

    Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation.

    ACTION:

    Notice, regular meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given of the regular meeting of the Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation Board (Board).

    DATES:

    The meeting of the Board will be held at the offices of the Farm Credit Administration in McLean, Virginia, on March 8, 2018, from 2:00 p.m. until such time as the Board concludes its business.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dale L. Aultman, Secretary to the Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation Board, (703) 883-4009, TTY (703) 883-4056, [email protected]

    ADDRESSES:

    Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation, 1501 Farm Credit Drive, McLean, Virginia 22102. Submit attendance requests via email to [email protected] See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for further information about attendance requests.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Parts of this meeting of the Board will be open to the public (limited space available), and parts will be closed to the public. Please send an email to [email protected] at least 24 hours before the meeting. In your email include: Name, postal address, entity you are representing (if applicable), and telephone number. You will receive an email confirmation from us. Please be prepared to show a photo identification when you arrive. If you need assistance for accessibility reasons, or if you have any questions, contact Dale L. Aultman, Secretary to the Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation Board, at (703) 883-4009. The matters to be considered at the meeting are:

    Open Session A. Approval of Minutes • January 18, 2018 (Regular Meeting) B. Business Reports • FCSIC Financial Reports • Report on Insured and Other Obligations • Quarterly Report on Annual Performance Plan C. New Business • Report on Investment Portfolio • Policy Statement Concerning Sale of Assets • Presentation of 2017 Audit Results • Consideration of Allocated Insurance Reserves Accounts Closed Session • FCSIC Report on System Performance Executive Session • Approval of Minutes January 18, 2018 (Audit Committee Meeting) • Executive Session of the FCSIC Board Audit Committee with the External Auditor Dated: February 27, 2018. Dale L. Aultman, Secretary, Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation Board.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04323 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6710-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-0910] Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission Under Delegated Authority AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or the Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collection. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees. The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number.

    DATES:

    Written PRA comments should be submitted on or before May 1, 2018. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contact listed below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Nicole Ongele, FCC, via email [email protected] and to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information about the information collection, contact Nicole Ongele at (202) 418-2991.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collections. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

    OMB Control Number: 3060-0910.

    Title: Third Report and Order in CC Docket No. 94-102 to Ensure Compatibility with Enhanced 911 Emergency Calling Systems.

    Form Number: N/A.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 967 respondents; 967 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 1 hour.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion reporting requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Mandatory. Statutory authority for this collection of information is contained in 47 U.S.C. Sections 1, 4(i), 201, 303, 309 and 332 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

    Total Annual Burden: 967 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: No Cost.

    Privacy Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for confidentiality with this collection of information.

    Needs and Uses: The information submitted to the Commission will provide public service answering points (PSAPs), providers of location technology, investors, manufacturers, local exchange carriers, and the Commission with valuable information necessary for full Phase II E911 service implementation. These reports will provide helpful, if not essential information for coordinating carrier plans with those of manufacturers and PSAPs. The reports will also assist the Commission's efforts to monitor Phase II developments and to take action, if necessary, to maintain the Phase II implementation schedule.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04225 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-0999] Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collections. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

    The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Written PRA comments should be submitted on or before May 1, 2018. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contact listed below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Cathy Williams, FCC, via email [email protected] and to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information about the information collection, contact Cathy Williams at (202) 418-2918.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OMB Control No.: 3060-0999.

    Title: Hearing Aid Compatibility Status Report and Section 20.19, Hearing Aid-Compatible Mobile Handsets (Hearing Aid Compatibility Act).

    Form Number: FCC Form 655.

    Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities.

    Number of Respondents: 934 respondents; 934 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 13 hours per response (average).

    Frequency of Response: On occasion and annual reporting requirements and third party disclosure requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. Statutory authority for this information collection is contained in 47 U.S.C. Sections 151, 154(i), 157, 160, 201, 202, 208, 214, 301, 303, 308, 309(j), 310 and 610 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

    Total Annual Burden: 12,140 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: No costs.

    Privacy Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: Information requested in the reports may include confidential information. However, covered entities are allowed to request that such materials submitted to the Commission be withheld from public inspection.

    Needs and Uses: The Commission will submit this information collection as a revision to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) after this 60-day comment period to obtain the full three-year clearance for the collection. The revision is necessary to implement the final rules promulgated in the 2015 Fourth Report and Order, FCC 15-155 (Fourth Report and Order), which expanded the scope of the rules due to a shift from Commercial Mobile Radio Services (CMRS) to digital mobile service. We estimate that there will be a small increase in the number of respondents/responses, total annual burden hours, and total annual cost from the previously approved estimates.

    The collection is necessary to implement certain disclosure requirements that are part of the Commission's wireless hearing aid compatibility rule. In a Report and Order in WT Docket No. 01-309, FCC 03-168, adopted and released in September 2003, implementing a mandate under the Hearing Aid Compatibility Act of 1988, the Commission required digital wireless phone manufacturers and service providers to make certain digital wireless phones capable of effective use with hearing aids, label certain phones they sold with information about their compatibility with hearing aids, and report to the Commission (at first every six months, then on an annual basis) on the numbers and types of hearing aid-compatible phones they were producing or offering to the public. These reporting requirements were subsequently amended on several occasions, and the existing, OMB-approved collection under this OMB control number includes these modifications.

    On November 19, 2015, the Commission adopted final rules in a Fourth Report and Order, FCC 15-155 (Fourth Report and Order), that, among other changes, expanded the scope of the Commission's hearing aid compatibility provisions to cover handsets used with any digital terrestrial mobile service that enables two-way real-time voice communications among members of the public or a substantial portion of the public, including through the use of pre-installed software applications. Prior to 2018, the hearing aid compatibility provisions were limited only to handsets used with two-way switched voice or data services classified as Commercial Mobile Radio Service, and only to the extent they were provided over networks meeting certain architectural requirements that enable frequency reuse and seamless handoff. As a result of the Fourth Report and Order, beginning January 1, 2018, all device manufacturers and Tier I carriers that offer handsets falling under the expanded scope of covered handsets are required to comply with the Commission's hearing aid compatibility provisions, including annual reporting requirements on FCC Form 655. For other service providers that are not Tier I carriers, the expanded scope of the Commission's hearing aid compatibility provisions applies beginning April 1, 2018.

    Following release of the Fourth Report and Order, the Commission is required to amend the FCC Form 655 to reflect the newly expanded scope of handsets covered by the hearing aid compatibility provisions, as well as to capture information regarding existing disclosure requirements clarified by the Commission in the Fourth Report and Order. As a consequence of the Fourth Report and Order, FCC Form 655 filing and other requirements will apply to those newly-covered handsets offered by device manufacturers and service providers that have already been reporting annually on their compliance with the Commission's hearing aid compatibility provisions, as well to any device manufacturers and service providers that were previously exempt because they did not offer any covered handsets or services prior to 2018.

    As a result, the Commission is requesting a revision of this collection in order to implement the final rules promulgated in the Fourth Report and Order, which expanded the scope of the rules due to a shift from Commercial Mobile Radio Services (CMRS) to digital mobile service. We estimate that the expanded scope will increase the potential number of respondents subject to this collection and correspondingly increase the responses and burden hours. The minor language changes to the instructions to FCC Form 655 and to the form itself clarifying this expanded scope will help the Commission compile data and monitor compliance with the current version of the hearing aid compatibility rules while making more complete and accessible information available to consumers.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04223 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION Deletion of Items From Sunshine Act Meeting February 21, 2018.

    The following item has been deleted from the list of items scheduled for consideration at the Thursday, February 22, 2018, Open Meeting and previously listed in the Commission's Notice of February 15, 2018.

    5. Media Title: Amendment of Parts 74, 76 and 78 of the Commission's Rules Regarding Maintenance of Copies of FCC Rules (MB Docket No. 17-231); Modernization of Media Regulation Initiative (MB Docket No. 17-105). Summary: The Commission will consider a Report and Order that would eliminate specific Part 74, 76, and 78 rules that require certain broadcast and cable entities to maintain paper copies of Commission rules, while retaining provisions that require the subject entities to be familiar with the rules governing their operations. Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04358 Filed 2-28-18; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-0182] Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission Under Delegated Authority AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collections. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

    The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Written PRA comments should be submitted on or before May 1, 2018. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contact listed below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Cathy Williams, FCC, via email [email protected] and to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information about the information collection, contact Cathy Williams at (202) 418-2918.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OMB Control Number: 3060-0182.

    Title: Section 73.1620, Program Tests.

    Form Number: N/A.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Businesses or other for-profit, Not-for-profit institutions.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 1,470 respondents; 1,470 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 1-5 hours.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion reporting requirement; Third party disclosure.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority for this collection is contained in Section 154(i) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

    Total Annual Burden: 1,521 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: None.

    Privacy Act Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for confidentiality with this collection.

    Needs and Uses: The information collection requirements for this collection are as follows:

    47 CFR 73.1620(a)(1) require permittees of a nondirectional AM or FM station, or a nondirectional or directional TV station to notify the FCC upon beginning of program tests. An application for license must be filed within 10 days of this notification.

    47 CFR 73.1620(a)(2) require a permittee of an AM or FM station with a directional antenna to file a request for program test authority 10 days prior to date on which it desires to begin program tests. This is filed in conjunction with an application for license.

    47 CFR 73.1620(a)(3) require a licensee of an FM station replacing a directional antenna without changes to file a modification of the license application within 10 days after commencing operations with the replacement antenna.

    47 CFR 73.1620(a)(4) requires a permittee of an AM station with a directional antenna to file a request for program test authority 10 days prior to the date on which it desires to begin program test.

    47 CFR 73.1620(a)(5) requires that, except for permits subject to successive license terms, a permittee of an LPFM station may begin program tests upon notification to the FCC in Washington, DC provided that within 10 days thereafter an application for license is filed. Program tests may be conducted by a licensee subject to mandatory license terms only during the term specified on such license authorization.

    47 CFR 73.1620(b) allows the FCC to right to revoke, suspend, or modify program tests by any station without right of hearing for failure to comply adequately with all terms of the construction permit or the provision of 47 CFR 73.1690(c) for a modification of license application, or in order to resolve instances of interference. The FCC may also require the filing of a construction permit application to bring the station into compliance with the Commission's rules and policies.

    47 CFR 73.1620(f) requires licensees of UHF TV stations, assigned to the same allocated channel which a 1000 watt UHF translator station is authorized to use, to notify the licensee of the translator station at least 10 days prior to commencing or resuming operation and certify to the FCC that such advance notice has been given.

    47 CFR 73.1620(g) requires permittees to report any deviations from their promises, if any, in their application for license to cover their construction permit (FCC Form 302) and on the first anniversary of their commencement of program tests.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04226 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-1151] Information Collection Being Submitted for Review and Approval to the Office of Management and Budget AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or the Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collection. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

    The Commission may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Written comments should be submitted on or before April 2, 2018. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contacts listed below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Nicholas A. Fraser, OMB, via email Nicholas_A._Fr[email protected]; and to Nicole Ongele, FCC, via email [email protected] and to [email protected] Include in the comments the OMB control number as shown in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION below.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information or copies of the information collection, contact Nicole Ongele at (202) 418-2991. To view a copy of this information collection request (ICR) submitted to OMB: (1) Go to the web page http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain, (2) look for the section of the web page called “Currently Under Review,” (3) click on the downward-pointing arrow in the “Select Agency” box below the “Currently Under Review” heading, (4) select “Federal Communications Commission” from the list of agencies presented in the “Select Agency” box, (5) click the “Submit” button to the right of the “Select Agency” box, (6) when the list of FCC ICRs currently under review appears, look for the OMB control number of this ICR and then click on the ICR Reference Number. A copy of the FCC submission to OMB will be displayed.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or the Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collection. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

    OMB Control Number: 3060-1151.

    Title: Sections 1.1420, 1.1422 and 1.1424, Pole Attachment Access Requirements.

    Form Number: N/A.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 763 respondents; 36,136 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 20-45 hours.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion reporting requirement, recordkeeping requirement, and third-party disclosure requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Mandatory. Statutory authority for this information collection is contained in 47 U.S.C. 224.

    Total Annual Burden: 448,921 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: No cost.

    Privacy Act Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: No questions of a confidential nature are asked.

    Needs and Uses: The Commission is requesting OMB approval for a three-year extension of this information collection. In Implementation of Section 224 of the Act, A National Broadband Plan for Our Future, WC Docket No. 07-245, GN Docket No. 09-51, Report and Order and Order on Reconsideration, FCC 11-50, the Commission adopted rules that relate to the implementation of section 224 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, regarding access to poles that are owned or controlled by utilities. Under the Commission's rules, utilities must provide cable television systems and telecommunications carriers (collectively, “attachers”) with non-discriminatory access to attach facilities to poles, ducts, conduits, or rights-of-way owned or controlled by the utilities (collectively, “pole attachments”). However, utilities may deny in writing those pole attachment applications where there is insufficient capacity on a pole, or for reasons of safety, reliability, and generally applicable engineering purposes. Commission rules also create a series of deadlines or “timelines” by which attachers request and receive permission from utilities for pole attachments. The first stage of the timeline requires utilities to survey the requested poles where access is requested and to perform an engineering analysis. Utilities may notify attachers when they have completed their surveys of the affected poles. With regard to the second stage of the timeline, utilities must present to attachers an estimate of charges for preparing a pole for a new attachment (“make-ready” work). With regard to the make-ready stage of the timeline, utilities are required to send notices of impending make-ready work to entities with existing attachments on the pole. Such notification letters are sent when a make-ready schedule is established. If the make-ready period is interrupted, or if the pole owner asserts its right to a 15-day extension of time to perform make-ready work, then notification letters also are required from the utility to the new attacher.

    Additionally, the Order adopted a rule requiring utilities to make available and keep up-to-date a reasonably sufficient list of approved contractors to perform surveys and make-ready work in the communications space of a utility pole. If an attacher uses a utility-approved contractor, then it must notify the utility and invite the utility to send a representative to oversee the work.

    Finally, the Order also broadened the existing enforcement process by permitting incumbent local exchange carriers (LECs) to file complaints alleging that the pole attachment rates, terms, or conditions demanded by utilities are unjust or unreasonable. If an incumbent LEC can demonstrate that it is similarly situated to an attacher that is a telecommunications carrier or a cable television system (through relevant evidence, including pole attachment agreements), then it can gain comparable pole attachment rates, terms, and condition as the similarly-situated carrier. The paperwork burdens for this provision are contained in OMB Control No. 3060-0392. The Order also encourages incumbent LECs that benefit from lower pole attachment costs to file data at the Commission that demonstrate that the benefits are being passed on to consumers.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04224 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies

    The companies listed in this notice have applied to the Board for approval, pursuant to the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (12 U.S.C. 1841 et seq.) (BHC Act), Regulation Y (12 CFR part 225), and all other applicable statutes and regulations to become a bank holding company and/or to acquire the assets or the ownership of, control of, or the power to vote shares of a bank or bank holding company and all of the banks and nonbanking companies owned by the bank holding company, including the companies listed below.

    The applications listed below, as well as other related filings required by the Board, are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The applications will also be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing on the standards enumerated in the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1842(c)). If the proposal also involves the acquisition of a nonbanking company, the review also includes whether the acquisition of the nonbanking company complies with the standards in section 4 of the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1843). Unless otherwise noted, nonbanking activities will be conducted throughout the United States.

    Unless otherwise noted, comments regarding each of these applications must be received at the Reserve Bank indicated or the offices of the Board of Governors not later than March 29, 2018.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago (Colette A. Fried, Assistant Vice President) 230 South LaSalle Street, Chicago, Illinois 60690-1414:

    1. Bosshard Financial Group, Inc., La Crosse, Wisconsin; to merge with Oregon Bancorp, Inc., La Crosse, Wisconsin, and thereby indirectly acquire Oregon Community Bank, Oregon, Wisconsin.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, February 27, 2018. Ann E. Misback, Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04297 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Patient Safety Organizations: Voluntary Relinquishment From the NCH Healthcare System, PSO AGENCY:

    Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Notice of delisting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Patient Safety Rule authorizes AHRQ, on behalf of the Secretary of HHS, to list as a PSO an entity that attests that it meets the statutory and regulatory requirements for listing. A PSO can be “delisted” by the Secretary if it is found to no longer meet the requirements of the Patient Safety Act and Patient Safety Rule, when a PSO chooses to voluntarily relinquish its status as a PSO for any reason, or when a PSO's listing expires. AHRQ has accepted a notification from NCH Healthcare System of the voluntary relinquishment of its status as a PSO and has delisted it accordingly.

    DATES:

    The directories for both listed and delisted PSOs are ongoing and reviewed weekly by AHRQ. The delisting was effective at 12:00 Midnight ET (2400) on January 31, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Both directories can be accessed electronically at the following HHS website: http://www.pso.ahrq.gov/listed.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Eileen Hogan, Center for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety, AHRQ, 5600 Fishers Lane, Room 06N94B, Rockville, MD 20857; Telephone (toll free): (866) 403-3697; Telephone (local): (301) 427-1111; TTY (toll free): (866) 438-7231; TTY (local): (301) 427-1130; Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    The Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005, 42 U.S.C. 299b-21 to b-26, (Patient Safety Act) and the related Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Final Rule, 42 CFR part 3 (Patient Safety Rule), published in the Federal Register on November 21, 2008, 73 FR 70732-70814, establish a framework by which hospitals, doctors, and other health care providers may voluntarily report information to Patient Safety Organizations (PSOs), on a privileged and confidential basis, for the aggregation and analysis of patient safety events.

    The Patient Safety Act authorizes the listing of PSOs, which are entities or component organizations whose mission and primary activity are to conduct activities to improve patient safety and the quality of health care delivery.

    HHS issued the Patient Safety Rule to implement the Patient Safety Act. AHRQ administers the provisions of the Patient Safety Act and Patient Safety Rule relating to the listing and operation of PSOs. The Patient Safety Rule authorizes AHRQ to list as a PSO an entity that attests that it meets the statutory and regulatory requirements for listing. A PSO can be “delisted” if it is found to no longer meet the requirements of the Patient Safety Act and Patient Safety Rule, when a PSO chooses to voluntarily relinquish its status as a PSO for any reason, or when a PSO's listing expires. Section 3.108(d) of the Patient Safety Rule requires AHRQ to provide public notice when it removes an organization from the list of federally approved PSOs.

    AHRQ has accepted a notification from the NCH Healthcare System, PSO, a component entity of the NCH Healthcare System, PSO number P0191, to voluntarily relinquish its status as a PSO. Accordingly, the NCH Healthcare System, PSO was delisted effective at 12:00 Midnight ET (2400) on January 31, 2018.

    The NCH Healthcare System, PSO has patient safety work product (PSWP) in its possession. The PSO will meet the requirements of section 3.108(c)(2)(i) of the Patient Safety Rule regarding notification to providers that have reported to the PSO and of section 3.108(c)(2)(ii) regarding disposition of PSWP consistent with section 3.108(b)(3). According to section 3.108(b)(3) of the Patient Safety Rule, the PSO has 90 days from the effective date of delisting and revocation to complete the disposition of PSWP that is currently in the PSO's possession.

    More information on PSOs can be obtained through AHRQ's PSO website at http://www.pso.ahrq.gov.

    Karen J. Migdail, Chief of Staff.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04217 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4160-90-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS-7049-N] Medicare, Medicaid, and Other Programs, Initiatives, and Priorities; Meeting of the Advisory Panel on Outreach and Education (APOE), March 21, 2018 AGENCY:

    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces the next meeting of the Advisory Panel on Outreach and Education (APOE) (Panel) in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The Panel advises and makes recommendations to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on opportunities to enhance the effectiveness of consumer education strategies concerning CMS programs, initiatives, and priorities. This meeting is open to the public.

    DATES:

    Meeting Date: Wednesday, March 21, 2018, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. eastern daylight time (e.d.t.).

    Deadline for Meeting Registration, Presentations, Special Accommodations and Comments: Wednesday, March 7, 2018, 5:00 p.m. eastern standard time (e.s.t.).

    ADDRESSES:

    Meeting Location: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Hubert H. Humphrey Building, 200 Independence Avenue SW, Room 505A, Conference Room, Washington, DC 20201.

    Presentations and Written Comments: Presentations and written comments should be submitted to: Lynne Johnson, Acting Designated Federal Official (DFO), Office of Communications, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 7500 Security Boulevard, Mailstop S1-05-06, Baltimore, MD 21244-1850 or via email at [email protected]

    Registration: The meeting is open to the public, but attendance is limited to the space available. Persons wishing to attend this meeting must register at the website https://www.regonline.com/apoemar2018meeting or by contacting the Acting DFO as listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this notice, by the date listed in the DATES section of this notice. Individuals requiring sign language interpretation or other special accommodations should contact the Acting DFO at the address listed in the ADDRESSES section of this notice by the date listed in the DATES section of this notice.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lynne Johnson, Acting Designated Federal Official, Office of Communications, CMS, 7500 Security Boulevard, Mail Stop S1-05-06, Baltimore, MD 21244-1850, 410-786-0090, email [email protected] Additional information about the APOE is available on the internet at: http://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Guidance/FACA/APOE.html. Press inquiries are handled through the CMS Press Office at (202) 690-6145.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    The Advisory Panel for Outreach and Education (APOE) (Panel) is governed by the provisions of Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) (Pub. L. 92-463), as amended (5 U.S.C. Appendix 2), which sets forth standards for the formation and use of federal advisory committees. The Panel is authorized by section 1114(f) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1314(f)) and section 222 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 217a).

    The Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) (the Secretary) signed the charter establishing the Citizen's Advisory Panel on Medicare Education 1 (the predecessor to the APOE) on January 21, 1999 (64 FR 7899, February 17, 1999) to advise and make recommendations to the Secretary and the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on the effective implementation of national Medicare education programs, including with respect to the Medicare+Choice (M+C) program added by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (Pub. L. 105-33).

    1 We note that the Citizen's Advisory Panel on Medicare Education is also referred to as the Advisory Panel on Medicare Education (65 FR 4617). The name was updated in the Second Amended Charter approved on July 24, 2000.

    The Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA) (Pub. L. 108-173) expanded the existing health plan options and benefits available under the M+C program and renamed it the Medicare Advantage (MA) program. We have had substantial responsibilities to provide information to Medicare beneficiaries about the range of health plan options available and better tools to evaluate these options. The successful MA program implementation required CMS to consider the views and policy input from a variety of private sector constituents and to develop a broad range of public-private partnerships.

    In addition, Title I of the MMA authorized the Secretary and the Administrator of CMS (by delegation) to establish the Medicare prescription drug benefit. The drug benefit allows beneficiaries to obtain qualified prescription drug coverage. In order to effectively administer the MA program and the Medicare prescription drug benefit, we have substantial responsibilities to provide information to Medicare beneficiaries about the range of health plan options and benefits available, and to develop better tools to evaluate these plans and benefits.

    The Affordable Care Act (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Pub. L. 111-148, and Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, Pub. L. 111-152) expanded the availability of other options for health care coverage and enacted a number of changes to Medicare as well as to Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Qualified individuals and qualified employers are now able to purchase private health insurance coverage through a competitive marketplace, called an Affordable Insurance Exchange (also called Health Insurance MarketplaceSM2 , or MarketplaceSM). In order to effectively implement and administer these changes, we must provide information to consumers, providers, and other stakeholders through education and outreach programs regarding how existing programs will change and the expanded range of health coverage options available, including private health insurance coverage through the MarketplaceSM. The APOE allows us to consider a broad range of views and information from interested audiences in connection with this effort and to identify opportunities to enhance the effectiveness of education strategies concerning the Affordable Care Act.

    2 Health Insurance MarketplaceSM and MarketplaceSM are service marks of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

    The scope of this Panel also includes advising on issues pertaining to the education of providers and stakeholders with respect to the Affordable Care Act and certain provisions of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

    On January 21, 2011, the Panel's charter was renewed and the Panel was renamed the Advisory Panel for Outreach and Education. The Panel's charter was most recently renewed on January 19, 2017, and will terminate on January 19, 2019 unless renewed by appropriate action.

    Under the current charter, the APOE will advise the Secretary and the Administrator on optimal strategies for the following:

    • Developing and implementing education and outreach programs for individuals enrolled in, or eligible for, Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or coverage available through the Health Insurance MarketplaceSM and other CMS programs.

    • Enhancing the federal government's effectiveness in informing Health Insurance MarketplaceSM, Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP consumers, issuers, providers, and stakeholders, through education and outreach programs, on issues regarding these programs, including the appropriate use of public-private partnerships to leverage the resources of the private sector in educating beneficiaries, providers, and stakeholders.

    • Expanding outreach to vulnerable and underserved communities, including racial and ethnic minorities, in the context of Health Insurance MarketplaceSM, Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP education programs and other CMS programs.

    • Assembling and sharing an information base of “best practices” for helping consumers evaluate health coverage options.

    • Building and leveraging existing community infrastructures for information, counseling, and assistance.

    • Drawing the program link between outreach and education, promoting consumer understanding of health care coverage choices, and facilitating consumer selection/enrollment, which in turn support the overarching goal of improved access to quality care, including prevention services, envisioned under the Affordable Care Act.

    The current members of the Panel are: Kellan Baker, Associate Director, Center for American Progress; Robert Blancato, President, National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs; Deborah Britt, Executive Director of Community & Public Relations, Piedmont Fayette Hospital; Deena Chisolm, Associate Professor of Pediatrics & Public Health, The Ohio State University, Nationwide Children's Hospital; Robert Espinoza, Vice President of Policy, Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute; Louise Scherer Knight, Director, The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins; Roanne Osborne-Gaskin, M.D., Senior Medical Director, MDWise, Inc.; Cathy Phan, Outreach and Education Coordinator, Asian American Health Coalition DBA HOPE Clinic; Kamilah Pickett, Litigation Support, Independent Contractor; Alvia Siddiqi, Medicaid Managed Care Community Network (MCCN) Medical Director, Advocate Physician Partners, Carla Smith, Executive Vice President, Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS); Tobin Van Ostern, Vice President and Co-Founder, Young Invincibles Advisors; and Paula Villescaz, Senior Consultant, Assembly Health Committee, California State Legislature.

    II. Provisions of This Notice

    In accordance with section 10(a) of the FACA, this notice announces a meeting of the APOE. The agenda for the March 21, 2018 meeting will include the following:

    • Welcome and listening session with CMS leadership • Recap of the previous (September 13, 2017) meeting • CMS programs, initiatives, and priorities • An opportunity for public comment • Meeting summary, review of recommendations, and next steps

    Individuals or organizations that wish to make a 5-minute oral presentation on an agenda topic should submit a written copy of the oral presentation to the DFO at the address listed in the ADDRESSES section of this notice by the date listed in the DATES section of this notice. The number of oral presentations may be limited by the time available. Individuals not wishing to make an oral presentation may submit written comments to the DFO at the address listed in the ADDRESSES section of this notice by the date listed in the DATES section of this notice.

    III. Security Guidelines

    The meeting is open to the public, but attendance is limited to the space available. Persons wishing to attend this meeting must register by contacting the DFO at the address listed in the ADDRESSES section of this notice or by telephone at the number listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this notice by the date specified in the DATES section of this notice. This meeting will be held in a federal government building, the Hubert H. Humphrey (HHH) Building; therefore, federal security measures are applicable.

    The REAL ID Act of 2005 (Pub. L. 109-13) establishes minimum standards for the issuance of state-issued driver's licenses and identification (ID) cards. It prohibits federal agencies from accepting an official driver's license or ID card from a state for any official purpose unless the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security determines that the state meets these standards. Beginning October 2015, photo IDs (such as a valid driver's license) issued by a state or territory not in compliance with the Real ID Act will not be accepted as identification to enter federal buildings. Visitors from these states/territories will need to provide alternative proof of identification (such as a valid passport) to gain entrance into federal buildings. The current list of states from which a federal agency may accept driver's licenses for an official purpose is found at http://www.dhs.gov/real-id-enforcement-brief.

    We recommend that confirmed registrants arrive reasonably early, but no earlier than 45 minutes prior to the start of the meeting, to allow additional time to clear security. Security measures include the following:

    • Presentation of a government-issued photographic identification to the Federal Protective Service or Guard Service personnel.

    • Inspection, via metal detector or other applicable means, of all persons entering the building. We note that all items brought into HHH Building, whether personal or for the purpose of presentation or to support a presentation, are subject to inspection. We cannot assume responsibility for coordinating the receipt, transfer, transport, storage, set up, safety, or timely arrival of any personal belongings or items used for presentation or to support a presentation.

    Note:

    Individuals who are not registered in advance will not be permitted to enter the building and will be unable to attend the meeting.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 217a, sec. 222 of the Public Health Service Act, as amended; 42 U.S.C. 1314(f), sec. 1114(f) of the Social Security Act; and Public Law 92-463, as amended (5 U.S.C. App. 2); 41 CFR 102-3.

    Dated: February 21, 2018. Seema Verma, Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04328 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4120-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2006-P-0207] Proper Labeling of Honey and Honey Products; Guidance for Industry; Availability AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or we) is announcing the availability of a guidance for industry entitled “Proper Labeling of Honey and Honey Products.” The guidance advises firms on the proper labeling of honey and honey products to help ensure that honey and honey products are not adulterated or misbranded under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

    DATES:

    The announcement of the guidance is published in the Federal Register on March 2, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit either electronic or written comments on Agency guidances at any time as follows:

    Electronic Submissions

    Submit electronic comments in the following way:

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

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

    Written/Paper Submissions

    Submit written/paper submissions as follows:

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

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

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2006-P-0207 for “Proper Labeling of Honey and Honey Products.” Received comments will be placed in the docket and, except for those submitted as “Confidential Submissions,” publicly viewable at https://www.regulations.gov or at the Dockets Management Staff between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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

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

    You may submit comments on any guidance at any time (see 21 CFR 10.115(g)(5)).

    Submit written requests for single copies of the guidance to the Office of Nutrition and Food Labeling, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Food and Drug Administration, 5001 Campus Dr., College Park, MD 20740. Send two self-addressed adhesive labels to assist that office in processing your request. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for electronic access to the guidance.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Andrea Krause, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Food and Drug Administration, 5001 Campus Dr., College Park, MD 20740, 240-402-2371.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    We are announcing the availability of a guidance for industry entitled “Proper Labeling of Honey and Honey Products.” We are issuing this guidance consistent with our good guidance practices regulation (21 CFR 10.115). The guidance represents the current thinking of FDA on this topic. It does not establish any rights for any person and is not binding on FDA or the public. You can use an alternative approach if it satisfies the requirements of the applicable statutes and regulations. This guidance is not subject to Executive Order 12866.

    In the Federal Register of April 4, 2014 (79 FR 19620), we announced the availability of a draft guidance for industry entitled “Proper Labeling of Honey and Honey Products” and invited comment by June 9, 2014. We received numerous comments on the draft guidance and have modified the final guidance where appropriate. In addition, we made editorial changes to improve clarity and to focus on labeling issues. The final guidance recognizes a definition of honey that is broader than what was noted in the draft guidance and that reflects comments that said that bees use nectar from plants other than flowers. We declined, however, to further define “chief floral source” (as suggested by other comments) because it is addressed by the Compliance Policy Guide (CPG) 515.300, “Honey-Source Declaration” (available online at http://www.fda.gov/iceci/compliancemanuals/compliancepolicyguidancemanual/ucm074437.htm), and it is the responsibility of the producer to ensure that the source of its honey, if included on the label, is not false or misleading. In response to multiple comments asking us to clarify how flavored honey should be named, we revised the answer to this question to make it clear that honey with a characterizing flavor should be labeled in accordance with 21 CFR 101.3(b) and 102.5(a). The guidance announced in this notice finalizes the draft guidance dated April 2014.

    II. Electronic Access

    Persons with access to the internet may obtain the guidance at either http://www.fda.gov/FoodGuidances or https://www.regulations.gov. Use the FDA website listed in the previous sentence to find the most current version of the guidance.

    Dated: February 27, 2018. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04282 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2016-D-3401] Scientific Evaluation of the Evidence on the Beneficial Physiological Effects of Isolated or Synthetic Non-Digestible Carbohydrates Submitted as a Citizen Petition; Guidance for Industry; Availability AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notification of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or we) is announcing the availability of a guidance for industry entitled “Scientific Evaluation of the Evidence on the Beneficial Physiological Effects of Isolated or Synthetic Non-Digestible Carbohydrates Submitted as a Citizen Petition (21 CFR 10.30).” The guidance describes our views on the scientific evidence needed and the approach to evaluating the scientific evidence on the physiological effects to human health of isolated or synthetic non-digestible carbohydrates that are added to foods.

    DATES:

    The announcement of the guidance is published in the Federal Register on March 2, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit electronic or written comments on Agency guidances at any time as follows:

    Electronic Submissions

    Submit electronic comments in the following way:

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

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

    Written/Paper Submissions

    Submit written/paper submissions as follows:

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

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

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2016-D-3401 for “Scientific Evaluation of the Evidence on the Beneficial Physiological Effects of Isolated or Synthetic Non-Digestible Carbohydrates Submitted as a Citizen Petition (21 CFR 10.30).” Received comments will be placed in the docket and, except for those submitted as “Confidential Submissions,” publicly viewable at https://www.regulations.gov or at the Dockets Management Staff between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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

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

    You may submit comments on any guidance at any time (see 21 CFR 10.115(g)(5)).

    Submit written requests for single copies of the guidance to the Office of Nutrition and Food Labeling, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Food and Drug Administration, 5001 Campus Dr., College Park, MD 20740. Send two self-addressed adhesive labels to assist that office in processing your request. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for electronic access to the guidance.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Paula R. Trumbo, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (HFS-830), Food and Drug Administration, 5001 Campus Dr., College Park, MD 20740, 240-402-2579.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    We are announcing the availability of a guidance for industry entitled “Scientific Evaluation of the Evidence on the Beneficial Physiological Effects of Isolated or Synthetic Non-Digestible Carbohydrates Submitted as a Citizen Petition (21 CFR 10.30).” We are issuing this guidance consistent with our good guidance practices regulation (21 CFR 10.115). The guidance represents the current thinking of FDA on this topic. It does not establish any rights for any person and is not binding on FDA or the public. You can use an alternative approach if it satisfies the requirements of the applicable statutes and regulations. This guidance is not subject to Executive Order 12866.

    In the Federal Register of May 27, 2016 (81 FR 33742), we published a final rule amending our Nutrition and Supplement Facts label regulations. The final rule provides a definition of dietary fiber as non-digestible soluble and insoluble carbohydrates (with three or more monomeric units), and lignin that are intrinsic and intact in plants; isolated or synthetic non-digestible carbohydrates (with three or more monomeric units) determined by FDA to have physiological effects that are beneficial to human health (§ 101.9(c)(6)(i)) (21 CFR 101.9(c)(6)(i)). One mechanism by which a manufacturer could request an amendment to the list of isolated or synthetic non-digestible carbohydrates that meet the dietary fiber definition is by using the citizen petition process in 21 CFR 10.30. If an isolated or synthetic non-digestible carbohydrate meets the dietary fiber definition, then it would be added to the list of dietary fibers in § 101.9(c)(6)(i).

    In the Federal Register of November 23, 2016, (81 FR 84516), we announced the availability of a draft guidance for industry entitled “Scientific Evaluation of the Evidence on the Beneficial Physiological Effects of Isolated or Synthetic Non-Digestible Carbohydrates Submitted as a Citizen Petition (21 CFR 10.30)” and gave interested parties an opportunity to submit comments by January 23, 2017, for us to consider before beginning work on the final version of the guidance. In the Federal Register of January 13, 2017 (82 FR 4225), we extended the comment period to February 13, 2017. We received several comments on the draft guidance and have modified the final guidance where appropriate. Changes to the guidance include: (1) The inclusion of studies on diseased populations under certain circumstances as part of our evaluation of the totality of the scientific evidence; (2) additional detail and clarity on the physiological endpoints that we consider when reviewing the scientific evidence; and (3) additional detail regarding factors we consider when evaluating the strength of the scientific evidence.1 In addition, we made editorial changes to improve clarity. The guidance announced in this notice finalizes the draft guidance dated November 2016.

    1 This guidance addresses the scientific evaluation of synthetic non-digestible carbohydrates and isolated non-digestible carbohydrate ingredients that are produced as a result of the processing of foods and other sources, to the extent that the ingredients in and of themselves have a specific chemical structure (carbohydrate composition and non-digestible bond linkages). These isolated non-digestible carbohydrates may or may not vary in size. Examples of isolated non-digestible carbohydrates include cellulose, guar gum, and pectin.

    II. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    The guidance refers to previously approved collections of information found in FDA regulations. These collections of information are subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520). The collections of information in § 101.9 have been approved under OMB control number 0910-0813.

    III. Electronic Access

    Persons with access to the internet may obtain the guidance at either https://www.fda.gov/FoodGuidances or https://www.regulations.gov. Use the FDA website listed in the previous sentence to find the most current version of the guidance.

    Dated: February 27, 2018. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04280 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2018-D-0338] Definitions of Suspect Product and Illegitimate Product for Verification Obligations Under the Drug Supply Chain Security Act; Draft Guidance for Industry; Availability AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or Agency) is announcing the availability of a draft guidance entitled “Definitions of Suspect Product and Illegitimate Product for Verification Obligations Under the Drug Supply Chain Security Act.” The draft guidance is intended to describe FDA's interpretation of terms used in the definitions of “suspect product” and “illegitimate product” in the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA), for purposes of trading partners' verification obligations (including notification). The draft guidance lays out FDA's current understanding of the following key terms for such purposes: Counterfeit, diverted, fraudulent transaction, and unfit for distribution.

    DATES:

    Submit either electronic or written comments on the draft guidance by April 2, 2018 to ensure that the Agency considers your comment on this draft guidance before it begins work on the final version of the guidance.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on any guidance at any time as follows:

    Electronic Submissions

    Submit electronic comments in the following way:

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

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

    Written/Paper Submissions

    Submit written/paper submissions as follows:

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

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

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2018-D-0338 for “Definitions of Suspect Product and Illegitimate Product for Verification Obligations Under the Drug Supply Chain Security Act.” Received comments will be placed in the docket and, except for those submitted as “Confidential Submissions,” publicly viewable at https://www.regulations.gov or at the Dockets Management Staff office between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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

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

    You may submit comments on any guidance at any time (see 21 CFR 10.115(g)(5)).

    Submit written requests for single copies of the draft guidance to the Division of Drug Information, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10001 New Hampshire Ave., Hillandale Building, 4th Floor, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002; or to the Office of Communication, Outreach and Development, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 71, Rm. 3128, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002. Send one self-addressed adhesive label to assist that office in processing your requests. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for electronic access to the draft guidance document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sarah Venti, Office of Compliance, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20993, 301-796-3130, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    FDA is announcing the availability of a draft guidance for industry entitled “Definitions of Suspect Product and Illegitimate Product for Verification Obligations Under the Drug Supply Chain Security Act.” On November 27, 2013, the DSCSA (Pub. L. 113-54) was signed into law. Section 202 of the DSCSA added section 581 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) (21 U.S.C. 360eee), which sets forth definitions for the DSCSA. “Suspect product” is defined in section 581(21) of the FD&C Act, and “illegitimate product” is defined in section 581(8).

    FDA is announcing the availability of this draft guidance to describe the Agency's interpretation of terms used in the definitions of “suspect product” and “illegitimate product” in the DSCSA, for purposes of trading partners' verification obligations (including notification) under section 582(b)(4), (c)(4), (d)(4), and (e)(4), respectively of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 360eee-1(b)(4), (c)(4), (d)(4), and (e)(4)). The draft guidance lays out FDA's current understanding of the following key terms for such purposes: Counterfeit, diverted, fraudulent transaction, and unfit for distribution.

    This draft guidance is being issued consistent with FDA's good guidance practices regulation (21 CFR 10.115). The draft guidance, when finalized, will represent the current thinking of FDA on definitions of suspect product and illegitimate product for verification obligations under the DSCSA. It does not establish any rights for any person and is not binding on FDA or the public. You can use an alternative approach if it satisfies the requirements of the applicable statutes and regulations. This guidance is not subject to Executive Order 12866.

    II. Electronic Access

    Persons with access to the internet may obtain the draft guidance at either https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/default.htm, https://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/default.htm, or https://www.regulations.gov.

    Dated: February 23, 2018. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04181 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2016-D-4098] Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed: List of Products for Each Product Category; Guidance for Industry; Availability AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notification of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or we) is announcing the availability of a guidance for industry entitled “Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed: List of Products for Each Product Category.” The guidance provides examples of products that belong to product categories included in the tables of Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed (RACCs) per Eating Occasion established in our regulations.

    DATES:

    The announcement of the guidance is published in the Federal Register on March 2, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit either electronic or written comments on FDA guidances at any time as follows:

    Electronic Submissions

    Submit electronic comments in the following way:

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

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

    Written/Paper Submissions

    Submit written/paper submissions as follows:

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

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

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2016-D-4098 for “Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed: List of Products for Each Product Category.” Received comments will be placed in the docket and, except for those submitted as “Confidential Submissions,” publicly viewable at https://www.regulations.gov or at the Dockets Management Staff between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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

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

    You may submit comments on any guidance at any time (see 21 CFR 10.115(g)(5)).

    Submit written requests for single copies of the guidance to the Office of Nutrition and Food Labeling, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Food and Drug Administration, 5001 Campus Dr., College Park, MD 20740. Send two self-addressed adhesive labels to assist that office in processing your request. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for electronic access to the guidance.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jillonne Kevala, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Food and Drug Administration, 5001 Campus Dr., College Park, MD 20740, 240-402-1450.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    We are announcing the availability of a guidance for industry entitled “Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed: List of Products for Each Product Category.” We are issuing this guidance consistent with our good guidance practices regulation (21 CFR 10.115). The guidance represents the current thinking of FDA on this topic. It does not establish any rights for any person and is not binding on FDA or the public. You can use an alternative approach if it satisfies the requirements of the applicable statutes and regulations. This guidance is not subject to Executive Order 12866.

    This guidance is intended to help industry comply with the statutory requirement, under section 403(q)(1)(A)(i) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) (21 U.S.C. 343(q)(1)(A)(i)), that food that is intended for human consumption and offered for sale bear nutrition information that provides a serving size that reflects the amount of food customarily consumed and is expressed in a common household measure that is appropriate to the food. To comply with this requirement, manufacturers must determine and label their food products with the appropriate label serving size based on the amount of the product customarily consumed.

    In the Federal Register of May 27, 2016, we issued a final rule entitled “Food Labeling: Serving Sizes of Foods That Can Reasonably Be Consumed at One Eating Occasion; Dual-Column Labeling; Updating, Modifying, and Establishing Certain Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed; Serving Size for Breath Mints; and Technical Amendments” (81 FR 34000). The final rule amends our regulations in § 101.12(b) (21 CFR 101.12(b)) to update or modify certain pre-existing RACCs, and to establish RACCs for new product categories.

    In the Federal Register of January 5, 2017 (82 FR 1344), we announced the availability of a draft guidance for industry entitled “Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed: List of Products for Each Product Category; Draft Guidance for Industry” and gave interested parties an opportunity to submit comments by March 6, 2017, for us to consider before beginning work on the final version of the guidance. We received several comments on the draft guidance and have modified the content, where appropriate, for this final guidance. Changes to the guidance include the addition of flavored nut butter spreads (e.g., cocoa, cookie, and coffee flavored) as an example in the “Nut and seed butters, pastes, or creams” product category. In the Federal Register of November 2, 2016, we published a Request for Information and Comments requesting information and comments on the appropriate product category and RACC for flavored nut butter spreads (e.g., cocoa, cookie, and coffee flavored) (81 FR 76323). Based upon the information and comments received, and our own assessment, we have determined that flavored nut butter spreads (e.g., cocoa, cookie, and coffee flavored) are comparable to nut butters and belong in the “Nut and seed butters, pastes, or creams” product category with a RACC of two tablespoons. In addition to this and other clarifying substantive changes that we made to the guidance, we made editorial changes to improve clarity and to help ensure consistency with § 101.12(b). The guidance announced in this notice finalizes the draft guidance dated January 2017.

    II. Electronic Access

    Persons with access to the internet may obtain the guidance at either https://www.fda.gov/FoodGuidances or https://www.regulations.gov. Use the FDA website listed in the previous sentence to find the most current version of the guidance.

    Dated: February 27, 2018. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04283 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2016-N-1112] United States Food and Drug Administration and Health Canada Joint Regional Consultation on the International Council for Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Pharmaceuticals for Human Use; Public Meeting; Request for Comments AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or Agency) is announcing a regional public meeting entitled “U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Health Canada Joint Regional Consultation on the International Council for Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Pharmaceuticals for Human Use (ICH).” The purpose of the public meeting is to provide information and solicit public input on the current activities of the ICH, as well as the upcoming ICH Assembly Meeting and the Expert Working Group Meetings in Kobe, Japan, scheduled for June 4 through 7, 2018. The topics to be addressed at the public meeting are the current ICH guideline topics under development that will be discussed at the forthcoming ICH Assembly Meeting in Kobe.

    DATES:

    The public meeting will be held on Friday, April 6, 2018, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Submit either electronic or written comments on this public meeting by April 30, 2018. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for registration date and information.

    ADDRESSES:

    The public meeting will be held at FDA's White Oak Campus, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 31 Conference Center, Rm. 1503 (Great Room), Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002. The meeting will also be broadcast on the web, allowing participants to join in person OR via the web. For those who will attend in person, the entrance for the public meeting participants (non-FDA employees) is through Building 1 where routine security check procedures will be performed. For parking and security information, please refer to https://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/WorkingatFDA/BuildingsandFacilities/WhiteOakCampusInformation/ucm241740.htm. For those who register to attend the public meeting remotely via the webcast, a link to access the webcast will be emailed 1 week in advance of the meeting.

    You may submit comments as follows. Please note that late, untimely, filed comments will not be considered. Electronic comments must be submitted on or before April 30, 2018. The https://www.regulations.gov electronic filing system will accept comments until midnight Eastern Time at the end of April 30, 2018. Comments received by mail/hand delivery/courier (for written/paper submissions) will be considered timely if they are postmarked or the delivery service acceptance receipt is on or before that date.

    Electronic Submissions

    Submit electronic comments in the following way:

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

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

    Written/Paper Submissions

    Submit written/paper submissions as follows:

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

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

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2016-N-1112 for “U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Health Canada Joint Regional Consultation on the International Council for Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Pharmaceuticals for Human Use; Public Meeting; Request for Comments.” Received comments, those filed in a timely manner (see ADDRESSES), will be placed in the docket and, except for those submitted as “Confidential Submissions,” publicly viewable at https://www.regulations.gov or at the Dockets Management Staff between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Amanda Roache, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 51, Rm. 1176, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-4548, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    The ICH, formerly known as the International Conference on Harmonisation, was established in 1990 as a joint regulatory/industry project to improve, through harmonization, the efficiency of the process for developing and registering new medicinal products in Europe, Japan, and the United States without compromising the regulatory requirements for safety and effectiveness. One of the goals of harmonization is to identify and then reduce regional differences in technical regulatory requirements for pharmaceutical products while preserving a consistently high standard for drug efficacy, safety, and quality. In 2015, the ICH was reformed to establish ICH as a true global initiative that expands beyond the previous ICH members. More involvement from regulators around the world is expected, as they join counterparts from Europe, Japan, the United States, Canada, and Switzerland as ICH observers and regulatory members. Expanded involvement is also anticipated from global regulated pharmaceutical industry parties, joining as ICH observers and industry members. The reforms build on a 25-year track record of successful delivery of harmonized guidelines for global pharmaceutical development and their regulation.

    ICH guidelines are developed following a five-step process. In Step 1, experts from the different ICH regions work together to prepare a consensus draft of the Step 1 Technical Document. The Step 1 Technical Document is submitted to the ICH Assembly to request endorsement under Step 2a of the process. Step 2b is a “Regulators only” step in which the ICH regulatory members review the Step 2a Final Technical Document and take any actions, which might include revisions that they deem necessary, to develop the draft “Guideline.” Step 3 of the process begins with the public consultation process conducted by each of the ICH regulatory members in their respective regions, and this step concludes with completion and acceptance of any revisions that need to be made to the Step 2b draft guideline in response to public comments. Adoption of the new guideline occurs in Step 4. Following adoption, the harmonized guideline moves to Step 5, the final step of the process when it is implemented by each of the regulatory members in their respective regions. The ICH process has achieved significant harmonization of the technical requirements for the approval of pharmaceuticals for human use in the ICH regions since 1990. More information on the current ICH process and structure can be found at the following website: http://www.ich.org/home.html. (FDA has verified the website addresses, as of the date this document publishes in the Federal Register, but websites are subject to change over time.)

    II. Topics for Discussion at the Public Meeting

    The topics for discussion at this public meeting include the current guidelines under development under the ICH. These guidelines include the following:

    Topics Currently Under Regional Public Consultation (Step 3 of ICH Process):

    • S11 Nonclinical Safety Testing in Support of Development of Pediatric Medicines • Q12 Technical and Regulatory Considerations for Pharmaceutical Product Lifecycle Management • E9(R1) Addendum: Statistical Principles for Clinical Trials

    Selected Topics Recently Finalized (Step 4 of ICH Process):

    • E17 General Principles on Planning/Designing Multi-Regional Clinical Trials

    Electronic Standards and MedDRA (Medical Dictionary for Regulatory Activities):

    • M2 Electronic Standards for the Transfer of Regulatory Information • M8 Electronic Common Technical Document (eCTD) • E2B Clinical Safety Data Management: Data Elements for Transmission of Individual Case Safety Reports • M1 MedDRA Terminology

    Additional Ongoing Topics:

    • E19 Optimization of Safety Data Collection • E8(R1) Revision on General Considerations for Clinical Trials • E11A Pediatric Extrapolation • E14/S7B Discussion Group on Clinical and Nonclinical Evaluation of QT/QTc Interval Prolongation • M9 Biopharmaceutics Classification System-Based Biowaivers • M10 Bioanalytical Method Validation • S1(R1) Revision on Rodent Carcinogenicity Studies for Human Pharmaceuticals • S5(R3) Revision on Detection of Toxicity to Reproduction for Human Pharmaceuticals • Q3C(R7) Impurities: Guideline for Residual Solvents • Q3D(R1) Guideline on Elemental Impurities III. Participating in the Public Meeting

    Registration: Persons interested in attending this public meeting must register online by April 3, 2018. To register for the public meeting, please visit the following website: https://ich_regional_consultation_2018.eventbrite.com. Please provide complete contact information for each attendee, including name, title, affiliation, address, email, and telephone.

    Registration is free and based on space availability, with priority given to early registrants. Persons interested in attending this public meeting must register by April 3, 2018, midnight Eastern Time. Early registration is recommended because seating is limited; therefore, FDA may limit the number of participants from each organization. If time and space permit, onsite registration on the day of the public meeting will be provided beginning at 9:30 a.m.

    The agenda for the public meeting will be made available on the internet at https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/NewsEvents/ucm592065.htm approximately 2 weeks in advance of the meeting.

    If you need special accommodations due to a disability, please contact Amanda Roache (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT) no later than March 23, 2018.

    Requests for Oral Presentations: If you wish to make a presentation during the public comment session, please contact Amanda Roache (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT) no later than March 23, 2018. Individuals and organizations with common interests are urged to consolidate or coordinate their presentations, and request time for a joint presentation. All requests to make presentations must be received by the close of registration on April 3, 2018. If selected for presentation, any presentation materials must be emailed to Amanda Roache (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT) no later than April 3, 2018. No commercial or promotional material will be permitted to be presented or distributed at the public meeting. Sign-up for making a public comment will also be available between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. on the day of the meeting.

    Streaming Webcast of the Public Meeting: This public meeting will also be webcast. To register to attend via webcast, please visit the following website: https://ich_regional_consultation_2018.eventbrite.com. If you have never attended a Connect Pro event before, test your connection at https://collaboration.fda.gov/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm. To get a quick overview of the Connect Pro program, visit https://www.adobe.com/go/connectpro_overview. FDA has verified the website addresses in this document, as of the date this document publishes in the Federal Register, but websites are subject to change over time.

    Dated: February 26, 2018. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04256 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2004-N-0258] Food Labeling: Serving Sizes of Foods That Can Reasonably Be Consumed at One Eating Occasion; Dual-Column Labeling; Updating, Modifying, and Establishing Certain Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed; Serving Size for Breath Mints; and Technical Amendments—Small Entity Compliance Guide; Availability AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notification of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or we) is announcing the availability of a guidance for industry entitled “Food Labeling: Serving Sizes of Foods That Can Reasonably Be Consumed at One Eating Occasion; Dual-Column Labeling; Updating, Modifying, and Establishing Certain Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed; Serving Size for Breath Mints; and Technical Amendments—Small Entity Compliance Guide.” The small entity compliance guide (SECG) is intended to help small entities comply with a final rule we issued in the Federal Register of May 27, 2016, entitled “Food Labeling: Serving Sizes of Foods That Can Reasonably Be Consumed at One Eating Occasion; Dual-Column Labeling; Updating, Modifying, and Establishing Certain Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed; Serving Size for Breath Mints; and Technical Amendments.” The final rule is designed to ensure that serving sizes are based on more recent consumption data and that consumers have serving size information on the Nutrition Facts label that will assist them in maintaining healthy dietary practices.

    DATES:

    The announcement of the guidance is published in the Federal Register on March 2, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit either electronic or written comments on Agency guidances at any time as follows:

    Electronic Submissions

    Submit electronic comments in the following way:

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

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

    Written/Paper Submissions

    Submit written/paper submissions as follows:

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

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

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2004-N-0258 for “Food Labeling: Serving Sizes of Foods That Can Reasonably Be Consumed at One Eating Occasion; Dual-Column Labeling; Updating, Modifying, and Establishing Certain Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed; Serving Size for Breath Mints; and Technical Amendments—Small Entity Compliance Guide.” Received comments will be placed in the docket and, except for those submitted as “Confidential Submissions,” publicly viewable at https://www.regulations.gov or at the Dockets Management Staff between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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

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

    You may submit comments on any guidance at any time (see 21 CFR 10.115(g)(5)).

    Submit written requests for single copies of the SECG to the Office of Nutrition and Food Labeling, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (HFS-800), Food and Drug Administration, 5001 Campus Dr., College Park, MD 20740. Send two self-addressed adhesive labels to assist that office in processing your request. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for electronic access to the SECG.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jillonne Kevala, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Food and Drug Administration, 5001 Campus Dr., College Park, MD 20740, 240-402-1450.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    In the Federal Register of May 27, 2016 (81 FR 34000), we issued a final rule pertaining to serving sizes for food. The final rule amends the definition of a single-serving container; requires dual-column labeling for certain containers; updates, modifies, and establishes certain Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed (RACCs); amends the serving size for breath mints; and makes certain technical amendments to various aspects of preexisting serving size regulations. The final rule, which is codified at §§ 101.9 and 101.12 (21 CFR 101.9 and 101.12), became effective July 26, 2016, and has a compliance date of July 26, 2018, for manufacturers with $10 million or more in annual food sales, and July 26, 2019, for manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual food sales. On October 2, 2017, FDA published a proposed rule to extend the compliance dates by approximately 1.5 years—to January 1, 2020, for manufacturers with $10 million or more in annual food sales and to January 1, 2021, for manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual food sales—and explained that, pending completion of the rulemaking with respect to the compliance dates, we intend to exercise enforcement discretion with respect to the compliance dates announced in the final rule (82 FR 45753). A final determination regarding the compliance dates is pending.

    We examined the economic implications of the final rule as required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612) and determined that the final rules on nutrition labeling, taken as a whole, will have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. In compliance with section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (Pub. L. 104-121, as amended by Pub. L. 110-28), we are making available the SECG to explain the actions that a small entity must take to comply with the rule.

    We are issuing the SECG consistent with our good guidance practices regulation (21 CFR 10.115(c)(2)). The SECG represents the current thinking of FDA on this topic. It does not establish any rights for any person and is not binding on FDA or the public. You can use an alternative approach if it satisfies the requirements of the applicable statutes and regulations. This guidance is not subject to Executive Order 12866.

    II. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    The guidance refers to previously approved collections of information found in FDA regulations. The collections of information in §§ 101.9 and 101.12 have been approved under OMB control number 0910-0381.

    III. Electronic Access

    Persons with access to the internet may obtain the SECG at either https://www.fda.gov/FoodGuidances or https://www.regulations.gov. Use the FDA website listed in the previous sentence to find the most current version of the guidance.

    Dated: February 27, 2018. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04284 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2018-D-0688] Standardization of Data and Documentation Practices for Product Tracing; Draft Guidance for Industry; Availability AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or Agency) is announcing the availability of a draft guidance for industry entitled “Standardization of Data and Documentation Practices for Product Tracing.” The draft guidance elaborates on the standards for the interoperable exchange of transaction information, transaction history, and transaction statements (product tracing information) provided under the drug supply chain security provisions of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). This guidance is intended to assist trading partners in standardizing the data contained in the product tracing information that trading partners must provide, capture, and maintain under the FD&C Act. In addition, this guidance includes recommendations for documentation practices that a trading partner can use to meet its product tracing obligations, including in situations where a trading partner is permitted by law to provide other trading partners with product tracing information that omits certain elements that would otherwise be required.

    DATES:

    Submit either electronic or written comments on the draft guidance by May 1, 2018 to ensure that the Agency considers your comment on this draft guidance before it begins work on the final version of the guidance.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on any guidance at any time as follows:

    Electronic Submissions

    Submit electronic comments in the following way:

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

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

    Written/Paper Submissions

    Submit written/paper submissions as follows:

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

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

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2018-D-0688 for “Standardization of Data and Documentation Practices for Product Tracing; Draft Guidance for Industry; Availability.” Received comments will be placed in the docket and, except for those submitted as “Confidential Submissions,” publicly viewable at https://www.regulations.gov or at the Dockets Management Staff between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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

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

    You may submit comments on any guidance at any time (see 21 CFR 10.115(g)(5)).

    Submit written requests for single copies of the draft guidance to the Division of Drug Information, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10001 New Hampshire Ave., Hillandale Building, 4th Floor, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002. Send one self-addressed adhesive label to assist that office in processing your requests. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for electronic access to the draft guidance document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Connie Jung, Office of Compliance, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-3130, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    On November 27, 2013, the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (Title II of Pub. L. 113-54) was signed into law. Section 202 of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA), which added new sections 581 and 582 to the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 360eee and 360eee-1), set forth new definitions and requirements related to product tracing. The DSCSA outlines critical steps to build an electronic, interoperable system by November 27, 2023, that will identify and trace certain prescription drugs as they are distributed within the United States.

    Under section 582(b)(1), (c)(1), (d)(1), and (e)(1) of the FD&C Act, certain trading partners in the pharmaceutical distribution supply chain (manufacturers, wholesale distributors, dispensers, and repackagers) are required to capture, maintain, and provide the subsequent purchaser of certain prescription drug products with product tracing information. These requirements took effect on January 1, 2015, for manufacturers, wholesale distributors, and repackagers, and on July 1, 2015, for dispensers.

    As required by section 582(a)(2)(A) of the FD&C Act, FDA established initial standards in 2014 to facilitate the interoperable exchange of transaction information, transaction history, and transaction statements between trading partners (79 FR 70878, November 28, 2014). Those standards help trading partners comply with the requirements of section 582(b)(1), (c)(1), (d)(1), and (e)(1) of the FD&C Act to provide the subsequent trading partners with product tracing information, in paper or electronic format, through the extension and/or use of current systems and processes.

    This draft guidance elaborates on the initial standards that FDA established in 2014. It is intended to assist trading partners in standardizing the data that are contained in the product tracing information they must provide to subsequent purchasers. It is also intended to help trading partners understand the data elements that should be included in the product tracing information, particularly in situations where they are permitted by law to provide other trading partners with product tracing information that omits certain elements that would otherwise be required. In addition, the draft guidance recommends documentation practices that trading partners can use to satisfy the requirements of section 582(b)(1), (c)(1), (d)(1), and (e)(1) of the FD&C Act.

    This draft guidance is being issued consistent with FDA's good guidance practices regulation (21 CFR 10.115). The draft guidance, when finalized, will represent the current thinking of FDA about standardization of data and documentation practices for the exchange of product tracing information. It does not establish any rights for any person and is not binding on FDA or the public. You can use an alternative approach if it satisfies the requirements of the applicable statutes and regulations. This guidance is not subject to Executive Order 12866.

    II. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This draft guidance includes information collection provisions that are subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520). FDA intends to solicit public comment and obtain OMB approval for any information collections recommended in this guidance that are new or that would represent modifications to those previously approved collections of information found in FDA regulations or guidances.

    III. Electronic Access

    Persons with access to the internet may obtain the document at https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/default.htm, https://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/default.htm, or https://www.regulations.gov.

    Dated: February 23, 2018. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04180 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2016-D-1255] E18 Genomic Sampling and Management of Genomic Data; International Council for Harmonisation; Guidance for Industry; Availability AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or Agency) is announcing the availability of a guidance for industry entitled “E18 Genomic Sampling and Management of Genomic Data.” The guidance was prepared under the auspices of the International Council for Harmonisation (ICH), formerly the International Conference on Harmonisation. This guidance focuses on the general principles of collecting, processing, transporting, storing, and disposing of genomic samples or data in clinical studies. The guidance is intended to provide harmonized principles of genomic sampling and of management of genomic data in clinical studies to foster interactions amongst stakeholders, including drug developers, investigators, and regulators; and to encourage genomic research within clinical studies.

    DATES:

    The announcement of the guidance is published in the Federal Register on March 2, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit either electronic or written comments on Agency guidances at any time as follows:

    Electronic Submissions

    Submit electronic comments in the following way:

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

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

    Written/Paper Submissions

    Submit written/paper submissions as follows:

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

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

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2016-D-1255 for “E18 Genomic Sampling and Management of Genomic Data; International Council for Harmonisation; Guidance for Industry.” Received comments will be placed in the docket and, except for those submitted as “Confidential Submissions,” publicly viewable at https://www.regulations.gov or at the Dockets Management Staff between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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

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

    You may submit comments on any guidance at any time (see 21 CFR 10.115(g)(5)).

    Submit written requests for single copies of this guidance to the Division of Drug Information, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10001 New Hampshire Ave., Hillandale Building, 4th Floor, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002; the Office of Communication and Education, Division of Industry and Consumer Education, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 66, Rm. 4621, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002; or the Office of Communication, Outreach and Development, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 71, Rm. 3128, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002. Send one self-addressed adhesive label to assist that office in processing your requests. The guidance may also be obtained by mail by calling the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research at 1-800-835-4709 or 240-402-8010. Send one self-addressed adhesive label to assist that office in processing your requests. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for electronic access to the guidance document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Regarding the guidance: Christian Grimstein, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 51, Rm. 3116, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-5189; or Eunice Lee, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 66, Rm. 5546, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-4808.

    Regarding the ICH: Amanda Roache, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 51, Rm. 1176, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-4548.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    FDA is announcing the availability of a guidance for industry entitled “E18 Genomic Sampling and Management of Genomic Data; International Council for Harmonisation.” In recent years, regulatory authorities and industry associations from around the world have participated in many important initiatives to promote international harmonization of regulatory requirements under the ICH. FDA has participated in several ICH meetings designed to enhance harmonization and FDA is committed to seeking scientifically based harmonized technical procedures for pharmaceutical development. One of the goals of harmonization is to identify and reduce differences in technical requirements for drug development among regulatory agencies.

    ICH was established to provide an opportunity for harmonization initiatives to be developed with input from both regulatory and industry representatives. FDA also seeks input from consumer representatives and others. ICH is concerned with harmonization of technical requirements for the registration of pharmaceutical products for human use among regulators around the world. The six founding members of the ICH are the European Commission; the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries Associations; FDA; the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare; the Japanese Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association; and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. The standing members of the ICH Association include Health Canada and Swissmedic. Any party eligible as a member in accordance with the ICH Articles of Association can apply for membership in writing to the ICH Secretariat. The ICH Secretariat, which coordinates the preparation of documentation, operates as an international nonprofit organization and is funded by the members of the ICH Association.

    The ICH Assembly is the overarching body of the Association and includes representatives from each of the ICH members and observers. The ICH Assembly is responsible for the endorsement of draft guidelines and adoption of final guidelines. FDA publishes ICH guidelines as FDA guidance.

    In the Federal Register of June 3, 2016 (81 FR 35781), FDA published a notice announcing the availability of a draft guidance entitled “E18 Genomic Sampling and Management of Genomic Data.” The notice gave interested persons an opportunity to submit comments by August 2, 2016.

    After consideration of the comments received and revisions to the guideline, a final draft of the guideline was submitted to the ICH Assembly and endorsed by the regulatory agencies in September 2017.

    The guidance provides guidance on genomic sampling and management of genomic data from interventional and non-interventional clinical studies. The guidance addresses use of genomic samples and data irrespective of the timing of analyses and both prespecified and non-prespecified use. The focus is on the general principles of collecting, processing, transporting, storing, and disposing of genomic samples or data, within the scope of an informed consent policy or practice. The technical aspects of genomic sampling are also discussed when appropriate, recognizing the rapidly evolving technological advances in genomic sampling and data generation. The guidance also intends to increase awareness and provide a reminder regarding subjects' privacy, protection of the data generated, the need to obtain suitable informed consent, and the need to consider transparency of findings in line with local legislation and regulations.

    This guidance is being issued consistent with FDA's good guidance practices regulation (21 CFR 10.115). The guidance represents the current thinking of FDA on “E18 Genomic Sampling and Management of Genomic Data.” It does not establish any rights for any person and is not binding on FDA or the public. You can use an alternative approach if it satisfies the requirements of the applicable statutes and regulations. This guidance is not subject to Executive Order 12866.

    II. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This guidance refers to previously approved collections of information that are subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520). The collections of information in 21 CFR parts 312 and 314 have been approved under OMB control numbers 0910-0014 and 0910-0001, respectively. The collections of information in 21 CFR parts 50 and 56 have been approved under OMB control number 0910-0755. The collections of information in the guidance “E6(R2) Good Clinical Practice: Integrated Addendum to ICH E6(R1)” have been approved under 0910-0843.

    III. Electronic Access

    Persons with access to the internet may obtain the document at https://www.regulations.gov, https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/default.htm, https://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/DeviceRegulationandGuidance/GuidanceDocuments/default.htm, or https://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/default.htm.

    Dated: February 27, 2018. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04274 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Availability of the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee Scientific Report and Solicitation of Written Comments AGENCY:

    Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, Office of the Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) (a) announces the availability of the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee Scientific Report (Scientific Report); and (b) solicits written comments on the Scientific Report.

    DATES:

    Written comments on the Scientific Report will be accepted through 11:59 p.m. ET on April 2, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    The Scientific Report is available on the internet at www.health.gov/paguidelines.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Designated Federal Officer, 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee, Richard D. Olson, MD, MPH and/or Alternate Designated Federal Officer, Katrina L. Piercy, Ph.D., RD, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP), Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH), HHS; 1101 Wootton Parkway, Suite LL-100; Rockville, MD 20852; Telephone: (240) 453-8280. Email: [email protected] Additional information is available at www.health.gov/paguidelines.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The inaugural Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (PAG), issued in 2008, was the first comprehensive guidelines on physical activity issued by the federal government. The PAG serves as the benchmark and primary, authoritative voice of the federal government for providing science-based guidance on physical activity, fitness, and health for Americans. The second edition of the PAG will build upon the first edition and provide a foundation for federal recommendations and education for physical activity programs for Americans, including those at risk for chronic disease.

    Description of the Committee's Mission and Composition: The 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee (Committee or PAGAC) was established to perform a single, time-limited task. The work of the Committee was solely advisory in nature. It was charged to examine the current PAG, take into consideration new scientific evidence and current resource documents, and develop a scientific report to the Secretary of HHS that outlines its science-based advice and recommendations for development of the second edition of the PAG. The Committee consisted of 17 members, who were appointed by the Secretary in June 2016. The Committee disbanded upon submission of its Scientific Report to the Secretary of HHS. Information on the Committee membership is available at www.health.gov/paguidelines/second-edition/committee/.

    Written Public Comments: Written comments on the Scientific Report are encouraged from the public and will be accepted through April 2, 2018. Written public comments can be submitted and/or viewed at www.health.gov/paguidelines/pcd using the “Submit Comments” and “Read Comments” links, respectively. HHS requests that commenters provide a brief summary of the points or issues in the comment text box. If commenters are providing literature or other resources, complete citations or abstracts and electronic links to full articles or reports are preferred instead of attaching these documents to the comment. The Department does not make decisions on specific policy recommendations based on the number of comments for or against a topic, but on the scientific justification for the recommendation. All comments must be received by 11:59 p.m. ET on April 2, 2018, after which the time period for submitting written comments to the federal government expires. After submission, comments will be reviewed, processed, and then posted for public viewing.

    Dated: February 21, 2018. Don Wright, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04307 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4150-32-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute on Aging; Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, notice is hereby given of the following meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The contract proposals and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the contract proposals, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute on Aging Special Emphasis Panel Second Stage Review.

    Date: March 16, 2018.

    Time: 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate contract proposals.

    Place: National Institute on Aging, Gateway Building, Room 2W200, 7201 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda, MD 20892.

    Contact Person: Jeannette L. Johnson, Ph.D., National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, 7201 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 2C212, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-402-7705, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.866, Aging Research, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: February 26, 2018. Melanie J. Pantoja, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04221 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute of General Medical Sciences; Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, notice is hereby given of the following meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute of General Medical Sciences Special Emphasis Panel; Review of applications for NIH Loan Repayment program (LRP).

    Date: April 17, 2018.

    Time: 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Natcher Building, Room 3AN18, 45 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Manas Chattopadhyay, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, National Institute of General Medical Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Building 45, Room 3AN12N, 45 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-827-5320, [email protected].

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.375, Minority Biomedical Research Support; 93.821, Cell Biology and Biophysics Research; 93.859, Pharmacology, Physiology, and Biological Chemistry Research; 93.862, Genetics and Developmental Biology Research; 93.88, Minority Access to Research Careers; 93.96, Special Minority Initiatives; 93.859, Biomedical Research and Research Training, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: February 26, 2018. Melanie J. Pantoja, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04222 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard [Docket No. USCG-2017-0952] Collection of Information Under Review by Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0011 AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Thirty-day notice requesting comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 the U.S. Coast Guard is forwarding an Information Collection Request (ICR), abstracted below, to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), requesting approval for reinstatement, without change, of the following collection of information: 1625-0011, Applications for Private Aids to Navigation and for Class I Private Aids to Navigation on Artificial Islands and Fixed Structures. Our ICR describes the information we seek to collect from the public. Review and comments by OIRA ensure we only impose paperwork burdens commensurate with our performance of duties.

    DATES:

    Comments must reach the Coast Guard and OIRA on or before April 2, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by Coast Guard docket number [USCG-2017-0952] to the Coast Guard using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Alternatively, you may submit comments to OIRA using one of the following means:

    (1) Email: [email protected]

    (2) Mail: OIRA, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20503, attention Desk Officer for the Coast Guard.

    A copy of the ICR is available through the docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Additionally, copies are available from: Commandant (CG-612), ATTN: Paperwork Reduction Act Manager, U.S. Coast Guard, 2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE, STOP 7710, Washington, DC 20593-7710.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Anthony Smith, Office of Information Management, telephone 202-475-3532, or fax 202-372-8405, for questions on these documents.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Public Participation and Request for Comments

    This Notice relies on the authority of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; 44 U.S.C. chapter 35, as amended. An ICR is an application to OIRA seeking the approval, extension, or renewal of a Coast Guard collection of information (Collection). The ICR contains information describing the Collection's purpose, the Collection's likely burden on the affected public, an explanation of the necessity of the Collection, and other important information describing the Collection. There is one ICR for each Collection. The Coast Guard invites comments on whether this ICR should be granted based on the Collection being necessary for the proper performance of Departmental functions. In particular, the Coast Guard would appreciate comments addressing: (1) The practical utility of the Collection; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden of the Collection; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of information subject to the Collection; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the Collection on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. These comments will help OIRA determine whether to approve the ICR referred to in this Notice.

    We encourage you to respond to this request by submitting comments and related materials. Comments to Coast Guard or OIRA must contain the OMB Control Number of the ICR. They must also contain the docket number of this request, [USCG-2017-0952], and must be received by April 2, 2018.

    Submitting Comments

    We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be submitted using http://www.regulations.gov, contact the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate instructions. Documents mentioned in this notice, and all public comments, are in our online docket at http://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following that website's instructions. Additionally, if you go to the online docket and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified when comments are posted.

    We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and the docket, you may review a Privacy Act notice regarding the Federal Docket Management System in the March 24, 2005, issue of the Federal Register (70 FR 15086).

    OIRA posts its decisions on ICRs online at http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain after the comment period for each ICR. An OMB Notice of Action on each ICR will become available via a hyperlink in the OMB Control Number: 1625-0011.

    Previous Request for Comments

    This request provides a 30-day comment period required by OIRA. The Coast Guard published the 60-day notice (82 FR 58819, December 14, 2017) required by 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2). That Notice elicited one comment. The commenter stated that it's their belief that the current system of the Coast Guard with respect to the new owner or transfer of ownership, should be at the discretion of the system that has always been in place. Coast Guard response: Nothing about the private aid to navigation process is changing and therefore we have not revised this information collection request in response to the comment. Accordingly, no changes have been made to the Collections.

    Information Collection Request

    Title: Applications for Private Aids to Navigation and for Class I Private Aids to Navigation on Artificial Islands and Fixed Structures.

    OMB Control Number: 1625-0011.

    Summary: Under the provision of 14 U.S.C. 81, the Coast Guard is authorized to establish aids to navigation. 14 U.S.C. 83 prohibits establishment of aids to navigation without permission of the Coast Guard. 33 CFR 66.01-5 provides a means for private individuals to establish privately maintained aids to navigation. Under 43 U.S.C. 1333, the Coast Guard has the authority to promulgate and enforce regulations concerning lights and other warning devices relating to the promotion of safety of life and property on artificial islands, installations, and other devices on the outer continental shelf involved in the exploration, development, removal, or transportation of resources there from. 33 CFR 67.35-1 prescribes the type of aids to navigation that must be installed on artificial islands and fixed structures. Under the provision of 33 U.S.C. 409, the Secretary of Homeland Security is mandated to prescribe rules and regulations for governing the marking of sunken vessels. This authorization was delegated to the Commandant of the Coast Guard under Department of Homeland Security Delegation number 0170 and the marking of sunken vessels are set out in 33 CFR part 64.11. To change any regulation, 5 U.S.C. 553 requires rule making to be published in the Federal Register and that the notice shall include a statement of time, place, and nature of public rule making proceedings. The information collected for the rule can only be obtained from the owners of sunken vessels. The information collection requirements are contained in 33 CFR 66.01-5, and 67.35-5.

    Need: The information on these private aid applications (CG-2554 and CG-4143) provides the Coast Guard with vital information about private aids to navigation and is essential for safe marine navigation. These forms are required under 33 CFR 66 & 67. The information is processed to ensure the private aid is in compliance with current regulations. Additionally, these forms provide the Coast Guard with information which can be distributed to the public to advise of new, or changes to private aids to navigation. In addition, collecting the applicant's contact information is important because it allows the Coast Guard to contact the applicant should there be a discrepancy or mishap involving the permitted private aid to navigation. Certain discrepancies create hazards to navigation and must be responded to and immediately corrected or repaired.

    Forms: CG-2554, Private Aids to Navigation Application, and CG-4143, Application for Class I Private Aids to Navigation on Artificial Islands and Fixed Structures.

    Respondents: Owners of private aids to navigation.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Hour Burden Estimate: The estimated burden has decreased from 2,000 hours to 1,709 hours a year due to a decrease in the number of respondents.

    Authority:

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended.

    Dated: February 26, 2018. James D. Roppel, U.S. Coast Guard, Acting Chief, Office of Information Management.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04272 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard [Docket No. USCG-2018-0134] Information Collection Request to Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0012 AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Sixty-day notice requesting comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the U.S. Coast Guard intends to submit an Information Collection Request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), requesting an extension of its approval for the following collection of information: 1625-0012, Certificate of Discharge to Merchant Mariner; without change. Our ICR describes the information we seek to collect from the public. Before submitting this ICR to OIRA, the Coast Guard is inviting comments as described below.

    DATES:

    Comments must reach the Coast Guard on or before May 1, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by Coast Guard docket number [USCG-2018-0134] to the Coast Guard using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. See the “Public participation and request for comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for further instructions on submitting comments.

    A copy of the ICR is available through the docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Additionally, copies are available from: Commandant (CG-612), Attn: Paperwork Reduction Act Manager, U.S. Coast Guard, 2703 Martin Luther King Jr Ave. SE, STOP 7710, Washington, DC 20593-7710.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Anthony Smith, Office of Information Management, telephone 202-475-3532, or fax 202-372-8405, for questions on these documents.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Public Participation and Request for Comments

    This Notice relies on the authority of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; Title 44 United States Code (U.S.C.) Chapter 35, as amended. An ICR is an application to OIRA seeking the approval, extension, or renewal of a Coast Guard collection of information (Collection). The ICR contains information describing the Collection's purpose, the Collection's likely burden on the affected public, an explanation of the necessity of the Collection, and other important information describing the Collection. There is one ICR for each Collection.

    The Coast Guard invites comments on whether this ICR should be granted based on the Collection being necessary for the proper performance of Departmental functions. In particular, the Coast Guard would appreciate comments addressing: (1) The practical utility of the Collection; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden of the Collection; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of information subject to the Collection; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the Collection on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. In response to your comments, we may revise this ICR or decide not to seek an extension of approval for the Collection. We will consider all comments and material received during the comment period.

    We encourage you to respond to this request by submitting comments and related materials. Comments must contain the OMB Control Number of the ICR and the docket number of this request, [USCG-2018-0134], and must be received by May 1, 2018.

    Submitting Comments

    We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be submitted using http://www.regulations.gov, contact the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate instructions. Documents mentioned in this notice, and all public comments, are in our online docket at http://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following that website's instructions. Additionally, if you go to the online docket and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified when comments are posted.

    We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and the docket, you may review a Privacy Act notice regarding the Federal Docket Management System in the March 24, 2005, issue of the Federal Register (70 FR 15086).

    Information Collection Request

    Title: Certificate of Discharge to Merchant Mariner.

    OMB Control Number: 1625-0012.

    Summary:Title 46, U.S.C. 10311 requires each master or individual in charge of a vessel, to prepare a Certificate of Discharge to Merchant Mariner for each mariner being discharged from the vessel. These documents are used to establish evidence of sea service aboard U.S.flagged merchant vessels for merchant mariners to upgrade their credentials, establish proof of eligibility for union and other benefits, and in litigation when vessel service is an issue.

    Need: The information collected provides the U.S. Coast Guard evidence of sea service used in determining eligibility for issuance of a merchant mariner credential, to determine eligibility for various benefits such as medical and retirement, and to provide information to the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) on the availability of mariners in a time of a national emergency.

    Forms: CG-718A, Certificate of Discharge to Merchant Mariner.

    Respondents: Shipping companies, master or individuals in charge of a vessel.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Hour Burden Estimate: The estimated annual burden remains 1,478 hours.

    Authority:

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended.

    Dated: February 26, 2018. James D. Roppel, U.S. Coast Guard, Acting Chief, Office of Information Management.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04263 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard [Docket No. USCG-2018-0138] Information Collection Request[s] to Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0005 AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Sixty-day notice requesting comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the U.S. Coast Guard intends to submit an Information Collection Request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), requesting an extension of its approval for the following collection of information: 1625-0005, Application and Permit to Handle Hazardous Material; without change. Our ICR describe the information we seek to collect from the public. Before submitting this ICR to OIRA, the Coast Guard is inviting comments as described below.

    DATES:

    Comments must reach the Coast Guard on or before May 1, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by Coast Guard docket number [USCG-2018-0138] to the Coast Guard using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. See the “Public participation and request for comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for further instructions on submitting comments.

    A copy of the ICR is available through the docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Additionally, copies are available from: Commandant (CG-612), Attn: Paperwork Reduction Act Manager, U.S. Coast Guard, 2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE, STOP 7710, Washington, DC 20593-7710.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Anthony Smith, Office of Information Management, telephone 202-475-3532, or fax 202-372-8405, for questions on these documents.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Public Participation and Request for Comments

    This Notice relies on the authority of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; 44 U.S.C. chapter 35, as amended. An ICR is an application to OIRA seeking the approval, extension, or renewal of a Coast Guard collection of information (Collection). The ICR contains information describing the Collection's purpose, the Collection's likely burden on the affected public, an explanation of the necessity of the Collection, and other important information describing the Collection. There is one ICR for each Collection.

    The Coast Guard invites comments on whether this ICR should be granted based on the Collection being necessary for the proper performance of Departmental functions. In particular, the Coast Guard would appreciate comments addressing: (1) The practical utility of the Collection; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden of the Collection; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of information subject to the Collection; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the Collection on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. In response to your comments, we may revise this ICR or decide not to seek an extension of approval for the Collection. We will consider all comments and material received during the comment period.

    We encourage you to respond to this request by submitting comments and related materials. Comments must contain the OMB Control Number of the ICR and the docket number of this request, [USCG-2018-0138], and must be received by May 1, 2018.

    Submitting Comments

    We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be submitted using http://www.regulations.gov, contact the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate instructions. Documents mentioned in this notice, and all public comments, are in our online docket at http://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following that website's instructions. Additionally, if you go to the online docket and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified when comments are posted.

    We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and the docket, you may review a Privacy Act notice regarding the Federal Docket Management System in the March 24, 2005, issue of the Federal Register (70 FR 15086).

    Information Collection Request

    Title: Application and Permit to Handle Hazardous Material.

    OMB Control Number: 1625-0005.

    Summary: The information is used to ensure the safe handling of explosives and other hazardous materials around port and aboard vessels.

    Need: Tile 33 U.S.C. 1225 and 1231 authorize the Coast Guard to establish standards for the handling, storage, and movement of hazardous materials on a vessel and waterfront facility. Regulations in 33 CFR 126.17, 49 CFR 176.100, and 176.415 prescribe the rules for facilities and vessels.

    Forms: CG-4260, Application and Permit to Handle Hazardous Materials.

    Respondents: Shipping agents and terminal operators that handle hazardous materials.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Hour Burden Estimate: The estimated burden has increased from 182 hours to 308 hours a year due to an increase in the estimated number of responses.

    Authority:

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended.

    Dated: February 26, 2018. James D. Roppel, U.S. Coast Guard, Acting Chief, Office of Information Management.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04268 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard [Docket No. USCG-2018-0135] Information Collection Request to Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0068 AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Sixty-day notice requesting comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the U.S. Coast Guard intends to submit an Information Collection Request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), requesting an extension of its approval for the following collection of information: 1625-0068, State Access to the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund for removal costs under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, without change. Our ICR describes the information we seek to collect from the public. Before submitting this ICR to OIRA, the Coast Guard is inviting comments as described below.

    DATES:

    Comments must reach the Coast Guard on or before May 1, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by Coast Guard docket number [USCG-2018-0135] to the Coast Guard using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. See the “Public participation and request for comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for further instructions on submitting comments.

    A copy of the ICR is available through the docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Additionally, copies are available from: Commandant (CG-612), Attn: Paperwork Reduction Act Manager, U.S. Coast Guard, 2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE, STOP 7710, Washington, DC 20593-7710.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Anthony Smith, Office of Information Management, telephone 202-475-3532, or fax 202-372-8405, for questions on these documents.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Public Participation and Request for Comments

    This Notice relies on the authority of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; 44 U.S.C. chapter 35, as amended. An ICR is an application to OIRA seeking the approval, extension, or renewal of a Coast Guard collection of information (Collection). The ICR contains information describing the Collection's purpose, the Collection's likely burden on the affected public, an explanation of the necessity of the Collection, and other important information describing the Collection. There is one ICR for each Collection.

    The Coast Guard invites comments on whether this ICR should be granted based on the Collection being necessary for the proper performance of Departmental functions. In particular, the Coast Guard would appreciate comments addressing: (1) The practical utility of the Collection; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden of the Collection; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of information subject to the Collection; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the Collection on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. In response to your comments, we may revise this ICR or decide not to seek an extension of approval for the Collection. We will consider all comments and material received during the comment period.

    We encourage you to respond to this request by submitting comments and related materials. Comments must contain the OMB Control Number of the ICR and the docket number of this request, [USCG-2018-0135], and must be received by May 1, 2018.

    Submitting Comments

    We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be submitted using http://www.regulations.gov, contact the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate instructions. Documents mentioned in this notice, and all public comments, are in our online docket at http://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following that website's instructions. Additionally, if you go to the online docket and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified when comments are posted.

    We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and the docket, you may review a Privacy Act notice regarding the Federal Docket Management System in the March 24, 2005, issue of the Federal Register (70 FR 15086).

    Information Collection Request

    Title: State Access to the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund for removal costs under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990.

    OMB Control Number: 1625-0068.

    Summary: This information collection is the mechanism for a Governor, or their designated representative, of a state to make a request for payment from the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund (OSLTF) in an amount not to exceed $250,000 for removal cost consistent with the National Contingency Plan required for the immediate removal of a discharge, or the mitigation or prevention of a substantial threat of discharge, of oil.

    Need: This information collection is required by 33 CFR part 133, for implementing 33 U.S.C. 2712(d)(1) of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90). The information provided by the State to the National Pollution Funds Center (NPFC) is used to determine whether expenditures submitted by the state to the OSLTF are compensable, and, where compensable, to ensure the correct amount of reimbursement is made by the OSLTF to the state. If the information is not collected, the Coast Guard and the National Pollution Funds Center will be unable to justify the resulting expenditures, and thus be unable to recover costs from the parties responsible for the spill when they can be identified.

    Forms: None.

    Respondents: Governor of a state or their designated representative.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Hour Burden Estimate: The estimated annual burden remains 03 hours a year.

    Authority:

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended.

    Dated: February 26, 2018. James D. Roppel, U.S. Coast Guard, Acting Chief, Office of Information Management.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04271 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection Notice of Issuance of Final Determination Concerning Certain Ethernet Gateway Products AGENCY:

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security.

    ACTION:

    Notice of final determination.

    SUMMARY:

    This document provides notice that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) has issued a final determination concerning the country of origin of certain ethernet gateway products known as AirLink gateways. Based upon the facts presented, CBP has concluded in the final determination that the United States is the country of origin of the AirLink gateways for purposes of U.S. Government procurement.

    DATES:

    The final determination was issued on February 23, 2018. A copy of the final determination is attached. Any party-at-interest, as defined in 19 CFR § 177.22(d), may seek judicial review of this final determination within April 2, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ross M. Cunningham, Valuation and Special Programs Branch, Regulations and Rulings, Office of Trade (202) 325-0034.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is hereby given that on February 23, 2018, pursuant to subpart B of Part 177, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Regulations (19 CFR part 177, subpart B), CBP issued a final determination concerning the country of origin of certain ethernet gateway products known as AirLink gateways, which may be offered to the U.S. Government under an undesignated government procurement contract. This final determination, HQ H250154, was issued under procedures set forth at 19 CFR part 177, subpart B, which implements Title III of the Trade Agreements Act of 1979, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2511-18). In the final determination, CBP concluded that, based upon the facts presented, the programming and downloading operations performed in the United States, using U.S.-origin software, substantially transform non-TAA country AirLink gateways. Therefore, the country of origin of the AirLink gateways is the United States for purposes of U.S. Government procurement.

    Section 177.29, CBP Regulations (19 CFR 177.29), provides that a notice of final determination shall be published in the Federal Register within 60 days of the date the final determination is issued. Section 177.30, CBP Regulations (19 CFR 177.30), provides that any party-at-interest, as defined in 19 CFR 177.22(d), may seek judicial review of a final determination within 30 days of publication of such determination in the Federal Register.

    Dated: February 23, 2018. Alice A. Kipel, Executive Director, Regulations and Rulings, Office of Trade. HQ H250154 February 23, 2018 OT:RR:CTF:VS H250154 GaK/RMC CATEGORY: Origin Mark J. Segrist Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A.225 West Washington Street, Suite 1640 Chicago, IL 60606 Re: U.S. Government Procurement; Country of Origin of Gateway Products; Substantial Transformation Dear Mr. Segrist:

    This is in response to your letter dated October 25, 2013, and your supplemental submissions dated February 27, 2014 and March 21, 2014, requesting a final determination on behalf of your client, Sierra Wireless (“Sierra”), pursuant to subpart B of Part 177 of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) Regulations (19 C.F.R. Part 177). A meeting was held at our office on October 3, 2014, where you and your client explained the software development process and the product. A further submission dated April 18, 2017, was provided.

    This final determination concerns the country of origin of Sierra's secure Ethernet gateway products (“gateways”). We note that as a U.S. importer, Sierra is a party-at-interest within the meaning of 19 C.F.R. § 177.22(d)(1) and is entitled to request this final determination.

    Per your letter dated September 22, 2014, we have reviewed your request for confidentiality pursuant to 19 C.F.R. § 177.2(b)(7) with respect to the information submitted. As that information constitutes privileged or confidential matters, it has been bracketed and will be deleted from any published versions.

    FACTS:

    Sierra produces gateways that provide secure internet connectivity for mobile stations allowing a variety of enterprises, mainly law enforcement, to monitor their infrastructure and instruments by transmitting and receiving data from a central location. The gateways are designed for entities that require 24/7 unmanned operation of remote assets and broadband connectivity. The gateways are frequently installed in police cars and provide a 24/7 internet connection and allow police officers to access information stored in the central location. The gateway also acts as a firewall server, which ensures that the connection between the mobile station and the main office is secure and that unauthorized persons cannot access information transmitted over the internet. Sierra's submissions include details on four different gateway products, branded “AirLink,” to be covered by this final determination: GX400, GX440, LS300, and ES440. The different series of gateways are designed differently to meet the needs of a variety of customers1 , but they have the same functions and operate with the same software, referred to as Aleos.

    1 The GX series are designed for in-vehicle field deployments, such as connecting police cars or fire trucks to their network at headquarters. The LS series is designed for hazardous environments and for industrial deployments, such as surveillance of pipelines or meters. The ES series is designed to provide connectivity when landline connections are unavailable and can be used to maintain kiosks and retail operations online.

    The hardware components consist of a case/kit that holds the module, a printed circuit assembly (“PCA”) that includes a radio module, a decorative cover placed over the case/kit, and various nuts and screws to close the case/kit and hold the cover in place. All the hardware components are designed in the United States and produced and assembled in China. Sierra imports the completed gateways into the United States, where authorized retailers install the ALEOS software. Sierra states that, at the time of importation, the fully assembled gateway is not functional because it does not contain the ALEOS software. Sierra also states that the gateway in its condition as imported has only the basic ability to communicate with a software installation tool to facilitate the download of the ALEOS software. The radio module contains firmware to control its internal function of sending and receiving to/from the network, which cannot take place until the ALEOS software is loaded onto the gateway. Sierra states that the PCA design and the firmware in the radio module are proprietary and are designed to work only with the ALEOS software and that any attempts to install other software will cause the system to crash.

    ALEOS was developed entirely in the United States in five steps:

    1. Research: A list of ideas and potential features of the product is compiled, product roadmap is developed, and product requirements are defined. 2. Development of Software Specification: The chief architects create a software design, which is developed by the development team to meet the defined product requirements. 3. Programming of Source Code: The development team receives the software development tasks, which results in the source code files written by the software developers. 4. Software Integration and Build: The team integrates the source code files by compiling the source code into a binary file that runs on the hardware. During this phase, the developers work out the incompatibilities or bugs by rewriting or correcting source code as needed until a build is complete and ready for testing. 5. Testing and Validation: The software package is tested based on functional specifications defined in the product requirements. Once the test case pass rate is met, the software is ready for release.

    Since 1993, approximately [3] engineer hours were spent in the development of the ALEOS software in the United States. Some minor software maintenance, such as repair and validation, is conducted in Canada and France, which accounts for approximately [ ]% of the engineer hours spent. Sierra states that the gateways are approximately $45 at import and after the ALEOS software is installed, are valued at between $479 and $899. We assume for purposes of this decision that the figures provided are correct. You also submitted an affidavit from the Vice President of Marketing at Sierra describing the software and installation process, a user guide, an end-user warranty, and a PowerPoint presentation that included photographs and component lists.

    LAW AND ANALYSIS:

    CBP issues country of origin advisory rulings and final determinations as to whether an article is or would be a product of a designated country or instrumentality for the purposes of granting waivers of certain “Buy American” restrictions in U.S. law or practice for products offered for sale to the U.S. Government, pursuant to subpart B of Part 177, 19 C.F.R. § 177.21 et seq., which implements Title III of the Trade Agreements Act of 1979, as amended (19 U.S.C. § 2511 et seq.).

    Under the rule of origin set forth under 19 U.S.C. § 2518(4)(B):

    An article is a product of a country or instrumentality only if (i) it is wholly the growth, product, or manufacture of that country or instrumentality, or (ii) in the case of an article which consists in whole or in part of materials from another country or instrumentality, it has been substantially transformed into a new and different article of commerce with a name, character, or use distinct from that of the article or articles from which it was so transformed. See also 19 C.F.R. § 177.22(a).

    You argue that the country of origin of the GX400, GX440, LS300, and ES440 gateway products is the United States because you believe that the last substantial transformation occurs in the United States. You state that the fully-assembled gateways are not functional when they are imported into the United States and that the gateways gain their ability to function as intended only after U.S.-origin software is installed in the United States. In support, you cite, among others, Data General v. United States, 4 C.I.T. 182 (1982), Headquarters Ruling (“HQ”) H052325, dated February 14, 2006, and HQ H175415, dated October 4, 2011.

    In Data General, the court determined that the programming of a foreign PROM (Programmable Read-Only Memory chip) in the United States substantially transformed the PROM into a U.S. article. In the United States, the programming bestowed upon each circuit its electronic function, that is, its “memory” which could be retrieved. A distinct physical change was effected in the PROM by the opening or closing of the fuses, depending on the method of programming. The essence of the article, its interconnections or stored memory, was established by programming. The court concluded that altering the non-functioning circuitry comprising a PROM through technological expertise in order to produce a functioning read only memory device, possessing a desired distinctive circuit pattern, was no less a “substantial transformation” than the manual interconnection of transistors, resistors and diodes upon a circuit board creating a similar pattern. See also Texas Instruments v. United States, 681 F.2d 778, 782 (CCPA 1982) (holding that the substantial transformation issue is a “mixed question of technology and customs law”). Accordingly, the programming of a device that confers its identity as well as defines its use generally constitutes a substantial transformation. See HQ 735027, dated September 7, 1993 (programming blank media (EEPROM) with instructions that allow it to perform certain functions that prevent piracy of software constitutes a substantial transformation; and HQ 733085, dated July 13, 1990.

    CBP has also focused on where the programming took place. For example, in HQ H258960, dated May 19, 2016, CBP considered the country of origin of network transceivers in two different scenarios. In Scenario One, the importer purchased “blank” transceivers from Asia. The transceivers were then loaded with U.S.-developed software in the United States, which made the transceivers functional. In Scenario Two, the importer purchased the transceivers with a generic program preinstalled, which was then removed so that the U.S.-developed software could be installed. We held that, in Scenario One, because the transceivers could not function as network devices without the U.S.-developed software, the transceivers were substantially transformed as a result of the downloading of the U.S.-developed software performed in the United States. However, in Scenario Two, because the transceivers were already functional when imported, the identity of the transceivers was not changed by the downloading performed in the United States, and no substantial transformation occurred.

    Similarly, in HQ H175415 dated October 4, 2011, CBP held that imported Ethernet switches underwent a substantial transformation after U.S.-origin software was downloaded onto the devices' flash memory in the United States, which allowed the devices to function. In China, the printed circuit board assemblies, chassis, top cover, power supply, and fan were assembled. Then, in the United States, U.S.-origin software, which gave the hardware the capability of functioning as local area network devices, was loaded onto the hardware. CBP noted that the U.S.-origin software “enables the imported switches to interact with other network switches” and that “[w]ithout this software, the imported devices could not function as Ethernet switches.” Under these circumstances, CBP held that the country of origin of the local area network devices was the United States. See also HQ H052325, dated March 31, 2009 (holding that imported network devices underwent a substantial transformation in the United States after U.S.-origin software was download onto the devices in the United States, which gave the devices their functionality); and HQ H034843, dated May 5, 2009 (holding that Chinese USB flash drives underwent a substantial transformation in Israel when Israeli-origin software was loaded onto the devices, which made the devices functional).

    In each case, the nature of the article and the effect of the processing performed must be evaluated. Here, like the network devices and Ethernet switches at issue in HQ H175415, HQ H052325, and HQ H258960 (under Scenario One), the Sierra GX400, GX440, LS300, and ES440 gateways are imported into the United States in a non-functional state. It is only after the installation of U.S.-origin software that the devices can function as intended. Moreover, as in HQ H175415, HQ H052325, and HQ H258960, the gateway products at issue here derive their core functionality as communication devices from the installation of the U.S.-developed software. We note that this case is distinguishable from Scenario 2 in HQ H258960, as Sierra's products do not contain pre-installed software when they are imported from China, and they are non-functional at the time of importation to the United States. Therefore, we find that the country of origin of the Sierra GX400, GX440, LS300, and ES440 gateways is the United States.

    HOLDING:

    Based on the facts provided, the country of origin of the gateways is the United States for purposes of U.S. Government procurement.

    Notice of this final determination will be given in the Federal Register, as required by 19 C.F.R. § 177.29. Any party-at-interest other than the party which requested this final determination may request, pursuant to 19 C.F.R. § 177.31, that CBP reexamine the matter anew and issue a new final determination. Pursuant to 19 C.F.R. § 177.30, any party-at-interest may, within 30 days of publication of the Federal Register Notice referenced above, seek judicial review of this final determination before the Court of International Trade.

    Sincerely, Alice A. Kipel, Executive Director Regulations & Rulings Office of Trade
    [FR Doc. 2018-04278 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection Notice of Issuance of Final Determination Concerning Country of Origin of Aluminum Honeycomb Panels AGENCY:

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security.

    ACTION:

    Notice of final determination.

    SUMMARY:

    This document provides notice that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) has issued a final determination concerning the country of origin of aluminum honeycomb panels. CBP has concluded in the final determination that for purposes of U.S. Government procurement the assembly of the parts in the United States does not substantially transform the aluminum panels.

    DATES:

    The final determination was issued on February 21, 2018. A copy of the final determination is attached. Any party-at-interest, as defined in 19 C.F.R. § 177.22(d), may seek judicial review of this final determination within April 2, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joy Marie Virga, Valuation and Special Programs Branch, Regulations and Rulings, Office of Trade (202-325-1511).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is hereby given that on 02/21/18, CBP issued a final determination concerning the aluminum honeycomb panels, which may be offered to the United States Government under an undesignated government procurement contract. The final determination, HQ H290528, was issued at the request of Aliva Chemica E Sistemi SRL, under procedures set forth at 19 C.F.R. Part 177, subpart B, which implements Title III of the Trade Agreements Act of 1979, as amended (19 U.S.C. § 2511-18). In the final determination, CBP was asked to consider whether the cutting, bending, and assembly of aluminum parts constitutes a substantial transformation. In the final determination, CBP concluded that these activities do not constitute a substantial transformation and the origin of the honeycomb panels remains the original country of manufacturing.

    Section 177.29, CBP Regulations (19 C.F.R. § 177.29), provides that notice of final determinations shall be published in the Federal Register within 60 days of the date the final determination is issued. Section 177.30, CBP Regulations (19 C.F.R. § 177.30), provides that any party-at-interest, as defined in 19 C.F.R. § 177.22(d), may seek judicial review of a final determination within 30 days of publication of such determination in the Federal Register.

    Dated: February 21, 2018. Alice A. Kipel, Executive Director, Regulations and Rulings, Office of Trade. HQ H290528 February 21, 201 OT:RR:CTF:VS: H290528 JMV CATEGORY: Origin Darlene Buro All Air Custom Brokers, Inc. 145-68 228th Street, 2nd Floor Springfield Gardens, NY11413

    RE: U.S. Government Procurement; Title III, Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (19 U.S.C. § 2511); Subpart B, Part 177, CBP Regulations; Country of Origin of Honeycomb Panels

    Dear Ms. Buro,

    This is in response to your request of June 5, 2017, on behalf of Aliva Chemica E Sistemi SRL (“Aliva”) for a final determination concerning the country of origin of a product that you refer to as “aluminum honeycomb panels,” pursuant to subpart B of Part 177, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Regulations (19 C.F.R. § 177.21, et seq.).

    As a foreign producer of merchandise, Aliva is a party-at-interest within the meaning of 19 C.F.R. § 177.22(d)(1) and is entitled to request this final determination.

    FACTS:

    The merchandise at issue are Aliva aluminum honeycomb panels, which will be used as architectural finished coating panels for wall and tunnel areas in train stations. The panels come in two variations: straight and curved. Each installed panel will contain a casing, a core, and two mounting blades.

    The casing

    The casing is a flat sheet of pre-painted aluminum alloy which will be supplied in both perforated and non-perforated variations as required for aesthetic appearance. The flat sheet is produced in Italy in dimensions of two feet in width and variable lengths. These aluminum alloy sheets are painted through a reverse coil process and will include anti-graffiti characteristics as required by the architectural specification. The sheets are then transferred to a specialized processing factory in Italy that cuts the sheet to the final dimensions, and bends three of the side edges to create the casing that will house the honeycomb core. Along one side of the casing, the edge is left flat and two bending lines are engraved on the back of this edge for reference during the production process in the United States. The casing will then be transported to a U.S. production facility to receive and secure the core. Workers at the U.S. production facility will also drill holes at prescribed locations to attach the core.

    The core

    The core consists of two hard layers called skins and a layer of aluminum honeycomb made up of 3000 series aluminum alloy with hexagonal cells that are 80 microns thick. The skins can either be coated with five microns of primer or pre-painted black with an anti-graffiti finish. The skins are glued to the honeycomb panel to create a singular panel referred to as the core.

    The Italian manufacturer will supply and transport the core sheets in bulk to a U.S. manufacturing facility. Each core sheet will produce three to 16 cores. All cores for the curved panels will be cut-to-size to fit the casing in Italy but cores for the straight panels will be cut to size at the U.S. facility. Eight holes are drilled through the back of the core for attachment of the mounting blades. However, all the cores for curved panels will be cut and drilled in Italy.

    The mounting blades

    The mounting blades are aluminum alloy sheets of unknown origin extruded into L-shaped brackets. Two mounting blades will be attached to the back of each core on either side. The mounting blades are extruded, machined, bent, and cut-to-size in the United States before being secured to the core. Two different profiles are produced for the right and left blades, which hook the finished panel onto Aliva's framing system.

    Assembly

    In the United States, the core is inserted into the case and then the flat edge of each casing will be bent into place with specialized aluminum bending equipment. An average of 16 holes will be drilled into each panel, and 16 stainless steel rivets will be fastened with a specialized riveting tool to secure the core and casing together. Finally, each mounting blade is secured to the finished panel with four stainless steel rivets.

    According to Aliva, the processing in the United States requires skilled labor and increases the value of the component parts. Aliva estimates that the work required to incorporate the casing, core and mounting blades into a singular panel in the United States will take approximately 46 minutes of labor. The importer further states that the processes performed in the United States to produce all of the panels will require “hundreds of thousands of dollars of labor.” Aliva indicates that each panel will have a significantly increased value over the collective value of the individual parts (casing, core, and mounting blades) after the processing in the United States is completed.

    ISSUE:

    Whether the component aluminum parts are substantially transformed by the combining processes in the United States.

    LAW AND ANALYSIS:

    CBP issues country of origin advisory rulings and final determinations as to whether an article is or would be a product of a designated country or instrumentality for the purposes of granting waivers of certain “Buy American” restrictions in U.S. law or practice for products offered for sale to the U.S. Government, pursuant to subpart B of Part 177, 19 C.F.R. § 177.21 et seq., which implements Title III of the Trade Agreements Act of 1979, as amended (19 U.S.C. § 2511 et seq.).

    Under the rule of origin set forth under 19 U.S.C. § 2518(4)(B): An article is a product of a country or instrumentality only if (i) it is wholly the growth, product, or manufacture of that country or instrumentality, or (ii) in the case of an article which consists in whole or in part of materials from another country or instrumentality, it has been substantially transformed into a new and different article of commerce with a name, character, or use distinct from that of the article or articles from which it was so transformed. See also 19 C.F.R. § 177.22(a).

    In rendering final determinations for purposes of U.S. Government procurement, CBP applies the provisions of subpart B of Part 177 consistent with the Federal Procurement Regulations. See 19 C.F.R. § 177.21. In this regard, CBP recognizes that the Federal Acquisition Regulations restrict the U.S. Government's purchase of products to U.S.-made or designated country end products for acquisitions subject to the Trade Agreements Act. See 48 C.F.R. § 25.403(c)(1). The Federal Acquisition Regulations define “U.S.-made end product” as “an article that is mined, produced, or manufactured in the United States or that is substantially transformed in the United States into a new and different article of commerce with name, character, or use distinct from that of the article or articles from which it was transformed.” See 48 C.F.R § 25.003.

    In determining whether the combining of parts constitutes a substantial transformation, the determinative issue for CBP is the extent of operations performed and whether the parts lose their identity and become an integral part of the new article. Belcrest Linens v. United States, 6 C.I.T. 204 (1983), aff'd, 741 F.2d 1368 (Fed. Cir. 1984). Assembly operations that are minimal or simple, as opposed to complex or meaningful, will generally not result in a substantial transformation. See HQ H125975, dated January 19, 2011. CBP considers the totality of the circumstances and makes such determinations on a case-by-case basis.

    In determining whether a substantial transformation has occurred in the processing of metals, CBP has generally held that cutting or bending materials to defined shapes or patterns suitable for use in making finished articles, as opposed to mere cutting to length or width which does not render the article suitable for a particular use, constitutes a substantial transformation. For example, in Headquarters Ruling Letter (“HRL”) 055684, dated August 14, 1979, CBP held that components of a water cooler gas absorption refrigeration unit which were formed by cutting to length, cleaning and bending imported steel tubes into the component shapes and configurations, or by cutting to length, flattening, and drilling holes into imported tubing, substantially transformed constituent materials for GSP purposes, while those imported tubes which were simply cut to length and assembled into the final articles were not. See also HRL 555811, dated March 20, 1992 (die cutting, stamping and shaping operations substantially transform aluminum flat stock into new and different articles of commerce).

    In HRL 555265, dated July 3, 1989, CBP held rolls of imported aluminum strip were substantially transformed when the aluminum strip was crowned, that is, it was passed between convexed and concaved egg shape rollers to permanently bow the strip. Then the strip was cut to lengths and punched with holes. CBP stated that the cutting and crowning operations permanently altered the physical characteristics of the strip thereby limiting its potential uses. Prior to cutting and crowning, the strip was raw material and possessed nothing in its character indicative of its ultimate use. After the cutting and crowning operations, the strip could be used in the production of a limited range of articles, such as venetian blind slats or lattice fences. See also HRL 557159, dated January 11, 1994 (extruded aluminum cut to length and bent to shape to form the frame of grilles and louvers was substantially transformed).

    The above situations are in contrast to those where the imported components constitute the essence of the end product. For example, in HRL 562653, dated May 14, 2003, CBP considered whether brake kits that were machined and assembled in the United States were substantially transformed. Unplated, drilled and slotted brake rotors and calipers from Italy were plated with a protective zinc coating and some of the calipers were painted/labeled. After painting, the calipers were machined to specification, in accordance with the mounting profile determined by engineers. The two imported plated rotors were each mounted to a U.S.-origin bell by means of ten small bushing assemblies, each of which was comprised of a bushing, spacer, spring washer and bolt. The bushing and the spring were imported from Italy, while the remaining articles were of U.S.-origin. CBP found that, at importation, both the rotors and the calipers were not rough, generic forms with a multitude of uses, but were essentially complete articles which already bore the name of the finished product; therefore, the use of the articles was determined at the time of importation. While the calipers underwent some machining operations in the United States, the overall shape and form of the finished articles was essentially the same as the imported articles. Likewise, although all of the rotors were plated in the United States, and some underwent additional drilling and/or slotting in the United States, the overall dimensions and diameter remained the same. The imported rotors also did not lose their identity and did not become an integral part of a new article when assembled to the U.S. bell. Additionally, the use of the calipers and rotors was predetermined at importation. Thus, CBP found that the imported rotors and calipers did not undergo a change in name, character or use as a result of processing in the United States and remained products of Italy. See also HRL 734873, dated September 7, 1994 (imported brake rotor castings were not substantially transformed by processing, which included removing 0.06-0.12 inches of external surface, drilling 5-10 holes, counter coring, installing studs or bolts, and grounding for a fine finish); and National Hand Tool Corp. v. United States, 16 C.I.T. 308 (1992) (finding no substantial transformation occurred because components had been cold-formed or hot-forged “into their final shape before importation”, and that “the form of the components remained the same” after the assembly and heat-treatment processes performed in the United States).

    Here, the U.S processing of the panels is minimal and does not alter the character of the casing and core. The pre-importation processing is significantly more complicated than the post-importation processing, which essentially consists of some cutting and assembly of parts. The physical characteristics of the casing and the core are already determined by the processing in Italy. Most of the cutting and bending of the casing and the core occurs prior to importation. In Italy, the aluminum sheets are produced; the core is created by linking the skins with the aluminum honeycomb; the aluminum for the casing is cut to size; the casing is painted; three of the four bends in the casing are completed; the core is primed and painted; and the curved core panels are cut. In contrast, in the United States the last edge of the casing is bent, the straight core panels are cut, the core and the casing are attached, and the mounting blades are cut into shape and attached; thus, the form of the components remains essentially the same after U.S. processing. Since the form, materials, and structure remain the same, we find there is no change in character of the core and casing.

    The processing here is similar to the brake kits in HRL 562653. The major parts are imported in essentially the same shape that they will be in when assembled into the final product. Although there is some cutting, drilling, and slotting, the casing and the core do not lose their identity or become an integral part of a new article when assembled in the United States. Like the brake kits, at importation the casing and core are not rough, generic forms with a multitude of uses—they are imported only to be assembled to be sold as wall panels. Therefore, the casing and core are not new and different articles of commerce from the assembled panels.

    Here, because the core and the casing are not substantially transformed in the United States, the country of origin of the completed panels is Italy.

    HOLDING:

    Based on the facts of this case, aluminum honeycomb panels are not substantially transformed through the assembly of the parts in the United States. The country of origin of the aluminum honeycomb panels is Italy.

    Notice of this final determination will be given in the Federal Register, as required by 19 C.F.R. § 177.29. Any party-at-interest other than the party which requested this final determination may request, pursuant to 19 C.F.R. § 177.31, that CBP reexamine the matter anew and issue a new final determination. Pursuant to 19 C.F.R. § 177.30, any party-at-interest may, within 30 days of publication of the Federal Register Notice referenced above, seek judicial review of this final determination before the Court of International Trade.

    Sincerely, Alice A. Kipel, Executive Director Regulations and Rulings Office of International Trade
    [FR Doc. 2018-04279 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection Notice of Issuance of Final Determinations Concerning Country of Origin of the Hub and Mobile Platforms, and the AMC Home Tele-Health System AGENCY:

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security.

    ACTION:

    Notice of final determinations.

    SUMMARY:

    This document provides notice that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) has issued two final determinations concerning the country of origin of tablet computers and smart phones known as the Hub and Mobile Platforms, and CareConsole Hub and Mobile Hub. CBP has concluded in the final determinations that for purposes of U.S. Government procurement the installation of proprietary software on tablet computers or smart phones does not substantially transform the imported tablet computers or smart phones.

    DATES:

    The final determinations were issued on February 21, 2018. Copies of the final determinations are attached. Any party-at-interest, as defined in 19 CFR 177.22(d), may seek judicial review of these final determinations within April 2, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joy Marie Virga, Valuation and Special Programs Branch, Regulations and Rulings, Office of Trade (202-325-1511).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is hereby given that on February 21, 2018, CBP issued two final determinations concerning the country of origin of tablet computers, smart phones, and systems, which may be offered to the United States Government under an undesignated government procurement contract. These final determinations, HQ H284834 and HQ H284617, were issued at the request of 1Vision, LLC and Care Innovations, LLC, respectively, under procedures set forth at 19 CFR part 177, subpart B, which implements Title III of the Trade Agreements Act of 1979, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2511-18). In the final determinations, CBP was asked to consider whether disabling the general applications of a tablet computer or smart phone and loading specialized software onto the device, enabling a patient to provide medical information to the VA, constituted a substantial transformation. In one final determination, CBP was further asked if the integration of the altered tablets and smartphones into a larger telehealth system constituted a substantial transformation. In the final determinations, CBP concluded that these activities do not constitute a substantial transformation and the origin of the tablet computers, smart phones, and systems remains the original country of manufacturing.

    Section 177.29, CBP Regulations (19 CFR 177.29), provides that notice of final determinations shall be published in the Federal Register within 60 days of the date the final determination is issued. Section 177.30, CBP Regulations (19 CFR 177.30), provides that any party-at-interest, as defined in 19 CFR 177.22(d), may seek judicial review of a final determination within 30 days of publication of such determination in the Federal Register.

    Dated: February 21, 2018. Alice A. Kipel, Executive Director, Regulations and Rulings, Office of Trade. HQ H284834 February 21, 2018 OT:RR:CTF:VS: H284834 JMV CATEGORY: Origin George W. Thompson, Esq.Thompson & Associates, PLLC 1250 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 200 Washington, DC, 20036 RE: U.S. Government Procurement; Title III, Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (19 U.S.C. § 2511); Subpart B, Part 177, CBP Regulations; Tablet Computers, CareConsole Hub and Mobile Hub Dear Mr. Thompson:

    This is in response to your letter of March 20, 2017, on behalf of 1Vision, LLC (“1Vision”), requesting a final determination concerning the country origin of a product that you refer to as the AMC Home Tele-health System (“Tele-health System” or “the System”), pursuant to subpart B of Part 177, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Regulations (19 C.F.R. § 177.21, et seq.). You state in your letter that this request is being made pursuant to a contract with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) with 1Vision requiring the filing of a request for a country of origin determination from CBP.

    As a domestic producer, 1Vision is a party-at-interest within the meaning of 19 C.F.R. § 177.22(d)(1) and is entitled to request this final determination.

    FACTS:

    The products at issue are the Tele-health System in its entirety and the components, the CareConsole Hub and the Mobile Hub. The CareConsole Hub and the Mobile Hub, respectively, begin as a tablet computer and a smart phone. The CareConsole Hub is produced in the Republic of Korea and the Mobile Hub is produced in China. Both products are intended for purchase by the Veterans Health Administration for use by patients at home. The CareConsole Hub and the Mobile Hub are designed to collect health data that is measured by other peripheral devices, such as blood pressure cuffs, blood glucose monitors, etc. These other peripheral devices are not imported with the tablet and could be used “as is” within the 1Vision ecosystem, without any changes.

    In the United States, the tablet and smart phone go through a number of software uninstallations and installations. The generic Android functions originally included on the devices, such as alarms, calculators and text messaging, are removed. In order to enable the devices to function within the Tele-health System, other functions, such as Bluetooth capability, are modified and additional software is added. In addition, 1Vision also further processes the devices to include additional security mechanisms and to enable them to function in Plain Old Telephone Systems (“POTS”), an analog telephone service that continues to be the basic form of home and small business service connection to telephone networks.

    Finally, the AMC CareConsole Mobile Application is installed on both devices. According to the information provided, this software was developed entirely in the United States. The software enables the patient to provide vital sign data by connecting to the peripheral devices via Bluetooth. The patient's information is then forwarded to VA clinicians over the VA intranet. This application is installed on the tablet to meet the VA's requirements for medical devices, including patient confidentiality and interoperability with VA systems and protocols. After the software installation is completed, the tablets cannot run any other program and cannot be reprogrammed to perform any other function.

    The CareConsole Hub and Mobile Hub are then integrated into the Tele-health System, which also includes servers, data storage, networking, additional software, and health monitoring devices such as blood pressure cuffs and glucose monitors. The integration process consists of the CareConsole Hub or Mobile Hub contacting the Tele-health System, hosted in the VA data centers, which then sends an activation code and configuration file to the CareConsole Hub or Mobile Hub. The CareConsole Hub and Mobile Hub are then automatically configured to the peripheral health monitoring devices.

    All the components, other than the CareConsole Hub and Mobile Hub, come from the United States, Mexico, Japan, Taiwan, Ireland, or the Republic of Korea. These components are customized as necessary to function in conjunction with each other. The CareConsole Hub and Mobile Hub collect information from the patients in their homes and transmit that data to the Tele-health System. The information is then presented to the VA Care Coordinators through the web application. The Tele-health System's various components are installed at multiple locations, including in the patients' homes, VA data centers and VA offices.

    Like the Hub and Mobile Hub, the servers also cannot be used out of the box and must be customized. The servers are acquired without an operating system or software and are inoperable until software is installed. The servers are first installed at the VA Facility. The installation process takes five business days as it involves various assembling, configuring and testing processes. The final step is to load the AMC CareConsole software onto the servers.

    ISSUE: 1. Whether the imported tablets and smart phones are substantially transformed by the uninstallation and installation of software in the United States, so as to make them a product of the United States. 2. Whether all the components of the Tele-health System are substantially transformed through the creation and installation of that system in the United States so as to make them a product of the United States. LAW AND ANALYSIS:

    CBP issues country of origin advisory rulings and final determinations as to whether an article is or would be a product of a designated country or instrumentality for the purposes of granting waivers of certain “Buy American” restrictions in U.S. law or practice for products offered for sale to the U.S. Government, pursuant to subpart B of Part 177, 19 C.F.R. § 177.21 et seq., which implements Title III of the Trade Agreements Act of 1979, as amended (19 U.S.C. § 2511 et seq.).

    Under the rule of origin set forth under 19 U.S.C. § 2518(4)(B):

    An article is a product of a country or instrumentality only if (i) it is wholly the growth, product, or manufacture of that country or instrumentality, or (ii) in the case of an article which consists in whole or in part of materials from another country or instrumentality, it has been substantially transformed into a new and different article of commerce with a name, character, or use distinct from that of the article or articles from which it was so transformed. See also 19 C.F.R. § 177.22(a).

    In rendering final determinations for purposes of U.S. Government procurement, CBP applies the provisions of subpart B of Part 177 consistent with the Federal Procurement Regulations. See 19 C.F.R. § 177.21. In this regard, CBP recognizes that the Federal Acquisition Regulations restrict the U.S. Government's purchase of products to U.S.-made or designated country end products for acquisitions subject to the Trade Agreements Act. See 48 C.F.R. § 25.403(c)(1). The Federal Acquisition Regulations define “U.S.-made end product” as “an article that is mined, produced, or manufactured in the United States or that is substantially transformed in the United States into a new and different article of commerce with name, character, or use distinct from that of the article or articles from which it was transformed.” See 48 C.F.R § 25.003.

    In Data General v. United States, 4 C.I.T. 182 (1982), the court determined that the programming of a foreign PROM (Programmable Read-Only Memory chip) in the United States substantially transformed the PROM into a U.S. article. In the United States, the programming bestowed upon each integrated circuit its electronic function, that is, its “memory” which could be retrieved. A distinct physical change was effected in the PROM by the opening or closing of the fuses, depending on the method of programming. The essence of the article, its interconnections or stored memory, was established by programming. See also, Texas Instruments v. United States, 681 F.2d 778, 782 (CCPA 1982) (stating the substantial transformation issue is a “mixed question of technology and customs law”); HQ 735027, dated September 7, 1993 (programming blank media (EEPROM) with instructions that allow it to perform certain functions that prevent piracy of software constitutes a substantial transformation); and, HQ 734518, dated June 28, 1993 (motherboards are not substantially transformed by the implanting of the central processing unit on the board because, whereas in Data General use was being assigned to the PROM, the use of the motherboard had already been determined when the importer imported it).

    “The term `character' is defined as `one of the essentials of structure, form, materials, or function that together make up and usually distinguish the individual.' ” National Hand Tool Corp. v. United States, 16 C.I.T. 308, 311 (1992) (citing Webster's Third New International Dictionary (1981)). In National Juice Prods. Ass'n v. United States, the Court of International Trade applied the “essence test” and found that the fundamental character of orange juice concentrate was not changed by the addition of water, orange essences, and oils to make frozen concentrated orange juice, and hence, there was no substantial transformation. 10 C.I.T. 48, 628 F. Supp. 978 (1986).

    HQ H258960, dated May 19, 2016, reviewed the country of origin of hardware components of certain transceivers in two scenarios that are instructive to the case at issue here. The hardware components of the transceivers were wholly manufactured in a foreign country and imported into the United States. In the first scenario, the transceivers were “blanks” and completely non-functional and specialized proprietary software was developed and downloaded in the United States, making the transceivers functional and compatible with the OEM technology. In the second scenario, the transceivers were preprogrammed with a generic program that was replaced with specialized proprietary software. It was argued that in both scenarios, the imported hardware was substantially transformed by the development, configuration, and downloading operations of the U.S. origin software. In the first scenario, we found that the non-functional transceivers were substantially transformed as a result of downloading performed in the United States, with proprietary software developed in the United States. However, in the second scenario, it was determined that since the transceivers had generic network functionality, programming them merely to customize their network compatibility would not actually change the identity of the imported transceivers. See also HQ H241177, dated December 3, 2013. Accordingly, it was determined that the country where the last substantial transformation occurred was China or another Asian country where the hardware components were manufactured.

    In this case, you contend that the deletion of software and the installation of new software performed in the United States transform the generic tablet computers and smartphones into medical devices. You emphasize that the U.S. operations disable the Android applications and install health monitoring software, which, you argue, creates an entirely new purpose for the devices. You further stress the complexity and number of steps taken to transform the tablets and smartphones into devices that may be used within the Tele-health System. Therefore, you contend that this operation substantially transforms the tablets and smartphones into new medical devices with distinct names, characters and uses.

    In essence, what is being done by the uninstallation and installation of software in the United States, is to limit the original capacity of the imported tablets and smartphones for the purpose of facilitating the reception, collection and transmission of a patient's medical data to VA clinicians for their review. The out-of-box tablets and smartphones have the ability to perform these general functions, but in order to meet the requirements outlined in the VA Request for Procurement, the CareConsole Hub and Mobile Hub are modified as discussed. In other words, when the tablets and smartphones are created, they have the ability to receive, collect, and transmit data. The installed software merely enables these devices to receive and collect an individual patient's medical data from the peripheral devices and transmit this medical data to the clinicians at the VA.

    It is clear that loading the specialized software onto a tablet computer or smartphone that remains fully functional as such would be insufficient to constitute a new and different article of commerce, since all of the functionality of the original device would be retained. In this case, however, in addition to adding the software, we are being asked to consider the effect of disabling the general applications that have been programmed onto the tablet and smartphone. In our judgment, this added factor does not cause or require a different result. The functions of the original tablet and smartphone produced in the Republic of Korea or China, necessary to receive and transmit data are in essence still present on the modified devices, as aided by the software. While the tablet and smartphone are no longer freely programmable machines, we find the imposition of this limitation is insufficient to constitute a substantial transformation of the imported tablets and smartphones.

    Furthermore, we note that the converted tablets and smartphones loaded with the AMC CareConsole Application Software do not actually measure any health related functions, such as blood pressure, or oxygen saturation levels, nor do they provide any medical treatment to patients. Instead, the devices function to receive medical data that is obtained from other peripheral devices, such as a blood pressure cuff or an oxygen sensor, and to transmit that medical data to a clinician for review. Therefore, it appears that after the proprietary software is downloaded onto the tablets and smartphones, they function basically as a type of communications device.

    In reviewing the processing performed in the United States on the imported tablets and smartphones under consideration, we note that it is analogous to the situation of the transceivers described by the second scenario of HQ H258960. The imported devices are preprogrammed with a generic program, which is the standard Android operating system, prior to their importation. When they are first imported, the tablets and smartphones can perform all of their standard functions of an android tablet or smartphone, and can in their imported condition be used for their intended purpose, but are customized for use within the VA Healthcare network. Accordingly, like the transceivers described in the second scenario of HQ H258960, we find that the name, character, and use of the imported devices remain the same. Therefore, we further find that the imported devices are not substantially transformed in the United States by the downloading of the proprietary software, which allows them to function with the VA Healthcare network. After the AMC CareConsole Application software is downloaded, the country of origin of the imported tablets and smartphones remains the country where they were originally manufactured, which in this case is the Republic of Korea and China, respectively.

    The Tele-health System

    In this situation, you also present an additional argument that the “end product” is an entire system that includes all hardware and software components, because it is defined as such in the VA contract. The implication of this claim is that CBP should consider the Tele-health System as a whole in its substantial transformation analysis. The VA's determination on what is the “end product” is based upon different criteria from what CBP must consider in determining the country of origin of a product using the substantial transformation test. We note that the components at issue do not lose their individual identities and, therefore, are not substantially transformed into a new and different article.

    In HQ H125975, dated January 19, 2011, which 1Vision cites in support of its argument, the LSI Engenio 7900 Data Storage System (“7900 System”) was under consideration for government procurement purposes. The 7900 System was assembled in Mexico from components originating in various other nations. These parts included the Engenio Operating System, a controller assembly, a mounting assembly, a set of hard drives, a slot drive module assembly, and a cabinet assembly. Further, the controller assembly was reprogrammed with the EOS software to impart the functional intelligence to the 7900 System to allow for storage management, access control and performance monitoring. CBP found that as a result of the assembly and programming operations that took place in Mexico, the imported components of various origins lost their individual identities and were substantially transformed into a new and different article, that is, the 7900 System.

    Although the CareConsole Hub, Mobile Hub and servers are customized to the VA contract specifications, the programming of each component to function in coordination with each other for a common purpose does not lead to a substantial transformation finding. As discussed above, the tablets and phones are not substantially transformed by the uninstallation and installation of software. Similarly, we cannot find a substantial transformation of the servers because software is installed. Moreover, the installation of the software onto the servers would not affect the other components of Tele-health System as they remain separate articles of commerce. Unlike the situation in H125975, all the devices and peripheral equipment remain identifiable as separate components. The peripheral medical devices, such as the blood pressure cuffs, blood glucose monitors etc., remain, as stated, “as is” and without any customization; the CareConsole Hub and Mobile Hub, as explained above, remain and continue to function as communication devices; the servers remain and continue to function as servers, etc. The fact that these devices are programmed to function in conjunction with each other for the purpose of receiving, collecting and transmitting medical data does not mean that a change of use or character occurs. Since the components have not lost their separate identities during assembly of the Tele-health System and have not become an integral part of a new and distinct item, which is visibly different from any of the individual components, we find there is no substantial transformation.

    HOLDING:

    Based on the facts of this case, the imported tablets and smartphones used with the CareConsole Hub and Mobile Hub platform are not substantially transformed by the installation of the AMC CareConsole Application. Therefore, the country of origin of the tablets and smartphones will remain the country where they were originally manufactured. Additionally, all components of the Tele-health System are not substantially transformed through the creation and installation of that system in the United States so as to make them a product of the United States.

    Notice of this final determination will be given in the Federal Register, as required by 19 C.F.R. § 177.29. Any party-at-interest other than the party which requested this final determination may request, pursuant to 19 C.F.R. § 177.31, that CBP reexamine the matter anew and issue a new final determination. Pursuant to 19 C.F.R. § 177.30, any party-at-interest may, within 30 days of publication of the Federal Register Notice referenced above, seek judicial review of this final determination before the Court of International Trade.

    Sincerely, Alice A. Kipel, Executive Director Regulations and Rulings Office of Trade HQ H284617 February 21, 2018 OT:RR:CTF:VS: H284617 JMV CATEGORY: Origin David E. Fletcher, Esq. Cooley LLP 1299 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Suite 700 Washington, DC 20004-2400 RE: U.S. Government Procurement; Title III, Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (19 U.S.C. § 2511); Subpart B, Part 177, CBP Regulations; Tablet Computers, Health Mobile and Hub Platforms Dear Mr. Fletcher,

    This is in response to your letter of March 21, 2017, on behalf of Care Innovations requesting a final determination concerning the country of origin of a product that you refer to as “the Hub Platform and the Mobile Platform,” pursuant to subpart B of Part 177, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Regulations (19 C.F.R. § 177.21, et seq.). You state in your letter that this request is being made pursuant to a letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to Care Innovations requiring the filing of a request for a country of origin determination from CBP.

    As a domestic importer of merchandise, Care Innovations is a party-at-interest within the meaning of 19 C.F.R. § 177.22(d)(1) and is entitled to request this final determination.

    FACTS:

    The products at issue are referred to as the Hub Platform and the Mobile Platform. The Hub Platform is a home based platform that operates via Plain Old Telephone Systems (“POTS”), while the Mobile Platform is a handheld platform with wireless connectivity. Both platforms begin as iPad tablet computers that are produced by Apple in China, which are later encased with protective cases that are also manufactured in China. The tablet is designed for use by patients at home to collect health data that is measured by other peripheral devices such as blood pressure monitors, spirometer etc. These other devices are not imported with the tablet.

    After the tablets are imported into the United States, Care Innovations performs additional production steps in its Roseville, California facility to create the Hub Platform and Mobile Platform. Care Innovations installs the Health Harmony Mobile software on the tablet computers, adds a Subscriber Identity Module (“SIM”) card supplied by the cellular service provider, and packages the tablets in the protective cases. For the Hub Platform, which runs on POTS, Care Innovations attaches a POTS modem and router, manufactured in the United States with imported components. For both the Hub Platform and the Mobile Platform, Care Innovations installs the Airwatch Mobile Device Manager application, which removes the functionality usually available on an Apple iPad Mini tablet so that the user will only be able to run the Health Harmony Mobile software. The end result is a tablet locked into “single app mode,” running only the Health Harmony application functionality and Bluetooth linked peripheral screens.

    Care Innovations also adds physical asset tags to each tablet and registers them on Care Innovation's Mobile Device Management server; registers component details in the customer database; and verifies and documents the testing of the image and registered software. Care Innovations then packages the Hub Platform and Mobile Platform with the necessary licenses, privacy notices, and quick start guides. Finally, Care Innovations activates the platforms' features and prepares the platforms to be assigned to a specific end user.

    ISSUE:

    Whether the imported tablets are substantially transformed by the installation of Care Innovations' software, so as to make them a product of the United States.

    LAW AND ANALYSIS:

    CBP issues country of origin advisory rulings and final determinations as to whether an article is or would be a product of a designated country or instrumentality for the purposes of granting waivers of certain “Buy American” restrictions in U.S. law or practice for products offered for sale to the U.S. Government, pursuant to subpart B of Part 177, 19 C.F.R. § 177.21 et seq., which implements Title III of the Trade Agreements Act of 1979, as amended (19 U.S.C. § 2511 et seq.).

    Under the rule of origin set forth under 19 U.S.C. § 2518(4)(B):

    An article is a product of a country or instrumentality only if (i) it is wholly the growth, product, or manufacture of that country or instrumentality, or (ii) in the case of an article which consists in whole or in part of materials from another country or instrumentality, it has been substantially transformed into a new and different article of commerce with a name, character, or use distinct from that of the article or articles from which it was so transformed. See also 19 C.F.R. § 177.22(a).

    In rendering final determinations for purposes of U.S. Government procurement, CBP applies the provisions of subpart B of Part 177 consistent with the Federal Procurement Regulations. See 19 C.F.R. § 177.21. In this regard, CBP recognizes that the Federal Acquisition Regulations restrict the U.S. Government's purchase of products to U.S.-made or designated country end products for acquisitions subject to the Trade Agreements Act. See 48 C.F.R. § 25.403(c)(1). The Federal Acquisition Regulations define “U.S.-made end product” as “an article that is mined, produced, or manufactured in the United States or that is substantially transformed in the United States into a new and different article of commerce with a name, character, or use distinct from that of the article or articles from which it was transformed.” See 48 C.F.R § 25.003.

    In Data General v. United States, 4 C.I.T. 182 (1982), the court determined that the programming of a foreign PROM (Programmable Read-Only Memory chip) in the United States substantially transformed the PROM into a U.S. article. In the United States, the programming bestowed upon each integrated circuit its electronic function, that is, its “memory” which could be retrieved. A distinct physical change was effected in the PROM by the opening or closing of the fuses, depending on the method of programming. The essence of the article, its interconnections or stored memory, was established by programming. See also, Texas Instruments v. United States, 681 F.2d 778, 782 (CCPA 1982) (stating the substantial transformation issue is a “mixed question of technology and customs law”); HQ 735027, dated September 7, 1993 (programming blank media (EEPROM) with instructions that allow it to perform certain functions that prevent piracy of software constitutes a substantial transformation); and HQ 734518, dated June 28, 1993 (motherboards are not substantially transformed by the implanting of the central processing unit on the board because, whereas in Data General use was being assigned to the PROM, the use of the motherboard had already been determined when the importer imported it).

    “The term `character' is defined as `one of the essentials of structure, form, materials, or function that together make up and usually distinguish the individual.' ” National Hand Tool Corp. v. United States, 16 C.I.T. 308, 311 (1992) (citing Webster's Third New International Dictionary (1981)). In National Juice Prods. Ass'n v. United States, the Court of International Trade applied the “essence test” and found that the fundamental character of orange juice concentrate was not changed by the addition of water, orange essences, and oils to make frozen concentrated orange juice, and hence, there was no substantial transformation. 10 C.I.T. 48, 628 F. Supp. 978 (1986).

    HQ H258960, dated May 19, 2016, reviewed the country of origin of hardware components of certain transceivers in two scenarios that are instructive to the case at issue here. The hardware components of the transceivers were wholly manufactured in a foreign country and imported into the United States. In the first scenario, the transceivers were “blanks” and completely non-functional and specialized proprietary software was developed and downloaded in the United States, making the transceivers functional and compatible with the OEM technology. In the second scenario, the transceivers were preprogrammed with a generic program that was replaced with specialized proprietary software. It was argued that in both scenarios, the imported hardware was substantially transformed by the development, configuration, and downloading operations of the U.S. origin software. In the first scenario, we found that the non-functional transceivers were substantially transformed as a result of downloading performed in the United States, with proprietary software developed in the United States. However, in the second scenario, it was determined that since the transceivers had generic network functionality, programming them merely to customize their network compatibility would not actually change the identity of the imported transceivers. See also HQ H241177, dated December 3, 2013. Accordingly, it was determined that the country where the last substantial transformation occurred was China or another Asian country where the hardware components were manufactured.

    In this case, you assert that the software downloading operations performed in the United States transform the generic tablet computers into medical devices. You further argue that the tablets undergo a complex production process performed by skilled production associates at Care Innovations' Roseville, California facility. You emphasize that the U.S. operations disable the generic Apple iPad applications and install health monitoring software that cannot be undone by third parties during the normal course of operations. Therefore, you contend that this operation substantially transforms the Apple iPad tablet into a new medical device with a distinct name, character and use.

    In essence, what is being done by the installation of the software in the United States, is to limit the original capacity of the imported tablets for the purpose of facilitating the reception, collection and transmission of a patient's medical data to VA clinicians for their review. The original tablet has the ability to perform these functions, but it was determined that in order to meet FDA regulations, it is best to disable the various functions of the tablet and to replace them with one function via the specialized software. In other words, when the tablets are created, they have the ability to receive, collect, and transmit data. The installed software just enables the tablets to receive and collect an individual patient's medical data from the peripheral devices and transmit this medical data to the clinicians at the VA.

    It is clear that loading specialized software onto the tablet computer that remains fully functional as a computer would be insufficient to constitute a new and different article of commerce, since all of the functionality of the original computer would be retained. In this case, however, in addition to adding the software, we are being asked to consider the effect of disabling the general applications that have been programmed onto the tablet. In our judgment, this added factor does not cause or require a different result. The functions of the original tablet produced in China that are necessary to receive and transmit data are in essence still present on the modified tablet, as aided by the software. While the tablet is no longer a freely programmable machine, we find the imposition of this limitation is insufficient to constitute a substantial transformation of the imported tablets in the United States.

    Furthermore, we note that the converted tablets loaded with the Health Harmony software do not actually measure any health related functions, such as blood pressure, or oxygen saturation levels, nor do they provide any medical treatment to patients. Instead, the converted tablets function to receive medical data that is obtained from other peripheral devices, such as a blood pressure monitor or pulse oximeter, and to transmit that medical data to a clinician for review. Therefore, it appears that after the proprietary software is downloaded onto the tablets, the tablets continue to basically function as a type of communications device.

    It is also claimed that the FDA considers the Hub Platform and the Mobile Platform to be medical devices and that the IRS will tax the Health Harmony system, including the tablet, as a medical device. Thus, you contend that CBP should also consider the tablets loaded with the Health Harmony software to be medical devices rather than tablets. We note, however, that the IRS and FDA's determinations as to whether any items are considered medical devices are based upon different criteria from what CBP must apply in determining the country of origin of a product using the substantial transformation test. In HQ H019436, dated March 17, 2008, CBP considered the tariff classification of a SONA Sleep Apnea Avoidance Pillow imported from China. The ruling noted that while the subject merchandise was considered a Class II therapeutic cervical pillow for snoring and mild sleep apnea by the FDA, this determination did not control tariff classification. Similarly in this case, the IRS and FDA's determinations that the imported tablets are medical devices and will be taxed as such are of limited relevance to CBP's determination as to the country of origin of the devices.

    In reviewing the processing performed in the United States on the imported tablets under consideration, we note that it is analogous to the situation of the transceivers described by the second scenario of HQ H258960. The imported tablets are preprogrammed with a generic program, which is the standard Apple iPad operating system, prior to their importation. When they are first imported, the tablets can perform all of the standard functions of an Apple iPad tablet, and can in their imported condition be used in conjunction with the proprietary software. Accordingly, like the transceivers described in the second scenario of HQ H258960, we find that the name, character, and use of the imported tablet computers remain the same. Therefore, we further find that the imported tablets are not substantially transformed in the United States by the downloading of the proprietary software, which allows them to function within the VA Healthcare network. After the Health Harmony software is downloaded, the country of origin of the imported tablets remains the country where they were originally manufactured, which in this case is China.

    Finally, you argue that since CBP concluded that a predecessor of the Health Harmony System, Stehekin, was considered part of a patient monitoring system rather than a standard computer in NY Ruling N004877 dated January 26, 2007, it would be inconsistent to conclude that Health Harmony, as Stehekin's descendant, is, for purposes of government procurement, merely a “standard computer” manufactured outside the United States. You claim that Stehekin is analogous to the tablet computer that Care Innovations uses today because it included a purpose-built computer, produced in China, that was used to deliver remote patient monitoring software and capability. However, the issue decided in N004877 was a question of tariff classification, not substantial transformation, and is therefore, not applicable.

    HOLDING:

    Based on the facts of this case, the imported tablets used with the Mobile Platform and the Hub platform are not substantially transformed by the installation of the proprietary Health Harmony software. Therefore, the country of origin of the tablets will remain the country where they were originally manufactured.

    Notice of this final determination will be given in the Federal Register, as required by 19 C.F.R. § 177.29. Any party-at-interest other than the party which requested this final determination may request, pursuant to 19 C.F.R. § 177.31, that CBP reexamine the matter anew and issue a new final determination. Pursuant to 19 C.F.R. § 177.30, any party-at-interest may, within 30 days of publication of the Federal Register Notice referenced above, seek judicial review of this final determination before the Court of International Trade.

    Sincerely, Alice A. Kipel, Executive Director Regulations and Rulings Office of Trade
    [FR Doc. 2018-04273 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-14-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS-HQ-R-2018-N030; FXGO1664091HCC0-FF09D00000-189] International Wildlife Conservation Council; Public Meeting AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announces a public meeting of the International Wildlife Conservation Council (Council).

    DATES:

    Friday, March 16, 2018, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time). For deadlines and directions on registering to attend, submitting written material, and giving an oral presentation, please see Public Input under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held in the South Penthouse at the Main Interior Building, 1849 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20240.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joshua Winchell, Council Designated Federal Officer, by U.S. mail at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Wildlife Refuge System, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803; by telephone at (703) 358-2639; or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Council provides advice and recommendations to the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary), regarding the benefits that result from United States citizens traveling to foreign nations to engage in hunting.

    Background

    Formed in December 2017, the Council is an advisory body whose duties include, but are not limited to:

    (a) Developing a plan for public engagement and education on the benefits of international hunting.

    (b) Reviewing and making recommendations for changes, when needed, on all Federal programs, and/or regulations, to ensure support of hunting as:

    1. An enhancement to foreign wildlife conservation and survival; and

    2. An effective tool to combat illegal trafficking and poaching.

    (c) Recommending strategies to benefit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's permit office in receiving timely country data and information so as to remove barriers that impact consulting with range states.

    (d) Recommending removal of barriers to the importation into the United States of legally hunted wildlife.

    (e) Ongoing review of import suspension/bans and providing recommendations that seek to resume the legal trade of those items, where appropriate.

    (f) Reviewing seizure and forfeiture actions/practices, and providing recommendations for regulations that will lead to a reduction of unwarranted actions.

    (g) Reviewing the Endangered Species Act's foreign listed species and interaction with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna, with the goal of eliminating regulatory duplications.

    (h) Recommending methods for streamlining/expediting processing of import permits.

    Meeting Agenda

    The Council will convene to discuss issues including:

    1. International wildlife conservation programs conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service;

    2. U.S. Government efforts to combat wildlife trafficking; and

    3. Other Council business.

    The final agenda will be posted on the internet at http://www.fws.gov/iwcc.

    Attendance

    To attend this meeting, register by close of business on the dates listed in Public Input. Please submit your name, time of arrival, email address, and phone number to the Council Designated Federal Officer (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). Space is limited and requests to attend will be accommodated in the order they are received.

    Public Input If you wish to: You must contact the Council
  • Designated Federal Officer (see
  • FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
  • CONTACT) no later than:
  • Attend the meeting March 12, 2018. Submit written information or questions before the meeting for the Council to consider during the meeting March 12, 2018. Give an oral presentation during the public comment period March 12, 2018.
    Submitting Written Information or Questions

    Interested members of the public may submit relevant information or questions for the Council to consider during the public meeting. Written statements must be received by the date in Public Input, so that the information may be made available to the Council for their consideration prior to this meeting. Written statements must be supplied to the Council Designated Federal Officer in the following formats: One hard copy with original signature, and/or one electronic copy via email (acceptable file formats are Adobe Acrobat PDF, MS Word, MS PowerPoint, or rich text file).

    Giving an Oral Presentation

    Depending on the number of people wishing to comment and the time available, the amount of time for individual oral comments may be limited. Interested parties must contact the Council Designated Federal Officer, in writing (preferably via email; see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT), to be placed on the public speaker list for this meeting. Nonregistered public speakers will not be considered during the meeting. Registered speakers who wish to expand upon their oral statements, or those who had wished to speak but could not be accommodated on the agenda, may submit written statements to the Council Designated Federal Officer up to 30 days subsequent to the meeting. Requests to address the Council during the public comment period will be accommodated in the order the requests are received.

    Public Disclosure of Comments

    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comments, please be aware that your entire comment, including your personal identifying information, may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    Meeting Minutes

    Summary minutes of the conference will be maintained by the Council Designated Federal Officer (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). They will be available for public inspection within 90 days of the meeting.

    Authority:

    5 U.S.C. Appendix 2.

    Greg Sheehan, Principal Deputy Director.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04206 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR [18XD4523WT_DS64950000_DWT000000.000000_DP.64920], OMB Control Number 1090-0007] Agency Information Collection Activities; American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) Government Customer Satisfaction Surveys AGENCY:

    Office of the Secretary, Office of Strategic Employee and Organization Development, Federal Consulting Group, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of information collection; request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we, the Federal Consulting Group are proposing to renew an information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before May 1, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send your written comments by facsimile to (202) 395-5806 or email ([email protected]) to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Attention: Desk Office for the Department of the Interior (1090-0007). Also, please send a copy of your comments to Federal Consulting Group, Attention: Lucy Adams, 1849 C St. NW, MS 4344, Washington, DC 20240-0001, or by facsimile to (202) 513-5184, or via email to [email protected]. Individuals providing comments should reference Customer Satisfaction Surveys (OMB ID: 1090-0007).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request additional information or copies of the form(s) and instructions, please write to the Federal Consulting Group, Attention: Lucy Adams, 1849 C St. NW, MS4344, Washington, DC 20240-0001, or call (202) 513-7679. You may also review the information collection request online at http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we provide the general public and other Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on new, proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps us assess the impact of our information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand our information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format.

    We are soliciting comments on the proposed ICR that is described below. We are especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is the collection necessary to the proper functions of the Federal Consulting Group; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Federal Consulting Group enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Federal Consulting Group minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology.

    Comments that you submit in response to this notice are a matter of public record. We will include or summarize each comment in our request to OMB to approve this ICR. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    Abstract: The Office of Management and Budget regulation at 5 CFR 1320, which implement provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13), require that interested members of the public and affected agencies have an opportunity to comment on information collection and recordkeeping activities [see 5 CFR 1320.8(d)]. The Office of Strategic Employee and Organization Development, Federal Consulting Group has submitted a request to the Office of Management and Budget to renew its approval of this collection of information for three years.

    The proposed renewal of this information collection activity provides a means to consistently assess, benchmark, and improve customer satisfaction with Federal government agency programs and/or services within the Executive Branch. The Federal Consulting Group of the Department of the Interior serves as the executive agent for this methodology and has partnered with the Claes Fornell International Group (CFI Group) and the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) to offer the ACSI to Federal government agencies.

    The CFI Group, a leader in customer satisfaction and customer experience management, offers a comprehensive model that quantifies the effects of quality improvements on citizen satisfaction. The CFI Group has developed the methodology and licenses it to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, an independent organization which produces the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). This national indicator is developed for different economic sectors each quarter, which are then published in The Wall Street Journal. The ACSI was introduced in 1994 by Professor Claes Fornell under the auspices of the University of Michigan, the American Society for Quality (ASQ), and the CFI Group. The ACSI monitors and benchmarks customer satisfaction across more than 200 companies and many U.S. Federal agencies.

    The ACSI is the only cross-agency methodology for obtaining comparable measures of customer satisfaction with Federal government programs and/or services. Along with other economic objectives—such as employment and growth—the quality of outputs (goods and services) is a part of measuring living standards. The ACSI's ultimate purpose is to help improve the quality of goods and services available to American citizens.

    ACSI surveys conducted by the Federal Consulting Group are subject to the Privacy Act of 1974, Public Law 93-579, December 31, 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a). The agency information collection is an integral part of conducting an ACSI survey. The contractor will not be authorized to release any agency information upon completion of the survey without first obtaining permission from the Federal Consulting Group and the participating agency. In no case shall any new system of records containing privacy information be developed by the Federal Consulting Group, participating agencies, or the contractor collecting the data. In addition, participating Federal agencies may only provide information used to randomly select respondents from among established systems of records provided for such routine uses.

    Further, the information will enable Federal agencies to determine customer satisfaction metrics with discrimination capability across variables. Thus, this information collection will assist Federal agencies in making the best use of resources in a targeted manner to improve service to the public.

    This survey asks no questions of a sensitive nature, such as sexual behavior and attitudes, religious beliefs, or other matters that are commonly considered private.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it is operating under a currently valid OMB control number. The Office of Management and Budget control number for this collection is 1090-0007. The control number will be displayed on the surveys used. Response to the surveys is voluntary.

    Title of Collection: American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) Government Customer Satisfaction Surveys.

    OMB Control Number: 1090-0007.

    Form Number: None.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: Individuals, Business, and State, Local, or Tribal Governments who have utilized Federal Government services.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Respondents: Participation by Federal agencies in the ACSI is expected to vary as new customer segment measures are added or deleted. However, based on historical records, projected average estimates for the next three years are as follows:

    Average Expected Annual Number of Customer Satisfaction Surveys: 100 with 800 respondents per survey.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 80,000.

    Estimated Completion Time per Response: 12 minutes.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 16,000.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

    Frequency of Collection: Once per survey.

    Total Estimated Annual Nonhour Burden Cost: None.

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

    The authority for this action is the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq).

    Jessica Reed, Director, Federal Consulting Group.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04216 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4334-63-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR [18XD4523WT_DS64950000_DWT000000.000000_DP.64920, OMB Control Number 1090-0008] Agency Information Collection Activities; E-Government Website Customer Satisfaction Surveys (Formerly American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) E-Government Website Customer Satisfaction Surveys) AGENCY:

    Office of the Secretary, Office of Strategic Employee and Organization Development, Federal Consulting Group, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of information collection; request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we, the Federal Consulting Group are proposing to renew an information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before May 1, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send your written comments by facsimile to (202) 395-5806 or email ([email protected]) to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Attention: Desk Office for the Department of the Interior (1090-0008). Also, please send a copy of your comments to Federal Consulting Group, Attention: Lucy Adams, 1849 C St. NW, MS 4344, Washington, DC 20240-0001, or by facsimile to (202) 513-5184, or via email to [email protected]. Individuals providing comments should reference Customer Satisfaction Surveys (OMB ID: 1090-0008).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request additional information or copies of the form(s) and instructions, please write to the Federal Consulting Group, Attention: Lucy Adams, 1849 C St. NW, MS4344, Washington, DC 20240-0001 or call (202) 513-7679. You may also review the information collection request online at http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we provide the general public and other Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on new, proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps us assess the impact of our information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand our information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format.

    We are soliciting comments on the proposed ICR that is described below. We are especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is the collection necessary to the proper functions of the Federal Consulting Group; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Federal Consulting Group enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Federal Consulting Group minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology.

    Comments that you submit in response to this notice are a matter of public record. We will include or summarize each comment in our request to OMB to approve this ICR. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    Abstract: The Office of Management and Budget regulation at 5 CFR 1320, which implements the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13), require that interested members of the public and affected agencies have an opportunity to comment on information collection and recordkeeping activities [see 5 CFR 1320.8(d)]. The Office of Strategic Employee and Organization Development, Federal Consulting Group has submitted a request to Office of Management and Budget to renew its approval of this collection of information for three years.

    This information collection activity provides a means to consistently assess, benchmark, and improve customer satisfaction with Federal government agency websites within the Executive Branch. The Federal Consulting Group of the Department of the Interior serves as the executive agent for this methodology and has partnered with ForeSee to offer this assessment to federal agencies.

    ForeSee is a leader in customer satisfaction and customer experience management on the web and related media. Its methodology (Customer Experience Analytics or CXA) is a derivative of one of the most respected, credible, and well known measures of customer satisfaction in the country, the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). The ForeSee CXA methodology combines survey data and a patented econometric model to precisely measure the customer satisfaction of website users, identify specific areas for improvement, and determine the impact of those improvements on customer satisfaction and future customer behaviors.

    The ForeSee CXA is the only cross-agency methodology for obtaining comparable measures of customer satisfaction with Federal Government websites. The ultimate purpose of ForeSee CXA is to help improve the quality of goods and services available to American citizens, including those from the Federal government.

    The E-Government website Customer Satisfaction Surveys will be completed subject to the Privacy Act of 1974, Public Law 93-579, December 31, 1974 (5 U.S.C. 522a). The agency information collection will be used solely for the purpose of the survey. The contractor will not be authorized to release any agency information upon completion of the survey without first obtaining permission from the Federal Consulting Group and the participating agency. In no case shall any new system of records containing privacy information be developed by the Federal Consulting Group, participating agencies, or the contractor collecting the data. In addition, participating Federal agencies may only provide information used to randomly selected respondents from among established systems of records provided for such routine uses.

    Further, the information will enable Federal agencies to determine customer satisfaction metrics with discrimination capability across variables. Thus, this information collection will assist Federal agencies in making the best use of resources in a targeted manner to improve service to the public.

    This survey asks no questions of a sensitive nature, such as sexual behavior and attitudes, religious beliefs, or other matters that are commonly considered private.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it is operating under a currently valid Office of Management and Budget control number. The Office of Management and Budget control number for this collection is 1090-0008. The control number will be displayed on the surveys used. For expeditious administration of the surveys, the expiration date will not be displayed on the individual instruments. Response to the surveys is voluntary.

    Title of Collection: American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) E-Government website Customer Satisfaction Surveys.

    OMB Control Number: 1090-0008.

    Form Number: None.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: Individuals, Business, and State, Local, or Tribal Governments who have visited Federal Government websites.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Respondents: Participation by Federal agencies will vary as new websites are added or deleted. However, based on our experience from the previous three-year approval period, the number of surveys has been very consistent with little change and estimate for the next three years are as follows:

    Average Expected Annual Number of Customer Satisfaction Surveys: 250 with 5,000 respondents per survey.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 1,250,000.

    Estimated Completion Time per Response: 2.5 minutes.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 52,083.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

    Frequency of Collection: Once per survey.

    Total Estimated Annual Nonhour Burden Cost: None.

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

    The authority for this action is the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

    Jessica Reed, Director, Federal Consulting Group.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04215 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4334-63-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLWO310000.L13100000.PP0000.18X; OMB Control Number 1004-0162] Agency Information Collection Activities; Onshore Oil and Gas Geophysical Exploration AGENCY:

    Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of information collection; request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), are proposing to renew an information collection with revisions.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before May 1, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send your comments on this information collection request (ICR) by mail to the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, 1849 C Street NW, Room 2134LM, Washington, DC 20240, Attention: Jean Sonneman; by email to [email protected] Please reference OMB Control Number 1004-0162 in the subject line of your comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request additional information about this ICR, contact Jennifer Spencer by email at [email protected], or by telephone at 202-912-7146.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we provide the general public and other Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on new, proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps us assess the impact of our information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand our information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format.

    We are soliciting comments on the proposed ICR that is described below. We are especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is the collection necessary to the proper functions of the BLM; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the BLM enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the BLM minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology.

    Comments that you submit in response to this notice are a matter of public record. We will include or summarize each comment in our request to OMB to approve this ICR. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    Abstract: This information collection pertains to onshore oil and gas geophysical exploration on Federal lands. Surface-disturbing activities associated with such exploration generally are regulated by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) or by the U.S. Forest Service (FS), depending on which agency manages the surface estate. This information collection request also includes permits for oil and gas geophysical exploration on Federal lands other than those managed by the BLM or the Forest Service when an agency of the Department of Defense refers an application for exploration to the BLM (see 43 CFR 3153.1); or when an application for exploration involves a project that would cross lands managed by the Bureau of Reclamation. The BLM and FS need the information in order to manage surface operations that are under their respective jurisdictions.

    Title of Collection: Onshore Oil and Gas Geophysical Exploration.

    OMB Control Number: 1004-0162.

    Form Numbers: BLM Forms 3150-4 and 3150-5; FS Forms 2800-16 and 2800-16a.

    Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: Those who wish to participate in the evaluation, development, and utilization of oil and gas resources for mineral potential.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Respondents: 23.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 23.

    Estimated Completion Time per Response: Varies from 20 minutes to 1 hour, depending on activity.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 17.67.

    Respondent's Obligation: Required to obtain or retain a benefit.

    Frequency of Collection: On occasion.

    Total Estimated Annual Nonhour Burden Cost: $25.

    Type of response Number of responses Time per
  • response
  • Total hours
  • (column B × column C)
  • A. B. C. D. Notice of Intent and Request to Conduct Geophysical Exploration Operations/Outside Alaska
  • 43 CFR 3151.1
  • BLM Form 3150-4/FS Form 2800-16
  • 13 (10 to BLM and 3 to FS) 1 hour 13
    Notice of Intent and Request to Conduct Geophysical Exploration Operations/Alaska
  • 43 CFR 3152.1, 3152.3, 3152.4, and 3152.5
  • BLM Form 3150-4
  • 1 1 hour 1
    Notice of Completion of Geophysical Exploration Operations
  • 43 CFR 3151.2 and 3152.7
  • BLM Form 3150-5/FS Form 2800-16a
  • 8 (8 to BLM and 0 to FS) 20 minutes 2.67
    Data and Information Obtained in Carrying Out Exploration Plan (Alaska only)
  • 43 CFR 3152.6
  • 1 1 hour 1
    Totals 23 17.67

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

    The authority for this action is the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

    Jean Sonneman, Information Collection Clearance Officer, Bureau of Land Management.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04218 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-84-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLOR957000. L63100000. HD0000. 18XL1116AF. HAG 18-0073] Filing of Plats of Survey: Oregon/Washington AGENCY:

    Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of official filing.

    SUMMARY:

    The plats of survey of the following described lands are scheduled to be officially filed in the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Oregon/Washington State Office, Portland, Oregon, 30 calendar days from the date of this publication. The surveys, which were executed at the request of the BLM, are necessary for the management of these lands.

    DATES:

    Protests must be received by the BLM by April 2, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    A copy of the plats may be obtained from the Public Room at the BLM, Oregon/Washington State Office, 1220 SW 3rd Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97204, upon required payment. The plats may be viewed at this location at no cost. Please use this address when filing written protests.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kyle Hensley, (503) 808-6132, Branch of Geographic Sciences, BLM, 1220 SW 3rd Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97204. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to contact the above individual during normal business hours. The FRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The plats of survey of the following described lands are scheduled to be officially filed in the BLM, Oregon/Washington State Office, Portland, Oregon:

    Willamette Meridian, Oregon T. 19 S, R. 8 W, accepted January 25, 2018 T. 35 S, R. 7 W, accepted January 25, 2018 T. 19 S, R. 7 W, accepted January 25, 2018 T. 15 S, R. 6 W, accepted January 25, 2018 T. 40 S, R. 13 W, accepted January 25, 2018 T. 30 S, R. 13 W, accepted January 25, 2018 Tps. 32 & 33 S, R. 323/4 E, accepted January 25, 2018 T. 19 S, R. 2 W, accepted January 26, 2018 T. 34 S, R. 33 E, accepted January 26, 2018 Tps. 40 & 41 S, R. 5 E, accepted January 26, 2018 T. 26 S, R. 14 W, accepted January 30, 2018 T. 33 S, R. 2 E, accepted January 30, 2018 T. 30 S, R. 4 W, accepted February 5, 2018 T. 14 S, R. 12 E, accepted February 5, 2018 T. 16 S, R. 21 E, accepted February 5, 2018 T. 40 S, R. 2 E, accepted February 5, 2018 T. 14 S, R. 12 E, accepted February 6, 2018 T. 15 S, R. 12 E, accepted February 6, 2018 Tps. 40 & 41 S, R. 5 E, accepted February 6, 2018 T. 21 S, R. 10 E, accepted February 6, 2018 T. 35 S, R. 2 E, accepted February 14, 2018 T. 36 S, R. 3 E, accepted February 14, 2018 T. 41 S, R. 4 E, accepted February 14, 2018 T. 5 S, R. 4 E, accepted February 14, 2018 T. 34 S, R. 323/4 E, accepted February 14, 2018 T. 35 S, R. 323/4 E, accepted February 14, 2018 Willamette Meridian, Washington Tps. 10 & 11 N, R. 28 E, accepted February 6, 2018

    A person or party who wishes to protest one or more plats of survey identified above must file a written notice of protest with the State Director for Oregon/Washington, BLM. The notice of protest must identify the plat(s) of survey that the person or party wishes to protest. The notice of protest must be filed before the scheduled date of official filing for the plat(s) of survey being protested. Any notice of protest filed after the scheduled date of official filing will not be considered. A notice of protest is considered filed on the date it is received by the State Director for Oregon/Washington during regular business hours; if received after regular business hours, a notice of protest will be considered filed the next business day. A written statement of reasons in support of a protest, if not filed with the notice of protest, must be filed with the State Director for Oregon/Washington within 30 calendar days after the notice of protest is filed. If a notice of protest against a plat of survey is received prior to the scheduled date of official filing, the official filing of the plat of survey identified in the notice of protest will be stayed pending consideration of the protest. A plat of survey will not be officially filed until the next business day following dismissal or resolution of all protests of the plat.

    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in a notice of protest or statement of reasons, you should be aware that the documents you submit, including your personal identifying information, may be made publicly available in their entirety at any time. While you can ask us to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    Authority:

    43 U.S.C. Chap. 3.

    Marshal Wade, Acting Chief Cadastral Surveyor of Oregon/Washington.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04317 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-33-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Investigation No. 337-TA-1101] Certain Fuel Pump Assemblies Having Vapor Separators and Components Thereof; Institution of Investigation AGENCY:

    U.S. International Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that a complaint was filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission on January 31, 2018, under section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, on behalf of Carter Fuel Systems, LLC of Logansport, Indiana. Supplements to the complaint were filed on February 15, 16, and 22, 2018. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 based upon the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, and the sale within the United States after importation of certain fuel pump assemblies having vapor separators and components thereof by reason of infringement of certain claims of U.S. Patent No. 6,257,208 (“the '208 patent”). The complaint further alleges that an industry in the United States exists as required by subsection (a)(2) of section 337.

    The complainant requests that the Commission institute an investigation and, after the investigation, issue a limited exclusion order and a cease and desist order.

    ADDRESSES:

    The complaint, except for any confidential information contained therein, is available for inspection during official business hours (8:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.) in the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Room 112, Washington, DC 20436, telephone (202) 205-2000. Hearing impaired individuals are advised that information on this matter can be obtained by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal on (202) 205-1810. Persons with mobility impairments who will need special assistance in gaining access to the Commission should contact the Office of the Secretary at (202) 205-2000. General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its internet server at https://www.usitc.gov. The public record for this investigation may be viewed on the Commission's electronic docket (EDIS) at https://edis.usitc.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    The Office of the Secretary, Docket Services, U.S. International Trade Commission, telephone (202) 205-1802.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority:

    The authority for institution of this investigation is contained in section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, and in section 210.10 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure, 19 CFR 210.10 (2017).

    Scope of Investigation: Having considered the complaint, the U.S. International Trade Commission, on February 26, 2018, ordered that

    (1) Pursuant to subsection (b) of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, an investigation be instituted to determine whether there is a violation of subsection (a)(1)(B) of section 337 in the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, or the sale within the United States after importation of certain fuel pump assemblies having vapor separators and components thereof by reason of infringement of one or more of claims 1-5 and 7-18 of the '208 patent, and whether an industry in the United States exists as required by subsection (a)(2) of section 337;

    (2) For the purpose of the investigation so instituted, the following are hereby named as parties upon which this notice of investigation shall be served:

    (a) The complainant is: Carter Fuel Systems, LLC, 101 East Industrial Boulevard, Logansport, Indiana 46947.

    (b) The respondent is the following entity alleged to be in violation of section 337, and is the party upon which the complaint is to be served: Wenzhou Jushang (JS) Performance Parts Co. Ltd., No. 989 LongShan Road, Beiou Industry Zone, Wenzhou, Zheijhang 325200, China.

    (3) For the investigation so instituted, the Chief Administrative Law Judge, U.S. International Trade Commission, shall designate the presiding Administrative Law Judge.

    The Office of Unfair Import Investigations will not participate as a party in this investigation.

    Responses to the complaint and the notice of investigation must be submitted by the named respondents in accordance with section 210.13 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure, 19 CFR 210.13. Pursuant to 19 CFR 201.16(e) and 210.13(a), such responses will be considered by the Commission if received not later than 20 days after the date of service by the Commission of the complaint and the notice of investigation. Extensions of time for submitting responses to the complaint and the notice of investigation will not be granted unless good cause therefor is shown.

    Failure of a respondent to file a timely response to each allegation in the complaint and in this notice may be deemed to constitute a waiver of the right to appear and contest the allegations of the complaint and this notice, and to authorize the administrative law judge and the Commission, without further notice to the respondent, to find the facts to be as alleged in the complaint and this notice and to enter an initial determination and a final determination containing such findings, and may result in the issuance of an exclusion order or a cease and desist order or both directed against the respondent.

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: February 26, 2018. Lisa R. Barton, Secretary to the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04234 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Investigation Nos. 701-TA-388, 389, and 391 and 731-TA-817, 818, and 821 (Third Review)] Cut-to-Length Carbon-Quality Steel Plate From India, Indonesia, and Korea; Determinations

    On the basis of the record 1 developed in the subject five-year reviews, the United States International Trade Commission (“Commission”) determines, pursuant to the Tariff Act of 1930 (“the Act”), that revocation of the countervailing duty orders and antidumping duty orders on cut-to-length carbon-quality steel plate from India, Indonesia, and Korea would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury to an industry in the United States within a reasonably foreseeable time.

    1 The record is defined in sec. 207.2(f) of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 207.2(f)).

    Background

    The Commission, pursuant to section 751(c) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 1675(c)), instituted these reviews on December 1, 2016 (81 FR 86725) and determined on March 6, 2017 that it would conduct full reviews (82 FR 14030, March 16, 2017). Notice of the scheduling of the Commission's reviews and of a public hearing to be held in connection therewith was given by posting copies of the notice in the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, Washington, DC, and by publishing the notice in the Federal Register on August 10, 2017 (82 FR 37465). A revised schedule of the Commission's reviews was published on October 27, 2017 (82 FR 49849). The hearing was held in Washington, DC, on January 4, 2018, and all persons who requested the opportunity were permitted to appear in person or by counsel.

    The Commission made these determinations pursuant to section 751(c) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 1675(c)). It completed and filed its determinations in these reviews on February 26, 2018. The views of the Commission are contained in USITC Publication 4764 (February 2018), entitled Cut-to-Length Carbon-Quality Steel Plate from India, Indonesia and Korea: Investigation Nos. 701-TA-388, 389, and 391 and 731-TA-817, 818, and 821 (Third Review).

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: February 26, 2018. Lisa R. Barton, Secretary to the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04227 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [USITC SE-18-012] Government in the Sunshine Act Meeting Notice Agency Holding the Meeting:

    United States International Trade Commission.

    Time and Date:

    March 9, 2018 at 11:00 a.m.

    Place:

    Room 101, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436, Telephone: (202) 205-2000.

    Status:

    Open to the public.

    Matters to be Considered:

    1. Agendas for future meetings: None.

    2. Minutes.

    3. Ratification List.

    4. Vote in Inv. Nos. 701-TA-597 and 731-TA-1407 (Preliminary) (Cast Iron Soil Pipe from China). The Commission is currently scheduled to complete and file its determinations on March 12, 2018; views of the Commission are currently scheduled to be completed and filed on March 19, 2018.

    5. Outstanding action jackets: None.

    In accordance with Commission policy, subject matter listed above, not disposed of at the scheduled meeting, may be carried over to the agenda of the following meeting.

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: February 27, 2018. William R. Bishop, Supervisory Hearings and Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04364 Filed 2-28-18; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Investigation No. 332-503] Earned Import Allowance Program: Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the Program for Certain Apparel From the Dominican Republic, Ninth Annual Review AGENCY:

    United States International Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice of opportunity to provide written comments in connection with the Commission's ninth annual review.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. International Trade Commission (Commission) has announced its schedule, including deadlines for filing written submissions, in connection with preparing a report on its ninth annual review in investigation No. 332-503, Earned Import Allowance Program: Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the Program for Certain Apparel from the Dominican Republic, Ninth Annual Review.

    DATES:

    April 30, 2018: Deadline for filing written submissions.

    August 3, 2018: Transmittal of ninth report to House Committee on Ways and Means and Senate Committee on Finance.

    ADDRESSES:

    All Commission offices, including the Commission's hearing rooms, are located in the United States International Trade Commission Building, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC. All written submissions, including statements, and briefs, should be addressed to the Secretary, United States International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436. The public file for this investigation may be viewed on the Commission's electronic docket (EDIS) at http://edis.usitc.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Project Leader Mary Roop (202-708-2277 or [email protected]) for information specific to this investigation. For information on the legal aspects of this investigation, contact William Gearhart of the Commission's Office of the General Counsel (202-205-3091 or [email protected]). The media should contact Margaret O'Laughlin, Office of External Relations (202-205-1819 or [email protected]). Hearing-impaired individuals may obtain information on this matter by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal at 202-205-1810. General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its website (http://www.usitc.gov). Persons with mobility impairments who will need special assistance in gaining access to the Commission should contact the Office of the Secretary at 202-205-2000.

    Background: Section 404 of the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (DR-CAFTA Act) (19 U.S.C. 4112) required the Secretary of Commerce to establish an Earned Import Allowance Program (EIAP) and directed the Commission to conduct annual reviews of the program to evaluate its effectiveness and make recommendations for improvements. Section 404 of the DR-CAFTA Act authorizes certain apparel articles wholly assembled in an eligible country to enter the United States free of duty if accompanied by a certificate that shows evidence of the purchase of certain U.S. fabric. The term “eligible country” is defined to mean the Dominican Republic. More specifically, the program allows producers (in the Dominican Republic) that purchase a certain quantity of qualifying U.S. fabric to produce certain cotton bottoms in the Dominican Republic to receive a credit that can be used to ship a certain quantity of eligible apparel using third-country fabrics from the Dominican Republic to the United States free of duty.

    Section 404(d) directs the Commission to conduct an annual review of the program to evaluate the effectiveness of the program and make recommendations for improvements. The Commission is required to submit its reports containing the results of its reviews to the House Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Committee on Finance. Copies of the Commission's prior reports are available on the Commission's website at www.usitc.gov, including the eighth annual report, which was published on September 28, 2017 (ITC Publication 4730). The Commission expects to submit its report on its ninth annual review by August 3, 2018.

    The Commission instituted this investigation pursuant to section 332(g) of the Tariff Act of 1930 to facilitate docketing of submissions and also to facilitate public access to Commission records through the Commission's EDIS electronic records system. The Commission published notice of institution of this investigation in the Federal Register on April 29, 2009 (47 FR 19592), and published notice of the Commission's invitation to submit information in connection with the eighth annual report in the Federal Register on May 1, 2017 (82 FR 20375).

    Written Submissions: Interested parties are invited to file written submissions concerning this ninth annual review. All written submissions should be addressed to the Secretary, and all such submissions should be received no later than 5:15 p.m., April 30, 2018. All written submissions must conform to the provisions of section 201.8 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 201.8). Section 201.8 and the Commission's Handbook on Filing Procedures require that interested parties file documents electronically on or before the filing deadline and submit eight (8) true paper copies by 12:00 p.m. eastern time on the next business day. If confidential treatment of a document is requested, interested parties must file, at the same time as the eight paper copies, at least four (4) additional true paper copies in which the confidential information must be deleted (see the following paragraphs for further information regarding confidential business information). Persons with questions regarding electronic filing should contact the Office of the Secretary, Docket Services Division (202-205-1802).

    Confidential Business Information. Any submissions that contain confidential business information must also conform to the requirements of section 201.6 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 201.6). Section 201.6 of the rules requires that the cover of the document and the individual pages be clearly marked as to whether they are the “confidential” or “non-confidential” version, and that the confidential business information is clearly identified by means of brackets. All written submissions, except for confidential business information, will be made available for inspection by interested parties.

    The Commission will not include any confidential business information in the report that it sends to the Committees or makes available to the public. However, all information, including confidential business information, submitted in this investigation may be disclosed to and used: (i) By the Commission, its employees and offices, and contract personnel (a) for developing or maintaining the records of this or a related proceeding, or (b) in internal investigations, audits, reviews, and evaluations relating to the programs, personnel, and operations of the Commission including under 5 U.S.C. Appendix 3; or (ii) by U.S. government employees and contract personnel for cybersecurity purposes. The Commission will not otherwise disclose any confidential business information in a manner that would reveal the operations of the firm supplying the information.

    Summary of Written Submissions: The Commission intends to publish a summary of the written submissions of interested persons in an appendix to its report. Persons wishing to have a summary of their position included in the appendix should include a summary with their written submission. The summary may not exceed 500 words, should be in MSWord format or a format that can be easily converted to MSWord, and should not include any confidential business information. The summary will be published as provided if it meets these requirements and is germane to the subject matter of the investigation. In the appendix the Commission will identify the name of the organization furnishing the summary, and will include a link to the Commission's Electronic Document Information System (EDIS) where the full written submission can be found.

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: February 27, 2018. Lisa R. Barton, Secretary to the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04308 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration [Docket No. DEA-392] Bulk Manufacturer of Controlled Substances Application: Stepan Company ACTION:

    Notice of application.

    DATES:

    Registered bulk manufacturers of the affected basic classes, and applicants therefore, may file written comments on or objections to the issuance of the proposed registration in accordance with 21 CFR 1301.33(a) on or before May 1, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments should be sent to: Drug Enforcement Administration, Attention: DEA Federal Register Representative/DRW, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Attorney General has delegated his authority under the Controlled Substances Act to the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), 28 CFR 0.100(b). Authority to exercise all necessary functions with respect to the promulgation and implementation of 21 CFR part 1301, incident to the registration of manufacturers, distributors, dispensers, importers, and exporters of controlled substances (other than final orders in connection with suspension, denial, or revocation of registration) has been redelegated to the Deputy Assistant Administrator of the DEA Diversion Control Division (“Deputy Assistant Administrator”) pursuant to section 7 of 28 CFR part 0, appendix to subpart R.

    In accordance with 21 CFR 1301.33(a), this is notice that on January 22, 2018, Stepan Company, 100 W Hunter Ave., Maywood, NJ 07607 applied to be registered as a bulk manufacturer of the following basic classes of controlled substances:

    Controlled substance Drug
  • code
  • Schedule
    Cocaine 9041 II Ecgonine 9180 II

    The company plans to manufacture the above-listed controlled substances in bulk for sale to its customers. No other activities for these drug codes are authorized for this registration.

    Dated: February 20, 2018. Susan A. Gibson, Deputy Assistant Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04269 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Office of the Secretary Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Agreement and Undertaking ACTION:

    Notice of availability; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Labor (DOL) is submitting the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP) sponsored information collection request (ICR) titled, “Agreement and Undertaking,” to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval for continued use, without change, in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995. Public comments on the ICR are invited.

    DATES:

    The OMB will consider all written comments that agency receives on or before April 2, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    A copy of this ICR with applicable supporting documentation; including a description of the likely respondents, proposed frequency of response, and estimated total burden may be obtained free of charge from the RegInfo.gov website at http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=201708-1240-001 or by contacting Michel Smyth by telephone at 202-693-4129, TTY 202-693-8064, (these are not toll-free numbers) or sending an email to [email protected]

    Submit comments about this request by mail to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attn: OMB Desk Officer for DOL-OWCP, Office of Management and Budget, Room 10235, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20503; by Fax: 202-395-5806 (this is not a toll-free number); or by email: [email protected] Commenters are encouraged, but not required, to send a courtesy copy of any comments by mail or courier to the U.S. Department of Labor—OASAM, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Attn: Departmental Information Compliance Management Program, Room N1301, 200 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20210; or by email: [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michel Smyth by telephone at 202-693-4129, TTY 202-693-8064, (these are not toll-free numbers) or sending an email to [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This ICR seeks to extend PRA authority for the Agreement and Undertaking information collection. A coal mine operator who has been approved to be a self-insurer completes Form OWCP-1 to provide the Secretary of Labor with authorization to sell securities or to bring suit under indemnity bonds deposited by the self-insured employers in the event there is a default in the payment of benefits. The Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969 authorizes this information collection. See 30 U.S.C. 933.

    This information collection is subject to the PRA. A Federal agency generally cannot conduct or sponsor a collection of information, and the public is generally not required to respond to an information collection, unless it is approved by the OMB under the PRA and displays a currently valid OMB Control Number. In addition, notwithstanding any other provisions of law, no person shall generally be subject to penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information that does not display a valid Control Number. See 5 CFR 1320.5(a) and 1320.6. The DOL obtains OMB approval for this information collection under Control Number 1240-0039. For additional substantive information about this ICR, see the related notice published in the Federal Register on August 24, 2017 (82 FR 40169).

    Interested parties are encouraged to send comments to the OMB, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the address shown in the ADDRESSES section within thirty (30) days of publication of this notice in the Federal Register. In order to help ensure appropriate consideration, comments should mention OMB Control Number 1240-0039. The OMB is particularly interested in comments that:

    • Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    • Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    • Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    • Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    Agency: DOL-OWCP.

    Title of Collection: Agreement and Undertaking.

    OMB Control Number: 1240-0039.

    Affected Public: Private Sector—businesses or other for-profits.

    Total Estimated Number of Respondents: 17.

    Total Estimated Number of Responses: 17.

    Total Estimated Annual Time Burden: 4 hours.

    Total Estimated Annual Other Costs Burden: $9.

    Authority:

    44 U.S.C. 3507(a)(1)(D).

    Michel Smyth, Departmental Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04235 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-CR-P
    NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION [Notice 18-011] Notice of Intent To Grant Partially Exclusive Patent License AGENCY:

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent to grant partially exclusive patent license.

    SUMMARY:

    NASA hereby gives notice of its intent to grant a partially exclusive patent license in the United States to practice the invention described and claimed in U.S. Patent Number 9,382,000 entitled, “Improved Aircraft Design”, DRC-012-027, to Chase Boats, LLC, having its principal place of business in Marshall, CA. The fields of use may be limited to Recreational Ultralight Airplanes.

    DATES:

    The prospective partially exclusive patent license may be granted unless NASA receives written objections including evidence and argument no later than March 19, 2018 that establish that the grant of the license would not be consistent with the requirements regarding the licensing of federally owned inventions as set forth in the Bayh-Dole Act and implementing regulations. Competing applications completed and received by NASA no later than March 19, 2018 will also be treated as objections to the grant of the contemplated partially exclusive license. Objections submitted in response to this notice will not be made available to the public for inspection and, to the extent permitted by law, will not be released under the Freedom of Information Act.

    ADDRESSES:

    Objections relating to the prospective license may be submitted to Patent Counsel, NASA Management Office of Chief Counsel, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, M/S 180-800C Pasadena, CA 91109. Phone (818) 854-7770. Facsimile (818) 393-2607.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mark Homer, Patent Counsel, NASA Management Office of Chief Counsel, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, M/S 180-800C Pasadena, CA 91109. Phone (818) 854-7770. Facsimile (818) 393-2607.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This notice of intent to grant a partially exclusive patent license is issued in accordance with 35 U.S.C. 209e and 37 CFR 404.7(a)(1)(i). The patent rights in these inventions have been assigned to the United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The prospective partially exclusive patent license will comply with the requirements of 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR 404.7.

    Information about other NASA inventions available for licensing can be found online at http://technology.nasa.gov.

    Mark P. Dvorscak, Agency Counsel for Intellectual Property.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04240 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7510-13-P
    NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION [NARA-2018-021] Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed extension request.

    SUMMARY:

    NARA proposes to request an extension from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) of a currently approved information collection used by the public and other Federal agencies to use its official seal(s) and/or logo(s). We invite you to comment on this proposed information collection pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    We must receive written comments on or before May 1, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments to Paperwork Reduction Act Comments (MP), Room 4100; National Archives and Records Administration, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001, fax them to 301-837-0319, or email them to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Contact Tamee Fechhelm by telephone at 301-837-1694 or fax at 301-837-0319 with requests for additional information or copies of the proposed information collection and supporting statement.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13), NARA invites the public and other Federal agencies to comment on proposed information collections. The comments and suggestions should address one or more of the following points: (a) Whether the proposed information collections are necessary for NARA to properly perform its functions; (b) NARA's estimate of the burden of the proposed information collections and its accuracy; (c) ways NARA could enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information it collects; (d) ways NARA could minimize the burden on respondents of collecting the information, including through information technology; and (e) whether these collections affects small businesses. We will summarize any comments you submit and include the summary in our request for OMB approval. All comments will become a matter of public record. In this notice, NARA solicits comments concerning the following information collection:

    Title: Use of NARA Official Seals and/or Logos.

    OMB number: 3095-0052.

    Agency form number: N/A.

    Type of review: Regular.

    Affected public: Business or other for-profit, Not-for-profit institutions, Federal government.

    Estimated number of respondents: 10.

    Estimated time per response: 20 minutes.

    Frequency of response: On occasion.

    Estimated total annual burden hours: 3 hours.

    Abstract: The authority for this information collection is contained in 36 CFR 1200.8. NARA's three official seals are the National Archives and Records Administration seal; the National Archives seal; and the Nationals Archives Trust Fund Board seal. The official seals are used to authenticate various copies of official records in our custody and for other official NARA business. Occasionally, when criteria are met, we will permit the public and other Federal agencies to use our official seals. A written request must be submitted to use the official seals, which we approve or deny using specific criteria.

    Swarnali Haldar, Executive for Information Services/CIO.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04239 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7515-01-P
    OVERSEAS PRIVATE INVESTMENT CORPORATION Submission for OMB Review; Comments Request AGENCY:

    Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC).

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    Under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, agencies are required to publish a Notice in the Federal Register notifying the public that the agency is renewing an existing information collection for OMB review and approval and requests public review and comment on the submission. OPIC received comments in response to the sixty (60) day notice, and pursuant to those comments, amended the instructions to OPIC-256 filers regarding the information to be provided for Investment Policy & ESG and Other-Miscellaneous documentation. The purpose of this notice is to allow an additional thirty (30) days for public comments to be submitted. Comments are being solicited on the need for the information; the accuracy of OPIC's burden estimate; the quality, practical utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways to minimize reporting the burden, including automated collected techniques and uses of other forms of technology.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received within thirty (30) calendar days of publication of this Notice.

    ADDRESSES:

    Mail all comments and requests for copies of the subject form to OPIC's Agency Submitting Officer: James Bobbitt, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, 1100 New York Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20527. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for other information about filing.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    OPIC Agency Submitting Officer: James Bobbitt, (202) 336-8558.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OPIC received comments in response to the sixty (60) day notice published in Federal Register volume 82 page 58456 on December 12, 2017 and, pursuant to those comments, amended the instructions to OPIC-256 filers regarding the information to be provided for Investment Policy & ESG and Other-Miscellaneous documentation. All mailed comments and requests for copies of the subject form should include form number OPIC-256 on both the envelope and in the subject line of the letter. Electronic comments and requests for copies of the subject form may be sent to [email protected], subject line OPIC-256.

    Summary Form Under Review

    Type of Request: Extension without change of a currently approved information collection.

    Title: Investment Funds Department Questionnaire.

    Form Number: OPIC-256.

    Frequency of Use: One per investor per project per year.

    Type of Respondents: Business or other institution (except farms); individuals.

    Standard Industrial Classification Codes: All.

    Description of Affected Public: U.S. companies or citizens investing overseas.

    Reporting Hours: 150 hours (approx. 1 hour per response).

    Number of Responses: 150 per year.

    Federal Cost: $4,026 (0.5 hour per form * 150 forms per year * $53.68 (GS-14/1 DCB)).

    Authority for Information Collection: Sections 231, 234(b), and 239(d) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended.

    Abstract (Needs and Uses): The questionnaire is the principal document used by OPIC to determine the investor's and the project's eligibility for OPIC funding, and to collect information for financial underwriting analysis.

    Dated: February 26, 2018. Nichole Skoyles, Administrative Counsel, Department of Legal Affairs.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04205 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3210-01-P
    OVERSEAS PRIVATE INVESTMENT CORPORATION Submission for OMB Review; Comments Request AGENCY:

    Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC).

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    Under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, agencies are required to publish a Notice in the Federal Register notifying the public that the agency is modifying an existing information collection for OMB review and approval and requests public review and comment on the submission. OPIC received comments in response to the sixty (60) day notice and, pursuant to those comments, amended the instructions to OPIC-115 filers regarding the information to be provided in supporting documentation. The purpose of this notice is to allow an additional thirty (30) days for public comments to be submitted. Comments are being solicited on the need for the information; the accuracy of OPIC's burden estimate; the quality, practical utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways to minimize reporting the burden, including automated collected techniques and uses of other forms of technology.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received within thirty (30) calendar days of publication of this Notice.

    ADDRESSES:

    Mail all comments and requests for copies of the subject form to OPIC's Agency Submitting Officer: James Bobbitt, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, 1100 New York Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20527. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for other information about filing.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    OPIC Agency Submitting Officer: James Bobbitt, (202) 336-8558.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OPIC received comments in response to the sixty (60) day notice published in Federal Register volume 82 page 58456 on December 12, 2017 and, pursuant to those comments, amended the instructions to OPIC-115 filers regarding the information to be provided in supporting documentation. All mailed comments and requests for copies of the subject form should include form number OPIC-115 on both the envelope and in the subject line of the letter. Electronic comments and requests for copies of the subject form may be sent to [email protected], subject line OPIC-115.

    Summary Form Under Review

    Type of Request: Revision of a currently approved information collection.

    Title: Application for Project Finance.

    Form Number: OPIC-115.

    Frequency of Use: Once per investor per project.

    Type of Respondents: Business or other institution (except farms); individuals.

    Standard Industrial Classification Codes: All.

    Description of Affected Public: U.S. and foreign citizens investing in projects overseas.

    Reporting Hours: 330 hours (1.5 hours per form * 220 forms per year).

    Number of Responses: 220 per year.

    Federal Cost: $11,809.60 (1 hour per form * 220 forms per year * $53.68 (GS-14/1 DCB)).

    Authority for Information Collection: Sections 231, 234(b)-(c), 239(d) and 240A of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended.

    Abstract (Needs and Uses): The Application for Project Finance is the principal document used by OPIC to determine the investor's and the project's eligibility for project financing and collect information for financial underwriting analysis.

    Dated: February 26, 2018. Nichole Skoyles, Administrative Counsel, Department of Legal Affairs.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04204 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3210-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-82771; File No. SR-CBOE-2018-017] Self-Regulatory Organizations; Cboe Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rule 6.56, Compression Forums, To Provide Additional Opportunities To Disclose Compression-List Positions Monthly February 26, 2018.

    Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”),1 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,2 notice is hereby given that on February 13, 2018, Cboe Exchange, Inc. (the “Exchange” or “Cboe Options”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I and II below, which Items have been prepared by the Exchange. The Exchange filed the proposal as a “non-controversial” proposed rule change pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A)(iii) of the Act 3 and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.4 The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    3 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A)(iii).

    4 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6).

    I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

    The Exchange proposes to amend Rule 6.56, Compression Forums.

    (additions are italicized; deletions are [bracketed]) Cboe Exchange, Inc. Rules Rule 6.56. Compression Forums

    (a)

    (1) Prior to 4:30 p.m. Chicago time on the second, third, and fourth to last business day of each calendar month, in a manner and format determined by the Exchange, a Trading Permit Holder may provide the Exchange with a list of open SPX options positions that it would like to close through the compression forum for that calendar month (“compression-list positions”). Trading Permit Holders may also permit their Clearing Trading Permit Holders or the Clearing Corporation to submit a list of these positions to the Exchange on their behalf.

    (2) Prior to the open of Regular Trading Hours on the last business day, second to last business day, and third to last business day of each calendar month, the Exchange will make available to all Trading Permit Holders a list including the size of the offsetting compression-list positions (including all possible combinations of offsetting multi-leg positions) in each series (and multi-leg position) for which both long and short compression-list positions have been submitted to the Exchange (“compression-list positions file”).

    (3)-(6) (No change).

    (b)-(c) (No change).

    The text of the proposed rule change is also available on the Exchange's website (http://www.cboe.com/AboutCBOE/CBOELegalRegulatoryHome.aspx), at the Exchange's Office of the Secretary, and at the Commission's Public Reference Room.

    II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

    In its filing with the Commission, the Exchange included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The Exchange has prepared summaries, set forth in sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant aspects of such statements.

    A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose

    The Exchange proposes to amend rule 6.56 (Compression Forums) to modify the frequency with which Trading Permit Holders (“TPHs”) may submit compression-list positions to the Exchange.

    Currently, TPHs may submit lists of existing SPX positions to the Exchange that they wish to close during a compression forum (“compression-list positions”) by submitting such positions to the Exchange prior to 4:30 p.m. Chicago time on the fourth to last business day of each calendar month.5 Following the submission of compression-list positions and prior to the open of Regular Trading Hours on the third to last business day of each calendar month, the Exchange makes available to all TPHs a list including the size of the offsetting compression-list positions (including all possible combinations of offsetting multi-leg positions) in each series (and multi-leg position) for which both long and short compression-list positions have been submitted to the Exchange (“compression-list positions file”).6 In addition to making the compression-list positions file available to all TPHs, the Exchange: (1) Distributes the compress-list positions file to TPHs that submitted compression-list positions; 7 (2) distributes an individualized list of multi-leg positions (“multi-leg positions file”) to each TPH that submitted compression-list positions; 8 and (3) facilitates a process by which a TPH may grant the Exchange permission to share the TPH's identity with contra-party TPHs that have offsetting multi-leg positions.9

    5See Rule 6.56. (a)(1).

    6See Rule 6.56(a)(2).

    7See Rule 6.56(a)(3).

    8See Rule 6.56(a)(4).

    9See Rule 6.56(a)(5).

    As previously noted, TPH compression-list positions are due by 4:30 p.m. Chicago time on the fourth to last business day of each calendar month. Thus, compression-list positions submitted by TPHs and the subsequent files and information generated from the compression-list positions cannot account for positions that have been opened or closed on the last three business days of the month (i.e., after the current submission deadline). Therefore, the Exchange proposes to amend Rule 6.56 to allow TPHs to also submit compression-list positions to the Exchange prior to 4:30 p.m. Chicago time on the second and third to last business days of each calendar month. The Exchange believes that allowing TPHs to reassess their positions at the end of the second and third to last business day of each calendar month—and submit compression list positions by 4:30 p.m. Chicago time on those days—will allow TPHs to more efficiently and effectively close open positions during compression forums.

    The Exchange notes that it is not proposing to modify the process by which the Exchange utilizes compression-list positions to generate files. The Exchange will simply perform those processes three times instead of once. For example, from the compression-list positions submitted prior to 4:30 p.m. Chicago time on the fourth to last business day, the Exchange will generate and distribute the files and information described in Rule 6.56(a)(2)-(5), and such files and information are likely to be used by TPHs in the compression forum that occurs on the third to last business day. From the compression-list positions submitted prior to 4:30 p.m. Chicago time on the third to last business day, the Exchange will generate and distribute the files and information described in Rule 6.56(a)(2)-(5), and such files and information are likely to be used by TPHs in the compression forum that occurs on the second to last business day. Finally, from the compression-list positions submitted prior to 4:30 p.m. Chicago time on the second to last business day, the Exchange will generate and distribute the files and information described in Rule 6.56(a)(2)-(5), and such files and information is likely to be used by TPHs in the compression forum that occurs on the last business day. The Exchange notes that if, for example, a TPH submits compression-list positions on the fourth to last business day but not on the second or third to last business day, the compression-list positions submitted on the fourth to last business day will be used in the first file generation process, not each time the Exchange generates files. In short, each time the Exchange runs its file generation process the Exchange processes only the compression-list positions specific to each deadline (i.e., all compression list positions submitted prior to 4:30 p.m. Chicago time on the fourth to last business day of the calendar month are processed together; all compression list positions submitted prior to 4:30 p.m. Chicago time on the third to last business day of the calendar month are processed together; and so on).

    The proposed rule change will allow TPHs to submit to the Exchange more accurate information regarding their open positions in order to facilitate the generation of a more accurate assessment of potential offsetting interest, specifically, on the second and third to last business days of the calendar month. Giving TPHs a more accurate assessment of potential offsetting interest allows TPHs to more efficiently and effectively execute closing transactions in compression forums on the last business day and the second to last business day of the calendar month. The ability to more efficiently and effectively execute closing transactions in compression forums helps to alleviate the adverse impact of bank capital requirements.

    2. Statutory Basis

    The Exchange believes the proposed rule change is consistent with the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Act”) and the rules and regulations thereunder applicable to the Exchange and, in particular, the requirements of Section 6(b) of the Act.10 Specifically, the Exchange believes the proposed rule change is consistent with the Section 6(b)(5) 11 requirements that the rules of an exchange be designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to foster cooperation and coordination with persons engaged in regulating, clearing, settling, processing information with respect to, and facilitating transactions in securities, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and a national market system, and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest. Additionally, the Exchange believes the proposed rule change is consistent with the Section 6(b)(5) 12 requirement that the rules of an exchange not be designed to permit unfair discrimination between customers, issuers, brokers, or dealers.

    10 15 U.S.C. 78f(b).

    11 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(5).

    12Id.

    In particular, the proposed rule change will allow TPHs to submit to the Exchange more accurate information regarding their open positions in order to facilitate the generation of a more accurate assessment of potential offsetting interest, specifically, on the second and third to last business days of the calendar month. Giving TPHs a more accurate assessment of potential offsetting interest allows TPHs to more efficiently and effectively execute closing transactions in compression forums on the last business day and the second to last business day of the calendar month, which, in general, helps to protect investors and the public interest because closing positions via the compression process serves to alleviate the adverse impact of bank capital requirements.

    B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

    Cboe Options does not believe that the proposed rule change will impose any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. The proposed change would encourage the closing of positions, which, once closed, may serve to alleviate the capital requirement constraints on TPHs and improve overall market liquidity by freeing capital currently tied up in certain SPX positions. The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule changes will impose any burden on intermarket competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act because the proposed rule change applies only to the trading of SPX options, which are exclusively-listed on Cboe Options. To the extent that the proposed changes make the Exchange a more attractive marketplace for market participants at other exchanges, such market participants are eligible to participant through Cboe Options TPHs. Furthermore, participation in compression forums is completely voluntary and open to all TPHs.

    C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others

    The Exchange neither solicited nor received comments on the proposed rule change.

    III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

    Because the foregoing proposed rule change does not: (i) Significantly affect the protection of investors or the public interest; (ii) impose any significant burden on competition; and (iii) become operative for 30 days from the date on which it was filed, or such shorter time as the Commission may designate, it has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A)(iii) of the Act 13 and subparagraph (f)(6) of Rule 19b-4 thereunder.14

    13 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A)(iii).

    14 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6). In addition, Rule 19b-4(f)(6) requires a self-regulatory organization to give the Commission written notice of its intent to file the proposed rule change at least five business days prior to the date of filing of the proposed rule change, or such shorter time as designated by the Commission. The Exchange has satisfied this requirement.

    A proposed rule change filed pursuant to Rule 19b-4(f)(6) under the Act 15 normally does not become operative for 30 days after the date of its filing. However, Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) 16 permits the Commission to designate a shorter time if such action is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. The Exchange has asked the Commission to waive the 30-day operative delay so that the proposal may become operative upon filing. The Commission notes that the proposal is not modifying the procedures for collecting or distributing compression-list positions, but is only providing additional opportunities for TPHs to disclose their positions using existing procedures. The Exchange has stated that the proposed rule change, by giving a more accurate assessment of potential offsetting interest, specifically on the second and third to last business days of the calendar month, will allow TPHs to more efficiently and effectively execute closing transactions in SPX options. Therefore, the Commission believes that waiving the 30-day operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. Accordingly, the Commission hereby waives the operative delay and designates the proposal operative upon filing.17

    15 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6).

    16 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6)(iii).

    17 For purposes only of waiving the 30-day operative delay, the Commission has also considered the proposed rule's impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. See 15 U.S.C. 78c(f).

    At any time within 60 days of the filing of the proposed rule change, the Commission summarily may temporarily suspend such rule change if it appears to the Commission that such action is: (i) Necessary or appropriate in the public interest; (ii) for the protection of investors; or (iii) otherwise in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. If the Commission takes such action, the Commission shall institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule should be approved or disapproved.

    IV. Solicitation of Comments

    Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change is consistent with the Act. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Comments

    • Use the Commission's internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml); or

    • Send an email to [email protected] Please include File Number SR-CBOE-2018-017 on the subject line.

    Paper Comments

    • Send paper comments in triplicate to Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549-1090.

    All submissions should refer to File Number SR-CBOE-2018-017. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's internet website (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml). Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for website viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549, on official business days between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Copies of such filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of CBOE. All comments received will be posted without change. Persons submitting comments are cautioned that we do not redact or edit personal identifying information from comment submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-CBOE-2018-017 and should be submitted on or before March 23, 2018.

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.18

    18 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).

    Eduardo A. Aleman, Assistant Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04208 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-82780; File No. SR-NSCC-2017-808] Self-Regulatory Organizations; National Securities Clearing Corporation; Notice of No Objection To Advance Notice Filing, as Modified by Amendment No. 1, To Enhance the Calculation of the Volatility Component of the Clearing Fund Formula That Utilizes a Parametric Value-at-Risk Model and Eliminate the Market Maker Domination Charge February 26, 2018.

    National Securities Clearing Corporation (“NSCC”) filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) on December 28, 2017 the advance notice SR-NSCC-2017-808 pursuant to Section 806(e)(1) of Title VIII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act entitled the Payment, Clearing, and Settlement Supervision Act of 2010 (“Clearing Supervision Act”) 1 and Rule 19b-4(n)(1)(i) 2 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (“Exchange Act”). On January 10, 2018, NSCC filed Amendment No. 1 to the advance notice.3 The advance notice, as modified by Amendment No. 1 (hereinafter, the “Advance Notice”) was published for comment in the Federal Register on February 8, 2018.4 The Commission did not receive any comments on the Advance Notice. This publication serves as notice that the Commission does not object to the changes set forth in the Advance Notice.

    1 12 U.S.C. 5465(e)(1). The Financial Stability Oversight Council designated NSCC a systemically important financial market utility on July 18, 2012. See Financial Stability Oversight Council 2012 Annual Report, Appendix A, http://www.treasury.gov/initiatives/fsoc/Documents/2012%20Annual%20Report.pdf. Therefore, NSCC is required to comply with the Payment, Clearing and Settlement Supervision Act and file advance notices with the Commission. See 12 U.S.C. 5465(e).

    2 17 CFR 240.19b-4(n)(1)(i).

    3 In Amendment No. 1 to the advance notice, NSCC amended and replaced in its entirety the originally filed confidential Exhibit 3a with a new confidential Exhibit 3a in order to remove references to a practice that was not intended for consideration as part of the filing.

    4 Securities Exchange Act Release No. 82631 (February 5, 2018), 83 FR 5658 (February 8, 2017) (SR-NSCC-2017-808) (“Notice”). NSCC also filed a related proposed rule change with the Commission pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Exchange Act and Rule 19b-4 thereunder, seeking approval of changes to its rules necessary to implement the Advance Notice. 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1) and 17 CFR 240.19b-4, respectively. The proposed rule change was published in the Federal Register on January 19, 2018. Securities Exchange Act Release No. 82494 (January 12, 2018), 83 FR 2828 (January 19, 2018) (SR-NSCC-2017-020). The Commission did not receive any comments on that proposal.

    I. Description of the Advance Notice

    The Advance Notice consists of changes to NSCC's Rules & Procedures (“Rules”) 5 that would enhance NSCC's method for calculating the daily margin requirement for each NSCC member (“Member”).6 Specifically, NSCC proposes to (1) add three new ways to calculate the volatility component of its Members' margin requirements, and (2) eliminate an outdated component of the margin calculation, as described more fully below.7 NSCC states that the new volatility component calculations would enable NSCC to mitigate the credit risks presented by Member portfolios in a broader range of scenarios and market conditions than NSCC's current volatility component calculation.8

    5 NSCC's Rules, available at http://dtcc.com/~/media/Files/Downloads/legal/rules/nscc_rules.pdf.

    6 Notice, 83 FR at 5659.

    7Id.

    8Id.

    A key tool that NSCC uses to manage its credit exposures to Members is the daily calculation and collection of margin from each Member (“Required Deposit”).9 NSCC collects Required Deposits from Members to mitigate NSCC's potential losses associated with the liquidation of a Member's portfolio should the Member default.10 The aggregate of all Members' Required Deposits constitutes NSCC's Clearing Fund, which NSCC can access should a defaulting Member's own Required Deposit be insufficient to satisfy NSCC's losses caused by the liquidation of the Member's portfolio.11

    9Id.

    10Id.

    11Id.

    A. Evenly-Weighted Volatility Estimation

    Each Member's Required Deposit consists of several components.12 Generally, the largest component of a Member's Required Deposit is the volatility component, which is designed to capture the market price risk associated with each Member's portfolio at a 99th percentile level of confidence.13 NSCC currently calculates the volatility component using a parametric Value-at-Risk (“VaR”) model.14 NSCC's current VaR calculation places more emphasis on recent market observations (such as recent price history) for the purpose of estimating current market price volatility levels, based on the assumption that the most recent price history is more relevant and accurate for measuring current market price volatility levels (referred to as an “exponentially-weighted volatility estimation”).15 However, volatility in the equity markets often rapidly reverts to more commonly observed levels, followed by a subsequent spike.16 While a VaR calculation that applies exclusively an exponentially-weighted volatility estimation can capture sudden increases in volatility, it may result in a swift decline in margin that does not adequately capture the risks related to a rapid decrease in market price volatility levels.17 NSCC proposes to mitigate this shortcoming by adding another method for computing the VaR calculation that does not diminish the value of older market observations.18 Specifically, NSCC proposes to add a VaR calculation that gives equal weight to all historical volatility observations during a specified look-back period (referred to by NSCC as an “evenly-weighted volatility estimation”),19 which could result in margin requirement amounts during non-volatile periods greater than margin requirement amounts based upon the exponentially-weighted volatility estimation.20 Under the proposal, NSCC would calculate both the exponentially-weighted volatility estimation and the evenly-weighted volatility estimation, and the greater result would represent the “Core Parametric Estimation.” 21

    12See Procedure XV (Clearing Fund Formula and Other Matters) of the Rules, supra note 5.

    13 Notice, 83 FR at 5659-60.

    14 Notice, 83 FR at 5660.

    15Id.

    16Id.

    17Id.

    18Id.

    19Id.

    20Id.

    21 Notice, 83 FR at 5661.

    B. Gap Risk Measure

    In addition to the Core Parametric Estimation, NSCC proposes to add a second method for determining the volatility component of a Member's Required Deposit.22 This second method, referred to as the Gap Risk Measure, would help address risks that are unique to Member portfolios that hold a concentrated position in a specific security.23 More specifically, when a Member's portfolio holds a concentrated position in a specific security, such that the position represents a significant percentage of the entire portfolio's value, the portfolio may be more susceptible to risks associated with issuer-specific events affecting the price of the concentrated security.24 Such events include earning reports, management changes, merger announcements, insolvency, or other unexpected issuer-specific events (collectively, “Gap Risk Events”).25

    22Id.

    23Id.

    24Id.

    25Id.

    NSCC has observed that portfolios with a concentration level of more than 30 percent in a specific security tend to have backtesting coverage below the 99 percent confidence level.26 To mitigate the concentration risk posed by such portfolios, NSCC proposes the Gap Risk Measure, which would apply to all individual equities in a Member's portfolio, but only when the Member holds a position in a security that meets a 30 percent concentration threshold relative to the remainder of the portfolio.27

    26Id.

    27Id.

    NSCC also has observed that exchange-traded products (“ETPs”) that track to a broad market index are generally not susceptible to Gap Risk Events.28 Accordingly, NSCC would not apply the Gap Risk Measure to positions in such index-based ETPs, even if the 30 percent concentration threshold is met.29 However, non-index-based ETPs and index-based ETPs that track a narrow market index are susceptible to Gap Risk Events, and would, therefore, be subject to the Gap Risk Measure, provided that the 30 percent concentration threshold is met.30

    28Id.

    29Id.

    30Id. NSCC states that it would use a third-party market provider to identify index-based ETPs. Id. The third-party market provider would identify index-based ETPs as those with criteria that require the portfolio returns to track to a broad market index. Id. ETPs that do not meet this criteria would not be considered index-based ETPs and, therefore, would be included in the Gap Risk Measure calculation. Id.

    When applicable, NSCC would calculate the Gap Risk Measure by multiplying the gross market value of the largest (non-index) position in the portfolio by a percent of not less than 10 percent.31

    31Id. NSCC would determine such percent empirically as no less than the larger of the 1st and 99th percentiles of three-day returns of a set of CUSIPs that are subject to the volatility component, giving equal rank to each to determine which has the highest movement over that three-day period. Id. NSCC would use a look-back period of not less than ten years that includes a one-year stress period. Id. If the one-year stress period overlaps with the look-back period, only the non-overlapping period would be combined with the look-back period. Id. The result would then be rounded up to the nearest whole percentage. Id.

    C. Portfolio Margin Floor

    In addition to the Core Parametric Estimation and the Gap Risk Measure, NSCC proposes to add a third method for determining the volatility component of a Member's Required Deposit.32 This third method, referred to as the Portfolio Margin Floor, would help address risks that may not be adequately accounted for by the Core Parametric Estimation or the Gap Risk Measure.33 For example, a volatility component based solely on a parametric VaR model calculation may prove inadequate where there is low market price volatility and the portfolio holds either large gross market values or large net directional market values.34 In such cases, the model may not collect sufficient margin, which could hinder NSCC's ability to effectively liquidate or hedge the Member's portfolio in three business days.35

    32 Notice, 83 FR at 5661.

    33Id.

    34 Notice, 83 FR at 5662.

    35Id.

    NSCC proposes the Portfolio Margin Floor to operate as a floor to (i.e., minimum amount of) a Member's volatility component.36 Specifically, the Portfolio Margin Floor would be based on the balance and direction of the positions in the Member's portfolio and would be designed to be proportional to the market value of the portfolio.37

    36Id.

    37Id.

    The Portfolio Margin Floor would be the sum of two separate calculations, both of which would measure the market value of the portfolio based on the direction of net positions in the portfolio.38 First, NSCC would calculate the net directional market value of the portfolio by calculating the absolute difference between the market value of the long positions and shorts positions in the portfolio,39 then multiplying that amount by a percentage.40 Second, NSCC would calculate the balanced market value of the portfolio by taking the lowest market value of either the long or short positions in the portfolio,41 then multiplying that value by a percentage.42 The combined results of these two calculations would constitute the final Portfolio Margin Floor amount.43

    38Id.

    39 For example, if the market value of the long positions is $100,000, and the market value of the short positions is $200,000, the net directional market value of the portfolio would be $100,000. Id.

    40Id. NSCC would determine the applicable percentage by examining the annual historical volatility levels of benchmark indices over a historical look-back period. Id.

    41 For example, if the market value of the long positions is $100,000, and the market value of the short positions is $110,000, the balanced market value of the portfolio would be $100,000. Id.

    42Id. NSCC would determine the applicable percentage to be an amount that covers the transaction costs and other relevant risks associated with the positions in the portfolio. Id.

    43Id.

    Finally, in order to choose the amount to be charged as the volatility component of a Member's Required Deposit, NSCC would compare the amounts calculated by the Portfolio Margin Floor, the Gap Risk Measure (if applicable), and the Core Parametric Estimation. NSCC then would use the highest of those three calculations as the volatility component of the Member's Required Deposit.44

    44Id.

    D. Elimination of the Market Maker Domination Component

    NSCC proposes to eliminate the Market Maker Domination Component (“MMD Charge”) from its Clearing Fund formula.45 The MMD Charge is an existing component of the Clearing Fund formula calculated for Members that are Market Makers and Members that clear for Market Makers.46 The MMD Charge was developed to address the risks presented by concentrated positions (of the overall unsettled long position in the security) held by Market Makers.47 More specifically, the charge is designed to address securities that are susceptible to marketability and liquidation impairment because of the relative size of the positions that NSCC would have to liquidate or hedge in the case of a Market Maker default.48

    45Id.

    46Id; see also Procedure XV, Section I(A)(1)(d) of the Rules, supra note 5.

    47 Notice, 83 FR at 5662.

    48Id.

    Under the current Rules, NSCC may impose the MMD Charge if the Market Maker (either the Member or the correspondent of the Member) holds a position that is greater than 40 percent of the overall unsettled long position (i.e., the sum of each clearing broker's net long position) in a specific security.49 NSCC calculates the MMD Charge as the sum of each of the absolute values of the net positions in the relevant securities, less the reported amount of excess net capital for that Member.50

    49Id.

    50Id. NSCC does not apply the excess net capital offset for Members with the weakest credit rating (i.e. 7) on the Credit Risk Rating Matrix. See Procedure XV, Sections I(A)(1)(d) and I(A)(2)(c) of the Rules, supra note 5.

    NSCC states that since implementation of the MMD Charge, several developments in the U.S. equity markets (e.g., improved price transparency, access across exchange venues, and participation by market liquidity providers) have reduced the risks that the MMD Charge was designed to address.51 NSCC further states that the MMD Charge may not effectively address concentration risk because the MMD Charge (1) only applies to positions in certain securities, as described above, (2) does not address concentration risk presented by positions in securities that are not listed on NASDAQ or in securities traded by firms that are not Market Makers, and (3) does not account for concentration in market capitalization categories.52 NSCC states that the proposed Gap Risk Measure would provide better concentration risk coverage than the MMD Charge because the former would apply to all Members, whereas the latter only applies to Market Makers.53

    51 Notice, 83 FR at 5662.

    52Id.

    53Id.

    II. Discussion and Commission Findings

    Although the Clearing Supervision Act does not specify a standard of review for an advance notice, its stated purpose is instructive: To mitigate systemic risk in the financial system and promote financial stability by, among other things, promoting uniform risk management standards for systemically important financial market utilities and strengthening the liquidity of systemically important financial market utilities.54

    54See 12 U.S.C. 5461(b).

    Section 805(a)(2) of the Clearing Supervision Act 55 authorizes the Commission to prescribe regulations containing risk-management standards for the payment, clearing, and settlement activities of designated clearing entities engaged in designated activities for which the Commission is the supervisory agency. Section 805(b) of the Clearing Supervision Act 56 provides the following objectives and principles for the Commission's risk-management standards prescribed under Section 805(a):

    55 12 U.S.C. 5464(a)(2).

    56 12 U.S.C. 5464(b).

    • Promote robust risk management;

    • promote safety and soundness;

    • reduce systemic risks; and

    • support the stability of the broader financial system.

    Section 805(c) of the Clearing Supervision Act provides, in addition, that the Commission's risk-management standards may address such areas as risk-management and default policies and procedures, among others areas.57

    57 12 U.S.C. 5464(c).

    The Commission has adopted risk-management standards under Section 805(a)(2) of the Clearing Supervision Act 58 and Section 17A of the Exchange Act (“Rule 17Ad-22”).59 Rule 17Ad-22 requires each covered clearing agency, among other things, to establish, implement, maintain, and enforce written policies and procedures that are reasonably designed to meet certain minimum requirements for their operations and risk-management practices on an ongoing basis.60 Therefore, it is appropriate for the Commission to review proposed changes in advance notices for consistency with the objectives and principles of the risk-management standards described in Section 805(b) of the Clearing Supervision Act 61 and against Rule 17Ad-22.62

    58 12 U.S.C. 5464(a)(2).

    59 15 U.S.C. 78q-1.

    60 17 CFR 240.17Ad-22.

    61 12 U.S.C. 5464(b).

    62 17 CFR 240.17Ad-22.

    A. Consistency With Section 805(b) of the Clearing Supervision Act

    The Commission believes that the changes proposed in the Advance Notice are consistent with each of the objectives and principles described in Section 805(b) of the Act.63 Specifically, as discussed below, the Commission believes that the changes proposed in the Advance Notice are consistent with promoting robust risk management in the area of credit risk and promoting safety and soundness, which in turn, would help reduce systemic risk and support the stability of the broader financial system.

    63 12 U.S.C. 5464(b).

    The Commission believes that the proposed changes promote robust risk management by adding three new volatility component calculations that would better enable NSCC to mitigate the credit risks presented by Member portfolios in a broader range of scenarios and market conditions than NSCC's current volatility component calculation.

    First, as described above, NSCC currently calculates the volatility component of each Member's Required Deposit using a VaR calculation that relies exclusively on an exponentially-weighted volatility estimation. However, the current VaR calculation places more emphasis on recent market observations, which may result in a swift decline in margin that does not adequately capture the risks related to a rapid decrease in market price volatility levels. To address this shortcoming, NSCC proposes to (1) add a VaR calculation that relies on an evenly-weighted volatility estimation (i.e., that gives equal weight to all historical volatility observations during a specified look-back period), (2) compare the amounts of both VaR calculations (i.e., based on both evenly- and exponentially-weighted volatility estimations), and (3) use the greater amount as the Core Parametric Estimation. Accordingly, the Commission believes adding the VaR calculation based on an evenly-weighted volatility estimation would enable NSCC to more effectively limit its credit exposure to Members in market conditions that reflect a rapid decrease in market price volatility levels.

    Second, as described above, when a Member's portfolio holds a concentrated position in a specific security beyond a significant percentage of the entire portfolio's value, the portfolio may be more susceptible to Gap Risk Events. In such a scenario, NSCC's current volatility component calculation may result in inadequate margin coverage. To address this issue, NSCC has proposed the Gap Risk Measure as an alternative volatility component calculation. The Gap Risk Measure is designed to provide better margin coverage in such a scenario as it would apply to all individual equities (including non-index-based and narrow-index-based ETPs, as described above) when a Member maintains a position in its portfolio that exceeds the 30 percent concentration threshold. Accordingly, the Commission believes adding the Gap Risk Measure would enable NSCC to more effectively limit its credit exposure to Members in certain scenarios in which a Member holds a security that meets the 30 percent concentration threshold relative to the remainder of its portfolio.

    Third, as described above, when a Member's portfolio holds either large gross market values or large net directional market values in a period of low market price volatility, NSCC's current volatility component calculation may not result in adequate margin, which could hinder NSCC's ability to effectively liquidate or hedge the Member's portfolio in the event of the Member's default. To address this concern, NSCC proposes the Portfolio Margin Floor, which would operate as a floor to (i.e., minimum amount of) the volatility component of a Member's Required Deposit. Accordingly, the Commission believes adding the Portfolio Margin Floor would enable NSCC to more effectively limit its credit exposure to Members in certain scenarios, such as when a Member's portfolio holds either large gross market values or large net directional market values and market prices exhibit low volatility.

    Finally, to help ensure that the amount of margin that NSCC collects as the volatility component of a Member's Required Deposit would help mitigate each of the specific concerns addressed by the Core Parametric Estimation, Gap Risk Measure, and Portfolio Margin Floor, NSCC would assess the largest amount of those three calculations as the volatility component of the Member's Required Deposit.

    In addition to the three proposed volatility component calculations, NSCC also proposes to eliminate the MMD Charge. As described above, NSCC has found the MMD Charge to be an inefficient and ineffective component of the Clearing Fund formula that may not accurately capture the credit risk presented by a Member's portfolio. More specifically, the charge does not cover a range of scenarios and market conditions that would be covered by the proposed Gap Risk Measure. Moreover, in contrast to the proposed Gap Risk Measure, the MMD Charge (1) only applies to positions in certain securities, (2) does not address concentration risk presented by positions in securities that are not listed on NASDAQ, (3) does not account for concentration in market capitalization categories, and (4) only applies to Market Makers. Accordingly, NSCC's proposal to eliminate the MMD Charge is designed to remove an obsolete component from the Clearing Fund formula.

    Taken together, each of the above described changes would enhance NSCC's current method for calculating each Member's volatility component, enabling NSCC to produce margin levels more commensurate with the risks associated with its Members' portfolios in a broader range of scenarios and market conditions, and, thus, more effectively cover its credit exposure to its Members. Therefore, the Commission believes the changes proposed in the Advance Notice are consistent with promoting robust risk management, consistent with Section 805(b) of the Clearing Supervision Act.64

    64Id.

    The Commission also believes that the proposed changes would promote safety and soundness at NSCC, which, in turn, would help reduce systemic risk and support the stability of the broader financial system. As described above, the proposed changes are designed to better limit NSCC's credit exposure to Members in the event of a Member default. More specifically, the proposed VaR calculation based on an evenly-weighted volatility estimation would enable NSCC to better manage its credit exposure to Members in market conditions that reflect a rapid decrease in market price volatility levels. Meanwhile, the proposed Gap Risk Measure would enable NSCC to manage its credit exposure to Member portfolios that are more susceptible to Gap Risk Events. Finally, the proposed Portfolio Margin Floor would enable NSCC to better manage its credit exposure to Members in certain scenarios, such as low market price volatility when a Member's portfolio holds either large gross market values or large net directional market values.

    By better limiting credit exposure to its Members, NSCC's proposed changes are designed to help ensure that, in the event of a Member default, NSCC's operations would not be disrupted and non-defaulting Members would not be exposed to losses that they cannot anticipate or control. As such, the Commission finds that the proposed changes would promote safety and soundness, which in turn, would reduce systemic risks and support the stability of the broader financial system, consistent with Section 805(b) of the Clearing Supervision Act.65

    65Id.

    Therefore, the Commission believes that the changes proposed in the Advance Notice are consistent with Section 805(b) of the Clearing Supervision Act.66

    66Id.

    B. Consistency With Rule 17Ad-22(e)(4)(i) of the Exchange Act

    The Commission believes that the changes proposed in the Advance Notice are consistent with Rule 17Ad-22(e)(4)(i) under the Exchange Act, which requires that NSCC establish, implement, maintain and enforce written policies and procedures reasonably designed to effectively identify, measure, monitor, and manage its credit exposures to participants and those arising from its payment, clearing, and settlement processes, including by maintaining sufficient financial resources to cover its credit exposure to each participant fully with a high degree of confidence.67

    67 17 CFR 240.17Ad-22(e)(4)(i).

    As described above, the Commission believes the proposed VaR calculation based on an evenly-weighted volatility estimation would enable NSCC to better manage its credit exposure to Members in market conditions that reflect a rapid decrease in market price volatility levels; the proposed Gap Risk Measure would enable NSCC to better manage its credit exposure to Member portfolios that are more susceptible to Gap Risk Events; and the proposed Portfolio Margin Floor would enable NSCC to better manage its credit exposure to Members in certain scenarios, such as when a Member's portfolio holds either large gross market values or large net directional market values and market prices exhibit low volatility. Furthermore, NSCC would assess a Member the largest of these three calculations as the Member's volatility component to its Required Deposit.

    Each of these proposed changes is designed to help NSCC more effectively identify, measure, monitor, and manage its credit exposures to its Members. In doing so, the proposed changes would enable NSCC to more accurately assess the volatility component of a Member's Required Deposit and, thus, help NSCC maintain sufficient financial resources to cover its credit exposure to each Member fully with a high degree of confidence. Therefore, the Commission finds that the changes proposed in the Advance Notice are consistent with Rule 17Ad-22(e)(4)(i) under the Exchange Act.68

    68Id.

    C. Consistency With Rule 17Ad-22(e)(6)(i) and (v) of the Exchange Act

    The Commission believes that the changes proposed in the Advance Notice are consistent with Rule 17Ad-22(e)(6)(i) under the Exchange Act, which requires that NSCC establish, implement, maintain and enforce written policies and procedures reasonably designed to cover its credit exposures to its participants by establishing a risk-based margin system that, at a minimum considers, and produces margin levels commensurate with, the risks and particular attributes of each relevant product, portfolio, and market.69 Furthermore, the Commission believes that the changes proposed in the Advance Notice are consistent with Rule 17Ad-22(e)(6)(v) under the Exchange Act, which requires that NSCC establish, implement, maintain and enforce written policies and procedures reasonably designed to use an appropriate method for measuring credit exposure that accounts for relevant product risk factors and portfolio effects across products.70

    69 17 CFR 240.17Ad-22(e)(6)(i).

    70 17 CFR 240.17Ad-22(e)(6)(v).

    As described above, the Commission believes the proposed VaR calculation based on an evenly-weighted volatility estimation would enable NSCC to better manage its credit exposure to Members in certain market conditions with a rapid decrease in market price volatility levels; the proposed Gap Risk Measure would enable NSCC to better manage its credit exposure to Member portfolios that are more susceptible to Gap Risk Events; and the proposed Portfolio Margin Floor would enable NSCC to better manage its credit exposure to Members in certain scenarios, such as low market price volatility when a Member's portfolio holds either large gross market values or large net directional market values and market prices exhibit low volatility. Moreover, NSCC would assess a Member the largest of these three calculations as the Member's volatility component to its Required Deposit.

    These three proposed volatility component calculations are designed to help improve NSCC's risk-based margin system by enabling NSCC to produce margin levels that are more commensurate with the risks and particular attributes of the relevant products, portfolios, and markets that NSCC serves. Additionally, as described above, the three proposed volatility component calculations are designed to use methods that are more appropriately tailored for measuring credit exposure that account for specific risk factors and portfolio effects. Therefore, the Commission finds that the changes proposed in the Advance Notice are consistent with Rules 17Ad-22(e)(6)(i) and (v) under the Exchange Act.71

    71 17 CFR 240.17Ad-22(e)(6)(i) and (v).

    III. Conclusion

    It is therefore noticed, pursuant to Section 806(e)(1)(I) of the Clearing Supervision Act,72 that the Commission does not object to advance notice SR-NSCC-2017-808 and that NSCC is authorized to implement the proposed change as of the date of this notice or the date of an order by the Commission approving proposed rule change SR-NSCC-2017-020 that reflects rule changes that are consistent with this Advance Notice, whichever is later.

    72 12 U.S.C. 5465(e)(1)(I).

    By the Commission.

    Brent J. Fields, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04237 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-82772; File No. SR-FINRA-2018-010] Self-Regulatory Organizations; Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Revise the Securities Trader (Series 57) Examination February 26, 2018.

    Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”) 1 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,2 notice is hereby given that on February 12, 2018, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II, and III below, which Items have been prepared by FINRA. FINRA has designated the proposed rule change as “constituting a stated policy, practice, or interpretation with respect to the meaning, administration, or enforcement of an existing rule” under Section 19(b)(3)(A)(i) of the Act 3 and Rule 19b-4(f)(1) thereunder,4 which renders the proposal effective upon receipt of this filing by the Commission. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    3 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A)(i).

    4 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(1).

    I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

    FINRA is proposing revisions to the content outline and selection specifications for the Securities Trader (Series 57) examination as part of the restructuring of the representative-level examination program.5 In addition, FINRA is proposing to make changes to the format of the content outline. FINRA is not proposing any textual changes to the By-Laws, Schedules to the By-Laws or Rules of FINRA.

    5 FINRA also is proposing corresponding revisions to the Series 57 question bank. Based on instruction from SEC staff, FINRA is submitting this filing for immediate effectiveness pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act and Rule 19b-4(f)(1) thereunder, and is not filing the question bank. See Letter to Alden S. Adkins, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, NASD Regulation, from Belinda Blaine, Associate Director, Division of Market Regulation, SEC, dated July 24, 2000. The question bank is available for SEC review.

    The revised Series 57 content outline is attached.6 The revised Series 57 selection specifications have been submitted to the Commission under separate cover with a request for confidential treatment pursuant to SEA Rule 24b-2.7

    6 The Commission notes that the content outline is attached to the filing, not to this Notice.

    7 17 CFR 240.24b-2.

    The text of the proposed rule change is available on FINRA's website at http://www.finra.org, at the principal office of FINRA and at the Commission's Public Reference Room.[sic]

    II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

    In its filing with the Commission, FINRA included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. FINRA has prepared summaries, set forth in sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant aspects of such statements.

    A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose

    Section 15A(g)(3) of the Act 8 authorizes FINRA to prescribe standards of training, experience, and competence for persons associated with FINRA members. In accordance with that provision, FINRA has developed examinations that are designed to establish that persons associated with FINRA members have attained specified levels of competence and knowledge, consistent with applicable registration requirements under FINRA rules. FINRA periodically reviews the content of the examinations to determine whether revisions are necessary or appropriate in view of changes pertaining to the subject matter covered by the examinations.

    8 15 U.S.C. 78o-3(g)(3).

    The SEC recently approved a proposed rule change to restructure the FINRA representative-level qualification examination program.9 The rule change, which will become effective on October 1, 2018,10 restructures the examination program into a new format whereby all new representative-level applicants will be required to take a general knowledge examination (the Securities Industry Essentials or SIETM) and a tailored, specialized knowledge examination (a revised representative-level qualification examination) for their particular registered role.

    9See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 81098 (July 7, 2017), 82 FR 32419 (July 13, 2017) (Order Approving File No. SR-FINRA-2017-007).

    10See Regulatory Notice 17-30 (SEC Approves Consolidated FINRA Registration Rules, Restructured Representative-Level Qualification Examinations and Changes to Continuing Education Requirements) (October 2017).

    The restructured program eliminates duplicative testing of general securities knowledge on the current representative-level qualification examinations by moving such content into the SIE examination.11 The SIE examination will test fundamental securities-related knowledge, including knowledge of basic products, the structure and function of the securities industry, the regulatory agencies and their functions and regulated and prohibited practices, whereas the revised representative-level qualification examinations will test knowledge relevant to day-to-day activities, responsibilities and job functions of representatives.12

    11 Each of the current representative-level examinations covers general securities knowledge, with the exception of the Research Analyst (Series 86 and 87) examinations.

    12 FINRA filed the SIE content outline with the SEC for immediate effectiveness. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 82578 (January 24, 2018), 83 FR 4375 (January 30, 2018) (Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of File No. SR-FINRA-2018-002). In addition to the proposed rule change relating to the revised Series 57 examination, FINRA is filing with the Commission for immediate effectiveness the content outlines for the other revised representative-level qualification examinations.

    As part of the restructuring process and in consultation with a committee of industry representatives, FINRA undertook a review of the Securities Trader (Series 57) examination to remove the general securities knowledge currently covered on the examination and to create a tailored examination to test knowledge relevant to the day-to-day activities, responsibilities and job functions of a Securities Trader. In addition, FINRA is proposing to make changes to the format of the Series 57 content outline.

    Beginning on October 1, 2018, new applicants seeking to register as Securities Traders must pass the SIE examination and the revised Securities Trader (Series 57) examination.

    Current Content Outline

    The current Series 57 content outline is divided into four major job functions that are performed by a Securities Trader. The following are the four major job functions, denoted Function 1 through 4, with the associated number of questions:

    Function 1: Market Overview and Products, 22 questions;

    Function 2: Engaging in Professional Conduct and Adhering to Regulatory Requirements, 12 questions;

    Function 3: Trading Activities, 79 questions; and

    Function 4: Maintaining Books and Records and Trade Reporting, 12 questions.

    Each function also includes specific tasks describing activities associated with performing that function. There are three tasks (1.1-1.3) associated with Function 1; two tasks (2.1-2.2) associated with Function 2; three tasks (3.1-3.3) associated with Function 3; and two tasks (4.1-4.2) associated with Function 4. For example, one such task (Task 4.2) relates to creating, retaining, and reporting required records of orders and transactions. Further, the content outline lists the knowledge required to perform each function and associated tasks (e.g., in connection with Task 4.2, large trader ID and related reporting and monitoring requirements and order execution and routing information). In addition, where applicable, the content outline lists the laws, rules and regulations a candidate is expected to know to perform each function and associated tasks. These include applicable federal securities laws, as well as FINRA and other self-regulatory organization rules and regulations. The content outline also includes a preface (e.g., table of contents, details regarding the purpose of the examination and eligibility requirements), sample questions and reference materials.

    Revised Content Outline

    As noted above, FINRA is proposing to move the general securities knowledge currently covered on the Series 57 examination to the SIE examination. For example, FINRA Rule 3220 (Influencing or Rewarding Employees of Others) (the Gifts Rule) will now be tested on the SIE examination, rather than on the Series 57 examination. As a result, the revised Series 57 examination will test knowledge specific to the day-to-day activities, responsibilities and job functions of a Securities Trader.

    Further, FINRA is proposing to make changes to the major job functions that are performed by a Securities Trader. The following are the revised job functions, denoted Function 1 and Function 2, with the associated number of questions:

    Function 1: Trading Activities, 41 questions; and

    Function 2: Maintaining Books and Records, Trade Reporting and Clearance and Settlement, 9 questions.

    FINRA also is proposing to adjust the number of questions assigned to each major job function to ensure that the overall examination better reflects the key tasks performed by a Securities Trader. The questions on the revised Series 57 examination will place emphasis on tasks such as trading activities, trade reporting and related books and records.

    Further, FINRA is proposing to make changes to the specific tasks associated with performing each function. There are three tasks (1.1-1.3) associated with Function 1 13 and three tasks (2.1-2.3) associated with Function 2.14 For example, one such task (Task 2.1) is reporting trades to the designated reporting facility.15 The content outline also lists the knowledge required to perform each revised function and associated tasks (e.g., distinctions among reporting facilities). In addition, where applicable, the content outline lists the laws, rules and regulations a candidate is expected to know to perform each revised function and associated tasks (e.g., SEA Rule 13h-1).

    13See Exhibit 3a, Outline Pages 3-9. The outline is attached as Exhibit 3a to the 19b-4 form.

    14See Exhibit 3a, Outline Pages 10-12.

    15See Exhibit 3a, Outline Page 10.

    FINRA is proposing similar changes to the Series 57 selection specifications and question bank.

    Finally, FINRA is proposing to make changes to the format of the content outline, including to the preface, sample questions and reference materials.16 Among other changes, FINRA is proposing to: (1) Reduce the preface to one page of introductory information; (2) streamline details regarding the purpose of the examination; (3) move the application procedures to FINRA's website; and (4) explain that the passing score is established using a standard setting procedure, and that a statistical adjustment process known as equating is used in scoring the examination.17

    16 FINRA is proposing similar changes to the content outlines for other representative-level examinations.

    17 See Exhibit 3a, Outline Page 2.

    As a result of the proposed changes, the number of scored questions on the Series 57 examination will be reduced from 125 questions to 50 questions.18 Further, the test time, which is the amount of time candidates will have to complete the examination, will be reduced from three hours and 45 minutes to one hour and 45 minutes. Currently, a score of 70 percent is required to pass the examination. FINRA will publish the passing score of the revised Series 57 examination on its website, at www.finra.org, prior to its first administration.

    18 Consistent with FINRA's practice of including “pretest” questions on examinations, the Series 57 examination includes five additional, unidentified pretest questions that do not contribute towards the candidate's score. The pretest questions are designed to ensure that new examination questions meet acceptable testing standards prior to use for scoring purposes. Therefore, the Series 57 examination actually consists of 55 questions, 50 of which are scored. The five pretest questions are randomly distributed throughout the examination.

    Availability of Content Outline

    The current Series 57 content outline is available on FINRA's website. The revised Series 57 content outline will replace the current content outline on FINRA's website, and it will be made available on the website on the date of this filing.

    FINRA is filing the proposed rule change for immediate effectiveness. The implementation date will be October 1, 2018, to coincide with the implementation of the restructured representative-level examination program. FINRA will also announce the implementation date of the proposed rule change in a Regulatory Notice.

    2. Statutory Basis

    FINRA believes that the proposed revisions to the Series 57 examination program are consistent with the provisions of Section 15A(b)(6) of the Act,19 which requires, among other things, that FINRA rules must be designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest, and Section 15A(g)(3) of the Act,20 which authorizes FINRA to prescribe standards of training, experience, and competence for persons associated with FINRA members. The proposed rule change will improve the examination program, without compromising the qualification standards, by removing the general knowledge content currently covered on the Series 57 examination, since that content will be covered in the co-requisite SIE examination.

    19 15 U.S.C. 78o-3(b)(6).

    20 15 U.S.C. 78o-3(g)(3).

    B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

    FINRA does not believe that the proposed rule change will result in any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. The updated examination aligns with the functions and associated tasks currently performed by a Securities Trader and tests knowledge of the most current laws, rules, regulations and skills relevant to those functions and associated tasks. As such, the proposed revisions would make the examination more effective. FINRA also provided a detailed economic impact assessment regarding the introduction of the SIE examination and the restructuring of the representative-level examinations as part of the proposed rule change to restructure the FINRA representative-level qualification examination program.21

    21See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 80371 (April 4, 2017), 82 FR 17336 (April 10, 2017) (Notice of Filing of File No. SR-FINRA-2017-007).

    C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others

    Written comments were neither solicited nor received.

    III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

    The foregoing rule change has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act 22 and paragraph (f)(1) of Rule 19-4 thereunder.23 At any time within 60 days of the filing of the proposed rule change, the Commission summarily may temporarily suspend such rule change if it appears to the Commission that such action is necessary or appropriate in the public interest, for the protection of investors, or otherwise in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. If the Commission takes such action, the Commission shall institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule should be approved or disapproved.

    22 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A).

    23 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(1).

    IV. Solicitation of Comments

    Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change is consistent with the Act. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Comments

    • Use the Commission's internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml); or

    • Send an email to [email protected] Please include File Number SR-FINRA-2018-010 on the subject line.

    Paper Comments

    • Send paper comments in triplicate to Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549-1090.

    All submissions should refer to File Number SR-FINRA-2018-010. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's internet website (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml). Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for website viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549, on official business days between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Copies of such filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of FINRA. All comments received will be posted without change. Persons submitting comments are cautioned that we do not redact or edit personal identifying information from comment submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-FINRA-2018-010 and should be submitted on or before March 23, 2018.

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.24

    24 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).

    Eduardo A. Aleman, Assistant Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04209 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-82781; File No. SR-NSCC-2017-020] Self-Regulatory Organizations; National Securities Clearing Corporation; Notice of Filing of Amendment No. 1 and Order Granting Accelerated Approval of a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1, To Enhance the Calculation of the Volatility Component of the Clearing Fund Formula That Utilizes a Parametric Value-at-Risk Model and Eliminate the Market Maker Domination Charge February 26, 2018.

    National Securities Clearing Corporation (“NSCC”) filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) on December 28, 2017 proposed rule change SR-NSCC-2017-020 pursuant to Section 19b(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”) 1 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder.2 The proposed rule change was published for comment in the Federal Register on January 19, 2018.3 The Commission did not receive any comments on the proposed rule change. On January 10, 2018, NSCC filed Amendment No. 1 to the proposed rule change.4 The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comment on Amendment No. 1 from interested persons and is approving the proposed rule change, as modified by Amendment No. 1 (hereinafter, the “Proposed Rule Change”), on an accelerated basis.5

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    3 Securities Exchange Act Release No. 82494 (January 12, 2018), 83 FR 2828 (January 19, 2018) (SR-NSCC-2017-020) (“Notice”).

    4 In Amendment No. 1 to the proposed rule change, NSCC amended and replaced in its entirety the originally filed confidential Exhibit 3a with a new confidential Exhibit 3a in order to remove references to a practice that was not intended for consideration as part of the filing.

    5 NSCC also filed the proposed rule change as advance notice SR-NSCC-2017-808 pursuant to Section 806(e)(1) of the Payment, Clearing, and Settlement Supervision Act of 2010 and Rule 19b-4(n)(1)(i) under the Exchange Act. 12 U.S.C. 5465(e)(1) and 17 CFR 240.19b-4(n)(1)(i), respectively. On January 10, 2018, NSCC filed Amendment No. 1 to the advance notice to amend and replace in its entirety the originally filed confidential Exhibit 3a in order to remove references to a practice that was not intended for consideration as part of the filing. Notice of filing of the advance notice, as modified by Amendment No. 1 (“Advance Notice”), was published in the Federal Register on February 8, 2018. Securities Exchange Act Release No. 82631 (February 5, 2018), 83 FR 5658 (February 8, 2018) (SR-NSCC-2017-808). The Commission did not receive any comments on the Advance Notice.

    I. Description of the Proposed Rule Change

    The Proposed Rule Change consists of changes to NSCC's Rules & Procedures (“Rules”) 6 that would enhance NSCC's method for calculating the daily margin requirement for each NSCC member (“Member”).7 Specifically, NSCC proposes to (1) add three new ways to calculate the volatility component of its Members' margin requirements, and (2) eliminate an outdated component of the margin calculation, as described more fully below.8 NSCC states that the new volatility component calculations would enable NSCC to mitigate the credit risks presented by Member portfolios in a broader range of scenarios and market conditions than NSCC's current volatility component calculation.9

    6NSCC's Rules, available at http://dtcc.com/~/media/Files/Downloads/legal/rules/nscc_rules.pdf.

    7 Notice, 83 FR at 2828-32.

    8Id.

    9Id.

    A key tool that NSCC uses to manage its credit exposures to Members is the daily calculation and collection of margin from each Member (“Required Deposit”).10 NSCC collects Required Deposits from Members to mitigate NSCC's potential losses associated with the liquidation of a Member's portfolio should the Member default.11 The aggregate of all Members' Required Deposits constitutes NSCC's Clearing Fund, which NSCC can access should a defaulting Member's own Required Deposit be insufficient to satisfy NSCC's losses caused by the liquidation of the Member's portfolio.12

    10 Notice, 83 FR at 2828-29.

    11Id.

    12Id.

    A. Evenly-Weighted Volatility Estimation

    Each Member's Required Deposit consists of several components.13 Generally, the largest component of a Member's Required Deposit is the volatility component, which is designed to capture the market price risk associated with each Member's portfolio at a 99th percentile level of confidence.14 NSCC currently calculates the volatility component using a parametric Value-at-Risk (“VaR”) model.15 NSCC's current VaR calculation places more emphasis on recent market observations (such as recent price history) for the purpose of estimating current market price volatility levels, based on the assumption that the most recent price history is more relevant and accurate for measuring current market price volatility levels (referred to as an “exponentially-weighted volatility estimation”).16 However, volatility in the equity markets often rapidly reverts to more commonly observed levels, followed by a subsequent spike.17 While a VaR calculation that applies exclusively an exponentially-weighted volatility estimation can capture sudden increases in volatility, it may result in a swift decline in margin that does not adequately capture the risks related to a rapid decrease in market price volatility levels.18 NSCC proposes to mitigate this shortcoming by adding another method for computing the VaR calculation that does not diminish the value of older market observations.19 Specifically, NSCC proposes to add a VaR calculation that gives equal weight to all historical volatility observations during a specified look-back period (referred to by NSCC as an “evenly-weighted volatility estimation”),20 which could result in margin requirement amounts during non-volatile periods greater than margin requirement amounts based upon the exponentially-weighted volatility estimation.21 Under the proposal, NSCC would calculate both the exponentially-weighted volatility estimation and the evenly-weighted volatility estimation, and the greater result would represent the “Core Parametric Estimation.” 22

    13See Procedure XV (Clearing Fund Formula and Other Matters) of the Rules, supra note 6.

    14 Notice, 83 FR at 2829.

    15Id.

    16Id.

    17Id.

    18Id.

    19 Notice, 83 FR at 2828-29.

    20Id.

    21Id.

    22 Notice, 83 FR at 2829-30.

    B. Gap Risk Measure

    In addition to the Core Parametric Estimation, NSCC proposes to add a second method for determining the volatility component of a Member's Required Deposit.23 This second method, referred to as the Gap Risk Measure, would help address risks that are unique to Member portfolios that hold a concentrated position in a specific security.24 More specifically, when a Member's portfolio holds a concentrated position in a specific security, such that the position represents a significant percentage of the entire portfolio's value, the portfolio may be more susceptible to risks associated with issuer-specific events affecting the price of the concentrated security.25 Such events include earning reports, management changes, merger announcements, insolvency, or other unexpected issuer-specific events (collectively, “Gap Risk Events”).26

    23 Notice, 83 FR at 2830-31.

    24Id.

    25Id.

    26Id.

    NSCC has observed that portfolios with a concentration level of more than 30 percent in a specific security tend to have backtesting coverage below the 99 percent confidence level.27 To mitigate the concentration risk posed by such portfolios, NSCC proposes the Gap Risk Measure, which would apply to all individual equities in a Member's portfolio, but only when the Member holds a position in a security that meets a 30 percent concentration threshold relative to the remainder of the portfolio.28

    27Id.

    28Id.

    NSCC also has observed that exchange-traded products (“ETPs”) that track to a broad market index are generally not susceptible to Gap Risk Events.29 Accordingly, NSCC would not apply the Gap Risk Measure to positions in such index-based ETPs, even if the 30 percent concentration threshold is met.30 However, non-index-based ETPs and index-based ETPs that track a narrow market index are susceptible to Gap Risk Events, and would, therefore, be subject to the Gap Risk Measure, provided that the 30 percent concentration threshold is met.31

    29Id.

    30Id.

    31Id. NSCC states that it would use a third-party market provider to identify index-based ETPs. Id. The third-party market provider would identify index-based ETPs as those with criteria that require the portfolio returns to track to a broad market index. Id. ETPs that do not meet this criteria would not be considered index-based ETPs and, therefore, would be included in the Gap Risk Measure calculation. Id.

    When applicable, NSCC would calculate the Gap Risk Measure by multiplying the gross market value of the largest (non-index) position in the portfolio by a percent of not less than 10 percent.32

    32Id. NSCC would determine such percent empirically as no less than the larger of the 1st and 99th percentiles of three-day returns of a set of CUSIPs that are subject to the volatility component, giving equal rank to each to determine which has the highest movement over that three-day period. Id. NSCC would use a look-back period of not less than ten years that includes a one-year stress period. Id. If the one-year stress period overlaps with the look-back period, only the non-overlapping period would be combined with the look-back period. Id. The result would then be rounded up to the nearest whole percentage. Id.

    C. Portfolio Margin Floor

    In addition to the Core Parametric Estimation and the Gap Risk Measure, NSCC proposes to add a third method for determining the volatility component of a Member's Required Deposit.33 This third method, referred to as the Portfolio Margin Floor, would help address risks that may not be adequately accounted for by the Core Parametric Estimation or the Gap Risk Measure.34 For example, a volatility component based solely on a parametric VaR model calculation may prove inadequate where there is low market price volatility and the portfolio holds either large gross market values or large net directional market values.35 In such cases, the model may not collect sufficient margin, which could hinder NSCC's ability to effectively liquidate or hedge the Member's portfolio in three business days.36

    33 Notice, 83 FR at 2831.

    34Id.

    35Id.

    36Id.

    NSCC proposes the Portfolio Margin Floor to operate as a floor to (i.e., minimum amount of) a Member's volatility component.37 Specifically, the Portfolio Margin Floor would be based on the balance and direction of the positions in the Member's portfolio and would be designed to be proportional to the market value of the portfolio.38

    37Id.

    38Id.

    The Portfolio Margin Floor would be the sum of two separate calculations, both of which would measure the market value of the portfolio based on the direction of net positions in the portfolio.39 First, NSCC would calculate the net directional market value of the portfolio by calculating the absolute difference between the market value of the long positions and shorts positions in the portfolio,40 then multiplying that amount by a percentage.41 Second, NSCC would calculate the balanced market value of the portfolio by taking the lowest market value of either the long or short positions in the portfolio,42 then multiplying that value by a percentage.43 The combined results of these two calculations would constitute the final Portfolio Margin Floor amount.44

    39Id.

    40 For example, if the market value of the long positions is $100,000, and the market value of the short positions is $200,000, the net directional market value of the portfolio would be $100,000. Id.

    41Id. NSCC would determine the applicable percentage by examining the annual historical volatility levels of benchmark indices over a historical look-back period. Id.

    42 For example, if the market value of the long positions is $100,000, and the market value of the short positions is $110,000, the balanced market value of the portfolio would be $100,000. Id.

    43Id. NSCC would determine the applicable percentage to be an amount that covers the transaction costs and other relevant risks associated with the positions in the portfolio. Id.

    44Id.

    Finally, in order to choose the amount to be charged as the volatility component of a Member's Required Deposit, NSCC would compare the amounts calculated by the Portfolio Margin Floor, the Gap Risk Measure (if applicable), and the Core Parametric Estimation. NSCC then would use the highest of those three calculations as the volatility component of the Member's Required Deposit.45

    45Id.

    D. Elimination of the Market Maker Domination Component

    NSCC proposes to eliminate the Market Maker Domination Component (“MMD Charge”) from its Clearing Fund formula.46 The MMD Charge is an existing component of the Clearing Fund formula calculated for Members that are Market Makers and Members that clear for Market Makers.47 The MMD Charge was developed to address the risks presented by concentrated positions (of the overall unsettled long position in the security) held by Market Makers.48 More specifically, the charge is designed to address securities that are susceptible to marketability and liquidation impairment because of the relative size of the positions that NSCC would have to liquidate or hedge in the case of a Market Maker default.49

    46 Notice, 83 FR at 2831-32.

    47Id; see also Procedure XV, Section I(A)(1)(d) of the Rules, supra note 6.

    48 Notice, 83 FR at 2831-32.

    49Id.

    Under the current Rules, NSCC may impose the MMD Charge if the Market Maker (either the Member or the correspondent of the Member) holds a position that is greater than 40 percent of the overall unsettled long position (i.e., the sum of each clearing broker's net long position) in a specific security.50 NSCC calculates the MMD Charge as the sum of each of the absolute values of the net positions in the relevant securities, less the reported amount of excess net capital for that Member.51

    50Id.

    51Id. NSCC does not apply the excess net capital offset for Members with the weakest credit rating (i.e. 7) on the Credit Risk Rating Matrix. See Procedure XV, Sections I(A)(1)(d) and I(A)(2)(c) of the Rules, supra note 6.

    NSCC states that since implementation of the MMD Charge, several developments in the U.S. equity markets (e.g., improved price transparency, access across exchange venues, and participation by market liquidity providers) have reduced the risks that the MMD Charge was designed to address.52 NSCC further states that the MMD Charge may not effectively address concentration risk because the MMD Charge (1) only applies to positions in certain securities, as described above, (2) does not address concentration risk presented by positions in securities that are not listed on NASDAQ or in securities traded by firms that are not Market Makers, and (3) does not account for concentration in market capitalization categories.53 NSCC states that the proposed Gap Risk Measure would provide better concentration risk coverage than the MMD Charge because the former would apply to all Members, whereas the latter only applies to Market Makers.54

    52 Notice, 83 FR at 2831-32.

    53Id.

    54Id.

    II. Discussion and Commission Findings

    Section 19(b)(2)(C) of the Exchange Act 55 directs the Commission to approve a proposed rule change of a self-regulatory organization if it finds that such proposed rule change is consistent with the requirements of the Exchange Act and rules and regulations thereunder applicable to such organization. The Commission believes that the Proposed Rule Change is consistent with the Exchange Act, specifically Section 17A(b)(3)(F) of the Exchange Act and Rules 17Ad-22(e)(4) and (6) under the Exchange Act.56

    55 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2)(C).

    56 15 U.S.C. 78q-1(b)(3)(F); 17 CFR 240.17Ad-22(e)(4) and (6).

    A. Consistency With Section 17A(b)(3)(F) of the Exchange Act

    The Commission finds that the Proposed Rule Change is consistent with Section 17A(b)(3)(F) of the Exchange Act.57 Section 17A(b)(3)(F) of the Exchange Act requires that the rules of a registered clearing agency must be designed to, among other things, assure the safeguarding of securities and funds which are in the custody or control of the clearing agency or for which it is responsible.58 As discussed above, NSCC proposes to add three new ways to calculate the volatility component of its Members' daily margin requirement. The new volatility component calculations, as discussed in detail below, are designed to help NSCC better mitigate the credit risks presented by Member portfolios in a broader range of scenarios and market conditions than NSCC's current volatility component calculation.

    57 15 U.S.C. 78q-1(b)(3)(F).

    58Id.

    First, as described above, NSCC currently calculates the volatility component of each Member's Required Deposit using a VaR calculation that relies exclusively on an exponentially-weighted volatility estimation. However, the current VaR calculation places more emphasis on recent market observations, which may result in a swift decline in margin that does not adequately capture the risks related to a rapid decrease in market price volatility levels. To address this shortcoming, NSCC proposes to (1) add a VaR calculation that relies on an evenly-weighted volatility estimation (i.e., that gives equal weight to all historical volatility observations during a specified look-back period), (2) compare the amounts of both VaR calculations (i.e., based on both evenly- and exponentially-weighted volatility estimations), and (3) use the greater amount as the Core Parametric Estimation. Accordingly, the Commission believes adding the VaR calculation based on an evenly-weighted volatility estimation would enable NSCC to more effectively limit its credit exposure to Members in market conditions that reflect a rapid decrease in market price volatility levels.

    Second, as described above, when a Member's portfolio holds a concentrated position in a specific security beyond a significant percentage of the entire portfolio's value, the portfolio may be more susceptible to Gap Risk Events. In such a scenario, NSCC's current volatility component calculation may result in inadequate margin coverage. To address this issue, NSCC has proposed the Gap Risk Measure as an alternative volatility component calculation. The Gap Risk Measure is designed to provide better margin coverage in such a scenario as it would apply to all individual equities (including non-index-based and narrow-index-based ETPs, as described above) when a Member maintains a position in its portfolio that exceeds the 30 percent concentration threshold. Accordingly, the Commission believes adding the Gap Risk Measure would enable NSCC to more effectively limit its credit exposure to Members in certain scenarios in which a Member holds a security that meets the 30 percent concentration threshold relative to the remainder of its portfolio.

    Third, as described above, when a Member's portfolio holds either large gross market values or large net directional market values in a period of low market price volatility, NSCC's current volatility component calculation may not result in adequate margin, which could hinder NSCC's ability to effectively liquidate or hedge the Member's portfolio in the event of the Member's default. To address this concern, NSCC proposes the Portfolio Margin Floor, which would operate as a floor to (i.e., minimum amount of) the volatility component of a Member's Required Deposit. Accordingly, the Commission believes adding the Portfolio Margin Floor would enable NSCC to more effectively limit its credit exposure to Members in certain scenarios, such as when a Member's portfolio holds either large gross market values or large net directional market values and market prices exhibit low volatility.

    Finally, to help ensure that the amount of margin that NSCC collects as the volatility component of a Member's Required Deposit would help mitigate each of the specific concerns addressed by the Core Parametric Estimation, Gap Risk Measure, and Portfolio Margin Floor, NSCC would assess the largest amount of those three calculations as the volatility component of the Member's Required Deposit.

    In addition to the three proposed volatility component calculations, NSCC also proposes to eliminate the MMD Charge. As described above, NSCC has found the MMD Charge to be an inefficient and ineffective component of the Clearing Fund formula that may not accurately capture the credit risk presented by a Member's portfolio. More specifically, the charge does not cover a range of scenarios and market conditions that would be covered by the proposed Gap Risk Measure. Moreover, in contrast to the proposed Gap Risk Measure, the MMD Charge (1) only applies to positions in certain securities, (2) does not address concentration risk presented by positions in securities that are not listed on NASDAQ, (3) does not account for concentration in market capitalization categories, and (4) only applies to Market Makers. Accordingly, NSCC's proposal to eliminate the MMD Charge is designed to remove an obsolete component from the Clearing Fund formula.

    Taken together, each of the above described changes would enhance NSCC's current method for calculating each Member's volatility component, enabling NSCC to produce margin levels more commensurate with the risks associated with its Members' portfolios in a broader range of scenarios and market conditions, and, thus, more effectively cover its credit exposure to its Members. By better limiting NSCC's credit exposure to its Members, the Proposed Rule Change is designed to help ensure that, in the event of a Member default, NSCC's operations would not be disrupted and non-defaulting Members would not be exposed to losses that they cannot anticipate or control. In this way, the Proposed Rule Change is designed to help assure the safeguarding of securities and funds which are in the custody or control of NSCC or for which it is responsible, consistent with Section 17A(b)(3)(F) of the Exchange Act.59

    59Id.

    B. Consistency with Rule 17Ad-22(e)(4)(i) of the Exchange Act

    The Commission believes that the changes proposed in the Proposed Rule Change are consistent with Rule 17Ad-22(e)(4)(i) under the Exchange Act, which requires that NSCC establish, implement, maintain and enforce written policies and procedures reasonably designed to effectively identify, measure, monitor, and manage its credit exposures to participants and those arising from its payment, clearing, and settlement processes, including by maintaining sufficient financial resources to cover its credit exposure to each participant fully with a high degree of confidence.60

    60 17 CFR 240.17Ad-22(e)(4)(i).

    As described above, the Commission believes the proposed VaR calculation based on an evenly-weighted volatility estimation would enable NSCC to better manage its credit exposure to Members in market conditions that reflect a rapid decrease in market price volatility levels; the proposed Gap Risk Measure would enable NSCC to better manage its credit exposure to Member portfolios that are more susceptible to Gap Risk Events; and the proposed Portfolio Margin Floor would enable NSCC to better manage its credit exposure to Members in certain scenarios, such as when a Member's portfolio holds either large gross market values or large net directional market values and market prices exhibit low volatility. Furthermore, NSCC would assess a Member the largest of these three calculations as the Member's volatility component to its Required Deposit.

    Each of these proposed changes is designed to help NSCC more effectively identify, measure, monitor, and manage its credit exposures to its Members. In doing so, the proposed changes would enable NSCC to more accurately assess the volatility component of a Member's Required Deposit and, thus, help NSCC maintain sufficient financial resources to cover its credit exposure to each Member fully with a high degree of confidence. Therefore, the Commission finds that the changes proposed in the Proposed Rule Change are consistent with Rule 17Ad-22(e)(4)(i) under the Exchange Act.61

    61Id.

    C. Consistency With Rule 17Ad-22(e)(6)(i) and (v) of the Exchange Act

    The Commission believes that the changes proposed in the Proposed Rule Change are consistent with Rule 17Ad-22(e)(6)(i) under the Exchange Act, which requires that NSCC establish, implement, maintain and enforce written policies and procedures reasonably designed to cover its credit exposures to its participants by establishing a risk-based margin system that, at a minimum considers, and produces margin levels commensurate with, the risks and particular attributes of each relevant product, portfolio, and market.62 Furthermore, the Commission believes that the changes proposed in the Proposed Rule Change are consistent with Rule 17Ad-22(e)(6)(v) under the Exchange Act, which requires that NSCC establish, implement, maintain and enforce written policies and procedures reasonably designed to use an appropriate method for measuring credit exposure that accounts for relevant product risk factors and portfolio effects across products.63

    62 17 CFR 240.17Ad-22(e)(6)(i).

    63 17 CFR 240.17Ad-22(e)(6)(v).

    As described above, the Commission believes the proposed VaR calculation based on an evenly-weighted volatility estimation would enable NSCC to better manage its credit exposure to Members in certain market conditions with a rapid decrease in market price volatility levels; the proposed Gap Risk Measure would enable NSCC to better manage its credit exposure to Member portfolios that are more susceptible to Gap Risk Events; and the proposed Portfolio Margin Floor would enable NSCC to better manage its credit exposure to Members in certain scenarios, such as low market price volatility when a Member's portfolio holds either large gross market values or large net directional market values and market prices exhibit low volatility. Moreover, NSCC would assess a Member the largest of these three calculations as the Member's volatility component to its Required Deposit.

    These three proposed volatility component calculations are designed to help improve NSCC's risk-based margin system by enabling NSCC to produce margin levels that are more commensurate with the risks and particular attributes of the relevant products, portfolios, and markets that NSCC serves. Additionally, as described above, the three proposed volatility component calculations are designed to use methods that are more appropriately tailored for measuring credit exposure that account for specific risk factors and portfolio effects. Therefore, the Commission finds that the changes proposed in the Proposed Rule Change are consistent with Rules 17Ad-22(e)(6)(i) and (v) under the Exchange Act.64

    64 17 CFR 240.17Ad-22(e)(6)(i) and (v).

    III. Solicitation of Comments

    Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change, as modified by Amendment No. 1, is consistent with the Exchange Act. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Comments

    • Use the Commission's internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml); or

    • Send an email to [email protected] Please include File Number SR-NSCC-2017-020 on the subject line.

    Paper Comments

    • Send paper comments in triplicate to Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549-1090.

    All submissions should refer to File Number SR-NSCC-2017-020. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's internet website (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml). Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for website viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549, on official business days between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of the filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of NSCC and on DTCC's website (http://dtcc.com/legal/sec-rule-filings.aspx). All comments received will be posted without change. Persons submitting comments are cautioned that we do not redact or edit personal identifying information from comment submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-NSCC-2017-020 and should be submitted on or before March 23, 2018. IV. Accelerated Approval of Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1

    The Commission finds good cause to approve the proposed rule change, as modified by Amendment No. 1, prior to the thirtieth day after the date of publication of the notice of Amendment No. 1 in the Federal Register. As discussed above, NSCC submitted Amendment No. 1 to replace in its entirety the originally filed confidential Exhibit 3a with a new confidential Exhibit 3a in order to remove references to a practice that was not intended for consideration as part of the filing. The Commission believes that Amendment No. 1 does not raise any novel issues or alter the proposed changes in any way. In addition, the Commission finds that the proposed rule change, as modified by Amendment No. 1, is consistent with the Exchange Act and applicable rules thereunder for the reasons discussed above. Accordingly, the Commission finds good cause to approve the proposed rule change, as modified by Amendment No. 1, on an accelerated basis, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Exchange Act.65

    65 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2).

    V. Conclusion

    On the basis of the foregoing, the Commission finds that the proposed rule change, as modified by Amendment No. 1, is consistent with the requirements of the Exchange Act, in particular, with the requirements of Section 17A of the Exchange Act 66 and the rules and regulations thereunder.

    66 In approving this proposed rule change, the Commission has considered the proposed rule's impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. See 15 U.S.C. 78c(f).

    It is therefore ordered, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Exchange Act,67 that proposed rule change SR-NSCC-2017-020, as modified by Amendment No. 1, be, and it hereby is, approved on an accelerated basis.

    67 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2).

    68 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.68

    Brent J. Fields, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04238 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-82775; File No. SR-NASDAQ-2018-014] Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Update Rule 4758 To Reflect the Name Change of NYSE MKT to NYSE American February 26, 2018.

    Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”),1 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,2 notice is hereby given that on February 14, 2018, The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC (“Nasdaq” or “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I and II below, which Items have been prepared by the Exchange. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

    The Exchange proposes to update Rule 4758 to reflect the name change of NYSE MKT to NYSE American.

    The text of the proposed rule change is available on the Exchange's website at http://nasdaq.cchwallstreet.com, at the principal office of the Exchange, and at the Commission's Public Reference Room.

    II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

    In its filing with the Commission, the Exchange included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The Exchange has prepared summaries, set forth in sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant aspects of such statements.

    A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose

    The purpose of the proposed change is to update Rule 4758 to reflect the name change of NYSE MKT to NYSE American. Rule 4758 concerns order routing and paragraph (1)(A) thereunder provides various routing options market participants may choose for their orders. The DOT,3 DOTI,4 and LIST 5 routing options allow a market participant to route its orders to NYSE MKT. Effective on July 24, 2017, NYSE MKT was renamed NYSE American.6 Accordingly, the Exchange is proposing to make a technical change to Rule 4758 to reflect the new name of NYSE MKT—NYSE American.

    3See Rule 4758(a)(1)(A)(i).

    4See Rule 4758(a)(1)(A)(ii).

    5See Rule 4758(a)(1)(A)(x).

    6See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 80283 (March 21, 2017), 82 FR 15244 (March 27, 2017) (SR-NYSEMKT-2017-14); see also Member Education Bulletin, NYSE MKT Number 17-01, July 14, 2017, available at https://www.nyse.com/publicdocs/nyse/markets/nyse-american/rule-interpretations/2017/NYSE%20MKT%20MEB%2017-01%20NYSE%20MKT%20American%20Transition.pdf.

    2. Statutory Basis

    The Exchange believes that its proposal is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act 7 in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(5) of the Act 8 in particular, in that it is designed to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and a national market system, and, in general to protect investors and the public interest, by avoiding market participant confusion that may be caused by having an inaccurate national securities exchange name referenced in the Exchange's rulebook.

    7 15 U.S.C. 78f(b).

    8 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(5).

    B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

    The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change will impose any burden on competition not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. The proposed change will make a technical change to Rule 4758 to reflect the accurate name of a national securities exchange. As such, the Exchange does not believe that the proposal will place any burden on competition whatsoever.

    C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others

    No written comments were either solicited or received.

    III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

    The proposed rule change has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act 9 and Rule 19b-4(f)(3) 10 thereunder in that the proposed rule change is concerned solely with the administration of the Exchange.

    9 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A).

    10 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(3).

    At any time within 60 days of the filing of the proposed rule change, the Commission summarily may temporarily suspend such rule change if it appears to the Commission that such action is: (i) Necessary or appropriate in the public interest; (ii) for the protection of investors; or (iii) otherwise in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. If the Commission takes such action, the Commission shall institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule should be approved or disapproved.

    IV. Solicitation of Comments

    Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change is consistent with the Act. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Comments

    • Use the Commission's internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml); or

    • Send an email to [email protected]. Please include File Number SR-NASDAQ-2018-014 on the subject line.

    Paper Comments

    • Send paper comments in triplicate to Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549-1090.

    All submissions should refer to File Number SR-NASDAQ-2018-014. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's internet website (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml). Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for website viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549 on official business days between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of the filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the Exchange. All comments received will be posted without change. Persons submitting comments are cautioned that we do not redact or edit personal identifying information from comment submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-NASDAQ-2018-014 and should be submitted on or before March 23, 2018.

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.11

    11 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).

    Eduardo A. Aleman, Assistant Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04211 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-82776; File No. SR-CboeBZX-2018-013] Self-Regulatory Organizations; Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Introduce a New Data Feed on the Exchange's Equity Options Platform February 26, 2018.

    Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”),1 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,2 notice is hereby given that on February 20, 2018, Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc. (“Exchange” or “BZX”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I and II below, which Items have been prepared by the Exchange. The Exchange has designated this proposal as a “non-controversial” proposed rule change pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act 3 and Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) thereunder,4 which renders it effective upon filing with the Commission. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    3 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A).

    4 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6)(iii).

    I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

    The Exchange filed a proposal to introduce a new data feed on its equity options platform (“BZX Options”) to be known as BZX Options Top.

    The text of the proposed rule change is available at the Exchange's website at www.markets.cboe.com, at the principal office of the Exchange, and at the Commission's Public Reference Room.

    II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

    In its filing with the Commission, the Exchange included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The Exchange has prepared summaries, set forth in Sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant parts of such statements.

    (A) Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose

    The Exchange proposes to introduce a new data feed on BZX Options to be known as BZX Options Top. The Exchange also proposes to amend Exchange Rule 21.15(b) to add a description of the BZX Options Top feed and to change the name of the Multicast PITCH feed to BZX Options Depth.

    A description of each market data product offered by the Exchange is described in Exchange Rule 21.15(b). The Exchange proposes to amend Rule 21.15(b) to introduce and add a description of the BZX Options Top feed to Exchange under subparagraph (2).5 The BZX Options Top feed would be described as “a data feed that offers top of book quotations and execution information based on options orders entered into the System.” 6 The Exchange notes that its affiliate, Cboe EDGX Exchange, Inc. (“EDGX”) offers an identical data feed for its equity options platform (“EDGX Options”), known as EDGX Options Top. The description of the BZX Options Top feed under Exchange Rule 21.15(b)(2) is substantially similar to the description of the EDGX Options Top feed under EDGX Rule 21.15(b)(2).7

    5 The Exchange also proposes to renumber current subparagraph (2) as (3) and current subparagraph (3) as (4).

    6 Exchange Rule 21.15(b)(2).

    7 Unlike BZX, EDGX offers separate EDGX Options Top data feeds for the EDGX's Simple Book and Complex Order Book. See EDGX Rule 21.15(b)(2).

    The Exchange also propose to rename Multicast Pitch as BZX Options Depth and amend its rules and fee schedule accordingly. BZX Options Depth is a data feed that offers depth of book quotations and execution information based on options orders entered into the System.8

    8 Exchange Rule 21.15(b)(1).

    2. Statutory Basis

    The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act,9 in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(5) of the Act,10 in particular, in that it is designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and a national market system, and to protect investors and the public interest, and that it is not designed to permit unfair discrimination among customers, brokers, or dealers. This proposal is in keeping with those principles in that it promotes increased transparency through the dissemination of BZX Options Top. The proposed rule change would benefit investors by facilitating their prompt access to real-time top-of-book information contained in BZX Options Top. The Exchange notes that its affiliate, EDGX, offers an identical data feed for EDGX Options, known as EDGX Options Top. The description of the BZX Options Top feed under Exchange Rule 21.15(b)(2) is substantially similar to the description of the EDGX Options Top feed under EDGX Rule 21.15(b)(2).11

    9 15 U.S.C. 78f.

    10 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(5).

    11 Unlike BZX, EDGX offers separate EDGX Options Top data feeds for the EDGX's Simple Book and Complex Order Book. See EDGX Rule 21.15(b)(2).

    (B) Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

    The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change will result in any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. The Exchange believes that the proposal will promote competition by the Exchange offering a service similar to that offered by Nasdaq.12 Thus, the Exchange believes this proposed rule change is necessary to permit fair competition among national securities exchanges. Therefore, the Exchange does not believe the proposed rule change will result in any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act.

    12 BONO stands for Best of Nasdaq Options (“BONOSM”) is a data feed that provides The Nasdaq Options Market (“NOM”) Best Bid and Offer and last sale information for trades executed on NOM. See Nasdaq Sec. 4(d), NASDAQ Options Market Data Distributor Fees available at http://www.nasdaqtrader.com/Micro.aspx?id=optionsPricing.

    (C) Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants or Others

    The Exchange has neither solicited nor received written comments on the proposed rule change.

    III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

    Because the foregoing proposed rule change does not: (i) Significantly affect the protection of investors or the public interest; (ii) impose any significant burden on competition; and (iii) become operative for 30 days from the date on which it was filed, or such shorter time as the Commission may designate, it has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A)(iii) of the Act 13 and subparagraph (f)(6) of Rule 19b-4 thereunder.14

    13 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A)(iii).

    14 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6). In addition, Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) requires the Exchange to give the Commission written notice of the Exchange's intent to file the proposed rule change, along with a brief description and text of the proposed rule change, at least five business days prior to the date of filing of the proposed rule change, or such shorter time as designated by the Commission. The Exchange has satisfied this requirement.

    A proposed rule change filed under Rule 19b-4(f)(6) 15 normally does not become operative prior to 30 days after the date of the filing. However, Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) 16 permits the Commission to designate a shorter time if such action is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. The Exchange has asked the Commission to waive the 30-day operative delay so that the proposal may become operative immediately upon filing. The Exchange states that waiving the operative delay will enable the Exchange to implement the proposed rule change on March 9, 2018, the anticipated date upon which the Exchange hopes to offer BZX Options Top.17 The Exchange further notes that its affiliate, EDGX, offers a substantially similar data feed as discussed earlier in this proposed rule change. Based on the foregoing, the Commission believes that waiver of the 30-day operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. Therefore, the Commission hereby waives the operative delay and designates the proposed rule change as operative upon filing.18

    15 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6).

    16 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6)(iii).

    17See Cboe BZX and EDGX Options Exchanges to Introduce Multicast Top Feed, available at http://cdn.batstrading.com/resources/release_notes/2018/Cboe-BZX-and-EDGX-Options-Exchanges-to-Introduce-Multicast-Top-Feed.pdf.

    18 For purposes only of waiving the 30-day operative delay, the Commission has also considered the proposed rule's impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. See 15 U.S.C. 78c(f).

    At any time within 60 days of the filing of the proposed rule change, the Commission summarily may temporarily suspend such rule change if it appears to the Commission that such action is: (i) Necessary or appropriate in the public interest; (ii) for the protection of investors; or (iii) otherwise in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. If the Commission takes such action, the Commission shall institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule should be approved or disapproved.

    IV. Solicitation of Comments

    Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change is consistent with the Act. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Comments

    • Use the Commission's internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml); or

    • Send an email to [email protected] Please include File Number SR-CboeBZX-2018-013 on the subject line.

    Paper Comments

    • Send paper comments in triplicate to Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549-1090.

    All submissions should refer to File Number SR-CboeBZX-2018-013. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's internet website (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml). Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for website viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549, on official business days between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of the filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the Exchange. All comments received will be posted without change. Persons submitting comments are cautioned that we do not redact or edit personal identifying information from comment submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-CboeBZX-2018-013 and should be submitted on or before March 23, 2018.

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.19

    19 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).

    Eduardo A. Aleman, Assistant Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04212 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Investment Company Act Release No. 33035; 812-14845] Little Harbor Advisors, LLC and ETF Series Solutions February 26, 2018. AGENCY:

    Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    Notice of an application for an order under section 6(c) of the Investment Company Act of 1940 (the “Act”) for an exemption from sections 2(a)(32), 5(a)(1), 22(d), and 22(e) of the Act and rule 22c-1 under the Act, under sections 6(c) and 17(b) of the Act for an exemption from sections 17(a)(1) and 17(a)(2) of the Act, and under section 12(d)(1)(J) of the Act for an exemption from sections 12(d)(1)(A) and 12(d)(1)(B) of the Act. The requested order would permit (a) actively-managed series of certain open-end management investment companies (“Funds”) to issue shares redeemable in large aggregations only (“Creation Units”); (b) secondary market transactions in Fund shares to occur at negotiated market prices rather than at net asset value (“NAV”); (c) certain Funds to pay redemption proceeds, under certain circumstances, more than seven days after the tender of shares for redemption; (d) certain affiliated persons of a Fund to deposit securities into, and receive securities from, the Fund in connection with the purchase and redemption of Creation Units; (e) certain registered management investment companies and unit investment trusts outside of the same group of investment companies as the Funds (“Funds of Funds”) to acquire shares of the Funds; and (f) certain Funds (“Feeder Funds”) to create and redeem Creation Units in-kind in a master-feeder structure.

    Applicants:

    Little Harbor Advisors, LLC (the “Initial Adviser”), a Delaware limited liability company registered as an investment adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, ETF Series Solutions (the “Trust”), a Delaware statutory trust registered under the Act as an open-end management investment company with multiple series.

    Filing Dates:

    The application was filed on November 22, 2017 and amended on February 20, 2018.

    Hearing or Notification of Hearing:

    An order granting the requested relief will be issued unless the Commission orders a hearing. Interested persons may request a hearing by writing to the Commission's Secretary and serving applicants with a copy of the request, personally or by mail. Hearing requests should be received by the Commission by 5:30 p.m. on March 23, 2018, and should be accompanied by proof of service on applicants, in the form of an affidavit, or for lawyers, a certificate of service. Pursuant to rule 0-5 under the Act, hearing requests should state the nature of the writer's interest, any facts bearing upon the desirability of a hearing on the matter, the reason for the request, and the issues contested. Persons who wish to be notified of a hearing may request notification by writing to the Commission's Secretary.

    ADDRESSES:

    Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549-1090; Applicants: W. John McGuire, Esq., Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, 1111 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004-2541 and Michael D. Barolsky, Esq., U.S. Bancorp Fund Services, LLC, 615 E. Michigan Street, Milwaukee, WI 53202.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    James McGinnis, Senior Counsel, at (202) 551-3025, or Parisa Haghshenas, Branch Chief, at (202) 551-6723 (Division of Investment Management, Chief Counsel's Office).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The following is a summary of the application. The complete application may be obtained via the Commission's website by searching for the file number, or for an applicant using the Company name box, at http://www.sec.gov/search/search.htm or by calling (202) 551-8090.

    Summary of the Application

    1. Applicants request an order that would allow Funds to operate as actively-managed exchange traded funds (“ETFs”).1 Fund shares will be purchased and redeemed at their NAV in Creation Units only. All orders to purchase Creation Units and all redemption requests will be placed by or through an “Authorized Participant” which will have signed a participant agreement with the Distributor. Shares will be listed and traded individually on a national securities exchange, where share prices will be based on the current bid/offer market. Certain Funds may operate as Feeder Funds in a master-feeder structure. Any order granting the requested relief would be subject to the terms and conditions stated in the application.

    1 Applicants request that the order apply to the new series of the Trust as well as to additional series of the Trust and any other open-end management investment company or series thereof that currently exist or that may be created in the future (each, included in the term “Fund”), each of which will operate as an actively-managed ETF. Any Fund will (a) be advised by the Initial Adviser or an entity controlling, controlled by, or under common control with the Initial Adviser (each such entity and any successor thereto is included in the term “Adviser”) and (b) comply with the terms and conditions of the application. For purposes of the requested Order, the term “successor” is limited to an entity that results from a reorganization into another jurisdiction or a change in the type of business organization.

    2. Each Fund will consist of a portfolio of securities and other assets and investment positions (“Portfolio Instruments”). Each Fund will disclose on its website the identities and quantities of the Portfolio Instruments that will form the basis for the Fund's calculation of NAV at the end of the day.

    3. Shares will be purchased and redeemed in Creation Units only and generally on an in-kind basis. Except where the purchase or redemption will include cash under the limited circumstances specified in the application, purchasers will be required to purchase Creation Units by depositing specified instruments (“Deposit Instruments”), and shareholders redeeming their shares will receive specified instruments (“Redemption Instruments”). The Deposit Instruments and the Redemption Instruments will each correspond pro rata to the positions in the Fund's portfolio (including cash positions) except as specified in the application.

    4. Because shares will not be individually redeemable, applicants request an exemption from section 5(a)(1) and section 2(a)(32) of the Act that would permit the Funds to register as open-end management investment companies and issue shares that are redeemable in Creation Units only.

    5. Applicants also request an exemption from section 22(d) of the Act and rule 22c-1 under the Act as secondary market trading in shares will take place at negotiated prices, not at a current offering price described in a Fund's prospectus, and not at a price based on NAV. Applicants state that (a) secondary market trading in shares does not involve a Fund as a party and will not result in dilution of an investment in shares, and (b) to the extent different prices exist during a given trading day, or from day to day, such variances occur as a result of third-party market forces, such as supply and demand. Therefore, applicants assert that secondary market transactions in shares will not lead to discrimination or preferential treatment among purchasers. Finally, applicants represent that share market prices will be disciplined by arbitrage opportunities, which should prevent shares from trading at a material discount or premium from NAV.

    6. With respect to Funds that hold non-U.S. Portfolio Instruments and that effect creations and redemptions of Creation Units in kind, applicants request relief from the requirement imposed by section 22(e) in order to allow such Funds to pay redemption proceeds within fifteen calendar days following the tender of Creation Units for redemption. Applicants assert that the requested relief would not be inconsistent with the spirit and intent of section 22(e) to prevent unreasonable, undisclosed or unforeseen delays in the actual payment of redemption proceeds.

    7. Applicants request an exemption to permit Funds of Funds to acquire Fund shares beyond the limits of section 12(d)(1)(A) of the Act; and the Funds, and any principal underwriter for the Funds, and/or any broker or dealer registered under the Exchange Act, to sell shares to Funds of Funds beyond the limits of section 12(d)(1)(B) of the Act. The application's terms and conditions are designed to, among other things, help prevent any potential (i) undue influence over a Fund through control or voting power, or in connection with certain services, transactions, and underwritings, (ii) excessive layering of fees, and (iii) overly complex fund structures, which are the concerns underlying the limits in sections 12(d)(1)(A) and (B) of the Act.

    8. Applicants request an exemption from sections 17(a)(1) and 17(a)(2) of the Act to permit persons that are affiliated persons, or second-tier affiliates, of the Funds, solely by virtue of certain ownership interests, to effectuate purchases and redemptions in-kind. The deposit procedures for in-kind purchases of Creation Units and the redemption procedures for in-kind redemptions of Creation Units will be the same for all purchases and redemptions and Deposit Instruments and Redemption Instruments will be valued in the same manner as those Portfolio Instruments currently held by the Funds. Applicants also seek relief from the prohibitions on affiliated transactions in section 17(a) to permit a Fund to sell its shares to and redeem its shares from a Fund of Funds, and to engage in the accompanying in-kind transactions with the Fund of Funds.2 The purchase of Creation Units by a Fund of Funds directly from a Fund will be accomplished in accordance with the policies of the Fund of Funds and will be based on the NAVs of the Funds.

    2 The requested relief would apply to direct sales of shares in Creation Units by a Fund to a Fund of Funds and redemptions of those shares. Applicants, moreover, are not seeking relief from section 17(a) for, and the requested relief will not apply to, transactions where a Fund could be deemed an Affiliated Person, or a Second-Tier Affiliate, of a Fund of Funds because an Adviser or an entity controlling, controlled by or under common control with an Adviser provides investment advisory services to that Fund of Funds.

    9. Applicants also request relief to permit a Feeder Fund to acquire shares of another registered investment company managed by the Adviser having substantially the same investment objectives as the Feeder Fund (“Master Fund”) beyond the limitations in section 12(d)(1)(A) and permit the Master Fund, and any principal underwriter for the Master Fund, to sell shares of the Master Fund to the Feeder Fund beyond the limitations in section 12(d)(1)(B).

    10. Section 6(c) of the Act permits the Commission to exempt any persons or transactions from any provision of the Act if such exemption is necessary or appropriate in the public interest and consistent with the protection of investors and the purposes fairly intended by the policy and provisions of the Act. Section 12(d)(1)(J) of the Act provides that the Commission may exempt any person, security, or transaction, or any class or classes of persons, securities, or transactions, from any provision of section 12(d)(1) if the exemption is consistent with the public interest and the protection of investors. Section 17(b) of the Act authorizes the Commission to grant an order permitting a transaction otherwise prohibited by section 17(a) if it finds that (a) the terms of the proposed transaction are fair and reasonable and do not involve overreaching on the part of any person concerned; (b) the proposed transaction is consistent with the policies of each registered investment company involved; and (c) the proposed transaction is consistent with the general purposes of the Act.

    For the Commission, by the Division of Investment Management, under delegated authority.

    Eduardo A. Aleman, Assistant Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04199 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-82774; File No. SR-FINRA-2018-011] Self-Regulatory Organizations; Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Revise the Private Securities Offerings Representative (Series 82) Examination February 26, 2018.

    Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”) 1 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,2 notice is hereby given that on February 12, 2018, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II, and III below, which Items have been prepared by FINRA. FINRA has designated the proposed rule change as “constituting a stated policy, practice, or interpretation with respect to the meaning, administration, or enforcement of an existing rule” under Section 19(b)(3)(A)(i) of the Act 3 and Rule 19b-4(f)(1) thereunder,4 which renders the proposal effective upon receipt of this filing by the Commission. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    3 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A)(i).

    4 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(1).

    I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

    FINRA is proposing revisions to the content outline and selection specifications for the Private Securities Offerings Representative (Series 82) examination as part of the restructuring of the representative-level examination program.5 The proposed revisions also update the material to reflect changes to the laws, rules and regulations covered by the examination and to incorporate the functions and associated tasks currently performed by a Private Securities Offerings Representative. In addition, FINRA is proposing to make changes to the format of the content outline. FINRA is not proposing any textual changes to the By-Laws, Schedules to the By-Laws or Rules of FINRA.

    5 FINRA also is proposing corresponding revisions to the Series 82 question bank. Based on instruction from SEC staff, FINRA is submitting this filing for immediate effectiveness pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act and Rule 19b-4(f)(1) thereunder, and is not filing the question bank. See Letter to Alden S. Adkins, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, NASD Regulation, from Belinda Blaine, Associate Director, Division of Market Regulation, SEC, dated July 24, 2000. The question bank is available for SEC review.

    The revised Series 82 content outline is attached.6 The revised Series 82 selection specifications have been submitted to the Commission under separate cover with a request for confidential treatment pursuant to SEA Rule 24b-2.7

    6 The Commission notes that the content outline is attached to the filing, not to this Notice.

    7 17 CFR 240.24b-2.

    The text of the proposed rule change is available on FINRA's website at http://www.finra.org, at the principal office of FINRA and at the Commission's Public Reference Room. [sic]

    II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

    In its filing with the Commission, FINRA included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. FINRA has prepared summaries, set forth in sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant aspects of such statements.

    A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose

    Section 15A(g)(3) of the Act 8 authorizes FINRA to prescribe standards of training, experience, and competence for persons associated with FINRA members. In accordance with that provision, FINRA has developed examinations that are designed to establish that persons associated with FINRA members have attained specified levels of competence and knowledge, consistent with applicable registration requirements under FINRA rules. FINRA periodically reviews the content of the examinations to determine whether revisions are necessary or appropriate in view of changes pertaining to the subject matter covered by the examinations.

    8 15 U.S.C. 78o-3(g)(3).

    The SEC recently approved a proposed rule change to restructure the FINRA representative-level qualification examination program.9 The rule change, which will become effective on October 1, 2018,10 restructures the examination program into a new format whereby all new representative-level applicants will be required to take a general knowledge examination (the Securities Industry Essentials or SIETM) and a tailored, specialized knowledge examination (a revised representative-level qualification examination) for their particular registered role.

    9See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 81098 (July 7, 2017), 82 FR 32419 (July 13, 2017) (Order Approving File No. SR-FINRA-2017-007).

    10See Regulatory Notice 17-30 (SEC Approves Consolidated FINRA Registration Rules, Restructured Representative-Level Qualification Examinations and Changes to Continuing Education Requirements) (October 2017).

    The restructured program eliminates duplicative testing of general securities knowledge on the current representative-level qualification examinations by moving such content into the SIE examination.11 The SIE examination will test fundamental securities-related knowledge, including knowledge of basic products, the structure and function of the securities industry, the regulatory agencies and their functions and regulated and prohibited practices, whereas the revised representative-level qualification examinations will test knowledge relevant to day-to-day activities, responsibilities and job functions of representatives.12

    11 Each of the current representative-level examinations covers general securities knowledge, with the exception of the Research Analyst (Series 86 and 87) examinations.

    12 FINRA filed the SIE content outline with the SEC for immediate effectiveness. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 82578 (January 24, 2018), 83 FR 4375 (January 30, 2018) (Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of File No. SR-FINRA-2018-002). In addition to the proposed rule change relating to the revised Series 82 examination, FINRA is filing with the Commission for immediate effectiveness the content outlines for the other revised representative-level qualification examinations.

    As part of the restructuring process and in consultation with a committee of industry representatives, FINRA undertook a review of the Private Securities Offerings Representative (Series 82) examination to remove the general securities knowledge currently covered on the examination and to create a tailored examination to test knowledge relevant to the day-to-day activities, responsibilities and job functions of a Private Securities Offerings Representative. As a result of this review, FINRA also is proposing to revise the Series 82 content outline to reflect changes to the laws, rules and regulations covered by the examination and to incorporate the functions and associated tasks currently performed by a Private Securities Offerings Representative. The proposed change will align the organization of the Series 82 content outline with the organization of the content outlines of the other revised representative-level examinations.13 In addition, FINRA is proposing to make other changes to the format of the Series 82 content outline.

    13 FINRA currently has organized several FINRA qualification examinations, such as the Securities Trader (Series 57) examination, based on the functions that are performed by the respective registered persons and the associated tasks. FINRA is proposing similar layouts for all of the representative-level examinations, including the Series 82 examination.

    Beginning on October 1, 2018, new applicants seeking to register as Private Securities Offerings Representatives must pass the SIE examination and the revised Private Securities Offerings Representative (Series 82) examination.

    Current Content Outline

    The current Series 82 content outline is divided into four sections. The following are the four sections, denoted Section 1 through Section 4, with the associated number of questions:

    1. Characteristics of Corporate Securities, 13 questions;

    2. Regulation of The Market for Registered and Unregistered Securities, 45 questions;

    3. Analyzing Corporate Securities and Investment Planning, 16 questions; and

    4. Handling Customer Accounts and Industry Regulations, 26 questions.

    In addition, each section includes references to the applicable laws, rules and regulations associated with that section. The current content outline also includes a preface (addressing, among other things, the purpose, administration and scoring of the examination), sample questions and reference materials.

    Revised Content Outline

    As noted above, FINRA is proposing to move the general securities knowledge currently covered on the Series 82 examination to the SIE examination. For example, FINRA Rule 3220 (Influencing or Rewarding Employees of Others) (the Gifts Rule) will now be tested on the SIE examination, rather than on the Series 82 examination. As a result, the revised Series 82 examination will test knowledge specific to the day-to-day activities, responsibilities and job functions of a Private Securities Offerings Representative.

    Further, FINRA is proposing to reorganize the content outline by dividing it into four major job functions that are performed by a Private Securities Offerings Representative. The proposed change aligns the major job functions performed by a Private Securities Offerings Representative with the major job functions performed by other sales representatives, including Investment Company and Variable Contracts Products Representatives, General Securities Representatives and Direct Participation Programs Representatives. The following are the four major job functions, denoted Function 1 through Function 4, with the associated number of questions:

    Function 1: Seeks Bus